From Workaholic to Feminine empowermentBY KIMBERLEY YOUNG
I was raised to be a good Southern Baptist. In a sense, I still am one. But as a female, I was a second-class citizen to begin with—so I had to overachieve to achieve at all. Mine was a “no pain, no gain” world and though my body knew the truth at age eight, namely, that life held “no gain if all-pain,” I squelched that truth. I was always sensitive, vulnerable, and--under the right circumstances--joyful. Still that joyful person became the girl at the end of the line and fast-track success was barely fast enough.
I trained to be a teacher and gravitated to a charter school. I was good both with students and parents, as well as a fine communicator with peers. Eventually I was promoted to vice-principal and ended up teaching teachers to teach. The problem was that I took on too much—because that’s what a successful woman does. But 14-to-18-hour days stacked one on top of the other is soul-murder, although I didn’t see it that way. I was simply doing what was expected of me. What I expected of me. It got to the point where I’d come home from work, eat some dinner, crawl into bed, and sleep until the alarm went off. Then I’d get up and do it all over again. For eight years I was in a loving relationship, and when we found the space for it our sex was great, but work was the priority. So, naturally time for intimacy became harder and harder to find.
After years of workaholism my health finally broke down. I simply couldn’t summon the energy to fulfill my responsibilities. In October of 2012 I had a killer cold which deteriorated into pneumonia; then came appendicitis. It seemed my body went on strike. The doctor told me my thyroid exceeded acceptable levels, which meant I was hypo-thyroid and my system was over-run with cortisol. My adrenalins were depleted, and I wasn’t getting the endorphins I needed. Society’s solution was “go to the gym and work out,” but after a grueling day at school, that simply wasn’t an option. Increasingly desperate, I finally discovered the research of Dr. Susan Gottfried which provided this remarkable fact: The safest, fastest way for a woman to lower her cortisol levels involved a program called Orgasmic Meditation or OM.
It was Thanksgiving vacation in 2015 that I started researching about Orgasmic Meditation. Immediately upon beginning an OM practice I started taking my body back. And that meant—lo and behold-- taking my life back.
Previous to practicing OM, I’d never dedicated a time and place for my own joy, where I actually placed that first. Now, as the weeks and months flew by, I experienced this growing sense of Return, of things I’d known—or my body had known—but that an obedient young woman had given up on. Through the practice, I was slowly coming to reclaim those. Before OM, life consisted of me vs. the world. I always had my strategies and protocols in place to be the best in a competitive field. The constant state of battle-readiness was exhausting. OM showed me that most of that hyper-vigilance was a script I’d bought into. The trouble was everyone at work bought into the script too—and in a way, my job was to teach the script, so I couldn’t just throw it away.
It took time for the changes to occur. I wasn’t looking for it to be a certain way, but did start to notice them gradually. My relationship ended as my inner-knowing got louder, and my boyfriend “didn’t have time for that.” I finally realized that my body was indeed, my teacher. This body of mine would no longer tolerate me ignoring its teachings. It became clear that I wasn’t supposed to go back to my job at the charter school. This time my blood pressure went through the ceiling, though my OM practice would lower it and ground me again. I finally took some time off work and went to a retreat center where I slowed down and simply restored my body. During that time, I realized that it was time to quit my job, which I did.
I followed my passion and became the CEO of a company that empowered women to embrace their power and remain women in a predominantly male-controlled world. During this whole time, I kept to my practice of OM. It deeply kept me grounded and nourished.