Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

Making New Year’s Resolutions You Actually Keep

By Dr. Jennifer Howard  

 

It’s a new year and a fresh beginning! For most of us, it’s a time when we feel compelled to turn over a new leaf and resolve to do things better and different this year. We want to develop new habits and rid ourselves of the unhealthy ones. We want good change, but a whopping 88% of resolutions fail, and most by the end of January!

Why is this? We usually set ourselves up with vague and unrealistic goals that we really aren’t committed to accomplishing. We think we should do things differently, but we don’t really have the resources to follow through with them. With this in mind, why not make resolutions that serve your health and well-being while eliminating the guilt and overwhelm? Here are ten resolutions that will improve your outlook on life over time and are easy to keep! With little effort and no guilt, you’ll see positive changes by the end of the year.

Eat more chocolate. Studies show the consumption of dark chocolate has a positive affect on blood pressure and provides important antioxidants. In addition to health benefits, most of us view chocolate as a delicious and guilty pleasure. Resolve to indulge yourself. See it as your promise rather than a weakness!

Sleep in every day. Ever feel guilty about hitting the snooze button? Make it a new discipline to sleep more! Sleep helps regulate your metabolism, improves mood, mental acuity, appearance and may even help you lose weight if you need to. Simply go to sleep ten minutes earlier every night, and set your alarm ten minutes later every morning. See how you’re feeling at the end of the year!

Lose one pound a month. That’s right, just one pound. Most Americans could benefit from losing weight. It seems doable, even easy to lose a pound a month–1/4 pound a week–with healthful eating and a little more exercise. And at the end of the year you’ll be 12 pounds lighter. You just might exceed this goal and feel great about it, but at the very least you’ll be twelve pounds lighter than today. Of course you can skip this resolution if you don’t have weight to lose, or modify it to suit your needs.

Drink more (water, that is.) Sometimes we forget to hydrate. It helps with weight loss, it makes our skin glow, it helps flush toxins from our system, eases digestion and may even lower the risk of certain cancers. Start with a cup of water in the morning when you get up. Add a squeeze of lemon if you wish.

Finish something. Anything. Do you have a lot of unfinished projects around the house? A letter or thank you note? A book you’ve been meaning to read? A half-painted bathroom? Pick the smallest and easiest project and finish it. You might even choose a project to finish every weekend. No matter how small or mundane, the act of completion clears the way for new ideas, new actions and new energy in your life!

Save $1 every day. How would you like to be handed a jar containing $365 right now? That’s what you’ll get by simply putting a buck in change or a bill in a bucket, shoebox, or container of choice every day this year. Apply it to Christmas presents, your favorite charity, a facial or weekend away. You’ll feel rich, at least for a day! And you’ll know it really is possible to save money.

Spend 5 minutes entirely alone. This one’s simple. Choose five minutes in your day when you’re alone and relish in your solitude. It can be time in the bathroom, five minutes before rolling out of bed, sitting in your car or on a park bench at lunch. Call it “alone time” and enjoy!

Meditate every day for 3 minutes. Many of us feel like we should meditate more often. We know it reduces stress, helps us connect to our source and benefits our overall health. How about starting with 3 minutes? Combine it with your “alone time” if you want to. Just close your eyes and follow your breath. At the end of the year you’ll have spent 1,080 minutes –that’s 18 hours!–in meditation.

Walk around the block every day. You don’t have to join a gym today or buy any expensive equipment. Just resolve to walk a short distance every day. A quick stroll around the block clears the mind so you can hatch new ideas or solve problems as well as strengthen muscles, improve circulation and encourage weight loss. Combine it with your meditation resolution and call it “alone time” if you want. If you don’t have access to a city block, choose your own destination. Walk to the curve of the road, the length of the parking lot or even to your mailbox.

Keep the resolutions you like, ignore those you don’t enjoy. Life is supposed to be fun! Choose habits that enhance the quality of your life without stress or guilt. No one is keeping score so do what works for you!

*****

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.

 

 

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

My own best friend

By Amber A. Penrose

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself,

and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own best friend.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive.

You care less about what other people think.

I don’t question myself anymore.

I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

 

So, to answer your question, I like being old.

It has set me free. I like the person I have become.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here,

I will not waste time lamenting what could have been,

or worrying about what will be.

And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

*****

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.

 

 

 

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

Let’s Talk Conversation Hearts, okay?

By Wendi Knox

There’s something about those kitschy little hearts that, well….speak to me.

In fact, they just reminded me that maybe it’s time we changed our conversation about Valentines Day.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love hearts.

I love romance.

And I especially love a holiday that’s all about expressing love.

But the “sweet nothings” someone else whispers to us are not nearly as meaningful as the “not-so-sweet” things that we say to ourselves.

Whether we’re married or single, in a flourishing relationship or one that’s withering, the most important love connection we will ever make is with our own hearts.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every relationship in our lives is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. (And I bet my therapist would agree.)

Where are those words of love to ourselves?

Self-love isn’t just about getting pedicures or taking bubble baths.

It’s about the words we choose and the tone we take when we talk to ourselves.

Let’s face it, not too many of us look in the mirror and say, “Hey cutie” or “Luv ya.”

In fact, if you start paying attention to your self-talk, you’ll hear things you’d never dream of saying to someone else.

We call ourselves names. (“Stupid” and “Sloppy” and “_______”. (Fill in with your favorite form of diminishment.)

We compare and contrast our lips, skin, thighs, butts, stomachs, hair, love life, children, talents and “you-name-its” to our friends and strangers, cover girls and movie stars.

We analyze, scrutinize and terrorize ourselves with a judgmental “tsk-tsk” tone.

Of course, we don’t mean to treat our precious selves so harshly.  But it’s what we’re programmed to do.

Somewhere, somehow, we got the message it wasn’t “nice” to love ourselves. And that we just plain weren’t enough.

Of course, our Inner Critics took it from there.

(In fact, Edna, my Inner Critic, thinks this is my most ridiculous post yet.)

But what I’ve learned is, the more kindness, compassion, acceptance, patience and love we give ourselves, the more we receive from the outside world.

So, in the spirit of self-love, here are five Valentine gifts you could easily give yourself:

1. Baby yourself. We love babies unconditionally. Really, have you ever said “You dummy. Don’t you know how to walk yet?”

We tell them “Good try” when they teeter on their wobbly little legs. We know they’re learning and growing. And we love them for it. (Hint-hint.)

2. See the good in You. Next time you look in the mirror, instead of automatically zeroing in on what you don’t like, shift your focus.

Find something positive to say. (Even if it’s as little as “Wow, that pimple is almost gone.”) Me? I’m training myself to notice the color of my eyes instead of the dark circles under them.

3. Ask and you’ll receive. If you had a friend who looked absolutely exhausted, you probably wouldn’t say, “You look like shit.” You’d more likely ask lovingly,”Ahhh, you’ve been through it. What would make you feel better?”  Take the time to listen to your answer. That’s self-love.

4. Think before you speak. When my son was in kindergarten, he was taught to ask three questions before speaking to someone: “Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?” I never forgot those questions. And neither should you when talking to yourself.

5. Change the conversation. You might want to make yourself some of your own little conversation hearts. They’re not bad for your teeth. And all you need is some paper and a pen.

Just tape your own little messages on your mirror, under your pillow or whatever you could use some love.

And this year,why settle for just a Happy Valentines Day.

Why not give yourself the gift of self-love all month long.

One conversation at a time.

*****

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.

 

 

 

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I was sick. I have been working seven-day weeks for a while now and I am beat. Yesterday I woke with a nasty cold, which lasted only 24 hours, amazingly. But it left me completely and utterly exhausted. So I postponed my Valentine’s date with my honey until today (yay!) and spent the entire day in bed reading and dozing. What a fabulous relief to just let go and sink into the mattress and get lost in my book. What a glorious way of loving my Self.

I just checked my emails and look what I found! I couldn’t believe it. But of course I could believe it. My life is richly blessed with much synchronistic wonder.

So now I don’t have to write what I was planning to about taking care to indulge in Self-love, and share, instead, the wisdom sent to me by my lovely colleague in Michigan. I couldn’t have said it better.

In the spirit of keeping the Valentine’s Day energy alive, I send all my dear sister Queens love today. Love for your Self. Love for each other. Love for humanity. Love for Mother Earth and all of Her creations and creatures. Love for Life.

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Vantine Message

By Daina (DINAH) Puodziunas

It’s Valentines Day and I’m sick in bed!! I’ve taken everything off my schedule and decided to see this as an opportunity to give myself a day of being kind, gentle, and loving with myself.

We women are so used to pushing ourselves to do more and often feel guilty when we do take time for ourselves.

But we have to fill our own well on a regular basis in order to have it spilling over. Only then will we not have our energy drained and we will have more than enough to share with others!!!

20 Ways to become your own best friend:

Give your self permission to:

– Acknowledge your achievements.

– Eat well, sleep well, and take care of your self physically.

– Don’t engage in other people’s dramas. Ask yourself as Byron Katie suggests: “Is it my business, their business, or God’s busniess?

– Follow your passions no matter where they take you.

– Listen to your own inner voice.

– Take time to get quiet, experience inner peace, and observe thoughts without judgment.

– Release the need to blame self and others.

– Instead of listening to the reprimanding, shoulding, guilting voice….listen to your heart instead.

– Compliment others and notice good things about them, it will soften your judgments about your self.

– Accept your self exactly how you are, where you are, what you are, who you are….YOU ARE ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE!!

– Know your own limits. Don’t always be the one who takes on responsibilities, says yes automatically etc.

– Make your self a priority.

– Have fun and enjoy life…..it’s ok to do so.

– Change your mind.

– When requests are made of you, get in the habit of saying: ” I don’t know, let me get back to you on that,” or “no, I don’t want to do that.”

– Take up time and space.

– Interpret every choice and experience you have, no matter what it is, as contributing positively to your life because you make it so (no matter what anyone else’s interpretation may be!)

– Trust yourself even when you make “mistakes” or don’t know what to do immediately, or don’t know the answers.

– Allow people to be disappointed about your choices and decisions.

– Break personal commitments or promises if to keep them would ultimately be more harmful to self than keeping them.

*****

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.