Welcome to the sixth installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! This week, Jocelyn, a Mastery Grad from New York City, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Partying with your Inner Bitch!
Jocelyn, Age 35 – Comedian & Director of Corporate Events
To me, The Art of Partying with Your Inner Bitch is the practice of nurturing your inner authority. Your Inner Bitch is the strong person in you that knows what’s best for you and wants you to stand for what will make you happy, and bring out your highest possible self.
We have so many external authorities that tell us who we should be and what we should do. Partying With Your Inner Bitch means you are in touch with your inner boss, who trumps all the “shoulds” imposed upon you. She is one smart cookie, and she deserves to be listened to. She is your higher power, your self-respect, your truth.
Before I go any further, let’s talk about the word “Bitch,” because it can be misleading, to say the least. It’s an insult, the one thing women are taught to avoid being called. However, the Art of Partying with your Inner Bitch gives this taboo word a whole new meaning — a word that can also be read as “Babe in Total Control of Herself.”
Your Inner Bitch is not rude, or cruel at all. She is the antithesis of being a self-sacrificing doormat. Practicing this Art is about feeling in control of your experience, rooted in self-respect; knowing what you want and being unwilling to compromise your standards. In fact, when you truly party with your Inner Bitch, you and everyone around you benefits.
When I came to the School of Womanly Arts in 2008, my Inner Bitch and I were not friends. I was a busy, stressed out lawyer — I was not having a lot of fun, and I was certainly not making room in my life to just let loose and rage. When I found Mama Gena, I devoured her book, went for an orientation session and signed up for her class on the spot. It was such a wakeup call, learning that a woman can own all of herself, and that pleasure can be her modus operandi.
Out of all of the tools and the arts, Partying with Your Inner Bitch is definitely one of my favorites — I can’t wait until we cover it in Boot Camp this Fall. It gives me such freedom and power, and I think the world would be a more peaceful and fun place if everyone mastered this Art!
What happens when a woman is not Partying with her Inner Bitch?
Mama Gena says, “The only way your dark side can work against you is if you don’t own it.” It’s very true. Because if you don’t own your darkness, that means either you deny it and don’t even recognize it exists, or you know that she is there but you are constantly pushing her aside and telling her to shut up. That’s very destructive, because that means that there is a large part of you who is not getting her needs met.
The biggest consequence of not getting your needs met is that all this frustration is bottled up, and you become more and more frustrated, and eventually, it erupts. We all know women like that — or we’ve been a woman like that — she is like this bubbling cauldron of frustration and unmet needs, and then BAM, something triggers her and she just blows up.
Before coming to the School of Womanly Arts, practicing the Art of Partying with Your Inner Bitch, and really learning healthy ways to move my anger through me, I used to feel this way a lot. I’d walk around right at boiling point and something really minor like someone cutting the line in front of me would trigger me and I’d feel this crazy rage. That’s a clear sign that a woman is not in agreement with her Inner Bitch.
The other thing I see a lot, and have experienced, is that when a woman’s Inner Bitch is not free, and her needs are unmet, that anger and frustration gets converted into depression, sadness and numbness. In my opinion, depression is a common coping mechanism for women who do not party with their Inner Bitch, and can be a way of dealing with unexpressed anger. Think about it — in our society, anger from women is not accepted or embraced. It’s generally met with disgust and disapproval. However, depression can often be met with sympathy, care, and meds. So I think some women subconsciously choose depression, because it’s more palatable to the society we live in.
I experienced that throughout my teenage years. I was a feisty one, and was so spirited as a little girl. I could be argumentative, very inquisitive, and was always questioning authority. In my upbringing, this was always shut down and admonished, so I internalized that and shut down my spark, because I learned it wasn’t okay to be angry, and that people would not love me when I was angry. Soon enough, around age 14, I started becoming depressed.
In a weird way, it was easier for other people to relate to me depressed than relate to me being alive. But it is not our natural state to be to be depressed. In my experience, it means you are pressing down on the real you, literally depressing the part of you that wants to come out and share itself with the world. When I’m depressing my anger, I’m also depressing my gifts, my truth, my voice, my power. And that actually takes a lot of energy! To live a life where I’m not fully expressing myself and sharing what I have and who I really am — that’s very painful.
I once heard an analogy that I think explains this concept well. Picture being in a pool with a bunch of beach balls. The beach balls are your Inner Bitch — the parts of you that are angry, sad, frustrated, afraid, or any other unwanted emotion. So there you are in the pool, and you’re trying to keep all the beach balls under the water — you’re holding one down with each hand, trying to hold others down with your feet. As you can imagine, this is impossible, and very quickly one will pop up to the surface, and then another, and then another. It’s exhausting to keep all of that under the surface.
This is the emotional experience of repressing your Inner Bitch. If you let her be, she is a blast and is there to deliver you important wisdom. If you try to keep her down, she’ll exhaust you and really make things difficult!
I see the Art of Partying with Your Inner Bitch as a 3-step process: Acknowledging, Accepting, and Embracing.
Step One: Acknowledging Her
It may sound simple, but I think this first step is often the hardest, just acknowledging that your Inner Bitch exists, and being aware of her presence. As women, most of us live in total denial that we even have this side of ourselves!
In our society, and cross-culturally I believe, women are told to be nice and sweet little girls. When they express their anger, they are chastised by the adults. When boys or men get angry, it’s more accepted, and written off with something along the lines of, “Well, boys will be boys.” But when a girl or a woman expresses aggression, frustration or anger — she’s a “bitch” and needs to be kept in check.
So there is a very deep, collective agreement amongst women to deny the bitch that lives inside each of us. And to learn to be nice instead. We learn to deny that wellspring of anger, and in doing so, we’re cut off from an essential aspect of our power, our wisdom, and our truth.
I grew up in Asia, in a culture and family that had very strong expectations for girls and women to follow the rules, be accommodating, and be “nice.” As a child, I had quite a temper, and it was firmly clamped down by the school authorities, by my parents, and by my relatives.
I have a vivid memory of one of the first times I was punished and shut down for expressing anger. I was about six years old, in class, and I had lashed out at a classmate in frustration. I can’t remember what had provoked me so strongly, but I do remember what happened after. My punishment was to be spanked by my teacher in front of all the other classmates, while she explained to the rest of the students, “See, I’m making an example of Jocelyn — here’s what happens when you’re aggressive towards others.” The message was clear and painful: there was no room for the feisty little one in me, doing her best to set a boundary.
Looking back at that little girl who I was, I know that she must have experienced something unjust to provoke that anger. I know she was justified at some level, and yet there was no inquiry made about the reason for that anger — I was simply punished and shamed, and told to be nice.
After that incident, I became labeled as the aggressive one (they didn’t use the word “Bitch”, but it’s what they meant)! I remember in school, we’d play a game called eagles and chicks — one girl would be the mother hen and she would try to protect all of her little chicks, while the eagle chased them and tried to get them. I was always chosen to be the eagle, the bad guy.
So as I got older, I modified my temper. I didn’t lash out. I didn’t express my anger. I learned to be a good girl, a model student, and very very nice.
Reclaiming and recognizing this aspect of myself, and remembering that my Inner Bitch was within me, was the first step on the way to partying with her.
Step Two: Accepting Her
The next phase is about really feeling and believing that your Inner Bitch has a right to exist, and truly accepting her presence in your life and the gifts she brings you.
For me, it became a journey of coming back to myself and recognizing that I have a voice, and that people want to hear it.
Coming to Mama Gena’s, I learned tools to express my anger in a healthy manner, discover my voice, and speak up for my needs.
One of the first times I really accepted and listened to my Inner Bitch was during the Mastery program:
My senior attorney had asked me to work over the weekend, during one of the Mastery weekend intensives. The usual “good girl” version of myself would have just accepted her fate, dragged herself to work, and simmered with resentment all weekend, and probably a lot longer. But having just learned the Art of Partying with my Inner Bitch, I recognized that the anger and resentment I was starting to feel was a signpost that I was about to be shortchanged on something important to me. My Inner Bitch was clear — I did NOT want to be slaving away in the office, instead of experiencing a life-changing weekend that I already paid so much money for.
From that point of clarity, I had the courage to step out of “good girl mode” and ask for help. I called on my colleagues to see if they would cover for me, and offered to return the favor at a later date. The beauty is, when you express a need and desire, coming from that deep knowing place, people can feel that authenticity, and are generally very willing to support you.
Thanks to accepting and hearing my Inner Bitch, I got the weekend covered and didn’t miss a minute of Mastery. And when I told my senior attorney what I had done, instead of thinking any less of me, he laughed and said “Way to go, CEO Chia!” (my last name is Chia). After that weekend, he started calling me by my new nickname, CEO Chia!
Here’s another example of my Inner Bitch saving the day…
A few months ago, I was on a plane, and I went to use the bathroom. After, I wanted to stand and stretch a little before going back to my seat, when all of a sudden, this flight attendant shouts at me, “You have to get back to your seat right now!” She yelled at me so rudely, my Inner Bitch was completely offended.
I stormed back to my seat and I was FUMING, thinking “How dare she talk to me like that? Stupid Americans don’t know anything about customer service!” I was going on and on in my mind, repeating the same angry thoughts. Thankfully, I was in the middle of my second round of Mastery, a Big Sister Goddess, and I could recognize that my Inner Bitch was expressing a need — a need to feel respected. So I decided to acknowledge her and work the tools.
After we landed, I went up to the flight attendant and said “Hi, I just wanted to say you were so friendly to everyone throughout this whole flight, so I was rather taken aback when –” And she immediately knew what I was going to say. She actually interrupted me and apologized, saying “I know, I was very abrupt with you earlier — we had just gotten a message from the captain about upcoming turbulence, so when I saw you standing there, I was afraid for your safety! I am so sorry I was so abrupt with you!”
Can you imagine, I spent an hour cursing this woman out in my mind, when she had actually been AFRAID for my safety? And if I hadn’t made space for that anger, and communicated it in a clear way, I could have carried that charge into my day and possibly my whole trip!
Imagine how many fewer misunderstandings, arguments and fighting we would have in this world, if each bit of unexpressed anger were processed and expressed in a healthy way!
Step Three: Embracing Her
This is where this Art really comes alive. This is where the Party happens. This is where you can really get down and dirty with your Inner Bitch, and have her help you create incredible things in your life.
There is a reason Mama Gena didn’t name this The Womanly Art of Wallowing in Your Inner Bitch! The art of this practice is when you can infuse pleasure and fun into your dark side.
One of the main ways I do this is through my comedy. I am a stand-up comedian, and my Inner Bitch has proved herself to be hilarious.
Anger can be SO funny. Whenever I tell a story featuring my Inner Bitch, and invite her into my performances, people always laugh. There is something about seeing someone express righteous anger on stage that is just hilarious. I think it’s because everyone has that righteous anger, somewhere in them, and it’s so refreshing to see that freed and out in the open. It’s like, when I Party with my Inner Bitch, everyone else gets to party with theirs vicariously. You can actually feel the tension in the room release, and it’s a blast.
Here’s another fun example of really embracing and playing with your dark side. There is this guy in my life who has really inflamed my Inner Bitch, and I just boil at the mere thought of him. So here’s what I’m going to do, to Party with my hilarious Inner Bitch. I’m going to send him an anonymous present, with a note, saying “A little something from someone who has been thinking about you.” Isn’t that hilarious? Just the thought of him opening up the present and reading the note, and thinking all day “WHO is this person who has been thinking of me?” (not knowing that it is ME!) totally cracks me up! In fact, I have been dreading the day I might run into him again, but after sending him this present, I think if I ever do run into him again, I might just burst into laughter upon seeing his face!
That’s the thing about Partying with your Inner Bitch — when you don’t make her wrong, and give her room to express, you can really play with her and take everyone higher as a result.
Okay, now I’d love to hear from YOU! I’m curious what phase you’re in when it comes to Partying with Your Inner Bitch? Are you in acknowledgment, acceptance, or embrace? If you’re a pro at this Art, how do you get down with your Inner Bitch? If you’re struggling, how so? I’d love to hear your stories and adventures in this art! (Oh, and I can’t wait to help cheer on you and your Inner Bitch in Boot Camp this fall. Are you coming? See you there…)
— SG Jocelyn
This summer series is our way of pre-partying for Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp, which is currently open for enrollment! Boot Camp is a distance-learning program that takes a woman deep inside each of the Womanly Arts. It includes live teleclasses with Mama Gena, carefully crafted weekly exercises, and a thriving online community. Click here for all the details!