by Douglass Weber
Before I found the OM practice, my existence occurred in a state of perpetual denial when it came to feeling my own feelings. You could say I was all left-brain, logical, rational mind, and so completely detached from my feelings and my body. I was so inside my head, my brain, and disconnected from my emotions and my body, that it eventually got to the point where it absolutely blew up my marriage. Suddenly, I had to pay attention to what I was avoiding all along. I had not been faithful in my marriage, and the ending of it wasn’t great. I guess you could say I just wasn’t present in a conscious way, through the marriage itself and especially through its demise. I knew I wanted to get out of the marriage and that it wasn’t working, but I had no idea how, so I just let it happen unconsciously.
With my marriage ending, I felt pretty unanchored, unmoored, like I was just ambling around, aimless and without purpose. I didn’t know who I was or how to act in the world and I had to find myself all over again. The loss of the marriage was a kind of loss of identity, so I had to focus on discovering who I was on my own.
A few months after that was when I found OM. Before this practice, I had always had such difficulties connecting with people, let alone myself, and relating to them on an emotional level, because, of course, that required feeling. I wasn’t very good at that. Once I got into the practice, I realized I could relate much better to new people, approaching and meeting them right where they were at, with less mental expectations and fears, especially with women. It allowed me to feel more open and able to relate more personally.
As I did more of the practice, I began to feel connected to and be more present in my body, and I definitely felt like I had more clarity. I felt much more centered, and more in touch with and able to feel my own feelings. I also found that when I talked to people, especially if meeting them for the first time, I could say the things that I was thinking and stay engaged. I was able to stay in my body enough to lessen the trepidation that always came with having to relate to someone new. It really opened up my ability to communicate.
The initial change for me was like a big boom. It was immediate and dramatic, and the shift changed so many things in my life, all of them positive. After that initial shift, the growth I experienced from OM continued at a steady pace as time went on. As with life, I experienced more big booms and shifts that would happen as I progressed, especially when I was confronted with a particularly challenging situation. Now I was more in tune with myself and how I felt, and I had these new skills to help me get through it, which would then lead to even more growth.
One of my most memorable and defining experiences in an OM was when I had the sudden sensation that I was floating in the middle of the ocean with someone, the person I was OMing with, and we were both kind of surprised by what was happening and what we were both feeling. We laughed at the unexpected humor of it, the realization that we were these two people having this shared experience where we could totally and completely lose ourselves, and yet laugh about it at the same time.
I thought at first this was such a sacred thing, doing OM, that there couldn’t possibly be any room for humor in it, that it would lessen the importance and impact of the practice. But that is not the case, and because of this, you get to experience and feel both the profaneness and the profoundness of it, and you get to do it with another human being you feel connected with.
Though I am not currently practicing at this moment in time, OM has certainly been a big part of my life over the last two to three years and will always be a part of my life.