For much of my 20's I was chasing satisfaction through alcohol, women, and popularity. It took a particularly bad breakup to show me that I needed to learn to be more connected to my partner. This began years of work in various relational communities, where I got to practice intimacy and staying in connection with people. And for a while this provided great growth. Eventually, I began to see that the people who were closest were eventually distancing themselves from me. My closest friends - people I had connected with in incredibly deep ways - needed to take space from me. I didn't understand it, and it hurt immensely.

What was missing was a personal growth practice. I was connecting with people, but I wasn't actually doing the work to better myself from the inside out.

Queue the start of my OM practice, 9 months ago. For me, it's been as much of a personal practice as a relational practice. I've learned how me being true to myself and pursuing my own desires actually lets me connect with people more. It's given me the beautiful realization that the more I stay in my purpose, the more connection will come my way. And that's been the most freeing thing in the world.

In the OM community I've been able to find a group that views connection and growth as inseparable. It's a place where I can come to be my true self and be vulnerable, and where everything I'm feeling is welcome.

I've learned to feel my own body more and trust my experience more. I have deeper connections with everyone - men and women. I've made deep friendships and met amazing people who have expanded what I thought possible for vulnerability. And every day I work towards staying true to my purpose so I can have the connection that I want, and I do it immersed in a community of people who are all working towards that same goal. It feels warm, nurturing, and it's exactly where I want to be.