Unfinishing School2024-04-11T09:51:08-07:00

Unfinishing School 2024 is now open for registration.

Unfinishing School is a year-long group coaching program with Marcia Baczynski, for women and people socialized as girls who want to:

  • Build an unshakeable foundation of self-trust
  • Create nourishing, connected, honest friendships and relationships
  • Redefine gendered expectations for yourself
  • Be one of those people that others say “Wow, she’s good with boundaries” and “You really know what you want!”

Over the course of 12 months, we dig into what lights you up and turns you on, and get deep, meaningful practice standing up for your boundaries, listening to your authentic desires, and tending to your needs. We start April 30th.

Keep on reading to learn more, or click here to get started.

What you want is worth paying attention to.

Your needs are sensible.
Your desires are normal.
Your fantasies are healthy.
Your boundaries are reasonable.
You are not “too much.”
And you are definitely, definitely enough. 

When you come to believe these truths about yourself, everything becomes easier.

This is what we do in Unfinishing School.

Unfinishing School is built on four cornerstones:

1. Practice

We have to practice new ways of relating, setting boundaries, speaking up and not falling into the traps the dominant culture has set for us. It’s not just “one-and-done,” but rather a series of ongoing practices, with refinements and discernment, that build over time.

Real, concrete, regular practice is what creates long-term, sustainable changes, so that you can move through the world with the confidence of someone who is “good at boundaries” and “always seems to know what you want.

2. Naming Structures

We need to see the water we’re swimming in. We live inside of a system of policies, cultural norms and invisible structures that benefits certain people, and throws others under the bus and that shape our beliefs, expectations and choices. This system undermines your inner wisdom, teaches you to doubt your own knowing, and outsources the work of exploiting yourself to… you.

Women have few examples of what it can look like to be authentically powerful. We are sold models of “empowerment” that are essentially lifestyles, based on aesthetics and conformity to certain ideals. We are told contradictory stories about what success means, looking to the perfect relationship, the ideal career, the perfect body, or motherhood for fulfillment. The truth is far more nuanced — and personal — than any of that.

Together, we will break out of the boxes of compulsory heterosexuality, mandatory nuclear family, career-as-identity, and rugged individualism, so that you can dream into existence better ways of living, creating and relating, and define the terms of a successful, well-lived life for yourself.

3. Pleasure

We must orient toward what truly brings us pleasure in order to build lives that are sustainable. Deprivation, scarcity and shame are tools to keep us “in our place” and you cannot use them to change yourself or the world. Life isn’t meant to be a slog of to-do lists, anxiety or endless rumination. We are wired for pleasure.

You may have been taught to be suspicious of pleasure, but pleasure is your birthright. Pleasure and joy are unique and specific to you, and cannot be co-opted for another’s agenda, which makes them powerful tools for building a life you actually love. When you orient yourself toward pleasure and joy, you point your life directly at your life force — the things that light you up, turn you on, and motivate you to keep moving forward.

4. Community

We cannot go it alone. Humans come to know who we are through our relationships. We need others to reflect back to us what they see. We need a safe and nourishing space to be clumsy, awkward and new. We need other people to witness who we are and who we are becoming, and to celebrate our growth with us.

There is a TON of lived experience and wisdom when we gather to learn and explore with one another. When this knowledge is shared, we all make bigger moves, learn faster and feel more powerful. You can relax knowing someone else has been through it too and that you can draw from the wisdom of others who are right there in it with you.

Joy and pleasure are your birthright.

What makes Unfinishing School different?

As a coach and a client, I have been part of several coaching programs, some absolutely wonderful and life-changing, and some… not so great. The truth is, there are some coaches out there who are doing terrific group work, and others who use group coaching to make a ton of money but deliver very little of value.

Unfinishing School is a different type of group coaching program, one that places a high value on community and individualized attention. There are no one-size fits all solutions, and you’ll never feel like just another face in the crowd.

Traditional Coaching ProgramsUnfinishing School
Scores or hundreds of people
Limited to 28 people
Face in the crowd, only get to know a few peopleCommunity focus, can form real, meaningful relationships
Ignores social structures, assumes all barriers are “limiting beliefs”Acknowledges ways societal structures affect our options and choices
One-size-fits-all plans and protocols, “Just follow my formula!”Offers a variety of tools and practices for you to find what works for you
Offers step-by-step instructionsOffers experiments to try
Most content is pre-recordedTeaching happens live, with optional pre-recorded supplemental materials
Limited time with the coach and little personal attention4.5-6 hours per month live with Marcia, with individualized attention
Takes a one-and-done approach to teaching new materialTakes a cyclical approach, returning to themes and practices over and over
Measures success by externally determined outcomes and how it looksMeasures success by how it feels along the way and when you get there

In Unfinishing School, we go beyond the personal, and build awareness of “the water we’re swimming in.” We’ll look specifically at how the dominant cultural expectations of women and heteronormativity shape our thinking about who we think we should be, and how to undo that. Feminist theory? Yes please. In bite-sized chunks you can integrate and actually use? Oh yes.

We will curl up with our laptops and a cup of tea to hash things out. Together, we will unearth clues and draw a map to your heart, building a practice of prioritizing pleasure, discovering choice, and communicating desires so you can create the kind of sex, life, and love you always wanted.

In Unfinishing School, your sexuality, creativity, yearning, desire, passion, purpose + longing mix freely.

Unfinishing School is not a curriculum, exactly.

(And for good reason.)

We all know how it goes: You join a program, then… Life happens.

I created Unfinishing School with practice and community at the center of it, so that no matter what’s happening in your life, you can bring it here. Sure, I have a lot of educational content, and you’ll get plenty of that. But the practices and community inside of Unfinishing School will have your back, no matter what’s going on.

  • You may be working on your relationship… or coping a death of a parent.
  • You may be exploring your queerness… or navigating a difficult medical situation.
  • You may be growing a business… or figuring out how to love the body that you’re in.
  • You may be nurturing your family… or sorting out a sudden new opportunity.

Whatever life throws at you in our time together, Unfinishing School is the place for you to bring it, in all its messy realness, and get real-time support.

The container is broad and deep.

The content is cyclical.

Here is just a glimpse of what we do in Unfinishing School

Past participants have learned to:

Move forward intentionally in a new relationship without jumping into a “serious” relationship structure

Reclaim her birthday for a celebration that felt right, rather than feeling guilt and shame

Weed through career options that she could do (but felt off), to find one that was right-sized for her

Fiercely self-advocate with family, doctors and the medical system after her diagnosis

Accept a generous gift from their partner that previously felt “too big” or “too much” to let in

Grieve the loss of an imagined future: about places where they couldn’t save or protect their kids

Have confident conversations with new partners about her preferred safer sex practices

Set a series of well-considered boundaries with her dad, while feeling out what sort of larger boundary might be called for

Honestly evaluate her true capacity, and acknowledge the true cost of certain relationships and activities

Show up for hard conversations during a friendship re-alignment

Find her community after the onset of chronic illness

Stand up to her creepy landlord, with the backing of legal support

Stop managing her husband’s reactions and start relating with the truth of what is going on for her

Self-define their experience of gender and womanhood, outside of the norms they were aware of

Stop running every aspect of her business by herself, and start doing things with kick-ass support

You will always find something here that you can use, and we will continuously return to our core themes, with skills you can apply in real life.

I really liked the variety of exercises that we did! The one that worked best for me were the archetypes but I found many others really useful.

I also really enjoyed The Living Room [online community group], where I felt I found support as well as lots of very interesting pieces of information. It was great to hear about other people’s experiences. I liked the fact that Marcia herself was very active there.

I also loved the way Marcia was so enthusiastic and personal about this program. A lot of positive energy came through the calls :-)

Thank you so much Marcia for all the energy and intention you put into this course. I really like your personal approach, very pragmatic and fun, and I was always looking forward to the calls knowing that there would be some very exciting stuff in them as well as things to reflect upon for the week. -AB

In Unfinishing School, you get…

  • A shame-free, honesty-affirming space to explore what’s true for you
  • Practical skills to access the heart of your needs and desires
  • Clarity about your boundaries and limits
  • Permission and validation for your longing
  • Tools for honest, durable relationships of all kinds
  • Room to redefine the gendered expectations you have internalized
  • A non-social media based community of wise peers
  • Simple and clear language to talk about what you want and need
  • Nuances about giving and receiving
  • Teachings, tools and embodied practices you can apply to your life and relationships
  • Accurate, nonjudgmental sex information from a compassionate expert
  • Conversations where sex, gender, alternative relationships and queerness are expected and normalized
  • Cheerleading for your self-advocacy

As with all of my live courses, if you do at least 40% of what is offered, you should start to see major shifts in your life.

You can never “fall behind” in your own life, and there is no need to “catch up.” It is okay to step away as needed. We will be here for you when you come back.

We need spaces where we can talk about and practice owning our desires, communicating boundaries and making authentic choices.

This Is For You If…

If you want to build an unshakeable foundation of self-trust

If you want to create nourishing, connected, solid relationships (including with family, partners, lovers and friendships)…

If you are redefining gendered expectations for yourself…

If you want to be in a warm, accepting, growth-oriented community

If you want to maintain a clear sense of self even as life throw things your way…

If you want to be one of those people that others say “Wow she has good boundaries!” or “She always seems to know what she wants” about…

… Then Unfinishing School is for you.

The folks in this program form my “inner circle” of sorts. I will be holding space and showing up for you in the fullest way I can offer.

More specifically:

  • If you want a year of support, guidance and feedback from me, this is the way to do that.
  • If you’ve taken a class or program with me in the past and want to put what you’ve learned into regular, sustained practice, this is how.
  • If you want a life of sex-positive authenticity, but you feel isolated, or want more community, this is where you will find your people.
  • If you love learning about consent, boundaries, relationships and sexuality and you want to go deep, this is the place for you.
  • If you want to tap into your “cool, quirky aunt” vibes or want to be a “wild, eccentric broad” when you grow up, you’re in good company.

“Woman” is the jumping off point, not the limitation.

Unfinishing School is for women and people raised as girls, including, but not limited to:

Cis women, trans women, straight women, queer women, women who feel kind of wobbly about being a woman, mothers, non-mothers, non-binary people who have been treated by the world as a girl or woman, AFAB butches and femmes who are creating their own genders outside of the male gaze, and gender-fluid people who spend a significant part of their days navigating social expectations of womanhood.

Something has definitely happened. Working on boundaries. It seems I am no longer able to put up with other’s bullshit behavior! Really.

It has been exhausting to try to adapt and over-compromise to other’s shitty behavior and it seems the way I had previously been operating as any good, adapting person would do was say to myself: “Well, this doesn’t really work for me, actually I KNOW this doesn’t work for me, but maybe I can spin it if I work really hard on this so I can make it work for me because I want it (or the person, etc.) so much.”

Now it seems that if it doesn’t work for me, I just don’t want it as much and am better able to say “this doesn’t work for me.” Period. -SS

How It Works…

Unfinishing School is an ongoing community and practice group, with a 12-month commitment.

We meet four times a month, for plenty of individualized attention and opportunities to connect with other participants.

Week 1:

Monthly Email with the practices, prompts, resources or bonuses now available to you.

Teaching or Lab Time with Marcia.

Week 2:

Group Coaching with Marcia:
Bring your questions, challenges and what’s alive for you.

Week 3:

Group Coaching with Marcia:
Bring your questions, challenges and what’s alive for you.

Week 4:

Study Hall with Marcia or Murphy: Co-working sessions where you can explore practices, journal, make art or prioritize self-care

You’ll also get:

  • A Private Online Community (aka “The Living Room”) where you can ask for and get support, connect, celebrate wins, share resources and just jam on life (and it’s not on Facebook!)
  • Recordings of all live classes and coaching sessions so you don’t miss anything
  • A weekly summary email to help you track your learning
  • Access to my library of past classes, bonus courses, mini-teachings, podcast recordings, favorite books and more!
  • Journaling prompts, embodiment exercises, and regular practices to deepen your skills
  • Two School Breaks for integration and rest, one in late August and one in December

Plus customized attention:

  • One personal 1-on-1 call with Marcia to discuss your goals and priorities for our year together
  • Personalized recommendations just for you
  • Individual coaching at a discounted rate, plus priority on my calendar

“I’ve certainly have become more outspoken, give my opinions more even when they are at odds with the opinions of others. My self confidence and self love have skyrocketed. I don’t beat myself up about things as much anymore. I don’t have to try to prove that I’m worthy of anything and that is liberating. Having permission to put my wants and needs first in my life.

Also, finding out that other women had similar stories was such a relief! I am not the only one who struggles with these issues! Marcia, I can’t thank you enough for developing this program!!!” -JR

Let’s Practice, Together

Join Unfinishing School today. Choose your best payment option below:

One Payment of $2400
4 Payments of $600

*spaced 30 days apart

12 Payments of $200

*spaced 30 days apart

Registration closes on Sunday April 28th.

I loved your direct but kind way, Marcia. I loved most your skillful ways of showing ways to better communicate, the positivity you breed and the community we created…

Also, I really love your voice. It made it really easy to listen to the recordings!!

I found the way you led the group to be really productive. Even though we were in a group, I loved the personalized attention (thank you for the letter mailed to me!!) on Facebook and during the calls. I really felt like you cared and wanted to get to know me and help out. That felt the most valuable. xx

You got questions? I got answers!

What is the class schedule? When does class meet?2024-04-10T02:13:09-07:00

All calls are on Tuesdays at either 12pm or 5pm Pacific time (3pm or 8pm Eastern)

All calls are 90 minutes.

Teaching/Lab calls and Coaching calls are recorded and usually posted on Teachable within a couple of hours of class ending. Study Halls are not recorded.

The next trimester schedule will be confirmed at least one month ahead of time (in early August).

All time zones are Pacific. 

Here is the first-trimester schedule:

April

30 APR, 12 pm: UFS Orientation call

May

7 MAY, 5 pm: UFS Teaching / Lab

14 MAY, 12 pm: UFS Coaching

21 MAY, 5 pm: UFS Coaching

28 MAY, 12: UFS Study Hall

June

4 JUN, 5 pm: UFS Teaching / Lab

11 JUN, 12 pm: UFS Coaching

18 JUN, 12 pm: UFS Coaching

25 JUN, 12pm: UFS Study Hall

July

2 JUL, 12 pm: UFS Teaching / Lab

9 JUL,  5 pm: UFS Coaching

16 JUL, 12 pm: UFS Coaching

23 JUL, 12 pm: UFS Study Hall

30 JUL, 12 pm: UFS Teaching / Lab

August

6 AUG,  12 pm: UFS Coaching

13 AUG,  5 pm UFS Coaching + Celebrations

What’s the time commitment?2023-03-14T17:28:24-07:00

I’ve designed Unfinishing School so that you can learn and participate while LIFE is happening. Most weeks, you can expect to spend between 1 and 3 hours on content and engagement, but all of it is entirely optional.

For example, you can simply attend the Group Calls, in which case it is only 3 hours a month. You may find a month that you only do the weekly prompts, which will take a few minutes each week. There will be some months where you might dive deep into the resource library, spending an entire day or two absorbing material that matters to you right then and there. 

As with all of my live courses, if you do at least 40% of what is offered, you should start to see shifts happening in your life. 

There is no obligation to attend every call, or to always be active within our online community-space

You can never ‘fall behind’ & there is no need to ‘catch up’. It is okay to step away as needed. We will be here for you when you come back.

Is this only for female-born, cis women?2023-03-21T12:38:19-07:00

Absolutely not! If it was, I’m not sure I’d qualify! 

I am explicitly including trans women, cis women, straight women, queer women, women who feel kind of wobbly about being a woman, non-binary people who have been treated by the world as a girl or woman, mothers, non-mothers, AFAB butches and femmes who are creating their own genders outside of the male gaze, and gender-fluid people who spend a significant part of their days navigating social expectations of womanhood. 

We spend a lot of time in Unfinishing School untangling ourselves from the stories, beliefs and assumptions, we’ve internalized about what it means for us to be perceived as a woman in this world. If that’s something that applies to you, you belong here. 

I’m not queer/bisexual/polyamorous (or I’m not sure if I am). Is this for me?2023-03-21T12:41:16-07:00

Yes! Unfinishing School is open to a wide range of sexual identities, including married, partnered, unpartnered, monogamous, polyamorous, queer, straight, bisexual, gay, pansexual, kinky, vanilla, and much more. 

There is no requirement to hold a particular sexual identity to participate in Unfinishing School (or even to know what all those words mean!), only a willingness to share space with people exploring different aspects of their sexual self. 

How much of this is about sexuality? And why?2023-03-21T12:40:30-07:00

So much of the experience of navigating expectations of womanhood has to do with being perceived as sexual objects, rebelling against that, or both. In order to claim true agency in our lives, I believe we must address this head on. 

Sexuality is not the centerpiece of Unfinishing School, but this is a place where we can talk about it openly, as sexuality touches on so much of our lives, from how we set our boundaries, to what we feel is okay to ask for, to how we relate to our needs, to our relationships with ourselves, our bodies and others. 

I am unabashedly sex-positive and I believe that adult creative erotic expression and play belong in this world. That said, I also believe that your expression and play belong to you and there is no one script that will tell you how to be with that. Unfinishing School is a place where you can explore, learn and ask questions about sex, from a trained sex educator, without pressure to do or be anything in particular. 

What do you do on the Group Calls?2024-04-10T02:14:25-07:00

On our Teaching and Lab calls, there will be a brief check-in, an education portion, and some experimentation and practice time.

On our Group Coaching calls, we will start with a brief embodiment exercise, hear what’s alive for each person, and then get into practical problem-solving, reframing and application of what you’ve learned.

What tech platform will we be using?2023-03-14T17:31:32-07:00

Our calls and study halls will be on Zoom. All of the recordings, materials, resources and bonuses will be on our content platform, Teachable. Twice a week you will get email summaries and updates. And our community chat will be on Discord. (No Facebook for us!) 

I picked our platforms to be easy-to-use, and easily available. And my team will hold your hand through anything that’s new to you. 

Can you tell me more about the School Breaks?2023-03-14T17:32:18-07:00

Sure! In September and over the winter holidays, we will pause Unfinishing School for 3 weeks in order to rest and to integrate what you have been learning. For some participants, this will look like tending to other life business and ignoring UFS until we meet again. For other participants, it may be a period of choosing one skill to practice. For others, it might involve looking through some resources you’ve been meaning to get to, or reviewing content we previously covered.

There are no obligations here. You may get a few emails during this period from us, but otherwise, consider it a school holiday!

What are the weekly emails about?2024-04-10T02:15:26-07:00

There are two emails you will receive each week.

One will be a prompt for writing or reflection.

The other is a summary of everything that happened that week, including links to call recordings, highlights from the community forum, and reminders of what’s coming up next.

What’s the Study Hall about?2024-04-10T02:16:25-07:00

You know how you sign up for a course, and there’s work you want to do in it, but it’s hard to make time for it?

Yeah, I’ve been there too.

That’s why we will have one 1.5-hour co-working session (aka “Study Hall”) most months (usually on the last Tuesday of the month at 12pm). You can drop in for all or part of it, and we’ll get stuff done together. You can use the time for whatever you want! 

Study Halls are not recorded.

What if I can’t attend the Live Group Calls?2023-03-21T12:44:55-07:00

No problem! All Group Calls are recorded, and will be uploaded to Teachable within 24 hours. Marcia and her course assistant will be active in our online community (aka “The Living Room”) to offer follow-up support and care as well. 

There is no obligation to attend every call, or to always be active within our online community.

You can never ‘fall behind’ & there is no need to ‘catch up’. 

I’m interested, but can I talk with you first to see if it’s a fit?2024-04-06T15:04:38-07:00

Of course! You can schedule a time to talk with Marcia here. 

“I was tolerating quite a few things that were broken, stuck, or frustrating. I found that I was able to let go of the blocks that kept me from fixing things. Results: new hot tub, corner of office junk turned into desk, and multiple dates on the books to see my mom. Really tangible things I was just not getting to, but which make a huge difference. Love Marcia’s deep knowledge & enthusiasm.” – MS

Founder and creator of Unfinishing School, Marcia Baczynski (she/her) has been studying, teaching and writing about non-traditional relationships, sexuality and the nuances of consent for over 20 years.

Marcia has worked with thousands of people, supporting them in discovering their authentic desires, needs and boundaries, and building the skills to communicate and build intimacy, honestly and confidently. She is the co-creator of Cuddle Party, the creator of The Good Girl Recovery Program, lead facilitator of the San Francisco Open Relationship Discussion Group for 9 years, and the author of Creating Consent Culture: A Handbook for Educators.

Marcia works with organizations as well as individuals, consulting, coaching, presenting and creating curricula. She is based in Oakland, CA.

Register for Unfinishing School Now

One Payment of $2400
4 Payments of $600

*spaced 30 days apart

12 Payments of $200

*spaced 30 days apart

Registration closes on Sunday April 28th.

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