The worst news you could ever hear

Darling,

That body of yours?
Yeah, her.
She has so much to say.
But do we listen?
She takes so much heat from us.
So much criticism.
Endless demands.
And sometimes—yes, sometimes—she turns up the volume so loud that we just have to pay attention.
Which always works in our favor, when we do.
I want to introduce you to a very special Sister Goddess.
Her body put her in a total headlock. Read on to see how she handled one of the most challenging situations a woman can confront…

I was 44 years old.
Single.
Trying for over a year to have a baby on my own, since I hadn’t had a boyfriend in several years, and didn’t know how or when I would find a partner.
My writing career was going nowhere.
And then I got the news that every woman dreads.
I had breast cancer.
What???
It wasn’t so much that I feared for my life.
I feared for my femininity. For my womanhood.
After four smaller surgeries, it was time for the big one. And I did a crazy thing.
I went to the intro for MGSWA Mastery Program.
I’d seen a dear friend absolutely blossom after doing Mastery. And I was desperate to not unravel.
I went up to Mama Gena at the end of the intro, and told her my news. She put her hand on my breast, to say goodbye, and to wish me safe passage. It was such a loving and unexpected gesture, and I signed up for the course that night. Deep inside, I knew the surgery would handle my cancer, but I needed a place to process everything I’d been through, to get it OUT, to find my pleasure, and even more, to build my self-esteem, which had always been fragile at best. I didn’t yet know it, but I needed to re-create myself into the woman I was meant to become.

Deb at the Mastery Miami weekend

I know of no better place for re-creation than Mastery.
All of my fears, my grief, my sadness, my disappointments were welcomed with open arms. I learned how to feel—really feel—rather than run from feelings that I was scared would take me down. And I learned to love myself—every single inch.  Mastery drilled out those old negative beliefs I had of myself, and replaced them with radical self-love and pride in who I am. I have never felt anything more powerful than the magic that Mama Gena creates in that room. Not to mention the Sisterhood. I think all women need Sisterhood to make their dreams and desires come true. And especially to get through the crisis of self-image I was facing.

The first day of Mastery was 9 days after my surgery, and I actually stood up the very first morning of class, and said out loud, “I just had a mastectomy of my left breast.” I could not believe I was saying these words to 200 women I did not know. Mastery gave me a courage that had been waiting to emerge full-force. Mastery gave me the courage to be me. Me, unvarnished. Me, not faking it. Me, being really me, for the first time. I recall all 200 of those women standing up and clapping for me, but it’s a bit of blur. I do know that this huge self-doubt I had been living with began to fall away, replaced by sisterhood and love. Over the next months, not only was I on the learning curve of my life, because Mastery is the most incredible education on being a woman I could ever imagine, but I began to discover talents I never knew I had. There were amazing writing assignments, and I rocked ’em—even read a few out loud. There were also opportunities to perform, which I hadn’t anticipated, and I went for the talent show. Imagine this: a few months after a mastectomy, and I’m performing onstage wearing a sexy ensemble and singing out loud. And I got a standing ovation!

There were other transformations, too. I know a lot of women have body issues, feeling nervous when they go to the beach. But imagine how I felt when we all had to go to Miami for the weekend. I hadn’t dated since my surgery—and a bathing suit? Are you kidding me? But you can’t believe the support I received from the women in Mastery, who I now think of as my Sisters. They knew I was scared, so a bunch of them went out and bought me these big star-shaped pasties to cover my scar. Remembering that brings tears to my eyes. My sisters gave me the courage to go to the beach, to dance at the parties, and yes, to flirt with the cutest guy in the room. I felt sexy, and that never would have happened for me without their support.

At graduation from Mastery 2008

Mastery not only gave me my life back, it also started me on a whole new creative pathway. I found out I love to perform, so I wrote a one-woman show for myself. I’ve performed it in New York City, and next month, I take it to LA. My shows are important for women, because I can showcase my adventures of reclaiming my power, which I hope will inspire other women to reclaim theirs. I have now written and performed a total of 3 shows, and have found my creative voice. Also, I had an amazing relationship with a beautiful man after Mastery. While I am no longer with him, as we were not ultimately right for each other, I wanted to really celebrate dating him. I was able to risk myself in love, and have a committed relationship for the first time in years, because of everything I learned in Mastery. Remember, I had not had a boyfriend for a long time, before Mastery, and after the program I found myself navigating a hot and healing relationship. Quite an accomplishment.

So. Here before you, you have a woman who has more than I ever imagined. A healthy, strong body. A thriving career as a writer and performer. And a fun dating/love life. I am on the adventure of a lifetime. And when I lose my way, which all of us do now and then, I have a whole community of support and the Tools and Arts that Mama Gena created, that allow me to find myself over and over again. I’m never lost. I wish the same for every woman.

xo,
Deb (a.k.a. SG Meow Meow)

p.s. My new & improved breasts are awesome. 🙂

There you have it: an extraordinarily brave woman who used the raw material of her greatest challenge to sculpt herself into her greatest work of art. Not bad for someone once on the verge of unraveling, in the face of a life-threatening diagnosis, dontcha think? I want you to know that every woman is capable of this remarkable feat of reinvention, with the Womanly Arts and Tools at her fingertips and the Sister Goddess community at her back. If you feel your next greatest adventure tugging inside you as you read these words, join me in Mastery.

In the comments below, tell me in what way Sister Goddess Deb’s story speaks to you; what’d you see, what’d you notice, what’d you get?

And if you’d like to encourage another woman to listen to the next great adventure whispering inside her, please share this post.

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. Mastery’s less than three weeks away—if you’ve still got questions about the program, our course graduates are lined up to give you one-on-one attention. Call us at 212-787-2411 x1 or click here to schedule a free pleasure consultation.

 

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