Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Since I started my Midlife Midwife™ practice, I have received many requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen. “Dear Mama Donna,” women would write, “I want to be a Queen, too. How do I access my power? How can I feel good about myself? How do I change my life? How do I find magic and spiritual wisdom? How do I know what to do? How do I learn how to rule?”

The reality is that I cannot possibly know how anyone else will attain her Queendom, I only know how I came into mine, and that is largely through hindsight. The truth, my truth, at least, is that there is no one truth. We must each find our own way in this world.

As a shaman, I teach through example, but not through dictum. I can and do offer information, exposure, personal experience, encouragement, inspiration, suggestions and support to my constituents, but I cannot — dare not — pass judgment or establish rules and laws. It is simply not for me to say.

When my students and clients come to me for help and spiritual guidance, I listen to their concerns and embrace their needs. I pat them on the back, give them a good, swift kick in the butt, or let them cry on my shoulder, as needed. I can tell them what I did in such and such situation, how I did it, what I learned from this or that lesson, but I cannot tell them what they should do. How do I know what their souls need? Only they know what they know.

I can and do, of course, aid them in reaching into the well of their own deepest wisdom, and help them to hear the messages from their best inner Selves. A woman who has attended several of my workshops recently hugged me and told me that I had changed her life. “Well, no, of course, I didn’t, honey,” I assured her. “You changed your own life.” The fact of the matter remains that I could not give her what was not already hers.

So how will you become the Queen of Your Self? What is your path? What are your lessons? What are your intentions? What is your purpose? What is your authentic power?


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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.

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?

The Queen takes up the challenge of change, and with Her eyes wide open She engages in the daunting process of learning who She is now and who She chooses to become. It is important to Her to know that Her thoughts and feelings count, that Her work and interests are meaningful and that She, Herself, matters. Her growing Self-confidence propels Her to reach for and attain Her 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?

You know what?
I like myself.
I trust myself.
I know myself.
I know what I want.
I know what I need.
I know what I have.
I know what I know.
I mean well.
I try hard.
I do good.
I help.
I heal.
I hear.
I love.
I feel.
I fall down.
I stand up.
I strive.
I survive.
I flourish.
I thrive.

© Donna Henes

 

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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.

 

Just a few days ago I wrote, “The word ‘practice’ also serves to remind us that there is no perfect. Whether we maintain a spiritual practice, a creative practice or a professional practice, we are always in the process of learning, adapting, accommodating, growing and changing. The only end comes when we die. In the meantime, all we have is the means, the very process of living, itself. We try, we move forward, we trip, we fall behind, we start again, and eventually we become, while not perfect, perfectly wonderful Queens.”

No sooner did I post it than I received the following piece by Wendi Knox, a Queen from California. I just love the synchronicity, not to mention the sentiment. Being of the Virgo persuasion, it really hit home.

Calling All Perfectionists

The difference between imperfect and I’m perfect is just an apostrophe.

In my next life, I hope to come back as an imperfectionist.

Maybe I won’t have Virgo rising. A father who color-coordinates his sock drawer. Or a mother whose handwriting looks like it belongs in a penmanship book.

Naturally, I rebelled with messy drawers and sloppy handwriting.

But I did develop a “good enough isn’t good enough” self-flagellation system.

If you’re like me, you grew up believing you could (and should) have it all.

The Perfect Job. The Perfect Marriage. The Perfect Family. The Perfect Body. (The Perfect Breakdown?)

We measure our human selves against some airbrushed version of life with Jen’s hair, Angelina’s lips and Martha’s culinary skills.

I think so many of us love Oprah because she’s dared to share her imperfections. No matter how many schools she builds or cars she gives away, Oprah’s the first to admit, that she’s still carrying the weight of  a sad and abusive childhood.

Speaking of weight, I know I could afford to lose a few.

But even at my skinniest, I still obsessed about some part of me that could have been more this or less that.

So, these days, my mission is to learn to love myself just the way I am. Of course, it’s not easy being kind to every new wrinkle or grey strand that shows up in the mirror.

But since I believe the world is a mirror of how we treat ourselves, I’m trying to be as nice to Me as I am to everyone else.

So, when I looked in the mirror today, I actually focused on the color of my eyes (instead of the dark circles under them).

And last night, I even gave my hair a compliment.

Guess what — on days when I say kind things to myself, life feels kinder to me.

Instead of constantly comparing myself to the latest cover girl, I try to remember these words from my wise friend Heather:

“If the goddess were living here on earth, how would she carry herself?”

Hmmm…would she starve herself to squeeze into a size 2 pair of jeans?

Would she inject her laugh lines with Botox?

Or would she accept and love her womanly curves and nurture her miraculous body with delicious, nutritious food, enjoying every morsel of it?

Okay, I admit that I’m not totally there yet.

But each day, I do have a little more self-love than I did the day before.

And on those days when my inner Gestapo (a.k.a. Edna) starts berating me and my imperfections, I take a deep breath and put on my walking shoes.

As I pass each front yard, I’m reminded that there’s all kinds of beauty in the Flower Garden of Life.

Does a daisy strive to be as exotic as a hibiscus?

Does a hot pink zinnia wonder if it’s “too much” compared to an elegant white cow lily?

Does a voluptuous rose in full bloom envy a tiny, delicate bud?

Okay, you get the point.

Now, please oh please, do me one little favor.

Before I re-write this thing for the fifth time, tell me something about Perfectly Imperfect You. (Or is it Imperfectly Perfect You?)

Whichever.

Wendi Knox
Oh My Goddess Bloggess

I second that motion. Please do share with us, your sister Queens, your perfect imperfection.

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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.

The mental part of our Self is not satisfied with simply accessing our intentions and motives. Our minds want to know what they mean and how they affect us. Our conscious, rational aspect craves order, information, comprehension. We humans seem to have a basic need to organize, classify and characterize the world around us. When we apply this same need for knowledge and understanding to our inner world — our emotions, thoughts, instincts and intuitions — we are able to extract their value. What can we learn from what we feel? And how can we use these feelings to our benefit?

By keeping track of the circumstances and situations of our lives and our own conscious and unconscious responses to them, we can plot our course, chart our progress, project our aspirations, alter our habits, adjust our attitudes and plan our actions. “The decision to write a journal,” writes Christine Baldwin in Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest “has been the most important decision I have ever made, because it has led to every other important decision I’ve ever made. The existence of the journal provides writers with confidence and courage that we can travel as far as the mind allows, and find our way home through the act of writing.”

The blueprints and maps for our lives can be found in the documentation that we keep. When we record our thoughts, feelings, dreams, coincidences, ideas, inspirations and omens, we have the raw data that we need to figure out what it is that we already know as well as what we still need to learn. I call this practice, “Noting the Process of Noting the Process.” I use the term “practice” advisedly. Practice implies attention, concentration and discipline. But the mental effort and dedication required is well rewarded by the Self-knowledge that we stand to gain.

The word “practice” also serves to remind us that there is no perfect. Whether we maintain a spiritual practice, a creative practice or a professional practice, we are always in the process of learning, adapting, accommodating, growing and changing. The only end comes when we die. In the meantime, all we have is the means, the very process of living, itself. We try, we move forward, we trip, we fall behind, we start again, and eventually we become, while not perfect, perfectly wonderful Queens.

Note the Process of Noting Your Process.

Keep track of your life and living.

Keep written, recorded, and/or visual journals of collages, drawings, or photographs that record and comment on your:
Dreams
Feelings
Goals
Happenings
Hunches
Interactions
Impulses
Instincts
Memories
Miracles
Omens
Physical concerns
Thoughts

Keep your inherited and personal herstorical records:
Address Books
Almanacs
Autograph Books
Calendars
Common Books
Date Books
Diaries
Family Bibles
Letters From You
Letters To You
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Year Books

If you do any sort of divinatory readings or consult any oracles, keep notes on these sessions:
Astrology Charts
Automatic Writings
Crystal Ball
I Ching
Palm Readings
Psychic Readings
Runes
Tarot

Put ‘em all together and what have you got? Bibbidi-Bobbidi-YOU!


Want to learn more?
Download one of Mama Donna’s Spirit Support Skills Teleseminars, including:
 

NOTING THE PROCESS OF THE NOTING THE PROCESS: Keeping Track of Your Transformation
A Spirit Support Skills teleseminar with Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

Learn how to recognize, organize and make sense of the patterns created by the signs, symbols, omens, and instinctual messages from your personal inner guidance so that they can help you create a more meaningful, effective and satisfactory life.

$5 per class

For information, click HERE.

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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.