How I Got Turned ON Right in the Middle of New York City
Ever heard of Nicole Daedone? Her book Slow Sex? OMing?
Here’s how I got involved with ALL of that and revealed one of the darkest thoughts of my life in front of a group of strangers…
So who is Nicole and what is OMing?
Here’s the cool, hip answer:
Now, I didn’t meet Nicole or do any OMing, but I did attend one of her group’s TurnON Events…
from the meetup group page…
“TurnOn: [turn on] v. sensations occurring in the body
- Increased body heat
- Tingling and chills
- Flushing cheeks
- Feeling of being awake and alive
At OneTaste, we believe TurnOn is the ignition that leads to a more of what we really want in life. It is the first step to knowing what’s possible. And, it comes when we get real about the powerful stuff of relationships, Orgasm, intimacy, desire, etc.
So, we started an evening event designed specifically to give people the opportunity to feel TurnON in themselves. It’s an evening where, through only talking, we begin to experience these exhilarating, energizing, often ignored feelings — referred to as TurnON. A room of people (cool, fun people) engage in honest, humorous, playful conversation around topics we mostly only consider having in our head.
Through 3 guided, round-robin style games, express yourself and gain new (and maybe surprising) insight into yourself and others. Fear, longing, taboo, love… Be with others who are willing to express it openly and be seen for who they really are. It’s like a giant exhale when the rest of the world is asking you to hold it in.
For a taste of the evening’s games, check out this clip from a recent episode on the Chopra Network.
TurnOn leads to authenticity AND authenticity leads to the kind of connection we hope for around the globe. Come feel it for yourself!”
So TurnON is an event to create those same sensations without the OM practice: your body temperature rises, your heart rate increases, you get uncomfortable, you’re outsides your comfort zone, immediately present – this is why they do this!
A friend of mine has gone to OMing events and recommended I check out this group. There just so happened to be a TurnON event my first week in New York, on May 1st to be exact.
Let me cut to the chase…
In the first “game,” we were asked the most vulnerable thing we’re willing to share.
The instructions: don’t edit yourself, don’t try to think of something funny or something that will make you sound smart – say the first thing that comes to your mind
I thought of something and then immediately said in my head, “no I can’t share that – let me say something about how I’m worried about becoming like my dad in certain ways.”
And then I realized, I’m editing. I need to say that first thing.
And then the rise in body temperature happened; I got VERY warm, just sitting there, realizing I was going to say this thing.
We were going in order around the room and then suddenly it was my turn. I cleared my throat and said.
I had thoughts today about ending my life.
And it was out there.
Even writing these words now makes me pause and let out a deep breath. Not easy to face that that was in my head. Hello dark side of Nathan.
Now let me add: I don’t actually think I’d go through with it. I think about everything I have and how damn lucky I am and how many wonderful amazing people are in my life and I think really? really?? You’re going to throw it all away? You have so much going for you Nathan and you can do so much, you’d really do that? Bullsh*t.
But for a few moments, I think “what if?”
Recently, I’ve been feeling SO FAR away from what I want to accomplish. My vision is so clear and rock solid for what I know I can do (particularly with this food/travel show), and then I think about where I am now in terms of impact and audience, and it just feels impossible. Like, will I ever get there?
I think about what it would be like if instead of all this work which seems insurmountable, I just gave up? Wouldn’t that be easier?
And yes: this all happened on the evening of my cookbook launch, something I am so ridiculously proud of and something that I believe really has the potential to help people.
I felt like I couldn’t talk about something like this, like since I’m not clinically depressed or have ever talked about this in the past, that somehow it wasn’t right.
There were a few people at the event who shared they have had similar feelings—I think many people have. Again, few of us would ever go through with it, but I think it’s very common to have the sensation, especially when you’re pushing outside your comfort zone and things aren’t going your way or moving at the pace you’d like
But part of me wanted to address the room and say, “OK everyone, I don’t need to be on suicide watch. I simply had the thought when the question came up of the most vulnerable thing I could share. But seriously, I’m good.”
But was I? Am I?
Another game was called “Hot Seat” where you sit in front of the group and anyone can ask you a question about any topic. Well, this is my first time here and I may never see any of these people again: let’s volunteer!
Time after time, I was not chosen. And I was.
Understandably, many were curious about my share. And they wanted to go deeper.
I found I wasn’t that nervous in front of the group; I like sharing and I feel like they did create an amazingly safe environment. Even in a room with complete strangers, I felt at ease.
I’ve come to believe that many of us are going through the same things, we just don’t talk about it (in our Western culture at least). And if there’s something I went through that could shed some light for someone else or make someone else’s life easier, then OF COURSE I’d want to share that, no matter how personal.
So I kinda feel like an open book. I mean, you’re here reading my most personal thoughts, yeah? :)
I really enjoyed the “hot seat” experience. What I also liked about being up there was I didn’t just rush to answer the questions, I really tried to think about my response. Not in a pretentious, “check out the big brain on BRAD” kinda way, just thoughtful, you know? It definitely took more time than I’m used to in a conversation—and I think it went very well.
It’s amazing, that the more vulnerable we are willing to be, the more connected we will feel with others. It seems totally counter-intuitive: why risk being so open? What if this person doesn’t understand me? Laughs at me? Rejects me?
Yet, we’re all wrestling with something darker. Guilt, shame, anger. It’s not necessarily pretty or fun, but it’s part of who we are.
I absolutely need to do more work around my “shadow self” – the parts of me I’m afraid of being, the parts I’m scared to reveal to others, and the parts I wish weren’t there. From what I understand, though, it’s when we embrace ourselves completely, including the weird/insane/f*cked up thoughts, that we can arrive at a great sense of inner peace.
And man, I’m really looking for that. So often I still wonder if I’m missing something, if what I’m doing is enough, if it’s working, does it matter…
The final “game” was saying something very direct to anyone in the room, with no commentary from the receiving person. It was a great opportunity to say something we had been thinking: a judgment, a compliment, an awareness, a realization, etc.
There were probably about 40 people in the room, and many addressed their comments to me, offering words of support, love, and understanding.
It felt really good.
It made me realize how seldom we go that deep with others, talking about the things we’re scared of, the parts of us we hate.
It ain’t easy work, and it can be very profound.
I thrive on connections like that, and that night made me realize I want to look for more stuff like that as I continue to roam.
I will definitely be checking out more TurnON events in other cities.
See you there? ;)
So what’s the most vulnerable thing you’re willing to share?
I’d love to hear your response + any other thoughts you have below.
from Brooklyn, NY…