The Combination of Freedom & ContainmentBY TIM LEE
Growing up, I learned to shut down my emotions. In my family, it didn’t matter how bad I was feeling — I had to suck it up and get an A on my next test. So emotions became scary to me. They seemed to carry the potential to cause conflict and distract me from what I needed to do.
During my adulthood, I did a lot of work towards improving myself, but it was never really in connection with other people. I struggled to create a relationship that felt intimate and joyful.
I had a marriage that didn’t work out, and when I started to date again, I ran into the same issues I had with my marriage. I had trouble expressing myself and communicating my needs to other people.
I found out about Orgasmic Meditation from a friend of mine who told me it had changed her life. I’d noticed she’d gone from being single to having a healthy relationship, and when I asked her about it, she said OM had given her the skills to do that. I wanted to experience that for myself. I’d had a girlfriend for seven months, but I felt distant from her and wanted to connect with her on a deeper level. Everyone I knew who OMed told me it helped them feel closer to people, so I brought my girlfriend to an introductory OM class.
The first time we OMed, we were both nervous, but having a specific set of instructions for the container helped us relax. It also helped to know we couldn’t mess up. It was a goalless practice. There was no right or wrong outcome. We both enjoyed the experience, and it really did make me feel closer to her. So we started OMing more often.
The container of an OM—the set of protocols and rules that make sure everyone knows what to expect—helps women trust their partners. That trust has allowed me to connect with women on a deeper level than I ever had before. Maintaining the OM container also taught me how to hold space for people in other areas of my life and make them feel comfortable. Learning how to adhere to a set of principles in any situation has made me a more trustworthy person.
OM has also helped me get out of my head. When I’m in my head, my thoughts run in circles and I go down spirals of anxiety. When I’m in my body, the sensations I’m feeling help calm me down. Experiencing the sensations also helps me understand what sensations other people might be feeling. Even just talking about them helps me build intimacy with people. As a physician, OM has helped me be more attentive to my patients. I’ve developed a subtler understanding of both what they’re going through physically and the emotions they’re experiencing as a result.
Ultimately, OM didn’t save my relationship. But it did something even better: it gave us both the self-awareness to see that the relationship wasn’t right and the courage to end it when we did. We realized there was a reason we weren’t feeling connected, and we couldn’t lie to ourselves anymore. Once we became more truthful with ourselves, we realized we weren’t on the same path.
After that, I became more open-minded about my relationships. I let go of the arbitrary rules that had me believe I had to see my partner a certain number of times a week or have scheduled phone calls on certain days. I learned to stay in the moment and co-create relationships that worked for both me and my partner.
This combination of freedom and containment allowed more of the real me to come out. I developed relationships that were about loving and sharing, not control. Before, I lived in fear that expressing what was going on inside me would disappoint others. Now, I can connect with people in a more fulfilling, exciting way. And I don’t feel the need to bury my emotions anymore.