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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Learning to Approve of Me

posted by Donna Henes

 

By Joyce Rothman

Low self esteem and the desperate need for approval has plagued me since childhood. Never thinking I was enough, surely everyone else knew better than me what I should do or how I needed to act. Or so I thought.

It took cancer to change my perspective and now my decisions are less often based on what other people think. Living life with this diagnosis has resulted in knowing and trusting myself so much more. With trust comes self confidence and the strength to reject another’s negative judgment. I see myself in a new brighter light that I can now turn on without first needing to wait for someone else’s approval.

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I never would have thought that cancer would empower me to live my life in a way that takes a lot of angst away. I realize that it is mine to learn from and make decisions for, not anyone else’s; as much as they are to live their own and do the same. Besides, how could I know what is best for another when I’ve not had their unique experience? Even though there is much in common that we do share, we are each our own person. I find that I’m getting much better at learning to not judge others too and these are truly gifts of the highest kind.

Surprisingly, cancer is giving me freedom from self-doubt and fear and blessing me with self-confidence and contentment. It lets me be me so I can finally live as I choose. It occurs to me that I am actually learning how to complete myself and it feels pretty good.

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Facing a major illness separates much of the small stuff from what is truly important I’m getting the courage to stand up for what I believe is right for me. I’m also living more into the moment because I know that if I’m thinking about the future, I miss out on enjoying what I do have now. Yes, it is amazing that cancer is giving me such important life lessons and allowing me to live with more self-love and authenticity than I ever thought possible. For this, I am so very grateful.

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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.

 

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Cherish Yourself

posted by Donna Henes

By Michelle Morris Spieker

Roles in society are expanding more and more. We strive to accomplish, manage, organize, direct, and star — all in an attempt to make our lives richer, fuller, more meaningful. Yet as we look outward for fulfillment, we are depleting the essential source of nourishment to the soul — the self.

Unfortunately, many of us are busy doing things mostly for others, and as a result, we tend to neglect ourselves. Some people might say it’s selfish to do nice things for yourself. But what’s actually dangerous is giving so much to others that we deplete ourselves.

When we slow down and make giving to ourselves a high priority, we are cherishing ourselves. Soon we begin to have a glow about us. We start to have more energy. And we make healthier choices in all areas of our life. When we address our inner needs and nurture our authentic selves, all areas of our lives improve.

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After deciding to cherish myself, my life miraculously transformed. I welcomed true love, discovered my passion for working in the field of personal empowerment, let go of struggle, and found the courage to be my true self. I can look back now and say that the twists and turns of life that led me to this point all make sense, but I had a choice to make and so do you. I could have continued on the path of not loving myself and my life would have proceeded as a series of events and dramas to painfully awaken my soul. What I did instead was to make a decision to love and cherish myself and a whole new journey of life began.

So take a moment, breathe, and decide to cherish yourself.

The key to cherishing yourself is recognizing that you are valuable, lovable and definitely worth being cherished. Once you are ready to make this decision for yourself, you will discover an inner confidence that was trapped just behind your fears.

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Be aware that there is a distinction between wanting to cherish yourself and actually fully accepting that you are worth being cherished. When you accept in your heart that you are worth cherishing, from that moment forward your life is enhanced.

I believe much of what our life presents to us is a direct reflection of how much we love ourselves. So if your life continually disappoints you or if you are unhappy, it’s time to find out why.

It’s time to say out loud “I am worth being cherished!”

Learn to discover your special gifts. It’s important to learn to appreciate who you are. Recognize your value, and it will enhance your life. It will also help others appreciate you.

You can start by making a list of things you like about yourself. The list may include things from any and all aspects of your life — your smile, your eyes, your hair, your personality, your laugh, your intelligence, your talent, your adventuresomeness, your peace, your willingness, your freedom, or your sparkle. Keep the list handy and look at it often.

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When you do nice things for yourself, you send a message of love to the Cherished Self. This helps you build a positive self-image, which in turn will generate even more loving feelings toward yourself.

Make a list of ways to be loving to yourself. Think of the things in life that bring charm, joy and pleasure to your soul. Make an ongoing list, and place it in a spot where the list will remind you to do something nice for yourself on a regular basis. Start with 25 ways to cherish yourself. Share the list with your partner or a close friend and encourage them to help you do nice things for yourself.

Set aside some time just for you. One of the greatest ways to cherish yourself is to find time for yourself. Block out time every week to do a separate special activity. Refer to your list for ideas of what you’d enjoy.

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Now that you have begun cherishing yourself, you’ve started the journey home to your true self. You’re learning to connect to your heart. And as you get better and better at cherishing yourself, you will become more authentic, and feel more joy, fulfillment and passion.

Be an ever unfolding Cherished Self. Learn new ways to be good to yourself. Follow your heart and be true to your path.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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A Revelation

posted by Donna Henes

 

By Alicia Keys

For as long as I can remember, I’ve hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an example. I remember feeling like my friends would make fun of me or look at me as if I was different from them and so… I started hiding. Not intentionally, I didn’t mean to, but I did. Little pieces at a time.

I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone. I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty. I could tell the difference, I could feel the animal instinct in them and it scared me. I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed.

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And so I started hiding. I chose the baggy jeans and Timbs. I chose the ponytail and hat. I chose no makeup, no bright color lipstick or pretty dresses. I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way.

I remember feeling that same way when I first started to get recognized as an artist. I had the baggy/braided/tough NY tomboy thing mastered, that was who I was (or who I chose to be), and I felt good there.

Then, because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard, and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard. And although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself. I put on dresses and didn’t braid my whole head up, so people could see more of the “real” me, even though at that point, I’m sure I was more confused then ever of what the real me was.

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I remember one interview I gave had strong social thoughts from a book I just read. The writer misunderstood me and wrote something that I didn’t say. I felt judged by those reading it. Out came the shell again and me under it. Hiding, piece by piece. Little by little. More and more.

I became comfortable hiding my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself.

To this day, every time I get out of the shower to get dressed, I swear the first thought that comes into my head is, what can I wear that won’t cause too much attention when I go pick up Egy, or head to the store, or go shopping, or visit a friend, etc.

And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia! Why are you choosing to be that person? That is so old and outdated! STOP!

You are allowed to be smart.
You are allowed to be beautiful.
You are allowed to be radical and have strong thoughts that others might not agree with.
You are allowed to be tough.
You are allowed to be sexy.
You are allowed to be bold.
You are allowed to be shapely.
You are allowed to be kind.
You are allowed to be yourself!

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And guess what? I can be all these things all at the same time.

I don’t have to give up one to be the other. I don’t have to hide anymore, I don’t have to pretend and hold back, I don’t have to think that my intelligence, beauty and sensuality are intimidating to others.

Who cares? I don’t have to think my silliness, clumsiness or hallmark card optimism, as something I can’t be proud of! Who cares?!

I don’t have to try to go unnoticed.
I don’t have to fit in.
I don’t have to close up my thoughts and only speak my truth through songs!
I can speak it everyday.Live it everyday.
Be it everyday.
Dress it everyday.
Show it everyday.
Grow it everyday!

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I only got 28,000 of those days. So what the fuck am I waiting for??

And dammit, that’s what I’m doing!

 

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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.

 

 

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A Matter of Choice

posted by Donna Henes

 

by Joan Chittister

Most of us know when we’re at a crossroad in life, when old answers have gone dry, when our souls have gone dry here, when nothing but another choice is possible. Then come the struggle and the dickering, the pain and the fear over which of the many directions we could take, over which we ought to take.

Indeed, the big decisions in life are hardly ever clear—except for one. And that one is piercingly clear: life is a series of dilemmas, of options, of conundrums, of possibilities taken and not taken. Negotiating these moments well is the essence of the life well lived.

As a result, we know now that this search for the whole self is no longer resolved through an educational process alone or even the choice of a good career. This search for the whole self is a process of making spiritual choices between the good and the better, the holy and the mundane, the essence of life and the cosmetic. We have built change into our futures, our educational options, our lives. We have come to understand that no life is set in stone anymore. On the contrary, life is a slow-won evolution of the self that taps every level of our lives and touches all its great questions.

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Choice is the holy-making stuff of life. There is no such thing as the inconsequential. Everything we do affects something and someone. Choice, therefore, is a spiritual skill of great import.

 

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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

Learning to Approve of Me
  By Joyce Rothman Low self esteem and the desperate need for approval has plagued me since childhood. Never thinking I was enough, surely everyone else knew better than me what I should do or how I needed to act. Or so I ...

posted 6:00:51am Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Cherish Yourself
By Michelle Morris Spieker Roles in society are expanding more and more. We strive to accomplish, manage, organize, direct, and star -- all in an attempt to make our lives richer, fuller, more meaningful. Yet as we look outward for ...

posted 6:00:13am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

A Revelation
  By Alicia Keys For as long as I can remember, I've hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an ...

posted 6:00:40am Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

A Matter of Choice
  by Joan Chittister Most of us know when we’re at a crossroad in life, when old answers have gone dry, when our souls have gone dry here, when nothing but another choice is possible. Then come the struggle and the dickering, the ...

posted 6:00:36am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Peace in Hot Times
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is sizzling at its most intense in August. This period is referred to as The Dog Days of Summer. Though named after the Dog Star, Sirius, this is the weather when, according to Noel Coward, only ...

posted 6:00:32am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

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