nOM serves as an analogy for life. How do I give and receive requests, or express my desire? How do I handle a woman as she settles into our nest? There’s a long list of parallels between how I show up in my practice and how I show up in life.nnFor me, the most visceral of these parallels (at least lately) is found in approval.nnI had an OM with a regular partner of mine . Generally speaking, she’s a moaner. That makes things simple, right? When in doubt, match my stroke to the pitch of her moan.nnBut not this time, not this OM. Silence.nnI lighten my stroke, open up my chest, focus on my finger tip – I do all the right things. And…nnMore silence.nnIt takes about 7 minutes, until finally I realize that there are other signs I can check. “That’s right!” I get excited, remembering these ones are more interesting anyway. Convicted, I check my own vitals – is there sensation in my body? Do I feel connected to this person?nnYup. Vital signs are good. In fact, this OM feels great. My body is overheating, pores opening just so slightly to dissipate enough heat and keep me at a cozy 100 degrees. I feel the moisture of sweat on my lower back. Wow, that’s pretty hot. My body is on fire!nnAs it turns out, she was researching not moaning.nnRecently I wrote a short note to a teacher, a basic weather report. “Here’s where I’m at.”nnI like approval. A lot. So first thing I do is recite the laundry list of what I think people want to see – simple, potent, insightful. The list I can point to if under attack (from myself, of course) that says I’m doing a good job. That leaves me feeling a bit empty, so finally I give it up and say “screw it, just be honest”. It’s all I really got anyway. I write my few sentences and click send.nnSilence.nnI recognize this eerie feeling from somewhere.nnThe whole experience feels uncomfortable. I self-flagellate for a few hours, thinking what could (should) have been.nnUntil finally I remember what I’ve learned: That even here, where my mind screams how wrong I am because I’m not receiving the signs of approval that I’m used to, I can slow down, feel the sensation in my body, and find pleasure and connection.nn nnOM is like a lens, through which we can look at a concentrated version of who we are, and how we react to life. If in our OM’s we can start to notice our habits (the places where we tighten, check out, or can’t seem to ask for that micro-adjustment to the left), then we can begin to see the parallels in our every day lives. Noticing is the first step to making change.