Healing Around Racism & TraumaBY FELICIA HUNT
I am a Black woman. I carry in my DNA the ancestral memory of the trauma inflicted on Black people, and I have my own bitter, painful experiences of both racism and sexual abuse. One of the most profound surprises of my life was that I could experience so much healing and growth in a practice that involved me on my back, stroked by a man – often a white man. That’s now how it was supposed to work. Yet it did.
I found OM through a friend who told me that she had had an amazing experience with it. It sounded right up my alley and I needed to investigate it. I signed up, took an intro course, and was sold. I’d been looking for something deeper for a long time; I wanted a practice that could go beneath the surface; I wanted to stir the waters I hadn’t been able to reach before.
From the beginning, I found that different things came up with different strokers. One stroker I remember particularly well. It was his first time, and he was nervous. He took my adjustments, listened to my instruction, and stroked a little bit left, then a little bit right. I could feel the challenge he was having in surrendering his role as the usual masculine leader and allowing himself to be guided. When he felt the energy flowing through my clitoris onto his fingertip, I knew it as soon as he did. I could feel him melt into the adjustments, and I sensed the shift in his core. I could feel the warmth in his chest which came with my orgasm.
OM is a feminine practice. It appears to center on women, but what I’ve seen again and again is that it can transform men. It allows their own internal and suppressed feminine to emerge and connect with the woman they’re stroking. When I first came to the practice, I had some brief doubts as to what would motivate a man to participate in OM, given that he wasn’t receiving anything. Now, I see that men can receive just as much as women can through OM.
OM has also brought me a great deal of healing around racism. I recall one OM I had where everything seemed to go wrong. The stroker was a white man who had been practicing for years. He had a reputation for knowing what he was doing. For some reason, he had trouble with my anatomy in that OM and was fumbling all over the place. In my head, I convinced myself that it was because he was confused by a Black woman’s body. Afterwards, we sat and talked about it honestly. It was an intense conversation, and a healing one. We are still good friends today; I love that man to death. What I realized is that I had all these deep-seated assumptions about how white people see me. I don’t know that I ever could have worked through those assumptions, and healed from them, without OM.
I believe we carry historical trauma inside of us. For a long time, I struggled with having a white man looking at my body while I was in what seemed to be such a vulnerable pose. I wondered what my ancestors would say. One day, I had an OM where all of these African faces appeared before me. I wasn’t sure, but they might have been my family. They were all dressed in African garb, and they moved about with purpose and joy. I didn’t recognize any of them individually, but I felt as if I knew them nonetheless. I realized that if they were my family, then they wanted nothing more than for me to heal and be happy. This was the most deeply moving OM I have ever had, as it seemed to liberate something both for me, and for those who came before.
The practice of OM has been very healing for me as a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Every time I speak an adjustment, asking somebody to stroke a little to the left, or a little slower, I reclaim my boundaries. Those little commands were difficult at first, as I battled my worry about upsetting the other person. Slowly, I found my voice. What I was first able to do in the container of OM I am now able to do in so many other contexts. The practice of OM has been a seed for growth in almost every other area of my life.
Above all else, OM has helped me know my truest desires. It has made it possible for me to show up for myself, whether I’m single or in an intimate relationship. It has helped me find reserves of compassion and honesty I wasn’t sure I had, and it has helped me heal a lifetime of deep trauma. I don’t want to keep all this for myself – and so I’ve developed my own spiritual practice, and I work with clients to help them realize their true potential. I get to see people heal as I healed, and that is a wonderful gift. The tools of OM go with you everywhere.