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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

The Summer Solstice: As Good As It Gets

posted by Donna Henes

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun has been inching its way back into our lives ever since the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Rising slightly earlier each morning and setting a minute or two later every night, it graces us with light gradually gained. The change, the shift, is at first imperceptibly slow. But it is steady, and soon the minute?by?minute accumulation of daylight asserts itself in measures of hours. More and more hours of sun warmed shine.

By the Spring Equinox, the half?way point in the annual solar swing, the days have become about three hours longer for us in most of the United States. The length of day and night is equal everywhere on Earth. The constant accretion of light continues for three more months until the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. That’s about fifteen hours in New York City, twenty-one hours in Fairbanks, Alaska. In Sweden, it is indeed the land of the midnight sun. And at the North Pole, the sun doesn’t set at all.

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The seasonal ascendance of light and temperature is not — despite popular belief — due to our distance from the sun, but to the degree of directness of its rays. It would be logical, on the face of it, to assume that in the smarmy summer the earth approaches closest to the sun, and that we are furthest away in the cold, dark of winter. Not so. The earth reaches its perihelion, the point on our orbit which brings us closest to the sun, in winter (this year it was on January 1); and conversely, during summer (July 6, 2011) we attain our aphelion, the furthest reach of our range from the sun.

Though the distance from the sun is greatest in the summer, it is around the Summer Solstice that the sun sits highest in the sky. The steep path of its rays is angled directly overhead. Vertical. Its energy aimed arrow?like straight down on us. The Summer Solstice is the lightest, brightest, most brilliant summit of solar power. The peak, the potent pinnacle. The absolute apex of radiant energy extended toward us from our own shining star.

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The Summer Solstice is the height of the glory of the season of the sun. And it is all down hill from there. For once it is as light, as bright, as ripe as it can possibly get, it just can’t get any better. It is then that the dark must begin to creep back. Back and back in tiny daily increments, bringing cold and death in its wake. The eventual return of the dark completes the annual solar circuit, the swing shift of sunlight.

On the solstice and for several days surrounding it, the sun stands sentinel at dawn, hovering, as it were, before beginning its descent into dark. It seems to stand stark still in the sky, which is exactly what the word solstice means — “sun stands still.” It stands proud and tall for our total admiration and enthusiastic tribute. And like the sun, we stand still and tall, as well, basking in its full attention.

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If we celebrate the birth of the brand new sun and the return of the light at the Winter Solstice, we salute its vibrant expansive maturity at the solstice in the summer. We exalt in the season’s vital strength — and our own — even as we acknowledge its impending and inevitable loss of virility, fertility and ultimate demise. With bittersweet recognition of the impermanence of the season, we glory in that golden gift of heat and bright light. While we can.

A Simple Summer Solstice Ceremony

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. How long is that? Here is one way to ritually experience it:

•   Get up at dawn on June 21.

•   Watch the sun rise.

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•   Greet it.

•   Bless it.

•   Put a circular mirror outside in a sunny place.

•   Fill a glass container with cold water and several tea bags­ — black, green, or herbal — and place it on top of the mirror.

•   Go about your business for the day.

•   The mirror reflects the longest, strongest sun of the year.

•   The tea steeps in it until dusk.

•   Watch the sun set.

•   Drink the tea.

•   Look into the solar-powered mirror.

•   Bless your self with the warmth and energy of the sun.

•   Bless the world with your warmth and energy.

*****

Join Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman for her 35th Anniversary Summer Soulstice Celebration.

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Tuesday, JUNE 21 at 8:00 PM EDT

SUMMER SOULSTICE SUNSET CEREMONY

A sizzling Celebration of Summer. A family friendly event. Bring kids, dogs, drums, percussion instruments and plenty of rousing spirit.

Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, Queens

For info: 718-956-1819

www.socratessculpturepark.org

FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phenomenal Woman

posted by Donna Henes

June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

 

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

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But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

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That’s me.

 

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

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The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,

‘Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

*****

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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

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How I Transformed My Life After 50 – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

 

How I Transformed My Life After 50 – Part 2

By Diane Gilman

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5 Easy Ways to Shift Your Thinking from Aging to Ageless

Make the List: Five years ago I made a list of everything about myself I didn’t like and wanted to change. On the same page I made a list of all things feminine I wanted to embrace or achieve. No different from a general attacking the enemy on a battlefield, I turned around each area of my life. Overnight my life went from Bucket List to Boundless!

Play in Today: In my twenties, designing for Jimi Hendrix and other rockers from San Francisco to London, “living in the moment” was easy. Throughout the years, evolving into “The Jean Queen” on HSN, I’m confronted with staying relevant in fashion and television — two industries driven by youth and beauty. My secret? Every morning I look myself in the mirror and say, “Today is the youngest you will ever be. What are you going to do with it?” Don’t just stay in today… make it a point to play in today!

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Break Through the Age Barrier: Recently I was asked, “When are you going to stop making jeans for old ladies?” I had to laugh. “Honey,” I replied, “there is nothing old about making ladies feel sexy at any age.” Challenge yourself to break through the preconceived ideas handed down to us as women. As if you’re in your fifth, sixth, or seventh decade, you must be “an old lady.” Forget it! Just like Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, my mission is to break through the age barrier by redefining what’s sexy for Baby Boomer women now.

Picture This: Every moment of my life I imagine myself as a camera, with my heart as the aperture. I capture it all: the sights, smells, words, feelings. When you feel shut down, ask yourself, “Can I open my heart to new possibilities?” I’m living proof that when you do, more opportunities, productivity, fun and love are just waiting to come through. Remember, even a little light creates a big picture.

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Think Tapestry, Not Atrophy: My work enables me to travel the world, crossing paths with women of all lifestyles, ethnicities and ages. It’s human nature to compare how we feel on the inside with how others appear on the outside. When that happens, think tapestry, not atrophy. Every woman’s journey is a vibrant thread weaving its own unique path through the fabric of life. Turn a walk down the grocery aisle into a celebration of yourself. Make the ordinary extraordinary!

If you had told me going from aging to ageless was this easy, I never would have believed you. So along with everything else, I learned the hard way: on my own. Now that these five simple shifts in my thinking have created the five most successful, romantic and surprising years of my life, I want to share them with all my Baby Boomer sisters. It’s never too late to make life better and make your dreams come true. So turn it around! Plant the seed that you, too, can age agelessly. Tend to the garden of your life by taking simple actions. And watch yourself blossom bigger than ever into the best Baby Bloomer you can be!

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*****

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™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

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How I Transformed My Life After 50 – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

June is traditionally the month for weddings and it is also now celebrated as Gay Pride month. Love is in the air all around. This is a juicy time of making whoopy.

But while June is the jolly season for Brides and Grooms, Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms, it is important to remember that the most primary and important love is that of Self Love. All relationships are built on the respect, esteem and affection that we have for our self.

 

How I Transformed My Life After 50 – Part 1

By Diane Gilman

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“Fascinating!” said a group of TV executives on a flight from New York who recognized me as the “Queen of Jeans” with over one million loyal “Boomer Consumers” on HSN. For the next few hours we volleyed around the idea of my own reality show about the unique advantages of being a Baby Boomer. And why not? Reviewing the last four decades, I’m more at peace than when I was 20, more focused than when I was in my 30’s, more glamorous than when I turned 40, and absolutely more “at the top of my game” than when I was in my 50’s. The thought of inspiring millions of new viewers thrilled me. “We love it!” one TV exec said. “But does anyone want to watch old people on TV?” “Old people?” I corrected them. “Who said anything about old people?”

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Don’t get me wrong ­— I live with the aches and pains that come with schlepping around a body for six-plus decades. And I’ve endured what felt like endless grief and exhaustion when I was my husband’s caregiver through seven years of battling cancer. When he passed, I immediately felt a life of love, intimacy, and partnership had abandoned me, too. In my mid-50’s, feeling defeated, I was alone and barely recognized myself. I couldn’t even fit into a pair of jeans. So squeezing back into the dating world was definitely out of the question. I felt lost.

Then it got worse!

Suddenly I realized the women in my family live well into their nineties. Thirty more years of hopeless loneliness? No way! That was my “Rosa Parks” moment. It was then I made the decision: “Diane, stop going to the back of the bus! You don’t need permission from anyone to live life on your terms. Just stop the clock. Age agelessly!”

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Our perception of growing old is not a by-product of aging — only a by-product of ageism. Stand-up for yourself if your contribution has gone from innovative to irrelevant in your profession. Scream, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it!” if you’ve gone from admired to undesired in your romantic life. This revolution will be televised (and tweeted, texted, and immortalized on YouTube!) but it has to start with you.

 

Tomorrow: How I Transformed My Life After 50 – Part 2

*****

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.

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Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

***

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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