Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

In 1920, the United States became the 30th country in the world to extend voting rights to women. In addition to the fascinating information, this list offers some real surprises. For example, women could not vote in Switzerland until 1971!

1838 – Pitcairn Islands

1881 – Isle of Man

1893 – Cook Islands, New Zealand

1902 – Australia

1906 – Finland

1913 – Norway

1915 – Denmark, Iceland

1917 – Canada, Russian SFSR

1918 – German Austria, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, Estonia, Democratic Republic of Georgia, Germany, Hungarian Democratic Republic, Kyrgyz SSR, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, Ireland

1919 – Belarusian People’s Republic, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden,

Ukrainian SSR, Belgium

1920 – Principality of Albania, Czechoslovakia (Today: Czech Republic, Slovakia), United States

1921 – Armenian SSR

1922 – Burma

1924 – Kazakh SSR, Mongolian People’s Republic, Tajik SSR, Turkmen SSR

1927 – Uruguay

1929 – Ecuador, Puerto Rico

1930 – Union of South Africa, Turkey, Greece

1931 – Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Ceylon (Today: Sri Lanka)

1932 – Maldives, Thailand

1934 – Cuba

1935 – Chile

1937 – Philippines

1938 – Bolivia, Kingdom of Bulgaria, Kingdom of Romania, Uzbek SSR

1939 – El Salvador

1941 – Panama

1942 – Dominican Republic

1943 – Lebanon

1944 – Bermuda, France, Jamaica

1945 – Indonesia, Japan, Senegal, Togo, Yugoslavia (Today: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia)

1946 – British Cameroons (Today: Cameroon), Djibouti, Guatemala, Italy,

Liberia, North Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Vietnam

1947 – Argentina, Union of India, Malta, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan

1948 – Israel, South Korea, Niger, Seychelles, Dutch Guiana (Today: Suriname)

1949 – China, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Syria,

1950 – Barbados, Haiti

1951 – British Leeward Islands (Today: Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla), British Windward Islands (Today: Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Nepal

1952 – Côte d’Ivoire

1953 – Bhutan, Guyana

1954 – British Honduras (Today: Belize), Colombia, Ghana

1955 – Kingdom of Cambodia, Ethiopia(Then including Eritrea), Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru

1956 – Dahomey (Today: Benin), Comoros, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Mauritius, Somalia

1957 – Federation of Malaya (Today: Malaysia), Southern Rhodesia (Today: Zimbabwe)

1958 – Upper Volta (Today: Burkina Faso), Chad, Guinea, Kingdom of Laos, Nigeria

1959 – Brunei, Madagascar, San Marino, Tanzania, Tunisia

1960 – Bahamas, Cyprus, Gambia, Tonga

1961 – Burundi, Malawi, Mauritania, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone

1962 – Algeria, Monaco, Uganda, Zambia

1963 – Kingdom of Afganistan, The Republic of Congo, Equatorial Africa, Fifi, Iran, Kenya, Morocco

1964 – Kingdom of Libya, Papua New Guinea, Sudan

1965 – Botswana, Lesotho

1967 – Zaire (Today: Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kiribati, Tuvalu, South Yemen

1968 – Nauru, Swaziland

1970 – Andorra

1971 – Switzerland

1972 – Bangladesh

1973 – Bahrain

1974 – Jordan, Solomon Islands

1975 – People’s Republic of Angola, Cape Verde, People’s Republic of Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Vanuatu

1977 – Guinea-Bissau

1978 – Moldova

1979 – Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau

1980 – Iraq

1984 – Liechtenstein

1986 – Central African Republic

1989 – Namibia

1997 – Qatar

2002 – Timor-Leste

2003 – Oman

2005 – Kuwait

2006 – United Arab Emirates

2015 – Saudi Arabia

 

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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.

 

 

By Lady J-Ann

 

This woman has been kind, gentle,
and has much love,
All of this has been given with
the blessing of the Great Spirit above,
But Great Spirit gave her something
else and she didn’t know it…
The Great Spirit gave her
the blessing of being a warrior woman
as now her light is lit!

This warrior woman has come
fully alive today,
She is no longer anyone’s slave or prey,
She is taking back her life today,
And those who know who she truly is,
can stay.
No longer will she live the lives of others,
She will give back the blames and responsibilities of others
where it belongs,
For she also has the bear and wolf inside her,
which is now so very powerful
and uniquely strong.

The warrior woman now knows what road she must follow,
For others it will be to hard to swallow.
Her life was taken from her unknowingly many years ago,
And this warrior woman is taking back her life before the next winds blow.

Oh Sister Moon you give me the strength
as a warrior woman to conquer what’s on my path,
high above and way beneath,
and the much needed strength to take on the wrath.

This warrior woman is fully awakened and is taking a stand,
taking the problems by the horns with my hand.
I will conquer all that is there,
all and who comes as they dare.

Warrior woman has fully awoken,
and many will see that they were mistaken
in robbing her of her life.
They as a thief, Warrior woman will conquer
and have no grief!

This warrior woman will protect her people, her son,
and those who need her.
If anyone hurts them, look out!
They will hear a GGGGGGRRRRRRRRR,
As they run and shout!

This warrior woman is taking back her life,
taking back the respect that was taken from her
throughout the years ever so slow.
This warrior woman is removing pain and hurt from within the heart
caused by the knife,
from all those who are both family and foe.

I am claiming what’s mine, and my dignity,
From those who live in this society of vanity.
I am claiming back in full my heritage.
And as a warrior woman, I am going to clean up
many years of carnage.

For now standing in front of you,
you see this warrior woman… you see me.
Someone special has taught me to be free,
From this day forward for me no more slavery…
Gentleness, kindness, and love is part of me, and so is my dignity.
This is NOT WEAKNESS, as others believe.
But this strength is within me and within you.

I will listen to the spirits and grow,
I will travel in the whispering winds as they blow.
All the work I now do will be for Our People and all nations,
I will protect and guide the future generations.

Now it is time for me to travel on my new path,

As a warrior woman conquering all wrath.
If you ever see and want to meet me,
Please come, and I will also teach and share with you how to be free.

Poem copyright © Lady J-Ann
Lady J-Ann has dedicated this piece to Survivors of Domestic Violence.
Please take some time to visit her inspiring website, A Lady’s View

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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.

 

by Terry Werth

Until now, I didn’t realize that I’ve stood at the crossroads of empowering courage and crippling fear at least once before in my life. Thirty-two years ago, five months pregnant with our son, I tearfully told my gynecologist that my father-in-law had terminal cancer and was expected to die before our baby was born. “We’re all terminal,” he replied in his curt, clinical tone. I was momentarily paralyzed by hopelessness. But jolted by his candor and veracity, I was changed by that moment. It summoned up in me a sense of courage enabling me to cherish, even celebrate, the finals days of my father-in-law’s life while embracing the joy and wonderment of our anticipated birth.

There have been several such junctures in my life when I think of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” moments of critical decision making. Haven’t we all stood in that place where the road goes off in two very different directions? One road appears bright and smooth, the other, shaded and more obscured. While the choice may seem deceptively obvious at first, one only has to remember that neither road guarantees a route free of detours or roadblocks. Both roads may have bumps, even landmines! And so, the intersection of those roads is a place to ponder. Many of my “crossroad decisions” were related to actions: to marry this person or not, to take this job or not, to buy this house or not, to tell the truth or not…two roads, diverged. It wasn’t until I recently found myself at the crossroads of courage and fear that I truly understood the power of making a choice of attitude.

On May 8, 2009, after a routine annual mammogram, I learned that, without any symptoms or forewarning, I had stage 3 breast cancer that had gotten out of the breast and into my lymphatic system. At that moment, I remember feeling that I had no choice. Nature, fate, life had made the choice for me. I was going to die…sooner rather than later. I felt that I had no choice because I felt that I had no control.

As days and weeks passed, and thanks in part to a talented, positive team of medical professionals, I began to realize that there were choices to be made. There were things I could control. I embraced each of them with gusto. During that time, I also realized that I was standing at Frost’s familiar cross roads. If you have ever faced a life-threatening situation, you know exactly what I mean. Assuming the fetal position in my warm bed, curling up under the blankets and giving up may seem like the easiest path to choose, requiring nothing but surrender¾ the path of crippling fear and hopelessness. If we’re being honest, most of us venture down that path for at least a few steps then realize that other road¾ over there¾ must have something better to offer!

The other road, the path of courage and hope, requires more of us. Despair, after all, is an act of submission. Courage is an act of will. When I chose “courage,” I believed it was the best path to take. I will never know, of course. That’s the thing Frost tells us so eloquently. To be one traveler and know you cannot travel both roads is the dilemma. It is the choice that makes all the difference.

I was doing a lot of therapeutic writing after I was diagnosed, and I can almost recall the moment I made a conscious decision to take the road of courage. I pulled my shoulders back and planted my feet firmly on the floor in front of my desk. I wrote about defying the disease and the odds. I wrote about living and the things I have yet to accomplish in my life. I reflected on death and meeting it on my own terms. I read voraciously¾survivor accounts, research, lifestyle changes, nutrition guidelines, spiritual direction, even quantum physics! I set out to assemble resources: a palliative care specialist, a shaman, breast cancer survivors, clinical trials, organizations, programs and activities that would guide me on a courageous path to living.

This path I have chosen, the road of courage, has not been without its challenges, hurts or disappointments. Lifestyle changes are agonizingly difficult to make. Misunderstanding and rejection by someone I believe loved me is painful and impossible to reconcile. Clear answers to complex questions continue to elude me. I dig deep inside myself, choosing courage, again and again.

There seems to be a threshold of protection, of consideration the world is willing to give me. As days pass and people see that I am a survivor, life gradually returns to normal. Except, life for me, will never be normal again. This cancer for which there is no evidence of disease at the moment, is (statistically) likely to return in one to three years. Listening for the knock at the door, hearing the background music, waiting for the other shoe to fall…those clouds are forever with me. And yet, I choose courage. I know the facts and statistics. I know the limitations of treatment options for recurrence and the active research underway to give women like me more options. I know that each day more women are being diagnosed, finding themselves standing at the same crossroads.

Reaching out to them is another way I find courage. The sharing of our stories, our fears, our interminable hopes, our unexpected joys, magically lightens my load… and theirs. Joining hearts and hands, transforms a lonely path into one where sisterhood brings strength and comfort, sometimes all the way to the end of a life. Not easy, but good, courageous work.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the road of empowering courage instead of the road of crippling fear. I choose hope over despair, joy over sadness,
And that has made all the difference.”

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Laura Grace

Happiness is inward and not outward;
and so it does not depend on what we have,
but on what we are.
–Henry Van Dyke

Happiness is our birthright. It’s the goal of our life. Yes, there will be times when we will suffer, but some of the most influential and healing people on our planet are those who choose and allow themselves to be happy, no matter the circumstance.

In order to experience genuine happiness, we must understand what happiness is and where it comes from. And sometimes, it’s easier to start with what it is not. Heartfelt happiness has nothing to do with external circumstances; it’s not based upon what we have or what we do. The most ambitious accomplishments cannot provide us with lasting happiness, nor can beauty, money or fame. None of the idols we subscribe to can ever fulfill us for happiness comes from within and cannot be discovered outside ourselves.

Rick Foster & Greg Hicks, authors of How We Choose to Be Happy affirm, “True happiness is a profound, enduring feeling of contentment, capability and centeredness. It’s a rich sense of well-being that comes from knowing you can deal productively and creatively with all that life offers—both the good and the bad. It’s knowing your eternal self and responding to your real needs, rather than the demands of others.”

Further, happiness is a choice; it’s less about our circumstances and more about our attitude. Recently, after facilitating  A Course in Miracles lesson titled “My happiness and function are one,” a group of us committed to choosing happiness for fourteen days. When we reconvened two weeks later, everyone agreed that the mornings we meditated and consciously chose happiness, our days were filled with contentment, even some bliss. But on the days we didn’t, fear, anxiety and stress influenced our daily lives. We also discovered that the first week of choosing happiness was easier than the second week. Resistance—the ego’s crafty ploy—crept in, preventing the same amount of satisfaction and peace from occurring. A Course in Miracles reminds us that the “happy learner” is someone who recognizes we can just as easily learn through joy as pain, for the choice is ours: “There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly.”

Finally, courage is an essential ingredient to living a happy life. It requires courage to allow yourself to be genuinely happy. We do not yet reside in a society that supports happy people. There are countless support groups for those suffering, but not for those who take risks, go beyond self-imposed limitations and live life with gusto. Robert Anthony once penned, “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”

Since we can’t give what we don’t have, it will be difficult to embrace another’s joy if we are not feeling good about our own life. So if you are truly ready to be happy, then you must accept that not everyone will necessarily be happy for you. It all depends on their perception of their own life. A wonderful affirmation a friend passed on to me for living a courageously happy life is: “I have the courage to be happy.”

In my own life, I have discovered there are certain qualities that a “happy learner” possesses. They are qualities which lead not only to happiness, but to integrity, conviction and healing as well:

1) Taking Responsibility—realize you are not a victim and are accountable for your thoughts, feelings and actions, and everything that happens is occurring for the unfoldment of your greatest good;

2) Clear Intention—become clear of what makes you happy, making choices accordingly and setting a clear intention that is in line with your life’s purpose;

3) Looking for Lessons—acknowledge that every situation is an opportunity for growth and can be reframed in a positive and healing manner, which reminds me of John Barrie’s quote, “The secret of happiness is not getting what you like, but liking what you get.”;

4) Appreciation—actively appreciating your life and the people in it; practicing staying in the moment and having reverence for life as something extraordinary and invaluable;

5) Honesty—recognize your truth and speaking it with sensitivity and love;

6) Compassion and Extension—being willing to give from a place of beneficence without expectations or demands.

Express the courage to choose happiness. As you let your own light shine, you give permission to others to be happy, too.

 

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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.