I love to dance. For years, dancing was the only way I could express myself and my passion freely. Yet at one time, even my dancing was superficial. I looked good, and I had charisma, but what showed--on the dance floor and in life--was only a shell. It didn't touch my essence. I was barely connecting to the world through that thin layer of appearance.
I'd escaped a toxic marriage that left me angry, full of bitterness and blame, not sure who I was. In my relationships with women, I adopted the strategy of the caretaker, the nice guy who's trying to earn love by solving his partner's problems. That's how I established my worth. Behind the facade of a charming, playful, loving man, I had a tremendous fear of intimacy. I presented myself as safe, a guy who women could trust to be their knight in shining armor.
I realized I was afraid of truly connecting with women as myself. I relied on alcohol to overcome my fears, but it kept me from being fully present for the connection I wanted so badly.
I led women on, attracted them, and when they came close, I got scared and pushed them away. Actually, I didn't even reject them directly. I just stopped responding to messages, and they were confused and hurt that I had switched from engaged to absent. Meanwhile, I was angry that they were still in my life. I blamed them for my unhappiness.
I knew there was another way to live. There had to be the possibility of fulfillment in a relationship. The search for what was missing brought me to OM.
The first time I OMed, I was on a visit to New York. My partner illustrated such vulnerability and openness, I felt an extreme sense of responsibility, as though I really had to act with integrity.
I paid attention to every little thing I did, how it impacted her, how I was thinking and feeling and how it would translate into our experience. I tuned into all the nuances of our connection, from the stroking itself to how grounded I was in the space, noticing how the experience shifted and how I became aware of the shifts. It was like a dance, and I was leading. She trusted me to offer my full attention, and she met me with the most exquisite receptivity. This challenged a lot of my ideas about women and my experience of them as suspicious or posing or manipulative.
OMing seemed like playing an instrument with great precision and sensitivity. It changed my body and made it vibrate with something new. I could feel sensations in my skin, and my breathing changed. I felt much more alive.
I'd been going to a club where we danced the bachata, a Dominican dance where the man alternately holds the woman close and then puts distance between them, always moving together. The lead is subtle, and there's a lot of sensuality in the dance. After OMing, I had become more attuned to the subtle qualities of different women. One woman needs a little bit more connection, a little more attention, the encouragement to be more present. With another woman, I can tell I need to back off a little bit. I notice how she has a water type of energy, so I need to flow with her. My perceptions were clear. I was OMing through dance. I also learned how to give women the space to express their femininity on the dance floor; I was ready to receive it.
Through OM I came to realize that my desire isn't bad. I stopped shaming myself for having desires and attractions. I learned to see the difference between my desires and women's projections. I tried out this exercise where if I found a woman attractive, I would go up to her and tell her. I didn’t have a hidden agenda, I wasn’t trying to do something to her or get something from her, I just wanted to own it. And through owning my desire, I'm becoming more alive in my own body, and becoming more present to my interior world.
In my current relationship, when I’m fully expressed, sometimes my partner withdraws. Because I'm connected to my interior world, I know that I don't have to take her behavior personally. From that place, I can have compassion. I can tell when I need to pull back and give her space, and I can sense when to challenge her a little bit. Our relationship has become so much like a dance.