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Ever feel like a resentful brat?

Ever feel like a resentful brat?

Here’s the truth: I was an absolute brat to my kid yesterday.

It was not my shiniest moment.

My kid’s in the middle of midterms. And I criticized her on her way to her math exam. And then, she criticized me for criticizing her. Ba-bam.

Later that day, I found myself being bratty with my lover. And then, resentful of having to go to another Auction Committee meeting at school. And don’t even ask about the running commentary on my hair, my body, etc. that was happening inside my head.

It’s February, sisters. The dead of winter. It ain’t easy being chirpy in the deep freeze.
And there are so many reasons to lose our chirp.

Work stress is constant. Winter storms. What to make for dinner? The new guy cancelled our date. Deadlines on the rewrites. Exploding inbox. And let’s not even discuss the headlines. . .or I might just start yelling at random strangers on the street.

Do you know what cranky, bratty behavior actually is?

It’s one of the ways that we scream for pleasure.
It’s our cry for help.
We rage when what we really want to do is turn on.

Crazy, I know. No one teaches us that we are very finely tuned instruments, and we have the capacity – with the right tools and sisterhood – to navigate every inch of our internal landscape with grace.

We have been told to dial down our emotional range, limit our huge desires, and not associate with our raw appetites.

We have been encouraged to pay close attention to our flaws, our obstacles, and to seek out and name our insufficiencies with great enthusiasm.

When we are offered 79 cents on the dollar that men earn, for the same job, we accept it gladly and without fuss. We are taught to ignore what upsets us and instead told to focus on what upsets others. Weaned on resentment and tuned towards negativity.

And when we are squashed like that, what most women do is take our ‘pissed’ out on the world. Sometimes, we can act like righteous brats. And make our husbands, our families, or the poor barista who messed up our coffee order, suffer. As if that would solve anything.

When actually, as you know, my precious petulant petunia, it makes everything a lot worse.

And worst news?
Women are all so accustomed to cranky that we often don’t even detect our, or each other’s brattiness. (Whining? Who’s whining? It’s just the way I tawlk.)

And it is just so sad. Because like a tired toddler, we just want someone to scoop us up and rock us like a baby, kiss us all over and tell us we are the sweetest cutest little pumpkin the world has ever seen.

And yet who would even want to come within 40 paces of a whining cranky woman?

Not the easiest approach in the world, huh?

Which is why it becomes incumbent upon each of us to learn to love our cranky, our petulant, and our bratty. To cherish that sweet little precious princess who is wrapped in wolf’s clothing, and give her a dose of exactly what she wants.

Pleasure. Attention. Fun.

So yesterday, instead of trying to solve my issues or perform therapy on myself, I called a girlfriend and did a practice called Spring Cleaning (described in detail in my first book, and one of many practices we use in the Mastery community). That allowed me to release all the negative charge I had built up, in a productive way.

Then, I concluded with a brag, a gratitude and a desire.

After I had taken care of myself with these simple, but effective practices, I realized what I wanted—to support my kid in her week of midterms. So I called and apologized to her. And I made my famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from scratch—because studying hard requires sustenance. Then after the Auction Committee meeting, I made an impromptu date with my lover, bought flowers for myself, and went for a long walk in the bracing winter air.

Bratty and cranky are just signs that our tank is running low.
When our tank runs dry, the only person capable of filling it up is us.
Unfortunately, so many of us were taught to start looking for what’s wrong in these moments, and start a chain of criticism which just exacerbates the slow leak.

Turning on is like a major tune up.
Reaching for pleasure can feel awkward. And not nearly as relevant as picking at the scabs.

But I know you.
You hate having bratty run your life.
You want to feel the full wingspan of your womanhood.
You want to live your untapped potential.
You want to soar.
And pleasure is the fuel that takes a woman to a whole new level of power.

So today, in the comments section below, I want to give some love to our cranky.

Where do you find yourself acting like a brat, feeling impatient, or spewing negativity? How can you fill yourself up with pleasure, turn on, and attention? Or, tell me about a time you navigated a cranky spot – how did you get out of it?

I can’t wait to hear from you.

With so much love and pleasure,

p.s. Just over a week ago, we hosted over 800 women in NYC for an annual introduction to the Mastery Program. The weekend was an explosion of sisterhood unlike any other. We cried, raged, laughed, danced our collective ass off, and redesigned the future for ourselves, and womankind. Oh yes we did.

To all of you who attended, thank you for bringing it – you rocked my world. For those who didn’t make it this time, thank you for being here, for reading, for being a part of this community – I hope to meet you face to face soon.

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29 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Maria Stenvinkel February 15, 2016, 2:07 am

    Oh love this post!

    I actually just went to bed. I’m not kidding when I say that I slept for almost 4 days last week. I lied to people and said that I was sick. I wasn’t. I just didn’t have the energy to go out into the world. I’ve learned to embrace my not-so-good moments. And now I love them. It’s my excuse to be with myself, to take naps, to eat chocolate and watch Downtown Abbey.

  • Sister Goddess Melissa February 13, 2016, 9:23 pm

    I am feeling overly drained and cranky this week. And to top it all, my husband, who I am questioning everything about our relationship doesn’t seem to care about me at all. I am flipping through social media and all I see are lovey post and pictures of what awesome dates people are going on tonight. Here I am in bed, with wine….at least feeling sorry for myself. This flipping pisses me off.

    I am a pleasure researcher, sometimes I fail to remember things that I love for me. I get caught up in what I am not receiving from others. My tank is definitely empty and I need to be recharged. I am signed up for Mastery and I really hope I can gain the tools needed to make the necessary changes I need to live a fulfilled life.

  • Loleta Goins February 13, 2016, 4:24 pm

    February is my hump month. If I can get through February I can get through the rest of the winter. (Winter is not my favorite season and I constantly let everyone know this at my workplace. ) I don’t have a sweetheart so I purchase my favorite soap from the Beauty Supply store. (Which contains goat’s milk, honey, chai and rose extract) I purchased a magazine from the drugstore and what did I find? A recipe for Cleopatra’s Bath. I also purchase chocolates for myself. I checkout a great book from the library. I dig out my Spa Music CD and commence to indulge in some extreme self care for Valentine’s day. The scent of roses really helps to get me through the harshness of winter.( I too have an inner brat. But I sedate her with the scent of roses and the taste of chocolate:)

  • Caralise February 11, 2016, 12:05 am

    Mmmm, what a wonderful post ~ thanks so much for expressing this! ~
    I can oh so relate ~ This week I came down with a gooey, raspy cold. I reacted first by berating myself for not taking good enough care of myself, which then spun into a nasty lil’ self-criticism session in which I tore apart my entire life with my mind in search of all the “problems” I could conceive of. This was not constructive, honest criticism – it was dramatic and mean. And it surely didn’t make me feel any better! I began moving through it by appreciating the opportunity to read an amazing book, drink tea, and indulge in baths. The turning point finally was making lovely love with my partner, followed by a long, naked afternoon nap. I’m feeling much better now, and grateful for the opportunity for healing!

  • Anna d'Onofrio February 10, 2016, 10:16 pm

    While SC with wendy walker I expressed my crankiness with winter. (This was immediately after the Q & A call.) I said I wanted to be running naked outdoors and to be in my garden and swimming in my pool. She encouraged me to strip naked wear a pair of boots and go outside. After lunch I did just that but I added a hat and wool collar along with my husband to photograph. Surprisingly I had soooo much fun. I was dancing and kicking the snow around and stayed outdoors longer than I would have imagined. I went on to having the most enjoyable afternoon and evening! It was truly invigorating and pleasurable and fun!

  • Alexi February 10, 2016, 8:28 pm

    Oh… wow. I thought my inner brat was covering that I was sad inside… because after snapping and knowing I’ve made others miserable, I will find myself sooner or later crying and sorry. But there’s another layer, that I am missing on pleasure. This is good and gives me hope that maybe just maybe I’m not destined to be reincarnated as a customer service rep 🙂

  • Amy February 10, 2016, 5:10 pm

    So well put! Our kids certainly know how to push our buttons! My 16 year old often does and I’ve found it’s usually because my instinct is to take on her angst or to fix it! I seem to think I know what’s best for her so when she doesn’t behave as I feel she should in order to get her out of her funk quickly, I get all cranky! It’s really so silly but in the moment it seems sooooo important. What I try to do is remind myself to breath and remind myself that she’s not me and that I’m a much more equipped parent to her than my parents were to me. I start to focus on all the good I’ve tried to teach her and all of the support I’ve given her over the years and those “bragging” thoughts help me to feel better about the situation and about both of us!

  • Elena Anastasia February 10, 2016, 7:20 am

    I so needed to hear this today…
    Overworked! And cranky.

  • Rachel February 10, 2016, 5:03 am

    Hugs to all! I keep the bitch side out & have fun with her all the time -it helps prevent bottling & the emotional molotov cocktail explosion that happens sooner or later. I’m horrible for it. I’m a nurse aide in the alzheimers lock down unit. The residents do remember you & your treatment of them if nothing else. I do get told about talking to them too much & laughing with them. I tell them all cranky bitch is way over done as well as I treat everyone (whether or not I like you)the way I want to be treated. The 1 phrase my hubby does over use is “I don’t give a shit”. Granted it does make me snap at him when he wants something & won’t make a decision on what he wants & complaining after the fact that it wasn’t what he wants. After a while I sat down and thought about the phrase itself & it’s practical application to real life. I was amused to realize exactly how much I didn’t need to truly give a shit about & seriously take a lot of figurative & literal shit off the table & send it to where it becomes productive -like the various gardens of your life /soul. Quite frankly I have found more use for shit than a lot of people. The hubby has some ass kissing to do. I was sick over my birthday & honestly can’t remember roughly 4 days that week. When he told me that I love the dog more than him I should have not held back & told him that fact is the dog who is my emotional /physical support service pup as well as the cockatiel took damn good care of me while your sorry ass wasn’t there to help me when I needed you. I really need to get on training him. I can’t put all the blame on him when there is stuff he hasn’t been taught. The fact that this is his first marriage and he’s 14 years younger -my second -as well as get him undone from dad’s apron & has some seriously conflicted ideas of how some issues need to be handled. I also make sure I do stuff consistently to pleasure myself to keep bratty in line cuz my mom was notorious for the nag /whining thing & I hate it! My ex was an abusive bastard & did great rendition of my mom. I used to tell him that if I want to hear her I would have her present. Bragging time -had more incredible loving with the hubby and a long hot bath and now comfy in bed. Hugs to all!

  • Emma February 10, 2016, 3:26 am

    Just resently my awareness embodied the fact that we’re never forced to do anything, truly, and that me making a choice that has me doing something I don’t particularly enjoy (like cleaning the apartment) is something I can and SHOULD celebrate. So what I want to share with you happened yesterday. I picked up my daughter from day care and she looked like she’d been lying in ditches the whole day. Where I live it’s a couple of degrees warm, rainy and mucky. Now if there’s one thing that easily grates on my nerves it’s having to rinse off her stuff. In our apartment there’s no other practical way to go about it; I have take off my socks, roll up my leggings, get into the shower and hose it all down. I felt I was about to go into my I can’t BELIEVE this is my life mode, when I remembered I was pretty awesome for making this decision. After all, I could have not cared, left her stuff unrinsed and dirty. In truth I could have. So I started saying it out loud, I started celebrating myself, my super mom-ness, my bad-ass hose-down life!! And what I enjoyed most was not doing this under my breath either. I heard myself singing my praises out loud and clear. I am sooooo aweeeeesome hosiiing down my beloved daughter’s gear…. oooooh niiice and shiiiny cleaaaan! And as I said it out loud what started as a kind of wry joke became real. I was truly enjoying the cleanness, and the service I was doing for my daughter, and myself as the person doing it. My daughter watched me, listening and smiling and joined me in singing her own praises of herself out loud and clear! We were both full of laughter and empowered by turning bratty into pleasure… And while doing it I was amazed to realize how un-cosher it is for us (according to upbringing) to sing our own praises out loud. Dang! when there are so many things that can take us down it’s actually our duty to ourselves to boost us up!! heads up for Pleasure! And thanks for your post mama Gena, you are sooo right.

  • Astra February 9, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I was just acting and feeling bratty when low and behold I got this email! Thank you. For me ‘bratty’ is when I want to blame someone else for things not being a certain way. Tonight I was complaining about the mediocre school system and value system we are leading our lives according to. When my husband kindly reminded me he was willing to go somewhere else, I was more upset. Why? Because I do not have the answers yet. Where do I dream of working, living and raising kids? Where is that place? I do not know. And once I realized this, I was able to get passed bratty to a little sad and then way OK. I was able to think “Oh i have work to do now. I can do some pleasure research!” And maybe when my husband gets home from his walk to cool off, we will have a little make out session instead on another long talk;-)

  • Mara February 9, 2016, 8:12 pm

    Thanks for am awesome post MG. Very appropriate. I have been finding myself tired doing the wife-mother-lover-house keeper-start new business owner-friend-sister-daugher-other routine day in and day out. I’m really bored of it. I’ve been watching Kim Anami who’s a sex goddess and I got some great tips. Between your strategies MG and KA – I’ve really been pleasing myself. Then last night I organised a date night with my man. Bottle of wine, sexy clothes (I felt great), we chatted for about an hour, had take away dinner and then made love all night. I have honoured myself through pleasure, through speaking what I need, and taking action and I had the best night ever 🙂

    PS. Any chance of touring Australia

  • SG Laurel February 9, 2016, 3:24 pm

    This was the perfect reminder in perfect timing! When I get overwhelmed at work, or over-scheduled, I become very cranky. I have much less patience, and I get very focused on getting things done at any cost. I have a joke with my friends at work – this side of my personality is called Ms. Pointy 😉 When I’m Ms. Pointy I don’t care as much about people’s feelings or stepping on toes. I get tension headaches and get annoyed and snap at people. Lately I’ve been trying to schedule less and have more free time to just enjoy quiet times with my boyfriend, or to do some art work. It makes me much happier and much less likely to snap. Spring cleaning and of course swamping it out helps so much, but for me over-scheduling and over-committing is what really amps up my crankitude. Thanks so much for sharing your cranky with us Mama Gena 🙂

  • Deb Kraemer February 9, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Coming home after the high of the weekend with the most incredible women, I knew I had to deal with some bullying from some men in my life (none of them being my husband). This alone could make a girl crabby/bratty and unkind. My 10 years at my shoppe is up for a new lease agreement, a male client who acts as if he is doing me the favor and the president of the foundation I am devoted to all needed to weigh me down. The thing that held me together was the weekend and the sister goddesses…. my hubby too 🙂 I was so proud that I signed up to take the Mastery program, I never had to make a call or ask if I could, get a permission slip or even worry about it, I just did it. I guess this is a brag – not so crabby after all. THX!

  • SG Christy (of the East Coast!) February 9, 2016, 2:56 pm

    I give my “brat” a name…her name is Hannah. And when Hannah shows up I use the tools. First and foremost instead of squelching Hannah like I use to do…try to tamp her down, hide her, shame her….I embrace her. Because I am a Goddess and Hannah is part of my Goddess. I say hello to her and ask her what she needs. She always responds with something that is fairly easy to give myself. …inevitably she needs her cup filled. Acceptance. Acceptance of Hannah. That is what Mastery and Creation taught me. I always thought the goal was to banish Hannah. I learned Hannah is awesome, more than awesome…she is a hot, vibrant, woman within me. Acknowledging Hannah and asking her what she wants….that makes it all work for me. No one but Regena taught me how to embrace all of me without labels of good and bad.

    • Astra February 9, 2016, 9:47 pm

      thank you! I am considering a name right now….love that idea.

  • nikki February 9, 2016, 1:42 pm

    I know one thing: my brat is a teacher. Whenever I’m so bratty that I act out, I know I’m behaving badly, and I own up to it later. I apologize to my daughters and they learn how to take ownership of their “bad” sides, and to realize that everyone has cranky days- as humans that’s just one of the perks. It’s no big deal as long as we own up to it and the positives as easily as the negatives. My bratty side also let’s me know when there really is a big deal that I should give my attention to. I try to put her on probation before I act, but if she keeps pushing certain issues with strong emotional response, I know it’s go time 🙂 Great post topic- we all have to love our brats sometimes!

  • SGElizabethT February 9, 2016, 1:27 pm

    I tend to act like a brat when things don’t go my way which used to be all of the time. After your intro weekend here in NYC, I have been focusing more on tuning into myself, doing a dance break (even at work) & being grateful of all the fabulous things that are in my life. In turn, I’ve become aware when I’m becoming bratty & have been able to dial it back, which my husband has noticed & has deeply appreciated.

  • Marie February 9, 2016, 1:18 pm

    Thanks for the insight into brattiness. This insight is helpful when we may be on the receiving end of brattiness.

  • SG Moneyque February 9, 2016, 1:02 pm

    I had a cranky day yesterday after a long but amazing night of phone sex with my lover. I had some old stuff come up and I was tired. I was stressed about a lot of things happening with work, my kids, life. I got into a slump: crying, pity party, remembering the past. So I allowed myself to accept my mood. I let the kids watch tv while I cried in the basement. Then I tried turning on. I self-pleasured. I spring cleaned with an SG and danced while ordering Chinese to celebrate the New Year. The kids picked up on my mood and wrote me a letter! I invited them into bed with me to cuddle, and I explained to them that I was a little down. We did brags and fell asleep cuddled together.

  • SG Bee February 9, 2016, 12:59 pm

    I am having such a hard time this week avoiding my crankiness. I’m thinking of trying spring cleaning and seeing if that helps! I think my crankiness this week is related to loneliness and also stress because I’m moving this week. I should be extremely excited because my new apartment is AMAZING and my old apartment was AWFUL and depressing to live in, but I’m so just more stressed about the practicalities I feel like I’m not even living in the moment of it! Again, perhaps some spring cleaning would help? Happy to take any advice from my lovely Sister Goddesses!

    • Paige February 9, 2016, 6:41 pm

      Congratulations, SG Bee on creating a beautiful new home for yourself.
      You are a powerful creator. Creating more success for yourself.
      Expand into your new home. Relish it – and let the practicalities of the move
      sort themselves out for you.

  • Jaya February 9, 2016, 12:30 pm

    Isn’t t it just how it is that we get bratty, cranky…and here we are in the Year of the Fire Monkey and fire is the element that creates the fastest transformation and lots of chaos has informed me yesterday..When wetake advantage of the Fire element year, then I think we can harness its transformative power to evaluate our own lives and change anything that no longer serves us: money, love, health and wellness, recreation, spirituality, and more are ours..we can create our own zillion possibilities…get unstuck and stay in our unique power in cooperation and collaboration with others!!! Thank you for this amazing post Mama Gena!!!

  • rockstar February 9, 2016, 12:29 pm

    The farther away I get from the tools and using them the more cranky I get. I adopted crank this week as my mode of operation but thanks to you, Mama Gena, and this ingenious blog of yours I can cut myself ( and everyone else) a break and laugh again!!

    SG Rockstar

  • Rita February 9, 2016, 12:21 pm

    This week I’ve noticed that many people are appearing as annoying to me. I find myself describing others as irritating or I give an eye-roll as they are talking (usually internally). Firstly, I give myself a break. Maybe I have a point! Secondly, I bless them for helping me experience a part that needs some love. Thirdly, I do something I love to do (today it was to dance with my girl friends). Yay!

  • Lisa February 9, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Wow. This message was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you, Mama!

    It’s funny, b/c I know this information logically but have not been living or practicing it at all recently. I am going to shift that NOW! I have definitely been in a cranky place but today I commit to focusing on pleasure to fill my cup.

  • Jill is Magic February 9, 2016, 11:57 am

    Such a genius post . Love your transparency and message – beautifully written and speaking right to my cranky bratty bones. Thank you for the excellent reminders.

    I tend to get cranky when I am not speaking up for my boundaries and feeling resentful around things I feel beholden to. Banishing guilt shame and obligation from my life is a work in progress and not without psychic backlash, mostly from myself!

    As I dream bigger, so do the voices of self sabotage also rise. I am grateful for this reminder to recognize the cranky and meet her with love and turn on -and ever grateful for you, the tools, our sisterhood. Spring Cleaning, a Trinity, a Dance Break, a good swamp can all shift my mood. And taking the time to adorn myself and feeling hot is always helpful 😉

    Love Love!!

  • Lynn Rossi February 9, 2016, 11:39 am

    Thank you!

  • QueenAnne February 9, 2016, 11:27 am

    I turn almost all my cranky inward. Nobody ever gets to hear about it but me and my poor body, which tries to process. But that’s okay, I accept that about me! I don’t like to spew vitriol, as you said, dear Mama, it just makes everything worse…. Recently I was having one of those days where my cranky had upleveled to FURIOUS. I actually started yelling at the office. So not Pussy. Even so, it was righteous, I did enjoy the rarity for a bit. So how did I get out of it? I just stood up and left my desk, apologized to my team, admitted to them that I had embarrassed myself, and went downstairs for beautiful hot tea with scones, crème frâiche and raspberry jam. Like the David Bowie song, “And if the homework brings you down, we’ll throw it on the fire and take the car downtown!”