I’m thinking it sounds like some kind of board game as her message plays on my voicemail. A television ad of my childhood comes to mind…You sunk my battleship!
What the heck is Masterminds?
She repeats, “We meet on Thursday mornings at Karma Korner for Masterminds, if you’d like to join us.”
Masterminds? Is it a southern thing? Is it like Bunco? I confess, I’ve never been to a Bunco game, but I’ve heard it described as a bunch of women getting together to gossip. Who has the time or the karma to spare?
Or maybe Masterminds is like Pampered Chef? Or Mary Kaye? It’s not that I don’t like these products. I do. But I’ve been known to bribe third parties to hook me up with a baking stone, or blush, so I don’t have to personally attend.
Sure, some of my resistance to all things Tupperware is residual. For a long time I was so poor I couldn’t possibly afford to buy something if I went. I’d walk away with a five dollar spoon and feel terribly guilty and exposed.
Also, the feminist in me resents having to spend money in support of another woman’s position as a bottom-feeder on a sales pyramid. C’mon. How many pink cadillacs are actually out there? Someone’s making a lot of money, but it ain’t you dear sister-friend.
I just wish instead of selling candles, women could get together, light a few of them, and revel in each other’s company, but…I digress.
So, Masterminds is it? Well, we just moved to Lynchburg. I have no friends. I am desperate for adult conversation, and Kasey who invited me is really cool, so I guess I’ll go. Just once.
Thursday morning, seven of us filter into Karma Korner, a little health food/coffee shop. The owner Leah, a part of the group, hooks up our caffeine IV’s. Everyone here is female and they are all from the Unity Church we just joined, but these are not church ladies. They are stylish in a hippie-chic, bohemian, kind of way. Whew! I’m lovin’ it. I can breathe.
After chatting and coffee and laughing and munching, someone suggests we begin, and cards are passed around.
We read together from a script, confessing that by ourselves we are powerless, but with help from the Mastermind (God) all things are possible.
Hmm…Sounds kind of 12 steppy? Politically correct. Don’t want to offend anyone with the word, “God” huh?
We confess that we need help.
Okay…there are just eight steps on this card, but…. well....I DO need some help. So….I guess it's okay?
We read down the list and the sixth step is asking. We ask for what we want, and the members of the group affirm our requests.
Someone asks for prosperity and faith.
Each woman in the circle tells her she is heard. She is prosperous. She does have faith in the Divine order of things.
Someone asks for gratitude.
One by one, around the circle it’s, “The Mastermind hears you and you are full of gratitude.”
What am I going to ask for? What do I say?
Someone asks for focus and good health.
“The Mastermind hears you.” We say. “You are in perfect health and you are focused on what you need to do.”
Oh no! My turn. Do I say something bogus? Do I ask for faith, patience?
I pause, thinking. Debating.
My throat tightens. My heart beats faster.
“I ask for wisdom in making the right decisions regarding my child. There are so many conflicting opinions about best treatments for autistic spectrum disorders. I never feel like I know what I’m doing? I ask for clarity. I ask for strength. I ask for help in being a good mother.”
One at a time, each woman looks me in the eye.
“The Mastermind hears you Michelle, you are wise.”
“You are strong.”
“You are filled with clarity and you make the right decisions for your child.”
Mary, the last in the circle, says “You are a good mother.”
Our eyes stay locked. My throat squeezes. Tears start in my eyes. I breathe in and let them out.
I am lifted and held by this group, completely vulnerable and utterly safe. Blindsided by how much I needed this.
It’s been over a year, and I still go to Masterminds every chance I get. Occasionally someone new shows up and almost always, they weep. I believe it’s the cry of our very cells, remembering being cared for by a feminine force bigger than sisters, mothers, daughters, even the earth. We get so distanced from Her but when we stop and remember, it moves us at our depths.
This kind of connection, this opportunity to remember, is a precious gift. And every now and then, someone even shows up with baked goods, in Tupperware.