Hope is such a bitch.
Sometimes she is just a walk in the park.
Things are easy, things are breezy.
And sometimes it’s not easy. And there is no breeze. It’s just dust and tumbleweeds.
And it feels like you are the last one standing.
She will test you and work you and twist you and shake you.
Did you ever wonder why some things just come so easy — like magic? You just think about them and boom ba bam! Done!
And some things are so so so so soooo challenging. It feels like no matter what, you just can’t figure out what to do to draw in, conjure, create or manifest your most preciously held dream. And you have been patient.
And you have watched others make it happen for themselves. But for you? No action, no traction.
When something we deeply desire isn’t coming our way, it is so easy to lose faith, lose heart, lose hope.
I have the privilege of having worked with thousands and thousands of women over the years, and I have watched so many long-held dreams come true. Babies born, relationships forged, or unforged, legendary love found, jobs conjured, awards won, books written, careers recreated.
I have been in a virtual greenhouse of desire.
Studying every species and variation.
And carefully distilling exactly what ingredients cause a desire to burst into being.
And what conditions cause a desire to stay in the bud and never bloom.
It breaks down pretty simply into three powerful requirements that you can experiment with.
I’ll tell you what they are and then I will tell you a random little miracle of a story (because the eruption of a desire into reality is always miraculous — that is one of the ways to distinguish a desire from a goal). In every single case, there is:
1. A crucial element of timing.
2. And faith, without promise. Hope for no reason is an irresistible force of creation.
3. And turned on enjoyment of that desire, even without evidence it will be realized.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. A little over two years ago, I decided to celebrate and honor a big passage in my life — I had just written my fourth book, Pussy: A Reclamation and it was my very first book to become a New York Times Bestseller. In addition, my daughter was just graduating high school and getting ready to move on to her next chapter. So, I decided to buy myself a gold bracelet with four little diamonds to celebrate this event. This was not a small deal — I had carefully saved for this, I knew exactly what I wanted, and I was choosing to celebrate myself in this powerful way, for the first time. I wasn’t waiting for someone to buy this gift for me — I was choosing to buy it for myself.
To be totally honest, despite my decision, there was a subtle touch of regret in this purchase. The bracelet is called a ‘love’ bracelet, and it is a symbol of love and commitment. I was showing up for the love and commitment that I have for myself, but there was a slight tinge of regret that I was not receiving this bracelet from a special someone else. It’s good to give love, and it’s also good to receive it. With all of that in mind, I bought the bracelet and wore it happily for two years.
In August, I was riding my bike in Sag Harbor, and looked down at my wrist to see that half the bracelet was about to fly off my arm. As it slipped, I jumped off my bike and found that half. But, despite hours of searching, combing through the streets I had ridden, I was unable to find the other half of the bracelet.
I was crushed, disappointed, mad at myself, feeling like a fool. Every negative message was running through my head, “You should never have bought that thing! Who do you think you are? All that money down the tubes. You can’t handle expensive jewelry. It was too much for you to have. You didn’t deserve it, anyway. Blah blah blah.”
There are two small screws on the side of the bracelet and they must have gotten loose.
After hours of me searching. And Peter searching. I filed a police report, just in case someone found it and turned it in. I prayed to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. Peter helped me buy index cards and markers and we tacked up little signs all over town giving my name, number and a description of the bracelet. We called Cartier and filed a missing bracelet report.
And then, I let it go.
I am going through so many changes on the inner and the outer, right now, so much dark night of the soul, rupture and transformation, that on one hand, the loss of the bracelet just seemed like another f—– in my cluster. And when I was feeling down, it was a useful whip to flagellate myself.
When I was sane, I made different choices. I felt grateful that I had stood for myself and celebrated myself and stepped up into an experience of love. I trusted that I was in some kind of process of recreation. And every now and then, I would see someone wearing one (Adam Rippon at the Olympics!) and remember how pretty it looked. I would look down at my wrist and imagine it returning to me somehow. And then I would forget about it.
Last week, when I got home from taking care of a family member in hospital, I got a text from someone I did not know, out of the blue: “Regena, a friend of mine saw your note of a half of a lost bracelet. I found one. Can you tell me where you lost it and what it looks like?” I sent this person an astonished thank you, and a photo of my bracelet. They texted me back a photo of its precise match. It had been lost in one town, over 6 weeks ago, and found in another town about 10 miles away.
There are many things I love about this story. Perhaps most importantly, the grace and generosity of the anonymous person who found their way to texting me and mailing me the bracelet. They did not want to be identified, nor did they want to receive any reward. There are magnificent people of astonishing grace in this world. Not to mention the wonder of how this bracelet travelled 10 miles, and six weeks, and still found its way back home to me. And how, in perfect timing, the bracelet left me in the midst of my clusterf–k, pushing me down still further into the depths of my doubts and my swamp, and then, miraculously reappeared just as the storm clouds are starting to retreat.
But I think the most beautiful part of this story is that it was only through the loss of the bracelet that I could experience the true truth of my most deeply held desire. As I bought the bracelet, my deepest, impossible to fulfill desire, was to be given the gift of a Cartier love bracelet. And now, through unimaginable grace, that is exactly what happened. It was as if a thousand forces for good had been harnessed on my behalf, to see to it that I received this gift from the universe.
The gift of Peter holding space for me was deeper and better than any piece of jewelry he might have given me. And my ongoing, endless love affair with the Universe (which is tumultuous as f–k! Just like I love it) delivers more magic, more growth, more loss and reclamation, more love than I could have ever imagined for myself.
Faith, without promise.
And turned on enjoyment, in the face of no evidence.
That is the potential of continuous creation and recreation that we each have, as women, when we have learned the architecture of our own feminine genius.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.