The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Finding the Way Home to My Self

posted by Donna Henes

It wasn’t any kind of special moment when it happened. It wasn’t my birthday, for instance, or an anniversary of anything. It wasn’t even a family reunion or a great community event. I was just sitting somewhere, gazing into space, doing nothing whatsoever of significance or importance or even of any particular kind of enjoyment. I was just sitting, on an ordinary day in the midst of the ordinary things of life, waiting for a friend to arrive. And then it happened. The gentlest sense of wholeness and down-deep satisfaction came over me that I have ever known. It enfolded me like a warm mist and calmed me to the core. Every ounce of taut energy so common to the demands of daily life in a technological society had been drained, it seemed. Only the feeling of being totally, quietly, completely alive remained. Then I realized what it was: I was happy. Happy. That’s all. Just happy.

It felt within me like the stillness of an inland lake. I looked back over all the open meadows and tangled underbrush of my life and knew in an instant, like the snap of a shutter on a digital camera, that whatever had been, it had been right. Where I had been born was right, how I had lived life had been right, even all its wrong parts had been right.

But it has not always been thus. There were hollow, gaping times of uncertainty on the timeline of my life when the direction seemed wrong or the path it promised was at best a dull and dreary dead end. Those were not happy times. They were times that were productive, even successful by some standards, perhaps, but not happy.

Later, still quietly touched by the experience, I read a line that made me pause. “Life,” the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Clearly I had lived life forward long enough to understand how it is that we can get to feel such a moment of righteousness, to know such satisfaction, to come to such happiness.

–from Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy by Joan Chittister

 

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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.

Affirmative Aging

posted by Donna Henes

As we age, we naturally change. Change, after all, is the essential stuff of life. If we embrace it with magnanimous grace and good humor, as part and parcel of the ongoing mythic adventure of our path, we stand to gain great satisfaction in the process.

Recognizing and accepting the inevitability of aging does not mean giving up on any attempts at improving our outward appearance, physical health, mental outlook, emotional balance and general well-being. More than ever before, women of a certain age are taking better care of our Selves, conscious of a newly mature imperative to lovingly nurture and protect every aspect of our beings.

We accept the responsibility for our own sustenance and satisfaction: physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My sister midlifers — many of us for the first time ever— are pursuing programs of nutrition and fitness. We are eating better, sleeping and exercising more, learning how to release our stress, pursuing spiritual connection and allowing ourselves to fully express our creative natures.

We are working hard to stay healthy and active, and are, at the same time, more realistic in our ideals, more accepting of our own perceived imperfections, and more forgiving of our weaknesses. While some of us do go to the starvation-botox-surgical-extremes of trying to stay forever young, in general, we follow fewer fad diets and adopt more sensible, sustainable and ultimately successful life-style changes.

We gradually heal ourselves of old destructive patterns, stinking thinking and nasty habits. And then, voila! The rewarding result of feeling well — inside and out — is looking well. We wise women of a certain age know that there is a difference between looking young and looking attractive — between, for that matter, looking attractive and being attractive.

It gets easier as you get older. You accept yourself
for who you are – your flaws and your attributes.
It’s easier to live in your own skin.

- Barbra Streisand

More and more of us are refusing to condescend or conform to the adolescent and exploitative standard of beauty promulgated by popular culture. We do not compare ourselves with teenage models or emaciated-lifted-stitched-tucked-injected-Hollywood-uber-beauties. It is only a disaster to loose our girlish charms if we deem them to be the exclusive path to beauty, love and fulfillment.

Our allure and sex appeal change with time — increase,even — if we allow them to. A woman is never too old to look and feel beautiful. Each age, each stage of our lives, has its particular fabulous charm. As truly mature, secure women, we strive to accept the inevitable physical changes that come with the passing of time and incorporate them into the way we present ourselves to the world.

Self-aware, Self-assured, we are transforming ourselves as we go. We glow as we grow into our full potential, and become ever more becoming. Our reinvigorated attractiveness stems from self-knowledge and enfranchisement. Our magnetic sensuality is centered in the fulfillment and satisfaction of our Self-worth. We exude the intoxicating appeal of women who are, at heart, pleased with our Selves.

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. 

- Marya Mannes

 

 

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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.

 

Take Charge

posted by Donna Henes

You need only to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.

-Florida Scott-Maxwell

Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to write, to paint — and to live. The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That we each have our own singular life to live. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical, and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power, and the response-ability to make it so.

The story of our lives is ours to create. We can design our own roles and ideals, compose the scripts, and author the sagas of our own futures and that of the environment around us. While we cannot necessarily control the circumstances and influences that present themselves to us in the course of living, we can choose how we will respond to them when they do arise.

Our power of choice is our sole control in the world. With each new paragraph, each turn of the page, each new dawn, each moment in time, each blink of the eye, each beat of our heart, we are gifted with another opportunity to exercise our right to choose. Coffee or tea? Lemon or milk? Right or left? Stairs or elevator? Vacuum? Vote? Cheat? Trust? Care? Dare? Change?

What paths we take, what decisions we make influence how the story will proceed and who we will be from this day forth. As George Eliot reminds us, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”

At midlife, we are at a major crossroads in our lives, and we can choose to move ahead, turn right or left, stay where we are, or go back where we came from. The Queen chooses always to choose, to involve Herself fully in the process of Her life and living, and to actively direct the drama of Her myth. She urges us take up the challenges of changing, of aging, of engaging in all that life has to offer — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She reminds us to look upon the difficulties, disruptions, disappointments, fears, and failures we have experienced as important life lessons, without which we could never hope to ascend to a throne of responsibility and rule.

The Queen encourages us to entertain the entire palette of our emotions, for there is where we find our strength and knowledge and true value. Some things in life just have to be learned the hard way and evading them is counter-productive and eventually destructive. The only way to get through them is to go through them. There is a wonderful old African-American Spiritual that says, “So high, you can’t get over it. So low, you can’t get under it. So wide you can’t get around it. You gotta go through the door.” And there, on the other side of the threshold, is where we find our true power.

 

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.

-Erica Jong, American writer

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Previous Posts

Finding the Way Home to My Self
It wasn’t any kind of special moment when it happened. It wasn’t my birthday, for instance, or an anniversary of anything. It wasn’t even a family reunion or a great community event. I was just sitting somewhere, gazing into space, doing nothing whatsoever of significance or importance or even

posted 6:00:50am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Affirmative Aging
As we age, we naturally change. Change, after all, is the essential stuff of life. If we embrace it with magnanimous grace and good humor, as part and parcel of the ongoing mythic adventure of our path, we stand to gain great satisfaction in the process. Recognizing and accepting the inevitabilit

posted 6:00:45am Sep. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Take Charge
You need only to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality. -Florida Scott-Maxwell Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to write, to paint — and to live. The shamanic as

posted 6:00:25am Sep. 24, 2014 | read full post »

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 »


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