The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Go Light-Footed Through Life

Go Light-Footed Through Life

by Sister Joan Chittister

There is a deer in me—made for running, for scampering while the rest of the world around me walks. I am made to find and drink from foreign streams. I am meant to go light-footed through life. So what am I doing in “stability” and “community,” in a lifetime of “Rules” and hierarchy and patriarchy masking as “a woman’s lifestyle”?

But then, on the other hand, how can anyone move freely unless they are rooted in a worldview that is stable and a community that is empowering and a discipline that is strengthening? Disciplined, meaning stretched beyond ourselves to the best of ourselves. Like the well-trained Olympian, like the well-schooled scholar, like the well-formed soul.


It’s easy to bounce through life—going here, trying that, tasting this. What is difficult is trying to figure out what we are supposed to do with what we find, or learn from where we go that will make life even richer. For ourselves, of course. But for the rest of the world, as well.

Don’t be fooled:

Deer run, yes, but they never run very far away from the stream at which they drink. The problem with running through life is that it’s possible to outrun our spiritual nourishment. Then we become an empty person in an even emptier place. “The sea is only beautiful,” Patrick Field writes, “if there is a shore.”

– from The Art of Life



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




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