Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Recently one of my Midlife Midwife™ Counseling clients called me in hysterics from the supermarket. This was her first shopping excursion since her last child left home. She had been long divorced and now her nest was completely empty. As she wheeled her cart up and down the isles, she realized that she didn’t have the slightest idea what to buy.

While she was practiced in selecting foods for her family, always considering each person’s likes, dislikes and allergies, it had been a quarter of a century since she had asked herself what she wanted to eat. And she panicked at the prospect.

We are now emerging from decades of caring for others, and many of us are at a total loss as to how to care for ourselves. It is crucial that we redirect back into ourselves some of the love and strength that we give so freely to others.

By middle age, most of us have lost already, or will soon lose, our parents, perhaps even our spouses, best friends and significant others. Who will mother us now? Who will take care of us, or more important, maybe, who will even care whether we take care of ourselves?

Now is the time for us to learn how to be our own caring best friend, sister, daughter, mother and devoted advocate. And this is our chance to be the sort of parent that we always wanted — for me it was the cheerful, optimistic, fun-loving Mary Poppins that my little girl-Self needed so badly.

But whatever our childhood was like, that was then and this is now. Now, we can give ourselves the unconditional love and support that we had or did not have as we were growing up. We can and must assume the responsibility to feed, nurture, encourage and comfort ourselves, to pamper and challenge ourselves, to whisper into our own ear each night as we slip off to sleep, “Good night, honey. I love you.”

Think about your daily habits. Are they healthy? Are they helpful? What improvements might you make in your diet, your exercise program, your work environment, your family life, your friendships, your thought patterns, or in other aspects of your routine to improve your well-being?

If you decide to make changes in your life, be realistic in your expectations. Your goal is not to be as you were at thirty. It is to be your best Self today and tomorrow.

Adopt the changes you decide on with your full intention and focused attention. If you want a certain result, you must work to actualize it. I know. Sad, but true!

Think about caring for yourself as an act of love, rather than an odious duty. Isn’t that how you care for others? Attitude is all. Your self-care is, after all, strictly a gift you are giving to your Self. You know how to nurture. Now it is your turn to receive it.

Take Good Care:

  • Eat well — not too much, not too little — and allow yourself to take pleasure in your food. Feed your body with nutrients and your soul with color, taste and sensory delight.
  • Sleep well. Sleep enough. Then sleep some more. Nap if you can.
  • Exercise your body and your mind. And also your creativity, your intuition, your sense of adventure and the full scope of your options.
  • Oil your rusty parts. Water what is dry. Polish your surfaces. Stretch your body, your imagination and your self-imposed limits. Tickle your fancy.
  • Don’t worry about the future. Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want. Let go of past resentments. Be here now. Take it all in and remember to exhale.
  • Do things you enjoy. Have some fun. Play. Laugh. Be silly.
  • Treat yourself with respect and honor. Watch your inner language. Support your dreams, encourage your goals, allow yourself to be proud of your achievements. Bless your Self.
  • Mark your boundaries and don’t be afraid to defend them. Honor your needs. Fulfill your desires. Give yourself the time, the space and the permission to do so.
  • Advocate for your ideals. Stand up for what you believe. Speak your truth. Walk your talk. Put your money where your mouth is.
  • Make every thought, every word, every action, every second count. This is your life!

Like the excellent mother, creator, organizer, administrator, mentor you are, be patient with yourself. Change is slow and you are human.

I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty.
Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches.
– Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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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.

I am about to publish the 67th issue of The Queen’s Chronicles, the monthly ezine that offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial inspiration for all women who want to enjoy the fruits of an influential, passionate and powerful maturity.

Each issue of The Queen’s Chronicles features:

Hail Queens!
Musings and commentary by Queen Mama Donna on all aspects of sovereignty and empowerment.

Queens and Sheroes
Stories about exemplary role models who have displayed extraordinary valor and moral authority throughout time and across cultures.

Articles of Special Interest
To Self-identified, Self-expressed, Self-motivated women of a certain age.

Poetry and Artwork
Creative offerings by Queens, both contemporary and historical.

The Queen’s Court
A virtual gathering of sovereign women — our dear peers — who graciously offer guidance and encouragement to each other.

Kudos to the Queens
Congratulations to Queens in our ever-expanding circles for their successes and proud accomplishments.

Circle of Concern
A listing of Queens who request positive energy and spiritual support in aid of their healing.

Where The Queens Are
Featuring reports of their endeavors and exploits sent in by our Sister Queens around the world.

Calendar
A listing of Queen workshops and special events.

Royal Resources for Queenly Women
Our extended circle of Queens includes some mightily talented women. Here is an index of their superior services and excellent products.

For your reading pleasure, all issues of The Queen’s Chronicles are archived at: www.thequeenofmyself.com.

To register for your complimentary subscription, simply send me an email at thequeenofmyself@aol.com or visit www.thequeenofmyself.com to sign up.

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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.

Who are we supposed to be at this stage of our life when we are less likely to be bound and identified by our kinship connection to someone else — as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a lover? What exactly is our role as older than young and younger than old women who are still active, attractive and more effective than ever?

The Queen paradigm promotes a new understanding of what it means to be a middle-aged woman today who accepts full responsibility for and to herself. And it celebrates the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rewards of doing so.

Becoming a Queen is not automatic. The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of Her choice. The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well. Actualized, organized, efficient, self-sufficient, competent, ethical and fair, the Queen has struggled for and earned Her authority and respect. Determined and firmly centered on Her own two feet, She dares to climb, step after step, with nascent surety into the heady realm of Her own highest sovereignty.

Once on her throne and crowned, the Queen glows golden with confidence, competence, and grace. She is fully aroused and takes great pleasure in the feelings of freedom, elation and wellbeing that come from personal empowerment.

Another gift of self-enfranchisement is the potent and extremely liberating sexuality of the Queen. Shining from the inside out, Her attractiveness and attraction is rooted deeply in Her self-actualization, self-worth, and inner strength. She exudes a primal excitement, Her power palpable in her very presence. Her desire reaches the boiling point and her inhibitions melt in the heat of Her renewed passion for life.

This royal mythic model that I envision is recognizably like me, like us. Not yet old, yet no longer young, still active and sexy, vital with the enthusiasm and energy of youth, She is tempered with the hard earned experience and leavening attitudes of age. She has been forced to face and overcome obstacles and hard lessons including Her own shadow, and in so doing, has outgrown the boundaries of Her old self.

Agitated with the unessential and restless for authenticity, She sheds all attachment to the opinions of others and accepts complete responsibility and control for Her own care, feeding and fulfillment. She is the Queen of Her Self, the mature monarch, the sole sovereign of Her own life and destiny. Here, finally, is an archetype that fits.

As long as I live, I will have control over my being — you find the spirit of Caesar in me.
– Artemisia Gentileschi

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

What is an archetype? The literal definition of archetype is “the original pattern or model from which all things of a similar kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; a prototype. Archetype also refers to an ideal example of a category, the quintessence of a class.”

In Jungian psychology, an archetype is an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience, which is present in the individual unconscious. An archetype is an image-idea, a stylized pattern that we carry within our psyche, a mythic model that guides our development and gives direction and meaning to our lives.

The Triple Goddess — The Maiden, the Mother and The Crone — offers women a role model for their developing youth, for their creative, nurturing years, and for their old age. But these archetypes don’t include me or other women in our middle years. They do not address our issues and needs. They do not even recognize our existence.

The old stereotypes simply do not apply to us. We haven’t been Maidens in decades, we are no longer Mother material, and we are definitely not old Crones. We women of a certain age who are excluded from the tripartite paradigm also need a model with which to identify.

We need a larger-than-life archetypal framework to help us to elevate our personal aging process to legendary proportions. A mythological mirror of our own midlife experience, so that when we look into its depths, we can see a clear reflection of our own potential.

When I could not find a role model within the Triple Goddess archetype to describe my life as a midlife woman, I created my own. Was this hubris? Who am I to conceive an archetype? Well, I am in fact, a proud member of the pioneering Sixties Generation, and consequently, I have a certain modest amount of experience in rebelling against the status quo of old systems and beliefs and striving to replace them with new, more inclusive and relevant ones.

Our generation has demonstrated time and again that it is possible to create our own characters, compose our own scripts, and author the sagas of our own lives. We are our own role models. Bereft of affirming depictions of our lives, today’s midlife women are more than ready, willing, and perfectly capable of creating our own.

Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to create — and to live. The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own 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 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 response-ability to make it so.

In our search for new archetypes, we look to the past for grounding, look to the future for courage, look to each other for inspiration and support, and look to ourselves for the answers.

What is your vision of an ideal role model to guide you along the path of your life?

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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.