Get free tips on life, love and sisterhood

Get free tips on life, love
and sisterhood

Join the Movement

When you’re told you have no future…

Mama Gena entering the ceremonies


We are fresh off our Mastery Graduation weekend and I’m floating in a pleasure-filled haze! I am in deep gratitude for the extraordinary experience that Mastery 2013 has been for me. This was, without a doubt, a most exquisite Mastery class. They have created so much ravishing beauty for themselves and each other. It was unforgettable, astonishing really.

EVERY woman in this Mastery class tossed her panties into the ring and created her own version of a pleasure revolution in her life—and the culmination of it this weekend took my breath away.

Sister Goddess Sara was one of our Valedictorians at this year’s graduation, and I HAD to share her story with you. It is a true testament to the power of pleasure on a cellular level:

Sister Goddess Sara

When I started Mastery, I had been given 6 months to live. And even though I was turning around my downward spiral, the specter of death was always on my shoulder. That prognosis was 7 months ago. 

Being given a fatal diagnosis was the most shocking thing that has ever happened to me. I realized, under all my self-denial and unhappiness, I really liked this self. I didn’t want to lose this precious self I’d worked so hard on all my life! Even if I hadn’t done a great job of living my life, I wanted a chance to live it anyway!

My story:

I grew up with an alcoholic father and a rageaholic mother who stayed together 64 unfortunate years… I was miserable. I rebelled against my conservative Southern upbringing, dropping out of college and hitchhiking my way across country to study bodywork and consciousness in Berkeley, CA.

My personal life was not so great. I thought that life was a series of problems to overcome, and like an Olympic hurdler, I would run a few steps and then be embroiled in yet some other drama. This was misery-making, and made it impossible to reach for “more,” but I just didn’t know anything else. Meditation, spiritual practices, good diet, exercise—they all helped, but none of them WORKED to change the basic state I lived in long-term.

I was doing no better in my personal relationships. My children, the coolest people I know, had their own lives. My husband worked all the time. We had sex once a week, as it made him “too sensitive” for his hard-nosed business world. Nothing mattered but his deal. Ever. I lived in a state of such frustration! I had no power! My financial contribution to our expenses was so proportionally tiny that I just gave up. We left Maui (my home) to go to Europe for a 6-week trip in 2005, and did not come home until last year. Then we ended up in Portland, Oregon for about 4 years—this was the height of my unhappiness.

I wanted to leave my husband desperately and go back to Maui, as he would not listen to anything I had to say or honor what I wanted, but I couldn’t do it. So instead I asked to die. I DEMANDED. I felt it happen in my body, it rocketed thru my cellular structure. I didn’t know what it would look like, but I knew something had happened. I willed myself Out. Of. Here.

So. As someone who has no cancer on either side of my family, who has eaten organically since 20, who hiked every single weekend, I gave myself bone cancer. While I was in the throes of dying and being in such intense pain, my friends marveled that I didn’t complain or feel sorry for myself. How could I? I knew I gave this to myself. I was not the victim here. I was the perpetrator. Reversing that, though… It’s one thing to throw that switch, it’s quite another to try and take it back.

Enraptured Sister Goddesses

Enter: Mama Gena.

My first thought 2 years ago after I was diagnosed was to work with Mama Gena. That was too expensive, so I enrolled in Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp. It started to crack my container of misery. In Miami that year, I signed up for Mastery. I was determined to come last year, but I was deteriorating fast. I was in a wheelchair, would have to have someone come with me to help me shower, eat, or do anything, really. And the pain was off the charts. I realized it was unrealistic to think I could make the airplane trip, much less anything else, so I un-enrolled myself a few days before it started.

This year, I KNEW it was time. I knew I had no future to put it off into. We take the future for granted. That it will be there, and we can have it store our dreams and fantasies. When you are dying, it is incredibly sobering to realize you have no future. I try not to put anything off now. I want it all, and I want it NOW. So, when I said to my husband, “I MUST DO THIS!” he listened. I signed up for Mastery a few minutes before the registration closed. Was I crazy? What was I thinking? I was barely walking, still in some major pain but I knew I just HAD to be there. Nothing I’ve ever wanted to do has compelled me in the same way.

The first weekend it was obvious I wasn’t going to make it even to me, but I got on the boards and listened to the recordings and things started changing anyway. I had my hopes up for the second weekend and almost bought my ticket, but everyone on my healing team (and Pussy) was against it. Weekend 3 I made it! I flew thru MN to visit my kids so I could adjust to the time change and recover from my flight. Being in the room in person was life-changing. I couldn’t believe we did what we did. I couldn’t believe how high I got and how much fun I had. It was cellularly transformative.

Mastery has given me an ease inside my body I have never had because I am now comfortable in my life, and I am comfortable in myself. The stress and tension I carried all the time are just GONE. It makes healing much more likely, as stress is inflammatory, and cancer is an inflammatory disease. I feel so much better, day to day. Now, instead of the specter of death on my shoulder, life is on my shoulder like Jiminy Cricket!
As for the cancer, I got my test results back the other day and my numbers dropped the most they have yet! With less chemo and steroids!
I think it’s the Courtesan Walk, myself.
This is one of the best days of my life!

Sara after her Valedictory speech

As for my guy, the last two years since my diagnosis have softened him up—and then Mama Gena strolled in and changed our lives. We had sex 3 times in one week! He was overjoyed about it, too. He can’t believe what a fun and amazing wife he has now. I look forward to being with him instead of dreading it. We connect with each other instead of relating like cardboard cutouts. Life has gotten open-ended and adventurous and fun. It has NEVER been like this. There was some major rupture along the way, and out of the ruins has come true intimacy and caring.

Mastery is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve changed my basic state of being. I am in wonder at my happiness and peace with my day-to-day life.

It has given me back my life, cleaned, pressed, and wonderfully fresh. I am happy and I love myself. It was as if this state were waiting all along, and Mastery has allowed me to fall into it, to float in self-acceptance and love that I had only windows into before. Life stretches softly, infinitely, out from me. If I get unhappy, I spring clean. If something big and problematic comes up, I swamp. I cannot believe this is me, now. It is so pleasurable to be alive!

 * * *

Breathtaking, right? And the truth is, none of us have a guaranteed future. The practice of the Womanly Arts, in each moment, with pleasure as your guide, is how you create an ecstatic life, and it is available to each and every woman on this planet—regardless of your circumstances.

I am so grateful to the women of Mastery 2013, and to every woman who attended graduation. I am grateful to each one of you who have taken my courses, read my books, read the blogs, and post on Facebook. Together we are changing the world—for ourselves, our daughters, our sons, and generations to come.

I hope to have you join us in the classroom next year for the odyssey that is Mastery. Until then, enjoy the photos of the graduation festivities!

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

Mama is floored by SG Pearl’s brag

An SG reads a letter to her friend

The joy of Sisterhood

Sister Goddesses wear their crowns


Want more of Mama in your inbox?
Subscribe to our newsletter to get free updates.
22 Comments / Leave a Comment

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • elide beltram PhD June 27, 2013, 9:16 am


    • Mama Gena July 2, 2013, 10:08 am

      you are spreading the word by the way you live the womanly arts sg elide!

  • Amalia June 26, 2013, 7:23 pm

    ok… I’ve been thinking about joining the mastery for a long time. I’ve been reading mama gena’s blog for a year now. daily fluff’s, blog posts and so on. One part of me keeps thinking “this is TOO cringe-y American style, too blah blah” (that’s my censor speaking!) while other part of me thinks “that’s so so true, you feel that way too, don’t you?”. How can I make up my mind about taking part in the next Mastery? Because I’m the kind of person who looks “OK” from the outside, but inside… everything -getting out of bed/dressed/eat/to work/do/be/respond- is the biggest of efforts… like in a movie…it’s not myself…it’s someone else outside, and inside, there’s me. (and that’s called deep-ression maybe?) what should I do?

    • elide beltram PhD June 27, 2013, 9:19 am


    • Mama Gena July 2, 2013, 10:14 am

      sg amalia- i so gotcha- i hear the conflict- the way out? Talk to a grad of the program or call lauren here at the school(646-682-0416) she’s a grad of mastery and one of my enrollers- and can help you get clear on your true desires.

      i thought of one of my old blog posts as I was reading your comment- perhaps this will resonate with you as well:

  • SG Veronyca June 26, 2013, 3:34 pm

    Hi, Sister Goddess Sara – I’m a grad and love to come back to graduations to hear about all the amazing feats other SGs have accomplished. I hadn’t heard your story before, and I was thrilled for you when you told it as a valedictorian. Congratulations, and thank you for your life-affirming ‘share!’
    Best to you, and lots of joy and happiness for you and your husband,
    SG Veronyca

  • Deborah Smith June 25, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Dear MG and SGs,
    I am just home from Mastery as of 2AM this morning. Tears of gratitude are streaming down my face as I write this note.
    Regena, thank you! A million times: Thank you! If you had of called on me to brag this weekend I would have said, “I brag I am fucking healed!!!” As it was you called on me to read my letter to SG BlissNAloha and that was “. . . even better.” And I LOVE my picture here on this board!!! I am so beautiful: you taught me the truth of this!!!
    I gained everything I wished from Mastery and VPBC and SO much more!!! And our class was SO onry!!! I loved that.
    Almost every wish, every dream, every conjure of mine came true. And the one that didn’t: the process was still a blast, constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me a very valuable lesson.

    I will trumpet here what so many SGs have sounded before me,” No matter what it costs, you,get your butt to Mastery!!! It is worth way more than it costs: in money, in time, in exhaustion, work and tears!!!

    Moving forward, here in Reno I have a “homey” SG signed up for VPBC. It looks like my BSG daughter may also go on to this, in which case we will have the perfect gift to get our other Most Important “Homey” (this one in Los Angeles) to VPBC. So I am planning to rock my summer and fall integrating Mastery deeper into my life and supporting my SGs in VPBC and then rendezvousing with all of them in Miami in November!!!
    Wahoo!!! The experience continues!!!
    I pray our young SG Thomashauer’s fever has broken and she is happily ensconced in camp.
    With more love and good wishes than my heart can even hold I am deeply and fondly yours,
    SG Tru Angel

    • Mama Gena July 2, 2013, 10:17 am

      thank you sg tru angel- you so live up to your name! and way to stand for your sisters getting into boot camp. looking forward to seeing you again in miami

  • S.G. little jo June 25, 2013, 3:49 pm

    my time will come. I can’t wait… maybe next year?

  • Anne June 25, 2013, 3:21 pm

    I’m so grateful to have been part of Mastery 2013! What an extraordinary graduation ceremony we had – thank you MAMA GENA!! Thank you for sharing the beautiful speech SG Sara gave straight from her lovely, gentle heart. I was so moved by her courage and determination to heal and how elegantly she’s created that healing in her life. Thank you Sara for letting me be a witness to your incredible journey. And thank you Mama Gena for creating this incredible community. Without my sisters I would surely sink. Bless you.

  • Miss New York June 25, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Please read Dying To Be Me by Anita Mookerjee for the unbelievable story of a woman who gave herself cancer because she was literally sick from trying to please everyone in her world except herself. This is a MUST READ. She survived and is thriving today because in her own words, during her near-death-experience, she discovered her “magnificence”, and now lives life following only her pleasure. and for another story of pleasure giving life, watch the film The Guitar, directed by Amy Redford (Robert Redford’s daughter) and starring Saffron Burrows. It is fictional, but the story is the same. Pleasure gives life, pleasure heals when nothing else will. Love.

    • robin Kahn June 25, 2013, 2:36 pm

      Yes, Dying to Be Me is a great book! And “The Guitar” was written by my friend, Amos Poe! I will tell him that you recommended it. He will be so happy.

      SG Sara — you are a true inspiration. I am so thrilled that you were able to come to Mastery and share your powerful story. I am in the swamp myself about my ex husband, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, but I believe that miracles happen and you are a great example of a miracle. I wish men had the kind of supportive community we have! We are lucky to be part of this amazing, life affirming and loving SG community. Thank you to Mama Gena for her genius in creating it. And keep staying in your pleasure! Thank you!

  • Sherrie Huckelberry June 25, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Thank You so much S.G. Sara n MAMA Gena for sharing this life affirming experiance. Several weeks ago I fell and fractured my right arm in three different places ( being an amazeing bodyworker and a focused on helping other to create pleasure) I had to let go of my summer job(working @ an amazing destination retreat n was not capable to complete my interveiw process with my winter opportunity in Tuson Arizona @ another destination retreat) needless to say this inability to generate income anywhere as a bodyworker is very challanging. Your courage S.G. Sara is a testamony to the humane spirit in the highest degree. I have not connected with the S.Gnetwork for several months, but continue to read the blogs. This is my atemptt to plu in again, pull myself up by my panties and practise pleasureM

  • Laurie June 25, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Every step I take and every move I make is filled with Mama Gena and the love of my sister goddesses. Mama Gena gave me courage and hope and all of my sister goddesses added so much love – I am forever changed.

  • Zezeh Iheuma June 25, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Was bless to be part of the Mastery , every breath was full of joy, love, compassion, allowing are self to go deep inside of yourself, to be able to accept every single part of you , the dark, the light.
    To open myself to pleasure, desires, to celebrate more then ever the beauty of being a woman, the power that we care inside of Us, to see the transformation in each woman that was at the Mastery was a breath take. To share each second with the amazing woman was a pleasure, to create a womanhood that is so deep is a bless to the world, we need more of this energy in the world, and more woman to join us in living in this world of manifestation, creation, desire and pleasure, thank you so much for the creation.

  • SG Cheryl (Undercover Seductress) June 25, 2013, 12:00 pm

    The moment I said YES to Mama Gena, my whole life changed! I am forever grateful to Mama Gena for creating the SWA and for my Sister Goddesses. Mastery 2013 has been an amazing journey. It is such a priviledge to be amongst the most decadently divine women. Because of them, I now know the importance of sisterhood and reclaimed myself. I stand in my power, own my beauty and shine my light! I brag I love the photo of me above which captures my delight and in my “Token Asian” outfit. I am indeed an enraptured sister goddess! Thank you Mama Gena for expressing your desire and birthing your “token Asians”! I desire for all women to have this experience and will bring Mama to you until you get yourself to the the SWA!

    • Mama Gena July 2, 2013, 10:22 am

      big love sg undercover seductress!

  • Camilla Benedicte June 25, 2013, 11:38 am

    Beautiful.. breathtaking Sister Goddess Sara… what a creatrix you are.
    After reading your story, I know now that anything we set our sights on is possible.. truly. You’re amazing and so genius to have chosen the SWA for your juicy reinvention… much more pleasurable than going it alone. Here’s to you and LIVING.
    Tossing pink star dust all over you from across the ocean ***

  • Pam June 25, 2013, 11:25 am

    Every week I got to know more and more amazing women. I am SO blessed to be able to do so. And this week I learned that there are amazingly insightful and supportive men too! This has been quite the journey and the graduation was a very sweet icing to the cake …. I can’t wait to gobble up the cake we’ve baked together and watch it miraculously renew itself and expand as I do!

  • SG Ninna June 25, 2013, 10:27 am

    I feel so extremely honored and blessed to be apart of Mastery 2013. To be in the company of such courageous and beautiful women (inside and out) has changed me forever. Thank you Mama Gena and my Sister Goddesses for being apart of my journey! The biggest of hugs and kisses from one of your “token asians”! xoxo