It’s the week after Thanksgiving. We are rounding the bend, slogging towards Christmas with our masks firmly in place. At this point, there is not one of us whose lives have not been impacted directly or indirectly by the pandemic and its fallout. Add in economic losses, school closures, the election, reckoning with racial injustice, and numerous other setbacks…and the slog gets even sloggier.
I want to check in with you, with all of us: How’s your energy? How’s your sense of wellbeing? Your attitude? Are you bouncing through the day, boundless and joyful?
Or are you just slugging through it…checking everything off, but feeling depleted and running on fumes. (Maybe more than others know because you do your best to put a smile on.)
I meet a lot of fume-runners.
Wanna know why? Because existing as a woman in this culture is exhausting. Working in and out of the house is exhausting. Homeschooling your kids with a full time job is exhausting. Doing the emotional labor for our families, especially when loved ones are ill, is exhausting. Fighting to be heard is exhausting. Pinching already pinched pennies is exhausting. Walking home in the dark with keys between your fingers is exhausting. And if you’re a Black woman, a woman of color, a differently- abled woman, a transwoman? Then add racism, ableism, and transphobia to the list of things that exhaust your body and spirit.
If you are taking better care of others than you’re taking of yourself, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you are tired. Sister, you have every reason to be tired.
And, I don’t want that for you or for us. I love the bodies of women. I love us. And I want us to be nurtured and nourished.
Last week, I was on a call teaching the final session of my fall course GPS*. Writing that course and teaching that course was the perfect antidote for my pandemic blues. Why? Because the course included everything that we women need to unplug from our innate negativity bias, and plug into our aliveness.
There is actually a recipe for living an engaged, turned-on, happy, healthy, ecstatically alive life for a woman, no matter what.
It’s just that no one really teaches us what we require for the basic care and feeding of our innately sacred feminine bodies and souls.
So here goes: We need community and sisterhood. We need tools and arts that connect us to our turn-on. We need activism. If one of these cogs in the wheel is out of balance, we slog and slug instead of bound and bounce through our day, our lives.
Here’s how it works: There was a mother of two in our class, raising eight-year-old twins, one of whom is deaf with Down’s syndrome. Not easy stuff by any stretch. And like many of us moms, she was feeling like no matter what she did, it was never enough. So she continued to give more, and more, and more to her family, depleting herself until she reached empty. She was absolutely positive she had no time for herself.
But within this community of sisterhood, being witnessed by so many women who could relate and were rooting for her, she found three tiny tools that brought her back to herself in just three minutes flat. She locked herself in her office, threw on some music for a sensual dance break, moved her hips like a mofo, and self pleasured.
Literally three minutes.
And the slog turned to connection – connection with her body, her sensuality, and her sisterhood.
The gravy on the stuffing of life is witnessing and being witnessed.
And that is where the activism lives. When we stand for a woman in her celebration of herself, and her life, no matter the circumstances, no matter the way the cards seem stacked, we assist her in finding her way home to her turn-on.
We don’t stand for her victimhood, we stand for her joy.
And because of our presence, she gets to find the space and feel the power of choosing her own joy, above all other values, and by doing so, she creates the word she wants to live in for herself, and all of us.
With so much love and pleasure,
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.