Running on empty?

Have you ever felt so done in?
That you just could not.
Not even.
One more step.
I mean, really.

See if you can find yourself here:

  • “I am utterly depleted. How do I keep my sex life alive with my husband, when I am so burnt out from work, and kids?”
  • “I am constantly stressed and pushed to the limit – how do I feel my feminine, when I live and work in a man’s world?”
  • “Three kids, a house to take care of—I am depleted. Help.”
  • “Just reading the news today and I feel like I can’t breathe.”
  • “How do I stand up for the stuff I truly care about when I am keeling over from all of my responsibilities?”

Can you see a theme here?
Depletion, everywhere.

The word depletion is interesting. Webster says that depletion is “the reduction in the number or quantity of something.”

What is getting reduced here, in this age, this time, this place, for so many women?
Time? Money? Support? Yes, all true.

But something far more pivotal, and yet entirely overlookable and intangible, has been eradicated.

The erotic.
Your erotic.
My erotic.
Our erotic.

Do you know what I mean by that?
The word can be confusing and misleading.
Some years ago, I would have thought erotic meant a bunch of women wearing garters and high heels dancing frenetically in some kit kat kind of club.
Or a woman participating in lots of suggestive or sexualized activities.
The truth is that it is none of those things.
It is something better.
And way more beautiful.
And remarkably useful.

When I speak of the erotic, I am talking about a woman’s life force. Her creative energy. Her distinct connection to her divinity, expressed through her body, mind and soul. Her deepest feelings, from her darkest darkness to her brightest light. The erotic is the language of her body, heart and soul.

As feminist author, Audre Lorde says in her essay, The Use of the Erotic as Power:

As women, we have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and nonrational knowledge. We have been warned against it all our lives by the male world, which values this depth of feeling enough to keep women around in order to exercise it in the service of men, but which fears this same depth too much to examine the possibilities of it within themselves.

The erotic is an inner, continually replenishing, fountain from which – when located – can provide the deep, dense nourishment that only living our own unique truth can provide.

Unfortunately, for most women, the erotic has been banished from motherhood, the workplace, the traditional marriage. She’s been banished from our education, our spiritual practices, our social lives, aging, academia, healing, even our sex lives.

She has been overtaken by production. Doing. Working. Achieving. Which we are all so very, very good at.

Almost every woman I’ve ever encountered has absolutely no trouble working hard. She can do that with her eyes closed. She knows how to stay late at the office, how to hunker down, clean up the mess, give her all, get s&*t done, make it happen.

There is kind of a (cheap) thrill in how very, very competent she is at anything and everything.

Why cheap?
Because this kind of competence that we have all been taught to excel at leaves a woman empty at the end of her very, very long day.
She has given til the well is dry.
And just like all those acres of now-barren land in Fresno, California that used to produce millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables, the climate changes for a woman have left her high and left her dry.

And here is the really hard part:

The last place on earth that a woman has been taught to look is where the antidote lies.

The erotic is a wellspring: a continual, never-ending source, running through each of us, constantly replenishing and renewing.
Which most of us have never been taught to access.
We have been taught to work hard, or harder. To give, or give more. To serve, and to service.

Flipping that switch feels kind of crazy-making. Embarrassing. Socially risky. And worst of all: unproductive.

The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program is an in-depth journey into the reclamation and complete embodiment of the erotic soul of a woman.

But to begin here, allow me to lure you into a new neighborhood, and hold up a different lens.
I want you to consider taking all that excellence that you possess and use it in a different direction.

Today, before you begin looking after the kids, your man, checking your email…take a moment, and look after Her. Who is She? She is the part of you that loves music that makes her soul sing, loves beauty in every form, loves the word ‘exquisite,’ responds to poetry, to flowers, to soft touch and a sidelong glance. She adores praise, longs to have her magnificence noticed and responded to, and loves to walk slowly, feeling her hips sway gently from side to side. She loves candlelight. Magnificently prepared food. Ripe anything. Fragrance. The feeling of fabric against her skin. Dancing in her fashion. Things that sparkle or catch light. She loves to give of her deepest passion, and engage with every drop of her being. She loves nature, the changes in the weather, and making room inside for what she cherishes most deeply.

Most of us, as women, have been taught that we must wait and receive these experiences from another person. Which leaves us high and dry.

There is another option.
What about each of us being responsible for handling our own depletion?
There is freedom there.
And all it takes is a willingness to experiment with a different choice.

For example, she might choose a poem in the morning, to take with her and read out loud every hour.
She might choose a theme song for the day that causes her connect to her beauty.
Mine, today, is ‘Never My Love’ covered by Audra Day.
She might take a handful of rose petals and secretly trail them as she goes to the nursery to tend the baby or as she hits the grocery store, knowing her presence is equally perfumed as the petals she drops in her own pathway.
She might spend her lunch hour designing a special tryst she is anticipating with her husband.
Can you feel the soul fuel in those choices?

The erotic is the deep connection that a woman has with the most sacred part of herself, the part of her that is both timeless and eternal, that never diminishes, but only intensifies, the more she pays attention to it.
When a woman is in constant investigation of her erotic landscape, her well never empties, her cup is always full.
What can you do today, to feed your erotic nature?

Today, in the comments below…let’s inspire each other.

  • What’s one small way you can fill your own cup today?
  • How can you take a stand for getting yours?
  • What are your go-to strategies for when you’re running on empty?


Tell us about the extravagance of your self-love. Filling your erotic longing is only a thought, and then an action, away.

With so much love and pleasure,

Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts

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