Day 3, Ujima, Collective Work & Responsibility: Gifts from Me Inspired By The Kwanzaa Tradition

Day 3: Ujima, Collective Work & Responsibility

December 26, 2013

For the next 8 days, I will give you gifts (including some of My Beauty & Wellness Secrets) of My Creative Expressions inspired by the Principles of Kwanzaa!  Why?  Because (1) gift-giving is one of My Fetishes and this is a series of special posts to address many questions I receive about maintaining your wellness: Mind, Body and Spirit; and (2) this venture is part of My continuing gifts to improve the state of the Fetish Scene (and beyond) today, which, as with all things, begins and ends with each of Us.  So, I give you opportunities to expand your awareness and education, and to enjoy being creative!

The Kwanzaa tradition was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga who created a uniquely, African-American and Pan-African holiday which is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa is related to many African celebrations of the first harvest.  (Read more on


mazaoToday, the third day of Kwanzaa’s Principles is Ujima: Collective work and responsibility.  To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

Pronounced (oo-JEE-mah)

Symbol: Mazao (pronounced mah-ZAH-oh) are nuts, fruits, and vegetables symbolizing the result of the harvest.  The Mazao are placed on the Mkeka and are shared and eaten to honor the work of the people it took to grow themNote:  There are 7 Symbols of Kwanzaa.  I have included them in no specific order.

Whenever cooperation comes into play, each individual must first be responsible for their own “stuff.”  What always seems to be a problem is that everyone wants to be in charge without doing any actual work and without having any actual knowledge of how to get things done!

The following is a technique that I practice in My businesses and in maintaining My Domain and relationships for fairness and the care of all involved (and especially, for Myself).

I suggest making a “map” of how to proceed with all parties including:

  • what the goals are
  • when goals are to be accomplished by
  • who is specifically responsible for which tasks (and whom their back-up will be to ensure task completions) and
  • a schedule for when and how project management will be supported by all involved – meaning, have clear definitions of what happens when people fail to deliver as they promise

In this way, all parties have the opportunity to give input for the creation of clearly defined guidelines.  This permits people to be a part of the process rather than to feel like just a cog in the wheel.  Such empowerment also fosters creativity as participants have a greater sense of comfort and ease with each other and the process.

Makes sense, right?  And that’s probably why, all too often, egos get twisted and folks run amok trying to be in control to the point of sabotage!

So, before beginning any type of cooperative venture, I send a “welcome” email to all parties involved describing what I believe in and how I work.  I provide a synopsis of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In fact, I give this book as a gift to those I mentor and I make it required reading for those who wish to serve in My Domain, as well.  The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word;
  2. Don’t take anything personally (because people are operating from their own fantasies about your reality, as well as their own);
  3. Don’t make assumptions; and
  4. Always do your best.

Practicing The Four Agreements is quite the rewarding challenge.  Every day, I benefit from these simple concepts and lead a happier life with each day being better than the day before!  Check out a quick synopsis of The Four Agreements here.

However, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink!  There will always be people who choose to operate from chaos and against all intelligent thought processes.  When this happens, I strongly recommend you provide a “back-up plan”: Provide in writing exactly what YOUR terms are (also with a time schedule) to be able to do your part for the successful completion of projects, etc.  While this separates you from the collective design that was implemented, it clearly outlines your responsibilities and what is necessary for success from this point forward.  It also secures (without stating specifically that if your terms are not met) that you are not responsible for the project’s successful completion if there is deviance from the plans as stated.

The reasons for having everything in writing are:

  1. You always have an easy reference(s) for all parties to review (including yourself), and
  2. No one can play the “blame-you-for-their-failures game” by pretending they were not informed of what they agreed to.  You can also have proof as needed for any legal disputes and/or issues.

This is exactly why I provide a set of Rules of My Domain by email, which must be replied to by each person who wishes to indulge with Me.  Their reply is required prior to being permitted in My presence again and states that s/he has read, understood, and agreed to The Rules.

While We desire to “Play nicely,” We must remember that Our ultimate responsibilities begin and end with Ourselves.   There are always chaotic creatures who want to “get over” by being under-handed.  It is Our responsibility to do Our best to manage them away from Us and put Our energies with those who respect and appreciate Us.  Do your very best to cooperate with people who are truly about cooperation and not about anything less.  Value your talents and energies and only those who are worthy of them will be able to commune with you.

EpicuresNYC.comSee related articles at the bottom of this post.

Always MY Pleasure & The Best,
Mistress Didi*


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Being a Lifestyle Dominant for Her entire life, Mss Didi* has explored various aspects of the BDSM and D/s Scenes including 24/7 relationships, slave ownership, Professional Domination (before it became synonymous with “hoochies with whips) and Fetish Event Planning.  Mss Didi* has benefited from an extensive education in the functions of the human body and psyche, holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Therapy and is currently working on Her PhD.