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The Currency of Connection

by Russel Mulock

I was one of the best-printed circuit designers in the world. It’s like doing artwork for the semiconductor industry. I helped a four-person startup become a $2 billion-a-year company. I owned a recording studio for a while. I wrote music, and a poet friend and I released an album that got airplay in Northern California.

I was a resident sound designer for two theater companies in San Jose. If you go into a theater and you hear something, somebody has to plan it. One of my favorite cues was when a character walked into a dark room and played a cassette, and you could tell the cassette was playing from the middle of the room. Halfway through, the cassette faded away and came up seamlessly on the house speakers. Figuring out how to do that was fun.

My accomplishments were many, and I enjoyed my work. I was making Russel special, proving I was good or lovable. But inside, I felt it was not enough. I was married, and still am, after 35 years. Yet something was missing. 

Career and Personal Setback

I had a falling out with my business partner in the printed circuit design company. We had a petty argument, and he clearly didn’t want to work with me anymore, although he wouldn’t say it out loud. I just walked away. For a couple of years, I had no income. My wife and I had to sell our condo and move into a 400-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment.

It was a difficult time for me, having no direction forward but not wanting to go backward. I started to search. I was drawn to OM because it was a partnered practice, and there was a strong focus on the feminine, which was missing from a lot of the other things I’d looked into.

Discovering OM

For me, the first ten OMs were about getting the protocol in place. Once I had the structure down, more feeling came into my body. After a week or two, I felt like, Oh, I got this. Okay, this is cool. And then after a month, Oh, now I got this. And then after two months and three months, Ah, now I got this. And then, after six months, I don’t get this. Finally, I realized I was not in charge. Every OM felt like unfamiliar territory where I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I had no plan, and there was no formula for a successful OM. After a good number of those, I had a space inside of myself for anything to happen. I became unflappable and unattached to the outcome.

The Beauty of Connection

I love the initial, awkward parts of an OM, when you’re just starting out with someone. There’s a poetic speed to sinking in with the other person and letting yourself be seen. How do you let that connection occur? It starts with knocking on the door, setting up the nest, and getting in position. Everything’s in place, and you settle down. You separate her labia for the first stroke and wait for the movement that indicates the next stroke. I like to feel the connection develop.

I remember an OM where I was amazed by the amount of electricity, thickness, and sense of presence and rootedness between my partner and me. There was a currency of connection. Instead of either of us taking something or getting something, there was no one in charge. I didn’t know how much time had gone by. It took no effort at all. And there was all this humanity in it. I came away feeling like humanity is gonna be great. We’re gonna be fine. I can feel a belonging that I totally did not expect, this sense that I’m part of something vast and bigger than myself.

Surrender and Insight

Now that I know I’m not the one in charge, I’ve learned to let myself breathe.

Because of OM, I have an understanding of the mechanics of staying connected. I can find the beauty in the world. When I find it, I feel a sense of radiance or heat and a slight, playful dancing underneath the skin. 

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