Being More Myself

by Olivia

Ten years ago, every weekend, I used to get my makeup done—full face, full lash, very glamorous—and go clubbing in London. I was sexy and glamorous and yet I was a “good girl.” A feral star who did charity work.

Entitled and Angry

It was a good show. But I didn’t have a healthy relationship with my sexuality. Actually, I was quite destructive. I was really entitled and angry with men. I was very controlled and attached to my victimhood as a woman. I definitely didn't know how to assess my feelings or tell a man what was really going on inside of me and what I really needed. All I knew to do was fight or pretend to be broken. Which meant I felt desperately unseen.

Before I had my first OM, I was running a nonprofit, working as a coach in prisons and down in Haiti, all in very dark and heavy spaces. I went to the most intense places to be of service, and people were always saying, “Well done, you're doing great!” But I was completely neglecting myself in the process. I got to have my specialness and got to look important and externally valuable. But inside, my soul was dying.

Introduction to OM

I heard about OM from a friend of mine who was working to help bring the practice to the UK. I didn't understand what it was. I just heard about it and got the feeling that this was for me. I could taste the freedom in that one conversation. But I was so disconnected from my desire, suppressing so much of who I am, that instead of getting into OM, I fell into yet one more dysfunctional relationship with a man where I tortured myself for a year and a half, never speaking up and getting my needs met.

One day I was in my office, and a woman from OM called. We ended up having this completely frank conversation in the middle of the office. By the end, I decided, “I’m in!”

First OM Experience

I don't remember much from my first OM. I was expecting mountains to be moved. But I think the thing that I received was just a very subtle sense of opening—just a second’s glimpse at what it was bringing up in me. When I left, I recall feeling super turned on, alive, and electric. I went to a party after that, telling everyone about that experience. And everyone wanted to know more. I even told my mother about it!

One of my first breakthroughs was when I met a guy in a class, and I really liked him. I became instantly obsessed thinking about him, him, him. And I remember one of the trainers talking to me about it, gently suggesting, “What if it isn't about him? What if this practice is just about you?” It made me really confront my preferences over who I wanted to practice with and why.

Learning to Express Desires

In my first six months of OMing, I noticed I would often lie there quietly, angry and entitled and not getting the exact stroke I wanted, feeling the need for something different but not asking for it, thinking, “Oh, God, I'm going to totally inconvenience this person if I ask for an adjustment.” Or I could ask and not worry about whether it was going to happen. Learning to open up to asking for my desires was amazing.

Another huge lesson came from this older man, who I automatically disliked. He was always asking me to OM with him, and I finally did because my whole body was going, “Yes!” I had to find out why my mind was so resistant. When we did the practice, it was so intense and enjoyable. I was so mad that it felt so good, and also deeply amused.

I finally had to accept that my inner journey was about learning how to be opened by life while accepting it was bigger than my desire to control. 

Transformation and Gratitude

In the past, it was only okay to feel certain things. I was completely missing out on life’s banquet of different feelings. Today, I’ve noticed how much more I can handle in my life and how much more willing I have become to go into discomfort and pain and get free. For example, I really was pulled to have a relationship with a man that made no sense. He was in New York, and I was in London. But I was sure it was right. And I was able, to be honest and vulnerable and sit with how uncomfortable being honest and vulnerable was. And I felt the freedom that came from that. I grew immensely in that relationship.

The other day, I watched videos of myself from back when I was in the makeup and party scene, and I can see that I speak and act very differently now. I'm deeply grateful that I can take a stand for this profound way of living and power. That I can speak from my body and from the depth of my being. I’m grateful that, for the first time, I am seeing that men are so amazing. And that’s because I’ve taken the time to see myself—to see the amazing qualities in me.

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