Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Despite the rude awakenings, the unsettling physical and emotional chaos of midlife and all of its frightful, presumed ramifications, an amazing number of women find this stage to be the most personally fulfilling and satisfying of their lives so far.

A recent Gallup survey of women aged fifty to sixty-five revealed that fifty-one percent of them feel happier now than they have ever before. This compares to only ten percent who thought the happiest times in their lives were their twenties, seventeen percent who were happiest in their thirties, and sixteen percent who liked their forties best.

Just what are we to make of this apparent feeling among so many women that we believe ourselves to be better off once we have lost possession of the very characteristics and trappings that society seems to value most in us — our sexual allure and childbearing capabilities?

We have lost our youthful looks and stamina. We have lost some vision, some hearing, some memory. We have lost the pigment in our hair and the elasticity in our skin. We are also losing our battle against gravity and the advancement of time.

We have lost the children we raised and we have lost our chance to have the children that we didn’t have. We also stand to lose our parents, our old friends, our spouses. We are in danger of losing our time left on the job, our visibility and our very lives.

So how does it compute that even while we are mired in loss, we have never been happier?

Because we have discovered that we actually like who we have become!

Everything worth having costs something, and the price of true love is self-knowledge. Becoming acquainted with yourself is a price well worth paying for the love that will really address your needs.

– Daphne Rose Kingma

We Queens have taken on the challenge of change, and with our eyes wide open we have engaged in the daunting process of learning who we are now and who we choose to become. It is important to us to know that our thoughts and feelings count, that our work and interests are meaningful, and that we, ourselves, matter. Our growing Self-confidence propelled us to reach for and attain our own authentic personal power.

We have come a long way and it has been quite a journey. We have dreamed the dream and done the work, and walked the long, long highway. We have struggled to discover, comfort, cosset, encourage and change our Selves. Now, finally, gloriously, joyfully, we have arrived at our destination. The station of our authentic sovereignty. And don’t it feel grand?

I don’t like myself, I’m crazy about myself.

–       Mae West

*****

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.

 

 

A lovely post Valentine’s Day poem:

A Hymn To Venus

By Sappho

 

O Venus, beauty of the skies,

To whom a thousand temples rise,

Gaily false in gentle smiles,

Full of love-perplexing wiles;

O goddess, from my heart remove

The wasting cares and pains of love.

 

If ever thou hast kindly heard

A song in soft distress preferred,

Propitious to my tuneful vow,

A gentle goddess, hear me now.

Descend, thou bright immortal guest,

In all thy radiant charms confessed.

 

Thou once didst leave almighty Jove

And all the golden roofs above:

The car thy wanton sparrows drew,

Hovering in air they lightly flew;

As to my bower they winged their way

I saw their quivering pinions play.

 

The birds dismissed (while you remain)

Bore back their empty car again:

Then you, with looks divinely mild,

In every heavenly feature smiled,

And asked what new complaints I made,

And why I called you to my aid?

 

What frenzy in my bosom raged,

And by what cure to be assuaged?

What gentle youth I would allure,

Whom in my artful toils secure?

Who does thy tender heart subdue,

Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?

 

Though now he shuns thy longing arms,

He soon shall court thy slighted charms;

Though now thy offerings he despise,

He soon to thee shall sacrifice;

Though now he freezes, he soon shall burn,

And be thy victim in his turn.

 

Celestial visitant, once more

Thy needful presence I implore.

In pity come, and ease my grief,

Bring my distempered soul relief,

Favour thy suppliant’s hidden fires,

And give me all my heart desires.

*****

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.

 

Dear Sister Queens,

I am back. Again! What a few months this has been. First I was out for weeks dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And then I was felled by a super nasty flu.

I am fine now and back to my old tricks.

So here we again! This daily blog has been a great joy to present, and your comments, your confidences, your confessions and your creative spirits have made it even more so.

I am so thankful to be connected to this incredible Court of Kick Ass Queens™. May we continue to grow in the nourishing soil of each other’s support.

With royal appreciation,

xxQueen Mama Donna

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

– Melodie Beattie

 

A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.

Doris Lessing

 

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.

– Adabella Radici

 

Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer.

– Verbena Woods

 

Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.

– Shakti Gawain

 

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.

– Author Unknown

 

Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.

– Christiane Northrup

 

Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on Earth.

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

Gratitude is the heart’s memory.

– French proverb

 

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.

– Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives.

– Terry Lynn Taylor

 

When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

– Cynthia Ozick

 

I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.

– Helen Keller

 

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.

– Margaret Cousins

 

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

– Melodie Beattie

 

Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.

The Hausa of Nigeria

 

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.

– Eileen Caddy

 

O, may we, may I, with your help, remember that each moment is this same edge, this choice… trust, gratefulness, grief and…and praise.

-Judyth Hill

 

 

 

*****

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.

 

 

Her long walk led to a period of concentrated inner questioning about what she, one person, could do in the cause of peace. This midlife meditation culminated in her experiencing a powerful spiritual vision, an undeniable epiphany. She came to understand that it was her destiny to be “a wanderer until mankind has learned the ways of peace.”

I then saw in my mind’s eye, myself walking along and wearing the garb of my mission…I saw a map of the United States with the large cities marked – and it was as though someone had taken a colored crayon and marked a zigzag line across, coast to coast and border to border, from Los Angeles to New York City. I knew what I was to do. I will talk to everyone who will listen to me about the way to peace. I’m even planning to wear a sign, the back of which will read, “Walking Coast to Coast for Peace” and the front, “Peace Pilgrim.”

She gave away all of her possessions — including her name — and prepared to embark upon the incredible pilgrimage that she would maintain for the rest of her life.

Step by Step…Mile by Mile…Walking…Marching…Dancing
 Becoming a moving force for peace.

-QMD

On the morning of January 1, 1953 at age 44, Mildred Norman Ryder adopted the name Peace Pilgrim, put on a pair of sneakers, donned dark blue slacks, blouse, and a tunic — blue being the international color for peace — and set out from Pasadena, California to walk the length of the country. She pledged to walk until she was given shelter and to fast until she was offered food.

She marched ahead of the Rose Parade where thousands of people could see her off on her way. Her tunic bore her name, Peace Pilgrim, on the front and the back was printed with her goal: 10,000 Miles for World Peace. She carried her few belongings — a comb, a toothbrush, a pen, some postal stamps and nothing else, not a penny — in its pockets.

Peace Pilgrim stepped out for peace on faith alone, and in so doing, undertook a daring and groundbreaking feat that represented enormous moral courage. On that first trip, in the midst of the Korean War, the Cold War, and at the height of the McCarthy era, she walked 5,000 miles from California to New York, from coast to coast and from border to border, sharing her message of peace.

No one walks so safely as one who walks humbly and harmlessly with great love and great faith. For such a person gets through to the good in others (and there is good in everyone), and therefore cannot be harmed. This works between individuals, it works between groups and it would work between nations if nations had the courage to try it.

She gave everyone she met a printed explanation of her walk that bore the simple message. “This is the way to peace — overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” She rarely missed more than three meals before she was offered food. If she was not offered shelter, she slept in fields, under bridges, and on more than one occasion, in jail.

During her 28 years on the road, Queen Peace far exceeded her original mile-goal. When she passed the 25,000-mile mark, she stopped counting, but she continued to walk for 17 more years. She went through 29 pairs of sneakers, averaging 1500 miles per pair. At that rate, she walked about 43,500 miles.

By the time of her death in 1981, she had walked across the United States seven times, visited ten Canadian provinces and parts of Mexico, spreading her hopeful message of peace and inspiration to the countless thousands of folks who crossed her extraordinary path.

Peace Pilgrim is my shero. I can only pray for the wisdom and determination to follow in her footsteps.

“To attain inner peace you must actually give your life, not just your possessions. When you at last give your life — bringing into alignment your beliefs and the way you live — then, and only then, can you begin to find inner peace.”

                                   — Peace Pilgrim

*****

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.