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What’s your living prayer?

I have always been a huge fan of the holy.
Ever since I was a little girl, it was a hobby of mine to explore places of worship, and try to understand where I fit in, what I believed, what it was all about.

Holiness made me feel right at home. Like I belonged.
Except for the fact that I was excluded. Or regulated to the most unholy spots. Being a girl and all.

Even as a little one, I found it kind of curious, kind of maddening, kind of outrageous that it was so hard to find feminine representation in places of worship.

I wanted in.
All the way.
I wanted to swing the incense and wear the fabulous gowns.
Or wear the white shawls, and carry around the parchment scrolls.
Or pray in any sacred space that called to me.

Meanwhile, I observed my mother who, instead of attending services at our synagogue, declared herself a child of nature, and preferred to sit on the porch and enjoy the birds and trees. She found the holy in the natural world.  

Later on, I encountered Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple. I heard her speak about how she worshipped and trusted mother nature, who never lets us down.

In 1997, she wrote an essay called The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven is That You Have Been Driven Out of Your Mind, in which she says:

“It is fatal to love a god who does not love you. A God specifically created to comfort, lead, advise, strengthen, and enlarge the tribal borders of someone else. . . Looking back on my parents’ and grandparents’ lives I have often felt overwhelmed, helpless, as I’ve examined history and society, and especially religion, with them in mind, and have seen how they were manipulated away from a belief in their own judgment and faith in themselves. It is most painful to realize they were forever trying to correct a “flaw” that of being black, female and human that did not exist, except as “men of God,” but really men of greed, misogyny and violence, defined it. What a burden to think one is conceived in sin, rather than in pleasure; that one is born into evil rather than into joy.”

I started researching the feminine divine like a star-struck fangirl. 

I found that worship of, and including, the feminine was as different from what I grew up with as a loaf of wonder bread was from home-baked. I found the work of Maria Gimbutas, Merlin Stone, Riane Eisler, Martin Prechtel.
I found a new way to holy.
And I found a place where I felt utterly at home rather than utterly outcast.  

I learned that according to the divine feminine, there was divinity in everything and everyone. 
The worn metal spoon that had been my grandmother’s, that she had brought with her from Russia, and was now mine, stirring the pots that fed my child, was holy. Filled with the spirit of the love of all those ancestral dinners cooked.  

I learned what I already knew – that the sky, the clouds, the stars, the sun, the moon were all sacred givers of life.  
That it was mother earth who fed us and held us as we slept at night.  

And I learned that it was my turn on, my erotic nature, my life force that connected me to my own divinity.  
Whether in the arms of a lover, fingers on a keyboard, dancing, weeping with rapturous joy or sorrow, singing to the oldies or the newbies – when I was turned on, I was plugged in to my divinity. I was at my happiest, my most me, when in connection to, and in service of, the divine.  Turning on was tuning in.  

These concepts were revolutionary, and relieving. 

The prayer I was taught as a child was not like this.
Prayer was about obedience. Being right or being wrong. Being in, being out. Inclusion if you played by the rules, exclusion if you didn’t.
Turn on was considered profane.
And just about the unholiest thing a girl could do.

When I looked deeper and investigated the word, ‘profane’, I found out that it was from the Latin pro-fanum, meaning ‘outside the temple’.
It didn’t mean bad.
Or wrong.
Or un-holy.
It just meant outside the temple.
Which is where my mother preferred to sit, anyway.

There’s much more to this story, which I share in my new book, coming out this Fall, but today, I just wanted to open up the conversation. 

Join me in the comments below today, and let me know: 

  • How does turn on fit into spirituality, for you?
  • Where, and when, do you feel most connected to the sacred, however you define it? 

So looking forward to continuing the conversation and hearing your thoughts. 

Xo,
Mama Gena

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  • Elizabeth Tritsch July 22, 2016, 7:55 pm

    Thank you Mama Gena for saying so poetically what I have always felt. As a woman who feels most true to herself when she is in her turn on, I feel others try to shut me down. No, I refuse to obey the rules. I refuse to be told to tone it down when I am in the flow and in the zone at work and I’m focusing on my clients.
    I refuse to sell my soul for a paycheck. I refuse to deny myself. Roar!

  • Lorraine July 18, 2016, 12:55 pm

    WOW! So many well thought out comments. Thank you for sharing your many points of view. Here’s mine! Mama Genas letter made me recollect on the Movie Foot Loose with Kevin Bacon. I loved the story line, the dancing and the different points of view. They may not all be popular, but popularity doesn’t guarantee happiness. Self comfort with your own point of view is my motto.
    Keep on self- expressing! It’s the American way!
    Lorraine

  • Karen D Brock July 13, 2016, 11:25 am

    Everything you posted is me! I have tried to conform to what people think I should be. I am the product of two ministers, and I tried to follow in their footsteps, but I feel that I am a different kind of minister. I need help to process this walk!!!

  • Suzanne July 12, 2016, 12:06 pm

    One of my biggest struggles, if not the biggest, in my life has been my relationship with the Divine. When I left my loveless, sexless marriage I then also lost my friends in church and was rejected. And that rejection set me free. FUnny how that works! My fascination now is, who is God? Who am I? Not the God that Alice Walker’s family worshipped, (love that quote BTW), but the God of love and acceptance–the real God. One of my life goals is to make it to NY to one of your classes Mama Gena! You are a constant source of inspiration and femine power for me and my two daughters. THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART!

  • Heather July 12, 2016, 11:38 am

    About 10 years ago I had a spontaneous Shakti awakening. It was the most beautiful experience of my life, as I truly experienced unity with everything and was in a state of such bliss I was having spontaneous orgasms. It lasted about 2 weeks, and in that time I saw what a blessing, how hungry the world is for fully embodied, turned-on women. How healing we are, how necessary, and how the illusion of separation and the fear of not being loved was ridiculous because we *are* love, we can’t not be what we already are. Since it was spontaneous, I was not prepared for it, and when it ended I became extremely sick. A decade later I’m still healing. I grew up in a very conservative Christian faith where a woman being that turned on was the worst possible thing. I’m so grateful to have learned what was possible, and I keep moving in that direction because I now understand it’s our true nature. Thanks for this post- it’s so refreshing and affirming to hear powerful women talk openly about the divine feminine!

  • Melissa July 11, 2016, 1:33 pm

    Interesting synchronicity! On the day prior I had posted on my blog (www.earthwidetribe.com) “This is How I Pray”. Must be something divine in the shared air.
    Looking forward to your book 🙂
    Melissa

  • Donna July 11, 2016, 10:09 am

    Turn on to me is that feeling when I sit n silence in the woods ( as my first choice) or just out in my backyard…and I never want to get up….just sit..listen..feel..see…..I also benefit spiritually when I walk into a church..the silence,smell of the incense..cracking of the pews..high ceiling..I get connected all the time to my source

  • Lisa July 10, 2016, 8:47 pm

    My family and I traveled to India lasy year where we stayed for three months in Amma’s ashram. It was an amazing experience, especially for me and my daughter to be in the pressence of this living Hindu Saint in the form of a small dark skinned woman. She is incredible, and 5,000 to 10,000 people make the pilgrimage to see her every day. 3,000 people from all over the world live in her Ashram, which is like a village in itself. Amma does charity works all over the world and says love is her religion. I loved giving my daughter this opportunity to see the divine feminine. She is also fascinated by Mother Kali, the Goddess of Mother Nature. This fierce Goddess dances on a corpse and wears a necklace of skulls to remind us to cherish each moment of our precious lives and not waste our time here.

  • Chris July 10, 2016, 7:40 am

    This post resonated with me! A cradle Catholic, I went through a series of “aha” moments after a nun was denounced from the pulpit of our church after deciding to join a Catholic sect that allowed women to be priests–we stopped going to church regularly soon after that. I came across Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and started reading everything I could find in our local library from her bibliography. My faith in the Divine is strong…my trust in religion, not so much.

  • Lorell July 9, 2016, 10:41 am

    I am a church hopper! This is the term used in the black church when a person is not loyal to one church or faith. Yes, I am a church hopper. I love beautiful places that look like angels visit them. I go in to meditate, pray, or sing. I have visited hundreds of churches in Chicago and I love to worship. My favorite now is the Baha’i Temple in Skokie, IL.
    I was given a book, “When Women were Gods” by a man in Starbucks years ago. It changed me.
    Mama Gena, I love this post!
    Joy and Holiness to you!

  • SG Joan July 8, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Spirituality, to me is being with other people. We are all connected. Trees, and flowers and oceans are fine, but spirituality is everywhere. To me I can feel just as
    spiritual in the center of a city as I can at the ocean. Last night I was at a friend’s
    house for dinner with 2 other people and her 2 four-legged friends. I felt
    a real connection to her little doggie and felt so much love from him (the dog) , that
    we fell asleep n each other’s arms.

  • Kathryn July 8, 2016, 10:52 am

    It is very confusing the whole idea of religion is to me. Like many of you I grew up in a church going family. I remember asking my Dad why is there hell if God is love? I always felt like I was missing the point!! When I am outside in nature I feel magical. To look up and see a shooting star across the sky is like God whispering in my ear. To smell the ocean and look at the vastness of it all. I remember in my early years I did feel powerful when feeling sensual or erotic, I lost that for some years and after finding Mama Gena’s books and website I am making great strides in regaining my power. Thank you all for making me remember that my greatest love is myself and to share that with all the Goddesses makes me blessed beyond measure .

  • Joanne G. L. July 8, 2016, 10:34 am

    I am a tree hugger. Trees are important to me. One day at a political rally, to which my husband was participating, and I was there, as his wife, it was a stand up affair, and I was tired. My husband saw my face turn white with the strain, so he sought refuge for me. It was a place under a tree, where I could sit. When I leaned back onto the tree trunk, there was this massive, implosion of energy but of pure peace. I was completely revived. That was the most holy experience I have ever had. Although, watching a gorgeous sunrise from a fire tower is a close second place.

  • Alexia July 8, 2016, 5:54 am

    I love the way you have approach spirituality, maybe because you have described the female absence in words i would have like to have used myself but have not yet said them out loud. This year i joined an iconography class (the Cretan School) and all Saints, Angels and worst of all Mother Mary are painted to look solemn and very strict. I just could’t do it! They had to look compassionate, what was the point of not showing a welcoming smile … This is how i imagined these wonderful energies to be. So, after threatening to quit i convinced the (male) teacher to help me change the prototypes and paint Angels with a faint yet tender smile. And it now seems to be contagious … some of my fellow students are doing the same 🙂

    • Lorell July 9, 2016, 10:44 am

      The angels love that!
      Thanks Alexia

  • Marnie July 7, 2016, 6:11 pm
  • Ssanyu Burrell July 7, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I grew up in an extremely religious household that taught me that my very sensual nature was a sin. I spent years looking for something or someone who countered all my negative associations with being both sensual and sacred and didn’t quite find my place until I found you, Mama Gena. I realized that the very sway of my hips was an ode to divinity. The contour of my breasts were holy devotion. My very existence in all my girlish glory was alone the prayer that Goddess created on earth for her own worship. I forget sometimes, as many of us do, and think there is some sort of back bending supplication that will get me right with the universe, but in times when I feel dragged down to the depths from dark thoughts that contradict all divinity in me, i sway those hips and dance in the glory of Goddess in me and me in Goddess, an epic unending dance of light and love, and I know.

  • Shirley Jolly July 7, 2016, 12:04 pm

    I found this perspective on spirituality to be so on point. Very similar to that of the Native American Indian. When one is in the flow then we are living in the energy, living in the spirit. thank you so much for those special words. May you be blessed, I am….

  • Gina July 7, 2016, 8:00 am

    To my Christian (and non-Christian) friends seeking a feminine voice and the celebration of creation – please seek out Hildegard of Bingen, particularly the book written about her by Matthew Fox. In her day (12th century Germany), obviously, she was struggling with ‘her place’ as a woman in the Church, but oh my heavens. To read (and view – she often communicated through her art) her total sensual experience of God’s imminence in the ‘greening power’ of nature, and her admonishment – even back then – that our separation and disregard for the earth will be our demise is inspiring. I could go on forever :), but it seems to be from some of the comments I’ve read, that encountering her could be a very welcome breath of fresh air.

  • Maree July 7, 2016, 1:07 am

    This post SO resonates with me! I wanted to be a Roman Catholic priest at 11 but was told I couldn’t because ‘I was a girl’. After leaving the RC church and many years of spiritual searching, I came across Goddess spirituality and it has fed my soul like no other. Now in my fifties, I have spent the last 3 years training to be a ‘Priestess’ of the Temple of the Global Goddess here in Sydney. I’ve also been on pilgrimages to Glastonbury UK and Malta (last year) and Crete (this year) to visit the ancient Goddess temples from 3000-5000 BC. It so turns me on and fills me up to revere our female body and Mother Nature as divine creatrix. Here’s to all the brave women reclaiming this ancient female-centred devotional practice with women in spiritual authority. Blessed be!

  • Jen July 6, 2016, 9:31 pm

    I was fortunate to be raised in a religion (Christian Science) founded by a woman, who used terms like “Father-Mother God,” so I never felt left out of spirituality for that reason. Although I no longer consider myself a Christian (too limiting), I do have a very strong spirituality and connection with the sacred. For me, ‘turn on’ is just one of many sacred moments when I am connected with the universe – the earth, my body, another person – and the beauty of interconnectedess of all things. Thank you for asking a question that helps me refine my sense of the spiritual and sacred.

  • Judy Schaffer July 6, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Zeroed right into where I am at today. Trying to understand why I feel so left out of the more traditional, including tribal traditions as they are practiced today. The “quote” honoring doesn’t feel honoring. They are glorifying and shaming women at the same time. I breathe and stretch and open a dialogue about the unconscious misogyny so it can shift in the light of the moon, stars, and Sun.

  • Charlotte July 6, 2016, 3:33 pm

    Thank you mama gena, i look forward to your book.
    i like you have always been spiritual and visited more churches than most i know. But nature is my home. I belonged to the Quaker womens group here in England for 16yrs but it closed due to lack of support. Divine feminine was there. I have been looking for divine feminine. The Greenspirit organisation is good but small here in England.The last ten
    months my partner dropped dead, I was evicted from my home and have been homeless for seven months during which my 16yr old daughter tried to take her life. I have
    twelve days ago had a knee replacement and am in pain and feel totally abandoned by any spiritual power. Satan seems to attacking continuously. It has been a relief to get yourbook and find a feminine freshness and lightness i can barely comprehend. Thank you bright blessings. Charlotte

  • Madelyn Hoffmam July 6, 2016, 3:31 pm

    Mama Gena,
    I could write volumes in response to your wonderful post, and I can’t wait to read your book. I have been researching the matriarchy and the Divine Feminine since 1970 when I wrote my senior thesis at an all woman’s college on cross cultural gender identity and was delighted to discover ancient worship and authority of the female.
    as you may remember from the womanly experience 2014
    my discovery of you and of the fact that Feminism was still alive
    blew me away.
    Though I find myself wanting to go to synagogue for a “Hit”every once in a while because I love the community and I love the singing and I love the sight of the Hebrew letters and as a child I love sitting next to my father and playing with the strings on his Talis, and as my bat mitzvah was one of the highlights of my life as a young girl when I got to address the community and speak my truth, and my year in Israel when the Hebrew letters surrounded me like art, have left me with a love of the Hebrew language – which translated is so much less Patriarchal then the prayerbooks would have us believe, I find myself less and less drawn to synagogue prayer.
    I find God when I make love and join the community of women throughout the ages who have made love, I find God in orgasm, I find God when I watch my daughter nursing her daughter,
    I find God in the eyes of my little rescue dog.
    I find God in my mother’s mixmaster, and her set of yellow ivory candles serving spoons. I find God in The journey of my ancestors who escaped programs in Russia to make a new life in Texas. I find God in the photographs my father left of the Landsberg concentration camp his unit liberated during World War II.
    I find God in my tradition that calls the Divine Sparks by a feminine name- the Shechina.
    I find God in the universality of feminine experience.
    I find God in the beautiful eyes of Muslim women peeking out from their veils.
    Find God in native American tradition.
    I find God in the community of women that you have created for us.
    I could go on and on, but I’ve been lying around all day and my pleasure and now if I don’t get going I will be late for my “Work”,
    another form of pleasure – my calling as one who listens.

    Thank you Mama Gena for the work you do, for your generosity of spirit, for your prolific outpouring and courage, for the permission to find myself Right and to find men Right and my pleasure Right once more.

    With love and gratitude,
    Madelyn Hoffman
    Mastery 2015

    PS I’m in a hurry so I can’t go back and correct, but when I use the word God, I could easily go back and substitute the word Holiness, or the word Goddess, but I’m in a hurry so I’m sure you’ll understand!
    XOX

  • Marilyn July 6, 2016, 2:45 pm

    Here’s a simple universal prayer that I find soothing. Hope some of you enjy it as well… Wishing everyone a truly wonderful blessed day. Thank you Mama Gena for your insights…..

    May I be at peace.
    May my heart remain open.
    May I awaken to the light of my own true nature.
    May I be healed.
    May I be a sourse of healing for all other beings.

  • Christie Campbell July 6, 2016, 2:44 pm

    Hi! Being spiritually turned on comes by asking ourselves what makes us come alive? What puts us in a flow state where we don’t even know what time it is for hours? What leaves us refreshed, energized, charged and giddy after hours or participation?
    The turned on feeling also come from discovering our talents and using them in a way that blesses others and contributes to our world as a whole somehow (which in return replenishes us too!). It’s all a win win situation. The first step is to explore your talents. We all have so many- we are just afraid to pursue them or think we’ll fail. But even the most talented of people had to WORK on those talents right?! Don’t be afraid to try!! Push yourself to try new things =)

  • Cindy Conlin July 6, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Turn on IS Spirituality for me. I believe that the Divine Feminine is alive and well in every cell of my being. The Goddess spark gets tamped down by society, by my fears and insecurities, by life. Turn on is the reminder that we are Divine and to let our Divinity Shine!

  • Annie July 6, 2016, 2:31 pm

    What’s Your Living Prayer? powerful stuff – “wanting to go to heaven because you have been driven out of your mind” I find that all my life I have been gently driven out of my mind because of my unorthodox view of ‘holy’. I love nature, the feminine, growth, adventure, laughter, tears, emotion, happiness and sadness. I love learning and helping and coming out the other side of ‘stuff’.
    My saddest and most unholy moments have been when I am numb – driven crazy by my own lack of confidence in my own power and the drive to please others. This was wonderful, thank you!

  • Linda July 6, 2016, 2:29 pm

    Spirituality, religion and beliefs seemed to collide when growing up. What was believed often seemed to be a stretch away from what the religious traditions implied. It seemed ok to veer away when convenient from some of the old traditions no longer applying to current life. What did seem terribly important was how we treated people, the importance of family and friends. We talked about GOD but he/she belonged to everyone as in my family there was no separate GOD. Other people were not bad or good because of what religious building they entered but who they were as people. I like that. Spiritually, my GOD loves me and protects me but I understand that there are some rules which apply to me to follow to have earned that love and care. Maybe that belief is exactly that and I do not have to do anything but just “BE” I feel good among people who wake up with good intention, a loving spirit, smiles and a willingness to welcome rather than reject the things they do not understand. If I reject or fear what I do not understand I may be born in the next lifetime with all of those things or attributes I ran from. I am Blessed and I am Happy because I can choose to uncomplicate my life by a willingness to accept so much of the good in the world. Cheers to all of us great women.
    Linda

  • SARIKA G July 6, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Wow! Thank you Regena, for bringing this to light As a child growing up Catholic, in the Caribbean: The words Holy, Scared, and Profane were words I heard over and over again.
    Rebel with a cause, I did set out to break every rule I was told not to do. Reason: I wanted to know “WHY” I shouldn’t.
    I won’t put down the structure of being raised Catholic. However, I had a lot of questions, which I was told I shouldn’t be asking. So I did the next best thing I knew I set out to find the answers for myself. At 17 I got married, not because I wanted too, but I had too. I was told it was the right thing to do, I got pregnant, and that’s when they found out I was having sex. I remembered the sermon my grand-mother gave me after the – shot gun wedding. Only this time the gun wasn’t aimed at the man, it was aimed at me for refusing to get married. After all it was my fault for having sex , at least that’s what my GM said. She also said, that marriage was a sacred thing and I must listen to my husband and stay married no matter what. It took two kids and seven years later to finally say enough is enough.
    Holy meant; Holy-Communion, Sacred meant, going to confession to confess my sins, oh, and lets not forget Profane…. Don’t say that word….F–k. Have mercy, that word, every-time I hear that word, my stomach crawls. GM says, no divorce, the church won’t allow it. Oh really, well to blazes with the Church, my freedom had been snatched away from me. I was living with an abusive husband, and I have to listen to a church. Heavens help me…and the Rebel came alive. I declared my Independence….I came right out and told them, I don’t thing God wants me to be with someone who hits me, for if I must believe that God is Love…then hitting a woman it certainly not Love, and if God wants me to stay with an abusive husband, then that’s God not a God I need to be praying too. I tossed the wedding ring out the window and walked away from the marriage.
    I’ve done a lot of work on myself since then. I found that Self Love “(not egotistical love)” is the Greatest Love of all, for if I’m not Loving Myself, I’m most certainly not Loving God, and I can bet God is not Loving me.

    I feel most connected to the Sacred; whenever I’m around water, the stillness and calmness of the Ocean, makes my heart sing. Walking bare footed, or sitting on the grass in the Park. Saying a kind word to a stranger, helping an elderly person cross the street, giggling with a baby, and connecting with the Sister Goddess’s. That feeling, that oneness, turns me on completing, for I know deep down in my Soul it’s One Heart touching One Heart, and that’s my Spirituality.
    In Light and Love,
    SG Sarika

  • Karen July 6, 2016, 2:16 pm

    My daughter Tatiana, shared your work with me and you are a woman after my own heart. Love your messages and look forward to reading your new book.
    Your enthusiasm is inspiring and on this subject notable to mention: the origin of the word “enthusiasm” is Greek, summarized to mean “God within.” Certainly apropos and a connection to your many brilliant points in the recent blog! Keep spreading the joy! If you get to San Diego, please contact me. Would love to have you as a guest on 50FashionForward VLOG! ????????????????????????❤️

  • Kim July 6, 2016, 1:44 pm

    My favorite post yet, Mama – thank you! I, too, have always been a HUGE fan of the holy and I’m finally claiming it full on in my life, coaching and teaching. I love the Alice Walker quote and everything you share here. My living prayer? It’s this:
    “Let me feel you, partner with you, dance with you and love with you all the time. Let’s do this.”

  • Cassie Fireman July 6, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Dear Mama Gina,
    Thank you for sharing this moving message about femininity and the divine. I have done a lot of work inside a program filled with masculine energy and have felt so disconnected from my truth. Recently I’ve opened myself up to different circles of women..craving ancestral connection, wisdom and community in a loving and self expressed environment. I feel most connected to the divine when I’m writing, dancing, singing and experiencing joy through other people’s unique expression. Thank you again for your email. It was a great way to start the day!

  • Barb Parcells July 6, 2016, 1:34 pm

    I got into my first argument with a priest when I was 6. I told him he was wrong about babies going to hell if they weren’t baptized first, and that there should be altar girls, not just altar boys, and girl priests. So I know where of you speak. Like your mom, I find the holy in my garden, in the business of birds building their nests and bees visiting the flowers. I get turned on by beautiful sunsets, the feel of a bubbling brook across my feet and the purr of my cats when I scratch their heads. We women are connected to the holy every day through the power of creation, just like Mother Nature, bringing forth life. Now that’s the ultimate turn-on!

  • Luz July 6, 2016, 1:25 pm

    Thanks for your story. It has touched me greatly. I agree with you. I grew closer to God when I left religion and found God in everything and everyone I encountered. God is not in a church or place of worship. God is everywhere if we choose to find him/her. Thank you Mama Gena.

  • Elizabeth July 6, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Thank you for this blog ! I was raised in a fundamentalist christian home where fear and obedience were important. I always felt like a fish out of water, that religion was created by men for men, and my place as a woman was to get the food on the table and keep my mouth shut! In these later years I have been exploring other options and find that I am most fulfilled by the moon, stars, mother nature and so on. I also dip into other religions and take bits that speak to me….mostly I hunger for a higher power who loves me unconditionally and because I am a woman, not in spite of it. Take care!

  • Denise Battle July 6, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Like many of you I have been victimized in life, and have experienced church hurt. When I was 13, I watched as my mother, a battered woman shoot and kill my abusive father. She still does not believe me when I tell her I am not angry with her. As a result, I found Christ and the Church. Although, the church was designed to be perfect. It is full of flawed individuals, that is why you have to study the Word for yourself, so you can rightly divide truth from fiction. If you really embrace the teachings of the One who created, nature, love, sex and all things, flawed and unflawed. You will experience a freedom, peace of mind and compassion for those who misinterpret God’s word to sow seeds of sexism, classicism or discord among racial groups. When a church leader operates based on fear of a loss of power, they misinterpret God’s teachings to exclude those that are different. A true spiritual leader will teach you to be free by the transforming of your mind. Yes, there are rules, some rules complement God’s order and some subtract from it. Know them that labor among you. Although, I had a challenging childhood. I thank God for all of my experiences good and bad. I have experienced the American dream, I am a clergy wife, special education teacher and former military (army) officer.

  • Veronica July 6, 2016, 1:20 pm

    Mind blowing article….Right on point!

  • Pamela July 6, 2016, 12:52 pm

    Last night, before receiving this email…..I had a huge transformation moment.

    Someone, a teacher, sent an email that said “you suck at receiving” It irked me that it was said in that tone, but by nightfall it registered.

    I had some alone time and I started with one beautiful object for 17 seconds upon which I focused my gratitude….before I knew it, looking al around me I had been showered with so much and even the gift of life……………..my cup runneth over and the floodgates of gratitude were ready to burst open.

    So I’m not religious but holding gratitude to the universe is what I believe…I am blown away by this experience,

  • michelle July 6, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I love this blog so so so very much!!! I felt the same growing up and did turn to nature and paganism and herbalism to fell closer to the sensuality of my spirituality. Thanks for your wonderful work and guidance around getting turned on by life!

  • Heidi Symonds July 6, 2016, 12:28 pm

    Love this.

    So much.

    I remember going to Mass, not necessarily for the “religion” but for the holiness. For the ebb and flow. For the consistency. For the structure and predictability.

    I was an altar girl, but was always told to stay off the altar. It confused me. While I don’t practice Catholsism today, I still tap into the medicine it provided for as a young child.

    Mother Mary, Mary Magdolin, and Kwan Yin are my feminine holy warriors these days… 😉

  • nancy July 6, 2016, 12:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I have never felt connected to anything, ever, as if I was a balloon without a string just floating wherever the wind blew. I am Jewish and love my heritage but felt something was missing. I learned about Jesus and found the peace and love that I never knew and am no longer a balloon; however, I feel there is more to me than just my physical being – there has to be. I am at peace in nature, among the plants and animals and in the quiet and solitude where the everyday noise is gone and I can hear my spirit – as if I wish to leave all the physical things behind, shed the ‘shoulds’ and listen to the quiet voice speaking to me. I always believed that babies dream of God when they sleep – what else can they dream of? I cannot live without Jesus but I wish to connect to my enlightened spirit of who I am more. 🙂

  • Mara July 6, 2016, 12:21 pm

    I find the Divine in nature – I always have, even as a child. Though I loved to go to mass – the singing, the statues, the stained-glass windows, the ritual all comforted me. But the more I awake I became, the more I understood that the patriarchy in the church hindered my personal growth and well-being. I had to heal from a lot of the roles subscribed to women – saint or whore, less than, not good enough, temptress who got Adam thrown out of the garden – and I healed by returning to my true love – Mother Earth – to the Divine Feminine and to a balance between our feminine and masculine energies.

  • Coral July 6, 2016, 12:19 pm

    It’s that I come to remembering that I need to be touching in to where, what, and who supports … that’s my current Living Prayer. So it’s in the Wind, the rain, aanimal, poetry, yoga, and how I breathe and look at the sky as if to ask for more depth.

  • mdstblz July 6, 2016, 12:17 pm

    Ever since I was diagnosed with a reproductive cancer I have struggled with this. I lost the faith I had in the divine. A part of me felt punished as that which made me so much a woman was also trying to kill me. I am briefly led to wonder, reading what you write, if losing faith was the natural progression of the cancer.

  • Desiree July 6, 2016, 12:15 pm

    Mama Gena,
    I Am a Living Prayer. ..Living in Holiness of Spirit. There are aspects of some religions which are useful for Me, but LOVE rings most True. I Give Thanks to MOTHERFATHERGODDESSGOD for the great and the hardly noticeable. I Honor My Place and Space in this Realm at This Time…..My place of truly connecting with The DIVINE is at the ocean.. Something about Sky Water Earth humbles Me. I thank You for Your Words and Thoughts.

  • Laurie July 6, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Nature.
    Quiet.
    Laughter.
    With my friends.
    With myself.
    Serving.
    Creating pretty much anything-a meal, a blog, a coaching program, an itinerary, a product, an environment.
    I feel turned on when I am being my most authentic self, doing what feels the most like fun to me and shining my sacred light.

  • Karen July 6, 2016, 12:03 pm

    I have found the most peace in a perfect sunrise, or a quiet moment listening to birds chirp. I was sexually abused in the Presbyterian church and decided that formal religion is unreliable and shrouded in secrecy. For me nature has always been pure and perfect and peaceful. Mother Nature might torment us with tornadoes or hurricanes and the like, which causes destruction of course but no way near the onslaught that our emotional battles between beliefs.

  • Debbie Rosas July 6, 2016, 11:42 am

    Prayer is something I sense in my body. The most important physical relationship I will ever have is the one I have “with” my body. My body is the most important thing I own. It is through my body the wonders of the world are seen, sensed, and felt. I just received your book in the mail yesterday. Curled up in bed last night, holding this treasure I felt the play with life you so fearlessly take bites of, using your body to digest the wonders of the world experienced as YOUR life. The beauty and wisdom you share transforms all in your presence. You are feminine divine miss “M”. I so love the simplicity and depth you share. Can’t wait to crawl into bed tonight and read more of your womanly wisdom. I thank you!

  • Judi Edwards July 6, 2016, 11:31 am

    I was very religious as a child but always felt a disconnect from the church. We moved around a lot and every church we attended said that their way was the only way. I left the church at age 16 and have tried going back but I feel most connected in my garden, in nature, watching the stars, in the mountains and at the beach.
    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading your book!

  • Edith July 6, 2016, 11:20 am

    I feel turn on when I am in connection with Nature, a sunrise, a full moon, the ocean…..dolphins, mermaids……
    But it is essential that we do our part to be empowered and in alignment…..doing our meditations every morning…….loving, accepting and honoring who we are unconditionaly……
    I live in Cancun so I have the priviledge of visiting powerful places whenever I want, like Chichen Itza, Kohunlich, Uxmal, etc. so you can enjoy the portals they offer and feel the power and the connection to the stars, to the ancestral guardians…….to the ancestral energy from our mothers…….
    Nature connect me to the divine…..directly…..rituals and ceremonies offered in powerful places to mother nature is so sacred you literaly feel heaven on earth……

  • Brenda Whitley July 6, 2016, 11:16 am

    Reading this today was like , wow, how does this women know exactly what I’m feeling? Thank you for these words which was in my head and heart for years and now suddenly in print in front of me. I’m a outdoor worshipper, never happier than in the forest ,on on a beach ,or just sitting on a seat in my tiny garden. I Once went through all that God of fear stuff , faithful to my church, sickened by the corruption that came out years ago, then I was in a no place of belonging until I realised that there was a deep spirituality within. I started to develop this and now in my mid seventies feel the great freedom to allow life to happen, a bit late you may say but I’m having a ball now just loving the flow of life ,the divine, nature and good wine and friends. Thank you Mamagena for your words and blog ,

  • Anita July 6, 2016, 11:11 am

    From the time I was 3 or 4 years old, I knew I was wild and sensual…I didn’t understand the patriarchal and religious emphasis on my lifestyle and quite often told my parents I didn’t want to marry; I was drawn to Greek mythology and that time in history and I stated that if I had to choose between being a courtesan and a wife, I would choose the former.
    I believe my living prayer is to be authentic to myself and to be in nature to stay in touch with this gorgeous planet and that being a sensual woman is a beautiful way to be in the world.

  • Sunny July 6, 2016, 11:07 am

    Life is a choice. When I choose life, I flip the switch to on. What people call meditation and prayer are techniques for flipping the switch to on. Breathe in the very breath of the Holiness of the Spirit. God is good. Your eyes flip right back into your head, as if to gaze inwardly. Breath comes deeply into the body, and unites the soul with the mind, using the brain as a bridge. God is good. I grow taller as relaxation sends waves of energy through my three-part being. Oh, glory, god is good. The Lord wants me to live in God always.

  • Catherine Meyers July 6, 2016, 11:01 am

    Poignant and succinctly put Regena.

    At this stage of my life as a crone, and looking back I see I was doing the same thing, wanting to be close to the holiness of life but eventually finding myself outside the temple. I never let this discourage or stop my quest and finally began to see with increasing clarity and discernment, what was directly in front of me and it was embodied in the Feminine Divine. It all at last made complete sense to me and happiness was no longer elusive or exclusively for others who seemed to be inside the temple.

    Living in very rural Nova Scotia Canada on a tidal river for over 20 years I am always celebrating the Feminine Divine within and without, that nourishes my creative soul every day.
    Pray for peace,
    Catherine Meyers

  • Thank you, Regena, and I cannot wait to celebrate with you on Sept. 20! Your book is a long time coming and so required. What I so love about your message is the commingling of reverence and sensuality, of appreciating the body and ourselves as expressions of the Divine Herself. I feel most connected to the sacred when I dance, when I am so IN my body I connect with the entire fabric of everything around me. My turn on lubricates, hightens, connects me with the live wire of my Divine spark and that of everyone around me. Thank you thank you thank you because one of the gifts I took away from Mastery 2016 is stepping right into what was always my shame, since I was little, my Goddess body that is like a sensual invitation–is actually one of my greatest GIFTS. Love you.

  • Christine July 6, 2016, 10:53 am

    Thank you for providing such a clear view of the Divine which includes the feminine and does not punish. I too felt excluded and isolated as a child. I wanted nothing more than to belong but between the contradictions and the patriarchical dominance, I chose to be a ” hopeless sinner” rather than a follower. Organized religion is still a sore spot, but not the true, living Divine that we inhabit.

  • Laura July 6, 2016, 10:44 am

    Spirit comes to me so often now
    In a child’s eyes wind sun laughter food and most of all a lovers eyes where I see both of our truths
    Spirituality is when ever Snd where ever I can see it
    I believe it is always present and the more I tap in the more it appears
    Thank you so much Regena for showing me an example of s life of possibilities and truth

  • Annette July 6, 2016, 10:43 am

    I’ve never been holy and when I was growing up I was made to feel really guilty of that. In church, the stories never made sense to me. I always loved what was going on around the church, not on a Sunday morning in the pews, but in the youth group that I was a member of, in the gospel choir, the church camps in the summer and the community outings. My best Sunday’s was staying home from church to watch CBS “Sunday Morning”, which to me is the best show on television. In church I felt lost and confused. Outside the church I felt alive. I used to be really active in the youth groups and summer camps in upstate and Shelter Island, NY. I loved being in nature and by the water. I love the creativity and the freedom I found walking in the woods, painting and preparing food in the dining hall. I remember inviting Bill Baird, the abortion rights activist to one of our camp evenings. I introduced transcendental meditation at another camp evening. This was not holy as far as the church was concerned, but I loved it! What I know is spirituality and sacredness is in the freedom to Love God, Love the Universe, Love Mother Nature and Love Myself for exactly who I am in all forms — loud, profane, outrageous, soft, outspoken, quiet, nasty, sexy, funky… all of it.

  • Katie Smith July 6, 2016, 10:42 am

    I loved this intro to the holy in our lives – I look at each breath as holy – my amazing teacher, Yogi Bhajan, has said that the Breath is the Tender Charge of GOD – and I use this as a reminder through out my day that I am always connected to source…..to that which is working for me not against me…..in how I move, what I think, when I exercise, out in nature, doing my amazing work in the world. We are gifted to be alive because of the holy that sits on our breath – how amazing to live a life with this awareness……always even when we are angry, upset and exploring all our emotions. A very powerful source!

  • Jeanne July 6, 2016, 10:42 am

    There’s a holiness about midlife, a new goddess that we become, if we let ourselves cross over and embrace that holiness. As we leave the goddess of maidenhood and the goddess of motherhood behind, we become a goddess of immense wisdom and compassion, crowned in light. Unfortunately, the words we have for the wise woman have been corrupted (especially crone). I’m looking for a new one…

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 5:28 pm

      let’s not stop til we find that word!!
      xo
      mg

  • Marie July 6, 2016, 10:34 am

    Thank you so much for this/your brilliance. I feel like I just got a big hug.

  • Shane July 6, 2016, 10:32 am

    This particular entry touched me deeply. I too crave holy, I felt the vibe with the idea of being in a Synagogue but have never felt it from the folks inside. I was like an outsider looking in. You are a leader that speaks my truth of Judaism and I FUCKING LOVE THAT!!!!! AHO, and AMEN and Baruch Hashem sister!

  • Sharon / Sha RA July 6, 2016, 10:24 am

    Nature is my best Cathedral! Thank you for this post!! And thank you for being such a strong advocate for the Divine Feminine!!!

  • Rossana July 6, 2016, 10:22 am

    I’m turned on when I feel connected to myself and others through yoga, laughter, music, a good conversation, a nice meal, sharing wine, coffee, tea or chocolate…. walking in nature, staring a bonfire or in front of the ocean. Nothing more divine than that.

  • Marina Piller July 6, 2016, 10:20 am

    Dear Regena,
    I am so deeply touched by your words, courage.
    In Mastery 2016 I was the girl in the front grabbing on to my chair, not wanting to stand up, speak up, walk on stage. Almost exploding with things I wanted to share with all the SGs in the class, I kept quite. Even in the most supportive circle of women I find with SGs I still mostly keep quite. I have been writing, recording channels, etc almost nonstop for the last decade in my exploration of the divine. And I keep quite about it. Yet I look at you on stage, with your now upcoming book and you represent in every way something that is beyond courage, beyond vulnerability. I am sure you know this but you standing clear, embodied with a claim of the turn-on as the means to the experience of the divine, is the most revolutionary consciousness shift we are embarking on as a society. I already told Bubby I don’t know what secret sauce she was feeding you, but your ability to stand in your conviction.. it feels undeniable. It is certain that you will see the changes you are wanting to see in this lifetime. It is certain that your work is essential to the unfolding of these changes. It is certain that you will empower millions and if not billions of people to free themselves from the prisons they hold themselves in, unknowing of their true power, their true potential, their true divinity.. their turn-on. You are a catalyst and I cannot wait to see the imminent, joyous, deeply fulfilling unfolding of your work, of your book and your next chapter…whatever it might be. With deepest love and appreciation, SG MP

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 5:26 pm

      and thank YOU, marina, for all the work you have done in your life, on the inner (which is where it counts most) and on the outer, on behalf of the divine in all of us.
      xo
      mg

  • Nina July 6, 2016, 10:17 am

    Thank you for sharing your soul journey Regina; your courageous and determined pilgrimage gives testimony to the presence and power of the Divine Feminine in all women!
    xox Nina Sweet & Strong

  • Ellen Ronis July 6, 2016, 10:12 am

    I have explored this type of conversation for a long time now and feel it’s so timely that you posted this. It is clear that the divine feminine is coming back to where she belongs but we all need to keep doing our part by finding deeper and more meaningful ( to us individually ) ways to connect with that divine essence because our life depends on it. My divine prayer is that I stay in contact with mother earth and father sky and all that she creates and nurtures, that I continue to trust in a loving greater spirit that permeates everything and everybody and is accessible to all, all the time and that I continue to remember my divinity and heart through dance, art, music, food and meaningful connections….AMEN and so mote it be!!!! with Love and respect for you, Mama Gena, for being the womanly arts diva that you are.

  • Jeannine July 6, 2016, 10:04 am

    What turns me on…I find myself in discovery of this word, such a simple one yet deeply profound. I could revert to the philosophy, the logics and psychological but that would be denial. Denial of my heart tripping over itself when my husband comes home, or jumping up and down as if I were 3 years old again when a wild animal lends me their attention. I could say that the waves of the Gulf of Mexico gently caressing me. And the words pouring forth – this ocean feels sensual. I find I no longer separate – even though I too was raised outside the sphere of God and that always something must be terribly wrong with me – but oh god gasped during orgasm. For me I’m finding myself deep, down and dirty in the beauty of spirituality and I’m finally home.

  • Sabra Zay July 6, 2016, 10:03 am

    I love this post. I have always been a spiritual person and at one point I decided that I thought it would be good for me and my children if we went to church. I had made a lot of mistakes and I thought that a religious foundation would be good for them, I went to a catholic church and i liked it a lot and after a little while we decided to join the church. It takes a long time to become catholic. Half way through the classes they asked about divorce… and when they found out that I was divorced they wouldn’t allow me to come into the church. They did allow my children to enter-but that was a very depressing time in my life. I already felt like a failure. To be rejected by the church that I wanted to be a member of broke my heart. Now… as you say-the world is my church and nature is where I worship. It fits me and brings me joy. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • Alexis July 6, 2016, 1:23 pm

      So heartbreaking to hear about your ordeal with the catholic church. I am also divorced and I am Catholic. Even though my past marriage was to an Anglican, the catholic church has welcomed me back with open arms. My children and I participate fully in church activities. The church has also been a source of support to us. I suggest you ask more questions as to why the catholic church in your area would alienate you when you needed support the most. You deserve to worship wherever you find peace and no Church or man should deny you that. I hope you find what you seek . My love and blessings to you and your children.

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 5:24 pm

      thank YOU for your courage!

  • Alexandra July 6, 2016, 9:58 am

    I too am finding a new way to be holy – nature, the lake, water, the sun, sand, animals. I have been listening to the voice in me but always think of the holy buildings and they too have their time and place. I love being pro-fanum as that celebrates my roman ancestors and the sassy part of me. Let’s celebrate all the women in our lives and before us that in their own way have preserved pro-fanum.

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 5:23 pm

      it’s so freeing to be pro-fanum, isn’t it?

  • elizabeth July 6, 2016, 9:53 am

    i grow closer to the teaching from my youth that i abandoned at 18. at 57 i hear the words of jesus to love my neighbor as myself and i tingle.

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 12:29 pm

      what a spine tinglingly beautiful sentiment!

  • Laurie July 6, 2016, 9:52 am

    This particular entry that you have shared has touched me more right in my heart. I have been struggling with sprituality and reading your post was just what I needed today. My living prayer is to be unconditinally loved by my higher power. My higher power varies – it can be nature or it can be the power of our sisterhood. The magic for me of a living prayer, is that I can let it be what it is and trust that it is true. I am not in control – I just need to let myself be loved by the universe.

    What you have written is absolutely perfect and I thank you for it!!

    • mama gena July 6, 2016, 12:28 pm

      thank you so much, laurie. your post touched me deeply.
      xo
      mg

    • Michelle July 6, 2016, 12:56 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Laurie! The post really resonated with me as well. Thank you, Mama Gena!

    • Dusanka July 6, 2016, 1:42 pm

      How does turn on fit into spirituality, for you? This is how Mother Nature helps us to find a way to find out we are a part of everything, and everything is a part of us.
      Where, and when, do you feel most connected to the sacred, however you define it? In the Nature; when and where I can be as connected to myself as I can be.

      • mama gena July 6, 2016, 5:22 pm

        i could not agree more, dusanka!