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The Queen of My Self

 

This article is by my friend and colleague, Barbara Bizou.  

 

Redefining Midlife Part 2

The good news is that we can take this opportunity to look at life in a new and fresh way. This is a time to reinvent ourselves and make new choices based on what we truly want. It is time to take stock of our lives, reevaluate our dreams and goals as we make peace with what we haven’t done and take steps towards our new expanded vision.

The challenge is to look at the changing energy with anticipation. We can throw away the roles that do not serve and open to ones that contain more freedom to be ourselves. Time to set our house in balance.

Many women find themselves moving into new careers or careers for the first time. Power may be an issue. For men and women who have worked in the world this may be a time for more fun …freedom from the old roles we took on.

Real old age begins when one looks backward rather then forward, but we can look forward with joy and excitement to the years ahead and especially to the contributions we can make to the world.

Psychologically this is a new time of preparation for elder hood. Yet, there is a lot of time between midlife and elder hood and we need to discover language that speaks to this new era.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE TIME YOU HAVE LEFT?

1.Recommit yourself to speak in your own voice-unhampered by expectations or fear of what others will think.

2.Support causes which show respect and reverence for the earth

3.Be wild

4.Take time for yourself — slow down — transitions take time.

5.Cultivate a belief that it is safe to move forward

6.Give up “being perfect”

7.Develop a consistent spiritual practice

8.Feel the intensity of your emotions — seek professional help if needed

9.Decide to have a positive attitude

10.Clean house of negative people

11.Continue to learn new things

12. Travel — expand your horizons

13.Be physical — touch, hug, have sex

14. Laugh, have fun

15. Let yourself be supported by others in a healthy way

REMEMBER: AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE, YOU WILL ONLY REGRET THE THINGS YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED.

*****

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.

 

 

This article is by my friend and colleague, Barbara Bizou.  

 

Redefining Midlife Part 1

“Since you don’t know when the end is going to be how can you figure out what mid-life is.

– Julia Riva

We, as a culture, worship youth. We try and tighten our abs, botox our faces and dye our hair all on the eternal quest to stay young. Looking good is not a bad thing, but dismissing the wisdom of experience because of our fear of aging is destructive and sad.

Moving into midlife (whenever that is) can be a freeing and exhilarating experience.Around the age of 45 we begin to move into the halfway point of our lives. For some of us it is closer to 50. The actual chronological age is not important, what is important is the feeling that we have come to a turning point in our lives.

The essence of mid-life change is the reevaluation of the present with an eye toward an uncertain future. It represents both the end and the beginning of a cycle. Some of us may recall forgotten dreams and wonder whether it too is late to realize them. Many of us have to give up our fantasies of how we thought our life would be. Facing this reality may leave us feeling vulnerable and unsure of ourselves.

Those who have the hardest time with mid-life are usually those who realize they have lived a life programmed for them by others rather than the life they wish to lead. It is common to see them begin to search for satisfaction in different ways — possibly pursuing their “life’s work” or looking for some larger “purpose” to their life. Many times, people get a wakeup call when faced with a personal crisis that prompts them to look deeply at their life (sudden loss of job or home, death of a loved one, illness).

This time is a gift for it allows us to correct the flow of emotional energy in our life. It is important to acknowledge any grief and sadness that we may have so we can become more available for joy in our life. This is not about regrets — everything we have ever done has added to who we are today. It is important to take the time we need to retreat from our daily lives so we can heal.

Be prepared to encounter resistance from others who are used to us always being available. Building strong relationships of mutual trust and caring will play an important part in this healing journey.

Whenever we start something new we may feel uncertain. We no longer know what is expected of us and we can lose the self-confidence and certainty that we have built up over years.

Tomorrow: Redefining Midlife Part 2

*****

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.

 

 

Here is some wisdom from the fabulous Maya Angelou:

 

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE…

 

One old love she can imagine going back to…

and one who reminds her how far she has come…

enough money within her control to move out and rent

a place of her own… even if she never wants to or needs to…

something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

a youth she’s content to leave behind…

a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age…

the realization that she is actually going to have an old age and some money set aside to fund it…

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family..

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored…

a resume that is not even slightest bit padded…

a feeling of control over her destiny…

a skin care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30…

a solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying

relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better after 30…

 

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

how to fall in love without losing herself…

how she feels about having kids…

how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the relationship..

when to try harder… and when to walk away…

how to have a good time at a party she’d never choose to attend…

how to ask for what she wants in a way that makes it most likely she’ll get it…

that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents…

that her childhood may not have been perfect… but its over…

what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

where to go… be it to her best friend’s kitchen table or a charming inn in the woods when her soul needs soothing…

what she can and can’t accomplish in a day… a month… and a year…

*****

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.

 

 

 

As we age, we naturally change. Change, after all, is the essential stuff of life. If we embrace it with magnanimous grace and good humor, as part and parcel of the ongoing mythic adventure of our path, we stand to gain great satisfaction in the process.

Recognizing and accepting the inevitability of aging does not mean giving up on any attempts at improving our outward appearance, physical health, mental outlook, emotional balance and general well-being. More than ever before, women of a certain age are taking better care of our Selves, conscious of a newly mature imperative to lovingly nurture and protect every aspect of our beings.

We accept the responsibility for our own sustenance and satisfaction: physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My sister midlifers — many of us for the first time ever— are pursuing programs of nutrition and fitness. We are eating better, sleeping and exercising more, learning how to release our stress, pursuing spiritual connection and allowing ourselves to fully express our creative natures.

We are working hard to stay healthy and active, and are, at the same time, more realistic in our ideals, more accepting of our own perceived imperfections, and more forgiving of our weaknesses. While some of us do go to the starvation-botox-surgical-extremes of trying to stay forever young, in general, we follow fewer fad diets and adopt more sensible, sustainable and ultimately successful life-style changes.

We gradually heal ourselves of old destructive patterns, stinking thinking and nasty habits. And then, voila! The rewarding result of feeling well — inside and out — is looking well. We wise women of a certain age know that there is a difference between looking young and looking attractive — between, for that matter, looking attractive and being attractive.

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

More and more of us are refusing to condescend or conform to the adolescent and exploitative standard of beauty promulgated by popular culture. We do not compare ourselves with teenage models or emaciated-lifted-stitched-tucked-injected-Hollywood-uber-beauties. It is only a disaster to loose our girlish charms if we deem them to be the exclusive path to beauty, love and fulfillment.

Our allure and sex appeal change with time — increase, even — if we allow them to. A woman is never too old to look and feel beautiful. Each age, each stage of our lives, has its particular fabulous charm. As truly mature, secure women, we strive to accept the inevitable physical changes that come with the passing of time and incorporate them into the way we present ourselves to the world.

Self-aware, Self-assured, we are transforming ourselves as we go. We glow as we grow into our full potential, and become ever more becoming. Our reinvigorated attractiveness stems from self-knowledge and enfranchisement. Our magnetic sensuality is centered in the fulfillment and satisfaction of our Self-worth. We exude the intoxicating appeal of women who are, at heart, pleased with our Selves.

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. 

– Marya Mannes

*****

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.