The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Being Pleased With Your Self

posted by Donna Henes

I recently received this wonderfully refreshing letter from a sister Queen who is definitely pleased with her Self:

…Despite the anticipation and the promise of something potentially special, he was not attractive to me. And I think that’s important — that although I have had my misgivings about meeting someone as I am — overweight and older — I felt attractive and lively and lovely and charming and desirable in many ways. My inner womanly, Queenly core, was quite strong — it never dawned on me to feel less than attractive. And I thank all you Queens for helping me to feel that. Our circle of love and faith in one another has just added to the pool, the large pond, the lake, the sea of deep-rooted sense of Good Self that stays, no matter what…
- A fan of The Queen of My Self

Brava! You go, girl!

It gets easier as you get older. You accept yourself for who you are – your flaws and your attributes. It’s easier to live in your own skin.
- Barbra Streisand

And then I received this perfect follow up from a subscriber to The Queen’s Chronicles:

The Heart Is The Home of Wonder

Breathe in the warmth of this place, allowing yourself to feel a sense of welcome
It is your own love, your own beauty that beckons you inside
How long has it been, since you have crossed this threshold?
The door has always been open, the invitation always extended
Will you accept it now?

Through the windows streams sunlight, casting rainbow designs on the walls
As prism glass reflects the scattered sparkling illumination
The floor beneath your feet is soft
Caressing your skin as you tap your bare toes on its surface
Daring to dance upon it to the lilting music that only you can hear.

The table is set with all manner of lusciousness
Nourishment for body and soul awaits you
Always plenty to savor and share; a bounty spread before you
Every imaginable treat to delight your senses
The sweet aroma that curls around you.

The mirror on the wall reflects your exquisite nature
As you gaze into the eyes of the One who has been with you
Through all eternity, questioning what has kept you from recognizing
Your own ineffable Divinity
Express your adoration for the Goddess who winks back at you.

Feel the all-embracing comfort of this structure that was created
Brick by brick, log by log, though your daily intention
The experiences and the people you draw into your world
The thoughts that permeate your mind
The wild magic of your infinite imagination.

- Edie Weinstein, PA

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Mirror, Mirror

posted by Donna Henes

Like most women, I can’t help but notice the parts of myself that have slumped and sagged as I’ve aged. The bags under my eyes now have over-night valises of their own. The veins in my legs and on the backs of my hands are starting to show through in blue. And forget my figure. Everything not tied down has long since fallen: my breasts, my belly, my once taut neck. I can easily commiserate with the South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who once commented, “I’m forty-nine but I could be twenty-five except for my face and legs.”

But do I mind? Not really.

I love the fact that we lose our vision and our youthful beauty at the same time. What we can’t see can’t hurt us. It is a brilliant kindness to our vanity that reinforces in me the belief that God is surely a Goddess. And who wears her reading glasses when gazing into a mirror? As I squint at myself while trying to keep my lipstick confined to the general vicinity of my lips, I think “Well, hey. I don’t look so bad!” If beauty is all in the eyes of the beholder, the blinder to flaws the better.

The simple and irrefutable truth is that as we age, we change. The Queen knows about change and embraces it with magnanimous grace and good humor, as part and parcel of the ongoing mythic adventure of Her life. When someone told Gloria Steinem that she didn’t look forty, she famously replied, “This is how forty looks.” And that goes double now that she is heading toward 80.

The Queen refuses to condescend or conform to the adolescent and exploitative standard of beauty promulgated by popular culture. She does not deign to compare herself with teenage models or emaciated-lifted-stitched-tucked-injected-Hollywood-uber-beauties.

I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.
- Joan Rivers

Tens of millions strong, we women in midlife are busily engaged in the process of rewriting the rules of beauty, style and sexiness as we explore, express and celebrate the diverse parameters of our own individual appeal.

Queens that we are, we understand that there is a difference between looking young and looking attractive — between, for that matter, looking attractive and being attractive. A truly mature, secure woman accepts the inevitable physical changes that come with the passing of time and incorporates them into the way she presents herself to the world.

The striking results of a recent poll of midlife women showed that almost 48 % of the respondents were “completely” satisfied and another44% were “somewhat” satisfied by the way they looked.” That is an astonishing 92% in all! Nearly nine out of ten women — 88%  — indicated that they were pleased with their appearance, period, age not being a factor. But even while these women were generally so accepting of their appearance, the study revealed that the highest priorities of these women as they aged were internal. Ninety-five percent of them said that feeling good about themselves was “essential.”

It matters more what’s in a woman’s face than what’s on it.
-Claudette Colbert

Self-aware, Self-assured, the Queen transforms Her Self as She goes. She glows as She grows into Her full potential, and becomes ever more becoming. Her reinvigorated attractiveness stems from Self-knowledge and enfranchisement, Her magnetic sensuality is centered in the fulfillment and satisfaction of Her Self-worth. She exudes the intoxicating appeal of a woman who is at heart, pleased with Her Self.

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Happiness Increases With Age!

posted by Donna Henes

 
Despite all of the loss associated with aging: the ability to reproduce, physical strength and agility, pigment in our hair, elasticity in our skin, our children at home, our parents, and on and on, the results of a large Gallup poll recently released has found that by almost any measure, people get happier as they get older, and researchers are not sure why.

“It could be that there are environmental changes,” said Arthur A. Stone, the lead author of a new study based on the survey, “or it could be psychological changes about the way we view the world, or it could even be biological — for example brain chemistry or endocrine changes.”

The telephone survey, carried out in 2008, covered more than 340,000 people nationwide, ages 18 to 85, asking various questions about age and sex, current events, personal finances, health and other matters. The survey also asked about “global well-being” by having each person rank overall life satisfaction on a 10-point scale.

Finally, there were six yes-or-no questions:

Did you experience enjoyment during a large part of the day yesterday? 
 
Did you experience happiness during a large part of the day yesterday? 

Did you experience stress during a large part of the day yesterday? 

Did you experience worry during a large part of the day yesterday? 

Did you experience anger during a large part of the day yesterday? 

Did you experience sadness during a large part of the day yesterday? 

The answers, the researchers say, reveal “hedonic well-being,” that is, a person’s immediate experience of those psychological states, unencumbered by revised memories or subjective judgments that the query about general life satisfaction might have evoked.

On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.

In measuring immediate well-being — yesterday’s emotional state — the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves: they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50s.

Andrew J. Oswald, a professor of psychology at Warwick Business School in England, who has published several studies on human happiness, called the findings important and, in some ways, heartening. “It’s a very encouraging fact that we can expect to be happier in our early 80s than we were in our 20s,” he said. “And it’s not being driven predominantly by things that happen in life. It’s something very deep and quite human that seems to be driving this.”

The study was not designed to figure out which factors make people happy, and the poll’s health questions were not specific enough to draw any conclusions about the effect of disease or disability on happiness in old age. But the researchers did look at four possibilities: the sex of the interviewee, whether the person had a partner, whether there were children at home and employment status. “These are four reasonable candidates,” Dr. Stone said, “but they don’t make much difference.”

So, if things seem hard right now, take heart. The good news is we are aging! And really, that is fabulous considering the alternative. I always say, I am not afraid of getting old. I am afraid of not getting old!

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Queen of Rock and Roll

posted by Donna Henes

This week’s theme is Dancing Queens. And Crones.

Queen of Rock and Roll

I recently saw Tina Turner’s 2008 concert, supposedly the last of her career. She was 68 years old and she took my breath away. She was backed by a bevy of beautiful young women, who, despite their gorgeous faces and figures and great dancing skill, seemed pale and insipid in contrast to the hypnotic power of the triumphant Tina.

The Queen of Rock and Roll, indeed. Her body was panther-muscled and solid. Her face bore witness to her journey, her hard time times and her victories. Her gaze was intense with the accumulated knowledge of her years. Her passion was palpable and electrifying. Here on my television screen was a female force of nature. A fabulous, ferocious, fiery goddess — Pele. Kali, Coatlicue.

Tina Turner, née Anna Mae Bullock was born to a mixed race (Native and African American) share-cropping family in Nutbush, Tennessee in the segregated South on November 26, 1939. Abandoned by their parents, Turner and her sister were raised by their grandmother. In 1956 when Anna was 16, they moved to St. Louis to reunite with their mother

The city opened up a whole new world of R&B clubs to the teenager.   One night during her first year in town, she was called onto the stage to sing with Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm, and the rest is herstory.

Ike recruited her at the last second to replace an A.W.O.L. backup singer for the recording session for “A Fool In Love.” She delivered a spine-tingling performance, which convinced Ike to take her into the band as his protégée with a new name to fit her persona.

Six years later in 1962, they were married in Tijuana, Mexico while Tina was pregnant with their son. She had already had a son from an earlier relationship with a musician.
 
The Ike and Tina Turner Revue had few commercial recording hits, but they tore up live venues with their high-powered live stage shows and toured with the likes of James Brown and Ray Charles. Tina’s electric charisma became more and more recognized as the star power behind the group’s international success.

Backstage, life wasn’t so great. Ike was a violent, drug-addicted wife-beater who was not above frequently knocking Tina around both publicly and privately. Despite hits such as “Proud Mary” and Tina’s self-penned “Nutbush City Limits”, further mainstream success eluded the group and Ike blamed Tina.

After years of misery and a failed suicide attempt, Tina finally had enough abuse and walked out. In July of 1976, she fled her marriage as well as the Revue with 36 cents and a Mobil gasoline credit card in her purse. Despite owing a huge debt to tour promoters for bailing out, she refused to fight for a monetary settlement from Ike. She would do it on her own, thank you very much.

It was long and sometimes humiliating trek back to the top for Tina, who was now nearing 40. But even though her gigs were far between and obscure. Queen Tina was having a blast being fully in charge of her own life and career. She credited her Buddhist practice with giving her the faith and drive to persevere.

it was in 1984 that she staged what is considered by some the most amazing comeback in rock music history and achieved international super-stardom. Her fifth solo album, Private Dancer was a huge success and established Turner as a credible solo artist. At the 1985 Grammy Awards, her astonishing revival was recognized with nominations in the rock, R&B and pop categories and rewarded with four trophies. Since that time, her success as a singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress has been on a roll. A Rock and Roll.

In 2000 at the age of 60, Queen Tina announced that she would no longer tour or perform live, but of course, she did. She remains one of the world’s most popular and biggest-selling music artists of all time with eight Grammy Awards and record sales in excess of 180 million.

Tina Turner is the undisputed Queen of Rock and Roll, able to thrill audiences like no other woman in music history. But she is much more than that. She is a Queen of Life and Living. A supreme shero of suffering and surviving, of striving and thriving.

Rock on, Queen Tina.
 
***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com

 
 

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