Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

My own best friend

By Amber A. Penrose

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself,

and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own best friend.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive.

You care less about what other people think.

I don’t question myself anymore.

I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

 

So, to answer your question, I like being old.

It has set me free. I like the person I have become.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here,

I will not waste time lamenting what could have been,

or worrying about what will be.

And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

*****

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 have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

Let’s Talk Conversation Hearts, okay?

By Wendi Knox

There’s something about those kitschy little hearts that, well….speak to me.

In fact, they just reminded me that maybe it’s time we changed our conversation about Valentines Day.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love hearts.

I love romance.

And I especially love a holiday that’s all about expressing love.

But the “sweet nothings” someone else whispers to us are not nearly as meaningful as the “not-so-sweet” things that we say to ourselves.

Whether we’re married or single, in a flourishing relationship or one that’s withering, the most important love connection we will ever make is with our own hearts.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every relationship in our lives is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. (And I bet my therapist would agree.)

Where are those words of love to ourselves?

Self-love isn’t just about getting pedicures or taking bubble baths.

It’s about the words we choose and the tone we take when we talk to ourselves.

Let’s face it, not too many of us look in the mirror and say, “Hey cutie” or “Luv ya.”

In fact, if you start paying attention to your self-talk, you’ll hear things you’d never dream of saying to someone else.

We call ourselves names. (“Stupid” and “Sloppy” and “_______”. (Fill in with your favorite form of diminishment.)

We compare and contrast our lips, skin, thighs, butts, stomachs, hair, love life, children, talents and “you-name-its” to our friends and strangers, cover girls and movie stars.

We analyze, scrutinize and terrorize ourselves with a judgmental “tsk-tsk” tone.

Of course, we don’t mean to treat our precious selves so harshly.  But it’s what we’re programmed to do.

Somewhere, somehow, we got the message it wasn’t “nice” to love ourselves. And that we just plain weren’t enough.

Of course, our Inner Critics took it from there.

(In fact, Edna, my Inner Critic, thinks this is my most ridiculous post yet.)

But what I’ve learned is, the more kindness, compassion, acceptance, patience and love we give ourselves, the more we receive from the outside world.

So, in the spirit of self-love, here are five Valentine gifts you could easily give yourself:

1. Baby yourself. We love babies unconditionally. Really, have you ever said “You dummy. Don’t you know how to walk yet?”

We tell them “Good try” when they teeter on their wobbly little legs. We know they’re learning and growing. And we love them for it. (Hint-hint.)

2. See the good in You. Next time you look in the mirror, instead of automatically zeroing in on what you don’t like, shift your focus.

Find something positive to say. (Even if it’s as little as “Wow, that pimple is almost gone.”) Me? I’m training myself to notice the color of my eyes instead of the dark circles under them.

3. Ask and you’ll receive. If you had a friend who looked absolutely exhausted, you probably wouldn’t say, “You look like shit.” You’d more likely ask lovingly,”Ahhh, you’ve been through it. What would make you feel better?”  Take the time to listen to your answer. That’s self-love.

4. Think before you speak. When my son was in kindergarten, he was taught to ask three questions before speaking to someone: “Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?” I never forgot those questions. And neither should you when talking to yourself.

5. Change the conversation. You might want to make yourself some of your own little conversation hearts. They’re not bad for your teeth. And all you need is some paper and a pen.

Just tape your own little messages on your mirror, under your pillow or whatever you could use some love.

And this year,why settle for just a Happy Valentines Day.

Why not give yourself the gift of self-love all month long.

One conversation at a time.

*****

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.

 

 

 

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I was sick. I have been working seven-day weeks for a while now and I am beat. Yesterday I woke with a nasty cold, which lasted only 24 hours, amazingly. But it left me completely and utterly exhausted. So I postponed my Valentine’s date with my honey until today (yay!) and spent the entire day in bed reading and dozing. What a fabulous relief to just let go and sink into the mattress and get lost in my book. What a glorious way of loving my Self.

I just checked my emails and look what I found! I couldn’t believe it. But of course I could believe it. My life is richly blessed with much synchronistic wonder.

So now I don’t have to write what I was planning to about taking care to indulge in Self-love, and share, instead, the wisdom sent to me by my lovely colleague in Michigan. I couldn’t have said it better.

In the spirit of keeping the Valentine’s Day energy alive, I send all my dear sister Queens love today. Love for your Self. Love for each other. Love for humanity. Love for Mother Earth and all of Her creations and creatures. Love for Life.

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

Vantine Message

By Daina (DINAH) Puodziunas

It’s Valentines Day and I’m sick in bed!! I’ve taken everything off my schedule and decided to see this as an opportunity to give myself a day of being kind, gentle, and loving with myself.

We women are so used to pushing ourselves to do more and often feel guilty when we do take time for ourselves.

But we have to fill our own well on a regular basis in order to have it spilling over. Only then will we not have our energy drained and we will have more than enough to share with others!!!

20 Ways to become your own best friend:

Give your self permission to:

– Acknowledge your achievements.

– Eat well, sleep well, and take care of your self physically.

– Don’t engage in other people’s dramas. Ask yourself as Byron Katie suggests: “Is it my business, their business, or God’s busniess?

– Follow your passions no matter where they take you.

– Listen to your own inner voice.

– Take time to get quiet, experience inner peace, and observe thoughts without judgment.

– Release the need to blame self and others.

– Instead of listening to the reprimanding, shoulding, guilting voice….listen to your heart instead.

– Compliment others and notice good things about them, it will soften your judgments about your self.

– Accept your self exactly how you are, where you are, what you are, who you are….YOU ARE ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE!!

– Know your own limits. Don’t always be the one who takes on responsibilities, says yes automatically etc.

– Make your self a priority.

– Have fun and enjoy life…..it’s ok to do so.

– Change your mind.

– When requests are made of you, get in the habit of saying: ” I don’t know, let me get back to you on that,” or “no, I don’t want to do that.”

– Take up time and space.

– Interpret every choice and experience you have, no matter what it is, as contributing positively to your life because you make it so (no matter what anyone else’s interpretation may be!)

– Trust yourself even when you make “mistakes” or don’t know what to do immediately, or don’t know the answers.

– Allow people to be disappointed about your choices and decisions.

– Break personal commitments or promises if to keep them would ultimately be more harmful to self than keeping them.

*****

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the beginning, women were exalted as the image, the echo, the counterpart companion of the Goddess. Their access to ecstasy, imbued with spiritual significance. As priestesses, they tended the fires and fanned the generative flames from Her sex, the seat of Her power.

Paleolithic carved figures refer to woman as matrix, as creatrix, to moon cycles and menstrual magic, and resonate profound reverence in their rendering. Grandly voluptuous female forms, their sturdy stature commanding confidence and authority.

The Venuses of Willendorf, of Meton, of Lespugue, with their big breasts and belly, huge hips and ass, stand frank and fecund, formidable and efficacious. Faceless, their limbs are abbreviated. Their focus is centered on their own nubile torso, which tapers to a point. The tip of the vortex of their sex.

These ancient images sanctify female sexuality as religious expression.  The carnal knowledge of universal power links sex and prayer etymologically. Venerate and venereal both stem from the Latin name of the licentious Goddess of Love, Venus. Lust in the old Germanic language meant “religious joy.”

The same spark, which ignites to conceive children, also kindles culture.  It is the mother of invention.  Around 9000 years ago, Mediterranean cultures venerated a supreme goddess of seduction and fruition.  The intensity of Her desire, potent enough to produce generations, agriculture, poetry. She guided all growth, and especially loved lovers and art. Beauty and Heart. Ishtar, Isis, Cybele, Inanna, Aphrodite. She was not shy.

My vulva, the horn.

The Boat of Heaven

Is full of eagerness like the moon

My untilled land lies fallow

As for me, Inanna,

Who will plow my vulva?                            

Who will plow my high field?

Who will plow my wet ground?

As for me, the young woman,

Who will plow my vulva?

Who will station the ox there?

Who will plow my vulva?

– Text on Sumerian tablet, 2000 BC

Sex invoked in myth and ritual is symbolic of the primary life force.  Sex as energy. Sex as creation. Sex as abundance. Sex as unification.  Sex as divine spirit. Sex as celebration. Sex as sympathetic magic.

During the Iroquois Naked Dance, a woman and a man coupled in the fields to fertilize the crops. Until the end of the last century, European peasants did the same. The Christians called the fertility song-prayers of pagan Norsemen, “female gyrations.” Sexual licentiousness was central in the harvest celebrations of the African Bantu and Badago.

Hunters also had intercourse with nature. The married women of the Cheyenne and Mandan of the Great Plains performed a rite called “Intercourse with the Buffalo.” They shared sexual relations with the elder men of the tribe who impersonated the bison, thereby channeling the Great Spirit. Celtic kings would copulate with a mare, which was then killed, butchered and cooked in a soup. This, the king consumed in order to partake of the power of Epona, the Equine Goddess.

Hindus maintain that sex with any woman is the same as sex with the Goddess Shakti, Herself, whose vibratory energy charges all life. In Tantra, as well as Taoism, the male taps into the infinite energy of the female — fuses with her like a space capsule refueling in orbit. He then recycles, as it were, his sperm, directing its flow to the top of his head to elevate his spirit.

Sufis and other Middle Eastern mystics consort with a fravashi, a mystical lady-love to reach enlightenment. Tantric-like techniques were taught in Greek temples of Venus by Her harlot-priestesses, the venerii. Ovid, an initiate, wanted to die while making love. “Let me go in the act of coming to Venus, in more senses than one let my last dying be done.”

The Romans celebrated the sacred febris or sexual frenzy of the Goddess Juno in mid February, the time when the birds in Italy mate. On Lupercalia men and women drew love lots to determine their partner for this festival of erotic games. This is how Sulpicia, a Roman poet in the first century, BC described her experience of febris:

At last love has come. I would be more ashamed

to hide it in cloth than leave it naked.

I prayed to the Muse and won. Venus dropped him

in my arms, doing for me what she

had promised. Let my joy be told, let those

who have none tell it in a story.

Personally, I would never send off words

in sealed tablets for none to read.

I delight in sinning and hate to compose a mask      

for gossip. We met. We are both worthy.

 

Lupercalia was the original Valentine’s Day. Unable to stop this popular orgiastic festival, early church fathers created a sainted martyr patron of lovers whose feast day would be February 14th, thus, sanctioning a celebration they could not suppress.

All the symbols of Lupercalia are still intact, if sanitized and insipid. Cupid, child of Aphrodite and Hermes was an Herm-Aphrodite, the embodiment of sexual union. S/he is now depicted as a cutsie chubby angel baby with a bow and arrow. Cupid’s arrows are symbolic of phallic projectiles of passion, penetrating a red heart. And the heart, which has no resemblance to an anatomical heart, is a simplistic illustration of an aroused and engorged vulva, a holy yoni.

*****

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.