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.")
I was never the kind of woman that had a lot of "Women Friends" that did the lunch thing. So there was really no one to talk to about menopause, being part of the "venuses" has been a great help. I encourage anyone out there to start their group, you will not regret it. Rae
I can't emphasize enough the joy you will all find when gathering a group of "like-minded" (plenty of connotations there) women with which to laugh, cry, share fears and joy. One of the biggest gifts is my daughter (nearly 30) actually takes notes of the annual "slumber party" and has an enquiring mind. I can't remember even caring about such topics at her age. I say, "let's bring back the Red Tent."
I just celebrated my 57th. birthday and was reflecting on what it really means to grow "old". Instead of worrying about what time I have left( we can't predict the future – God knows I've tried) I've decided to concentrate on the present. The present is a "present" – all prettily tied up and ready to be opened…NOW. When you finally accept the fact that to be honest with yourself is the best gift you can give yourself it opens up so many doors. Behind one of the special doors is Friends. I am fortunate to be among the original goddess group, and have gained new friends and enhanced old friends during that Menopausal goddess experience. Don't hesitate to from your own "Goddess Group". You will not regret it. And, don't worry about aging…we do get better with age!