The presentation is scheduled for noon, it's 9:45, and I'm already a nervous wreck. I'm looking after patients, doing my rounds, and I'm only half there because I'm worrying about the presentation. What am I going to say? Will I sound fake or stupid? Will I embarrass the other staff members? My hands are shaking, and my palms are clammy.
When I get there, I have a forced smile on my face, because I'm still trembling with anxiety. The wait seems endless, and when my turn comes, I stumble through my remarks with pauses and stammering. Then it’s mercifully over. The department heads have no comments. The next time around, I'm gripped again with fear and embarrassment.
Since I started to OM, this experience has radically changed. To be clear, I didn't get involved with OM to improve my public speaking skills. I had just been divorced, after a long marriage that had been empty of intimacy for 15 years. Now that I was single again, I was reawakening to intimacy and I wanted to explore that side of myself in a way that was also spiritually connected.
OMing brought so many new sensations. During the grounding step, with the stroker's hands pressing firmly on my thighs, I felt my body sink into the ground, relax, and let go into receiving. The noticing step, when the stroker described how my genitals looked, with no value judgment, was a beautiful gift to share while I lay there.
The stroking brought tingling and warmth and a flow of energy through my body. It felt so good, even though it didn't actually feel that sexual. Because I wanted those pleasurable sensations to continue, I had to learn to ask for adjustments in the upstroke or downstroke, which was not always easy. In fact, I still work on it sometimes. When I'm with a person I really want to please, it can be hard to find my voice, but now I can notice that conflict and talk about it. I've gotten better at asking for adjustments.
In order to take all these steps, I have to stay aware of my emotions and the sensations in my body. I have to let go of the thoughts and worries that threaten to take me away from what's going on in the present. I have to keep returning my attention to the point of contact. That gradually developing ability to focus my awareness has made a big change in my life.
When it comes to the presentations at the hospital, for instance, I've learned that if I drop my attention to my body, starting early in the day while I'm doing my rounds, my whole experience is transformed. This shift of attention grounds me and makes me feel turned on. By the time I go down to the presentation room, I have a sincerely warm smile on my face. I feel confident, and when it's my turn to speak, I don't need a lot of notes. I stand up and look around the room and connect with the moms and dads, and the words just come. The parents have been taking in tons of information about birth and what's going to happen, and I bring lightness into the conversation. I introduce myself, congratulate them, and speak from the heart about how we're here to help them on this wonderful journey. The other staff nod and smile at me.
And I keep dropping my attention down, knowing that's where the power is coming from.
Actually, the presentations at work are just one example. The dropping down of my awareness helps me everywhere in my life--in relationships with men, in relationships with my kids, with the world at large. That flow of energy, that power, is always available if I use my awareness.