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3 Keys to Creating True, Deep Sisterhood

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So, just a couple weeks ago, I packed my little pumpkin off to college.
Now, as you probably know, or might suspect, there is nothing ‘little’ about packing your daughter up to send her off to college. 

This is a really, really big moment in a mother’s life, and in an emerging young woman’s life.  And it was especially momentous because it has been just the two of us.
I have raised her, solo, since she was 8 years old.
Yes, we pulled this off.  

But there was no possible way on this earthly earth to pull this off (or to pull anything else off, with ease and grace) without the continuous support and love of my very intimate, very close gang of sisters.
Seriously.
No way.

About 8 of my gang came over to my house and created a full-blown, beautiful, touching ritual for me and Maggie, the day before we left. My pal Joanne helped Maggie pack. We stayed with Sheila and her family over the weekend, and we did all kinds of wonderful family stuff together. Ruth and Raven are going to visit her on homecoming weekend. Kris, Marie and Lydia were there for me, on speed dial.  

And you know what?
None of us should have to pull off big life transitions on our own. 
Or even small life transitions. Sisterhood is an incredibly important element in a healthy, well-lived life.  

We should have a gang of sisters waiting on us as we go out on our first Tinder date.
Or catch us in their arms as we deal with the death of a loved one.
Or go on a job interview.
Or watch the Olympics.  

Women need women. 
We need a tribe of women to ground us, keep us sane when we teeter, lend a hand, show up, hold space, and continue to reflect the vision of our radiance when we lose our way.  

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “Really Regena? Women are such a huge pain in my ass. They are back-stabbing, back-biting, untrustworthy, and selfish. There is no way on this earthly earth that a woman would give me support! She would probably just step all over me as she crawls her way to the top.”

And yes, it is true that women have been given a really, really bad rap inside this patriarchal world culture. The norms of the world in which we were raised do not teach us to embrace sisterhood.

Which is why I wrote my new book, Pussy: A Reclamation. There is an entire chapter in this book, devoted to teaching women the steps to creating phenomenal relationships with other women, and both providing and receiving phenomenal support from the women in their lives.  

Perhaps the worst consequence of the patriarchal belief system is that we end up unable to connect to other women in joy, radiance, and pleasure. 

If we want connection with other women, we’re conditioned to get it via our mutual victimization. We end up able to communicate only about the negatives in our lives. We are likely to talk about what kind of flu bug we just had, or bitch about our boss, or complain about how our husband forgot our birthday again. 

But we don’t dare reveal anything good about ourselves, or our lives. We would never share about the great sex we just had with our hot boyfriend, or how much we love our job and how incredibly well-paid we are. Why? We don’t want other women to feel bad. 

We assume that there isn’t enough good to go around, so our radiance is a threat to other women. We don’t want her to hate us for having a great life, so we stay focused on everything that’s going wrong. 

To relate with other women, we’re conditioned to connect around our bad luck, mistreatment, and despair. Bad news is our entry point; we have absolutely no shame about leading with the negative. But to start with the spectacular news of our lives? We cringe.
But cringing is a problem.
It’s not only bad for our posture, but it keeps all of us small and less than we are capable of being and becoming.  

This kind of cultural agreement is another form of enslavement. It binds us to negativity, instead of our potential. When a woman is taught by her culture to only communicate about the negative, she begins to place “positive value” in the negative. It becomes our negative experiences that buy us access into relationship with other women.

In my book, I teach about a new style of relating with other women, where we brag about, revel in, and celebrate the wonderful things we’ve created in our life. This is about re-educating ourselves and each other of our irrevocable value, and that we were created to support and inspire one another to shine.

It can take years and years to build up powerful female friendships. Yet, we are all wired to connect and support each other—so with the right tools and practices, Sisterhood can form quicker than you may think. 

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If you want to create, or deepen the relationships with women in your life, here are my top 3 Keys for True Sisterhood: 

  1. Reverse the negativity habit. Begin to find a group of women that are open to and interested in bragging. You can test this out, one woman at a time, simply by suggesting to your friend that you each brag about something good that is happening now, in your lives. You can use my book as a guide. And don’t worry if you can only find one woman to brag with. It’s a start! Make a commitment to brag every single week. If you really want to hit the gas pedal on this, decide to brag together, every day. And be sure to upride each other’s brags. That means to praise each other for how wonderful each other’s brags are.

  2. Create space for your unfiltered truth. Every single one of us has both intensely good experiences and intensely bad experiences, and everything in between. Since we are accustomed to doing a lot of complaining with our women friends, we don’t realize that the act of complaining actually creates a lot of negativity and stress in our lives. It is quite stressful to listen to someone we love do a lot of complaining. In fact, sometimes I think that it is even more stressful and painful and frustrating to have to listen to the same complaints over and over again. Yet, we have to have a place to be able to dump our frustration, our crazy monkey-mind stirrings, our not-so-wonderful judgments, our fill-in-the-blanks. If we don’t get it out, we stuff it in. Spring Cleaning is a communication exercise I teach in my book, that allows us to hold space for a friend to release the intensely negative feelings they might have, without having to talk about it, or solve it. We all need a place to dump our garbage, but we do not have to use up valuable communication time or hang out time to complain ad nauseum. Sharing those feelings is so important, but making sure they don’t dominate the relationship is equally important.

  3. Schedule Sisterhood. It is the sad truth that most of us simply do not live in a world where community and sisterhood is embedded into our everyday lives. Like anything important to us, we’ve got to get our priorities in our calendars, or they simply won’t happen. I get together with one very special gang of friends, with whom I practice a lot of the tools and arts in my new book, at least once a month. We e-mail each other almost daily. I live down the street from another friend, so we have dinner once a week or so. And I make sure to continually reach out and keep tabs on my many other besties, asking for help as needed, and seeing where I can contribute, as needed. If you are just getting started in creating your posse of girlfriends, don’t be afraid to be the firestarter and the cheerleader. Women are just beginning to learn each other’s value, and we each need someone to open a door to sisterhood, for us. The fact that you are reading this e-mail right now makes you the leader. Tag, you are it, lady. I cannot wait to see what you can create!


In the comments below, let me know what you need from me, in terms of creating your posse.  Let me know if you have a gang of girlfriends. I want to know if you feel you are getting support from them, and how you are supporting them. 

All my love,
Regena_grey_sg190

P.S. Oh my lordy, my book is hitting shelves ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! I am so excited. If you haven’t already, make sure to pre-order your copy and get the special thank you gifts I’ve created for you. Get all the details at mamagenas.com/newbook!

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27 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Kieran McKenna October 1, 2016, 11:55 pm

    Hello. I have ordered your book (3-4 ) weeks away and have just started working through the 8 week pleasure bootcamp. I love all of this it is definitely the most timely next step in my growth where i plan to coach women in emotional or physical pain to live in joy via techniques that change limiting beliefs at the subconscious level. I really desire a sisterhood of women that would enjoy supporting each other in reclaiming our wonderous power. I have recently had the courage to lovingly end a friendship that was not serving my highest good. As i homeschool my daughter i am realising that i desire this more so and know it will support me and others on many life levels.
    So…….how to start is the biggest question? I do know some lovely ladies that are into self growth but i also do not want to force it and am mindful it may very well unfold naturally. Suggestions to be mindful of would be lovely. Should i read the book and finish the bootcamp first and see what happens? Can i start doing something now? Also is there any way of hooking up with a sister (even if on line ) that may also be going through the bootcamp pleasure course ahe received with book purchase?
    Hope thats not too many questions!!I am just quite excited!!! I am in Australia.

  • jenya September 26, 2016, 3:41 pm

    Sisters! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and desires of creating a safe community of Sister Goddesses! I also would love to expand my circle. If there are any women who are interested in reading the Pussy book together and having monthly meetings in NYC – let’s connect!
    You can find me on Instagram @PlantsandMagic. Or just plantsandmagic.com.

    With fire in my belly and my pussy,
    Jenya

  • Jeanette September 16, 2016, 11:57 am

    Thank you so MUCH for this LOVELY blog. I LOVE it.

    From Jeanette, Tokyo

  • susan September 14, 2016, 9:56 pm

    would like to start a group….posse!

  • Suzy September 14, 2016, 10:51 am

    Love love love this blog!
    Thank you so much for using your wide reaching influence to encourage women supporting women!
    I organized a “spotters group” (term and idea from Barbara Stanny). The premise being that men at a gym ask other men to spot them, women never do. A spotters group is supporting each other to grow our spiritual and emotional muscles. I chose 4 women and then interviewed them. Age is irrelevant. Our group covers 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
    Five years later and we are still growing and meeting every single month. Some of us travel in different tribes outside of our sisterhood group. Commitment is essential and in the beginning two of our group where challenged with this and would arrive late, or have to leave early. But as they began to see the profound support that this deep kind of sharing provided, they jumped in with all their heart and soul.
    We each take a turn sharing whatever is up for us. No one interrupts and there is no time limit. We meet early evening and go until we are done. No alcohol. A box of tissue. One of these women who I love also triggers the heck out of me. I can not tell you how much I’ve learned from this!
    When the shit hits the fan, and it has, these women have my back. They aren’t their to solve my problem, they are their to ‘spot’ me – provide support that give me strength. When glorious things happen, we brag, cry tears of happiness and hug each other.
    We meet in person and skype one person in who moved away. I also have another mini group of three and we meet via conference call, but keep our call to 1 hour, shares are more concise and we end asking for support in a certain area if needed. This group is now on our third year.
    Believe me there are times when we don’t want to show up. When we want to use “busyness” as a reason not to and every single time, we hear ourselves saying “I am so grateful I showed up”. There are times when one of us isn’t able to attend (rare, but it happens) we meet anyway. But the reason is always ‘huge’, like a baby being born!
    The life hurdles all of us have gracefully traversed with support is mind blowing. How each of us has grown is nothing short of magical!
    The chapter in Regena’s book about creating relationships with other women (and all the other chapters too) – OMG…it’s a must read! And all the motivation I needed to order your book! xo

    • Petra September 14, 2016, 11:47 am

      Suzy, thanks for sharing, this (especially the HOW) is inspiring!

  • SG Janell September 14, 2016, 1:44 am

    I have been creating a tribe of Sister Goddesses here in Victoria, BC. And I want to grow it! To that end, I’m hosting a party for the book launch so we can watch the Livestream together. Yay!!! Can’t wait!!! But I need to send the invite ASAP, and I have no idea what time the event is happening. Can someone please tell me what time the revolution starts? 😉 Thanks!! I love you all! <3

  • Marie Gualtiere September 13, 2016, 9:37 pm

    PS: But an added observation – women of other cultures, especially women of an age, before Individualism took the dominance it has today, DO NOT tend to support a woman who breaks the cultural norms. Individualistic cultures, however, will give that support.

  • Marie Gualtiere September 13, 2016, 9:25 pm

    Wow. Mama Gena has taken on a huge cultural challenge! In my case, I feel my safety lies with men, even aquaintances! I am more prone to share the positives in my life with men and more prone to ask help of a man, any man, than any woman. In my education and my career I have been supported and encouraged by men, not women. I find it easier to find allies amonst men.

    I think the current phenomemon of lack of sisterhood is cultural, specifically to women of northern European descent. I find Third World women to be more in sisterhood. Also, as a white woman in the US, I have experienced more caring and concern from women immigrants (strangers to me) of East India, Mexico, etc. than lifelong US friends. Also, I have experienced more support from middle aged and older Black women (and men) here in the States – ordinary events, like when I fell in a bus, when I was lost, when I was standing in a dangerous spot and didn’t know it. Also, I am told of how women (once again, middle aged and older) of modern southern Europe, particularly Spain and southern Italy are supportive to each other, help each other, are there for each other.

    So is “every woman for herself” a counterpart of “every man for himself” – an offshoot of Individualism – a cultural characteristic of the US and our predominantly northern European heritage?

  • Amanda Carlson September 13, 2016, 6:38 pm

    Hi Gena,
    thanks for all that you are doing for us Goddesses! 🙂 I am loving your stuff (and sharing it with my evolving posse) after finding you just a few days ago.

    I want to share with you an audio book (set to a fusion of East/West music) that I released in the last month. It is called “Goddess Enlightenment.” It is a homage to the Mother of the Universe, in the Hindu tradition. It is affirming of our innate Divine Feminine, and how That underwrites everything in Existence! If it’s appropriate, please feel free to share via this post, if not, no worries. 🙂 “Goddess Enlightenment” (CD/download) can be found at: http://www.storyz.pub.
    Cheers,
    Amanda (goddess)

  • trish September 13, 2016, 5:22 pm

    Alright ladies! I wrote my piece and then I read the other comments. If anyone needs a Sister Goddess, here’s my number, I need one too!
    281-229-8286 😀

  • trish September 13, 2016, 5:15 pm

    I’m trying, Mama! I started a Sister Goddess group on Meetup, and guess how many women were interested in learning about the School of Womanly Arts? One! One showed up for the meet and greet, and she wasn’t interested in continuing, even though I told her doing just a few practices and experiments completely changed my life overnight. And that my life is good, and my husband is good, my marriage is good, I’m happier than I’ve been in many many years, and I want to learn more, but I need at least one other woman to keep up the momentum. She left the group. I cannot find any women who want what I have. Not one. I need my group of Sister Goddesses, even if it’s just me and one other woman. I had a posse, but I moved from Oregon to south Louisiana and you’d think I left the planet. We don’t talk any more. We just moved again, to Houston and here I am again. I don’t know anyone. The closest Sister Goddess group is in Dallas, 4 hours away. I joined that group, introduced myself, asked if anyone was closer to Houston, and you can still hear crickets…. I will start a new posse, I just need to know where to find them! I’m reaching out, but no one is reaching back. I can’t do this alone, you are right about that.

    • Deana September 14, 2016, 11:03 am

      I think that maybe you should just start out slowly. I live in the South and these are very strange concepts to most “Bible Belt” women when you put them in the terms that Momma Gena puts them in. The method I have found very effective is just to put the exercises in practice and when friends ask me for advice or ask me how I am so happy and successful, then I slowly introduce them to the concepts. It is funny how well it works for them but they would never be receptive to “full on Momma”. After they start to change their vision and mindset then I tell them to read her first book. Try just making friends first and then they will ask you what the deal is the more they get to know you. Much Love and Good Luck.

    • Petra September 14, 2016, 11:42 am

      Keep it up sister, keep faith you are on the right track and your posse is coming!

  • Rita Reneaux September 13, 2016, 1:52 pm

    Thank you for your message. I have been practicing as you described for over 30 years with a grand and glorious posse! We are there for each other through all of life’s peaks and valleys. We cherish, love, empower and embrace all that each of us is. We know who we are and own our triumphs as well as our challenges. I have found that the women in my posse are the most important element to living a rich and rewarding life. They are a blessing beyond words!!!!
    Great success with your book! It is time we women all stood up for what we contribute to life and claim our place in herstory!!!!

  • Jane Wulf September 13, 2016, 1:09 pm

    This post totally turned my day around! Turned me on : ) Wonderful and thank you.

  • Lynn September 13, 2016, 12:37 pm

    Thank you for this! I feel like it would be awesome to have a Facebook Group around these ideas. A place for women to connect.

  • Kim Kabar September 13, 2016, 12:36 pm

    The connection between patriarchy and “bitch sessions.” Wow! New insight.
    My recent awareness of the evolutionary necessity of social connection within all animals and the consequences of not having it gave me such understanding into my own behaviors during the past two years following the end of a relationship and the lack of a “sister tribe.” I sought connection within the world of online dating. Like a hummingbird darting from one flower to the next, I tried to quench my thirst for social connection through endless texting, late night phone calls and laughter over wine with a strangers met on dating sights.
    Your article gave me insight into why I chose to put the little available time and energy that I have in any given week towards making connections with men, rather than women. I was not only honed into doing so by generational patriarchy but, bottom-line, seeking connection via dating sites has been easier.
    The hopeful, curious, flirtatious lightness I’ve felt on first dates is in sharp contrast to the guarded fearfulness I’ve endured when making the effort to meet other single 40-50 aged women through events listed on various social media, such as Facebook or Meetup. Your article shed much light as to the root of this continued tendency within myself to dull my shine in order to not make others feel bad and in order to be liked.
    Your article made me realize that the desire for social connection is so strong in women because we have slowly, over the course of many generations, been being pulled from our tribes – our women-tribes. To feel this lack of connection will either propel us to seek our tribe or it will kill us. I have recently decided to fight for my life.
    Social connection with other strong women is what gives me life but I desire to learn how to shut off the judger, to decrease the fear and to open my heart to being vulnerable with equally strong, beautiful and courageous women.
    Thank you, Mama Gena, for your work, your wisdom and your dedication. Congratulations on your new book. I look forward to reading it.
    Kim

    • Petra September 14, 2016, 11:39 am

      Kim, do you happen to be based in NYC? Would love to expand my strong women circles…

  • Deana September 13, 2016, 12:03 pm

    As always your inspiration is perfectly timed….. I never trusted female friends but now in my 40’s I feel the desire to deeply connect with my sisters. How do we deal with friends who are behaving in ways that we do not agree with? I have a delicious life and am in love with everyone I am close to. When some of them do things I do not agree with, I tend to revert to typical ugly female behavior and talk to another girlfriend about it. I do not like myself when I do that. How should SISTER GODDESSES handle this?

  • Gena September 13, 2016, 11:02 am

    I cant seem to really make more than acquaintances. I am a quiet person, a little socially awkward. I have been working out with the same group of women for a year. They have all become good friends and get together frequently. I am often invited only if I am standing near them. Even my oldest friend we get together only occasionally and if I initiate it. I feel like something is wrong with me. I long for close female friends.

    • Catherine September 13, 2016, 11:09 am

      Another thing I agree with. So often women will make plans in front of me, not asking or including me. I feel like saying ‘hello? I’m right here. I’m a woman too!’ Like Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory. ‘You’re having a girls night? I’m a girl!’ Usually I don’t react to the plan making but should I say ‘that sounds like fun, can I come along too?’ and see what they say.

    • Charlotte K September 22, 2016, 8:20 am

      Different kinds of friendship patterns work for different people. I have a very wide circle of friends now, men and women, but I was painfully shy growing up and usually had only one very close friend. As I grew up I made more of those single friends in sequence and over the years, they added up as it’s been important to me to keep them in my life once I formed deep relationships with them. If you yourself are more retiring, open yourself up to one or two very warm and engaging people–you’ll know them, they will make eye contact, or sit next to you–and let yourself share with them. You don’t have to suddenly become a wild outgoing person always in a group. After years of quiet and solitude I now have a social life that is actually a bit more than I want it to be!

  • Terry September 13, 2016, 10:26 am

    I seem to attract needy women; women who want to be cared for, taken care of, and mothered. Then, when I need help, they are nowhere to be found. Or I don’t trust their advice, because I’ve categorized them (perhaps incorrectly) as “not able”. I have a tough time having patience with Wilting Violets, women who “can’t” and “I’ll have to ask [insert male name here, even if it’s a drug addicted playboy, as long as he’s got a dick]”. I really don’t know how to do this. Help! P.S. I’ve already ordered your book and can’t wait to get it!!

    • Catherine September 13, 2016, 11:07 am

      I know exactly what you mean. I’ve made a deliberate effort for a few years now to avoid draining women and not rush to help them. I try to look for independent and self sufficient women friends now.

    • trish September 13, 2016, 5:27 pm

      Same here, about the new book. You can read what I wrote if you scroll down through the comments. I need sister Goddesses too, call me! I put my number down below in my comments.
      Trish

    • Tina Lensing September 28, 2016, 1:36 am

      Look at your first sentence you wrote, “I seem to attract needy women….” Pethaps, tart with a more empowering question, such as how can I begin to attack more up lighting women in my life? I’d be curious what answers and result you get if you begin with a powerful question.

      Wit love. Tina Lensing