I didn't feel like finding a husband and following that normal dream. Instead, after university, I quit a very secure job to go to a very, very un-secure job abroad. I lived in New York and then Spain. I went from office clerk to being a salesperson traveling around the world. Instead of stability, I went for complete insecurity, figuring I’d find my own stability on that path and a different kind of security. But at the time I felt a lot of shame and guilt over not being the daughter my parents were imagining. That was a difficult time when we didn't even speak to each other.
When I came back to Germany to live in Hamburg, I felt a gap within myself. I started questioning, “Who am I? What do I want?” And I realized as much as I considered myself a rebel and enjoyed that image, I also tried hard to fit into people's lives and their image of who I was supposed to be. I saw that I hadn’t really lived as my true self. I felt awkward, socially, and alcohol was my way of really connecting. Without alcohol, being with others felt very torturous. I was looking for freedom. But I thought I could only find that freedom by disconnecting from people and not having any close relationships. This illusion was easy to maintain when I was traveling, but coming back to a home base I finally saw my disconnection.
At that point I decided to find someone to marry and have a family and I went on a dating platform. A guy I went out with had just come back from San Francisco and he talked about OM. The conversation made me feel very self-conscious about my body and my sexuality. I didn't feel good enough. I wasn’t perfect enough, even though at that time I had the skinniest body of my life. I wanted to have the perfect genitals—no hair, no blemishes—so someone could love me. I was so insecure! But this man had a different energy, a different kind of attention that he placed on me. I felt like I could let go in his presence, rather than trying to control every moment. There was something really magical going on. I felt myself softening. And I thought, “Wow! What is that?”
All the same, I was deeply uncertain about checking out OM. And then he introduced me to a woman who was also into the practice and as she talked about OM, my entire body started vibrating and I just knew I was going to try it.
My first few OMs I really paid attention, learning to listen to what my body was telling me—which was very hard for me at the beginning because I didn't understand having my genitals touched without any particular goal. And I was so hung up about my genitals looking right. But after a few sessions, I realized, Wow! He’s looking at my genitals and he's not repulsed. He still smiles at me when we leave the room.” Making peace with my body was the biggest thing. The shame just fell away.
The practice was so taboo, and I first I was very secretive about it. But I felt a fire again inside of me. I felt alive again. There were possibilities in my life again. OM opened a door to different worlds opening up within me. I’d go out into the world having this secret knowledge inside. I told a friend about my OM practice and she said, “It sounds like it's a parallel world!”
I used to work in a restaurant early on in my practice, and people would come up to me and say I was glowing. I feel more at ease with people, and I don't need to drink so much anymore to feel comfortable around others. Walking down the street, I make eye contact with people and smile and really feel like there is this connection. I’m not isolated in my own little bubble. I have a partner now, and I can receive him loving my body—I think that's the biggest gift OM has given me. I can be with a man who adores me, who loves me, who loves my body exactly the way it is. And that’s because I have accepted my body. I have started to love my body. I have accepted me.
When my parents first found out about my OM practice, they were horrified. They said unkind things to me and treated me like I was the enemy. I kept my distance until my father had a light heart attack, and then a friend got married in my hometown, so I went back to visit. I was really, really scared being alone with my mother in the house. But OM has taught me I cannot go home as a child anymore. I have to take responsibility and go there as the best woman that I am. And that's what I did. And from that day on my parents have been very respectful. I walked through that door and did not shrink. I stood up straight, staying aware and conscious within myself, looking at my mother, connecting with her woman to woman.
There’s so much joy in the little things, which I didn't see before. The feeling of being seen, as myself, the real me, there’s this tingling sensation and an excitement that comes with that. There are so many feelings that come with being seen and feeling revealed at my essence, and I’m not scared of that anymore.