It is so easy for a woman to lose her way.
A trip through the morning headlines can ignite grief, frustration, despair.
A glance in the mirror can trigger disapproval which can be hard to shake.
A day flooded with tasks, both surmountable and insurmountable, can suck some serious wind from anyone’s sails.
And let’s not even discuss motherhood or daughterhood or relationshiphood (or lack thereof) and the challenges therein.
Or times of great personal challenge and change.
The patriarchal world culture is more or less a giant contrivance to push us off our game.
Make us forget who we are.
Right now, I am in the middle of moving, which is difficult on its own.
And doing my level best to manage/fight the healthcare system on behalf of a family member who needs essential services for which there is no insurance code.
And running a business while navigating several key staff leadership changes.
And trying to remember that I have a boyfriend, a life.
And what I notice about this particular time — when all of my available resources, time, and effort are pouring out on full-force fire hydrant — is that it is so easy, almost intuitive, for me — Mama Gena herself — to wake up, jump in my coping armour and start the endless hand-to-hand combat that not only requires, but deserves my attention.
I notice the part that gets starved is the self-care required to maintain the human woman who is responsible for handling all of these challenges.
A few weeks ago, I realized that I could not even feel into who she was or what she wanted. My earliest sign of being too worn out for my own good was that my sexy was gone. I know, I know what you might be thinking; sensual pleasure can seem frivolous and unimportant when matters of life/death/food/shelter are on the table. But the truth is, pleasure is the pathway back to oneself. And sensual pleasure is the way a woman resets her internal compass and keeps the whole ship steady in the midst of stormy waters.
Pleasure is the most difficult thing to reach for when we are in survival mode.
And it is nearly impossible to do, when you are alone. We need sisterhood.
We need other women.
Women who not only stand for us when things are great, but women who will jump in the hole with us when we are off track and remind us we are more than this.
More than this emergency.
More than this challenge.
More than this endless, overwhelming to-do list.
I had two girlfriends jump — one on a train and one on a plane — and fly to my side in the middle of my move last week. They were there not only to direct the movers where to drop the boxes, but to direct me.
To give me back to myself.
To point out that I was lost, and to remind me who I was.
They held space for me while I wept.
They built an altar for me in my new kitchen and gave me the Sacred Rebel card deck to reconnect me to my soul. Later that day, three other sister goddess girlfriends came with me to my old apartment to help me clear and close that energy, and then, welcome me into the new space with ceremony, ritual and intention setting. It was so sacred and we were all so uplifted.
We danced through the new space.
They held me and stood for me and helped to create a whole new beginning for both me, personally, and The School of Womanly Arts.
I am so grateful and so blessed to have (in alphabetical order) Ruth Barron, Lisa Callan, Sarah Charlesworth, Melinda Cohen, Kmur Hardeman, in person and Ayodele Moore on High Priestess Hotline.
Thus ignited, I wore a dress with a petticoat on moving day.
We smoked cigarettes and drank rosé.
They reminded me to move my body.
They made sure we had a living room to sit in and that my daughter and I had our bedrooms set up.
And they did all of this with … glamour. And fun. And turn-on.
I had taught them how to do that, all those years ago, in the Womanly Arts Mastery classroom. And now they were giving the gift back to me.
They did not jump inside the hole of my suffering. They simply held the door open to pleasure and reminded me that I always have a seat at that table.
Let me be that for you right now.
Let me jump inside your whatever, right alongside you.
Maybe you are lonely.
Maybe you are just plain tuckered out.
Whatever it is, or isn’t, there is salvation in both sisterhood and the sensual.
And when you combine both, a woman becomes unstoppable, no matter the circumstances.
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.