I'm a very open-minded person who likes to try different things. Skydiving, bungee jumping—I’ll do it. I’m not afraid. I’ve always been very intensity-oriented, and this used to make regular life seem gray and boring to me sometimes.
It wasn’t until I started OMing that I learned how to enjoy life on a more subtle level. OM helps me tune into the subtle sensations of my body and find pleasure in them. Most of life happens in subtlety rather than in huge intensity. At some point I realized that if I didn’t enjoy the subtlety, then I’d let nine-tenths of my life go by without actually living it, enjoying it, or even paying attention to it.
It wasn’t like this for me right away, because at first, I had a lot of resistance to OM. I’m not sure why, because I had no trauma in my childhood. I grew up in China until I was 15, and then I went to boarding school and university in England. I eventually settled in London, working as a patent attorney in biotechnology.
When I first heard about OM, I was married to the man who had been my first boyfriend. I was very intrigued by the practice because I could feel something was missing in our intimacy. I wanted to try OM with him, but my husband wasn’t so interested. He said, “I’ll do it, but it would just be for you.” But I didn’t want to do it if he wasn’t excited about it. I didn’t want it to be just for me.
About a year later my husband and I separated, and I stumbled across OM again. I was still intrigued, so I decided to try it as a single person. I went in with crazy high expectations. Instead, I hated it.
For starters, when my partner was doing the noticing step, I cringed. I didn’t want him to look at my genitals. I’d had a baby, and my genitals darkened in color after that. I didn’t have the kind of genitals that I thought most people wanted. I hated that part of my body, and when my partner started stroking me, I felt nothing at all.
But it got me wondering—maybe my genitals are ugly because I don’t send them any love. How can they be beautiful when there's no love down there?
A few months later, I tried OMing again. At first, I felt like a terrible student making no progress. But slowly, I started feeling more sensations. So I kept going.
I initially had a lot of trouble giving my partners adjustments, and I still do sometimes. I’m not someone who’s verbal during anything intimate—I cannot for the life of me say what I want the guy to do. Sometimes, I don’t even know the right spot to be stroked. But the more I OM, the more I get comfortable verbalizing what I want, and the less shame I have about communicating and giving instructions.
The noticing step is still a little bit challenging for me. But every time a partner says something about my body, I try to picture that in my head, because it’s very real. It’s very factual. And whenever I picture my genitals, I try to send them love. Over time, it gets easier.
Also, I’m not someone who feels a lot of sensations during OM. That’s not to say I haven’t had sensational OMs. I have. But for the most part, the sensations are very subtle. I have to really tune in to my body to notice what I’m feeling.
What’s interesting is that the practice of tuning in more, and the practice of giving adjustments, have helped me to become a better communicator. And that has deepened my relationships.
With my ex-husband, I always chose to withdraw instead of communicating. Whenever he did or said something annoying to me, I would ice him out. I wouldn’t let myself be vulnerable with him.
In my current relationship with my boyfriend, I always tell him how I feel. I remember the first time I said “I love you” to him, it just came out of my mouth. I had the sweetest smile on my face because it felt so good. It was so true.
I’m better at communicating now because OM has allowed me to really bring attention to my body and know what I’m feeling and thinking. It helps that my boyfriend never shames me—instead, he makes me feel safe to say what I actually feel.
Before OM, I was the kind of person who would see the flaws in any situation. I would always focus on the problems, because seeing the beauty was not going to get me anywhere or improve anything. But now I think, let's just enjoy the beauty. If there’s room for improvement, amazing. But I can enjoy the goodness for itself.
I need to keep practicing this part, because it's hard to train your eyes to look at things from a completely different perspective. But I can enjoy the beauty in everything I have, everything I do, everything other people do, and who they are—so much more than I did before.