I draw courage from the stories of women who have courage.
I draw strength from learning from women who have overcome the insurmountable.
I transmute when I hear of a woman who has remade herself, cellularly.
The fire in my belly busted into a wildfire when I heard Annette’s story.
And the very same thing will happen to you, when you read it. Grab a tea, sink in.
She is a survivor. She is an Emmy Award winner. She is a powerhouse beautiful woman. Encountering Annette will change you, charge you, challenge you.
Drink deeply of this glorious woman who I am so very proud to call a Mastery graduate.
Annette, Age 53 Brooklyn NY
Journalist, Television Producer and Entrepreneur
I grew up thinking that I had to please men. That’s what my mother tried to do. She was a wonderful, sweet, caring, active, beautiful woman. She had lots of friends, was very active in the church, had a beautiful voice and sang in the choir. She had career success too—she worked at a bank, was great with money and very well-respected.
Meanwhile, my father beat the crap out of her and verbally abused her on a regular basis.
She cooked, cleaned, made sure that we had everything we needed, worked nights. She was one of the most wonderful, hardworking souls – and she got beaten, threatened and mistreated by my dad.
So growing up, what I got from watching that was a fierce conviction: I was never going to be like my mom.
I wasn’t going to get married and have the crap beaten out of me. Oh no sir, not this girl! I knew better.
Then what happened?
I met and married a man who verbally, emotionally and physically abused me. It wasn’t the same as my parents’ marriage, because unlike my mom, I fought right back. I hated my life. I hated my husband, I hated my parents, and I hated myself.
Like my mother, despite incredibly tough times in my marriage, my life looked “successful” on the outside. I had a thriving social life, and excelled at my job as a Community Relations Manager at a public utility in Brooklyn. I bought my first piece of property at 24 years old, attended black tie events, spoke at luncheons, school events and charitable dinners.
Shortly after the birth of my son (who is about to graduate from college now!) I had finally had enough with my husband, and all the abuse. I asked for a divorce, changed the locks, and left his stuff outside.
I thought the worst was over. It wasn’t.
We went to court for custody and my ex-husband threatened me on several occasions causing me to get an order of protection from the police department.
That same year I was accepted into the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and used to carry the “order” in my bag every day in fear that he would find me and attack me at school.
Finally after a year, the long, hard court battle gave me sole custody of my son. My husband hounded me for years and I stayed strong for my son.
In the years before finding my way to the School of Womanly Arts, despite the ups and downs (lots of downs) with my ex, I fought hard to reach my professional goals. After graduating, I started working at NBC as an assistant producer in the long-form news documentary unit. I got promoted at work, fulfilling my dream of being a documentary producer. The pinnacle of my career was winning an Emmy as a producer/writer on the “Inside the Obama White House with Brian Williams” documentary that aired on NBC in June 2009.
I’m a fighter and I don’t give up. But a few years later, I found myself in the trenches again.
I had gone through the death of my mother and my aunt. I had been laid off, was putting my son through college, and had inherited two houses with debt. One of them had awful tenants who stopped paying the rent. And, the man that I loved had told me I was “too old for him to be with.”
That’s when I first heard about The School of Womanly Arts, when two of my girlfriends were graduating from Mastery and invited me to check it out.
At the time, I thought I was “fine”, but I was a mess.
I just had given up inside – I felt like a walking zombie.
When I checked out Mama Gena and the School, I just knew there was something in this work that I needed—something my soul, my spirit, was yearning for. I had no job and mounting debt with a child going off to college but I signed up for Mastery anyway, with a down payment and a monthly payment plan.
I trusted that the Universe would provide so that I could take the class and make the monthly payments. Lo and behold that’s exactly what happened.
There is no stopping a woman’s desire when she truly wants it. I’m a testament to that fact.
My experience in class showed me I was still alive in the world. My mojo came back!
Through Mastery I awakened.
I found Annette again.
I found that I wasn’t alone. I found sisterhood.
I found my voice.
I reclaimed my body in all her glory, and reconnected with my sensuality.
I connected more deeply in my relationships with men.
I felt whole again.
Plus, I got my finances in order. I connected with one of the guest teachers I encountered on the second weekend of Mastery, and I worked all the tools I was learning in class. As a result, in the past year, I increased my credit score more than 100 points and just closed on a home refinance which has wiped out all my debt and left me with $30,000 to myself.
I know, this all sounds too good to be true. How could attending four weekends at the School of Womanly Arts have all these things happen? But it did!
Here’s the thing: Mastery just unlocked what was in me all the time.
It tapped into my inner strength; it tapped into my divine energy, and it tapped into my truth: I am an awesome woman and not a victim of my circumstances.
Thank you so much for reading my story. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be here sharing it with you today.
No matter where you are on your journey right now, I wanted to leave you with a few of the biggest takeaways from my experience over the past year. I hope they take you higher today!
1. It is time, beyond time, for us to celebrate and honor our womanhood. I’ve learned that my feminine energy is the most powerful energy on the planet. It has the ability to create life and although I had birthed a son, I didn’t fully see my power—our power—until Mastery.
2. Humanity needs the energy of the feminine, in order for this planet to thrive and be made whole. I want to live in a world where each of us know and live this truth. It is so critical that we as women know and live in our true power, our authentic power and our divine power. Humanity needs us now more than ever before. Can you imagine?
3. Shocker: Men want to serve and support us. From my history, you can imagine my reaction when I started to encounter this idea. I had it all twisted and upside down and ass-backwards. I thought it was my role, my duty—and sometimes my calling—to serve men. Oh my, oh my, how I got that wrong. My relationships to all of the men in my life have deepened, and I’m opening up to dating for the first time in years. But one of the most amazing shifts has been in my relationship with my ex-husband. Recently, he texted me that he had been thinking about our relationship. He apologized for all the things he had done. He told me what a great mother I have been to our son, and that I was “the one that got away.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. An apology? What? A miracle!! I’m not interested in a rekindled relationship with him, but I have to say, it feels really good to know that I’m now being acknowledged, and he really sees me as the amazing mother and woman that I am. For that I’m so grateful to Regena and the School of Womanly Arts for turning that relationship around.
4. It is my responsibility to stand in my power, to court my desires, and trust my pleasure. Say what? Game changer. This is how to feel whole.
5. Rupture happens and life will throw me epic curve balls and kick my ass – and that’s okay. I don’t have to wallow in it. I have tools now that allow me to feel the pain, experience the grief and the sadness, but not live my life stuck in it.
I have had the ride of my life and I’ll tell you one thing: I am just getting started. Right now, I’m in Creation (an advanced course for Mastery grads), and it amazes me how I’m taking the tools even deeper, and finding other edges to push.
I’m so grateful for the chance to share my story with you here today – thank you for reading it!
I’d love to connect in the comments – which of my five takeaways above resonates the most with you? Where are you stuck in your life right now, or in the process of creating something new? Can’t wait to hear from you!
In love and pleasure,
p.s. I know Mastery starts next weekend, and I think back to where I was just one year ago, making the decision to step into this work. Truly, if you want Mastery, and haven’t given yourself permission yet – go for it. Make it happen. It’s an education like no other and will transform your life into the life you knew you always wanted and deserved.
If you’d like to enroll in Mastery, or have questions, call us at 212.787.2411 X 1 or send an email to [email protected]. Looking forward to connecting with you!