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A Great Adventure

by James Walk

Six years ago, I was living in New York City.  I was divorced with three kids and had just extricated myself from a long-term relationship that was as codependent as it was intimate. By the time of this breakup, I was carrying a huge amount of sexual shame. Relationship after relationship had ended in rejection or betrayal. I did not trust myself to choose partners with whom I could have a healthy relationship.

Sexual Self Confidence

The story that I kept repeating defined me as an inadequate lover and a failure as an intimate partner. My sexual self-confidence had been shattered, and that was out of character for me. In every other respect, I was and am a pretty powerful man.  My sexual insecurity was the exception that frustrated me to no end. I was determined to break through it, so I could have the same confidence in relationships that I had in almost every other area of my life. 

I think I was at just about the lowest point in my life when I met the practice. I can’t remember if it was a female friend or a male friend, but somebody invited me to a talk about OM in Chinatown. It rocked me.  The speaker had this warmth, humor, and certainty that I found very compelling. It was clear to me that he had abundance in the area where I had the most lack. I’m glad it was a man leading it – not because I couldn’t have learned from a woman, as I have many great women teachers. It was that I needed to see what I might become and what I could have if I went down this path. Inspired, I signed up. 

My first few OMs were rough. I was in my head constantly, self-critical, and obsessed with looking for approval from my partners. I felt stuck again and again and was convinced I was screwing it up worse than an OM had ever been screwed up. I’m grateful that they told me to just keep practicing, but I usually finished in a cold sweat. 

Breaking Through Dependence

Eventually, the breakthrough came.  It came because I felt this real responsibility to my partners to hear them.  I had to break through this dependence on feminine approval, and it took a long time and a lot of help to break that dependency. My friends through OM supported me through this tough period, and they were there to see me when everything started to turn.  I was soon doing two OMs a day, usually on my lunch break, and I felt more alive than I could ever remember. 

I stopped worrying about doing it wrong and started feeling a universal love towards the different partners I had OMs with.  That didn’t mean I had figured out how to do it right – I still made mistakes, plenty of them. I had just learned to stay in the uncomfortable place and keep stroking no matter what. I could handle my screw-ups when they happened, and I could hold all the feedback I got.  My shame didn’t exactly evaporate instantly, but it did go away.  And as it did, I began to have the confidence in women I had always lacked.

OM's Transformational Power

The thing about OM is that it’s a great adventure.  Like all great adventures, it’s in charge. If you stick with it, it will destroy your ego and let you rebuild it.  You can’t bend this practice to your will, and you can’t limit it in terms of what it will impact.  I came in looking for self-confidence, and I found it, but I also got transformed in ways that I did not expect.  Sometimes, the issue you think you have is only the surface issue.  You need to go deeper.  OM is the single best vehicle I’ve found for going deeper.

I wanted OM to help build my confidence and make me feel more competent with women.  What I didn’t realize is that to do that, I would need to center my own enjoyment.  If I want to get out of my head, I need to stroke for my own fulfillment.  That puts me in the frame to accept corrections and make adjustments without anxiety or shame.  It’s a paradox – if you center your own enjoyment, you become better equipped to share it with someone else.

I haven’t OMed much in the past year because of COVID.  What’s remarkable is that it is still so much a part of me.  What I learned and experienced in OM has stayed with me, and I suspect it will for the rest of my life.  It’s altered my consciousness in a fundamental way.  I can’t recommend this tool highly enough.

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