I ran into a girlhood friend, Nancy.
We had not seen one another in more than 40 years.
She has a quiet life in the country, married to her childhood sweetheart, and working as a high school guidance counselor, in Vermont.
In the last year, she and her husband separated, she battled diabetes, lost a job she deeply loved, and then, quit a job she did not like.
This is a time of great transition in her life.
Now, she wants to start her own counseling practice, and learn how to market herself. She wants to meet more people of like minds, hearts and souls. She wants to connect more deeply to the purpose of her life. She wants to be truly and deeply happy again.
She and I shared a childhood.
I know her longings.
I know her girlhood heart, filled with dreams.
So, of course, I invited her to get her hot self into the Mastery classroom.
Why? Because there is no better place for a woman to crack open to a whole new paradigm of what she is capable of, in this lifetime.
Nancy checked out my website.
And she declined.
Turned me flat down.
“I am not that kind of woman, Regena. I am not like you. I don’t wear high heels. I don’t even own high heels. I hate pink. I am not flirty or saucy or outrageous or loud. I don’t broadcast myself. I am serious. Deeply committed to my own growth and the growth of others. I am not frivolous in any way, shape or form. I know I would feel like a fish out of water at something like this. And I already feel that way, in my life. It would just depress me more.”
Oh, my. Oh, my.
I was so sad to hear this.
The very woman who could most benefit from the School of Womanly Arts, is the last person who wants to attend.
I know what went on in her head, when she looked at the website, and read all the stories of women whose lives had transformed. She was thinking, “I am not that woman. I could not stand up like that. I could not achieve like that. I could not make that kind of impact in the world.”
It’s possible she was even a little repulsed, like Patty, now a graduate of Mastery, who shared “To say I was skeptical of this whole Mama Gena business would be a vast understatement. I was attracted and repelled at the same time. The women in the videos, talking about how great their lives were now — who could believe all that? I sat there browsing this pink website and thinking, ‘That’s not me. It’s so not me. I’m not that woman.’” (You can read more of Patty’s hilarious and powerful story right here.)
The greatest threat to a woman’s happiness and success is her own negative judgment of herself, and other women.
The way we feel about ourselves is the way we feel about the women in the world around us.
And why wouldn’t we? We have been taught to take care of others, to support the ideology of others, to take care of those that we work for, and work with. We have been taught to dumb down, to hold back our opinions, to defer, defer, defer.
To not help ourselves to a big fat serving of life.
As if a big fat serving of life was greedy or vulgar – or meant for someone else.
As a consequence, women continually and perpetually disappoint themselves.
We look for what is wrong and what is missing in ourselves, and each other.
The consequence of that?
We keep ourselves small. Tightly wound. Never blooming.
As if blooming was painful. And wrong.
And when we do see blooming – in another woman – we might think “How garish! How outrageous! Can’t you tone it down over there?”
It is not always easy to witness a woman who has refused to be limited by our culture’s limitations.
So many women, when they see radiance and hear the outrageous stories of risk and daring, they think, “Not only am I not that woman, but, I find her offensive.”
But, I have news for you.
You are that woman.work
You are your own beautiful, amazing, irreplaceable version of that woman.
It’s one of my favorite things to witness inside the Mastery classroom. Every woman’s unfolding is so unique and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Your style of blooming may not include high heels, and you might never ever get within ten feet of a pink feather, god forbid.
Yours may be a quiet radiance, or you may discover a voice inside that you never knew existed.
Your life could explode and transform in dramatic ways, or everything could look the same but inside you just walk in the world differently.
Every flower has her very own unique way of blooming.
I have mine.
You have yours.
She has hers.
The point is to damn the torpedoes and bloom.
Full speed ahead, and bloom.
Bloom in this lifetime.
Really. Right now.
Don’t let the cultural prejudices against blooming stop you from stepping up to your own plate.
Don’t wait, just in case we don’t get another round.
Bloom, even if the sun generated from another woman’s light hurts your eyes.
We’ve got to teach every woman to stand for her own dreams and desires, despite her own resistances and her own prejudices.
It’s time to risk living your own destiny, don’t you think?
I’d love to hear from you on the comments below today:
- Where might you be holding yourself back, from what’s possible?
- What wants to bloom, explode, ignite in your life right now?
- How do you navigate when “resistance” pops up around a big decision?
Come add your voice to the conversation in the comments – can’t wait to hear from you!
All my love,
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
p.s. Mastery is our signature program at the School, and it only happens once a year. Class starts in about six weeks, and last year we were full and on a waiting list by mid-February. If you’re interested, now is the time to reach out and connect on the possibilities! Give us a call at 212.787.2411 X 1.
p.p.s. If you do come, please bring Nancy. It would mean the world to me.