Kids in my class were talking about a constellation. “It's the Big Dipper,” one of them said.
“But the Big Dipper isn't out this time of year,” I said, because I knew the science.
“What do you mean? The Big Dipper is out all the time.”
“No, this isn't the time of year it comes up here.”
The kid made a face at me. “Know-it-all!” I felt like I'd been slapped.
This conversation was one of many that gradually muted my voice. I developed the habit of not speaking up unless I had to, or unless I felt really safe.
When I got a high grade on a test or report card and showed it to my father, he'd say, “Oh, you can do better.” I know he was only trying to encourage me, but at the time, it made me feel like I wasn't good enough.
In ninth grade, when I first got my period, I started gaining a lot of weight, and then my cycle became irregular, so I was put on birth control pills. It was weird to be taking them when I wasn't having sex yet, so I felt there was something wrong with my body.
It wasn't until my first year of college that I learned I had ovarian cysts, which probably caused the weight gain and irregular periods. During my second semester, a huge cyst ruptured. I was hemorrhaging and in a lot of pain, but I didn't know how to tell anyone. When I went home, I saw a gynecologist who identified the problem, and I took a medical leave from school while I recovered. Now I really felt broken.
In order to return to college, I had to have a psychiatric evaluation. I hadn't had my period for a year, I was upset about leaving school, and I'd had to deal with a lot of physical pain. When I walked into the psychologist's office, he was already writing out a prescription for me, before he even saw my face. In that moment, I felt violated, but I didn't have the ability to stand up for myself. The psych meds he prescribed messed me up even more. When I took them, I'd feel my whole body and cognitive functions slowly shutting down until I was comatose.
Eventually I saw a female therapist who told me the psychologist had been wrong. She also explained that the fluids from the cyst had poisoned my system, affecting my emotional state. With her support, I decided to take art classes at a local community college instead of going straight back to school. But I felt like a sick person and a failure. I was worried I wasn't going to be successful in college or have a career.
When I was 25, as I was working through my traumas, I had my first serious relationship. It was wonderful in so many ways, but there was one piece missing. Although sex with Micky was great, I wasn't having orgasms. I'd feel the climb, the climb, the climb—and then nothing. It was yet another way to feel broken. So I started researching methods that would help me have orgasms. When a yoga teacher told me about OM, I immediately felt it was what I'd been looking for.
What impressed me about my first OM was the sense of safety created by the container. It was comforting to pile up the pillows that created the nest. I liked knowing what was going to happen, especially in the safeporting, when my partner told me he was about to take the grounding step by pressing on my thighs. I felt secure, like I was covered by a warm blanket.
The grounding is my favorite moment of an OM, when I can tell myself, Now we're gonna start to really connect. I'm okay, and it's safe for my nervous system to come down and my monkey mind to stop chattering. Right now I can simply connect and be in this moment. Especially for me, having felt violated in situations with people, it's so great to feel that sense of connection in an atmosphere of safety.
Micky and I OMed many times, and the sensations that built up in my body became more intense, but I still wasn't able to climax. My idea of orgasm remained out of reach. We broke up, and later I went on to OM with other people. Eventually I realized I was experiencing orgasm, it just wasn’t in the exact way I thought I was supposed to. Rather than these huge releases, I would feel small waves of various sensations. I was building a new muscle, learning how to tune into my body and track how it responds.
When I was OMing three or four times a day, my cycle came back into balance. It arrived regularly, and I had less pain and cramping. Apparently, the hormonal imbalance that caused the cysts had also interfered with having orgasms because as my body came back into balance, I was able to experience an even wider range of sensation. Those small waves from early on in my practice grew into bigger waves that flooded me with warmth and tingling and pulsing. After feeling broken in so many ways, I realized I could achieve anything I wanted, as long as I found the right help and support to get there. OM restoring my body showed me that I have the potential to grow in any area of my life.
For a while, the sense of safety and connection were so healing, I rarely asked for an adjustment in how my OM partner was stroking my clitoris. But one time, when I felt the stroker wasn't quite on the spot of most sensation, I asked him to slow down for a moment and to spread my labia more, so he could see where he was stroking. He stopped moving and didn't say anything. I sensed he wasn't grasping what I'd said, so I offered to repeat it, and he said yes.
“Can you spread my lips? Can I have a firmer stroke?” He started stroking again, and he was able to find the spot. My body immediately sank more into the ground, and a moment later, I felt him relax. His shoulders went down, his breath deepened. We were able to come into connection because of one specific adjustment.
From then on, I started asking for more adjustments in OMs, and I also learned to ask for what I wanted in everyday life. That ability to speak is huge for me. For a while, my best friend and I were butting heads over a series of misunderstandings. She thought I was deliberately trying to hurt her, which wasn't true. I asked her to sit down and talk it through with me. It's hard to communicate when you're in the thick of emotions, but I was able to slow down and explain to her where I was coming from. I spoke without judgment, staying totally present. She heard me, and we worked our way to a resolution.
On a whole other level, someone recently offered to bring me a coffee. I said, “Thank you, but I don't drink coffee.” He asked if I wanted tea instead, and what kind I'd like. I was able to say, “I'd like a vanilla chai latte.” It's easy to get stuck in thinking, Oh, I don't want to ask for anything, or I shouldn't ask for too much. But OM has taught me that being able to communicate precisely and mindfully, even about small things, is really important.
In fact, Orgasmic Meditation has helped me heal a lot of trauma from my life, and a lot of disease within my body. But the deepest healing came from realizing I was never really broken.