The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Questions From Readers

posted by Donna Henes

The Nourishing Relationships interview concludes with an open Q & A:

NR: Now it’s time for our readers to have the opportunity to connect with you personally:

Q. Thanks for your encouragement. I’d like to think of myself as a Queen but to my kids either I’m invisible or, if they do acknowledge me, I’m an intrusive, royal pain in the butt.
- Gloria

A. So your kids don’t see you as a Queen… So what? What do they know?! You are the Queen of your own life. We all are — IF we can allow ourselves to own our own power. Only you can validate your own sovereignty. Issue an official Royal Decree “I hereby declare that I am forthwith Queen of My Self.” All hail!
 
Q. Excuse my ignorance, but what is an urban shaman?

A. As shamans in every culture always have, I create contemporary rituals for my community, which I consider to be all of humanity. My role is that of catalyst: organizing and instigating innovative, demystified systems for creative public interaction, celebration, and communion.

I am an Urban Shaman, a modern urban woman, living in the city that is the capital of the world. My specialty is multicultural ritual and ceremony. I learn from all of the members of my community and blend together rituals that speak to all people from all backgrounds. My circles reflect that diversity and I am proud to be the ceremonial connector of people of all faiths and ethnicities.

Q. I like that just because we’re focusing on being the best we can each be, it doesn’t mean that we ignore the rest of the world. As you say, we can use our maturity to respond to the needs of others and give back.
- Sharon

A. Yes. Respond is the key word. I like to spell responsibility with s hyphen: response-ability. Our responsibility to ourselves, our inner circles, our community and our world is defined by our ability to respond.

Q. Just wondering how a Queen is different from a “Princess.” I never wanted to be thought of as a “Princess” when I was younger, so why do I want to be a Queen now?

A. A Queen is not a grown up princess. A princess is pampered, cosseted in a cushion of entitlement. A Queen is a mature ruler of her own destiny. She rolls up her sleeves and does whatever needs to be done, because she sees the need and has the ability to respond. A Queen owns and embraces her own power and uses it to empower others.

Q. Mama Donna, You make so much sense – but it’s hard to keep thinking of myself as a Queen when I keep getting shot down. What can I do to keep myself on track?

A. Keeping your own center in the midst of opposition is not easy. But it is incredibly important. It is all about Self-esteem.

In The Queen of My Self there is an entire chapter of exercises and practices to help develop a healthy sense of internal sovereignty. Also, I write a daily bog on Beliefnet.com with information, advice, inspiration and encouragement for enjoying Meaning, Moxie and Majesty in Midlife.

You can also subscribe to The Queen’s Chronicles, a monthly Ezine full of ideas, feedback and support to keep us centered and empowered. Just go to www.thequeenofmyself.com and sign up.

These tools are really helpful as reminders of and as connectors to our own power.

In the end, it is your opinion of you that counts. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Do YOU have any questions for me? Feel free to ask.

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

 

Nourishing Relationships Interview Part III

posted by Donna Henes

And the conversation herewith concludes:

NR: Can you tell us more about response-ability?

DH: Response-ability is the willingness to encounter each person, situation, event, and emotion with an open heart and an open mind, so that we can respond to the needs of others and our own needs with equal care. Born of awareness and consideration, response-ability means choosing to be fully conscious and present in life and to participate conscientiously in its enfoldment.

Maturity brings with it the understanding that everything is not about us. That the world does not revolve around our personal story. That we do not exist in a vacuum. And that all those other people out there actually have lives of their own and are not simply extras in our movie.

Life and living have shown the Queen the value of community, cooperation, concern, care, and communion. Knowing Herself to be an integral, inextricably interconnected part of a greater whole, She multiplies Her ministrations to include the welfare of the entire world around Her.

NR: Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

DH: If we mighty Queens bring to bear the amazing experience, understanding, and acumen that we have to share, we can, together, restore balance and bring healing to a world that seems bent on destruction.

Personally, I do not think that it is a coincidence that just as the planet teeters on the very brink of destruction, there comes along a generation of fiery, accomplished, clever, ambitious women at the height of our supremacy to whip it back into shape. And the sheer enormity of our numbers means that we can actually achieve the critical mass necessary to make a real and lasting difference.

Let us harness our impressive Empress Energy: our purity of purpose, our passion, our heartfelt compassion and our enormous power, and let us direct it toward creating a safe, sublime and peaceful world for us all. The future is in our very capable hands.

NR: Our thanks go out to you, Donna, for sharing your exciting work with us. You’ve stimulated us all to think about our power and take up the challenge to use it wisely. Now it’s time for our readers to have the opportunity to connect with you personally:

Coming tomorrow: Questions from readers.

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

Nourishing Relationships Interview Part II

posted by Donna Henes

The conversation continues:

NR: What, exactly do you mean by Queen?

DH: The Queen is a woman who is still energetic with youth, yet wise with age. She is confident and beholden to no one. She thinks, speaks, acts for her Self and is secure being powerful. She has stepped into her sovereignty and wears it well.

The Queen refuses to condescend or conform to the adolescent and exploitative standard of beauty promulgated by popular culture. She does not deign to compare herself with teenage models or emaciated-lifted-stitched-tucked-injected-Hollywood-uber-beauties. A truly mature, secure woman accepts the inevitable physical changes that come with the passing of time and incorporates them into the way she presents herself to the world. Self-aware, Self-assured, she transforms her Self as she goes. She glows as she grows into her full potential, and becomes ever more becoming. Her reinvigorated attractiveness stems from Self-knowledge and enfranchisement; her magnetic sensuality is centered in the fulfillment and satisfaction of her Self-worth. She exudes the intoxicating appeal of a woman who is at heart, pleased with her Self.

NR: How does a woman go about becoming a Queen?

DH: She must decide and choose to accept the responsibility for her own desires and needs. She establishes boundaries and obeys only her own inner voice. She asserts her Self without guilt or apology.

The Queen uses the power of Her own purpose, growth, and gratification to claim and proclaim what is rightfully Hers, including — especially — Her own Self-image, charisma, and sexuality. When we are comfortable in our own skin, we carry ourselves with presence and pride, and project our formidable inner beauty out for all to see and appreciate.

Our emotional maturity and depth of character make women in our middle years extraordinarily and vitally attractive. We are substantial and robust, heady with the flavor of all that we have seen and done so far. We are pungent with profound experience, with pain and loss, exploration and transformation, glory and joy. The myriad lessons learned from lives intensely lived are reflected in our palate, which has become sophisticated, subtle, firm and complex. Like fine wine and good cheese, women ripen and improve with age. Our essence becomes stronger, clearer and infinitely more powerful.

NR: What are the benefits to aging?

DH: A liberating sense of Self. A Gallop poll revealed that despite facing the loss of so much on every level, women declare themselves to be the happiest after the age of 55. They might lose the pigment in their hair and the elasticity of their skin, their parents and their children, but they have gained THEMSELVES! This is glorious.

Once the Queen has conquered the challenges in Her life, she begins to claim Her royal power. She cuts through fear and ambivalence to become the sole ruler of Her Self. She has struggled for Her transformation and has achieved it. Her proud potency is palpable, Her authenticity uncontested. Her life now takes on a new ease, a grace, a certain lightness of being born of Her Self-knowing, Self-respecting, Self-directing, Self-projecting passion and purpose. She sails ahead on Her own steam, cutting efficiently through seas that are sometimes smooth as glass, sometimes choppy and fraught with danger. Her age and vast experience is Her ballast. She keeps Her center, come what may.

But something else remarkable takes place once the Queen has stepped into sovereignty. Now that Her own life is in working order and running more smoothly, the Queen can afford to enlarge the territory and expand the horizons of Her Interests and influence and extend the parameters of Her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domain. Firmly rooted in Her best Self and acting on Her own behalf, She is free to reach out in ever increasing concentric circles to others. Now She can freely offer Her compassion, expertise, time, and money to people and causes that call to Her sense of response-ability, literally Her ability to respond.

Coming tomorrow: Questions about response-ability.

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

Nourishing Relationships Interview Part I

posted by Donna Henes

Last week I was the guest of Rosemary Lichtman and Phyllis Goldberg, authors of Courage and Lessons Learned: Reaching for Your Goals and partners in their practice, Nourishing Relationships for a virtual book tour on their blog, Nourishing Relationships.

The interview is pretty long, so I offer it to you in several parts:

Part I. The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife

Today we welcome Donna Henes to our blog so that we can chat about The Queen of My Self, a landmark book that celebrates a new mythic model for the middle years of a woman’s life – the Queen! A celebration of the midlife woman in her prime who has achieved wisdom, mastery, and self-esteem, it provides upbeat, practical, and ceremonial inspiration for all women who want to enjoy the fruits of an influential, passionate, and powerful maturity.

NR: Welcome to Nourishing Relationships, Donna. Can you tell our readers something about your professional background and why you wrote The Queen of Myself?

DH: For 35 years I have been an urban shaman, a ceremonialist, a spiritual teacher and counselor, as well as an author and columnist. When I was approaching my 50th birthday, I realized that I needed an archetype to relate to and use as a role model for affirmative aging that just wasn’t available anywhere. So I had to create one for myself and the other 60 million Baby Boom women entering their midlife.

NR: You talk about the midlife transition being very difficult for women. Why is this so?

DH: Midlife is all about loss: we lose our reproductive ability, our kids leave, our parents die, we reach our glass ceilings, our marriages founder.

NR: What do you think are women’s greatest fears about being middle aged?

DH: Being invisible is a very big one. Another is losing our sex appeal and youthful beauty. It is only a disaster to loose our girlish charms if we deem them to be the exclusive path to beauty, love and fulfillment. Our allure and sex appeal change with time — increase, even — if we allow them to. A woman is never too old to look and feel beautiful.

NR: The book mentions the Triple Goddess. What is this?

DH: The Triple Goddess is an (out dated) archetype for the three stages of a woman’s life: The Maiden, the young girl; The Mother, the fertile care giver; and The Crone, the old, wise one.

NR: You say that this archetype no longer serves women as role models for the life cycle. Why is this?

DH: It leaves out women in their middle years, who are long past maidenhood, ending their mothering years and not yet anywhere near being old. 1 out of 3 women in America is over 50 years old. Archetype means “universal.” The Triple Goddess cannot be universal if it ignores 1/3 of all women.

NR: So you think you have a better model? Can you describe this?

DH: I added another stage for us women of a certain age: The Queen, the woman who is in charge of her own life and destiny and is out in the world in her power. So then we have a Four-Fold Goddess: The Maiden, The Mother, The Queen, and The Crone.

Coming tomorrow: Questions about Sovereignty

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

Previous Posts

Becoming the Queen of Your Self
The idea that we might be Queens is intoxicating. Ever since I first started introducing The Queen as a helpful archetype for midlife women in my workshops and articles some eight years ago, I have received thousands of requests for detailed instructions on how to become a Queen. “Dear Mama Donna,

posted 6:00:40am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Now It's Your Turn!
During the decades of our Maiden and Motherhood, women grow to meet all of our many demanding responsibilities. Lithe moon that can’t keep getting fuller and fuller with no retreat, we can take on only so much before exploding like a balloon pumped up with too much air. In the second half of Her l

posted 6:00:46am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

The Queen: A Model for Midlife Empowerment
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 daughter, wife, mother, lover? What exactly is our role as older than young and younger than old women who are still active, attractive and more eff

posted 6:00:56am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Lost and Found
Aging and changing might be inevitable, but they ain’t easy. They precipitate in us a great uncertainty. The myriad dramatic disturbances of modern middle life — menopause, health concerns, career shifts, the empty nest, divorce and death — create an overwhelming crisis of identity and purpose

posted 6:00:40am Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Soul Friends
I love working and playing in groups of women. I was never in a college sorority, so my first experience was in the feminist consciousness-raising group that I joined in the late 1960s. And what an eye-opening, empowering experience it was. We were a very diverse group brought together by our Boh

posted 6:00:02am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »


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