Saying Yes to What Brings Me Joy
by Alex

You know the old saying, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot?” It’s the idea that people who are experts at something often fail to practice their principles at home. That was me before Orgasmic Meditation. I was a professional therapist and marriage counselor, and my own marriage had fallen apart. I was crushed and embarrassed.

Let me back up a second – I grew up in a very close-minded, deeply religious family. I was outwardly compliant and a “good boy.” On the inside, I was rebellious. That just seemed normal to me. Part of being an adult, I figured, was learning to keep your internal defiance repressed. You needed to suit-up and show up and be a good Christian man. That’s what led me to get married young, and it worked – until the wheels fell off the bus.

After my divorce, I knew I needed to fix something in me before I could go back to trying to fix other people. I began to do a lot of work. I started with Christian counselors, who relied more on the Bible than conventional psychology. When that didn’t work, I started to see secular professionals, and that was a bit more effective. It was slow going. I spent four years doing this inner work, until the divorce was finally over. By that point, I knew that therapy wasn’t going to cut it by itself. I needed to find other sources of wisdom, and I began to search online. That soon led me to OM.

I spent a few months attending men’s groups, where other guys who practiced OM came together to talk about their lives. From the moment I had sat down with these men, I knew that they were the real deal. I liked how honest and aware they were, and I appreciated that they were welcoming of someone who had never OMed before. My Christian background initially made me very reluctant to take the next step and witness an OM. Maybe I could just soak up the benefits via osmosis from the other guys. I figured out, eventually, that wouldn’t work.

I first OMed with this woman I had been dating. We had had this tentative relationship before we practiced together, and I had been unsure of how to move forward with her. I felt so much sensation in the OM. When we shared afterwards, we were both trembling with the energy we had created. I’d never experienced anything like that, nor had she. You might think that I’m describing some particularly arousing foreplay, but that’s not what this was. We both had had parts of ourselves that we had locked away for so long and OM allowed us to let loose what we had repressed for so damn long.

This woman became very precise in what she wanted. As we continued to OM, she gave me these exquisitely exact adjustments. It was liberating for me. I didn’t have to be in control or play guessing games. At last, here was a woman who didn’t expect me to be a mind reader. And our relationship was really about practice. It didn't have the exclusive feeling I knew from dating and marriage. She encouraged me to treat women with the same care and attention I gave to her, and give them permission to tell me exactly what they wanted. She taught me that I have the power to create the space for people to share what's real for them.

One of the key tenets I heard in my first intro class was that I needed to learn to "say yes to my yes.” This is perhaps the most important thing I learned in OM, and it carries over into every area of my life. It is the exact opposite of what I was taught when I was young. I spent so much of my life saying no to my desires, until I had forgotten what those desires were in the first place. Saying “yes to my yes” has led me into so many new experiences and relationships I could never have imagined before.

Sometimes, though, the “yes” is to the very simple things. I’m nearly 50 years old, and I have a new hobby: skateboarding. Is it ridiculous for a man my age to learn to ride a skateboard? I don’t care! Maybe it is absurd and ridiculous, but so what? It brings me such joy. Riding my board is an act of self-love. I wish everyone could feel that same glee and peace I feel when I say yes to what I need and want. I’m so grateful OM taught me how to love myself in actions as well as words. I carry that lesson with me every day.