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“I have to say, Mama Gena did not impress me.”


Women are like trees.
When we are given fertile soil, glorious sunshine, abundant water, and a perfect climate, not only will we thrive and grow, but we will provide so much beauty and joy and nourishment for others.
But what are the ingredients necessary to cultivate a superior environment for a woman?
What causes her to thrive and be spectacularly healthy and creative?
This is an important question to ask yourself.
Are you living in an environment that nourishes you?
Or leaves you malnourished?
I wanted to share the story of a Mastery grad, Sister Goddess Darline, so you can experience exactly what happens to a woman when she is cut off from her power source, and then celebrate with her and for her, as she gets plugged back in…

Before I entered Mastery in the spring of 2011, the best way that I can describe my life was flat, numb, dimensionless, and grey. There were few ups and many downs. My marriage was swirling the toilet bowl. I had many acquaintances but few if any friends. I had a fledgling women’s health business that, despite my best efforts at the time, I couldn’t get to turn a profit. My family and close friends were thousands of miles away on each of the country’s coasts, and basically the only thing that I seemed to do with even marginal aplomb was raise my kids.

Looking back, I was a walking shell. My family was picture perfect on the outside; engineer husband making a nice six-figure salary, nice house in the ‘burbs, two kids (a girl and boy), a Honda minivan… We smiled and totally looked the part. Yet I was dying inside. Having battled depression before, I sat on the fence as to whether or not to go on medication. I didn’t want to, but I knew that I couldn’t continue the way that I was going. Despite my exemplary education complete with a Master’s degree, I hadn’t “worked” in 12 years, save the bit I had done to start a small, unprofitable business. I had, for all intents and purposes, been a stay-at-home mom. This once independent physician assistant who had owned her own condo in Silicon Valley, who had been out of debt and had had some $100,000+ in savings prior to getting married was now a broke, dependent wife and mom, no longer clinically skilled enough to be hired as a women’s health PA, my prior profession, and really felt like I had done all I was to do.

I had heard about Mama Gena from Dr. Deb Kern, a Sister Goddess. I had interviewed Deb for an article I was writing for AustinWoman Magazine on women’s sexuality—an ironic situation given that my husband hadn’t touched me in nearly 5 years at that point! Deb suggested that I read the book, and I did, “for the article.” Later in November 2010, Maddy Vertenten (another Sister Goddess) challenged me to come to the Worldwide Sister Goddess Weekend in Miami. Around this time I celebrated by 45th birthday. I remember sitting on the bed, looking up and saying, “This can’t possibly be it. This cannot possibly be all that life has for me. If it is, I might as well just die now.” It was time to make a move. Knowing I had contemplated leaving him, my husband agreed to stay home with the kids while I traveled to Miami, and off I went….

I have to say that initially, Mama Gena did not impress me. Here was this wild, flamboyant woman talking about pleasure and pussies. I mean, WTF??? Still, I enjoyed my time in Miami, made a couple of friends and thought, “Well, this was a nice little getaway.” It was the Sunday session that completely did me in. Mama Gena asked us, “What do you desire?” And that one simple question reduced me to a sobbing, incoherent heap. I sat in that convention center room sobbing as the crew was picking up and stacking chairs around me. I cried like I hadn’t cried in ages and I cried the tears of a sorrow that I couldn’t even name. In that moment, I decided to sign up for Mastery. I was the last person to sign up that day, and the staff had to open up boxes to get the forms and to take my credit card payment. I didn’t ask my husband, I didn’t even really think about it. I just knew that I had to end the pain, the sorrow and sadness. I had desires—ones I couldn’t even name at that point—and I wanted them to be fulfilled. I was hoping and praying that there was more to life than what I was living and if there was any, ANY such chance, I had to know. I had to go for it.

Mastery cracked me wide open. The sessions were intense, and at times I felt like running out of the room, but I couldn’t leave. I knew that there was something inside screaming to get out, to be seen and heard. The lesson that completely transformed me was the story of “The Handless Maiden.” In that story, I saw the subtle and not-so-subtle imprinting and indoctrinating that had gone on in my own upbringing, which also bred scores of unhappy, bitchy women and I was right on track to become one of them. After that lesson, I knew I’d never be the same, nor could I remain the same. I walked from The Lighthouse up to Central Park. I walked for about 25 blocks, some 2 hours. I vowed to myself that I was going to get to the bottom of what had happened to me, to “grow back my hands” and to snatch back my life!

What happened to me after Mastery was nothing short of miraculous. I continued to practice Womanly Arts and Tools, while in the midst of ending my marriage. I was concerned that I did not have a steady job, being a freelance writer, and did not want to rely on my husband for support. As July 1st approached, I panicked because I had a loan payment due and didn’t have the money. I was literally crying to God(dess) a couple of days before the payment was due and begging that I have $150 in my account by 7/1 for the automatic draft. In my nearly 46 years I had NEVER not paid a bill or paid a bill late, and did not want to start. So after all my wailing, I finally fell asleep. I got up on the morning of June 30th to see what was in my account and to brainstorm about what I would do. Lo and behold, I pulled my account up online and there was $170 in it. Whaaaat???? I didn’t know what had happened. When I reviewed the transactions there was a deposit from I had completely forgotten I had put a DVD up for sale, and the commission was enough to cover my loan payment!!!

But it gets even better. I was freelance writing for a magazine in Austin and learned that my article for July was bumped to August. No publication, no payment. So that feeling of panic began creeping back in. But I remembered my recent, amazing conjuring success. I spoke my desire to be financially independent. Shortly thereafter I was up late one night watching TV and logged onto my e-mail. To my surprise, I won first prize in a contest hosted by a major women’s health company to raise awareness about alternatives to hysterectomy. I am passionate about lobbying for safe, effective, and accessible prenatal care to ALL women (especially those with high-risk pregnancies). I entered this contest on a whim, and my video won! I won 1st place and the $2,500 grand prize! It inspired me to go full out for my desire to support and educate high-risk pregnant women, and I felt more alive that I had in years.

It gets better still. A representative from the company running the contest called to ask me if I’d be willing to do some promotional work for them. Can you say, Hell yes!!!!! On top of that, they flew me out to San Diego on an all expenses-paid trip for Blogher, the largest international blogging organization promoting female bloggers, to speak on their panel! To say that I was thrilled does not even begin to come close. I had waited so long for opportunities like that, and now they were dropping out of the sky!

Mastery showed me that all things are truly possible. I told myself that I couldn’t afford to take the course, I couldn’t go flying back and forth between Texas and New York, I wouldn’t have child care…and each time, I made it happen. My husband did not pay for one single course or even one single plane ticket. At each juncture, when it was time to “put up or shut up,” the voice inside of me kept screaming, “Let me out of here!!” I said, “Ok” and ways were made out of no way.

Some women reinvigorate their marriages, but I needed to divorce my husband, which I’ve done since Mastery. I am building my own women’s health business and raising my kids. My ten-year-old daughter has an incredible sense of confidence that I’m grateful to nurture. People have continued falling out of the sky to help me grow my business—I’ve received inspiration and guidance from the most amazing places. I have a long list of desires, and I am ticking them off one by one. I am doing public speaking, writing a chapter for an anthology on the childbirth experience for African-American women, and writing a book for high-risk pregnant women. I’ve become adept at the Womanly Art of Owning Your Beauty and now proudly see myself as the “Nubian Goddess.” I’ve also begun the exhilarating journey of exploring my sensuality, and it has expanded my capacity to love and accept myself and others. The world literally looks brighter now.

I’m sure that you’re reading this thinking, “Regena must be paying her. She picked a good one to kiss her ass!” I know, I thought the same thing as I listened to the CDs and downloads you get when you enroll at the school. My journey has been so extraordinary that if I hadn’t lived it, I wouldn’t believe it either! She’s not paying me, and I have to say that I would absolutely do it all again, because Mama Gena pretty much pulled me out of the fire and rescued me from a padded cell and a Prozac drip! No, everything hasn’t been rosy or easy, but I live a life in technicolor now. I feel now. I am doing things I love to do now. I travel now. I have lifelong, treasured friends from Mastery now. And I can wholeheartedly say that after nearly 25 years, I am whole now.

Whew. Unbelievable, right? Did you recognize yourself anywhere in this story? Perhaps you wanted some of what Darline’s now having? Tell me in the comments below… And if you’d like to inspire another woman to branch out and flourish to her fullest height, please share this post.

The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program is not only the greatest educative system for a woman in the world, but it provides an environment that causes her to thrive. Plant yourself somewhere that matters, somewhere that sources YOU. You won’t be able to stop yourself from growing in ways you have only dreamed of…

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. Thinking of doing this year’s Mastery but want my last-minute help in addressing your concerns or hesitations? For all you fence sitters, I’m hosting a call on Monday night. Come, bring your doubts, and let’s see what fun we can have. Given that Mastery starts next Friday, this will truly be your last chance to get my help in deciding, one way or the other, about this year’s course. Details and registration here:

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30 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Rebecca March 9, 2013, 11:13 am


  • Maddy March 8, 2013, 5:45 pm

    It is so delicious to read your words Darline, after watching your story unfold over these last years ~ I love seeing you share it with the world! You are gorgeous and courageous, no doubt… but the truth is that you had forgotten this about yourself until your tears reminded you that Sunday in Miami. And Mama is genius at seeing who we REALLY are (through the feathers and the pussies). It’s brilliant stuff. And YOU are brilliant for continually saying YES, and for sharing your story so we are inspired to continue to say YES too! xoxoxo

  • Janine March 6, 2013, 6:51 pm

    I saw this story amongst one of the many posts on Mama Gena’s FB page. I clicked on it with the intention of reading it at that moment, however, it wasn’t until this evening that I decided to make time to read it. Darline’s story encouraged me to continue on (and complete) my reading of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • papaya March 5, 2013, 5:29 pm


    this story was so inspiring. i clicked on the link because the woman featured reminded me my mother, and as i read, realized that she shared more characteristics in common besides looks. my mom died about three years ago, officially from pneumonia, but i believe she died from anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety and sadness. when i left for college in 2005, i watched her gradually begin to sink deeper and deeper into her misery. she was a people pleaser, frustrated with her life, her husband, workaholic, and never did anything for herself.

    when she finally passed, i felt a sense of relief wash over me (and her soul) as i felt she was finally free, i just wished she had made a commitment to her own joy and wellbeing before passing into ultimate relief. nevertheless, i feel lucky to be her daughter and i truly believe that continuing to live and enjoy my life with pleasure, i’m living her dreams.

    Thank you Mama Gena, you have no idea how many women you are rescuing from exhaustion!

    When i die, i want my tombstone to read “She F*****g Went For It!”

    <3 all my love

  • Mary March 5, 2013, 5:28 pm

    Erica, Jane, Veronica- call me (646) 682-0417! Those are beautiful posts, and I’m more than happy to talk you off the fence.


    • veronica March 11, 2013, 11:28 am

      thank you Mary!

  • Deborah Smith March 5, 2013, 2:39 pm

    Thank you Darlene for sharing your story.
    I have a GREAT life: two horses, a beautiful acre with house and barn, wonderful friends,fantastic adult children, no debt, a truly sensuous and responsive body. And yet, there is still something amuck. I know this, because I bawled my way through Boot Camp and still feel that deep grief and upwelling of tears just reading your story. Mastery is SO close. I am so afraid of what is going to come up for me there. Seeing Regena work in Miami I am convinced she is a genius at this work, so off I go to NYC in a week and a half. YIKES!!!
    I too have one of those “Miracle Stories.” At the end of Boot Camp I knew I had to go to Mastery. I signed up fully knowing I had a son whom I had committed to getting thru college. At home in my bed, I woke up that Monday morning pretty stressed about how I was going to pay out all of the cumulative thousands of dollars required for my Mastery and my son’s tuition. The first call that morning was from my son: “Mom, I don’t know if Sis has told you yet or not?”
    “No, I have not heard from her today.”
    “Well, I told her first.”
    “OK, what?”
    “I filed my FAAFSA (sp?) last month and they have awarded me fifteen thousand plus in grants and loans.”
    So it is with this work. It is the real magic we always knew in our hearts existed.
    Thank you Regena, Anne, Team Pleasure, BSG’s and Palace Staff for spreading this education around the world.

  • SG Sexy Radiant Anne March 5, 2013, 12:14 pm

    SG Darline, you are amazing and I feel blessed to have shared this journey with you. You inspire with your bare-it-all authenticity. I remember getting to know you during that first Miami weekend, and witnessing your bumpy and beautiful journey from there to graduation weekend–where you wowed us by shaking your sexy booty on stage. Thank you SG Darline, and thank you Mama Gena for moving so many women from dull to dynamite!

  • joan March 5, 2013, 12:11 pm

    SG Darline, thank you for sharing your amazing story!! I am about to start Mastery on March 16th after signing up for it at Mastery Graduation last June when I was a guest. I was on the fence about it too. I went to the Intro last Feb and was really tempted to sign up for mastery 2012, but I didn’t. I had a lot of conflict about that but it turned out it was just as well because I had to finish a bunch of chapters in my life last year: clean out my dearest mother-in-law’s apt and settle her estate after her death, get my son graduated from college, move him and his girlfriend to my home, see them off to China a few days later, welcome them back a few weeks later and support their finding and settling into their own apartment and jobs a few months later. And I had to get through some medical tests of my own to make sure I didn’t have a serious heart condition. Would I have had time to focus on Mastery 2012? Not really. But I did sign up for Mastery 2013 in the midst of all that other stuff. And now it is my time for myself. I am a bit scared. I see lots of myself in SG Darline’s story– my work and career challenges, feeling numb in some ways, excited in others, issues with my dear husband, and my own issues around pleasure and menopausal blahs. I am grateful I took the leap and signed up for Mastery, and very grateful to Mama Gena for creating the school and having it all ready for me when it was finally my time to attend. For all the fence sitters I hope this helps you be OK with yourself if 2013 is not your class, and maybe a few of you will want to join me in that room in two weeks for what will be an amazing journey. I know I will be crying sometimes and dancing as much as possible. Just like all the other beautiful women in the room. (And I don’t get paid for saying this either. It comes from my very full heart.) Big hugs to all the Sister Goddesses!

  • Georgina March 5, 2013, 11:53 am

    Well, me, I live so far away from NY…
    I haven’t even been to America- I mean the continent… Ever!
    However, I feel that more or less women -and people in general around the world- are somewhere deep inside similar. They have dreams, desires, fears to overcome, but also a huge source of power to tap into.
    I guess it’s about that saying that goes like: if life throws you lemons, make a lemonade…
    Or if you can, change fruit- given the fact that sometimes, life throws at us what we think we deserve, or what we think we can get…
    However, whenever someone manages to do something new with their lives, it’s like a new rose blooming! It’s like a totally new star shining in the sky, making their lives and everybody else’s lives more beautiful and fuller, day by day…
    There is nothing more beautiful and more significant than a life fully lived.
    Although, I’ve never been to a Mastery program ever, I see it happen everyday and whenever I read about other people making changes in their lives according to their dreams, I say: “GO, baby!!!!!”
    Good luck with everything!!!
    Love from Greece,

  • Natasha March 5, 2013, 11:48 am

    Loved it. This Nubian goddess truly spoke to my spirit. Thank you. I so need this right now!

  • Courtisane Merisier - Wildcherry March 5, 2013, 11:19 am

    Beautiful Nubian Goddess, I’m soooo thrilled for you ; delighted to read of every single juicy drop of your self-squeeze.
    You are an amazing woman. Your story has fired up every cell of desire within my soul. I’m grateful for you. Kiss x

  • little jo March 5, 2013, 11:11 am

    I just love those success-stories, for they all tell the same stuff, proving MamaGena’s Mastery is a must for each and every woman – especially the ones still under subtle or not so subtle male indoctrination. My dream would be some sort of a School of Womanly Arts and Tools young women worldwide could access after ‘normal’ school – but before their entry in the ‘real world’, so that they could begin their life empowered and able to take the best of it and give the best of themselves…

  • Agnès Brûlante Brilliante March 5, 2013, 10:14 am

    I soooo love this story Nubian Goddess! I remember meeting you on the rooftop of the Townhouse that first Miami Weekend and we were both shells and beyond numb! It’s been truly an honor to witness your story first hand since the inception of SWA for both of us! I can second that the SWA saved me as well. Well written.

    Massive Dance Break Sister!! xo

  • SG Kiss Me All Over Kate March 5, 2013, 9:24 am

    What a fantastic and empowering story. Thank you for sharing it with the world, SG Darline, Nubian Goddess! (love!)

  • Fab March 5, 2013, 8:52 am

    Wow!!! I’m even more in love with Darline now.
    I feel honored to know her.
    I feel so blessed there is one Mama Gena in this world.
    That’s all it takes.
    Thank you for giving it all to all of us and yourSelf Mama!
    In love, pleasure and gratitude,
    SG Fab

  • veronica March 5, 2013, 8:25 am

    permission yes, that’s a word i don’t know of, i was thinking why lord why don’t i find a way to do mastery, thank you! all about PERMISSION

    I follow mama gena religiously since two years but still can’t find a way to get closer to the mastery and make it come true for me,

    I am so grateful for all the testimonies i read and listen to, they bring me one step closer to doing it, i want to do it this year i feel ready, i so need to be cracked open

    this testimony is so beautiful, so authentic and so courageous,

    i love when the day has come to make it different, love that!
    permission…. to be a woman, i’d love that,

    • little jo March 5, 2013, 10:54 am

      did you read her books? And you still think you’re not worthy?? Then you must read them again (and again). And if it’s not enough to give yourself permission, read the Mastery testimonials, they all prove (if it’s necessary) it’s working for each one of us, making us so much more, making life so much more. Pretty cool I must say…

      • mama gena March 5, 2013, 11:37 am

        little jo- i love you. 🙂

        • veronica March 5, 2013, 2:23 pm

          Mama Gena, i saw your video of Woman Thought Leader of the Year – Regena Thomashauer at SWSW LIVE! NYC
          I must say i cried, i jumped on my chair with delight i even danced, see very soon i am going to be one of your student.
          not everybody can do that to me! you make my soul shine dance and sing!! and the other sisters testifying make me want to hug them and thank them for giving back what they received from you.

      • veronica March 5, 2013, 2:15 pm

        yes i did read her books,
        you are right back to reading them 😉
        It’s funny i had decided lately to listen to all i can about mama gena, read the books again, watch dangerous beauty again etc etc make no excuse and be fully impregnated of her, soak myself into mama gena’s work fully (what you focus on grows i heard) so i do that and re-read the love letter
        i thank you deeply for your message, i understand why mama gena loves you 🙂
        Sending you lots of love and to mama gena and to all the sisters’, soon it will be MY sisters

        • Sydel March 5, 2013, 5:58 pm

          SG Veronica,
          We already ARE Sisters! Every single one of us are sistes. It only takes us having the awareness and giving ourselves permission to say it is so.
          SG Seductress

          • veronica March 7, 2013, 6:37 am

            thank you my sister 🙂

  • robin Kahn March 5, 2013, 8:13 am

    Beautiful beautiful story, Darline. Thank you for your honesty, it is so inspiring. And congratulations! You really gave yourself permission to grow and step out of your comfort zone…which ultimately feels more like a (dis)comfort zone when you have some perspective.

    My story is similar — depression, feeling like I was dead inside, dying marriage, debating antidepressants — again — wanting to wake something up inside me but I had no idea what. And somehow, miraculously, I got myself into Mastery and it all changed. I went through a huge shift in my life, similar to yours — and let go of so much that wasn’t working. And I never, for one moment, regretted the money, the time, any of it, because it gave me my life back. So many good things have come to me since Mastery, my writing career, healthy, fun relationships with men, travel, interesting and challenging work, feelings. Dancing! And women! Such an incredible community of women supporting each other! It’s a huge gift that keeps on giving. I am so grateful to Mama Gena and to all women. We are amazing.

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen March 5, 2013, 7:38 am

    What a story, Darline! I am always overwhelmed by them, even though I’ve been involved with SWA since 2008! They just keep getting coming! Congratulations on your genius for getting off your butt and getting to Mastery.

    Having done Mastery 4x, Inner Circle 4x, been a BIG twice, and lots of volunteering here, I find the biggest obstacle to a woman getting hers is PERMISSION! We’ve been taught we’re not allowed. Just accept the crumbs off the table and don’t ask for or expect too much.

    Mama Gena reverses all that. It’s a total paradigm shift. Love yourself enough to give yourself this gift, sisters. Darline’s story is amazing, but not unusual.
    Mastery starts in two weeks. You are on the precipice of something so extraordinary, if you give yourself PERMISSION. (And I don’t get paid for this either:).

    Here are more stories:

  • Jane March 5, 2013, 7:19 am

    Right there with ya, Erica, right there with ya. Thank you Darline. We’ll get there.

    • mama gena March 5, 2013, 10:59 am

      thanks for outing yourself, too, jane!!
      i feel you!!!
      you can do it!!!!

  • Erica March 5, 2013, 6:45 am

    “I have to say, Mama Gena did not impress me” is a powerful phrase. I had to clutch my pearls when I saw that tagline pop up on my email this morning. I applaud Darline for taking the step/leap of faith to reclaim herself. I know that Mama Gena would call me a fence sitter because I continue to sit on the edge of Mastery. I know I need it, better yet, I know I deserve it but there’s always a “but.” Reading the stories of Sister Goddesses who leaped off the fence and reclaimed themselves inspires and challenges me. Thank you Darline, Sister Goddesses near and far, and of course, Mama Gena, for encouraging me to slowly lift my ass of the fence. With abundant gratitude and love, Erica.

    • little jo March 5, 2013, 10:40 am

      If I was living in N-Y, I wouldn’t hesitate one single second. What are you afraid about??

    • mama gena March 5, 2013, 10:57 am

      thanks for your post, erica. you are brave. getting up off the fence is not easy. most people are too scared to make that move. i am honored.