I was a workaholic until I ran flat out of energy and spent seven years in bed, suffering from intense migraines. I had moved from Miami to San Francisco to take a job raising $38 million to build a new major facility. It was an exciting time. I always thought I was going to be a poor artist, and now I was on track to earning real money. I went to a meeting of the triathlon club, making plans to train for my second triathlon. Then the migraines started. A month later, I couldn't make it to the second club meeting. That's how fast I got sick.
Doctors told me I would never work again, which was a shock for a workaholic who was willing to move across the country by herself to take a job. I had smacked into a wall and was in a state of terror. How was I going to pay my bills? Would I end up living under a bridge? Two years in, I was trying to claw my way back to a job. I got a chance to interview for my dream job, Director of Development with a large non-profit in my field. I blew the executive director's mind at my first interview, but the morning of the callback, I woke up with an exploding migraine. I went anyway, and I bombed the interview so badly, I never tried again to get a full-time job.
I decided I couldn't live with the terror anymore. So I just let go and lay in bed most of the time. Gifts arrived along the way. Somehow I managed not to end up homeless. A Reiki practitioner was helpful. I tried sound healing, and it felt so positive, I managed to take a course in it. A hormone treatment was starting to show promise. Then I was invited to an all-day Thanksgiving dinner, which meant I could show up whenever I wanted. I rarely went to events, but the flexibility was reassuring. After dinner, a woman started talking to me about OM. I had never heard of it before, and I pinned her to the chair with question after question.
I had always thought of the clitoris as something to do with sex, as opposed to being a way to explore my body or my relationship with another person. And I thought sex was about pleasing my partner. But she was talking about it all in a way I'd never heard it discussed. I didn't understand it at all, but it was so intriguing, I just had to know more.
My favorite word in the English language is “enthusiasm.” Someone told me once that enthusiasm means “filled with God.” “Inspired” means “filled with breath.” So I noticed whenever I felt inspiration or enthusiasm. These were the feelings that drew me to OM.
In my first OM session, I didn't really feel anything. When other women described sensations from their sessions, I was excited that they'd had these experiences. For me, it was kind of uncomfortable, but I thought I'd been brave to try it, and I kept going.
My fourth OM was memorable. The stroker had been touching my clitoris, and then a moment came when I realized his finger was no longer on my clitoris but hovering just above it, and my body had shifted into a state of awakened vibration. My whole body was alive, as if a switch had been turned on. I'd never thought of myself as dead, but after years of lying in bed, lonely and listless, I did have doubts about whether I was truly alive. And then suddenly I was plugged into this electricity. That such a current of pure energy could come from a simple stroke—well, that was profound.
Several men became my regular OM partners for the next few months, and I got very close with those guys. As we went on exploring our OMs, I developed a sense of connection to my body and to the world. One day, I went into a coffee shop around the corner, and the man at the counter said, “Hi, do you live around here? I've never seen you before.” I had been in there many times, and finally people had started to see me.
I grew up with a lot of violence, alcoholism, and addiction, and spent much of my life dissociated. Six months before, the Reiki practitioner had told me, “You're about six feet outside of your body at all times.” So I had a long way to go. OM succeeded in joining my spirit to my body.
There was so much trauma stored up in me, and OM provided a place to work on letting it go. I could experiment and practice, trying things without any particular destination. Over time, I became able to hold my power. Now I'm a business coach, and OM helps me work with clients. They don't know anything about my OM practice, but I'm always focusing on what's happening in my body as I listen to them. I used to see a lot when I looked out at the world, but I couldn't actually say what I saw. Through the framing step at the end of each OM session, I learned how to name the sensations happening in my body. This skill allows me to be an authentic mirror to people, helping them name stuff so they can let go of it.
In an OM, the strokee gets to make requests and adjust the stroke —a little more pressure or a little less pressure, for instance. It sounds pretty simple, but it's not when you have no connection to your voice. I might talk a lot, but I’m not able to express what I really desire. Making requests came gradually and helped me find my voice.
OM made it possible for me to accomplish the dream of running my own business. All day long, as a coach, I'm doing only what I want to do, using my gifts to their full extent.