by Chris Cooper
Computers have always been my life. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s when I was still very young. Social interactions were sometimes difficult, but logic always made sense. I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of success in the tech development world. It was what I did before OM, and it’s what I still do now, but everything has shifted.
I wasn’t just logical. I was suspicious, even contemptuous of anything that wasn’t strictly rooted in math and science. At the same time, I had this hunger in me for a deeper connection. The problem was, I didn’t believe that there was any realistic way to satisfy that craving. I spent time searching for alternatives, and then dismissing them.
I first encountered OM in London. I was alone in a huge city I didn’t know, and I felt lonely. I didn’t know anyone in the area. I started looking online for interesting events where I could meet people. That’s how I ended up at my first OM related lecture. I came in wary: it sounded like it couldn’t be real. When I walked in, I saw these men and women who seemed to radiate warmth. A man came up and gave me a hug. It wasn’t a presumptuous hug, it was just a very good one that I felt in my spine. I hadn’t been held like that in a long time.
My first OM didn’t happen for another month. I was still figuring out how to get started, when this woman who had been doing the practice for a while asked me to OM. My partner made clear adjustments that guided me to her spot and kept me on it. My nervousness melted away and I found an ease.
I started OMing regularly. Soon it hit me, I was consistently sitting with another person for 15 minutes without talking, without checking my phone, and without solving a problem. That was just so unlike me. The big shift happened one day when I was stroking and I felt this huge buildup in my body. At first I thought it was just sexual arousal, but then the build just kept getting bigger, and it was in my chest instead of my genitals. Then I burst into tears. I never cried like that in front of someone, but I just started sobbing. The connection between my OM partner and I opened something up in me that I had just locked down for so long. We didn’t stop the OM; rather my tears seemed to intensify the sensation. We were sharing this incredible connection, each of us opening things up for each other. We rode the wave together.
I came in expecting another thing I could dismiss. What I found was the realest thing I’ve ever experienced.
I still look to my work life to measure real progress. Yes, business has gotten better for me since I started OMing, but it isn’t just about me. I’ve been able to change the company a great deal. Women are a tiny fraction of those who work in tech, and they’re even more rarely on the development side. Too often, they’re in the background rather than a position of leadership.
I’ve made a conscious effort to hire women. This isn’t just about empowering women because they deserve more opportunities. This isn’t a particularly political thing I’m doing. It’s that I learned in OM about the extraordinary energy and power women have, and I saw how that energy brought so much more creativity and connection into my own life. I want to give women a chance to bring that energy into the company. This benefits everyone.
OM brings together these two powerful energies – masculine and feminine, structure and creation – around a very specific practice, and it unleashes so much, both for the people practicing it and everyone around them. If a guy as practical as I am says this is world-changing stuff, then there’s a deeper truth here worth exploring.