Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

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.

 

 

The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own significant mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That we each have our own singular life to live. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power and the responsibility to make it so.

Easy enough said. But so many folks feel awash, helpless and worse — hopeless — floating from one thing to the next without a plan or sense of meaning. How often people come to me saying “I feel like there must be a deeper purpose to life than just working. “I must be here on this planet to do something special, but for the life of me I don’t know what that is.” “I don’t have a clue.” “I keep thinking that by this time in my life I should know what my true path is.” I am at a loss.” “What can I do?”

There is only one thing to do and that is to dig deep down into ourselves to find out what makes us tick, what tickles our fancy and what touches our soul. We can only discover our own truth by paying close attention to the promptings of our inner selves and to our honest reactions to the external energies that surround us. It is ultimately up to us whether we succumb to an unexamined life or try to figure out what the hell is going on inside us and around us, and to engage in it, alter, change and grow with it, so that we might fulfill our greatest destiny and dreams.

We can encourage our inner voice by listening to it. For this we need to concentrate, turn off the static of our hectic daily lives and tune in to the subtlety of spirit speaking on subconscious sound waves. And most important, we need to be open and willing to hear the message. I once consulted my spirit guide, Kanin, by means of a ouji board and asked her if it was she who I hear singing in my ears when a new chant comes to me. She allowed that it was, and then she chastised me. She told me that I needed to do more automatic writing because I was sometimes so hard to get hold of!

Perhaps it isn’t always clear or conscious, but somewhere deep down inside of us, in the very core of our being, we do know our authentic path. We know what we want and what we need; what feeds us and what defeats us. We know our life’s purpose. It is just a matter of paying attention. We know what’s right, because it feels right. By listening to our inner voice, we discover our true intentions and direction.

Our lessons, and our understanding of them, are often not immediately available or obvious to us. They come encoded in signs and symbols that seem like a foreign language. But, no matter how difficult, it is up to us to access them — if we dare. If we care to earn our sovereignty and walk our destined path, we must excavate the buried treasure of our own value and infinite worth.

It always comes down to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard. – May Sarton

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

First, a note of thanks for the work you’ve done, bringing the Queen into so many women’s consciousness. It’s such important work! Thank you.

I have been pondering the Queen aspect for some time now. I wrote this piece and I’m forwarding it to all the women I know. If you’d like to pass it along to others, please feel free to do so.

Kay Stoner, MA
(www.kaystoner.com)

A Call to Queendom

Greetings women of my tribe –

When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, I had the benefit of being surrounded by women of what I considered advanced age — 70s, 80s and 90s. Many of them had been widowed and had not been partnered for a long time. Some of them had never married, but stayed nurses and teachers and missionaries and lived lives of service, essentially lay nuns or priestesses, if you will (though had I called those devoutly Christian women “priestesses,” they would have had my head on a Christmas morning platter ;).

I’ve sat at funerals amid the eldest women of the family, surrounded by literally centuries of accumulated life experience. What I have seen very clearly is that women can mature to very advanced ages, while staying lively and vital and full of fire and spunk. My great aunts were pistols. They didn’t cause harm, but they didn’t take guff from anyone. They stood their ground gracefully and powerfully with unmatched poise. They traveled the world — alone or in pairs — when the world expected them to be propped up in a chair at a rest home. They learned foreign languages “late in life”. They taught rough-and-tumble college students twice their size how to conjugate verbs.

They could fend for themselves. They could make their way unafraid in the world, and they weren’t dependent on the approval of men or the dominant paradigm to validate their choices. They ruled their lives with an iron fist in a velvet glove, and they were deeply respected by all. Long before Donna Henes did us the wonderful service of voicing the vital concept of Queendom, these elder women of my youth were Queens. They were Queens, in the purest sense of the word, and they remained so, well into their 80s.

I look around me now, hoping to find women who are past 60, and still living life to the fullest, unfazed by their age and bound and determined to make the most of their talents at every turn. I am hoping to find elder women who are able to model the qualities of Queens for young women just entering adulthood, who haven’t had the benefit of a family of elder wise women.

I am hoping that they will have the same kinds of models that I had, and that they will realize that they have more choices in life than graduating from high school or college, marrying, bearing and raising children, surviving divorce and/or disease, then fading away to a hidden world as their kids become parents themselves and their own parents pass on. What will the young women of today do, if they cannot find the sorts of women I grew up with? What will they do with themselves when they’re no longer young? What will they make of their choices?

I need to see around me strongly mature women. Powerful women. Independent women. Elder women who are not elderly. Women of age who are not aged. Women who can own that they’ve been through hell and back, and no, it hasn’t killed ’em off, and yes, they can coax a new life from the compost. Women who don’t take crap. Especially them. Women who have worked for — and earned — the right to stand tall and proud and powerful, regardless of what the television has to say about it.

We need you to be Queens. We need you to model a different way of being and doing and living and loving and ruling, than what we’ve seen before. We need you to step up and take power. We need you to get out from behind the scenes and make a scene. Set the example so many people desperately need — an example of good and right and righteous indignation, of graceful power that doesn’t need to dominate, even as it rules. That doesn’t need to micromanage, even as it leads.

Yes, we need you to be Queens. We need you to not only do, but also to be. Be Royal. Be Regal. Be Venerable. Be Holy. We need you now to show the new generations of women that they have so much to look forward to, with their prodigious talents, their unprecedented education, their new found connections, their influence, their sway, their drive, their possibilities. They need someone to show them in living, breathing flesh.

For the sake of the next seven generations, thank you for listening.

 

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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.