The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Becoming the Queen of Your Self

posted by Donna Henes

The idea that we might be Queens is intoxicating. Ever since I first started introducing The Queen as a helpful archetype for midlife women in my workshops and articles some eight years ago, I have received thousands of requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen. “Dear Mama Donna,” women would write, “I want to be a Queen, too. How do I access my power? How can I feel good about myself? How do I change my life? How do I find magic and spiritual wisdom? How do I know what to do? How do I learn how to rule?”

How indeed? How are women supposed to know how to own our own sovereignty? We certainly haven’t been taught. World mythology abounds with inspiring examples of beautiful and adventurous Maidens, compassionate and nurturing Mothers (as well as some devouring ones) and wise and wily Crones. But shining examples of powerful midlife Queens are in short supply.

There are no rules, no recipes, no prescriptions, no instruction manuals, no precise formulas to follow when it comes to pursuing the daunting process of Stepping into Sovereignty. This does not, however, mean that anything goes. Just as in life itself, everything counts. Every single solitary thing that we do or don’t do, think or don’t think, matters. This is the bottom line of our responsibility — to ourselves and to others.

Our intentions have to be perfectly pure and our attention to the details of our process has to be focused and disciplined, and in exact alignment with our intentions. The quality of our engagement needs to be really right, not according to the standards of anyone else, but only according to our own inner truth.

Although the Queen is an excellent role model and source of inspiration, we don’t need a teacher or a guru to tell us what we should do for our Self-development, or how we need to change and grow. Each of us knows perfectly well what is right for us. Informed by the four parts of our being — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual — we know in our heart, our mind, our gut, and our soul when something is right, because it feels right. And when something feels wrong, we certainly know that, too. The answers to our confusion and questions, our yearnings and longings, are right here inside of us where we keep them safe and warm.

Our lessons, and our understanding of them, are often not immediately available or obvious to us. They often come encoded in signs and symbols that seem like a foreign language. But, no matter how difficult, it is up to us to access them, if we dare. If we care to earn our sovereignty, we must excavate the buried treasure of our own value and infinite worth. Our coming into power depends upon it.

The caveat is that this thrilling post-menopausal period of vitality, renewed energy, enhanced self-esteem, optimism and enthusiasm only comes to us in direct proportion to the intensity of our own conscious and conscientious engagement in the process and consequences of our transformation.

If we do take up the challenge to explore and mine the depths of our Selves, we will discover the unexpected caverns of courage, phosphorescent pools of passion and glittering, crystal-rich veins of gem-like wisdom running through their passages and crevices. All we need are the right tools to get at them, extract them, and polish them. And I don’t know about you, but nobody ever told me that it was going to be easy.

 

It always comes down to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.
- May Sarton

 

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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.

 

 

Now It’s Your Turn!

posted by Donna Henes

During the decades of our Maiden and Motherhood, women grow to meet all of our many demanding responsibilities. Lithe moon that can’t keep getting fuller and fuller with no retreat, we can take on only so much before exploding like a balloon pumped up with too much air. In the second half of Her life, the Queen begins to wane, to contract, to pull in. She opens the air valve and releases what is not to Her benefit.

When we reach our middle years we naturally pause and take stock of our lives — our career paths, our goals and aspirations, our sense of meaning and purpose. With our perspective of all of the changes and losses that we have seen and suffered, we come to realize that all we have left in our lives is time, and who knows how much of that remains?

Therefore, the imperative to live fully, creatively, energetically, effectively and consciously consumes us. We begin to question — some of us for the first time ever in our good girl lives — all previous assumptions, rules, restrictions, addictions, predictions and predilections, which have ordered our existence. Our heart cries out for authenticity. Is the life that we are living the life that we would choose if we knew that we had only one life to live?

“Women have to summon up courage to fulfill dormant dreams,” writes Alice Walker. The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of Her choice. When She operates from Her own inner guidance, She releases Her unique gifts and expressions, the sum of Her entire life experience to date, and allows them to ripen and come to fruition. And She recognizes and celebrates the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of doing so.

The Queen of Achievement, of Attainment, of Endurance, of Survival has experienced much during Her turns at Maiden and Motherhood. She has traveled to the ends of Her emotions, sometimes willingly, sometimes kicking and screaming. She has explored the depths of the pain and sorrow of the dark times in life as well as the joys and pleasures of the lightest moments, and has learned and integrated the lessons of each.

She knows what She wants and knows She wants it now. Her decisions might not make sense to Her friends and family, Her choices might shock and alarm them, but no amount of dissuasion can shake Her from Her resolve. Old doubts and concerns fade in the glaring light of Her determination.

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself.
-Katherine Mansfield

 

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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.

 

             

 

The Queen: A Model for Midlife Empowerment

posted by Donna Henes

Who are we supposed to be at this stage of our life when we are less likely to be bound and identified by our kinship connection to someone else — as daughter, wife, mother, lover? What exactly is our role as older than young and younger than old women who are still active, attractive and more effective than ever?

The Queen paradigm promotes a new understanding of what it means to be a middle-aged woman today who accepts full responsibility for and to her Self. And it celebrates the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rewards of doing so.

Becoming a Queen is not automatic. The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of Her choice. The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well. Actualized, organized, efficient, self-sufficient, competent, ethical and fair, the Queen has struggled for and earned Her authority and respect. Determined and firmly centered on Her own two feet, She dares to climb, step after step, with nascent surety into the heady realm of Her own highest sovereignty.

Once on Her throne and crowned, the Queen glows golden with confidence, competence, and grace. She is fully aroused and takes great pleasure in the feelings of freedom, elation and wellbeing that come from personal empowerment.

Shining from the inside out, Her attractiveness and attraction is rooted deeply in Her self-actualization, self-worth, and inner strength. She exudes a primal excitement, Her power palpable in her very presence. Her desire reaches the boiling point and her inhibitions melt in the heat of Her renewed passion for life.

This royal mythic model that I envision is recognizably like me, like us. Not yet old, yet no longer young, still active and sexy, vital with the enthusiasm and energy of youth, She is tempered with the hard earned experience and leavening attitudes of age. She has been forced to face and overcome obstacles and hard lessons including Her own shadow, and in so doing, has outgrown the boundaries of Her old self.

Agitated with the unessential and restless for authenticity, She sheds all attachment to the opinions of others and accepts complete responsibility and control for Her own care, feeding and fulfillment. She is the Queen of Her Self, the mature monarch, the sole sovereign of Her own life and destiny. Here, finally, is an archetype that fits.

As long as I live, I will have control over my being — you find the spirit of Caesar in me.
- Artemisia Gentileschi

 

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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.

Lost and Found

posted by Donna Henes

Aging and changing might be inevitable, but they ain’t easy. They precipitate in us a great uncertainty. The myriad dramatic disturbances of modern middle life — menopause, health concerns, career shifts, the empty nest, divorce and death — create an overwhelming crisis of identity and purpose for each of us. What follows is an intense period of questioning absolutely everything — our goals and achievements, our priorities and our operating systems, our morals and our values, our fantasies and our fears.

Some of us spend a considerable amount of time — easily ten or fifteen years — swirling in the turbulence of this middle age reassessment. Who are we supposed to be at this stage of our life when we are less likely to be bound and identified by our kinship connection to someone else — as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a lover? What exactly is ourrole as older than young and younger than old women who are still active and more effective than ever?

This middling transitional shift into the next stage of our being promises us a vast world of positive possibilities for the second half of life. But first, before we are able to avail ourselves of the advantages and rewards of maturity, we must cross the Grand Canyon of midlife change, steep, rocky, and ripped asunder by a whole panoply of seismic ripples — mental, emotional, and spiritual — beyond the obvious physical ones. We climb and climb, and still we lose ground. The Earth that we once trusted to be solid under our feet is slipping away and we are dragged out to sea where we bob along in uncertain waters, in a leaky boat with no map to guide us.

It seems as if
I’ll never get beyond
the foot prints that I made. 

-Qernertuq, Eskimo poet
c.900-1400

In her book Goddesses in Older Women, the therapist Dr. Jean Bolen says that menopause is “a time of great spiritual and creative unfolding — although it sometimes feels like great unraveling.” Unraveling, indeed. The whole damn sweater is falling apart and we are standing here naked in the cold (and we are still hot). Nothing has prepared us for this landslide of transitions that greets us as we enter our middle years. There we were, going along as always, then one day out of the blue, we discover ourselves to be middle aged. Blindsided in a youth-conscious culture, we never saw it coming, but the overwhelming evidence of our aging can hardly be ignored.

These profound changes in the chemistry of our bodies and in our intimate relationships, the terrifying disruptions of our status quo, the daily life-and-death dramas we are forced to deal with, are incredibly disorienting. Not only are we burning up physically, blasted with flashes from our out of control internal furnaces, we are also, many of us, burnt out on an emotional level after years of tending the home, the hearth, and usually a job as well.

Gallup took a poll of women over 55 years of age. They were asked in which decade were they the happiest. 11% said their 20′s, 14% said their 30′s, 13% said their 40′s, the rest, well over 50%  answered “RIGHT NOW!!!”

Interesting. Society tells us, and our own experiences have verified, that now that we are menopausal, we are poised to lose everything that has so far defined us: our power of reproductivity, our youth, our sex appeal, our children, our parents, our spouses, our time left on the job, our visibility, our very lives — and we have never been happier! We might have suffered great loss, but look what we have gained — our Selves, And that makes us happy, indeed.
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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.

Previous Posts

Becoming the Queen of Your Self
The idea that we might be Queens is intoxicating. Ever since I first started introducing The Queen as a helpful archetype for midlife women in my workshops and articles some eight years ago, I have received thousands of requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen. “Dear Mama Donna,

posted 6:00:40am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Now It's Your Turn!
During the decades of our Maiden and Motherhood, women grow to meet all of our many demanding responsibilities. Lithe moon that can’t keep getting fuller and fuller with no retreat, we can take on only so much before exploding like a balloon pumped up with too much air. In the second half of Her l

posted 6:00:46am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

The Queen: A Model for Midlife Empowerment
Who are we supposed to be at this stage of our life when we are less likely to be bound and identified by our kinship connection to someone else — as daughter, wife, mother, lover? What exactly is our role as older than young and younger than old women who are still active, attractive and more eff

posted 6:00:56am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Lost and Found
Aging and changing might be inevitable, but they ain’t easy. They precipitate in us a great uncertainty. The myriad dramatic disturbances of modern middle life — menopause, health concerns, career shifts, the empty nest, divorce and death — create an overwhelming crisis of identity and purpose

posted 6:00:40am Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

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I love working and playing in groups of women. I was never in a college sorority, so my first experience was in the feminist consciousness-raising group that I joined in the late 1960s. And what an eye-opening, empowering experience it was. We were a very diverse group brought together by our Boh

posted 6:00:02am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »


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