This post is part of our summer series on the Womanly Arts, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! Sarah, a Mastery Grad from Toronto, joins us to share her inspiring story of how she transformed and evolved her career, through her practice of the Womanly Arts!
Sarah, Age 42, Toronto ON – Interior Designer
The night I discovered The School of Womanly Arts, my baby had been crying for 5 hours straight. Nothing was working. It had been like that for weeks. I was at the end of my rope.
In addition to struggling as a new mom and finding my way in a challenging marriage, I was totally cut off from my confidence, sensuality, and power. It was isolating. And when it came to my career, I felt completely detached.
Anyway, that night on my way to the how-to-make-your-baby-stop-crying section of the late night book store, Regena’s bright pink book caught my eye.
I was a hot mess. My kid was screaming. People were staring. But for some reason, I grabbed her book that night. I had to have it.
When I finally got my son to sleep, exhausted as I was, I stayed up all night reading Regena’s book.
And that was the beginning.
Since then, I can say that my life is unrecognizable – in amazing ways – because of my Womanly Arts practice, and the sisterhood in my life as a result.
Today I want to share one slice of my story with you – the trajectory of how I have created and evolved my career, through applying the Womanly Arts.
I’m also sharing a handful of my personal tips and tricks to stay on track, even amidst huge change and challenges that life inevitably dishes out as time goes on. After you read the post, I’d so love to connect with you in the comments section!
Part One: I rocked the Arts to conjure an “impossible” business opportunity.
When I was beginning my practice at the School, I was working as a youth worker. It was a job I loved, but after having my baby I realized that my heart was not in it anymore. I was ready to move on, but unsure of what my next step should be.
Then I stumbled upon a business program being offered in my city, where they would help new moms start new businesses.
I so wanted to get in, but I had an idea the odds were not in my favor. I had heard about the program days before the applications were due. Part of the acceptance requirements were that you had to have already acquired a daycare spot for your child in a childcare facility that qualified. In my city at that time a daycare spot was like the holy grail, sometimes taking years to secure.
But I had the Womanly Arts on my side! I rocked the tools so hard, to get myself into that program. Here’s how . . .
I acknowledged, fed, and fueled my desire through The Art of Whetting Your Own Appetite.
It sounds so simple. But in reality, it takes a lot of courage to feel your desire, and stick with your desire. Desires are often so illogical.
When I found out about that program, everything in me lit up. I wanted it, and I wanted it bad.
Right after the desire hit though, my ego monkey mind entered the picture. “You are crazy! There’s no way you can have that
desire. It is impossible!”
This is where the real practice of the Art of Whetting Your Own Appetite comes into play. Even in the face of that voice in your head, who immediately wants to shut down and constrict your heart’s desire – you choose, again and again, to feed it.
The key move, when you get a big desire, is to get sisterhood around it immediately.
So, when I recognized that I longed for this opportunity, and I heard that critical voice on my shoulder, I worked really hard to stay connected with my desire.
- I enlisted all the women in my community to hold the desire with me.
- I talked about the desire – exactly what it would feel like to get into the program. What it would look like. How I would celebrate the acceptance.
- I Spring Cleaned every day, to get rid of all the charge around my desire (Spring Cleaning is a game-changing exercise explained in Regena’s first book).
- On the day of the interview, I set up what I call a “Sister Goddess Sandwich” – I stacked sisterhood on either side of the interview, and had my friends holding space as I went in, preparing to hear from me victorious afterward. I knew that no matter what way it went, they had my back.
I walked into that interview on fire – I was fierce for my desire to create a business that gave me freedom and joy, I felt and looked amazing, I flirted with everyone I encountered, and I was steeped in the support of my sisterhood, no matter what.
I got my desire. I got in and launched my business.
Part Two: I created a thriving business – and then had to tear it all down.
I started a home organizing business and it was booming out of the gate. Super busy. I thought I would start part-time so I could manage motherhood, but I learned that so much of doing business is about relationship and, thanks to the Womanly Arts, I was able to show up radiant. As a result, clients enjoyed working with me and told their friends, and the clients kept coming. I found myself putting kids to bed at night and working until the wee hours of the morning just trying to stay afloat.
What I didn’t realize was that the whole time I was working and succeeding, my child was suffering, being bullied at school. I was on this working mom treadmill, being a rockstar entrepreneur – and I had missed the signs that my kid needed me.
One time I picked him up from childcare and his entire face was covered in ballpoint pen. He finally admitted that another kid held him down, made him pen his own face. And as I went to dig deeper, I discovered it had been going on for a long time.
I know I’m not the only woman who has bumped up against a rupture like this. It is no joke navigating motherhood versus career, and handling it all when life goes haywire on you.
Here are some of the ways The Womanly Arts got me through this time . . .
- I definitely had to pull out The Art of Partying With Your Inner Bitch during this time. When this all came out, I shut my business down on the spot. Boom. Clients cancelled, everything postponed. There was nothing more important than my kid. For me, this Art is often about boundaries. I had to stand for what I knew I had to do – show up for my kid – even though everyone thought I was insane to throw away what I built. I cleared my calendar and showed up every day in the school yard, with my book. I wanted my kid, and the other kids, to know I was there, and I wasn’t going anywhere.
- I decided I was going to get to know all the people at the school – and I practiced The Art of Flirtation to connect with the “in group” of moms. People would say “they are impenetrable.” I said “Watch me”. Flirting is nothing but knowing your own irresistibility, in the presence of another. It’s about having a good time, and letting others witness that and go higher from it. Those women ended up being so key in helping me turn things around for my kid – and they are still some of my closest friends.
- I also Spring Cleaned everyday to help me release my guilt and anger over what had happened, and this cleared the way for me to find my desires around motherhood and my family returning to a more pleasurable balance.
Part Three: The “something even better”.
While my career was in a transition and my organizing business was on hold, I ended up conjuring a few really fun interior design projects on the side. A male friend of mine wanted help with his space. He admired my style. In sisterhood I completed my first professional design project. I loved it. I had no degree and no training, so the whole process was born out of my connection with pleasure, with beauty, and with intuition – the Womanly Arts.
This lead to several more requests. After completing a few of these projects, I was hungry for more. I had a new desire, to be an Interior Designer.
One afternoon, I was talking to one of the moms at school about my desire. I shared with her how I really wanted to be a designer but I did not desire to go back to school.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that this mom was actually a really successful interior designer. She encouraged me to simply give it a go. Then two weeks later, she calls me to invite me to come mentor with her. A space in her office had suddenly become free. This is how the universe rewards desire.
That’s how I began my career as an interior designer. No degree. No student loans. It turns out I have a designer’s eye and the magical tools to make it all happen. This has been a huge pleasure for me.
This is the kind of seemingly magic opportunities that I’ve been sucking in, since entering The School of Womanly Arts. The Art of Inviting Abundance is mind-boggling sometimes, because it is so unimaginable. The idea that we really can create abundance in our life is so foreign to us.
But the truth is, this Art isn’t about magic at all. It’s about working the tools. It’s about turning yourself on, so high, that you can bring on whatever you want. Self-love is magnetic.
Tip: When you’re practicing The Art of Inviting Abundance, you can’t focus on the money. If I focus on trying to suck in money, I’m not good at it. Instead, I have to focus on my desire. On my pleasure. I have to flirt, and keep myself high. And sisterhood. Always sisterhood.
Part Four: How I work the Womanly Arts every day, to keep going higher.
I stay connected with myself by practicing The Art of Owning Your Own Beauty.
That means taking the slow care, time, and attention to adorn my body, and to show up in the world as a reflection of my desires, my love. That means looking hot – not to impress someone else, but to feel connected with the full expression of who I am, and what I want to be in the world.
This one is so important, because I think the The Art of Owning Your Own Beauty can be misunderstood – on the surface it looks like it’s just about your external appearance. It’s not.
Before finding the School, I used to put a lot of work into my appearance to look acceptable. So I was the master of “in this situation you always wear grey, and in that scenario the skirt falls below the knee.” There were a lot of rules, all based on what other people would think, how not to cause a stir, or be “too much.” I used to keep my hair tied back, so I wouldn’t evoke a reaction in the world. I kept it tame, so I wouldn’t cause a spectacle.
This Art is an inside game. What happened for me, is that I stopped putting a lot of effort into looking acceptable and playing a role. Instead, I committed to a personal style that gave me pleasure, that had me feel fully expressed and turned on. The beauty of this practice, is that it then ripples out to the pleasure I give to those I encounter, everywhere.
When I look at my closet now, I can see who I am. And I am willing to let the world see that too.
The Art of Sensual Pleasure is also embedded into everything I do, and how I run my business.
Whether I’m looking for the right lighting fixture, or where to put a piece of furniture – my strength as a designer is really listening, deeply listening, to my body. I’m always listening for resonance. and for me, the resonance comes from turn on. There is going to be a wallpaper that it just FEELS right. That chair is going to looks perfect right THERE, and not one inch farther.
The other piece of this is that I have to work at the pace of my own pleasure, at the pace of my femininity. (This is very frustrating, I must admit). But any project where I try to “get it done,” it turns out mediocre, or something goes wrong.
I’ve learned that when it comes to pleasure, it’s pay now or pay later.
It’s not always convenient to “follow your bliss”. The discipline of pleasure is just that – it’s a practice, that requires showing up again and again. Why am I dedicated to it? Simple: when I don’t stay connected to my pleasure, it’s a shit show. : )
I have to keep my pleasure so high that I can create. So even if i’m on the way to a job, I’ll stop and listen to really great music, I’ll adorn myself. It’s like preparing yourself for church. The Art of Sensual Pleasure is calling in the sacred.
Finally, this whole thing works because of Sisterhood.
It’s not all perfect. Sometimes I’m atrocious at it. I screw up. I get “Sister Goddess Amnesia.”
But when you’re in community, the ship can right itself. It will keep course-correcting, even in those moments you try to self-sabotage. That’s sisterhood.
In our culture, we’re trained that it’s women against women, for the sake of maintaining the structure that’s hurting us all. It’s like there’s this unspoken agreement to suffer together.
What happens at the SWA, starting in Boot Camp, is that the whole notion gets turned around, and we’re using each other for our power. We stand for each other and we learn that standing for ourselves is the primary way we do that.
When you make it a practice to see your life through the lens of the goddess – through the belief that everything around you is designed to take you higher – anything is possible.
Thank you so much for taking time to witness my journey with the Womanly Arts.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments – what resonated with you? Which tips can you apply to your story, today?
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!