Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

 

It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.

 

The brain, the mind, is said to be our most sensitive sexual organ and I have come to absolutely believe it. Time after time again in my life, it has been proven to me that being in possession of a lively, energized spirit is much more erotic than having an outwardly pretty face or perfectly honed physique. It seems to me that the popular misperception that midlife marks the end of a woman’s sexuality and appeal has less to do with her losing her looks than her losing her spirit. Allure is visceral and begins inside. 

When I went to Paris in my fifties, it seemed like every man between the onset of puberty and the edge of the grave seemed to be coming on to me. “But this is Paris,” I would remind myself, “not real life.” I had always heard that in Europe mature women were appreciated. And indeed, women there do seem to age particularly well. They have an incredible talent for remaining luscious and alluring well past their mere middle years and into their seventies, eighties and beyond. Think of Jeanne Moreau, Simone Signoret, Sophia Loren, Liv Ullman, Celia Cruz.

In Europe you can be Sophia, you can be these older women who are considered very sexy.

– Sally Kirkland

The mother of a good friend was born in Germany 98 years ago. Her face is as deeply grooved as Lillian Hellman’s. She smokes like a chimney. She has a younger lover, but does not live with him. She looks, sounds and acts like an age-progressed Marlene Dietrich. She is one hot great-grandma.

I once saw Alberta Hunter belt out the blues when she was in her eighties and she was by far the sexiest woman in that room. Lena Horne once boasted, “It’s ill becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occasionally we do.” What fabulous role models.

Unfortunately, in our youth-obsessed culture, the specter of an overtly flirtatious and vibrant older woman is treated as a joke. Mae West, femme fatale forever, was presented in the media as a complete laughing stock. It is always said that as she aged she became a parody of herself. But she was her Self — and more and always more so, right to the end. Authentic and self-invented, she lived and loved totally on her own terms.

The emotional maturity and depth of character of women of a certain age, is extraordinarily and vitally attractive. We are substantial and robust, heady with the flavor of all that we have seen and done so far. Pungent with profound experience, with pain and loss. Lessons learned from lives lived intensely are reflected in our palate — sophisticated, subtle, firm and complex. Like fine wine and good cheese, women ripen and improve with age. Our essence becomes stronger, more challenging and infinitely more rewarding.

I keep thinking about Ruth Gordon in “Harold and Maude,” a woman on the cusp of her 80th birthday. Not only was she eccentric and electric, charming and disarming, she was shamelessly flirtatious and downright sexy.

Let us savor our sexual pleasures now and forever more.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.

 

 The Beauty Of A Woman

 By Audrey Hepburn, R.I.P.

The beauty of a woman

isn’t in the clothes she wears,

The figure that she carries,

or the way she combs her hair.

 

The beauty of a woman

must be seen from in her eyes;

Because that’s the doorway to her heart,

the place where love resides.

 

The beauty of a woman

isn’t in a facial mole;

But true beauty in a woman,

is reflected by her soul.

 

It’s the caring that she cares to give,

the passion that she shows;

And the beauty of a woman

with passing years only grows.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.

Several women have written in with ideas and suggestions for loving our Selves. Here is another one in three parts.

 

Learning to Love Yourself – Part 3

By C. Rainfield, Ontario

* Recognize Self-Critical Messages — and Talk to Them

It’s easy to let old, critical voices and messages that we heard as a child play over and over in our minds, without stopping them. Often we may barely recognize that they are there, or we don’t really listen to them, we’ve heard them so often — but they continue to impact how we feel and think about ourselves.

Try noticing next time you hear a small (or very loud) voice inside your head criticize you. Be aware of what it is saying to you, and try to talk to it. Ask it why it feels it needs to say those things. Is that part of you trying to protect you, in some child-like logic? Or perhaps that part of you felt it had to take on the messages you heard as a kid. Remind that part of you that you no longer need to do that to survive. You are free to make up your own mind about yourself.

* Counteract Negative or Critical Thoughts About Yourself

Write down all the negative or critical thoughts and messages you hear inside your head. See if you can figure out who first said them to you (or said something of that nature). Then write out a response that counteracts each of those messages, one by one. Make the counter messages as strong and loving as you can.

If you’re having trouble writing out counter messages, see if you can connect to a deep, wise part inside of you. Or write out what you would say to a friend if a friend said those things about her/himself.

* Do Comforting and Nurturing Things For Yourself

Allow yourself to do comforting and nurturing things for yourself. Let yourself feel how good you feel when you do those things — and tell yourself that you deserve to feel that way, to feel good. Gradually you’ll find that the more nurturing and comforting times you have, the more you’ll seek them out — and they will help build a good feeling inside you.

* Ask Yourself What You Need to Do

Some of these things will work really well for you, while others may not quite fit you. So try taking a moment to get quiet, and ask yourself, “What can I do to help myself feel more compassion and love toward myself?” Don’t force an answer — just let the answer bubble up from inside you. If you find it hard to hear the answer that way, try writing out your question, and then your answer. See what you come up with. You know best what works for you — and you have great wisdom inside you.

Above all — have compassion for yourself and for where you’re at. Remember that you are a truly loveable person — and that you deserve only kind treatment, especially from yourself. 🙂

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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.

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.

Several women have written in with ideas and suggestions for loving our Selves. Here is another one in three parts.

 

Learning to Love Yourself – Part 2

By C. Rainfield, Ontario

* Have compassion for yourself.

If you’re feeling really judgemental about something you’ve done or said, try to understand where the judgement is coming from. Not the immediate, surface answer, but an answer deep down inside you. Are you afraid of something, or are you feeling insecure? Do you think you did something “wrong,” or are you hearing the judgement of a voice from your past? Try to connect to that little kid inside of you who’s feeling that way, and really listen to how s/he’s feeling. Hug and reassure that kid, and let her/him know that s/he didn’t do anything wrong, and that you love her/him.

You can also think of a friend having acted as you did. Imagine how you’d feel towards them — how you’d still love them and readily forgive them if there was anything to forgive. You probably wouldn’t even find it bothersome! Try to feel that same love and compassion for yourself.

* Recognize that the love has to come from you.

If you’re a survivor of child abuse or come from a dysfunctional family, you may still be waiting for a parent to give you the love and acceptance you never got as a child. But the kind of love you need (or needed as a child) probably isn’t going to come from a parent who abused you or who looked the other way while you were being abused. But it can come from yourself.

It can be hard to give it to yourself at first — after all, if you didn’t receive love as a child, or if some of that love was torn away from you by violence, self-hate may have built up inside you. But you have the courage and strength to love yourself, if you’ve survived this long. And you do deserve it!

So try to connect to that little child inside, that child who deserves all of your love and acceptance.

* Use Affirmations

I know, I know, this sounds corny. But if you hear good things about yourself over and over, you can’t help but have some of it sink in.

Write out strong, loving things to say to yourself, even if you don’t fully believe them. Some examples are:

* “I utterly and completely deserve love and kindness,”

* “I am a very loveable person,”

* “I am kind, compassionate, intelligent, and wise.” (or subsitute the words for loving words that you feel best suit you.)

Now put up those affirmations in places you’ll see them every day — on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on your bedside table, next to your favourite chair, on the kitchen wall next to where you cook your food or eat a meal. Don’t forget to read them.

If you’re not comfortable having them up in such public places, then write out a bunch of them (or copies of a few) and put them in places you’ll find them — in your jacket or jeans pocket, in a book you’re reading or a favourite book, in your desk drawer, in with your clothes. They’re little love notes to yourself. In fact, you may want to do both things — have them up and also hidden in places where you’ll find them.

When you read an affirmation, read it slowly, and really let yourself feel it. Don’t just say it by rote. Try to let yourself be there as fully as you can.

Tomorrow: Learning to Love Yourself – Part 3

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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.

 

Previous Posts