You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.read more
Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. You know, one of the things I love about what I get to do is the fact that I meet amazing people. And my guest today has an uncanny ability to turn impossible dreams into reality, and I invited her here to share her perspective on how you can do the same.
Regena Thomashauer, AKA Mama Gena, is a revolution: an icon, teacher, author, mother, and founder and CEO of the School of Womanly Arts. She believes that women are the greatest untapped natural resource on the planet and teaches them to turn on their innate feminine power to create a life they love. The School for Womanly Arts began in Thomashauer’s living room in 1998 and has since grown into a thriving, global movement with thousands of graduates around the world. Thomashauer has authored 3 popular books and has appeared on NBC’s Today show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, 20/20, and more. Her programs have been profiled in the New York Times, Elle, New York Magazine, among others. She lives and works in New York City, raising her daughter, and working with a devoted team to run and grow her school.
Thank you so much for being here.
No, don’t thank me. I am so thrilled… I am so thrilled to be here. I’m thrilled and I’m moved. I’m moved and thrilled.
That goes… it’s a mutual admiration society. So one of the reasons that I wanted to have you on the show is there are so many times when I get to meet folks that watch MarieTV, I work with our B-Schoolers, and I’m talking with people who are working to bring their dreams to life and I use you as an example so many times because you’re such a beautiful demonstration of someone who had what could be considered a little bit of an out there dream and you made it real and you continue to make it real each and every day. So tell us about how you started the School for Womanly Arts and really what that journey was like.
Wow. I would have to say that the School of Womanly Arts started with just a big, fat desire and it was my desire really to connect with my own voice and my own passion and to live that in my lifetime. And what kind of galvanized the dream was after I had Maggie, who is now 17, I was sitting there with my little newborn not knowing what to do, but feeling so much of a sense of responsibility. I felt responsible to the girls of today, to the women of tomorrow, to what was I doing to make sure that the world could understand and respect and welcome who and what a woman is in all of her dazzling brilliance, dazzling darkness, her every facet of woman. Because the world doesn’t know how to handle who and what women are. And so I thought, “I’ve gotta do something because I wanna make space for this girl to fly.” So I thought, “I know what I’ll do, I’m Mama. See, baby, I’m Mama. Hm, ok, I’ll be Mama Gena.”
And did that just come to you like a download or were you kind of playing around? Because you have this character named Mama Gena and I know you as Regena and you are always you wherever you go, but there is a persona that comes.
Yeah, when I’m teaching. And thank God because I’m so shy actually that I’m grateful for the inspiration to create the persona so that I could be as effective in the world as I long to be, and Mama Gena gives me that courage. But how it happened was really accidental. I’d been teaching classes in relationships and communications to men and women for many years and then I just wanted to do something for women only and really it was just a lark. I thought it was funny. I thought it was kind of… like Mama Gena, I don’t know, it sounded like something that should be on Broadway. And so I thought, “I could do that, because I’m an actor, I’m a singer, educator, writer. I can be Mama Gena. That’ll work. And so I will write this character into existence and she will assist me at awakening the culture in the way I most long to.” So I wrote my first class and it was… took place in my living room with a handful of women.
Like, how many?
It was like 6 or 8 women.
Ok, I’m gonna pause you there because this is really important. I often talk with a lot of folks who get very excited about sharing a message with the world, whether they’re women or men, and many of their aspirations include speaking to tens of thousands or millions or billions of people. And I always try and tell them, that’s awesome. We don’t want to squash that dream, but some of my most successful friends, and successful in the sense that they live their work, they do their work consistently, they’re happy doing their work, generally speaking. We all have those creative struggles, but they’re really in it, most of them started with, like, a few people in their living room and they stairstep built it. And I think when people have impossible crazy dreams, it’s important to hear these origin stories because you can look from the outside and think, “Oh, they just went there. Now they’re speaking to tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands.” So that’s why I wanted to really just fine tune that point for folks.
The… the hugely important thing is to live your dream and to live your passion. Just like you did when you were a little kid and you would play let’s pretend. That energy is the creative force that makes everything happen, makes magic happen, changes worlds, changes people’s lives, that creativity that lives inside each one of us. I think each person has a legend that wants to live. Men, women, children, there’s something, there’s a seed inside of each of us that we were born to see through to some kind of fruition in our lifetime, to actually let that creative side of us exist. So I started with a handful of women and now my classes are hundreds of women and I’ve impacted tens of thousands, maybe with my books millions of women, but it all started with a desire.
Yes. When we talk about making these dreams come to life, so many folks I get to interact with get caught up on the how. And you and I are friends so you know, I’m a very linear person and one of the things that I love about you and I admire about your work is that you help us step out of such a linear framework of thinking and keep us in that creative space of play. And any time I interact with you personally, I come to one of your seminars, I read something that you wrote, I can always feel myself coming back to this space of creative magic. So I wonder if you could tell us a little bit more about why it’s useful at times, right? Not always. At times to just set aside the how.
Well, the how won’t fuel the dream. It won’t make the dream bigger, it actually makes it shrink. Because even though we all have to do so many things, you know, have to…
Make the plans.
Take the steps.
The to do list, the steps. Those things are key, they’re important. No dreams get launched without a good, solid foundation. If you spend all of your time in the how and the how is so seductive. It says, “Oh, there’s always more things to do. Come. There’s always more ways you can work. Come to me. Come to me.” But it’s never going to lead to that kind of regenerating, throbbing enthusiasm that it requires to build a business or to take an idea and actually turn it into a reality. There’s nothing creative that happens there. So the idea is to connect with a desire. And to connect with a desire, it’s like that line in the Sound of Music, a dream that will need all the love you can give every day of your life. You know, sing with me.
Oh, I have no idea.
You don’t know this song?
You know I’d love to sing with you if I knew it. But the point is very true, because as a person who is very, very accustomed to doing, when I find myself grinding…
…and when I find myself getting to that point where it feels like all the creativity is gone, where I don’t have another idea to put out there, I don’t know even why I’m continuing to do it, you’re one of the people that pops in my head. Because I remember that I have to get reconnected to having fun and pleasure and desire and I love that that’s what you take a stand for in your work.
Yeah, because… it’s hugely important because a desire, a dream, it’s the interface between you and that which is greater than you. It’s a way that you connect with your divinity. So… and that requires some tending and some fueling. And pleasure is what fuels our ability to continually create and regenerate and stay in the heartbeat of why we started on this crazy adventure, this magnificent adventure in the first place. So pleasure is a key ingredient. The problem is that that’s the last thing you wanna do when you have a to do list that’s huge.
And you have deadlines out the wazoo and you keep creating more deadlines. It sounds like the craziest thing in the world. You know, I know sometimes I have, even in my own mind, resisted you, you know, even in my own head going like, “No! I can’t take a break now. I, really, I have 15 more things to get done by tomorrow morning.” However, when I’m wise enough to surrender to that because the higher part of me knows it’s actually where it’s all gonna come from, there’s magic. So what are some practical things that we can all do from a pleasure, desire, staying connected to that fun place that anyone could practice?
Well, there’s something… the way I run my company, just out of sheer necessity. Believe me, if I could make those people work all the time, I would, honey. But, it… no one can live without the pleasure and the joy and the enthusiasm. So the way I start every staff meeting is with something that… at the school there’s all of these practices and tools and arts. So this is so handy and it’s so useful and I recommend it to everyone. Start every meeting with a brag, a gratitude, and a desire. When you do all three, it’s called holy trinity. What it does is it grounds you in the inspirational qualities that you possess, which then you have so much to give. So we’re gonna practice it right now.
I love it.
Do it. Yeah.
Ok, so I’m gonna brag.
And by the way, before you brag, as your bragging is kind of bubbling up inside, one of the other reasons I love this, especially for women, although it affects men too, it affects kids. We’re so trained out of tooting our own horn.
We’re so trained that we cannot…
…celebrate anything that…
…we accomplish or that, you know, we’re braggartly if we talk about things that we do. And that just seems like such a sickness.
Well, it’s a difference between boasting, meaning fluffing yourself up to make you even more wonderful than you are, and absolutely truing up to what is. Truing up to the incredible, inspiring being, the infinite being, that every human being is. So bragging just kind of puts you in touch with that. And then gratitude, hello, is just…
That’s just the magical elixir of everything.
And then desire, it’s important to key into your desire because that’s your connection to your divine, so source energy. So I’ll give you a brag. Alright, I brag that… I brag our friendship. I brag that I’m here with you right now. I brag that I’ve known you since you had your little flip cam in your hand. I brag how our sisterhood and how each of us stands so fiercely for one another. I brag that. I am proud of that, on both ends. I… my gratitude. I am so grateful to do the work that I do in the world that keeps me connected to myself and able to express my passions in such a range of ways. I feel so grateful for that. And my desire is that this episode reach everyone who has a dream, an impossible dream, and that on seeing this episode they feel even more inspired to connect and live that passion in their lifetimes.
Well done. I like that and I can absolutely see how if every meeting started with folks going around and doing the holy trinity, it would shift some things in a major way.
Bring it. Hit me.
Alright, so I brag that I have the most amazing crew in the whole world.
Oh, yeah. You do.
So I know you guys kind of see them on MarieTV. I have to tell you, they are better in real life than you could ever imagine possible and I am so, so, so appreciative. So that’s gonna spill into my gratitude. Can it be the same or does it have to be different?
No, it can be all… yeah.
I can bubble it in together? Ok, so I’m also…
But one thing about a brag would be that an I… you would have to add on, “And I created that. I made that happen.”
I created them. And I pulled all these amazing people together.
Because you did.
Because you guys are all freakin’ awesome. Ok, going on to my gratitude. I’m so, so grateful for this building, this company, what we’re able to do each week for our audience, which if I didn’t have anyone watching I’d be no… there’d be nobody to make videos for. So I’m grateful for you. And then in terms of a desire, my desire is that I continue to find new and fun ways to inspire my work so that I can keep doing this, because it’s the most joyful thing I’ve ever experienced.
You did so good.
So well bragged.
Thank you. Regena, thank you so much for coming on MarieTV today. This has been beautiful and I’m sure it is not the last time that we’ll see you on our show.
I’m so grateful to be here, girl, and I’m so proud of you.
Thank you. Now Regena and I have a challenge for you. So, have you ever had a somewhat impossible dream that you nurtured into fruition, against all odds? Or is there a desire inside of you right now that really needs a little more air time? We would love to hear about it.
So as always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.
Did you like this video? If so, subscribe to our channel and, of course, we’d be so appreciative if you shared it with all of your friends. And if you want even more great resources to create a business and life that you love, plus some personal insights from me that I only talk about in email, come on over to MarieForleo.com and sign up for email updates. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and we’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.