Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

 By Teresa Schreiber Werth

 

I’m praying for women I’ve never met.
As I lay down and close my eyes, names tumble into my consciousness
Like cottonwood seeds, descending from a quiet, summer sky.
Each day I’m touched as the tangled threads of our lives entwine.
A daughter of a friend, a mother, a neighbor’s sister, cousin, co-worker.
One by one, they take their place in my nightly prayers:
Theo, whose tumor they hope to shrink. Lisa, who’s traded chemo for morphine.
Maureen and Suzanne, strangers all, but sisters of a stranger sort.
We’ve never met, but we have met the enemy
And it’s not us.
We’ve cried and cursed, wailed and shaken angry fists at a rotten fate, at a physical failing, a cause unknown.
We’ve hoped and prayed, trusted, queried,
Asked, begged and believed
Until there are no more words,
Only the slish of oars skimming the water,
Softly whispering, “Hope, hope, hope…”

 

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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.

 

 

by Madisyn Taylor

There was a time where women stood together in a bond of sisterhood, women supporting women.

As women embrace the fullness of who they are as individuals, they may find themselves supporting other women, helping others to reach the level of inner comfort and outer freedom that they themselves have found. Among those who are less sure of themselves and their place in the world, it may be more common to criticize other women than to seek their help. But there are things that a woman can only learn from another woman, as there are things about being a man that can only be learned from other men. We all recognize that we have much to learn from each other regardless of gender, but sometimes we could use a supportive role model that gives us a more precise example of what and who we can become.

There was a time where women stood together in a bond of sisterhood, women supporting women. It is only natural that the pendulum swings out of balance for a while so that we may have the experience of what we do not want. It is up to women to bring the pendulum back into balance and bring back the sacred sisterhood we yearn for at our core.

If we envision a world where women support each other and help each other find their place in an ever-changing world, then we can become the change we want to see. Jealousy, envy, criticism, and judgment are refuges for the insecure. As we help others to become self-assured, we create a world in which all people help each other, regardless of gender. Only women can make the change in how women are seen and understood, not just by other women but by the world at large. The way we speak about each other to other women and to the men in our lives informs everyone to treat us with the respect that all women, and all people, deserve.

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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.

 

I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
—Jewel
     From “Hands”

The media likes to portray peace, environment and human and animal rights protesters as a fringe element of whining malcontents teetering on the margins of proper society. The truth is that those who step forward to speak their mind are happier and healthier folks than most.

Protesting is not complaining nor is it sending out negative messages. Pro means “for,” “in favor of.” Test means, “to speak,” as in testify and testimony. So, protest actually means, “to speak for.” Protest is a completely positive endeavor.

Albert Einstein said, “The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything… Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes — goodwill among men and peace on earth.”

A new study by John Drury, professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex in England, shows that it is good for you to protest. Even though protesters may be depressed about the state of the world, their physical and mental ailments improve dramatically as a result of taking part in a group effort for change and the betterment of conditions.

Involvement in social causes and participation in political demonstrations banishes sensations of isolation, discouragement and impotence and replaces them with an exhilarating awareness of connectedness, well being and empowerment.

When people participate in large-scale protests they get swept up in a communal mood of optimism that feeds their feelings of hope. They believe that their actions can help to change the course of history. “Collective action can therefore be a life-changing, uplifting and life-enhancing experience,” concludes Drury

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead


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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 thqueenofmyself@aol.com.

Some might argue that we don’t have any choice in this upside down dangerous world and that we can’t affect what will happen. But even if we can’t immediately alter the course of human events on the world stage, we can certainly create change in our own lives and in all of the lives that we touch. And our thoughts are the seeds of that change.

Dr. Christiane Northrup writes, “Use your thoughts wisely. Understand their power. Thoughts have a tendency to become their physical equivalent. This is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Another one is the law of attraction, which states that ‘like attracts like.’ Because it is consciousness that creates reality, the kind of consciousness you hold — your vibration — actually creates the kind of life you’re living.”

So our first order of business must be to stay positive. To entertain only positive possibilities. To imagine only affirmative alternatives. To surround ourselves with wholly uplifting, life-affirming people and influences. To align ourselves solely with the greater good so that our actions will be born of only the finest of our best intentions.

We need to share that positivity with everyone who we meet, actually engage on a human level with those who we encounter as we make it through our day. Not just our families, friends and colleagues — those of presumed like-minds — but also the shoe repair guy, the waitress at the coffee shop, the post office clerk, the bag girl at the super market.

Because there really is still a chance for peace and positive change — and that chance will definitely increase if we each do our piece. It is ultimately up to us, each one of us, all of us, individually and together, to create the kind of world in which we want to live — to be the change we seek — starting right here, right now. Within the context of our immediate lives, within the concentric circles of our ordinary interactions.

I once gave a presentation in Washington, D.C. about creating peace in our world and in our lives. During the question and answer period, a woman commented that she wished that she could quit her job and just devote herself to working for peace. “What do you do?” I asked her. “I’m a therapist,” she replied. Surely she has many opportunities every day to create peace and foster transformation in her professional capacity.

A good example of a Peace Queen is Dianne, one of the wonderful women who regularly attends my ritual circles. She not only prays for the homeless men and women who live on her block, but she calls them each by name. I am so impressed and inspired by her personal outreach to the “untouchables” that most other people would prefer not to notice, let alone engage with. Everybody is, after all, somebody.

If we ignore, exploit or patronize those people whose lives intersect with ours, how can we expect international relations to be more civilized? We need to walk our talk wherever we go, whatever we do, remembering always, that by doing so we do make a difference. Let us each be a sun, sending our caring energy out into the world, shedding light wherever we go. You never know whom you might touch with the radiance of your warmth.

 A new, spiritually based social activism is beginning to assert itself. It stems not from hating what is wrong and trying to fight it, but from loving what could be and making the commitment to bring it forth.
– Marianne Williamson

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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 thqueenofmyself@aol.com.