October 21, 2014

It’s worth the risk to FEEL.

MEOLA-148 (1)

Hi. How ya feeling? How many times a day do we get asked that question? And how many times a day do we actually sink into the question, sense, discern and become conscious of the actual way we feel – and then, risk the truth of transparency in our answer? I get to feeling kind […]

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October 14, 2014

When your desire isn’t here yet – focus on this.

Driftwood

Driftwood. Heard of it? At the School, driftwood is what we look for whenever a woman is in the process of conjuring or creating a desire, but the desire isn’t exactly here yet. And – as far as I can tell – this is nearly all of the time. Because there are always desires, and […]

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October 7, 2014

6 Steps to Reinvention.

mamagena-reinvention

Hey there, I am the middle of an overhaul. An oil change.* A reinvention. Necessity, she is my mother. My girl is in 11th grade, and she doesn’t need me in the same ways she used to. We are actually going on our first college tour next weekend. I have separated my home and office […]

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September 30, 2014

Say yes to the impossible – here’s how.

mama gena

Let’s dive in. I have something I want to talk to you about. Something I am passionate about, and fierce for. I want to talk about your magic. Your creativity. Your mark. Your way. About how to take a dream and set it on its feet. About how sensual magic works. Magic that every woman […]

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September 23, 2014

The Technology of Love

mama gena speaking

It Is all Just a love contest And I never Lose. Now you have another good reason To spend more time With Me. -Hafiz Many people ask me how I started, where I started, when I started,  and why I started The School of Womanly Arts. When something is truly a calling, it has many […]

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Partying with Your Inner Bitch

Welcome to the sixth installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! This week, Jocelyn, a Mastery Grad from New York City, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Partying with your Inner Bitch!

Jocelyn, Age 35 – Comedian & Director of Corporate Events

jocelyn_photo_-_editedTo me, The Art of Partying with Your Inner Bitch is the practice of nurturing your inner authority. Your Inner Bitch is the strong person in you that knows what’s best for you and wants you to stand for what will make you happy, and bring out your highest possible self.

We have so many external authorities that tell us who we should be and what we should do. Partying With Your Inner Bitch means you are in touch with your inner boss, who trumps all the “shoulds” imposed upon you. She is one smart cookie, and she deserves to be listened to. She is your higher power, your self-respect, your truth.

Before I go any further, let’s talk about the word “Bitch,” because it can be misleading, to say the least. It’s an insult, the one thing women are taught to avoid being called. However, the Art of Partying with your Inner Bitch gives this taboo word a whole new meaning — a word that can also be read as “Babe in Total Control of Herself.”

Your Inner Bitch is not rude, or cruel at all. She is the antithesis of being a self-sacrificing doormat. Practicing this Art is about feeling in control of your experience, rooted in self-respect; knowing what you want and being unwilling to compromise your standards. In fact, when you truly party with your Inner Bitch, you and everyone around you benefits.

When I came to the School of Womanly Arts in 2008, my Inner Bitch and I were not friends. I was a busy, stressed out lawyer — I was not having a lot of fun, and I was certainly not making room in my life to just let loose and rage. When I found Mama Gena, I devoured her book, went for an orientation session and signed up for her class on the spot. It was such a wakeup call, learning that a woman can own all of herself, and that pleasure can be her modus operandi.

Out of all of the tools and the arts, Partying with Your Inner Bitch is definitely one of my favorites — I can’t wait until we cover it in Boot Camp this Fall. It gives me such freedom and power, and I think the world would be a more peaceful and fun place if everyone mastered this Art!

What happens when a woman is not Partying with her Inner Bitch?

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Owning Your Beauty

Welcome to the fifth installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! This week, Mercedes, a Mastery and Boot Camp Grad from New York City, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Owning Your Beauty!

Mercedes, Age 38 – Actress, Dancer & Executive Assistant

linderpix-MercedesOwning Your Beauty is about really knowing and loving who you are, your soul, your body, your mind, and every part of you that makes you, YOU.

It’s about accepting your flaws, your imperfections, your inadequacies, and loving all those parts fully.

It’s about feeling your beauty, without relying on what anyone else thinks.

This art has allowed me to put myself first, to love and value myself in the fullest way possible.

Like almost every woman I know, I was never proud of my body. Society, and that nasty inner voice would tell me, “My legs are too big, small chest, my butt‘s not round enough.” I think we’re taught as women to be at war with our bodies, so this Art is really about overcoming all of that, rising above societal standards of “fake beauty,” and really seeing and loving exactly who we are.

This tool allows me to push all of those thoughts, worries, doubts out of my head, and it reminds me how truly divine I am, how special I am, that we are all divine and special, and that we all have something unique to offer. It’s made me accept and love the person I am. Every woman is beautiful.

No matter what size your breasts are, how tall you are, thin you are, old you are — you are beautiful. The Art of Owning Your Beauty is about reclaiming yourself, reclaiming your power, making peace with your body.

Because, when you’re at war with your body, who wins?!

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The Art of Flirtation

Welcome to the fourth installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! This week, Laurie, a Mastery and Boot Camp Grad from Michigan, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Flirtation!

Laurie, Age 65 – Retired Nonprofit Director

rockstar_cropThe Art of Flirtation is so simple and yet I really tried my best to make it hard. Mama Gena defines flirtation as “enjoying yourself in the presence of others.” That should not be hard to do, right? The problem was, I didn’t understand what true flirtation meant.

I thought flirtation meant that I was looking for a sexual relationship and that flirting was a way to attract men. I pictured old movies where a woman bats her eyelashes and fawns over a guy, telling him all the things she thinks he wants to hear, leading towards some kind of sexual outcome. I never had much time for people who only told others what they thought that person wanted to hear. It felt so fake. I had no interest in flirting and never ever thought I could be good at it, even if I wanted to!

As a gay woman I was even more skeptical of flirting — I was not interested in attracting and flirting with men, and was convinced this was not the Art for me. I thought flirting was all about the other person and making them feel good with no regard for how I felt.

After all that I learned from Mama Gena, the School of Womanly Arts and my Sister Goddess community, I now understand that true flirtation is all about enjoying myself, and uplifting someone else as a wonderful by-product of my flirt.

One thing I love about flirtation is that it just removes so many barriers that we create between ourselves and others. It’s like walking into a room and turning on your light, and letting everyone else bask in the glow. It is plugging into my power source, and attracting everyone in that room who cares to participate in my happiness to join in.

I believe that happiness and flirtation go together. It’s hard not to flirt when you are happy! When I’m happy with myself, and comfortable within myself, I reach out more to people, I uplift them, I do anything I can to bring them into their own power and joy…while taking myself deeper into my own power and joy as well.

There is no room for negativity if one is practicing the Art of Flirtation. Practicing flirtation has removed criticism and fault finding from my life. It has relieved my depression, given me great happiness and allowed so much space for me to attract happier people into my life. Flirting is a win-win situation. No one loses!

Honestly, out of all the things I’ve learned at the school, Flirtation has changed my life the most. This tool has enabled me to stop trying to control the outcome of a situation, and just stay right in the moment and be positive about it. It’s like walking through life with my hands open instead of my fists clenched. It relaxes my body and releases tension. I know that I can find my joy, bring others higher alongside me, and get out of any tough situation by using flirtation.

Every woman has her own style, or brand, of flirtation. How would you describe yours?

rockstar_in_new_yorkI’d say my style of flirtation is humour and empathy.

I always try to lighten up a situation by making someone laugh (and making myself laugh)!

I try to have an awareness about people, sensing when they need to be flirted with. I take so much pleasure in giving someone a compliment and making them smile.

I work with our scholarship program at the YMCA  for low income families, and I remember one woman in particular. She was having a really hard time asking for help, speaking in a very low voice so no one would hear her. She had just lost her job, and things were so rough for her. I smiled and said, “Ok, let’s go sit over here and have a little chat.” That’s flirtation — it’s me paying special attention to her. By the end, we were both laughing. We had formed a mutual admiration society, that just took away all the barriers.

Flirting, for me, is about finding all the rights, and not all the wrongs. Really, there is plenty to find wrong in this world. I flirt with love, I flirt with what’s right…I flirt with babies and I flirt with grumpy people. I flirt with men (I am really good at this) and I flirt with women (I am even better at this)!

The Art of Flirtation is such a joyous, happy tool, and I realized that flirting with anything and anybody is what I am all about. It is the essence of me. It makes me have tears in my eyes talking about it because I so much want everyone to practice this art on a daily basis. Flirting is a life force — my life force.

What are the obstacles to flirting, in your own experience or what you’ve observed from others?

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The Art of Sensual Pleasure

Welcome to the third installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged, in honor of our upcoming course, Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp! This week, Simin, a Mastery and Boot Camp Grad from the NYC area, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Sensual Pleasure…

Simin, Age 38 – IT Director & Artist

Simin headshotPracticing the Art of Sensual Pleasure simply means owning your power.
Sensuality means a lot to me, it is my essence, it is who I am.
My sensual expression is my light, my connection to the divine.
It is the truth that lives in my body and is undeniable.

When I’m regularly connected to my sensual self, everything is different, because I am grounded in myself. I am walking differently, operating in the world with more confidence, feeling calm and relaxed and thus able to express myself clearly. I come from a place of wisdom, I am playful, and turned on. Connecting with my sensuality helps me feel uplifted and to seek guidance when I need it.

The Art of Sensual Pleasure happens for me on three levels. There is the physical level — acknowledging the presence of my sensual self. The emotional level — sensing that I am supported, and held by a deep power within. And at a spiritual level, my sensuality is my wisdom.

Paint us a picture of some of the ways you practice The Womanly Art of Sensual Pleasure in your daily life.

First of all, sensuality is not just about sex. I practice the Art of Sensual Pleasure using all of my senses. I especially use sound, taste, smell, and movement to connect with my sensuality throughout my day.

It’s this practice that helps me stay connected to my divinity and my wisdom, which is so important, especially because I work in computers all day! It’s a very heady job, and if I don’t practice this Art regularly, I can easily get ungrounded and not present.

Here are some examples of how I often connect with my Sensual Pleasure:

  • Fragrances really help ground me and connect with my body. I use pure essential oils often. For instance, I’ll use lavender to calm me — I use it every night, or sometimes when I’m stressed. There is also a particular perfume that really turns me on, and I love to smell it when I’m intimate with my husband.

  • Another way I use smell, as well as the sensual pleasure of beauty, is with flowers. I always keep flowers on my nightstand, for example. When I shop for flowers, I just feel into which bouquet wants to come home with me, depending on what I’m needing. Sometimes it’s roses. Sometimes it’s the fresh feeling of lilies.

  • Then, there’s taste . . . I love flavors. I especially love different flavors bursting in my mouth that surprise me. Taste is so important. Food is a very pleasurable experience for me. It’s also something that I really abused for many years. Because I wasn’t truly connected with my sensuality, I sought instant gratification through sugar and fatty foods. For several years, I was highly dependent on food as my source of pleasure. Now food and taste is just one of many ways I experience pleasure and tap into my sensuality.

  • Music! When I listen to music, it’s like boom, I drop into my body. If I’m very in my head and I’ve had a stressful day, and I feel disconnected, almost like I’m split between head and body, the easiest way I can tap back into my sensual pleasure is to sit at my desk and listen to music. Sometimes I just need to listen to a dark song and move my pelvis — just to feel my connection with my pelvis and my legs and my shoulders. That brings me back and grounds me in such an important way.

  • On a daily basis, I also acknowledge my feminine pleasure center. I will breathe deeply into her, move my hips to awaken my pelvic muscles, and take any action to draw my awareness to her.

  • Another way I really get embodied, feeling connected with my own body and the earth is nature. I love walking in the park, laying and rolling around in the grass. And hugging trees!

For me, practicing the Art of Sensual Pleasure has seeped into so many moments of my day, and how I navigate life.

What can you remember about early messages, or experiences, you received around Sensuality?

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Having Fun No Matter What

Welcome to the second installment of our 8-week summer series, The Womanly Arts Unplugged! This week, Maurya, a Mastery and Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp Grad from Boston, MA, joins us to teach about the Womanly Art of Having Fun No Matter What…

Maurya, Age 51 – Lawyer, Coach, Wife and Mama

Maurya HeadshotThe Art of Having Fun No Matter What is really my favorite art, because it’s about claiming my power and agency, and making the choice in any experience to find my pleasure and joy.

When I’m practicing this Art, I look at my life through the lens of a researcher, exploring ways to inject fun . . . even if, especially if, I’m dreading a particular obligation.

When I first learned about the Art of Having Fun No Matter What, I was like, “Yeah right. Are you kidding me?!” I didn’t think it was possible. Have fun no matter what? Come on. It seemed so frivolous, and unattainable.

Then, I moved into “research mode” — I still didn’t think it would bring enough change to be worth the effort, but I decided to experiment.

It was all about the baby steps. Flirt with a toddler, or a puppy. Go to Starbucks, get your favorite drink and compliment the barista on how they made it. It’s about treating yourself to that connection, and pleasure, in all the little moments that could otherwise just pass by.

That’s the way that I was willing to try this — choosing little risk-free opportunities to inject fun, and practice pleasure. And then notice, okay how do I feel? Lighter. Okay, interesting. And that’s what propelled me to take bigger risks, with bigger change potential.

What was your relationship with Fun like, before and after learning the Womanly Arts?

Before I learned the tools and arts, I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do. I was a good lawyer. I made good money. I was a good wife. I was a good mom. I volunteered. A lot.

I went to parties. They’d be . . . kinda fun. But because I didn’t feel fully confident about who I was and what I wanted, I was still concerned with what people thought of me, there was a certain level of self-consciousness. I would make nice conversation, it was lovely, blah blah blah, but it wouldn’t really feel juicy and connected.

See, I’m not the loudest crayon in the box. Before the SWA, I thought that having fun meant trying to be someone I’m not. I learned how to look like I was having fun — big smiles! But those experiences didn’t really light me up. I wondered, “Is that all there is?”

On a spectrum from A to Z, where A is bottom of the depths heartbreak and Z is total ecstasy, I was living in the middle of the alphabet. It was a pretty narrow bandwidth.

And I think that’s the societal thing that’s expected! If you’re too happy, people are taken aback — it’s too much. I think my standard answer to “How are you?” was “Ok, hangin’ in there,” and depending on how close we were, maybe “Ugh, it totally sucks.”

My life was pretty bland. And when I think back, it just didn’t occur to me that there was an option to have better.  continue reading…