Salvaging My Relationship With Myself

BY ANA

From day one my marriage was a struggle. Especially sexually, and those difficulties bled over into everything else. I sort of kept assuming it would work itself out, but it never did.

We tried therapy, erotic massage - all kinds of stuff. Nothing worked.  Nothing brought us the kind of sexual and emotional intimacy I was looking for. I’d always been a seeker, always been interested in the emotional and psychological edges, and so I took it upon myself to investigate what I could do personally to help the situation. Through one of the books I read, I discovered OM. I was intrigued at the time, but it felt like too much of a leap.

Fast forward a few years later, my marriage was officially and amicably over. I very much wanted to use the new freedom and energy I had to explore myself and my own possibilities. I looked into a well-known women’s retreat, but there was something missing from that idea for me. After all, I had just ended a marriage where we’d struggled with sexual connection for ten years. And now I was back out there, dating again. I was way more interested in the exploration of sexuality, the dynamics between men and women, and the possible partnership between the sexes. OM, it seemed to me, concerned itself with all that and more. 

When I found myself in a car, nervous, excited, headed to my first experience with OM, I felt energized. As someone who’s always been intuitive, in touch with my own energy, I could feel that I was headed towards something unique that would somehow fit the puzzle pieces together for me. And I was right. In OM I found something that met my hopes and expectations in a profound way.

There is so much to OM. The first big gift it gave me was learning how to check in with myself more when making decisions. Someone would ask me to OM and I would sift through my feelings and thoughts, sensing for a “yes” or “no” and actually giving myself the space to do that. Of course this echoed through other parts of my life too. I learned to take the time to check in with myself. 

The second gift was being seen. There’s a noticing phase in OM, when the person being stroked butterflies her legs open to another person and the person stroking takes a moment to just notice what they see - right there where a woman lives and breathes. I had only really been seen before in two ways: by a lover or a doctor. With lovers, it’s always hyper-sexualized, like, “oh yeah, it’s so hot, oh baby,” sort of thing. And with the doctor it’s the polar opposite. Completely clinical and medical, cut off from the human. But to be seen, to be deeply seen in the simple context of two people coming together for an OM - the first time, I just cried.

But maybe what really surprised me, and what really carried me along in my practice, were the breakthroughs I got from the challenges. First off, and I think this might be true for a lot of people, I felt weird that OM felt so completely right for me. What I mean is, Orgasmic Meditation, at least for the mainstream public, seems a little off the beaten path as far as therapeutic measures go. I’d think to myself in the beginning few months, ‘Why can’t I just be a mountain climber or something.’ What is it about me that connects so intimately to OM? I felt like there was something a little wrong with me or with the practice itself. Ultimately what I got was a much deeper sense of rightness about myself and my own path. That feeling of being confident and really right in my skin is invaluable! And that confidence and rightness in my skin has translated to every area of my life.   

Another struggle was that the guy I felt most comfortable OMing with was, well…so far from my type. I could not stand him from the moment we met. We just clashed, did not fit at all, in any setting other than OM. But in OM? He was my perfect match! It was crazy. How could one part of me be so repulsed while another is so attracted? It took a while to really trust and listen to, and to lend voice and credibility to the deeper part of me that was attracted. And that’s the thing, that’s what these experiences (and too many others to list) taught me—how to get in touch with my own deeper desires. What that OM partnership showed me was that my desires are all good. They are all perfect! Even the ones that are uncomfortable. Especially the ones that are uncomfortable.  

The thing is, a woman’s relationship with her desire is a little fraught. We have such a hard time putting the focus on ourselves, and an even harder time really owning our desire. For men, I think, it’s different, but as a woman, owning my desires and exposing them sometimes feels excruciatingly vulnerable. A little like I’m going to die. OM requires me to voice at least one desire daily, and to provide direction and specificity to that desire. And it isn’t such a big leap as you might think to go from “Please stroke lighter and to the left,” to “I want to move to Italy,” or, “I want to leave this job.”

Using OM, I broke through on this last point. I had been wanting to quit my job for what seems like forever. Before starting it, I’d been a successful actress and singer, performing across the country, on Broadway. But then my father and brother were both murdered. At the time of his death, I’d been in an argument with my father. As you can imagine, it was devastating. Within a few years, traumatized and desperate for grounding, I found myself taking a corporate job that I figured would just be for a year. Maybe even less. 17 years later, I was still there. 

Not long after beginning to OM, decisions that I’d been struggling with organically resolved. Rather than forcing myself to do things, I was opening myself up to my own desires. Soon - as in a few months after I started OMing - I quit that job and started acting again. I started a business. My relationships and the people who were coming into my life started to look drastically different. You know that story about Michelangelo’s David? How, when asked about carving the iconic statue, he said that he’d started with a block of stone and then simply taken away everything that wasn’t David? Well it was just like that. Everything that wasn’t me, that wasn’t part of my truth, just started falling away.