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47 years of “too late”

Darlings,

Today I get to share with you one of my favorite things in the world — the story of an incredible woman that I got to meet because of the School of Womanly Arts. I have a special fondness for the women who hate me at first sight. I can see her passion and longing right through her fury. Her story is always so wonderfully dramatic.

This week I have the pleasure of sharing with you a story from “L”, a Mastery graduate from last year. I hope you are as inspired by her story as I have been. I love hearing her challenges and her triumphs. I think they are all ones we can relate to.

Take it away, L…


Before Mastery, I was stuck, isolated and lonely.

I had recently moved across the country on a whim, after living in LA for 12 years. My daughter had just started college and was living away from home for the first time. My business partner of 10 years was telling me I was worthless and was stealing money from me — and I let her, because I kept thinking I deserved it. My health had taken a nose dive. I was in a long-distance relationship, and it wasn’t working.

I signed up for Mastery because a friend of mine insisted I do it. I remember getting together with her after she graduated, and noticing the shifts in her immediately — she looked so radiant and feminine and powerful. I thought, “Whatever she’s got, I want some of it.” I trusted her, and said YES to Mastery, without reading anything about it.

On that first day of class, I sat in the back of the room making snarky comments, thinking the whole thing was hokey, and somewhat crass — I felt nothing. I texted that friend who sent me, saying “What the hell did you get me into?!”

I was envious of the women in the room who were having an experience. The women who took the microphone and talked about their lives, their resistance, their desire to break through, the women who just seemed ready to transform. I was filled with jealousy of those women, but masked it as disdain. Those women that came back from lunch the first day telling tales of flirtatious strangers and doting waiters, I was pretty sure they were plants. And Mama Gena, seriously, the pink sparkly outfits? She was too much!

I thought that first day that this probably wasn’t for me. I thought I’m probably not the kind of person that has a breakthrough from this stuff. I thought I might not need this. I thought I already knew what gave me pleasure – someone else’s accolades, male attention, being seen — the problem was, I thought, I just didn’t have enough of those outside pleasurable things in my life. I thought, I thought, I thought. I’m a really good thinker. But I didn’t listen to rule number one – do what Mama says!

Despite that, I came back on Sunday. I remembered that my friend who sent me to Mastery loves me. I thought, “I’m not gonna sit on the back of the bus and make fun of people. I’m gonna be present.” So I moved to the front of the room. I shifted my own experience. I started reaching out to other women who were shy and fearful but open.

And then something happened – I cried. I’m not even sure when or why, I don’t recall it being anything particularly triggering for me. What I do remember is that something in me opened up — a deep longing to stop the voice that had lived in my head for almost 47 years, telling me that it is too late for me.

That voice said that Love, Success, Recognition, Creativity, Beauty, Money — really anything I deeply desired — was just not in the cards for me. That’s the same voice that told me I would never be young and in love. The same voice that told me nobody publishes their first novel at 47, so why bother writing? The same voice that woke me at 3 a.m. with a litany of mistakes and embarrassments. The same voice that looked in the mirror and saw only flaws. The same voice that said that I was cursed and could never get un-cursed, and that’s why I experienced cancer and infidelity and infertility and divorce and financial insecurity . . . and the list continued.

Well, by the end of Weekend 1, I realized that I was ready for that voice to shut the f*ck up!

After that first weekend, my long-distance guy, called me on the way home. At this point, our relationship was really stressful. We had such a great conversation that night, and I remember thinking, “I conjured that.” I started tracking where I was making things in my life happen. Each week and month I kept reaching out and bringing into my life what I saw in the Mastery room. It was a bit difficult at first. But it kept getting better and better.

I write today to tell you that at every step, I experienced resistance. I stand here to tell you that none of it came easily. And yet, I stand here to tell you that when I felt small and ashamed, I practiced the tools. When I felt excited and proud, I practiced the tools. When I was confused, I practiced the tools. When I had nothing to say, I lifted up the women around me and held space for them in their tragedies. I got clear that my envy of other women was not my greatest downfall, but a gateway to my desires. I understood that my worst days were part of what made me a complete woman, a goddess. And when I couldn’t connect to the tools right away, I looked around the room and found other women struggling and I connected to them. And when I couldn’t do that, women in the room found me and held my hand and took me there.

And here’s the great thing: Even as I struggled with resistance, trying to integrate the tools into my life, I had incredible success. I brought in new clients, I fell in love with the man in my life, I made new realizations, I connected with amazing women, I connected more deeply to myself and my gifts. Unpleasant things happened, too. But for the first time I can remember, Mastery taught me to dwell on the positive and move on quickly from the negative.

The Buddhists say that when people push your buttons you must recognize that they may very well be enlightened beings, because if you were the Buddha trying to get people to find happiness in this lifetime, you wouldn’t sit back and passively wait, you would get right in their face! Well, I’m here to tell you that Mama Gena is an enlightened being because she will get straight to your triggers and help you get clear with them as to who is in charge, even if she has to get you there through your tears, anger or resistance!

This is not The Secret, this is not a self-help 10 steps and, poof, like magic, all will be right. This is not about wishing your way into happiness. This is fun and crazy and invigorating and it’s frightening and challenging and it’s work.

At its core, The School of Womanly Arts is about reminding us that we are all connected, we all share in our fears, in our anger, in our shame, in our tragedy, in our beauty, in our triumphs, in our divinity and in our desires. I saw that the women surrounding me were extraordinary in their resilience, their generosity, their beauty – and it made me think that I might just be, too.

Now, one year after Mastery, so much is different.

  • I ended my toxic business relationship, and I’m now finally doing work I love. I’m teaching writing classes, leading retreats and coaching. Making these changes was terrifying, but I had women who stood for me in finding my desires and following them. I would call them, terrified, and one of my friends would say, “Here are all the reasons you are great and can do this.”
  • My relationship is going great. Chris and I are still together and still doing the long-distance thing. And it is so good. We decided to never go more than a few weeks without seeing each other. Every day we are more open to each other.
  • I bought a house! This is something I’d always wanted to do, and I did it without using all of my savings like I feared.
  • I reconnected with what I love: writing.
  • My relationship with my body has shifted as well. I’m actually more comfortable with it, and staying in it, and seeing myself as right. I’m not as much in my head. I focus on what my body is experiencing rather than my mind. I’m so much more grounded.

Things in my life have just fallen into place since Mastery. And when things get rocky, I know I’m okay.

This year, I’m enrolled as a Big Sister Goddess in Mastery 2014, which means I get to support all of the women doing the program for the first time. I’m so excited to play bigger in this way, and step into a leadership position. What a pleasure it is to be helping to create the container and community for this work to come through.

I implore each and every one of you to love yourself, just as you are today. Love yourself as if you were the most beloved friend, partner, child. As Mama Gena says: “Love yourself as if your life depended upon it, because it truly does.” (Click to tweet!)

— SG L

I am so deeply honored to lead the Mastery program, and I’m counting the hours until we begin this weekend. It is my playground, my highest calling, my deepest passion and the culmination of my life’s work. It is my greatest pleasure and my greatest honor to lead women through this modern day rite of passage.

My mission is to initiate women. To hold open the portal that allows a woman to reclaim her divinity. To reconsecrate her altar. I live to see a woman find that internal switch, turn on her light, and then I get to stand back and witness as she lights up her whole world — unleashing her brilliance everywhere she places her attention. I am so honored to see all the amazing results that follow.

As always, thank you so much for your amazing enthusiasm and support, for being part of this movement, and for contributing in ways I both know about, and don’t.

In so much love and pleasure,
mama-gena-sig-180px

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60 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Helen April 4, 2014, 10:06 am

    Oh, well, it’s all out there. Guess there’s a reason for that! 🙂

  • Helen Costas April 4, 2014, 10:02 am

    Hi Leslie,

    My 2 close friends just came back from the mastery weekend 1 and I can already see the transformation in them. They are telling me I need to do this. I can so resonate with all that you said. Thank you for sharing. I am 61 and really stuck and am having such a difficult time right now. I don’t want any more time to pass and still continue to be in this space. Please don’t post this. If you have the inclination and time, I would love to speak with you.
    With gratitude, Helen

  • SG Joan Champion of Pleasure March 29, 2014, 11:00 am

    Leslie, you beautiful goddess, so happy to read this blog post and witness your growth and evolution. You are truly inspiring. I remember so vividly your late night chat with my husband and me when you stayed with us one night of Creation. You have forged through the mud and muck to get to this place. I was so glad to see your radiance last night when you arrived to be a Big Sister for the Mastery 2014 goddesses. I hope I get to dance with you at the after party.

  • Mary Lynne Johnson March 28, 2014, 11:13 am

    I was very moved by your post. Thank you for being so brave!

    • Leslie March 28, 2014, 12:40 pm

      Thank YOU, Mary!

  • SG little Joe March 26, 2014, 8:26 am

    Very inspirational indeed.

    just one word: BRAVO.

    • Leslie March 26, 2014, 4:31 pm

      Thank you!

  • Island Goddess Sara March 26, 2014, 4:53 am

    Oh Leslie! How lucky I am that you were in MY mastery! And we gravitated to each other. And became spring cleaning partners. Lucky lucky me. We are both happier, and stronger, better, and getting ready to rock it again. I’m so excited!
    I love seeing your story. So great to read it, and I hope that it encourages any woman on the fence to jump in with both feet, even if she’s kicking and screaming. You are an inspiration. Totally.

    • Leslie March 26, 2014, 11:19 am

      I am the lucky one! The great goddess in the sky was looking out for me when she put us together! xoxo

  • Michelle Saltz March 25, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Oh my darling Leslie,
    I feel so grateful to have met you, my friend and sister in Mastery 2013. My how we have grown! It has been an honor and a privilege to witness your journey and have you witness mine. Your light shines so bright and is all your own. We all have our unique flavors and yours is beyond delicious!!!!!!! Love you through and through.
    xoxoxooxoxo
    SG Karmic Kitty (Michelle)

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 7:11 pm

      My sweet birthday girl, Michelle. I fondly remember sitting next to you and you telling me how you were starting an organic farm and how you lit up when you told me about it. I knew then that we were sisters for life! Soooo lucky to be on this wonderful journey with you! xoxoxo

  • Dara, SG Slow & Steady March 25, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Leslie, I remember our lunch together during that first weekend! Your blossoming has been beautiful to witness, and much of your post brought tears to my eyes because those feelings and that shitty voice are so familiar to me. (FF: Shut the f*ck up! 😉 )

    Mastery 2013 also provided me a rocket launch pad and I’m so grateful. Thank you for writing this post Leslie, and thank you Mama Gena for creating the space for Leslie to share her experience! I will miss you all this year as I put together the pieces of a cross-country move, but you haven’t seen the last of this SG ;-).
    XX

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 7:09 pm

      Dara, so blessed to have been on this jury with you and can’t wait to hear about the next chapter!!

      • Leslie March 25, 2014, 8:43 pm

        Yeah journey, not jury. Gotta love auto correct!

  • Deborah Smith aka SG Wicked March 25, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Leslie,

    What a pleasure to read your story. Tears of joyful remembrance welled up on reading this and all the subsequent posts. Awesome on being a BSG!!!

    You all are gonna” ROCK!!!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 7:08 pm

      Thank you so much, goddess!!

  • SG Monica - Momo March 25, 2014, 3:22 pm

    Wow, wow and wow! I just L-O-V-E I-T! Thanks Leslie and Mama Gena for this great, gentle kick in the ass kind of push! <3 I too am finding all reasons not to go… though my whole spirit is already there!! I got I revelation that I am "in my mind"! That's it… it makes sense! Well here I go… for I certainly need help in shutting my mind out… and let my pussy take overrrrr!!! Exited and looking forward to the experience! Thank each and every one of you for holding the gates open…. wonderful feelings of great expectations is taking over now… and I always wanted a Rite of Passage ritual!! World… here comes Momo! MOre self love, MOre peace, MOre self control, MOre prosperity, MOre connections, MOre me… MOMO!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Monica, please come find me this weekend!!! So looking forward to seeing your MORE unfold!

    • SG little Joe March 26, 2014, 8:24 am

      Love this: ‘I certainly need help in shutting my mind out… and let my pussy take overrrrr!!!’

      Can’t wait either 😛

  • SG Deborah March 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

    I want to thank you deeply for this post, Leslie. Standing on the eve of my first Mastery, it helps me to believe that this kind of transformation is possible. It is so beautiful that you have allowed yourself to receive all of the gifts you write about and I honor the journey you traveled to get here. I’m excited to meet you this weekend. Thank you again. Deborah

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Deborah, make sure you find me on Saturday, can’t wait to witness your transformation!

  • Lea March 25, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Since I got connected with Mama Gena, I think 3 or even 4 years ago through a Hay House Interview with Christiane Northrup, I just love all about Mama Gena.
    But!!!!
    I am still waiting to be able to jump on board and do it. As I live in Europe it will cost me an extra 2000 a weekend to get there and I still think it will be worth every penny.
    But…
    for some reason I still allow myself to open up the abundance channel to let money in
    I so much want and need this workshop and reading just this feedback from Leslie just affirmed all what I think this will bring to me, every year I am praying this year this year this year and than March goes by again 🙁
    but!!!
    I will not give up!!!
    I will do it sooner or later, I need it, I want it, I deserve it, I am here for it, it is just what I need to help other women
    xo
    Lea

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 1:54 pm

      Lea, I hope you will say YES this March! I know that last Mastery we had women from Hawaii, Germany, Israel, Singapore, Amsterdam flying in for the Mastery weekends and I know that not one of them regretted making that commitment to themselves! xo

    • SG little Joe March 26, 2014, 8:21 am

      I’m European too and I don’t give up either. Those ladies are very lucky to live in MamaGena’s country, especially the ones living in N-Y. It must be awesome to have a Sister Goddesses group around you…

  • SG Elizabeth, Jazz & Bossa Nova Siren March 25, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Favorite frame: Somehow, things came together in ways I could not have anticipated once I committed to myself and my desires. I don’t know how exactly it worked, I just know that it did!

    This is the absolute truth. Commitment is the magic that opens the door – to the full life, the rich community, abundance and prosperity, and the divine, sensual, fulfilling relationship.

    Like Leslie, whom I was privileged to have met from taking part in Team Pleasure 2013 for her Mastery, I am also a single mother. There were so many “logical” reasons why I could never even dream of taking Mastery. And yet I did! Once I committed to myself, that’s when the magic started happening.

    MG says Mastery begins the minute you decide to go for it. Genius.

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Gorgeous goddess, you are such a role model for me of what a true pleasure revolutionary can be! SO lucky to have had your own delicious brand of fluffing during my first Mastery!

  • SG Debra AKA NILE March 25, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Dearest Leslie
    I was 47 when I first came to an intro and walked out because I wasn’t ready (I said it was because of the pink boas, but the reality is, I was terrified of the possibilities). Many years later I will do my first mastery.
    I agree with what you say about Mama Gena being enlightened or “in the light” but what I see, is that it is because she practices what she preaches and she is where she is suppose to be doing what she is suppose to be doing. And she works vigilantly to be a light and to continue to bring her vision to all of us. AND I am incredibly grateful that she has created a space for us all to be a change in our own lives and in the world. Enlightenment is available for every one of us at every moment and I am profoundly grateful (my favorite word) that I get to be a part of this movement and for the work that ALL of the women do to hold a sacred space for every other woman.
    AND we are all that for each other!!!!
    Leslie I look forward to meeting you as I am also a single mom with a previous cancer diagnosis with a daughter in a private university….
    I also cried..the first moment I set foot into a room with all of the AMAZING Sister Goddesses. I had never been in the company of woman where I felt not only safe, but protected, adored and supported. I have never experienced anything close to this and I was both sad and ecstatic.
    I will NOT be sitting in the back with doubts…I will be sitting in the middle of the shower of love and grace that I KNOW will flow on all of us.
    Blessings and Love to us all!!!!
    SG Debra AKA Nile

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 1:49 pm

      Debra, so beautiful and so looking forward to witnessing you in the “shower of love and grace”!

  • Christina March 25, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Sister Goddess Leslie, you bring tears to my eyes and such joy to my heart, as I remember my 4 years of Mastery, and how resistant I was too in the beginning. I love the sisterhood so much and how it has held me, elevated me to places I never dreamed of. I will be thinking of all the love that will be created & the lives transformed in this years Mastery. Loving you all up so so much, and I’ll most definitely be back for more.

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Christina, here’s to us resistant ones!!

  • SG Ninna March 25, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Dearest Sister Goddess,
    I feel so honored and blessed that we met in Mastery and we are able to continue our journey’s together in Creation. I’m very grateful that your friend insisted on you being in Mastery 2013 (not the one before or after) so that we could meet each other. Your wisdom and radiant light always inspires me. Thank you for being you! I love you so! More, please! XOXO

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 12:07 pm

      Thank you, Ninna. I know the timing of us being together was absolutely divine! xoxoxo

  • Such transformation, LESLIE, your writing makes us live, palpable witnesses of your successful life story of these past years, CONGRATULATIONS! What an honor to be on this path with you, gorgeous goddess! AND GOOOO REGENA!!! More Leslies, please! Thank you GPS for this morning’s inspirations! xoxoxo

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:36 am

      So honored to be on this path with YOU, gorgeous, brilliant Liliana!!

  • SG MagicMirna March 25, 2014, 11:19 am

    Lesli, you ROCK!!! What an honor and a pleasure to read your story so far and it has been such a delight to journey with you. Can’t wait for more.

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:35 am

      And with you, my Mastery/Creationista sister goddess extraordinaire!!

  • Carrie March 25, 2014, 10:55 am

    One great advantage that Leslie leaves out that certainly holds me back is that she has money! She could afford the course! Then she could afford a house! I think the Mastery course sounds great, but it seems to be only for a certain type of woman who has a certain type of income, no?

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:06 am

      Actually, Carrie, I didn’t think I could afford it (my daughter had just started college and I am a single self-employed mom and she’s at a private university). Somehow, things came together in ways I could not have anticipated once I committed to myself and my desires. I don’t know how exactly it worked, I just know that it did! And there were plenty of women in my Mastery that had similar experiences. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not experienced it!

    • SG Ti March 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

      Carrie, I put it on one credit card to get points, transferred the total to another zero-interest credit card and paid it all off, including travel from the West Coast, over the course of a year. Smartest debt I ever incurred! That was in 2012 and I still have an amazing community of women with whom to use the tools. I’m single, live in one of the most expensive areas in the country, and was working as a church secretary when I enrolled, so there wasn’t any big income to back me up! I used to think Mastery was impossible for me. Then I did Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp and saw so much value that I knew I owed it to myself to make Mastery happen.

    • SG little Joe March 26, 2014, 8:13 am

      I understand your point. I’m struggling for the same reason. I remember Lauren, the Enrollment Goddess, telling me I could fly over and over from Europe and that money wasn’t an issue, that I could ‘flirt’ it out because it was more important for me to do Mastery. I told her I didn’t want to ask anyone that money, so I’m sparing… and will do Mastery when another American Sister will help me staying over. In the meantime I will do the Virtual Pleasure Bootcamp, and I’m sparing for that too. Yes, you’ve got to have some income to become a fully Sister Goddess I’m afraid.

      We’ll get there Sis, have faith.

  • Karen aka Superstar Karen March 25, 2014, 10:54 am

    This is just what I needed to read this morning. Thank you Leslie and Mama Gena! I am proud to know you Leslie and be a witness to your journey. I am doing mastery again and can relate to so much of the resistance you mentioned. Your words really energized me!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:01 am

      Karen, so blessed to have been on and continue on this journey with you! You were one of those women I always knew that I could fall into when I was falling apart. xoxo

  • SG Anne March 25, 2014, 10:53 am

    Beautiful, Leslie! You are an inspiration! Can’t wait for Saturday!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:06 am

      Me either!!

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen March 25, 2014, 10:51 am

    Leslie, what an incredible post! Congratulations on such an amazing stand for yourself and for women as a BIG Sister Goddess. I did that for the last 2 of my 4 masteries (yes, I couldn’t get enough)…and after 2 years of Inner Circle I am still here, inviting women, doing team pleasure. Why? Because this is the journey of a lifetime.

    My life flipped upside down when I entered here in 2008, as a 56 year old divorced, isolated woman. The first Mastery, I cried after each weekend. Why? Because of the recognition of what we as women have been missing, and the transformation that was happening in the sisterhood that Regena has created. Now at 61, my life is on fire in the most amazing ways…sensually, creatively, supported by this amazing group of women.

    Your story is one delicious example, of the hundreds I have now witnessed, of what happens to a woman’s power when she finally says, “YES”!!! So, to those of you on the fence, you still have a few days to sign up for Mastery…say “YES”!!! (and no, I am not a plant:).

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:00 am

      Karen, thank YOU for always being an inspiration and model of how to grab ahold of life and all of its delicious pleasures!

  • Susan March 25, 2014, 10:44 am

    I attended the weekend in February and even that little taste has created many shifts in my life. Mastery would be AMAZING! Thanks Leslie for your inspiration.

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:07 am

      Susan, I hope you do it!!

  • Dara Cole March 25, 2014, 10:34 am

    Wonderful to see you blossom Leslie, that put a smile on my face!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 10:59 am

      Thank you, Dara!!

  • Cordelia Brabbs March 25, 2014, 10:33 am

    Thank you for sharing Leslie! I’m coming to Mastery this weekend and I am wading through torrents of resistance. I’ve tried sabotaging myself from going with flu (now healed), I’ve come up with every reason not to be there, and I have only just managed to get myself to book my flight from Portugal this morning. I can tell it’s going to be an epic weekend and possibly not going to be pretty, but I’m willing, I’m showing up and just reading this from you has given me reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. Even if it feels crazy right now : )

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 10:58 am

      Cordelia (I love that name, it’s the name of a character in my book!), I so understand the resistance and so glad you are overcoming it! Make sure you come find me on Saturday!

  • Juniper March 25, 2014, 10:15 am

    “…we all share in our fears, in our anger, in our shame, in our tragedy, in our beauty, in our triumphs, in our divinity and in our desires.” Amazin & truly inspiring. And beautifully written. Women’s power to create & tranform is so gorgeous!

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 11:07 am

      Thank you!

  • Eugenia March 25, 2014, 10:11 am

    I’m honored to be part of this journey too. What an incredible story from Leslie. Thank you for sharing!

    xoxo

    • Leslie March 25, 2014, 10:55 am

      Thank you Eugenia for being my sister in all of this!!

  • Leslie March 25, 2014, 10:11 am

    So honored to be featured today and so grateful to Mama Gena for believing in me through my incredible snark and resistance! Cannot wait to witness all the incredible unfolding about to happen!

    • Silverheels March 25, 2014, 7:41 pm

      I just found http://www.laterbloomer.com. People much older than 47 have published first books! Enjoy your writing!

      • Leslie March 25, 2014, 8:44 pm

        That’s what I like to hear, thank you!!

    • SG Kalyani March 27, 2014, 12:41 am

      SG Leslie,
      Thank you for sharing your inspirational story! It moves me!
      I am so grateful you will be supporting all my friends from
      VPBC 2013 attending Mastery 2014, they are in GREAT hands!
      Know I will be supporting you all from REno!