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Does your truth hurt?

How hard is it for you to say your truth?
What happens when you see something you are in complete disagreement with?
Do you squirm yourself to silence, inside?
Or flick out the truth like you were tossing a handful of coins in a fountain?
And how about the truth of the way you feel?
Like—let’s say—when you feel scorched with jealousy?
Or unhappy with the way your lover is treating you?
Can you be simple and direct about where you are?
Or do you go to internal overload—like a nuclear power plant in Code Orange, internal sirens blaring?
How about when someone hurts your feelings?
Or disappoints you?
Can you out yourself?
Or do you slam shut like a clam?

What the heck are we so afraid of?
That life as we know it would come to an end?
We would get fired?
Our lover would quit us?
Friends would leave us?
Family might shun us?

When you bury your truth inside, the opposite happens.
You silently and internally fire your boss.  Break up with your lover.  Quit your friends.  And turn your back on your family.
Your truth is your Divinity talking to you.
Otherwise known as your life force.
If you don’t pay attention to her, She can’t exist.

This is not just your challenge, or mine.
There is an international epidemic of women withholding their truth.
The world is starving for the voice of woman.  Parched.
And this is not just a challenge that women face now.
It is a challenge that women have had historically.
When I was in Tanzania last month, we took a few days in Zanzibar.
(Now those are words I can’t believe I got to write, much less, experience!)
I swam in the Indian Ocean, went to a spice farm, and visited a place with the most magical name ever.
The House of Wonders, in Stone Town.

Built in 1883, the House of Wonders was the first place in Zanzibar with electricity.
Now it is a historical museum of the Swahili and Zanzibar culture.
I learned something.
Throughout East Africa, women wear a very specific style of dress, called the Kanga.
The Kanga is a brightly printed piece of fabric, with a strip of words in Swahili down one side.  The words are sometimes a proverb, but sometimes, even more incredibly, they are an outside expression of something going on inside a woman.
Women would wear their truth on the outside.
If a woman was attending the wedding of a girlfriend who was marrying a wealthy, hot man, she might wear a kanga saying “I am desperately jealous of you and your husband!”  Or if she was feeling cocky and flirtatious and very hot, her kanga might read, “You know what I’ve got, what are you staring at?”  Or if she was having a bad day, it might read, “My fate is to be poor, so why should I be enthusiastic about anything?”

I loved this.
Loved.
Beyond loved.
Why?
Well, when a woman is able to live her truth on the outside, she sets herself free.
Free from the invisible slave chains of a culture that asks her to keep herself small and cooperative.  Free from the expectations and demands of what others want from her.  And free to live her full throttle life force—her connection to her divinity.
Truth is sexy.  It is awkward.  It is fresh and delicious.  It is challenging.  It is scary.
Truth is like chlorophyll.
It creates oxygen, not only for you, but for everyone in your world.
It creates freedom.
Inspiration.
You and everyone around you are cut loose from cultural bondage.
The wind of inspiration blows through your hair.
And the world can breathe because a woman has declared herself a priority.

What would happen if we adopted that tradition?
Of wearing our insides on the outside?
What truth would you tell someone today?
What would your Kanga say?
How would your life change if you could speak your deepest most vulnerable truth to everyone in your world?
Tell me in the comments below.

And if you’d like to inspire another woman to speak her deepest truth today, please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

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151 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Abigail Murray-Nikkel October 31, 2013, 12:08 am

    I would show the world that it is good, that it is beautiful. That it is not wrong, that it has not been destroyed. That everyone is beautiful, has a truth, and is on their own journey, and has the power to overcome the challenges they are being faced. I would sing all day long, and dance everywhere I went. I would write poems and books and albums of songs. I would build houses and connect people everywhere I went. I would create circles of women dancing and laughing and making art. I would be a most excellent caretaker of myself and those around me. I would shine.

  • Turiyas June 15, 2013, 4:46 pm

    I’ve been playing around with this idea, being one with your inner thoughts and outer actions. It came to a surprise recently when a friend had a very different story to tell about me. I think this is a great first step in experimenting with the idea of boldly showing your deepest internal dialogue, liberating to say the least. Creating a sense of purity all the way through your being. The flow that would follow…

  • Glinda/Linda August 29, 2012, 9:52 am

    My Kanga would say, I may appear to be the same person you know, but this body has a new improved being, living within it. Beware!

  • thea August 29, 2012, 12:49 am

    My Kanga: I already have everything I want, now remind me to slow down and enjoy it.

  • Emery August 28, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I recently had to speak my truth to a close girlfriend, and it made her pretty upset. I discovered we really had vastly different values (she only wanted to date rich men and didn’t care about anything else about them). Since another girlfriend moved out of the country, I am finding it challenging to form bonds with women in the city that already seem to be so busy with their own lives. How can I find quality friendships in a big city?

  • Suzi Banks Baum August 28, 2012, 12:34 pm

    My kanga would be a stripe of green water and blue sky and dark skies speckled with stars and lush pinks throughout…and it would say….”I am an extraordinary woman and so are you. Truth licks me clean.” That is what it would say today, “Truth licks me clean”. I am having some deep openings with my teens about how we relate and scary as it can be, our mutual truths lick our family clean too.

    Thank you Mama. I love this thread. I want to draw my Kanga. Will report back. xo S

    • Kathleen August 28, 2012, 3:39 pm

      Love this BSG Fluffer Suzy

  • Tara Dixon August 28, 2012, 11:25 am

    What a wonderful blog and discussion following.
    My kanga would say:
    Now is my time.

  • Caroline August 28, 2012, 10:50 am

    My Kanga would say:
    Yes, these are ugly scars on my face and yes you do detect some deformity to my nose and lip and perhaps you are uncomfortable (I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for your discomfort). I ask that you see further than what is wrong with me. There is a beauty and brilliance to me anyway (have you noticed my eyes? my hands?) and I have so very much of meaning to say from these imperfect lips.

  • Jamie August 28, 2012, 10:05 am

    My Kanga would say, “You shouldn’t have left me crying alone in a hotel room that night so you could go out and have a good time. I am angry with shoving my truth down in favor of keeping the peace…and I am angry with you for being cold, when all you demand of me is continued, forced undertanding.”

  • Magaly August 24, 2012, 5:54 pm

    My Canga would say: I’m having some blue days! 🙁 But I KNOW I CAN MAKE IT TROUGH IT! 🙂 Express yourself N be authentic, my dear 😉

  • Linda August 21, 2012, 8:50 am

    My Kanga reads, “This life is a love song to myself, and that is my gift to the world.” My pleasure, my play, my desires. The upheaval brings the peace, the exhilaration brings the joy – grief, sadness, and pain brings deep connection and illuminates my heart and soul. Heaven simply means unconditional love. This is not always easy or logical in this world, but it is the truth.

  • SG Allison Out Loud August 20, 2012, 9:05 pm

    What a beautiful post and an exhilarating idea. I feel vertigo just thinking about it.
    The problem is, I can’t imagine one truth applying to an entire hour, much less an entire day. My inner landscape shifts so quickly.
    Here’s one for now, though:

    “UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
    Just in general.

  • Marie August 19, 2012, 4:21 pm

    When I started standing up for myself and speaking honestly, the people I thought would back me the most, the people most important to me, turned on me. It’s odd, but many of those who want you to make change, don’t really want it. You’ve disturbed their comfort. They want peace and love and hugs (no offense to those three great things) over the truth. Telling the truth rocks boats. Even people who think they like their boats rocked, really don’t. It takes amazing strength to be honest, but it takes even more to hear it.

    • Marie August 19, 2012, 4:47 pm

      Also, those who tell their truth I have the greatest respect for whether I agree with them or not. It’s the act of telling their truth that I admire. But as far as “truth” is concerned, it can be very subjective. (This subject has really got me thinking!! )

  • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 3:28 pm

    I’m ashamed to know my boldness and stubbornness, in all its glory.
    I’m embarrassed at the ways I shame myself. I am my best enemy.
    I see how I still misdirect my power, as I don’t yet know what it’s all about.
    I want to know how to harness it, but I’m afraid of all that could be, should I land it right.
    In spite of myself, I do love BEing ME.

    “Then like a noble horse
    Smart under the whip.
    Burn and be swift.”
    ~Buddha

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 3:52 pm

      I own this truth. I revel in it

  • Rose Petals August 18, 2012, 9:35 am

    I see now that I am not living my life & why am I limiting & stopping myself. Mad as hell with this lesson, having read theses comments I feel myself softening X

  • Fisha Nsilo-Swai- Martin August 17, 2012, 7:25 pm

    I am actually from Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I think that itss so wonderful that yo visited our country and espcially the great destination of zanzibar! Its part of our culture to wrap ourselves in a khanga to express ourselves as mama gena rightfully points out each khanga bears a different message for every occassion. There are bad and good sayings according to the specific occassion . Sometimes its easy to know the mood aof a typical coastal swahili woman by reading whatever expressions are written on her khanga. Not all women follow the sayings but a good majority are concious about the sayings on the khanga and there is a following on what to wear and what not to wear paricularly in terms of sayings anc colours as these all have different meanings !!!

    • regena August 18, 2012, 8:21 am

      fisha-
      i was just in the town of moshi- at the foot of kili! i was doing service work there, with my daughter at the kaloleni school. it is wonderful to have you here, in the sister goddess community!
      xo

  • SG Ditte August 15, 2012, 11:47 pm

    Love,Love , Love the Kanga! I brag that I got up after reading your beautiful story Mama…took a piece of cloth and made a belt to wear tomorrow! I will write my Truth on it firstthng when I wake up and carry it on the out side all day… It’s all ready to go! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • CoCo August 15, 2012, 10:11 pm

    I was on the Virtual Boot Camp call tonight- just wanted to thank you for all your beautiful insights and positivity. It was a miracle to hear your voice, Mama!

    My Kanga would say: “I know I’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time. Maybe my whole life. But I also know that the power to break free lies inside me, and it’s coming out- so LOOK OUT!”

  • Beth August 15, 2012, 10:04 pm

    My Kanga would read: I’m sexy and I know it!

  • Dawn August 15, 2012, 3:22 pm

    I think people have a heard time hearing the truth because, lets face it, the truth can hurt like hell! I hear so many people say “Please, tell me the truth. I won’t get mad.” and so sooner then I open my mouth they are pissed at me. I try to live me life authentically and truthful but some people cannot handle this, so I have to make adjustments – but I do not lie I just don’t say anything. I would rather be silent then speak. I try to follow the Buddhists. Their principle is, before you say anything, ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it useful? This is a helpful guide so you are not being called judgmental at every turn.

    • martine August 15, 2012, 6:02 pm

      Same here, been too honoust with everone. I’ve quit telling the truth all the time to everyone, saying less helps. I’d rather say the truth,but prefer people who are not angry with me…

  • Paula August 15, 2012, 2:52 pm

    My kanga would say, “bring it”

    • tianna August 16, 2012, 2:23 am

      Powerful.

  • Jen August 15, 2012, 2:39 pm

    “I don’t really believe that things are going to work out well for me, much less that I will be happy”

  • SG HotChilli August 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

    My kanga would wear today: I am breaking free no matter what

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen August 15, 2012, 12:13 pm

    It took me 25 years to speak my truth, or rather, my truth finally got louder than my denial when she said, “Get your ass out of dodge…now”. That would be my divorce for those of you uninitiated! It got my ass out of dodge, and into a whole new life, a miraculous one.

    I actually got stuck in that quicksand of denial from sucking it up my whole life. Be the good girl, be the BEST girl you can be, so that you can heal your alcoholic family, etc. Choose the story du jour…we all have one, really the same story, different details, and it is quicksand because avoiding the truth means avoiding your life, your grandeur, your magnificence.

    It’s been a long road back and often hilarious, but as we announced our intentions in Kitty Cavalier’s seduction class recently, my voice rang out with my intention loud and proud…NO MORE FAKING IT!

  • Imperatrix August 15, 2012, 7:23 am

    MINE WOULD SAY I LOVE
    LOVE
    LOVEEEEE REGENA!

  • Lisa August 15, 2012, 5:09 am

    I will recommend the “Radical Honesty” book by Brad Blanton in this matter. I just attended a workshop, it was very powerful. Here are some qoutes from the Radical Honesty site:

    “Radical Honesty is direct communication that leads to intimacy in relationships. When people stop pretending, they can powerfully create their future together.”

    “Energy that was wasted maintaining a performance for the sake of other people is suddenly available for real creativity.”

    This is good! Let’s all be free and tell the truth about ourselves!

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 3:02 pm

      This!

  • Elly August 15, 2012, 3:01 am

    My kanga would say “I admit I’m terrified of massive success”

    • T. L. Cooper August 24, 2012, 8:27 pm

      Owning it is the first step to overcoming it… Imagine what the worst thing that can happen is if you achieve the massive success you fear. Now imagine yourself handling it. You will see you can do it.
      I offer this idea to you because I, too, have struggled with a fear of success, and while it still rears its ugly head from time to time, this technique often helps me work through the fear.

      • Elly August 29, 2012, 3:43 am

        Thank you for your support SG! x

  • tianna August 15, 2012, 12:56 am

    My Kanga: “I desire progression, but insecurity keeps me stagnant.”

  • Tiger Zane August 15, 2012, 12:49 am

    MmmHmm!
    My kanga would read, “Don’t fuck with me! I’m not acting nice anymore!”
    That feels great to say!!

  • Peggy G August 14, 2012, 11:43 pm

    My Kanga would say that at 55 I’m studying for a new career. I’m thrilled, excited, and scared to life!

  • Jill August 14, 2012, 11:15 pm

    Mama Gena,

    I have followed you from a distance for the past year and I have got to tell you that you have been on fire lately! Thanks for the inspiration and good advice. On my kanga today I would write I will stop making excuses and follow the wisdom of the little internal whispers(sometimes shouts!) many thanks.

  • Vulvanica August 14, 2012, 9:32 pm

    My Kanga would read: Go away! I want some ME TIME!!!

  • SG Lois August 14, 2012, 8:20 pm

    My Kanga would read today – I am tired. Tired of the heat. Tired of the ants that have been invading the house for a week. Tired of worrying about money. Tired of pretending that everything is ok. Simply tired.

  • Chantal August 14, 2012, 8:13 pm

    That is a very very juicy post Mama. Thanks, a bucketful of rose petals.

    My Kanga today would read:

    I will do exactly what feels right for me, even if it does not fit or suit the rest of the world expectation of me.

  • Karen August 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

    My Kanga would simply read “I AM”

  • Latasha August 14, 2012, 7:17 pm

    My truth has been long buried. I once was bold and confident. Through the years that light has been growing dimmer and dimmer. Now that I see that it is time for change. I allowed myself for far too long to bury my truth to please others and now its time I put myself first. There is a fear in me that I will get to judgement day and be asked what did I do with my life. Not what I did for others ? what did I do with my gift of life, only to say my fear led me to throw it away? My truth is be ready world Mama Tiger is coming and she is fierce.

  • Deborah Smith August 14, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Awesome, Awesome Awesome. Mama Gena you are SO generous!!!
    thank you SO much.

  • Sally August 14, 2012, 4:56 pm

    My Kanga today would say, “I love myself and I love my man!” And I might pee my little Kanga out of fear of being shunned by my family….but its Kanga time ladies!

  • vermillion August 14, 2012, 4:39 pm

    My kanga would read: I AM SCARED! Went back to school, starting a new career, not making as much money as I used to. I knew that would be the case, and I know that eventually that will change. And I know I am in a field that fills my heart, and that will stand the test of time. After reading this wonderful blog I decided to search my soul for what would make me feel less scared and more free, and I am going to do that thing. Letting go of my fear, putting it out there, has energized me this afternoon; I’ve gotten so much done. Thank you, Mama Gena and Sister Goddesses. I love you all so much!

  • Janani August 14, 2012, 4:32 pm

    My kanga would say ” I am scared although I pretend everyday I am not.”

  • Cynthea Denise August 14, 2012, 2:45 pm

    My truth today: “I am terrified at times, I am doing my best to build my business that serves women (and their men) to find the very best of what is possible in the world of birthing into parenthood.”

  • T. L. Cooper August 14, 2012, 2:36 pm

    I write poetry. I used to hide that poetry because it was the place where I expressed my truth freely, openly, and without fear of judgment. Last year I decided to gather all the poetry together and publish it. In the time since, I have published three books of poetry that reveal more truth about me than almost anyone knew. In the process, I spoke to a friend about my fear of exposing too much of my truth. His response was to remind me that one of my goals is to use my words to help others and that publishing those poems had the potential to do just that. I have had to answer for some of the truths I revealed. Some didn’t have the desired effect. But, all in all, since publishing the books, I feel a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in years. I don’t regret publishing the books or revealing the truths within.
    I find it easier to reveal my truth in daily life to those around me since I’ve released the books. I’m still not great at it and often will write a poem or two or ten before I’m ready to reveal my truth, but I am getting better at it. And, if the need to hesitate before revealing my truth results in inspiration of for my work, all the better!

    • Kelli August 15, 2012, 5:24 pm

      This is awesome!

  • Cynthia August 14, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Regena, I looooooove this. Too long did I feel like being “small and cooperative” would get me where I wanted to be in life. It wasn’t until I got bossy and expressive that men found me irresistable and sexy. May I always know the truth – what I want matters and needs to be heard.

  • lesley August 14, 2012, 1:48 pm

    I absolutely love this….and what perfect timing. I just told my boss this morning that I’m going back to school to get my master’s degree and change career paths. Ah, to speak what I have been holding back in fear for months…truth…it feels like freedom, freshness, hope, electricity in my body. If I was wearing a kanga today it would say “I am pursuing a career in alignment with who I am, and damn it feels good!”

    • Deborah Smith August 14, 2012, 7:09 pm

      Go Goddess!!!

  • alice petzold August 14, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I recently saw a facebook post from my colleague Mark Hunter. It said “the truth will set you free… but first it will piss you off.”

    I loved it. And I love the idea of wearing it so we own it and live it.

    Today… and everyday. Own it. Live it. Love it. It’s uniquely yours… and exquisitely beautiful.

    My Kanga would say…I am sophisticated and snuggly. I am a change agent. A big hearted bold intrusion of love.

    xoxox to all

    • Chantal August 14, 2012, 8:08 pm

      Oh yes …piss you off first that one got a hearty laugh out of me sister…

      soo real.

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 2:58 pm

      “Bold intrusion of love”
      Juicy!

  • Mary August 14, 2012, 1:31 pm

    My kanga would read: I am so fucking stuck in procrastination, I am ashamed of my social anxiety, and I am pretty hot and sexy.

    • regena August 14, 2012, 1:33 pm

      yeah, baby!!! love your kanga!

  • Cheryl August 14, 2012, 1:28 pm

    My Kanga would read, “I have failed to live up to my own expectations. I need some time to regroup.”

  • Leigh August 14, 2012, 1:13 pm

    My kanga would say, “I am integrating all the new and exciting, and clearing out the old and obsolete. And when I’m done with this phase, watch me burst into magnificence!”

  • Lily August 14, 2012, 1:11 pm

    My Kanga would say “I feel scared, unstable, and pained as I work to bring my every day activities (communication, thought, actions) into alignment with my true values.”

  • Earth Empress August 14, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I LOVE every delicious word you write so full of beauty truth and heart I am flying inside regal Regena!

    We are afraid to speak out truth because we are afraid something bad might happen…when we deny ourselves, something bad already has happened!

    Step in your most powerful jeans, pull on your warrior-ess t-shirt, find that necklace or earrings that are medicine for you. Go to the mirror and put a flower in your hair. Go out into the world and face your greatest fear right now!

    Xxo Shakaya

  • Lauren Harkness August 14, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Thank you Regena for this post!! I love the idea of freedom through truth. Thank you thank you thank you!
    My kanga would read “this year I discovered how very powerful and STRONG I am. Through tradgedy, grief, heartbreak, unconditional self love, beautiful love and partnership, booming business and success, I learned I am a lover of hearts, and “still I rise.”

  • Dawn August 14, 2012, 12:54 pm

    It would say. “I am deeply hurt and angry that my family is taking a vacation in October without me because I had a breakdown at the last family vacation and they want to ensure an enjoyable vacation.”
    I have never felt so separate from them. They were all here last weekend and I chickened out telling them my truth because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I know it’s hurting me keeping it all in but I am scared.

  • Susan August 14, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Tell me more about this Kanga – it’s hard to get a visual. Better yet, do you have a picture of these feelings/thoughts/emotions? Is this printed in words or pictures? Is the woman in the photo wearing one? If so, where are these thoughts? Having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

    I’ve recently started practicing speaking my truth and it feels great, Mama! Do they write on their clothes everyday?

  • Ophelia August 14, 2012, 12:40 pm

    My kanga today would say, ” I would give anything to be free of the hormonal mood rollercoaster caused by my monthly menses because I am tired of being miserable for a whole week out of every single month!” 🙁

  • Casey August 14, 2012, 12:37 pm

    My kanga today says: “This marriage is bringing out the worst in me and changing me into someone I don’t like. I’m afraid to tell my husband that I want out because I do love him and he’s a good man. I’m afraid of hurting him.”

  • SG Sofia August 14, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Today my Kanga would read: I AM still deeply Wounded and ANGRY by your betrayal!

  • Lisa August 14, 2012, 12:00 pm

    My kanga would read: “I do not want to be a mom anymore.”

    This broken child of mine is breaking me down.

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 2:52 pm

      The only way to endure love is to love more.
      I wish you both so many blessings for well-being

  • Ann Paquin August 14, 2012, 11:37 am

    My Kanga: I wish I could write something soooooooooooooo juicy, hot and inspiring.

  • SG Ti, Sugarbitch August 14, 2012, 11:31 am

    Today, my kanga would read: My brain is closed for rewiring; try again next month.

    • Chantal August 14, 2012, 8:07 pm

      Love it !

  • little jo August 14, 2012, 11:17 am

    I bless every Tuesday for the inspiring posts Mama writes here that make us seek for ourselves deeper. Our true fine precious selves we’ve been deprived of and with whome the sky has no limits… And I bless all my sisters for sharing their experiences with me, I get wiser with their help.

    My Kanga for today would say: ‘I am in love with myself and the world’ 🙂

  • SG "Infinite Paths Wolf" August 14, 2012, 10:53 am

    This morning my Kanga, my truth-on-the-outside would say:

    “I am scared that I will go back to the man I have been on&off with for 16 years. I thought I was over him and ready to move on. I am also scared that my 21 year old son will never move out or get a job or go to college.”

    ….that feels better. Being truthful.

  • N A T A L I E n L A August 14, 2012, 10:48 am

    My truth revealed itself in upset after 6 mths of being with my guy, who stopped being intimate with me 3 mths ago, … I told him I wanted a lover and that his big beautiful house and all his things were fantastic… yet not at the determent of my well being.
    He said he couldn’t give me what I wanted… I believe him… he then opted for a break-UP.

    It’s painFUL, I love, appreciate and adore this man…and I rest in the integrity of my truth…
    My Kanga reads: ” I live by my ‘TRUST-FUND”…. trusting in the universe!
    Thank you, Regina for creating this forum!! xo

  • Denise August 14, 2012, 10:44 am

    Thank you Gena for this inspirational message. There are no coincidences. Your message validated the letter of amends I had JUST finished writing before I read your beautiful words. I wore my insides on the outside by writing that letter. I cleared my side of the street, so to speak. I apologized proudly and did not grovel, all the while speaking my truth. I acknowledged my truth as I see it. I love the idea of a Kanga. It washes us so clean to claim our truth, when it is pretty and even when it isn’t. Truth is power! Your messages are such a blessing. Sending you infinite wishes of bountiful pleasure and all the love your heart can hold!

  • Dee Anna August 14, 2012, 10:28 am

    Thanks for the reminder of the beautiful culture of East Africa. I spent 5 weeks in Moshi, Tanzania in 2010 and had the privilege of interacting with these women. I too have a Kanga that was given to me by Mama Naseem, the woman who ran the school I volunteered at. My last day, they wrapped me in it and it was an emotional experience. The Kanga they gave me reads Daima Nitakukumbuka in Swahili, which means “we will never forget you.” That trip was an AHA moment in my life. Humbling, life changing. Today my kanga would read…”To Thine Own Self Be True”. Thanks again for this beautiful reminder of my trip and the women of East Africa.

    • regena August 14, 2012, 1:32 pm

      sigh…..that was beyond delicious.

    • Deborah Smith August 14, 2012, 7:07 pm

      WOW!!! That blows me up. a total uplift!!!
      Thank you SG Dee Anna

  • Kate August 14, 2012, 10:27 am

    My Kanga would simply say “Cassandra”. I have spoken my truth, repeatedly and am currently dealing with others saying “you didn’t tell me.” Truth is, you can’t tell someone anything if they won’t listen. I like the idea of wearing it on a kanga; it doubles as documentation for Apollo’s revisionist memory.

    • Deborah Smith August 14, 2012, 7:02 pm

      Love this about “Apollo’s revisionist memory”!
      Thanks!!!

      • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Me too!

  • Claudia August 14, 2012, 10:21 am

    My Kanga reads: ” I am thrilled that I had the courage to enroll myself in Mama Gena’s Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp course! I am learning how to create a life based on my joy and my pleasure! YEAH!”

  • Jill Martin (SG Jill is MAGIC) August 14, 2012, 10:16 am

    oh Mama, this post so speaks to me and my deep codependent nature. My life is filled with opportunity to tell people I love “no”, or ‘back off’ or “I just don’t like it”. Having a friend working for me, working on my art, having opinions about my art…that’s the button du jour. It’s MY art, why do I feel so uncomfortable saying my opinion! It’s just crazy. I like what Lola said about the discomfort in the freedom. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to practice speaking up again and again and I am thankful to be supported by this community as I push myself to live bigger. And telling my truth to my lover is even more difficult. Love the Kanga, love your Journey to the House of Wonders – My Kanga today would read “It’s MY art, back off!!!”

    • SG Sofia August 14, 2012, 12:00 pm

      Love this SG Jill is Magic. Such a powerful TRUTH! xo

  • Laura11 August 14, 2012, 10:03 am

    I bow in gratitude to all of you.

    My Kanga would read:
    I am strong, alive, and free.
    In Love, Everything responds.

    • regena August 14, 2012, 10:11 am

      amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing gorgeous deep heartfelt posts. i am uplifted sisters. upfuckinglifted.

  • Joy August 14, 2012, 9:49 am

    My Kanga would say, ” Who are these strangers that appeared in my life as “family” and “friends”?!?

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 2:13 pm

      Ooh, good one! In a way, they are another aspect of you, and you of them. Separate but part of the ONE. Allow them to help you grow yourself, as you learn to allow them as well. You can revel in the unknown! As you become familiar with and learn to Live your truth, this ‘strangeness’ will subside. They may even follow your example (:

  • Jen Sparkles August 14, 2012, 9:44 am

    Wow! I needed this today. My kanga would say “I am a stay at home mom with two healthy children! My life is simple, enjoyable, and pleasurable, and focused on my PLEASURE, my family, and friendships. I am inspired by working for my friend Tova and helping women (and men!) find their MUCHNESS! I also give back to mamas who lost babies.” I’d do this by finally asking my boss if I can work part time. I’d only work two days a week so I could focus only on what pleases me above. I wouldn’t be afraid of our money situation because I know that money would flow in our direction….

  • melissa August 14, 2012, 9:33 am

    Mine would say I just realized that I am codependent in many ways…:p

    • Rebecca August 15, 2012, 9:44 am

      Melissa- I had that realization 5 years ago and knowing it has helped me so much! I have been working through it and recognizing those patterns so much more quickly now. Melody Beady does some great writing on Co-dependency. Good luck to you-overtime working through it gets easier!

  • Molly August 14, 2012, 9:33 am

    My Kanga, “I think death is beautiful.”

  • PATRICIA August 14, 2012, 9:24 am

    MINE WOULD READ, I WAS PLAYED. I KNEW THE FIRST DAY HE WAS NOTHING BUT A PLAYER AND LEFT SEVERAL TIMES BUT HE KEEP BRINGING ME BACK BEGGING ME NOT TO LEAVE HIM. HE WAS SO DAMAGED I FELT SORRY FOR HIM AND HE WAS INTELLIGENT, SHARP, SUCCESSFUL AND FUNNY. I STARTED TO CARE AND THEN FELL HARD ONLY TO BE DUMPED WITHOUT WARNING OR A WORD AFTER 13 MONTHS. I HURT SO MUCH, HE WOULD NOT EVEN TALK TO ME TO TELL ME WHY SO I GOT MAD AND REMEMBERED A CONVERSATION WE HAD VERY EARLY IN OUR RELATIONSHIP. HE REALLY LIKED TO ROLE PLAY. AFTER I TOLD HIM I WAS NOT INTERESTED SEVERAL TIMES IN THE BEGINNING I GAVE IN BUT I TOLD HIM , IF HE PLAYED WITH ME TO ALWAYS REMEMBER I COULD OUT THINK HIM AND OUT PLAY HIM SO HE BETTER UP HIS GAME!! FIRST DATE I SAID, LET THE GAMES BEGIN AND SO IT STARTED. MY HEART BROKEN, TEARS RUNNING DOWN MY FACE. HUMILIATION AND THEN I KNEW HOW TO SAVE FACE AND COME OUT THE WINNER INSTEAD OF THE LOOSER. I SENT HIM AN EMAIL AND WROTE IN THE SUBJECT LINE SORE LOOSER, YOU WANTED TO ROLE PLAY I TOLD YOU IN THE BEGINNING I COULD OUT PLAY YOU, OUT THINK YOU,YOU FELL FOR EVERY WORD, THE PLAYER HAS BEEN PLAYED!! I WOULD WEAR THE WORDS EVEN THROUGH HUMILIATION AND PAIN, HEARTBREAK AND LONLINESS, MY SPIRIT IS STRONG, DENTED NOW BUT IN THE END I SAVED FACE AND HE WILL ALWAYS WONDER IF MAYBE HE WAS PLAYED. HE WAS DAMAGED GOODS , I DESERVE MUCH BETTER THAN HE COULD EVER BE AND I WILL FIND IT!! THIS PAIN WILL PASS, MY HEART WILL HEAL.

    • Jane August 14, 2012, 9:45 am

      Next time trust your gut. You see how you already knew.

    • pamela August 14, 2012, 10:06 am

      Patricia, Thankyou for sharing, I too was played, just 10 days ago he was my lover, wanted to be my everything, loved me beyond measure. I also knew in the very beginning that it just didnt feel right , the way he fell so rapturously in love with me so quickly. He is so charming, so funny, so beautiful to look at. I didnt listen to my inner knowing, because to be honest it feels really good to be so adored. So you just ride this wave of adoration. But now I, just like you are completely dumped, no calls, no explanation, just nothing. I smile as I write this because in my heart I knew, the red flags were waving. I choose to ignore them. I really feel he was in my life to teach me to LISTEN to my heart, my intuition, my soul. It is a lesson I apparently needed to learn. So thru my tears, I need to be thankful, honestly this is easier sometimes than others. I wish him well, truley. I hope that someday he will able to open his heart and be honest with a woman, if not he will never know its power. This will not keep me from loving with an open heart. Because that is who I am. But I will listen more to myself, pay closer attention to what my body is telling me, adore myself more, and love my life. Its another lesson to be learned on this journey, and I have peace in my heart… and I release it…. Have a beautiful day

      • tianna August 15, 2012, 12:44 am

        Thank you for sharing this, Patricia. I had my heart broken three times in a short period of time last year. I applaud your strength and how that won’t prevent you from keeping an open heart. I realize that I, to this day, feel completely scorned and my husband pays for my past. I will adopt your plan of action and begin to adore myself and love my life so I can reopen my heart and my husband and I can reap the beautiful, bountiful rewards.

        • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 2:02 pm

          The “broken heart” could instead be a heart So Wide Open that it Bursts from its seems!!
          This is the pain of our necessary conditioning, and like any muscle that flexes, it will burn from time to time. With any exercise, any challenge, we must push the limits a little bit, work it for all we can, and then take a rest so the fibers can rebuild.
          Becoming stronger, swifter, wiser.
          The only way to endure love is to Love More!! Give yourSelf over to LOVE! Begin withIN. LET you love YOU.
          Unfettered compassion, doled out with total abandon. It is the Eternal Bound-Less-ness, an IN-Light-enment, so to speak.
          We don’t need to pine for another’s attention and affection to feel validation; to justify our existence. Already, WE ARE and We Are ALL Beautiful! REAL-Eyes this!
          Expectation breeds frustration, and resistance creates a dilapidated state of tension, so Re-Lease to the potentials. Let them develop within you.
          Surrender to the creative and healing POWER of LOVE!
          Life causes stretch marks. Choose to Grow Your Love.
          Sow it Freely, tend to it from time to time (Nourish It!), and then rest your mind and heal your thought Process in this very lovely garden of respite.
          BE still awhile, In All You Are, and enjoy even the weeds that grow, your sore muscles from playing hard in the dirt, your Capacity for BEing Beautiful, just as you are.
          BE the sweet luscious Goddess You Are and Allow yourself to Revel in the infinite.
          You will witness the sensational world with every bit of your BEing, as it showers you with a love so Good you may think it hard to bear more!
          Become so blown wide open that you no longer worry about boundaries..as you expand INto and Beyond everything you thought was possible!!
          No regrets…ever (:

    • Mizchar August 15, 2012, 10:47 am

      OUCH!! Next time you hear something like that from a player just remember this……….RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!
      Of course you could just smile and move on as well, if you have healed.

    • Edeananda August 18, 2012, 5:55 pm

      Revised this a bit for a fb post this all inspired…

      A ‘broken heart’ can be a heart burst OPEN so wide that it no longer has seems!
      All are deserving of love, but not all can handle the growing pains. Give it anyways.
      Love can make you grow wings!
      It smarts a bit as you adjust to its creative power, but do not resist it when you begin to feel it develop in you.
      First Love Yourself-F.L.Y.

      A.N. said~ “Children don’t know the value of diamond. They play it like glass pieces, but it doesn’t mean that it is worthless.”

      We seek completion, validation and recognition through our others, though what we really want is Personal Re-Cognition.
      We just don’t Real-Eyes. Projection is reflection!
      Beauty’s In the eye of the beholder.

      The diamond is a prism, cast by the pressures of the world, reflecting the myriads colors of its light.

      There is Immeasurable Value IN BEING..
      both the light and the prism.

      BE hue you are…teehee (-;

  • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 9:23 am

    It is truly shocking how much I needed this today! I am struggling with learning to understand, share, and live my truth and I am currently forced to be in a situation where I have to begin to do that. If I wore my truth right now it would read, ‘My truth scares me and I don’t even know what it is”.

    • regena August 14, 2012, 10:09 am

      what an exciting place to stand, rebecca!

      • Rebecca August 15, 2012, 9:45 am

        You know…you’re right! I feel like after this bit of chaos good things will come! Thanks again!

  • Detox Diva Donna August 14, 2012, 9:19 am

    Speaking your truth is power. The power of now!

  • Gypsy August 14, 2012, 9:13 am

    Mine would say something which would DEFINITELY get me fired!

  • Zoila August 14, 2012, 8:59 am

    Empty, My truth is I mst let go the past leave Now for myself.

  • Jayne August 14, 2012, 8:44 am

    My Kanga, “I woke up this morning dreaming that Maggie Gyllenhaal and I were lovers. It was a very nice dream to wake up to. I want to be with someone famous, and talented and sexy. I want to be famous and confident and have a naughty “Secretary” D/s relationship. I just need to believe that my dreams can come true and in fact they are suposed to.

  • Jennifer August 14, 2012, 8:43 am

    This was the first thing I read this morning and what a beautiful way to start the day. Thank you for your loving, honest, gorgeous story.
    My kanga today would read: “This job is not for me. Time for new and brighter opportunities, time for a voice, for expression, for being bold and having fun!”

  • Olivia Lane August 14, 2012, 8:32 am

    My Kanga would say, “I’m creating a vibrant career with fulfilling income for myself. I just wish it would manifest sooner!”

  • Jenny August 14, 2012, 8:31 am

    My kanga would say,”My word of the day is NO……”….I’m always the closer and cleanerupper…NO more..

  • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 8:27 am

    Mama,

    Thank you!!!!!!! This pounds deep in my solar plexus!!!! A few weeks ago, I scrawled Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” all over a pair of my jeans. At times in my life, I have worn face paint to express my anger or grief. I LOVE this tradition. I love how bold and straightforward it is.

    I am going to adopt it. WHO’S WITH ME?!

    Rebecca xoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxo

    • Deborah Smith August 14, 2012, 6:54 pm

      I am seriously open to considering the possibility of this.

    • tianna August 15, 2012, 12:34 am

      I’m definitely with you. I love that idea. It’s sassy and powerful!

    • Gypsy Lee August 16, 2012, 4:17 am

      I love the idea of writing a poem on your jeans! This is wow, and just like wearing a Kanga!!!!!!
      Yes we have to honour our feelings by making them known, and for our children and our children”s children. They so need this. Stop the mask-wearing.
      Thanks Rebecca – and Gena
      I am with you 100%
      Lee 🙂

  • Lola August 14, 2012, 8:21 am

    The truth does set us free; it’s not a given that the truth won’t hurt. If you’re not accustomed to freedom, it can feel uncomfortable and awkward. Let this emptiness be filled with freedom. What does freedom mean? its scent? its emotion? its freshness?

  • Kristy August 14, 2012, 7:56 am

    My kanga would say, “I feel incredibly small and alone swimming against the cultural current that mistakes (and adores) electronic connection in place of real intimacy. I miss conversations in my home, and I mourn the loss my children don’t even know they are suffering in a post-digital age.”

    • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 8:27 am

      oh kristy,
      i feel with you

      • Ophelia August 14, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Oh ladies, I feel what you are saying – but remember, YOU are the mother! That means YOU are the boss! That means YOU can set rules, like no electronics at the table, or no electronics after 6, or whatever – It makes me sad to see so many, many parents give in to their children for whatever reason – they don’t wanna hear the back talk, or they dont want to deal with a tantrum – but guess what, that’s what kids do, and that’s part of being a parent, and I believe they will thank you when they are older. Be strong!!

        • Chantal August 14, 2012, 7:59 pm

          Oh Ophelia…sooo true…I don’t just don’t understand when parents are unhappy with their children because THEY, the parents. have not set boundaries and limits…I raised 3 wonderful boys on my own….and they never where allowed free electronic or tv or gun toys ….and I never had to complain about them watching too much tv or listening to loud music in the house…

          and guess what they have grown into lovely caring young adult, one is a dancer, one a lawyer -businessman and the other a mecanic…So I brag, yah I do…I set limits…and that has set them free and me also !!

  • Melanie Campbell August 14, 2012, 7:48 am

    My Kanga would say to my lover, quit canceling on me, it’s giving me a complex. You are seeing someone else, I know. Im getting older, but I’m getting younger. If I wore my truth on the outside, I would feel clean on the inside. My mind would be clear enough to put new productive, creative and fun thoughts inside. If we as women adopted this tradition, oh my goodness, the world would be a very fun and beautiful place.

    • Courtesan CeeCee August 14, 2012, 8:33 am

      Mama Gena, thank you for this post. Melanie, thank you for this truth:
      “If I wore my truth on the outside, I would feel clean on the inside.”
      Yes! A revelation, and yet so obvious.

      • Courtesan-in-training August 29, 2012, 9:48 pm

        I love what you said Courtesan CeeCee, and of course, I love your name!!

    • Linda August 14, 2012, 9:19 am

      I love this, but where do I start

      • regena August 14, 2012, 10:08 am

        where to start? get your curious ass in boot camp. this is what i do for and with women.

  • Stephanie August 14, 2012, 7:46 am

    Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! My kanga would read, “Yesterday sucked, but today is a brand new day and I’m gonna meet it head-on in my new purple shoes!”

  • Lori Robin August 14, 2012, 7:31 am

    My kanga would say, “I am adrift in a Huge sea and floating without direction, but I know that is ok for right now.”

  • Christina August 14, 2012, 7:30 am

    I like this idea. It takes complete ownership of oneself. No dialogue no questions just pure self expression in its simplest form and no theatrics. It’s amazing what lives in traditions of other cultures which we take care of in therapy. There’s allot of power in this.

  • jessamina Longislandgoddess August 14, 2012, 7:15 am

    My Kanga would say: “I am frustrated with my lack of progress”
    wah.

    • Karen August 14, 2012, 8:04 pm

      I hear that one! Yet I’m making my stubborn side lead the way.

  • Meditatecreate August 14, 2012, 7:14 am

    So thoroughly enjoyed this post. So often these days blog posts are so in satisfying.

    I loved the idea of wearing your truth on your kanga –

    It would be so refreshing to see how vulnerable we all are and realize that’s such a normal part of being human rather than something we need to hide.

    Thanks, come visit Australia mama gena!

  • Becky August 14, 2012, 7:05 am

    My heart is breaking to leave my grown children to start a new life. I know they need the separation from me as much as I need it. It is hard to let go. I have a need to Control everything and I must let that go as well.

    • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 8:28 am

      you can do it

    • pamela August 14, 2012, 9:40 am

      Sweet Becky, I too know the pain of letting go, I remember it well. But when you let go a wonderful thing happens, they come back when they need to feel your love, when they need the comfort of home, when they need a soft place to fall, you are the one place they will always feel safe and loved… Then your relationship with them changes into something deeper. They will share their lives with you. You will grow and become a different woman, finding your joy now. Its an exciting journey…

      • Jane August 14, 2012, 11:07 am

        Becky, what Pamela is saying is the TRUTH (wear it on your kanga!). After years of being many miles apart (sometimes geographically, sometimes emotionally and spiritually), my 37-year-old daughter has returned to live just across the street from my husband and me. She just got engaged and we’re entering a new and wonderful stage of our relationship. She tells me now, “You modeled for me what it’s like to take a stand for what you really want in life.”

    • regena August 14, 2012, 10:06 am

      it is genius that you know yourself that well, becky!

    • Roo August 14, 2012, 12:56 pm

      I am going through a similar thing Becky with my oldest daughter going off to college. I am so happy for her and the wonderful exciting adventures she is soon to have but I am bereft and heartbroken. I can’t imagine her not being home and I will miss her so much. I just can’t believe she is old enough to go to college. It feels like just yesterday she was 2 and ruling my life. If I had a Kanga today it would say, “I am sad and scared of change. I want my baby to be small so I can hug her and smell her hair and cradle her in my arms.”

  • Nina August 14, 2012, 6:57 am

    When you speak the truth you are in fact wearing the truth, but What happens when you speak the truth to another and the other person just runs and leaves you feeling empty? Does the truth really set you free?

    • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 8:29 am

      what happens when you don’t speak it, and then you run from yourself?

      the pain of people leaving us is only temporary.
      the pain of leaving ourselves kills.

      • Chantal August 14, 2012, 7:49 pm

        That is Oh sooo sooo very true…thanks for remending me…us, sister.

    • Jane August 14, 2012, 9:42 am

      Anything that leaves you wasn’t for you. Isn’t it best to serve yourself first, then you can serve others?

    • regena August 14, 2012, 9:44 am

      the truth will set you free– risk it nina……..i believe in you.

    • Lorraine August 14, 2012, 9:54 am

      This is when the wise part of being woman comes in. We know to acknowledge the hurt, wise enough to forgive (means to let it go -not that it was okay). And strong enough to know how, when and if the other person is ready to hear. Speaking our truth comes from love not from a place of anger or wanting to hurt the other

      Saying I feel betrayed or hurt as we decide what to learn or change would be good. It would allow others to reflect fit themselves if they are the cause. But, ultimately, it is all up to us to work through it and move On.

      • Ollie May 1, 2016, 7:42 am

        Tusen takk for hyggelig hilsen i bloggen min!For en flott dag dere har hatt. Slike dager er gode Ã¥ spare pÃ¥ i minneboken, det er ikke alltid det trenger Ã¥ være sÃ¥ dyrt for Ã¥ være kostbart :)NÃ¥ har jeg nettop vert innom Harmoni sin blogg og hun hadde bakt horn, sÃ¥ ser jeg dere baker brød og boller… Føler grpsepurespet nÃ¥ ja. Ha,ha, jeg mÃ¥ nok bake i morgen tror jeg.Ha en strÃ¥lende uke.Klemmer fra Eplemor

    • Emery August 28, 2012, 3:30 pm

      I find that when you speak your truth in a way that comes from what “you” are experiencing, then it comes off less as a judgement, and more as way to set standards for yourself. For instance, “I’d love it if we could clear out the kitchen of all your work stuff so we could cook and have more delicious meals together,” instead of, “you’re so sloppy, look at this mess! How do even get things done with all this!?” So how you speak your truth is just as important!