Staying Present in IntensityBY BRIAN
I grew up in a very permissive agnostic household in California. In high school I accidentally left beer cans in my mom's car after I was driving around one day, and my parents didn’t chastise me for drinking underage. They simply explained that if I got pulled over by a cop, I would get a drunk driving ticket and that would be really bad.
I’ve always been pretty experimental and fearless when it comes to trying new things. I found OM through a woman I met online back in 2013. She invited me to an OM demonstration, and I showed up, not really knowing what to expect. I have a fondness for unusual things because I think it's a reflection on the society that we live in. When people feel threatened enough to call something “unusual,” I figure there’s something there to look at. So, my first thought was, “I want to OM because it's unusual. I want to see what the hubbub is about.”
My first OM experience was with an experienced strokee. Afterwards, I remember walking down the street and it was kind of like doing drugs. I was feeling a little wobbly, just looking at people and noticing my environment. Instead of looking at my feet, I was looking into strangers' eyes. I was also texting my coach, describing the things that I was feeling.
After I’d been OMing for a while, if I could zoom out on Brian and describe how different he was, I’d say he was less jittery and had more confidence and a kind of lightness of energy about him. I've always been sort of an introverted person who prefers to be by himself and do stuff in solitude. And my approach to women was coming from a place of nervousness. I didn’t know what to say and was not really sure how to flirt. But that changed after OM.
Since college, I’d been attracted to a particular woman for a couple years but I just wasn't sealing the deal. I wasn't showing up enough for her to get interested. After I began to OM, lo and behold, she started showing interest in me. When we started dating, she said, “There was something that shifted. You just kind of kind of stepped up.” We were in a relationship for three years and she was my first real girlfriend.
I think one of the biggest things about OM is I have learned how to cultivate my attention. The practice has taught me to feel more connected to a woman and notice how and where she's at. Right now, it feels like I am just effortlessly attracting everyone in my life. I'm in a place of just being me and not trying at all, which I think is part of the appeal. There's an easefulness that I now seem to emanate that women pick up on.
For an agnostic I’ve been surprised how much of a meditative practice OM has become for me. It;s a practice. I get up at 6:45 in the morning and have two OMs and go through some other exercises, like extra meditation and writing. And I do that morning after morning after morning before work.
I've discovered there’s a positive feedback loop that adds up over time. The noticing step of the practice is a way to retrain your brain to notice and adjust to high sensations in the environment. Which means if an argument or something really crazy happens, if you can stay conscious enough to notice what’s happening, the situation becomes neutral and you can get out of the cycle rather than getting emotionally hooked.
For example, I have a brother who has a mental illness. We were in a restaurant the other day, and he totally lost himself and caused quite a scene. And I didn't feel threatened by him. I didn’t react. I just got in his face so he could see me, and I got him out of the restaurant without things escalating further. I didn't feel scared. I just dealt with the situation even though there was a lot of adrenaline racing through my body. OM has taught me to actually let in all this sensation and stay present with that sensation and stay present with the moment.