The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

A Poem about Self Love

posted by Donna Henes

By Karen Clothier

 

After Octavio Paz

 

after chopping off all the arms that reached out to me;
after boarding up all the windows and doors;

after filling all the pits with poisoned water;
after building my house on the rock of no,
inaccessible to flattery and fear;

after cutting off my tongue and eating it;
after hurling handfuls of silence
and monosyllable of scorn at my loves;

after forgetting my name;
and the name of my birthplace;
and the name of my race;

after judging and sentencing myself
to perpetual waiting,
and perpetual loneliness, I heard
against the stones of my dungeon of syllogisms,

the humid, tender, insistent
onset of spring.

Of course, we can only find love once we love ourselves, so to me whether you are partnered or not, Self-love is the most worthy of causes. This poem poignantly describes my journey through Perimenopause for the last 10 years, as my demons have been thrust face-to-face with me, forcing me to tenderly start learning to love myself. It paints in blunt detail that which I didn’t dare to see before now, the hurts caused to myself and others by my own lack of self-love. With this awareness has come great tenderness and compassion for myself and my loved ones, for all those hurts we inflict on each other, many of them unwittingly. So if you’ve ever been told and bought into the story that Self-love is a selfish pursuit, this poem should set things straight. So much of the hurt in the world is unconsciously caused by the absence of self-love.

 

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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.

 

A Meditation on My Self

posted by Donna Henes

Soul searching, like the practice of any devotion, requires solitude, quiet and quality time. But life is hectic and our inner needs have often been relegated to the bottom of our endless to-do lists, our dreams and desires deferred, left on the back burner to simmer.

Over a hundred years ago, Florence Nightingale observed, “Women never have a half-hour in all their lives (excepting before or after anybody is up in the house) that they can call their own, without fear of offending or of hurting someone. Why do people sit up so late, or, more rarely, get up so early? Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have no time in the day to themselves.”

If our intention is to know ourselves and to grow our power, we require dependable periods of uninterrupted time and inviolate space that we can call our own, a protected seclusion conducive to our sacred Self-communion.

Seclusion is withdrawal on all levels. It means separating our identity not only from other people, but also from outwardly dictated and directed activity as well. Sometimes it is necessary to step back a few paces from our bustling lives, stop racing around, and just slow down so that we can absorb and process our experiences.

In a culture that defines itself in terms of clocks and dollars and duty, it is difficult to allow ourselves to claim the time and mental space to devote to an occupation that results in no visible product. Non-product, however, and nonproductive are definitely not the same thing. Down time is not negative. It is not not doing something. What we are doing when we jump off of the treadmill is resting, reflecting, ruminating, regenerating, rejoicing and opening to the myriad ways of receiving the reassurance and guidance that we need.

When we carve out a niche in our busy lives to do the sorts of things that feed our soul, we are affirming our self worth, acknowledging that we crave and deserve our own undivided attention. When we claim the psychic space and set aside the personal time to pursue the knowledge and mastery of our Self — when we assume the entitlement, the ability and the authority to do so — we are able to access and transform our perceptions, our perspectives, our experience, our expectations, and, in the process, our entire reality. By taking the time, by taking our time, we bless ourselves with true devotion. We consecrate our precious lives, and celebrate the continuously wondrous miracle of the unfolding of our Selves.

Sacred Seclusion enables us to know, own and honor ourselves as unique, individual entities. To admit our abilities and limitations, our talents and truculence on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes, and to love ourselves with compassion and no judgment attached. A practice of solitude and separation — be it occasional, frequent or constant — teaches us that we do not need the approval or permission of any outside source to validate our personal experience or emotions. In knowing who we are, we are empowering ourselves to know what we know and feel what we feel.

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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.

 

Soup for the Soul

posted by Donna Henes

In the stark dark of the season in the dark of the long night we are compelled to turn inward toward the center. Drawn by an irresistible magnetic force, we are pulled inside of ourselves, inside of our homes, inside of our relationships for the comfort, warmth, love, safety and peace that we seek.

Because it is difficult to see in the dark, our other senses are awakened and called into action to guide us through the gloom. If we pay careful attention, we can smell and taste the flavors of excitement, affection and creativity and. If we listen very carefully, we can hear the buzz of life that surrounds us and if we keep still enough, we can feel the energizing charge that radiates throughout the universe warming us from within.

But we need to dig deep to feel the heat just now. The sun is absent. The air is chilled. The Earth, Herself, is cold as death. The only heat left is locked deep inside the molten core in the middle of our deepest selves.

The heart is the center of our being. It is the buried treasure that rewards us when we dare to travel the dark tunnels that lead to the essence of our soul. It is the furnace from which radiates the heat, the power and passion of our lives. The heart is the most honest manifestation of our authentic self. The seat of our heart’s desire, the grace that lies at the heart of all that matters.

The hearth is the heart of the home. It is the high altar of the art and craft of living. Its central heat fuels the most basic and most profound daily rituals of nurturing, sustenance, support and cheer. The hearth stokes the healthy spirit that comes from physical ease and emotional fulfillment.

My home hearth calls me so insistently these days. “You are home with us,” it cries with joy. “Come cook!”

And cook I have. I made a surprisingly super-luscious coq au vin. Surprising, because I had never made this dish before and I just sort of made it up, guided by my longing for blissful candle-lit home-cooked dinners. I made zucchini in tomato sauce, which I froze in small containers in anticipation of future zucchini pastas and omelets and zucchini au gratin.

But I mainly made soup. Great pots of lentil, black bean, mushroom barley and cabbage soup. My freezer is full of single-and-double-portion-size jars of soup. And I am not souped out yet. Still on my to do list are chili, chicken ginger spinach, chicken vegetable, Scotch broth, cream of tomato, and gumbo. I am a kitchen goddess concocting potions and brews and spells of happy home and hearth and heart.

Let us all use this time of darkness well. Let us explore our hearts and souls for the insight, inspiration and enlightenment that we may find there. Let us worship at the domestic shrine and share the holy sacraments of soup and stew, mulled cider and cocoa. Let us open our hearts and our homes to all of the possibilities of love. Let us create peace in our hearts, in our homes and in the world.

 

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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.

 

A Self- Esteem Exercise

posted by Donna Henes

by Madisyn Taylor

Having low self-esteem is a common issue and with some introspection you can start to loosen the grip of this negative thought pattern.

Our primary relationship in life is with our selves. No one else goes through every experience in life with us. We are our one permanent companion, yet we are often our worst critic. To remind ourselves of our magnificence, we can do this exercise: “Five Things I Like About Myself.”

Begin by writing down at least five things that you like about yourself. This is not the time to be modest. If you are having trouble coming up with a total of five items, you know that this exercise can really benefit you. Be sure to include more than your physical attributes on your list, since our bodies are only part of who we are. If you are still struggling with what to include on your list, think of what you like about your favorite people, because these traits are probably qualities that you possess too. Another way to complete your list is to think of five things you don’t like about yourself and find something about these traits that you can like.

Continue this process for a week, thinking of five new things you like about yourself everyday. At the end of the week, read the list aloud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. Instead of looking for flaws to fix, allow the mirror to reflect your magnificence. You may feel silly about standing in front of a mirror and reading aloud a list of your admirable attributes, but it might just bring a smile to your face and change the way you see yourself. Remember, it is when you feel the most resistant that this exercise can benefit you the most. Because we are constantly looking at the world, instead of looking at ourselves, we don’t often see what’s magnificent about ourselves that others do. When we take the time to experience ourselves the way we would experience someone we love and admire, we become our best companion and supporter on life’s journey.
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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

A Poem about Self Love
By Karen Clothier   After Octavio Paz   after chopping off all the arms that reached out to me; after boarding up all the windows and doors; after filling all the pits with poisoned water; after building my house on the rock of no, inaccessible to flattery and fear; a

posted 6:00:14am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

A Meditation on My Self
Soul searching, like the practice of any devotion, requires solitude, quiet and quality time. But life is hectic and our inner needs have often been relegated to the bottom of our endless to-do lists, our dreams and desires deferred, left on the back burner to simmer. Over a hundred years ago, Fl

posted 6:00:44am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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posted 6:00:34am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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