Ugh, I’ve hit a rough patch

Darlings,

“I have hit a rough patch.”

Not only is that true for me personally right now, but it was a global theme in the questions that were submitted a few weeks ago, so I wanted to take advantage of the prevailing retrograde winds, and address this topic.

Life is a roller coaster. Sometimes we catch all the breaks, nail every triple lutz, and surprise ourselves with our own gold medal magnificence. And sometimes, life is like the walk in the snow and frozen-rain-coated woods I had with my dog yesterday. It was a dark comedy, with the two of us skittering along on the icy surface, breaking through to snowy mud, losing our footing, falling on our asses, and limping home.

Sometimes the rough patch might be:

  • Having problems in a relationship.
  • Feeling lonely or alone.
  • Out of work, and struggling.
  • Overwhelmed. With life, with kids, with work.
  • Handling the complex childhood traumas that still impact us.

Oh, how I hate a rough patch.
The worst part?
When skittering along the icy surface, or slogging through the swampy depths, I forget that life was ever different. I forget that I had ever had a gold medal day.
Rough patches are like that. They wipe out reason, replacing it with a fog of endless darkness. Perspective is superseded by self-pity. And hope? Can’t even remember the feeling.

And it’s not like the problems that we have are exaggerated.
Or trivial.
Not having a job, breaking up with your love, hating your work situation, feeling lonely, tough times with parenting, being triggered by the past–these are all serious issues. These are issues that are worth your time, your attention, your tears, your upset, your heartache.

The question is, how do we navigate?

I am having teen/mama drama right now. And it’s not just the teen/mama thing. It’s the sense that when my daughter is struggling, I feel like I am struggling right along with her. As women, we tend to take the vicissitudes of life very personally. It’s not just that “I hit a rough patch” in parenting. I go to “I am a bad Mom.” Which is precisely what I read in all your questions. It’s not just that you are between jobs right now; you actually think you are in some way disqualified or unworthy, or cursed. It’s not just that you broke up with your guy; you think you are unlovable. And so on.

So, the question becomes: how do we navigate through the rough patch? Since the choppy waters aren’t going away permanently, how do we make it through as gracefully as we can, so we can catch the next wave that comes for us? Because, as inevitable as rough patches are, the next wave is also inevitable. And we want to be ready when it comes. Another word for “rough patch” is reclamation.

That’s where the Tools of the Womanly Arts are so unbelievably useful. In fact, in The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program, we spend an entire weekend of the course teaching the skill of swamping well. This is the art of moving through the rough patches of being a woman with grace, and it’s just another way of celebrating the privilege of being a woman. Swamping is taking advantage of the darkness in order to make space for more light.

Here is a foolproof four-part system for moving through a rough patch… 

1. Cry, scream, grieve, wail. Make some noise. When we stuff all of our intense emotions inside, we give them permanence. (Click to tweet!) Let your body move all that backlog of intense feeling out with sound and movement.
2. Do not throw a pretty dress and a smile on your rough patch. Play it up. If you feel sad, down, disappointed, wear it on your sleeve. I have a t-shirt that says, “psycho bitch from hell’ that I put on for special occasions. One of my mastery grads likes to wear a large black wide brimmed hat with a veil after a breakup. Live your truth on the outside and the inside.
3. There is an amazing exercise in all 3 of my books, called Spring Cleaning. Grab the book and do this exercise. It is hands-down the best way to move through your intense emotions in a powerful and deliberate way. Many Sister Goddesses, myself included, do this exercise every day. It’s a good way to keep current with yourself and release your deepest feelings.
4. I know you won’t feel like it, but this is the time to really pamper yourself. Use self-care like a machete to chop your way through the rough patch. A body scrub, a steamy bath, coconut oil and dressing like a rock star will begin to recalibrate the way you feel and bring you back to a sense of your own power.

How are you rocking your rough patches?
What have been the rewards of really surrendering to your deepest darkest feelings? How have the rough spots polished you into the woman you are becoming?

Let’s share together, and celebrate in the comments below. Because every time we have the opportunity to encounter a rough patch, we have the opportunity to transform into the next best version of the women we were destined to become.

In so much love and pleasure,
mama-gena-sig-180px

P.S. Are you intrigued to see how the Womanly Arts can transform your situation? Are you feeling the pull towards Sisterhood and the Mastery experience? This year’s course starts March 29th and 30th. As you know, we only do it once a year, so if you feel intrigued and interested, let’s talk (212-787-2411 x1). Hannah and Lauren will help you see if it’s a fit (or not) and work with you to make the impossible happen (husbands, schedules, finances, etc.) if it is. I don’t want you to miss out, as I fully expect this year’s course to be full, with a waiting list, soon.

  • 53 Comments · Leave One

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy February 25, 2014 at 9:22 am

What your program lacks comprehension of, is that the longer you dwell on negative feelings, the longer they remain in your life. This is basic spirituality. What you further lack comprehension of, is that you don’t see that when so called bad events happen, they are unraveling to release the good times. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will spend less and less time in the swamp, if ever. If every woman looks back at a relationship that ended, in due time she will see that the ending of it was the best thing that ever happened. Didn’t get that job you hoped? A better one came along. When things aren’t meant to be, they simply aren’t meant to be. Isn’t that why you chant “And so it shall be or something better?” The swamping kills all good vibrations of the law of attraction.

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K February 25, 2014 at 9:27 am

Judy, this is so snarky and totally unnecessary. It seems to me is YOU who is “killing all good vibrations of the law of attraction”. Glass houses lady, glass houses.

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Caroline (aka SG LOVE BUBBLE) February 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

Last time I checked, there was nothing about “dwelling in your negative feelings” for any length of time.
The swamp is orchestrated to be a limited segment that ends in total pleasure.
Not sure where you are getting your info on what is “lacking”, but you are way off.

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SG Holly February 25, 2014 at 9:48 am

Ditto. Truly uncalled for, Judy.

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Jill February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I believe that taking time to grieve a loss enables us to move through those dark feelings, in a rich way and faster than not allowing ‘what is’ to be expressed. I do not feel that that is at odds with knowing that every ending is for our highest good and there is always something ‘even better’ in store. Swamping is an effective tool for feeling and releasing and honoring the pain that is inescapable in life. To think that by only ‘thinking positive thoughts’ you are going to vibrate those things you desire and never have to face your dark side seems to me a super human proposition. I am grateful for the gifts of swamping as yet another way to find myself right. For me, the rough patches are much shorter when they are felt and honored in the way Regena outlines here. Namaste

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Amanda February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

I believe there is a difference between remaining obsessed with a negative experience, and authentically acknowledging your feelings. Like it or not, we all experience a range of emotions. They themselves are not “good” or “bad”, but rather we color them that way with how we let them affect our lives.

If feelings like anger, resentment, sadness, fear, etc. are present, and we do not acknowledge them for what they are, we run the risk of pushing them under where they will fester and ultimately have the potential to do far more damage. In my experience, being present with and honoring these feelings (one form of which is swamping) allows them to clear out FAR more quickly than trying to brush over them and “focus on the good”.

Being authentic with your feelings also ultimately allows people to see their gifts. You may not recognize the gift in your sadness until you give yourself over to it and let it run its course. You may not fully realize that the end of that relationship was the best thing for you until you’ve grieved. Like you said, you will eventually spend less and less time in the swamp – I believe that the permission to swamp allows people to do this. I am at the point where I can SWAMP away, and stay connected to my joy and pleasure at the same time. But the only way I got there was by allowing myself to swamp in the first place. Our souls learn through experience, not through rational thoughts in our minds.

In her program, Mama Gena also provides great advice for coming gracefully out of the swamp … you celebrate those swampy feelings, and then you also celebrate your confidence, joy, openness, abundance, etc. Spirituality, to me, is about honoring the Divine – all of it, ever last drop we’ve been given, which includes our glorious, wild emotions. Judy, so much love to you, seeker of the light!

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Natalie February 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Judy, I find Spring Cleaning – or “Dumping” as I call it when Tapping, as the QUICKEST way to move me back into that optimistic, joyful, “I’m awesome” space.

If I skip paying attention to the negative voices inside, and try to ignore my fears and doubts or JUST BE POSITIVE, I can hear whispers of mean and nasty thoughts for weeks.

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Madeleine von Froomer February 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm

I disagree here, and I can tell you why: Mama Gena’s SWA has never advocated dwelling on the negative. She advocates celebrating the negative, partying with it. Being told to ignore dark feelings and stay in the positive constantly so we don’t attract more negativity is burdensome, depressing, isolating and sometimes impossible. It’s making our true feelings “wrong”. I’ve got enough of that coming from our patriarchal culture, I don’t need it from a spiritual adviser. When we stand in our truth and let it out, the emotion can pass through us, making room for the next feeling. When we suppress or fake positivity, we build tension, depression, anxiety, sometimes illness. Every time a woman swallows her true feelings instead of vocalizing, a little death takes place. And all that death accumulates over a lifetime until you feel immobile but can’t understand why. Mama Gena giving women permission to express, vocalize, even celebrate their secret pain is one of her greatest gifts to the world. It’s not about the job, the boyfriend, whatever. It’s about knowing you have the right to express yourself honestly without shame or judgement. When we swamp we are in resonance with our true self, and that is the money spot.

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Mary February 26, 2014 at 12:50 am

Oh, I love this! So true. Thank you! x

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Betsy February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am

I spring clean nearly every day since your introduced me to the tool in SWA five years ago. A pleasant surprise is usually I find some nugget of gold in the rough patch when I spring clean about it (rather then my old choice of complaining and blaming which brings more negative energy to the rough patch).
Spring cleaning is like taking a vitamin for my soul.

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Pam February 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

I’ve been bouncing up and down on several sets of waves/rough patches.

Financially I’ve hit rock bottom. I overextended myself with the “belief” that it would all somehow work out. Faith-based financing, I call it. And it was kind of dumb. So to ride through it with fortitude was the trick. I worked with an amazing SG who helped me strategize ways through and out, and I’m working those strategies gently and consistently and feeling more in control and MUCH more hopeful.

My mother was diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s, and I’ve been struggling with getting her to move closer to me so that I can be of support. For some reason, I believe it’s the unconditional love I feel for her, riding this wave has been much easier. I am simply 100% committed to doing whatever needs to be done to support her in and through her own very real rough patch. The sisterhood I’ve experienced at SWA and Creation have been models that I use as I help her navigate this difficult process.

My love life has been … well, a has been. Until now. Bringing myself back to focus on MY beauty … really being diligent about reminding myself that I am a beautiful, hot woman AS I AM RIGHT NOW is what’s been helping me through this. (And last Friday night I had a date that ended in a very juicy yummy zingy kiss!)

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Leslie February 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Love all the positive transformation, Pam!

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Caroline (aka SG LOVE BUBBLE) February 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

I could name myself the QUEEN of rough patches. I brag that I overcame every single one. But was I bragging during the rough patches? Hell to the no. Life was doomed. My career was over. I failed as a mother. Woe woe woe is me!
But (as usual), you speak genius, Mama. The answer lies in SURRENDERING to the rough patches, oh yes. And that is what I learned and honed since my first mastery back in ’10. It’s a phenomena I would never have dreamed of before your coaching.
The old Caroline would REACT and PANIC.
Bad news.
A goddesses doesn’t panic.
She observes. She feels. She takes note of how she is feeling. Then she may RAGE. She may DANCE. She may move that feeling through in whatever way feels right.
And she calls on her sisters.
In my experience, I don’t call on a man in that state of vulnerability. That’s just me. I find that some members of the patriarchy thrive on that “weakness”. Many are still too obtuse to see this as “strength”.
So I call on my sisters. I SC. I get the shit out however I can.
And part of that is (this is the “observe” part), analyzing the “rough patch” and asking why. Why did it happen? Sometimes the answer is something miraculous. The “rough patch” might have occurred because I am on to something so brilliant and wonderful that the “rough patch” is just a necessary part of the journey.
Have faith in your brilliance.

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Amanda February 25, 2014 at 9:43 am

Feeling exhausted, frustrated, afraid and even ashamed… and rejoicing in every step, because I am alive, because I know I feel those feelings as they are moving up and out, because they *all* carry a sacred message for my soul, teachers guiding (pushing, dragging) me toward seeking deeper fulfillment and ever more authentic truth.

Thanks, Mama Gena, for the reminder that it’s a-100%-okay to accept accept accept these feelings, approach them compassionately, and let them do their work.

My favorite poem captures the beauty of swamping:

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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SG Alexandra Pearl February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

That poem is great. Amanda, thanks for sharing that!

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Lola February 26, 2014 at 6:51 am

Rumi rocks! Welcome the emotion, energy in motion. If the energy doesn’t move, it gets stuck. Over time, pent-up emotion will build thereby decreasing overall energy. We get sick, tired, fed up because we’re spent. In acupuncture, the needle finds the blocked energy in order to release the energy. Acknowledging the energy allows us to release the energy. Grieve a loss, in grieving we release sadness.

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Jan February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

I love the feeling of changing my energy when I am ready to leave my rough patch. I love the sense of power I get when I can look at my life and say, “Look at how AWESOME and POWERFUL I am ! I can change anything I want to, and I HAVE !”
When I am ready to leave my rough patch before my rough patch is done with me, I reach for Mama Gena’s tools, or I clean my home with as much elbow grease as I can muster (physically cleaning while mentally spring cleaning gives me a super jolt of energy). If I’m still feeling suppressed, I ask myself what ONE task will satisfy me RIGHT NOW, and I bribe myself into taking action. Ladies, its been lovely sharing. I’m off to change my energy! Cheerio, and love to you all !
Jan

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Alay'nya February 25, 2014 at 10:04 am

God(dess), I just LOVE your blogs!

Thank you so much – love – A.

PS – Thank you to all SGs who wrote in, reading your comments, so uplifted by the power of your focus, your intention, your sheer force of will to transform your lives – LOVE YOU SO MUCH because of this!!!

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Joyce Raby February 25, 2014 at 10:17 am

Please Please tell me you sell “Psycho Bitch From Hell” tshirts. :-)

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Kathleen February 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

WOW, so timely for me. Broken ankle and housebond for 4 weeks with a 5 and 12 year old girls. I treat these patches as old friends that need some attention and a warm blanket. I do not avoid them but sit with them not for long. That seems to give them less power. So glad to see that everyone has dark moments. Bless you all.

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SG Lara Quiksilver Sizzle Wisniewski February 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

Spring cleaning and swamping changed my life forever. ‘Nuff said.

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elizabeth February 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

Every time I hit the swamp I emerge as a more fabulous me. The key for me is to name the limiting belief and feeling, spring clean, swamp, then dance it out. Then… I replace that crappy inner reality with the truth-it’s opposite-the great truth re whatever. Every rough patch is a new birth and new birth hurts. Love you all, love this golden community!

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SG Elana (Siren Seductress) February 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I think I sometimes feel that if I’m a goddess, shit is supposed to always be sexy, turned on, divine…Good reminder to celebrate ALL of my emotions, to experience them so I can move through them. And the other thing I try to do, after I’ve swamped or spring cleaned or right before bed, is to try to make a list of 10 (small or big) things I am grateful for. When I am deep in the depths of anxiety or despair, this is really fucking hard. But it usually offers a sliver of sunshine…

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SG Tammi February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This is the most humane piece of advice, ever. I’m saying that because I’ve experienced rough patches before I learned from you, and after you gave me the tools. And the “after” experience is far superior to the former. For me, the rough patches now have a quality of growth in them, and gratitude, even as I deal with real life stress and strain. The rough patches seem shorter. I’m still able to feel, and to feel gratitude, desire and pleasure. I’m more likely to reach out to a SG friend, or to respond to one with a level of authenticity and transparency that feels meaningful to me. I may hurt, but I don’t suffer.

I love your T shirt. I have a sweatshirt that says “RAGE” on the front. I am so cute and sweet and open that sometimes even I forget to honor my anger. So I zip on my RAGE shirt and tell people “I’m wearing it on the outside.”

I’m so grateful to you.
with Love,
Tammi

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SG Alexandra Pearl February 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

As a Mastery 2013 graduate I can say that Spring Cleaning, along with the support of the SG community in the Swamp and out of it, are the most important tools that we have learned. I use those tools regularly and am less ashamed of my dark side than I was before. I’m grateful to you, Mama Gena, for those tools. Thank you. I hope the rough patch ends for you soon. xxoo

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Barbara February 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Thank you Mama Gena – your post today spoke to my condition. Ten years ago, I did a Native American Vision Quest that led me to a new place. After the soul searching, the letting go, the rituals, the fear, the finding a new face / mask to move into the next phase of my life – everything changed and my life got so much better. Now that I know the pattern, I recognize it in my life now, again – time for a change. And I know how this goes. Have been cleaning out closets, reorganizing my life (inner and outer), recognizing that relationships are about to change, and facing new shapeless fears. But I know now that this can be the most productive of times, and that on a new level, my life is heading for something bigger, more satisfying, more “ME”. Thanks Mama Gena for the tools and perspective for pleasure and change that stay with me. XOXOXO – Barbara

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Janet Maya February 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I love this action of owning the rough place and being in the swamp. I’m going through
Hormonal changes and I’m blown away how my nervous system is thrown into mayhem .
I once again see myself as a woman with shame in relation to who and what I’am. The tabu of not owning what is going on in my life cycle as a woman. No more covering over the tough spots that may once again is related to my body’s beautiful function. I will not be called crazy, wimpy, moody bitch, because I was born into this amazing body that has given birth and bled each month to keep me connected to this earth we live on. Being aware and owning this time of my life without having to suffer is the action of being in it and gaining recognition in order to either get help from other woman who have bravely owned each phase of womanhood or to help another sister in her journey. Wow! By being in it is to stop for once and not be in fear of what is ailing me. Many thanks.

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Alice February 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Thank you Mama Gena for bringing up something I can really relate to…you call it a rough patch, I call it MY Living Hell! I am not a mastery grad YET…tho I will be this June 2014 and I cannot wait for our first weekend. I was feeling so good after the SG Weekend beginning Feb, but as real life stuff rolls back in I start to sink back into my pity own parties. I am looking forward to learning how to dig my way out of my own shit hole and meet new friends (SG’s) that I really need because I have isolated myself for too long. I am ready for change. Bring it ON!!!!

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Lisa March 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Thank You Alice for your post. I too can relate so much to the swamp and going to be part of the mastery class of 2014. I too am looking forward to learning many new tools to put in my tool belt to use when I am having a rough spot. I also was very high from the weekend we had in February but soon after I got home to my space life flooded back in and I questioned my worth and decision to join Mastery but thanks to sister Goddesses Lauren, Erika and others they helped me to see how much I needed mastery and how much we need to help each other. Am I scared of this experience???? Most definitely but I am more terrified of staying right where I am and I don’t want to live there anymore. It is time for me to go to the swamp feel my feelings, and with the love and support of many Goddesses friends that I am sure I am going to meet and become friends with I will make it out and change to a better me. Looking forward to Mastery class and meeting lots of Sister Goddesses

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Ingrid February 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I found this article very encouraging, thank you Regena!

I come to think of last Sunday when I finally acknowledged my deepest feelings of — well, a mix of it all (grief etc), and I finally went to the piano and made a song (for me, the best way to get rid of feelings and create something beautiful from it). I still feel the vibes of the tune, and the warmth of the chords that my fingers decided was the best for these feelings.

Much love,

Ingrid

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rubelin~ February 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

oh, Gena, Gena, Gena!! You’ve nailed this for me!

My latest rough patch has been kicking my ass and I’d stopped seeing it as a patch – in my mind it was now my whole horrid life =( I even posted the most despondent comment on your blog 2 weeks ago – which I actually know was an attempt to shine some light on the dark. And even though everything was so SO hard, I’ve felt guilty and “self-indulgent” (like that’s a BAD thing??) for moping about.

It’s amazing how much I/we struggle with the rough spots, as if giving in and declaring that we’re having one means it’s defeated me/us (I’m gonna say us ’cause I think it’s universal). Just in the last 2 weeks I’ve been really declaring how dark it’s gotten for me and I’m finally seeing some love & light coming to me – a wonderful 5 hr chat with a Sister Goddess last weekend that blew my heart open a bit, some more of that “self-indulgent” moping (I made dark chocolate cake truffles this weekend!). Yeah, declaring how much it sucks it about the least sucky thing ever =)

gah! I adore you :-*

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Tiger June 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Taking the ovwvriee, this post is first class

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BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen February 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Ahhh, the swamp. That’s where the light comes in. I know, I’m paraphrasing Leonard Cohen. 12 years ago I ended my 25 year marriage to a porn/sex addict, living a secret life in another state. Instead of dancing in the streets, I fell into the deepest swamp of my life, filled with grief, anger, sadness, loneliness…and surrender. It was the most painfilled time of my life (and having lived with an alcoholic father, this is not small potatoes).

It was also the most beautiful time of my life. I went into silence for major parts of my days. I cried, I raged, I beat pillows and crawled on the floor, and I felt the divine as I never had before. I didn’t know if I would ever emerge. After many months I did, and these past 12 years have been nothing short of a miracle. Yes, it’s where the light comes in…if you let it…and then vibration gets a chance to soar!

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april February 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

G C Karen, I am married almost 23 years. I am and have been unhappy for almost all of it . I have 3 children teenagers. I want to divorce but am scared. We have no relationship on any level and haven’t for 12 years, and even before that it was a volatile relationship ( as long as I didn’t have an opinion, everything was fine). I have been physically and verbally abused by him over this time period. I am scared to divorce due to feed of unknown. I have no job but am schooling myself. I am endeared and strengthened by your experience. Thank you for sharing . I am a stronger woman today because of your blog.

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NannyJJ February 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm

April
I was married 24 years before I finally found the courage to file for divorce. My divorce was final on my 25th wedding anniversary. It took ongoing infidelity and deception and wanting to die–and being almost 50–before I woke up an realized I could choose to give myself permission to leave and to not let the fears keep me in chains.

No, my life isn’t perfect, not at all, but I am free to be myself.

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april February 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm

NannyJJ – I just want to say Thank You! I am going to do it (divorce) , but I am trying to drum up the courage and I am getting there every day. I can relate to every word that you said. I am in this dead relationship longer than I should be – if I think this is helping my kids, I must be crazy. They see the lack of love between Mommy and Daddy and what a bad message to send to them. Thank you again for taking time out for answering me, from one goddess to another. Glad you are free; it is a blessing; nothing in life is perfect.

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Deborah Smith aka SG Wicked February 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Swamp and Spring Clean, over and over again. Even did a Bif Crawl (again!)the other day! Plus, went back and am slowly re-reading The Game of Life. MG this work and your teaching and continued support along with all of my amazing SG’s just keeps taking me higher and higher.
When I first started learning from you I had the thought,”Well OK, so we go higher and higher. I am not sure I want to fall even further.” I am so grateful to report that the higher I go the higher raises my bottom. Thank you, Thank you, a thousand times,Thank you!!!

xoxo

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TheFireBird February 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Thank you, to all of the women who shared their personal stories in these comments, and for Mama Gena’s glorious trailblazing. I suppose that I have known that I am in a rut for the past few weeks. It feels like I fell into a deep, dark hole, and don’t have the strength to climb out. Dramatic- is it not? But that’s literally how I feel. THANK YOU. Thank you, from the bottom of my deep dramatic heart for this wonderful reminder which I think has flicked on a light. I know that I struggle with actually feeling the depth of my feelings, when they get really difficult and uncomfortable.

So, I am between jobs ( I quit a job three weeks ago that I know was not right for me) and I feel like it utterly destroyed me.

Yes, the problem with the rough patch is that you think it will never end.

This blog post just really got to me, Regena, you touched my heart. Thank you. I needed this. I’m going to swamp and SC and just really go deep. I’m going to go deeper than ever before. And I’m going to start dressing better too. I think I’m claiming my true independence as a woman and individual, for the first time really, and I’m f-ing terrified. I’ve been holding myself back with fear.

I know that there is gold and wisdom, and the silver lining on the other side of the swamp. I have to dig deep.

Thank you for letting us know that we are not alone and that it is O.K. to be sad, ashamed, scared, terrified, …and that things WILL change. The swamp is not forever. Thanks for reminding me to party where I am. XO

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Rasa Lila February 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Thank you for this wisdom. This past weekend I allowed myself to feel my own helplessness and cried like a baby. It was cathartic, and I gave myself permission to ask for help when I was done. I received more help than I needed. My inner child is beginning to feel safe with me.

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SG Katherine February 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

One of my favorite things to do on Tuesday evenings since the end of January is to stop and read Mama Gena’s weekly post and your responses. All I can say is, “Wow.” For the past 3 weeks, I’ve wanted to join the conversation, but I didn’t know what to say. My words felt so … pithy? inadequate? small? Tonight, I came home from work with a long list of more work to do. My goal? Get comfortable, eat dinner, and turn on the computer to prepare the next deliverable. All with the words of a SG, who stands for me everyday, in my head, “where is your pleasure for today?” And I stopped. I couldn’t answer her. I am so deeply tied to my routine of work (my hiding place) that I never considered taking pleasure in my life. I don’t even know what my pleasure is. But here is what I know right now, my pleasure is in knowing that I can feel. I have spent so many years deadening my heart, mind, and body, that I forgot how to feel.

Beginning with the SG weekend and reading this blog every week since, I am connecting; deeply connecting with how I feel. And I sit with whatever feeling I’m in. However, the hardest place for me to sit has been in my dispair, my hurt, my anger, my lonliness, my emptyness, and my pettiness. Acknowledging my darkness invites guilt, shame, and failure. So, where am I going with this? I am learning to love myself, anyway. All my life, I have sought to be loved – with all my faults, with all my weaknesses, with all my shame. I have yet to find that love, till now … it comes from me.

To all of you, “thank you.” Thank you for your honesty and transparency. It has helped me to see me and love me, anyway.

With much love,
New SG, Katherine

P.S. I guess I had a little more to say than, Wow.

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Leann February 26, 2014 at 7:21 am

This is beautiful! So glad you’ve found your love! – SG Garden Goddess Leelee Diamond

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Joyelle June 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm

This is a neat suymarm. Thanks for sharing!

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Kypris February 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Oh wow what a fabulous reminder. I was sitting stuck in an enormous rough patch full of cactus spines when I got your email. THANK YOU for reminding me that I don’t have to stay there! After I read your email something definitely shifted in me and my day suddenly became easy. Wow. Thank you again.

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Trish in Vancouver February 26, 2014 at 12:16 am

I love you, Regena! Thanks for reminding us of these awesome SWA tools! Big hugs to you and Maggie xoxo

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Christina February 26, 2014 at 3:54 am

Thanks! I feel stucked in a hopeless marriage where we discuss divorce and feeling sad every day. I got myself carried away thinking about loosing the house, economy etc. instead of just letting the hugh sadness be there knowing it will pass away some day. Thanks again, you all bring hope on these dark days.

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SG Garden Goddess Leelee Diamond February 26, 2014 at 7:29 am

My current rough patch is my new job. A few weeks ago I was promoted to manage a department twice the size than the one before. It’s a brag! Since then though, it’s been so hard! I walked into so many problems I feel like I have to fix and along the way haven’t felt like I’ve had any time for pleasure. When I get this way, I spring clean with an SG or actually my man these days, I try to insert some pleasure and I swim several times a week. My swims are my swamps and yes! moves. After a rough patch a couple years ago I went from just working out by swimming laps to thinking of a theme or thought for every lap. It might be frust-rat-ed. Or Grace. Or Power. I love feeling my body move through a feeling or a womantra. I can’t wait to swim out my workday tonight! Oh and I plan to wear a leopard print skirt for my HR meeting!

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SG Joan Champion of Pleasure February 27, 2014 at 10:05 am

You are a rocking, powerful goddess, dear LeeLee. You are using the tools in such a glorious way! And those swims are magnificent! Sending love.

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MG Ruby February 26, 2014 at 7:44 am

As a man, all I can say is: Thank. Goddess. For. Spring. Cleaning.

And this post.

What a wonderful reminder of how important it is to delve into the truth of where we are and what we’re feeling (and to hold space for our loved ones as they move through the swamps), rather than pretend it’s not happening or put on a happy face for the world while we secretly burn inside.

It has been such a challenge in my life to see a woman I love go down. I want to fix things! I want to make them better! How else will she know how much I love her? And THEN to make things worse, all I do is have her feel criticized and feel pressure to SEEM better as a way of proving that she is not broken.

And so men and women perpetuate this cycle where one cannot bear to see the swampy depths of the other (just as its hard to see a loved one or a child suffering from an illness), and the other cannot bear to be seen there without thinking that they will no longer be loved or that they will be criticized or made wrong for feeling what they are feeling.

Just as in alchemy, sometimes we confuse the outcome for the procedure, and we want to take lead and make into gold without spending the time to really get to know the lead, to feel its weight, its texture, its temperature. Lately, I’ve been cooking and I’m amazed what a difference it makes to go slow, to prepare ingredients carefully, and thoughtfully, and to move with grace in the kitchen, rather than try to rush things.

The swamp is a place not to rush through and in its darkness to remember that the blacker the night, the brighter the light that shines through it. It’s a place to feel what’s there and watch it transform, like bread rising in an oven, like a phoenix from the ashes.

We could all be kinder to ourselves and to our partners and friends when we go down and hit rough patches, honoring that space and the journey through its shadows as exalted as the joys and ecstasy of our victories in life.

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SG Debra AKA NILE February 26, 2014 at 8:16 am

I LOVE THIS AMAZING COMMUNITY OF WOMEN!!!

I have always felt that love is seeing someone better than you can see yourself. I have felt this with every woman I have come into contact with in this community.

That said, THANK YOU for stating the obvious. You must have been reading my mind. I have been dwelling, waiting for something to change instead of taking action. ANY ACTION. I LOVE being dramatic when I feel down, as I can see myself as an actor performing. Which is really what the great masters say we are all doing anyway. It is all illusion.

As far as this not being spiritual. I am always fascinated by what people call spiritual or not spiritual. I have been on a “spiritual” path most of my life and I have found this community and the practices the most profound I have ever experienced. I cannot sit for meditation. I have tried. I have been told if I try more, harder better I will be able to. Alas after 20 years, no go.

THEN I heard MG say dancing is meditation and THAT WAS IT!!! I move through meditation and sadness (ALA Gabrielle Roth). AND a couple of weeks later I was in a program with an enlightened Indian master and she told EVERYONE to get up and DANCE!!!!!!!

THANK YOU MG AND ALL OF MY DIVINE SISTER GODDESSES..Are you listening Holly and Joanne?

I have found in this community and these practices the most profound experience of spirituality I have ever had.

I also so appreciate hearing that Mama Gena, while successful, brilliant and amazing, has the same experiences of life that I have and that feeling down is not the problem. It is not allowing ourselves every experience this human body has to be a tribute to our magnificent selves. I have come close to death a number of times and I can tell you without a doubt that we are here to love very single second that we are given this amazing gift called a human body.

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Katherine February 26, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Amen

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SG Princess Tammie Awakened Pussy February 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

I’m scheduled for bladder surgery tomorrow morning. The video the dr sent me I wantched yesterday was nothing like what he described in the office visit. I went to webMD and on the internet only to be bombarded with negativity of the surgery and the office nurse wouldn’t answer my questions started into a cloud of negativity and stinking thinking. Up all night in a panic attack and couldnt sleep. Then the boyfriend didnt follow through with the call last night and didnt follow through with coming over to pack all the suitcases and skis and snowboards this morning and such which broke me into tears…. calling my SG to “vent” aka spring clean only to get voicemail…. then I got my email…. yes mama I cried and it felt better…. thanks for remonding me its ok and the stinking thinking about being mad at the boyfriend serves no purpose… it is what it is… it’s his time management issue and I will not make it mine…. I will focus on healing with the more aggressive surgery than he described – pray I can still make it saturday driving 300 miles sat and again home on sunday to see my kids for parents weekend because they desreve it…. refocusing on the positive again where I belong….

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UncagedSongbird February 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

Ladies, where can I find the “Spring Cleaning” methods in Gena’s books? I have her marriage manual & “School of Womanly Art’s” books…..
Thanx

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Sparkling Fiesta February 28, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I have hit a nasty rough patch with a guy that I have been seeing for the past few months. I don’t really see him as a long term contender but have enjoyed getting to know him b/c I have been so closed off from men and pretty much rejected anyone that ever came around. The past few weeks I feel like the energy has shifted between the two of us. Talking to him via phone just no longer brings me pleasure. I feel like I am making more effort than he is. You know how that goes ladies – they text you tons in the beginning and then start to gradually drop off….Well, last night, things really came to a head for me and I couldn’t sleep – usually I have no trouble falling asleep so when I can’t sleep I know something is wrong. I started piecing together things and realized that my body and spirit were disturbed quite a bit by what’s been going on. I even crafted a really hurtful story to explain his actions, which may or may not be true in real life. Anyways, the point is that in this rough patch I’ve discovered that:
- My pussy knows…My body knows. That is my guide.
- I am a phenomenal goddess. I desire a man who treats me like a goddess.
That’s about all I can write for now.

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