"I have never known anyone who followed their deepest desires with all-out enthusiasm and failed. It is almost as if the universe gives you a leg up, or a helping hand when you really go for what your heart desires." - Regena Thomashauer
I've said it before: I was initially put off by Mama Gena's brand of pink feather boas, "Sister Goddess" language, and prolific use of the word "pussy." But by the time I finished her School of Womanly Arts book, I'd come to think of it as required self-love reading. Which is why I chose it as May's book club read.
Regena's philosophy is that you should live a life aimed entirely at pleasure so that it bleeds into everything you do. Pleasure becomes your raison d'etre. And as it does, it transforms you. Your life becomes entirely joyful. Your relationships take on a deeper meaning. You live out of a deep sense of purpose and desire.
This book is perfect for anyone who has lost their shine or is looking to be a little more true to themselves. Regena walks you through ten lessons, covering topics from sex and flirtation to "owning men" and "partying with your inner bitch." And as flowery as her language can be, each chapter is peppered with real life examples from the sister goddesses who have taken her classes and concludes with exercises you can practice in your own life.
Mama Gena preaches pleasure as doctrine. She knows that by focusing on fulfilling your own needs and desires, you fill your own cup. When we don't prioritise loving ourselves, we become shells of who we could be. And when we focus on everyone's needs but our own, we become drained, irritable, and resentful.
Mama Gena offers the tools and know-how to realign with what you really want and practice pleasure in everything you do so that you can live your best life. Here are a few of her nuggets of wisdom that I particularly enjoyed, but I suggest keeping an open mind and picking it up for yourself.
- "If you think that a man is going to lead you to your true happiness, you are all drunk- drunk, I tell you. Drunk on the legend of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White. Well, I'll say it again, 'cause I can't say it enough- that waiting for Mr. Right is gonna keep your life and happiness on hold as long as it exists."
- "Life without your pleasure as a priority is one of perpetual victimization and stagnation."
- "Become expert at finding beauty in every aspect of womanhood, fat or thin, young or ancient, petite or imposing."
- "We are not accustomed to being in a state of profound gratitude toward our lives and the gift of life. But gratitude is an essential practice that opens us up for more."
- "Just as a seed needs soil, sun, and water in order to grow, your appetite requires a support system to really spring to life. The best fertilizers you can find for your sprouting desires are fun and pleasure- they are all-natural and you can never have too much of them, so sprinkle them daily throughout your life."
- "If you want to be treasured, you have to treasure yourself first and then show someone how to treasure you."
- "Your dreams are not too big for you, you would not have them if they were not just the right size and shape for the individual you are. They are blueprints of your future fulfillment."
I've decided that this will be the last official Self-Love Book Club read. After almost two years of reading together, I want to find new ways to engage and interact with you - and I am focusing my efforts on creating some very exciting new projects. I'll keep our private Facebook group open as a place to discuss and recommend personal development books with one another, so feel free to join if you'd like. And I'll also be offering suggested reading with my new series of long form articles that I'm starting in July, as well as in my weekly newsletter.
I've had so much fun on this book club adventure and I have some exciting changes and big ideas planned for this space. I hope you're looking forward to this new chapter as much as I am.
Did you read Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts? Did you love it as much as I did?
Love, candy floss, & peppermint tea,