The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

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.

 

Empress Energy: Extending Our Influence Out Into the World

posted by Donna Henes

The Queen is a mature woman who has conquered the challenges in Her life and claimed Her own royal power. She cuts through fear and ambivalence, takes charge, and establishes Herself as the sole ruler of Her Self. She has struggled for Her transformation and has achieved it. Her proud potency is palpable, Her authenticity uncontested. Her life now takes on a new ease, a grace, a certain lightness of being born of Her Self-knowing, Self-respecting, Self-directing, Self-projecting passion and purpose. She sails ahead on Her own steam, cutting efficiently through seas that are sometimes smooth as glass, sometimes choppy and fraught with danger. Her age and vast experience is Her ballast. She keeps Her center, come what may.

But something else remarkable takes places once the Queen has stepped into Her sovereignty. Now that Her situations and systems are established, Her life in working order and running more smoothly, the Queen can afford to enlarge the territory and expand the horizons of Her Interests and influence and extend the parameters of Her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domain. Now that She is firmly rooted in Her best Self and acting for Her own benefit, She is free to reach out in ever increasing concentric circles and offer Her compassion, expertise, time, and money to people and causes that call to Her sense of response-ability.

Maturity brings with it the understanding that everything is not about us, that the world does not revolve around our personal story, that we do not exist in a vacuum, and that all those other people out there actually have lives of their own and are not simply extras in our movie. Life and living have shown the Queen the value of community, cooperation, concern, care, and communion. “Life is the only real counselor,” Edith Wharton suggested, “wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.” Knowing Herself to be an inextricable, integral part of a greater whole, Her ministrations multiply to include the welfare of the entire world around her.

When the Queen assumes Her authority in the ever-greater realms of responsibility and takes it upon Herself to right the wrongs of the world, She ascends to a higher plateau of power. The Empress is the Queen writ large, the level of intensity of Her royal engagement exponentially expanded. Model monarch that She is, the Queen-become-Empress, operates from the deep and mighty reserves of Her own personal power and wisdom, wrought through Her dedicated willingness and ability to change, to always, always, change. She is committed to exploring, confronting, and enriching the undeveloped and underutilized parts of her body, mind, heart, and soul. By working to connect all of the constituent dots of Her many parts, the Queen is constantly becoming ever more of Whom She truly is — Her Highest Self, Her Extreme Royal Highness, the Empress.

Today, just as the cumulative damage to our Earth is reaching a perilous point of no return and our entire natural and cultural environment is in the throes of dangerous disconnection and dis-ease, we wise, mature, accomplished women are called upon to step up to the challenge and ascend the throne of conscious, conscientious leadership. It is incumbent upon us to use our considerable Queenly power, in whatever way seems appropriate to our individual skills and involvements, to stem the tide of unthinking aggression that can drown us all. In the same way that it was up to us, and only us, to redeem and transform our own lives, our own Selves, we need to grab the reigns and redirect and correct the negative and harmful conditions that exist in our community, our society, and our planet.

Rachel Carson, an Empress of the highest order, warned us, “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one ‘less traveled by’ — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

In the same way we Queen Empresses strive to create change for our selves, we can work to effect positive, sane, humane, and sustainable change for the greater good of all. The future we envision starts now, today. And the buck stops here, too, with each of us. To paraphrase Gandhi, we must be the future we wish to see. What we seed is what we get. Positive change need not be earth shaking or dramatic. It can be quite personal, subtle, and quiet, yet it does need to be rooted in positive intention and grown organically with great care and attention to the purity of the process. The ends do not — cannot — justify the means, because the means have a nasty way of becoming the end in the end. All we mortals ever have, from moment to moment is the means. It is our ways and means of thinking and acting that justify our lives.

The chief dispenser of order, measure, justice, and right relationship in all realms, the Queen’s rule is informed by Her keen holistic perspective, as well as the promptings of Her own intuitions. She holds the vision of a world community that is more inclusive, creative, joyful, respectful, and reverential. As She seeks to use the full force of Her personal power as an agent for positive change, the Empress does not turn away from imperfection, nor avert Her gaze from the gruesome details of life. She opens her eyes— as well as Her ears — even wider in order to witness, to learn, to help, and to heal. Her heart, too, is now open, secure in the knowledge that She can rely safely upon Her instincts and abilities. Her past losses and pain have taught the Empress Queen to recognize the signs of pain and loss in others — a language She speaks thoroughly. Comprehending their need, She reaches out to them in sympathy, empathy, advocacy, succor, and support. Nor does She shrink from Her responsibilities to protect and preserve the very forces of life. The Empress opens Her mouth, as well, and speaks boldly Her truth with conviction and compassion that commands respect and response.

It is a big world out there and the plights and problems of humankind can seem insurmountable, impossible to change, but the Empress Queen knows all about change. Has She not been through the rapids of menopause, The Change, and come out the other side, altered forever, stronger and smarter by far? A Queen of Her own making, She has certainly changed and is still changing, is committed to continually change, and therefore, She knows that through effort, patience, and persistence, things can and do improve, that all things are possible. She is the living proof. The Empress does not bite Her tongue nor does She withhold Her views. She makes Her beliefs perfectly clear, assumes full response-ability for them, and then takes action to effect change for the betterment of all.

Personally, I do not think that it is a coincidence that just as the earth teeters on the very brink of destruction, there comes along a generation of fiery, accomplished, clever, ambitious women at the height of our supremacy to whip it back into shape. And the sheer enormity of our numbers means that we can actually be the critical mass necessary to make a real and lasting difference. Let us harness our impressive Empress Energy: our purity of purpose, our passion, our heartfelt compassion, and our enormous power, and let us direct it toward creating a safe, sublime, and peaceful world for us all. The future is in our very capable hands.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough
to turn the world upside down, all alone together
women ought to be able to turn it rightside up again.
       -Sojourner Truth, American abolitionist and U.S. General
       1797-1883

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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.

 

 

 

Hero vs. Heroine

posted by Donna Henes

By Rosalie Maggio, CA
www.rosaliemaggio.com

The words “hero” and “heroine” convey subtle — and sometimes not so subtle-differences to a reader or an audience. We need to use “hero” for both men and women. In 1939, Amelia Earhart wrote, “No one can scan the shelves of teen-age reading matter without being struck with the fact that girls are evidently not expected to join in the fun. There are no heroines following the shining paths of romantic adventure, as do the heroes of boys’ books.

For instance, who ever heard of a girl — a pleasant one — shipping on an oil tanker, say, finding the crew about to mutiny and saving the captain’s life (while quelling the mutiny) with a well-aimed disabling pistol shot at the leader of the gang! No, goings-on of this sort are left to masculine characters, to be lived over joyously by the boy readers.”

Things aren’t that different today. Once you set up women as a subset (a heroine is a female hero), there’s no longer any equality. To say that “hero” is the masculine form of the Greek word, while “heroine” is the feminine is really only useful if you are speaking Greek, which we are not.

Also, oddly, two of Greek mythology’s best-known lovers were named Hero and Leander, and Hero was not the manly half. Although theoretically it should be possible to use “hero” and “heroine” in a gender-fair manner, they are already subtly weighted in favor of the broader, more prestigious “hero” and, given the devaluation and discounting of woman-associated words in our language, it seems best to support one neutral term. Do you think of Norma Rae as a hero or a heroine? Joan of Arc — hero or heroine?

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 

* ***
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 Arab Woman You Don’t See – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

By Queen Noor of Jordan

Women’s new empowerment will not be suppressed easily, however. So far, these have not been the traditional stories about women — especially Muslim women — that tend to show up on the news. Many do not imagine Arab and Muslim women have much in common with their counterparts in the West because of the selective, damaging and stereotypical images that the media commonly present. When I married King Hussein in 1978, reporters were constantly asking me how a progressive, educated, American woman could go live in such a repressive culture.

Those reporters did not know the Arab women I did — the doctors, lawyers, professors and entrepreneurs — many of whom became friends and advisers as I set my priorities for public service. The dedication and ambition of the increasing numbers of such women gives great cause for optimism about their prospects for shaping the future of the region. Providing these women with opportunities for partnering with international institutions and networks can enhance that transformative potential both within their own societies and for the benefit of our larger world.

Too many in the Western world still equate the images and soundbites describing women under Taliban and restrictive rule in other countries with the teachings of our faith and conditions throughout the Muslim world. Many worry that greater democracy in the region will give reign to more restrictive interpretations of Islam and a rollback of women’s rights. I think, however, that there is reason for hope for women within our faith itself.

Most westerners — and even some in our region — do not recognize that women were granted political, economic, legal and social rights by Islam in the 7th century — rights then unheard of in the West; rights that women were still struggling for in the 20th century in so many parts of the world — such as the equal right to education, to own and inherit property, to conduct business, to participate in decision making, to be elected to office and not be coerced into marriage. The oppression of women in parts of the Muslim world is not because of Islam, but contrary to it.

Male and female equality is enshrined in numerous places in Islamic scripture, such as the Quranic verse: “I waste not the labor of any that labors among you, be you male or female — the one of you is as the other.” And from the later teachings: “For the white to lord it over the black, the Arab over the non-Arab, the rich over the poor, the strong over the weak or men over women is out of place and wrong.” The true application of fundamental Islamic principles can actually empower women to play a crucial role in the process of peaceful change.

As popular demands progress to political and social transition in the MENA region, it is of critical importance that the women who have played such an important role not be relegated to secondary status yet again. They must not simply be forced to exchange an old for a new set of oppressions. Any reforms must continue the progress toward full human rights for women that our region so desperately needs, not only for the women’s sake. It is vital that MENA countries more urgently recognize that the status of women is the key determinant to the development of their societies. In turn, the international community can play a critical role in helping to build bridges that can further integrate women both locally and globally.

It is fitting that in Egypt, where Arab feminists first made their voices heard, women have played such an integral role, and have set something of a precedent, by courageously fighting for their unequivocal rights.

On this anniversary of International Women’s Day, almost a century since those Arab feminists raised their voices, it is time for women everywhere to take their proper place beside men as equal parents of new societies born in democracy and justice.

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

* ***
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 Self- Esteem Exercise
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 com

posted 6:00:12am Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Empress Energy: Extending Our Influence Out Into the World
The Queen is a mature woman who has conquered the challenges in Her life and claimed Her own royal power. She cuts through fear and ambivalence, takes charge, and establishes Herself as the sole ruler of Her Self. She has struggled for Her transformation and has achieved it. Her proud potency is pal

posted 6:00:12am Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Hero vs. Heroine
By Rosalie Maggio, CA www.rosaliemaggio.com The words "hero" and "heroine" convey subtle — and sometimes not so subtle-differences to a reader or an audience. We need to use "hero" for both men and women. In 1939, Amelia Earhart wrote, "No one can scan the shelves of teen-age reading matter wi

posted 6:00:41am Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

The Arab Woman You Don't See - Part 2
By Queen Noor of Jordan Women's new empowerment will not be suppressed easily, however. So far, these have not been the traditional stories about women — especially Muslim women — that tend to show up on the news. Many do not imagine Arab and Muslim women have much in common with their counte

posted 6:00:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »

The Arab Woman You Don't See - Part 1
By Queen Noor of Jordan In light of the recent events taking place in the Middle East, North Africa and on the streets of Paris and Sydney, I am moved to repost this article about Arabs who we do not see in the news, namely the women. We do not see them, ensconced as they are in cloth coverings,

posted 6:00:34am Jan. 14, 2015 | read full post »


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