The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Creating Self-Love Rituals

posted by Donna Henes

By Cozetta Lageman

With so much of our time and attention focused on other people, places, tasks and responsibilities it rarely dawns on us to slow down and spend some time on ourselves, just for the pleasure of the experience.

Sometimes it takes an illness or other huge sign from the Universe to get us to slow down and figure out that something needs to change. However, if we take care of ourselves on a regular basis, we’re free to enjoy our lives more freely and with a light and grateful heart.

 

A simple but consistent self-love ritual can also take care of the need to feel loved, pampered and important. We can’t and shouldn’t rely on others to take care of that for us. It’s our own honorable responsibility to make sure our health and happiness are in good standing.

 

If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of adding one more thing to your to-do list, here are some ideas to get you feeling motivated, in control and in charge of your time.

 

  1. Get nice and quiet. Meditate or pray and really listen to what thoughts and feelings bubble up. This is going to be your self-love ritual compass. What you need day to day, week to week changes. Today your body may be craving a long afternoon reading in the sun, tomorrow you may need some silly, fun, girl time. Being in the habit of getting quiet and listening to your intuition will only strengthen your connection with what you really need and want in your life. The more you do it, the easier and more natural this will become.

    2. Shift your energy and shake your booty. Get moving by going for a walk, or putting on your favorite song and dancing in your kitchen. This has the almost immediate effect of letting you get out of your head (away from whatever’s bothering or overwhelming you) and focus on something else. You’ll also get a boost of endorphins and feel great afterward. You just may be inspired in the middle of dancing to “Uptown Funk” on what it is that you need right now.

 

  1. Clear some time from your schedule. Have designated blocks of time that are strictly for your self-love rituals. If it’s on your calendar, then you’re so much more likely to commit to it. You may not feel like you can schedule a full day to lounge and be pampered at a beautiful and indulgent day spa, but you can probably squeeze in 15 minutes before going to bed for a little reading or slow stretching. Schedule it in, on a regular basis, and you’ll find that it becomes a regular habit that gets easier and easier.

 

Now that you’re all set, and feel like you can fit this into your life, I’m going to share 10 ideas of what to do during your self-love rituals. This list is just a small snapshot of what you can do, the sky’s the limit!

 

  1. Start a journal or smashbook. Depending on how creative you want to be with it, you can simply jot down what’s going on in your life, the things you’re grateful for or you can cut, paste, draw, paint or design a book that’s really beautiful.

 

  1. Take up yoga, if you don’t practice already. It can be such a nurturing and relaxing activity. I highly recommend it.

 

  1. Create a list of affirmations to read to yourself. Go online for inspiration if you need it, but having a list of personalized, go-to positive phrases to say in times of frustration or overwhelm can be like having your own cheerleader in your pocket at all times.

 

  1. Read an uplifting, inspiring or motivational book. There are so, so many to choose from. Find something written by an author or speaker that you like, or ask friends for recommendations.

 

  1. Take a hot bath. This one’s a classic. Personalize your experience by adding essential oils, lighting candles, playing relaxing music or listening to an interesting podcast.

 

  1. Subscribe to a gorgeous magazine. When you get it in the mail every month, sit in a comfy chair and just enjoy it.

 

  1. Take a hike or walk near a body of water. Take pictures, pack a gourmet lunch for yourself, look for interesting rocks. Keep the rocks in a pretty dish on your bedside table as a lovely reminder of your self-love ritual.

 

  1. Get a massage, body scrub, wrap or facial. Just get yourself to a spa. Close your eyes and point to the menu. You’ll love whatever you choose, I’m sure of it.

 

  1. Find a quiet spot and just be. Let your mind wander without any agenda at all, except to enjoy yourself and your thoughts.

 

  1. Buy yourself a new set of sheets. Go a click softer and more luxurious than what you currently have. Make a ritual out of making your bed, and then slip into bed once you’re finished. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Now, as a bonus, take a nap. Just because you can.

 

I hope this has helped you, and inspires you to create regularly occurring self-love rituals for yourself.
 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

 

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

Creating a Sacred Space

posted by Donna Henes

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

The more conscious and respectful we become of the abiding presence and guiding force of our Selves, the more we feel inclined to spend time alone in Her excellent company.

One way to honor these healing times of communion, of seclusion, and reflection with that deep part of us that is the source of our strength and wisdom is to conduct them in an environment that is both worthy and conducive to the sacredness of the occasion.

That source, that center of Self, cries out to inhabit a special, sanctified space of our own creation, “a room of our own” as Virginia Woolf put it, where we are happily at home within ourselves. The Queen in us becomes very discriminating as to the quality of peace, order, and beauty that She establishes in Her environment, and She defends its inviolability as sacred.                     

The Queen Suggests: Create Sacred Space

  • Put some meditative music on, dim the lights, and walk, dance, slide, crawl, or roll, slowly through your home. You might want to close or squint your eyes so that you can concentrate on what you feel rather than what you see.
  • Do you feel yourself drawn to a particular area or corner? That is your sitio, your particular sacred space. This is the place where you can feel most strongly your connections to the energy of the earth, to spirit, and to your inner best Self.
  • Your sitio can be as large as a room, as small as a chair or rug, as contained and hidden as a closet. It can be a sitting area or desk space in a larger room. It can be under a dormer in the attic, or even outside in the yard or on the porch.
  • Claim this space as sacred.
  • Cleanse your sitio. Wash the floor, window, or whatever furniture or shelves are in your space. Burn some incense to smudge away any negative energy. Frankincense, sage, cedar, camphor, and copal are especially effective purifying agents.
  • Consecrate your sitio. Bless your sacred space with the intention that it be a safe and comfortable haven for you, a shelter from the storms of living where you can always find your center and reconnect with your Self.
  • Sanctify your sitio by creating an altar with some amulet or altar items that will continually remind you of the purpose of your intention. The amount of space and privacy you have will determine the size and form of your altar.
  • You can construct an actual altar with many holy icons, lucky charms, inspiring images, offerings, and candles. You can discretely place certain personally (and privately) precious items on your desk or dresser top, bookshelf, or window-sill.
  • You can create a drawer or cabinet or closet altar that is completely hidden to all but you.
  • Claim and defend adequate blocks of time to spend in your sacred space so that you might engage with your Self on a regular basis. Use your sacred time and space to write in your journal, listen to music, meditate, do your yoga or exercises, dance, read, daydream, or nap.
  • With Self-engagement and development on our mind any time can be auspicious and any place a sanctuary. All we need do is claim it.

 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

House Cleaning From the Inside Out

posted by Donna Henes

Our messy thinking and sloppy habits come more easily into focus when our surroundings are tidy and beautiful and filled with only what is meaningful, so that we can release them, as well.

A thorough house cleaning, internal as well as external, is a fabulous way to delineate the purpose of our lives. Letting go of the inessential creates an elegant order to our existence. An orderly house always seems like the invitation to a fresh start, which is why so many cultures incorporate a thorough house scrubbing, a clean sweep, as it were, as well as an internal ablution in their New Year’s rituals.

When we clear out the inessentials, we make space for ourselves to grow and expand to fill the void. With the chaff, the distractions and dirty corners of our environments and minds cleared away, we can better see the structure of our lives, the foundations of our support, the bare bones that comprise our true Selves, and dedicate ourselves to living a more authentic life.

Throw out, re-cycle or donate one thing every day. This is a great practice in claiming what is important to you and discarding what is not. It is easy and gradual so that it is not too upsetting. 

Spend an evening in the closet playing dress up. Get rid of everything that that doesn’t fit your figure or your evolved Self-image.

Eliminate one food from your diet that you know you should not eat. When you get used to living without it, eliminate one more. 

Send all of the novels that you know you will never re-read to a school or hospital library or to a clinic waiting room. And that pile of magazines, too. 

Clean out your paper and computer files, your address book, old correspondence and tax records older than seven years. How much of that clutter is really relevant any more? 

Do the same with your medicine cabinet and cosmetic drawers. How many of the products crammed in there merely mask superficial symptoms and flaws rather than enhance your essential strength and beauty?

Remove yourself from situations and relationships that no longer nurture you. Refuse what does not interest you. This is harder. Hold tight to your entitlement to be fulfilled.

Monitor your thoughts, and edit the negative, Self-derogatory ones in mid-stream. Eliminate stinking thinking. Reframe your thoughts so that thy reflect a more positive attitude. 

Reduce stress through yoga, exercise, breathing techniques, warm baths, sex, music, art and/or meditation. 

Eliminate the accumulated toxins in your body by fasting occasionally.

Slough off the old, like a snake shedding its skin, or a butterfly its cocoon. Emerge renewed, refreshed and re-energized.

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

No Country for Old Women

posted by Donna Henes

by Mary Saracino

Howling from the mountaintops
wailing from the riverbanks
scooping the moon into their waning wombs
the old women know that lies kill,
distortions maim, hope isn’t enough to feed starving
babies, school the ignorant, put and end to war.

Like Furies, the old ones rise,
clench their furious fists against the blazing sun;
like Harpies they roar, casting dire warnings
upon the winds of change; soothsaying Sibyls
decipher omens, portend the future, speak in baffling koans.

With dakini wisdom they cut through
illusion, vote in primaries, attend caucuses,
raise their voices against power, shatter
the corrupted ceilings that chafe the crowns
of their wizened heads.

The wandering Maenads cry: “This is no country
for old women.”

Medea calls down her midnight powers,
prays for revolution, strengthens the tired tongues
of memory. Eloquence isn’t enough to heal
a wounded country; sequined celebrities
can’t mend a nation’s odiferous past. Kali avenges
her sisters, the long-patient Queens & Crones,
Maidens & Mothers. The forgotten ones
wait and watch and warn: “Beware the hubris
of ages. Beware the greedy hand that grabs the golden fleece.”
* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Previous Posts

Creating Self-Love Rituals
By Cozetta Lageman With so much of our time and attention focused on other people, places, tasks and responsibilities it rarely dawns on us to slow down and spend some time on ourselves, just for the pleasure of the experience. Sometimes it takes an illness or other huge sign from the Univer

posted 6:00:47am Mar. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Creating a Sacred Space
I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book. The more conscious and respectful we become of the abiding presence

posted 6:00:44am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

House Cleaning From the Inside Out
Our messy thinking and sloppy habits come more easily into focus when our surroundings are tidy and beautiful and filled with only what is meaningful, so that we can release them, as well. A thorough house cleaning, internal as well as external, is a fabulous way to delineate the purpose of our l

posted 6:00:28am Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

No Country for Old Women
by Mary Saracino Howling from the mountaintops wailing from the riverbanks scooping the moon into their waning wombs the old women know that lies kill, distortions maim, hope isn’t enough to feed starving babies, school the ignorant, put and end to war. Like Furies, the old ones rise,

posted 6:00:38am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Mad
I am mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am enraged. I am livid. I am FURIOUS. “All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken

posted 6:00:45am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »


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