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When life feels like an uphill slog

If we are lucky, blessed and showered with unbelievable and unasked-for magnificent grace – life is long.  

And the experiences we have are varied, multifaceted, and scampering all over the spectrum from shitty-as-fuck, to earth-shakingly ecstatic. (I am especially thinking of our brothers and sisters and animal friends in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean as I write this. Sending prayers and love and donations.)
As living beings, we all want to taste, touch, and smell every drop of what it means to be alive. And sometimes, for reasons either in our control, or way beyond our control, we can find ourselves in deeply difficult spots. Sometimes for a long, long, long, long time.

Let’s get real sisters. 

There are moments and chapters when life can seem like an uphill slog with no rest stops. 

It just is.  

One of my students, Sally, is the mother of a one-year-old and a 2½-year-old, managing a 50-hour workweek at her executive director job, and trying her best to teach her sweet – but clueless – husband to meet her halfway in the world of childcare, housekeeping, and looking after her aging parents. She is breathless and exhausted every single day.

It just is.  

Sally hired a life coach who told her that she had to quit her job and make much more me-time for herself. Hello? Who’s she kidding here!? Kids gotta eat. Mommy and Daddy gotta work.

Sometimes there is just no wiggle room on the outer. 

The truth is, sometimes it’s not a time to make radical change. Or even un-radical change. 
Sometimes it’s just time to keep on climbing up the hill, no matter what.  

Another student, April, is in a different kind of chokehold. She writes:

I’ve had to take over my husband’s property biz because our management company was losing us tens of thousands of dollars. I hired an assistant (who quit after 2 months) leaving me fucking stuck in this HELL of paperwork — I feel like I’m dying on every level. My passion is gone — I no longer even feel desire or pleasure even when I’m going thru the motions. We have to dig out of this financial mess and I can’t just quit … there’s more work than there are hours in the day.  Add to the stress – I’m gaining more weight / I don’t feel sexy in anything / I have the children and their needs … I can’t even breathe, let alone relax.

April’s spot is treacherous. A different brand of treacherous than Sally’s. Perhaps not so different than mine or yours, when we are backed into a powerful corner by extraordinary circumstances.  

It just is.

I have no doubt that these women will find a way to triumph.  

I know who a woman is and what she is capable of. And I know for sure that for them, right now, there is nothing to do or fix. 
Just like there is nothing to do or fix when you are mid push-up and have nothing more to give but your refusal to give up – which is how bigger muscles get built.  

Where does a woman normally go when she is desperately challenged and exhausted?
She goes straight to disapproval. Second-guessing herself. Self-criticism, self-doubt, self-hatred.  

But now is not the time to disapprove. Or second-guess. Or criticize herself or others. Which is where our brains go naturally when the going gets tough.  

This is a time to put our attention in a brand new direction: it’s time to decorate the cage.

What mean you, Mama?

We all have cages around us, at one time or another.  

Right now you might be caged by work, parenthood, climbing out of debt, taking care of your parents, a natural disaster, or bigoted policy change.
Sometimes we just cannot get out of the cage and have no control over the situation. Like in a natural disaster. 

And sometimes we don’t want to get out of the cage. Like when we have kids and they break us into smithereens and keep us up at night and require more time and attention than we have to give – but we love them desperately and would not trade it for the world.  

When life presses down, which it can and will and does, it does not always mean it is time to change.  

Sometimes it means that it is time to reach down deep and insist on fighting for and finding pleasure, in the moment, right here, right now. To demand the poetry, right here, right now. To grab for the ecstatic connection between you, and your divinity, in this precise moment. In other words, to decorate the cage.

We are so programmed to follow the to-do list and take care of everyone else besides ourselves. Being a woman requires a different reach, a different grasp.

She needs Mary Oliver poetry. Beauty. Soul-drenching sex that cracks her open to the ecstatic void and reconnects her to her wild flame. End of season peaches. Coffee held in an oversize mug that heats her palms as she makes communion with the day. Listening, witnessing to her truth and beauty. Dance, pretty dresses, shoes that let her move. Hundreds of ways to love, harsh, gentle, prickly, and moments of laying back into love’s arms.

So, when there is no other place to reach, we must reach into the portal from which there is no lack: feeding our ecstatic nature

Which can seem remote and out of reach, especially when we are pushed within an inch of our reserves.  

This is the time for a woman to find space on the inner, rather than the outer. 
The limitless inner. It is a time for her to insist on a tiny step of self-care before she leaves her house. It might be that she makes sure she dresses with an extra drop of care, paying tribute to her beauty – which might not be much more than a shower and lip gloss. But she celebrates the shower and gloss as the heroic feat it truly is. It might be that she keeps her copy of Mary Oliver by the coffee maker and reads a poem out loud to herself as she makes breakfast. It might be that she studies her reflection in the mirror, while softly extolling the ways in which she is her own heroine. “You were a superstar mother to your children yesterday. You handled that to-do list like Wonder Woman on a rampage, gold bracelets firing in the sun. You are my heroine. You make the impossible possible.”

It is up to each of us to love, bless and celebrate the miracle of life that we are, as women in this world, and to reach for that inspiring drop of turned on pleasure from which all goodness is created. 

No one else will do it for us. 

The last thing on earth we think we have energy for is to deliberately choose to decorate the cage in which we find ourselves. 

But doing so is the key to freedom, both on the inner and yes, ultimately, on the outer.  

Now, I want to hear from you, in the comments below: 

•  What kinds of cages do you find yourself in right now?
•  Is it time for change?  Or time to decorate?
•  What are your favorite ways of dealing with the times of great challenge in your life?
•  How would you choose to decorate your cage, right here, right now?

To our freedom, even inside our cages. 


Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
Founder of The School of Womanly Arts

p.s. Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Whether you are on the brink of radical change on the outer, or potent change on the inner – you do not want to miss the upcoming Womanly Arts Experience, in NYC on December 2nd – 3rd.

Together, we will blow a hole through wherever you are stuck using a side of your feminine that you have never encountered.  Come – power up your woman with me!

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46 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Anonymous November 21, 2017, 12:45 pm

    My cage: being and staying a “lovely young lady”, keep hands folded, don’t push too hard, always look pretty and graceful, don’t fight, don’t curse, don’t break a sweat, don’t argue your point, always ask permission, be pleasant, agreeable, and maintain composure.

  • Cari November 7, 2017, 10:13 pm

    I can’t believe I’m actually writing a testimony. Thanks to Dr. Twaha! What a valley my family has been through. My husband said he was done, he said he wanted a divorce. There was another woman who once told me she will do anything to have my man by her side; he said he was miserable with me. I wanted to run away and disappear at first, but something stopped me in my tracks. I had the desire in my heart to stand for my marriage and then I came across Dr. Twaha website. Thank God for Dr. Twaha! I was told from various places that I officially had an ‘out’ from my marriage, but I didn’t want out. I felt the tug of my marriage vows and knew this whole situation was bigger than me. I praise God that I didn’t submit to my hurt and emotions. The circumstances were horrible. The pain I experienced was so deep, it was physical. My faith when I came across Dr. Twaha was solid. I had this strong trust in him. There are still real powerful and honest people on the net. Now my family is a living breathing example!” (You can contact Dr. Twaha on his email drtwahaATdrDOTcom or visit his website at www . twahamiraclecenter . webs . com his WhatsApp: +254-735-914561

  • Isabella October 16, 2017, 10:36 am

    Thank you SO much for this new outlook and perspective that I have never thought of before. When we go through periods of enormous stress and emotional draining- which can seriously be up to and over a year long- we see no escape and ruin ourselves further by focusing on all of the negative and blaming ourselves for everything we could have done differently. I love this new idea of “decorating the cage”. Embrace this struggle and revel in how masterfully we ARE handling these situations. This is what makes us strong women. If every woman gave up in her fight there would be no pillars of womanhood that we look up to today- from Gloria Steinem and Mother Theresa to your sister or mother. Thank you for this amazing new idea, is it weird that I am now looking forward to facing some obstacle just so I can proudly face it head on?

  • Kelly October 13, 2017, 12:36 pm

    Hello 🙂 I was introduced to you and your school just a few short weeks ago by a dear friend who knew I needed this right now. I am an entrepreneur who truly believes in reaching for the stars. I can uplift anyone but myself it seams though. I know my gift and I know what I’m meant to do but after a lifetime of being my own cheerleader I still hear the surroundings of negativity in my head. I love everything about this movement. I want to be a part of it in a BIG way!!! So, I am coming! I registered and am so excited to join you in NY in early Dec. Thanks for the encouragement and everything you all are doing!!

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  • Lakisha October 11, 2017, 1:03 pm

    A cage a find myself in right now is that I am always putting others before me. I get lost in their activities or their wants. I lost the fight to be me. I believe now should be the time I focused a little more on what I want out of life.
    I believe speaking up to my spouse about what I want would help but I have dug so deep in my family needs and wants and life that I am stuck to understand who I am any more.
    Don’t get me wrong I am happy with my life and have no major issues I just wish I could be more active on my end and have something that I am passionate about and have others come see what I can do besides coming to my home and see how clean and organized it is or how organized I am with my family activities lol I want the spotlight for a few seconds every once in a while.

  • SG Jules October 11, 2017, 12:51 pm

    Hi, love reading the posts… and ff : No one else will do it for us. Thanks, MG ! Cages for me these days are related to me thinking : How in the hell can I make what I want become a reality ? Out of my cage : I would want ASAP (among others) : to renovate my apartment, to have a +,+++,+++ bank account, to be promoted, to have a fun home-employee who would do the cooking, the cleaning, the DIY handywork… from in my cage, I want all of that and more !!! That’s for starters 🙂 My womantra this week is : « Lightness, make it light, and fun ». I love the word « lightness », it makes me physically feel lighter, and smile and laugh ! XO

  • Nicole October 11, 2017, 11:19 am

    This is so true for me right now! The cage of single mother-hood, can’t quite connect the ends and full time work that is stressful and trying to cook every night cause I can’t afford to eat out. So last night, I made a super simple dinner and my son and I ate by twinkling lights and candles and instead of feeling so angry at this trapped space, it was peaceful and I felt calmer. I kept saying to myself decorate the cage over and over instead of yelling or getting frustrated or giving in to my panic overwhelmed feelings. Thanks – I have been looking for this kind of frame lately…

  • Quadgoddess October 11, 2017, 11:16 am

    In reading these blogs I am reminded of the inner strength of women. You are all wondrous. I have been through it all, probably twice. Now my new joy is deep connection, with friends, daughters, with as many people as will enjoy the connection. So, I feel connected to all of you! It feeds my soul. I love to throw dinner parties ( pitch in, mind you) and share the connection. That’s my style of living large….truly encouraged by Regena. Come over. Let’s sit and talk. 😘

  • Lisa October 11, 2017, 10:12 am

    I really don’t know what the issue is… in that I can’t pinpoint one particular thing. The biggest thing is my “gypsy” is trying to take hold and I’m trying to settle down. I’m finally teaching in a district I love, but I’m tired of the classroom. I want to delve into writing, but my time is consumed with work, grands, grown kids, my health and my dad’s health. Just too many plates spinning in the air. I know I should eat the elephant one bite at a time, but every time I put a piece in to chew, I can’t seem to swallow.

  • Alexis October 11, 2017, 6:09 am

    What kinds of cages do you find yourself in right now? Financial, Love, and career
    • Is it time for change? Or time to decorate? Yes! It’s time for a change.
    • What are your favorite ways of dealing with the times of great challenge in your life? Praying and being alone to hear my own thoughts.
    • How would you choose to decorate your cage, right here, right now? I would have an open mind and allow myself to just go with the flow.

  • Cat October 10, 2017, 9:57 pm

    I have been in many different cages over the years. Hanging in one day at a time. Sometimes one minute at a time. Now the kids are grown and have homes spouses,significant others. Money is not as tight as it once was. I have a new love in my life. I am old enough to finally not worry about what everyone thinks of me. Yet still young enough to love life and moving, breathing. I am spreading my wings and flying for the very first time in my life!
    P.S: I am 59.

  • cristina October 10, 2017, 8:29 pm

    Nailed it, MG!!!! I love the idea of decorating the cage. I love the idea of finding the space within. And I’m so glad to hear you, creatrix of so much transformation and change in so many women’s lives, remind us that change is not always the answer! My cage: gotta keep my current job, which is way better than my previous one, for a while more while I focus on creating a family. My true desire is to start my own business but I know this is not for right now. Gotta keep living with my parents while I wait for my man to come home from…. ACTUAL prison (I think he does his own version of cage decorating by the way)! Yes, it’s moi to anyone reading who knows who this is 🙂 Gotta stay hopeful re: my desire to have another child despite disappointment after fucking disappointment in this area. Reaching for beauty, joy, inner space and sisterhood have been the ONLY ways I have gotten through this. thanks for the perfect-as-always post!

  • Lexia October 10, 2017, 8:10 pm

    School, work, kids, husband, home, debt. One step away from losing it all. Getting through one heartbeat at a time, to keep from giving up. I’ll keep decorating the cage. Perfect message for this time.

    • Lexia October 10, 2017, 8:12 pm

      Forgot to mention chronic depression and anxiety. Living on faith in the possible and the thought that nothing lasts forever.

  • Loralee October 10, 2017, 8:03 pm

    My cage….Self Doubt/Trust/Financial/Depression/Health
    20 year marriage, 3 years separated 1 of them being divorced…the marriage was a nitemare between stress and financial and kids.. emotional/ physical abuse..Left me to where i wanted to end my life…I gained the courage (with the help of my twin sister) to get out of the situation.It left me fearing my next move and brought me in to a huge depression and health issues!I have thus moved close to my sister away from every thing i knew and starting out new.Its a new day everyday!I am now taking one day at a time, taking care of myself and learning to love myself and have courage and strength!

    • Kat October 10, 2017, 9:53 pm

      Thank you for you courage. I can so relate. I’m in the mist of a emotional abusive relationship…..working hard on myself to end it. So my cage is myself and feeling unworthy of a healthy relationships.

  • Dawn October 10, 2017, 6:06 pm

    I can relate to this completely. Divorce two years ago, earth shattering break up this summer from my fiance…… I don’t call it a box, I call it a nest. I bought new sheets, blankets, duvet cover, towels, rugs, redid my living room….. it’s MY nest. I started running again, taking care of myself, crocheting and just enjoying the quiet of my life. I also have two teenagers….. loving them as well. They have loved me thru it all and have been there with me. Mom lost her shit for sure.

    • Cat October 11, 2017, 12:28 pm

      Seeing that “my story” isn’t mine… we are all connected through the various challenges that being a human, and a female one at that, brings. Divorced two years after 17 years together, two teenagers, managing two entrepreneurial businesses, embarking upon the strange social experiment of online dating at age 49… and MOST importantly… PRIORITIZING the fuck out of my self care!
      Can’t wait to be in your beautiful presence in NYC Dec 2-3rd!!! <3

  • Yaneth Garcia October 10, 2017, 5:26 pm

    I am in a cage of negativity and fear. Even writing this makes me nervous, I am only 20 about to be 21. I am surrounded by brokenness, everyone around me is in a bad place in their live so close to me. My mother recently just left my dad, and I am to be there for my father so he is not alone because my mom moved to Florida with my eldest sister. I am married and my widowed mother in law is living with us with her 16 year old daughter, they are very eenclosed. I am a Dreamer, DACA recipient working full time and going to school. I don’t find any passion in school and my job isn’t taking me where I want to go. I am vegan and have learned so much about the monetary society that we are living in, it’s corruption is what has put us all in these positions we are in. I’ve had severe acne for the past 3 years and I just get so stressed thinking about how I’m going to live the next day and try to be there for others, so I’m going to do something nice for myself, if its taking a bath like mama gena does, try to relax.

    • Annie October 10, 2017, 6:16 pm

      You CAN do this! You are strong. Take that time for a bath, for a little encouragement when you look in the mirror. You are a beautiful soul and a light to so many around you. And it’s ok if you want to shine some light on yourself for a while. Enjoy your radiance!!

  • candice percell October 10, 2017, 5:12 pm

    Hello Ladies! I am so glad to have run across this challenge. I had no idea that my feelings of self-doubt, self-criticism, self-hate, and second guessing myself were all normal! I bottle these feelings up because I always convince myself that I have done something wrong to be in the situations that I face. Nice to know that I am not alone in that aspect.
    I am in a cage that lacks discipline and motivation. Each time I feel overwhelmed, I start these to-do list and due to the lack of discipline, I fall off. And then it circles back around. I have been trying to find ways to become self-disciplined and motivated.

  • Samantha October 10, 2017, 4:48 pm

    What cage am I in?? many a single mother,work over 60 hrs a week kids in after school activities I cook, clean and have to go to the laundry mat weekly so what cage am I not in? I feel so covered up can’t breathe just sad I’m always doing but when I have time to just rest my mind goes on what I don’t have and I get so depressed all I want to do is sleep the lonely always but I wake up with more 2 do and even sadder than I was before I laid down I’m not happy and crying only makes my blood pressure go up and there’s another cage I’m in just don’t know how strong God truly thinks I am cause I truly am at the end so pray I’m able to find some peace some meaning to my life cause right now I just feel like I’m here 2 serve others and I’m just tired

  • Teresa October 10, 2017, 4:13 pm

    Oh I have a couple of cages, one inside the other… The financial one seems to be the biggest…student loans will kill me and I will die still owing…I will never make enough–can’t work enough hours at any job (or multiple jobs) to be able to pay what they want.

    My job is the next–I have a job that I *wanted*…I got to design it and make it what I wanted it to be and as others put demands on my position, it’s morphed again into something I no longer love or want. It could be something wonderful for our school, but others see my role as something other than what I do, and I get a lot of flak for doing those things *I* deem important.

    Our parents are another cage…why we aren’t married yet…why we struggle to figure out how to be TOGETHER…My elderly mother…his nearly elderly mother…his not well elderly father…his parents’ relationship with his business…and that one is zip tied to the financial cage…and the guilt that I carry around for all three of them and how we aren’t making them happy no matter what we do…

    And my last cage is my own self-doubt and anxiety that I am not enough in any aspect of my life…as soon as I feel accomplished, worthy, enough…a wave comes and knocks me back to a place that reminds me that I overstepped somewhere…

  • Shavonda October 10, 2017, 2:26 pm

    I have many cages. Coming from 4 years of severe mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Which result from the abuse is a child born with alot of issues. A child who will never be able to live on his own. Always has to be watched, autism, mental disabled, has to be hooked up, always in the hospital or doctor visit, and sick. Decision on what to do with him. Growing up not and not being the favorite child, weight, health, having to quit to provide care for a handicapp, financial struggle, loneliness because not very many men are interested in a chubby woman with 2 handicapp kids. The low self esteem. No retirement money left because I went threw it. Credit messed up because i have quit. Moving to another city to get anyway from a abusive ex and get help for your your son. Letting people take advantage because you dont want to hurt their feelings, To hating people because they hate let you down so much. Becoming a introvert. Is it possible? I want to decorate my cage with loving and trusting people again, trusting men, financially stable, better credit, and happiness.

  • Laurie October 10, 2017, 2:16 pm

    I’ve been unemployed and homeless (well, sofa-surfing with friends and family) for FOUR months now. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes. And, nothing.

    Am so deeply frustrated and don’t know what to do next. But after reading this blog posting? Am simply going to rest today and be as mentally kind as possible to myself.

  • Theresa October 10, 2017, 2:03 pm

    The answer it seems is both. My cage is a bit of a golden one – I find myself with a good career that is really taking off just like I’ve worked so hard for. I’ve overcome more traumas and challenges than I can count to get to this place. And just as I’ve made it here, career and professional respect in hand, I find myself longing for something else. First and most of all, to return to the mountains where I’m from. To find a truly EQUAL balance between the energies of my body and mind. To be closer to nature. To create art and capture beauty and magic in the world. To discover financial independence for myself. To have more moment for stillness and simple pleasures (and raucous adventures for that matter!).

    The real cage, of course, is financial. I have this silly amount of lingering debt (credit card – the worst kind) that I just seem to let persist even as I make more money. I don’t know why I’m allowing myself to hold myself back. If I would only pay it down then I could do whatever I please – travel the world, start that lifestyle brand, climb literal mountains! I know my “cage” of a good job I can’t leave until I’m out of debt is a blessed one and worth celebrating in the moment here and now… and I also can’t seem to shake the feeling that I don’t know how to make that leap to the next stage. True freedom. Self-determination. I know I am on the cusp of it, this great change. If only I can be patient until it comes (my greatest struggle haha). So as I said, both, the answer is to both decorate the cage and make change happen.

    This was exactly what was on my mind this past week when I was traveling throughout Mexico. Travel is the most joyous and immediate way to gain perspective on one’s life I feel! That and daily journaling are my favorite ways of processing the challenges in my life.

  • Susan October 10, 2017, 1:29 pm

    I ALMOST feel guilty because I’ve been in the cage and survived. Now as I look back, I wonder how I did it. I’ve had 2 different cages. One happened in 1987 when my husband died leaving me with a half built house and 3 young sons (Eighteen months, 6 and 8). I was fortunate that I was not working at the time but that soon changed. The house and the kids and MOVING loomed in my future. I had no one who understood my situation–widowed friends were old and sedate and divorced friends were angry and stressed over money. Some were jealous of me!
    Having enough money did not take away from the fact that I was now being “mommy” and “daddy” with nowhere to send my children on weekends! Nor did it erase the construction loan looming over my head. As the weather got chillier, the need to get the house done quickened. Since we were originally being our own contractors, the weight of making all the decisions, lining up all the various workers, picking up materials and paying the bills fell to me. At a time when one is not supposed to make any major life decisions, I packed up my household and moved 6 months after my husband died. I was exhausted but kept putting one foot in front of the other and did the best I could as a parent. Somehow we got through it and I am now enjoying retirement and looking back and wishing I had that kind of energy again!
    Which is to say in encouragement to those in a cage, things will get better. Some day you will look back and see that what was incredibly hard is making you stronger than you ever thought possible. Hang in there . . . and ask for help when possible.

  • Charlotte October 10, 2017, 1:08 pm

    Invisible illness, disabilty and widowhood grief. Just come from my doctors who has been so brainwashed and constrained she cant hear me. I choose to use alternate and new age medicine to keep me alive. Thank you mama gena for all your out of the cage ideas. All powerful women help to keep me going. You are wonderful!

  • Wendy October 10, 2017, 12:56 pm

    Wow so on time. My cage is self doubt, fear of the efforts that are required to shift all of the things I want to shift. Work, relationship (single as fuck) $$ situation. Not sure how to decorate it, and this blog today has given me ways to at least soothe myself and acknowledge every accomplishment no matter how small.
    I am attending the “Experience ” weekend in Dec and im excited.

  • Julia P October 10, 2017, 12:40 pm

    Talk about synchronicity! I needed to hear this! I am getting married next week, so the wedding planning stress is at an all-time high. Plus my biggest work project to date is due the day before my wedding. And of course, I am taking it all out on my poor fiance. It is definitely time to decorate the cage AND change! I choose to decorate the cage by allowing myself to listen to my favorite radio station at work, instead of forcing myself into silent solitude. And I choose to change my behavior towards my fiance by surprising him in a sexy outfit when he comes home from out of town tomorrow! Decorating with pleasure 🙂 Thank you Mama Gena!!

  • Joni Clark Stellar October 10, 2017, 12:36 pm

    My cage is depression and chronic pain, a chicken and egg dilemma that continues to pull me down despite humongous efforts to break free. Perhaps decorating this cage with self-compassion and looking beyond the bars will eventually dissolve them. This will be a new path out, by honoring myself and rekindling my passion and power. Thank you!

  • KAVIDA October 10, 2017, 12:35 pm

    My cage is lack of money, job and a society that tries to hinder me. I am decorating my cage by going to the gym, learning French and how to twerk. I put a fur coat on layaway and reading mams genas book(which I pray she signs for me in February when I come see her) How I deAl I dance and sleep naked. Right now I cleaned my room, lit scented candles and I’m watching scary movies.. love you all..

    • Kavida October 11, 2017, 10:08 pm

      Mama I am doing exactly what you said and in really works!! I am reading how to own and operate men.. omg!! You can not believe the results! I thank you 😊

  • Natasha October 10, 2017, 12:26 pm

    My cage has a wall of financial limbo, emotional strain, parental anxieties, and exhaustion! I am hanging on by shear faith and believing this too shall pass. In my waiting, I truly understand why for some it takes 20 yrs to return from buying a pack of cigarettes. (Not saying it’s right, but I understand)

  • Jane October 10, 2017, 12:22 pm

    thank you and bless you! This is just what I needed to read today. My cage was all the way around me before I even realized it. My work life has gone from fulfilling and pleased to a state of confusion and fear in the course of a day. It’s that feeling of constant dread deep in the pit of my stomach that won’t go away, no matter how much I pray or use my spritual tools. And as someone told me before, sometimes the only way around something is through it. So that’s what I am doing, one moment and one hour at a time, knowing I can only do my best effort and the rest is not up to me.

  • K October 10, 2017, 12:19 pm

    I love this just because it says that being in a cage doesn’t mean you’ve failed. I have a chronic illness, a family and other caring responsibilities, a painful marriage, and financial difficulties partly because I can’t work. I’m so weary of being told there must be a way, if I think positive, am more open minded, try harder, look into the options again, I can be well from my genetic disease, leave my husband and somehow support my kids and care for them in my own etc etc. All that has done for me is made me feel a ton of SHAME. To hear that sometimes the cage is real and you just need to keep on keeping on, is such a blessing.

  • Melissa October 10, 2017, 12:11 pm

    Oh the cage the cage !!! With the bars so worn from years of holding on. The fear of single parenting and being responsible for EVERYTHING . Yesterday I was raging, my wild woman was furious.with the same ole jig of not enough and so much to do with so much desire. I had to push through. I was so tired of this space inside the cage. I took myself some where lush in my house and did sex magic, found a way to get out of my head and self pleasured holding my desires in the direct line to god with orgasm. Today is a brand new day, decorated with pleasure from waterfalls and sunshine. after the tropical hurricane storms we have had here in Costa Rica. It is always a ride .

  • SG Rona October 10, 2017, 11:41 am

    sigh.. I’m in a financial cage making every decision to purchase something agonizing, even the small things.

    After reading today’s blog, I am going to focus more on what I already have, the gifts I receive in little and big ways every day, and really embrace my creativity and writing to find new ways to have that support me and my family

  • Patricia October 10, 2017, 11:38 am

    Seem to be on turtle time. Going to finish the race at my pace. Things try to put me in the cage but I keep either escaping or ignoring and resisting the negative mind noise to the best of my strength each day. Being able to catch those self annihilating thoughts and say hey that is not true. I am precious, my life is valid, I am a gift and deserving of all the good each day has to bring is a strength I am continuing to hone. A work in progress for sure but progress none the less!

  • Jen October 10, 2017, 11:06 am

    This could not come at a more perfect time (as all your blog posts seem to do!). I actually just shared with a friend/co-worker as we were talking about how we were stuck/confused about our jobs and home lives how this was one idea I love that mama gena talks about…partying where you are in life! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder as my fearful side of me wants to just run or anxiously jump into something else when the going is tough.

    • brenda Morris October 10, 2017, 11:32 am

      All things have a time and a season. Today at 65, I stand in amazement that in those times I needed help the most It always arrived. Not in my time, but IN TIME. I’m not a religious person BUT I know without a shadow of a doubt: there is a God that watches over me. I spent a career as a E.R Nurse and can speak of things seen but not understood ; a spiritual world. When I need understanding or answers, I write on a cloth with a marker and hang it in the wind. Use bush , tree anywhere the wind can catch , IT WORKS . When the answer is revealed, however , I write a note of gratefulness. THIS WORKS

      • Jen Ritorto October 10, 2017, 2:13 pm

        Ahh! Your response is exactly spot on to the realizations I’ve been having right now about just that topic — spirituality. I’ve been learning so much recently about trusting that we are all divine and God is in us all. Recently, I’ve been letting go and trusting the process more. You just confirmed (I’ve had a couple other ones too that showed me the same message) that spirit is real and that I have nothing to fear..the answers will come in there perfect time. Thank you so much for writing!

  • Sister Goddess Kimberly October 10, 2017, 10:59 am

    I am getting a divorce and I am stuck in a cage of WAITING. Waiting for his ass to be able to meet with my lawyer. A cage of having to tell him I KNOW about all of his lies to me. A cage of lose, anger, anxiety and sadness. I am focusing on self care, pulling friends closer and running to help my head and heart become stronger. Who knew this would be 45 but I am trying to embrace it for what will be on the other side. Thank you Mama Gena for this community.

  • Patricia October 10, 2017, 10:53 am

    Mother, daughter, wife, in home care provider.. Slogging away 24/7.
    Each day i try to decorate my cage, each day i ha e to dig deeper

  • Laura M October 10, 2017, 10:47 am

    I’m in the midst of a divorce that has taken far more than a year. I want to go full no-contact, but we have kids and I’ve been forced to share custody. There are days I want to just give up – this is too hard and hurts too much – and my lack of control in what happens with my kids is killing me. The only way left is through… so I try to focus on building my new life, decorating it with new friends and new experiences, and keep reminding myself that it won’t always be this hard or feel this bad.