I Live By What I Feel
by Betsy

Before I found OM, I had been celibate and out of relationship for about ten years. I was very devoted to and close to a specific spiritual teacher. It was not a sexual thing, but his wife was young and extremely jealous, and she was basically responsible for me being kicked out of the community I had been invested in for years.

I’d been on the spiritual path for 25 years in the Eastern yogic tradition and the African tradition. I had been living from the heart up, as though all the “lower” stuff was unnecessary. After I experienced this painful loss of community, I realized that as long as I'm in a human body, I wanted to experience sex again. I realized that sexual energy is everywhere and denying it was not serving my own growth. 

It was years before I could articulate it, but in our world, whether it's organized religion or spirituality or just regular life, we have a way of boxing up our genitals and putting them in the closet, saying “Taboo!” and not talking about them. So where do you go to learn how to integrate and work with the sexual part of your life? I didn’t want to go to the bars or to the dating sites, which is why OM, when I heard about it, really jumped out at me. 

To be honest, at first it sounded pretty crazy. My head could not get wrapped around it. But my heart was crying, “I need to do this! I need to explore this!” 

Because it wasn't sex, and because it was focused on the female orgasm, the practice felt very safe. I did a fair amount of preparation and healing for nine months before I actually started the practice. I wasn't in a relationship. I didn't have a partner. So, the whole idea of finding somebody to OM with felt insurmountable. But I did eventually meet a healer and Shiatsu massage practitioner, and I felt good about him. Even so, I'll admit that first OM was pretty terrifying. Apart from a doctor, I hadn't lifted up my skirt for anybody in a long time. I was shaking pretty hard at the start. But it felt amazing. It felt amazing to be touched there and to feel that amount of pleasure in my body. 

After I was asked to leave my spiritual community, it was amazing to discover my own power, the power in my body, in my orgasm, in my hips and genitals. And in my voice. My whole life I'd struggled with my throat chakra and getting my voice out. In high school I never spoke in class and later on in relationships and sex, I never knew how to ask for what I wanted. And I never knew how to say “No.”

I remember one time a man asked me to OM, and when I said no to him, he got mad. It really set me back. But it also made me think, Oh, my god, I love this practice. It's going to stir up whatever stories I carry inside me. It's going to stir things up so all the voices come up and out … the voice that says, “How dare I say ‘no’ to this man”.  The voice that says, “I won't be loved if I say, ‘No’.” The voice that says if a man is angry at me, I'm not lovable. I knew that was stuff I had to let go of.

Before OM I didn't have the tools to take care of myself. I didn't have a model to show me how to do that. Women are taught to be pleasing and obedient. And while I am always a student, and always interested in what teachers have to say, I no longer put them on a pedestal. Learning is about always coming back to myself, creating more and more and more of who I am. 

OM put me in connection with beautiful people. I even ended up dating one of them for two years. Today, within the first half hour of any conversation I have with somebody about this practice I tell them there's no going back once they start. There's no living in the conventional world anymore when this kind of information and this kind of practice exists. There's a psychology and a way of being and a way of talking that lives and breathes through you, day in and day out, once you start.

My work has been in technology, and I've worked in the corporate world and I have exercised my masculine to the hilt in that environment. My feminine really had no place or voice in any of it. Since I got into the OM practice, instead of living from my head, I live from what I feel in my body. I make decisions based on what I feel. And I don't mean just feeling emotionally. I mean kinesthetically. Overall, my desire is to bring the feminine out and to have a much more balanced, more feminine type of life. That means, always asking: “What does it feel like in my body? What am I feeling right now?” And then to hold on to what feels right.