I went to the Mama Gena lecture alone.
I had some great friends on the verge of coming, but it didn't work out.
I KNEW I had to go, so I said Rob, "I'm have to go alone, but I can do it. I went to India alone- I can go to a damn lecture." He gave me kiss and told me I was brave as he dug in to the fried chicken I bought at BigY, a consolation prize to the family for me going out in the evening for the first time in over a month.
I lingered in my car once I got there, but then I did get out and proudly buy my single aisle ticket. Turns out, I sat next to a lovely woman who shares my name and by the end of the night, through Mama Gena's exercises, we had shared our dreams, doubts and hopes!
The interactive lecture was inspiring and funny. For me, it was a transition back into the world after more than a month of healing that was quiet and focused on family and home.
There were many enforced dance breaks, boogieing with our feather boas we each got as a gift. Mama Gena had everyone laughing and crying in the audience of maybe 150 women. The age range was lovely and inspiring. When someone was telling the story of "How I got my fat ass here tonight" Mama Gena forbid them or any of us to use those words to describe themselves. She yelled, "All we've got are hot asses here! Let's her you say it. Everyone. I have a smoking hot ass." We all had to stand up and say it.
It was all very funny and wonderful, but I was thrilled to be way in the back of the orchestra where I would not be handed a mic and asked to reveal my deepest desires or to dance on stage.
We quickly learned if you denied having any desires or said something like "4 more hours in the day to get things done" then you will be brought up on stage! Maybe, like on woman, you could be made to take out your grey long ponytail, shake it and made to say, until we really believed you, "In these jeans I have a hot ass!" (This was a grandma, who, after being encouraged by Mama Gena and the shouting crowd, revealed her desire was to be outside in a hot tub with the 6 shirtless male dancers who had carried Mama Gena in!) Any age - any size; Mama Gena believes that by stepping into your power you can change the world and have a marvelous time doing it. Our power is in our deepest desires.
My new friend, fellow drive-over-an-hour-and-come-alone-Catherine next to me, chuckled. "Instead of paying extra to sit up in front; I would have paid extra to sit back here." I nodded in agreement from our hidden position, but then Mama Gena came wandering back towards us with her microphone. She found us! In the back row! "Tell us your desires." She requested of us. We had all just done an exercise with our partner that involved saying what we deeply desired, then releasing any doubts out loud and then grabbing our pussy(!) and saying our desires again. It really did change the tone and the mood in the auditorium. The was ALOT of laughing but also a claiming. People chimed out "I will travel the world!" "I will find my love!" when they were, as Mama Gena says, "connected to their sacred power source"
I paused, busted, and admitted into the microphone, "We were actually just saying, we would have paid extra to sit in the back and hide from the mic!" Mama Gena laughed and shook her head. "Don't you know I can feel that? I'll come find you! You can't hide from your desires. Do you think I wanted this to be my desire? To talk to women about pussy? DO you think I would have chosen this!?"
I was shocked.
I sat there dumbfounded with the mic in my hand because that question was why I was there.
The first time I tried to read her book I was put off by the talk of manicures and bubble baths, but I tried it again this year and realized she is actually a revolutionary, guiding women to love themselves and then ignite their power in this world and in their loves, which is gorgeous to behold. Toward the end of the book, she got me when she wrote:
Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts — The Book
"Take it from me, the risks are worth it.
Do you think when I started my journey, I wanted to end up running Pussy Central, USA? Do you think I wanted my job to be all about the sensual unfolding of women? Don't you think I wished it could be about something way, way more socially acceptable? Believe me, I tried everything else. But this Womanly Arts thing changed my life."
So I held the mic to my mouth and said
"That's the quote from your book that brought me here! That you wouldn't have chosen pussy as your life's work, but it chose you! I am a nurse, but my calling is to be an energy healer with Reiki and energy therapies, but now I've realized that the crystals are calling to me; have been calling to me since I was a child! How woo woo can you get?! I'm a nurse. How can I be a crystal healer? But it is my desire. It is what is calling me"
She nodded emphatically, then said, "YES! You are a nurse in the hospital surrounded by people who might not get it, but the desire will come out; you will follow it. You must. It will burst out of you and bring you to the next level" (Or something encouraging and lovely like that like that; I was rather thunderstruck that I had just revealed my desire to an auditorium full of strangers.) People clapped and she said, "Gorgeous, speaking out about desires. Give her a round of applause!" and the room clapped for me.
I felt very full after that.
Like that was the reason I had to be there.
The women around me looked at me with love and support. The woman in front of me turned and whispered, "I love crystals!"
My practice partner wondered why there was a problem with being a crystal healer and a nurse and I felt, "Huh. She's right. There isn't."
The night went on with more dancing, more deeply hidden desires coming to light and an inspired feeling of positive female energy. It was great.
I was tired and hungry but proud I had gone and listened to the inner voice that tells me to do the things I am meant to do even if, sometimes, I wish it could be a tiny bit easier. At least I know I am not alone.