Finding Where the Edges AreBY ALYSON ALGAR
I know a lot of people who have said that when they first started their OM practice, they were broken in one way or another. I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but it sure was for me. When I found OM seven years ago, I was coming out of a bad divorce. I’d been with my husband for 12 years, and we had blended every imaginable aspect of our lives. We not only had two children together, we were partners in a business.
I was shattered by the end of the marriage. One of the biggest issues we had was that my ex wanted a lot of sex, and I – I had no interest at all. It had become this overwhelming issue, and though sex wasn’t the only thing that ended our relationship, it played a huge part in our divorce. I came out of that marriage thinking I was broken, wondering how I could possibly date again or connect with men in the future.
I had no self-confidence at all, and wasn't feeling sexual at all. I wasn’t sure I had any desire left, and no idea about where or how to find it again if I did. My ex and I were still living together as we tried to figure out how to make our divorce work, and we both decided to start dating. So, he was dating and I was dating, and I felt completely overwhelmed. I’d been out of the game for 12 years, having babies and running a business. Getting back into dating seemed impossible.
I had joined a woman’s group to try to work through some of these issues, and one day a woman came and shared her experience with OM. Most of the others looked at her as if she had two heads, but I was fascinated. I stayed afterwards to talk to her. I decided that it might take the guesswork out of dating. I had no clue when people were supposed to sleep together on dates. So, in my head, OM sounded like a safe place to experience my sexuality while I waited to figure out how I was supposed to handle being single.
Many people say that their first OM was amazing. Mine wasn’t. I remember not feeling very much at all. I was disappointed, and for a moment thought that this had been a waste of time. It wouldn’t work for me. And then it hit me that maybe I didn’t need to think of it as something sexual. Maybe I could think of it as a kind of partnered meditation. I’d dabbled in a few sitting meditation classes a year or so earlier. When I thought of it that way, it took the pressure off. I felt very relaxed after that.
OM gave me access to a newfound energy. It just kept bubbling up and over; I was 40, but felt like I was going through my teenage years all over again. All that desire that I had shoved down for so long, desire that I didn’t think was there – it all came up to the surface. I gave myself permission to explore and to try things out, and to connect with different people. OM gave me the power to ask for a lot, because I wanted a lot. That was all brand new for me.
As I continued to OM, I felt more connected to my body and I could feel more sensation too. I remember one particular moment after an OM where I was sitting in my car listening to loud music, and it felt like my body wanted to expand beyond the car. I just felt so big and shiny, overflowing even. I hadn't felt that in a very, very long time. If ever.
My OM practice gave me a container to rebuild my relationships with men. A place where I could sink in and open up with my partners. Men weren’t something to be afraid of or avoid. They were just trying to figure out everything too. I realized that what they wanted more than anything else was to make us happy. All of a sudden, I had so much more compassion for the men in my life.
It’s funny -- I love making containers now. I make them for a lot of things – work, friendships, dates. It’s so helpful. I like that I get to push my own edges, figure out what my limits are, and where I still need or want to shed more light. Containers allow me to ask for what I want and set the rules and structure for me to fully enjoy it. People always have a choice, they can say yes or no to the container I’m offering. I'm clear on what my expectations in relationship are, so I find there's a lot more ease in finding connection.
I see sexual energy in so many people now. I love it when I see little bits of it expressed in other people; it can be something as subtle as a wink, or the way someone walks down the street. I especially love to see it in surprising people. I've seen it in the people you’d least expect, like in the glowing face of an elderly woman waiting for the bus. I can just see something lit up in there. It gives me hope. It shows me that we all have the potential to be so much happier. We can all get there.