In answer to those who have written wanting to know how to begin their own menopause goddess group, we offer this little nuts-and-bolts guide based on our experience with the Venuses.

Getting The Right Mix
Theresa-Venus and I started by asking one another "Are there any others out there like us, who are wondering just what the @#&* is going on with this crazy time of life?" We subsequently invited women we knew (in turn having them ask one or two of their friends) to join us for a weekend slumber party with a focus.

First, and foremost, we didn’t try to overcontrol the makeup of the group. Whether blessed or naive, we simply trusted that the right women would come together for our first gathering. Naturally, we did avoid asking women who routinely seem to suck the oxygen out of any room they occupy. Thankfully we know few of them. (Although it seems like everyone knows at least one!)

Begin Before The First Gathering
Again, looking back, we see how important it was to start working before we came together initially. We devised and sent out a questionnaire to all our potential attendees, as well as to some women who were interested in the questions for themselves once they heard about what we’d planned. (These women were satellite Venuses and contributed their thoughts and feelings in the spirit of helping us all.) The questionnaire was to be completed and returned prior to our first meeting. It was also meant to weed out anyone who wasn’t serious about working on these issues and questions together. Interestingly enough, no one opted out and most spent a great deal of time and soul searching in their answering.

Theresa-Venus and I also thought that our questionnaire might serve as a focusing tool and general icebreaker when we did come together. Little did we suspect that it would serve as much more. The process of looking at our attitudes and feelings, past and present, fostered a level of self-awareness that propelled Meeting One forward. Our questions and answers also helped inform our group as a whole. Personal information gleaned was as new to each individual goddess as it was to our sisters. Yet universal themes emerged and we knew we were on the right track. questionnaire_for_blog. (Pdf files require Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free – click here.)

Enough for today, goddesses. Stay tuned for part Two in the next few days. If you have burning questions about starting your own Venus group, comment or write us by clicking on Contact Us at the upper right of the homepage. (Material adapted from our upcoming book "Venus Comes of Age, The Wit and Wisdom of Menopausal Goddesses.")