OM Saved Our MarriageBY KEVIN PORTER
I was always somebody who looked at life as a great big apple. I always wanted to taste it all – or at least as much as I could.
Going back to my teen years, I had lived a very adventurous life. I loved, and still love, the outdoors. I was a free climber, scrambling up cliffs alone. I would practice wilderness survival, spending days out in the woods alone with nothing but a pocket-knife. I enjoyed building my own shelter and sourcing my own food. I didn’t just do it for my own pleasure; I spent years doing search and rescue work. All that training made me very skilled at finding people who were lost in the forests or mountains.
In my professional life, I started out training to be a Christian minister. I moved on from that to healthcare management administration, and then on to electrical engineering. I loved taking on new challenges, especially ones that demanded I learn a whole new skill set.
When I hit my mid-50s, things started to crumble. I started to experience an increasing inability to do many of the physically demanding things I’d done for so many years. With that loss of ability came a loss of my sense of myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore. This led to a crisis of a sort – and I realized that I had buried so much trauma deep inside me. All of this extraordinary activity I’d engaged in, all of this restlessness that had characterized my life, had kept a lot of pain buried. Now, as my body slowed down, all of that pain was coming to the surface. And it was destroying me.
I got very resentful of my wife. I realized I didn't know how to ask for what I wanted in the marriage. That wasn’t surprising, as I didn't know what I wanted. I felt trapped in a box of my own making. I wanted my wife to figure out what I needed and get me out of that damn box, but of course it didn’t work that way. I grew increasingly frustrated and angry. I didn’t know if our marriage would survive. I wasn’t sure I would survive, either.
I tried to distract myself by reading the news online. One day, quite by accident, I came across an article about Orgasmic Meditation. I wasn’t looking for help or insight; it was a simple accident. I thought about it for a day, and then signed up for a workshop. Next thing I knew, I was driving seven hours to take a course. I hadn’t told my wife what I was planning to do until the day before I left; I was scared of her reaction.
I had an amazing time at that first workshop in New York City. I didn’t OM with anyone, but I was sure I would on my next trip. I figured that might be sooner rather than later, as I half expected to come home and find all my clothes and belongings out in the driveway. Instead, to my amazement, my wife asked to OM with me as soon as I got back. Without telling me, she had signed up for an online training and gone through the whole thing virtually while I’d been at the workshop. We OMed together that night – which just happened to be our 25th wedding anniversary.
It would be no exaggeration to say that OM saved our marriage. My wife says to this day that introducing her to OM was the greatest gift I’ve ever given her. Just as I had been going through this huge crisis, my wife was dealing with old trauma that was starting to surface. A lot of that had to do with past experiences with men, long before me. OM gave her a framework to work through that. It was also helpful for her to OM with other men, because connecting to healthy and safe male energy other than mine was good for her. I was fine with that, and still am.
As for me, the whole practice of OM is about getting still. I’ve always been a runner, literally and figuratively – OM puts you in one position and one focus, 15 minutes at a time. I can’t run away and wander in the forest. I can’t climb a rock and escape the world. I have to sit and be present with the woman I’m stroking. Even before I am in the nest with her, I have to approach a woman to ask her to OM. Before my crisis of confidence in my 50s, I had no trouble approaching women. Now, I did and sometimes still do. OM isn’t an inherently sexual thing, but it comes with the necessary risk of rejection. My job now is to pay attention to my awkwardness when I ask to connect, to feel the churning stomach, the tight shoulders, and let myself feel all of that discomfort. I’ve gotten to the place where I can even welcome that discomfort because the more you feel and acknowledge, the more you can release and overcome in an OM.
I’ve been able to adapt to my aging body, and I can still get out there in the wild that I love. I have been doing a lot of ultramarathons, though a lot were canceled this year. I’ll still go out and do 50K or 100K trail runs on my own – and what’s interesting is that OM has made me a much better ultrarunner. So much of ultrarunning is mental; you have to overcome doubt and pain and lack of focus. OM taught me about states of flow in these incredibly impactful 15-minute increments; it keeps me aware and present. I always thought I was keenly aware of my own body and its sensations; OM heightened that awareness tenfold. It’s literally made it possible for me to be back in the wilderness again.
I’m coaching now. I bring my awareness of trauma and fear to my work. I can see how many people are unable to connect to their desire; that path has been blocked by fear and shame. Helping them access that desire is beyond thrilling. It’s humbling, and I’m so grateful I get to witness it. I’m still doing “search and rescue” work – just in the wilderness of the human person rather than in the mountains!