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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

What I Know For Sure – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

By Dani Sutliff 

I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for the next while. We have the supreme opportunity now in the august of our midlife to begin again. How shall we reinvent our Selves? What new programs, projects and passions are on the horizon for us? Please send me your stories of change, transition, and transformation. Our shared experiences serve to inspire and empower us all. Thanks.

xxQueen Mama Donna

So at the dawn of year 54, here is what I know for sure:

I know that my greatest contribution to the world was never what I did in the doing, but rather who I was in the being; in who I was (am) in relationship to God, myself and with others.

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I know now that there were no ultimate solutions outside my self and that I was always the source for the acceptance, approval and connection I sought in other people, places and circumstances.

I know now that no-one but me expected me to have all the answers, be perfect and do it ‘right’ all by myself all the time, and that holding myself to those unreasonable standards was abusive, immoral and unfair.

I know now that there was always someone there to guide me, inspire me, encourage me and love me on my journey – but I was moving too fast through life to sit still long enough to listen. That my need to prove myself perfectly competent kept me from being humble enough to ask for help and open enough to receive it when it was offered.

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I know now that life didn’t have to be lived with such busyness, urgency, intensity and always in terms of tomorrow. I know now how important it is to leave room to exhale and let go, and accept that despite my best attempts to confine it, control it, schedule it and/or manage it, life still happened on life’s terms.

I now know that ‘not having time’ for myself was a self-created, isolating and limiting illusion and that not making or taking time for myself was cruel and dishonoring to and of myself.

I know now how important it is to leave room for spontaneity and to allow life to sometimes go unscripted.

I know now that anger, resentment, grudges and anything else that stands in the way of love and forgiveness is meaningless in the broad scope of what’s truly important. I know now that true grace is in the quiet and silent moments of just being, and true joy is in the simplicity of taking a breath and being fully present in the moment with those I love and those who love me.

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I know now the importance of “live and let live.” The importance of living my own life and letting others live theirs – of minding and attending to my own business and keeping my fingers out of theirs. I know that my commitment to another’s happiness or healing cannot be greater than their own commitment to inner happiness and healing.

I know now that caring for others and their needs doesn’t mean I sacrifice myself and my needs. That being compassionate isn’t akin to being a martyr, and that a modicum of selfish can be healthy.

I know now that misery does love company and birds of a feather flock together and it doesn’t have to be more complicated or pathological than that.

I know now that the quality of one’s life is not built on blind luck but rather on conscious choices. And that in each and every situation and circumstance that appears, there is choice about how we interpret, perceive and respond to life around us.

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And mostly I know now that enjoying life should be of much greater concern than understanding it, defining it, confining it or controlling it.

That’s my story for DaniMonth. And yes, I’m sticking to it.

 

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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.

 

 

 

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What I Know For Sure – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

By Dani Sutliff


I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for the next while. We have the supreme opportunity now in the autumn of our midlife to begin again. How shall we reinvent our Selves? What new programs, projects and passions are on the horizon for us? Please send me your stories of change, transition, and transformation. Our shared experiences serve to inspire and empower us all. 
Thanks.
xxQueen Mama Donna

The young girl that danced barefoot in Golden Gate Park singing about “The Age of Aquarius” is now the mature woman who has lived long enough to actually be a part of it’s dawning.

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I have lived out more than half my life and the realization that I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me is a constant prompt to live each day fully.

I am a little dinged and dented in some places, a little worse for wear in others. It’s my grandmother’s cleavage that is now reflected back to me in the mirror, the firmness of my once young body has softened and in some places fallen, and my face is lined with reminders of all the times I stood, squinting into the sun despite all the warnings not to.

People no longer express amazement at how old my children are or that I am soon to be a grandmother because I look “old enough” to have children my age and be a grandmother.

Yes, I have crossed that line of demarcation – living in the societal limbo of being somewhat invisible – not young enough to be the center of attention or old enough to be listened to – too old and yet too young to have doors opened and held for me.

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I have the losses that come from 54 years of living out loud and loving with passion. I have my regrets, my wasted moments and lost opportunities. I have the things I wished I had said and didn’t, the things I have said and wished I hadn’t, and the things I did that I wish could be given back to me for a ‘do-over.’

But, so much more importantly than that, I’ve had what can only be described as those times I hit the home run ball so far out of the ballpark, it landed in the next county. The times filled with such incredible joy, abundance, unconditional love, and profound grace that it took my breath away.

It is the marination and culmination of both that now make up my life. Free from the confusion, compulsion and complications of changing roles and hormones, I now stand ready to reclaim me and speak my truth – regardless of whether anyone outside my self cares to listen. It is no longer important whether the world outside myself or anyone in it thinks I have anything of value to share. I know (inwardly) that I do and that’s what matters most.

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Every year during DaniMonth I make a handwritten list of what I have learned about life. My truths as they are. It’s one of the rituals that not only marks but also honors another rotation around the sun.

So at the dawn of year 54, here is what I know for sure:

Wednesday: What I Know For Sure – Part 2

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Health Benefits of Tears

posted by Donna Henes

by Judith Orloff, M.D.

For over twenty years as physician, I’ve witnessed, time and again, the healing power of tears. Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration. Also, you can have tears of joy, say when a child is born or tears of relief when a difficulty has passed. In my own life, I am grateful when I can cry. It feels cleansing, a way to purge pent up emotions so they don’t lodge in my body as stress symptoms such as fatigue or pain. To stay healthy and release stress, I encourage my patients to cry. For both men and women, tears are a sign of courage, strength, and authenticity.

In “Emotional Freedom,” I discuss the numerous health benefits of tears. Like the ocean, tears are salt water. Protectively they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, and they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes. Our bodies produce three kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Each kind has different healing roles. For instance, reflex tears allow your eyes to clear out noxious particles when they’re irritated by smoke or exhaust. The second kind, continuous tears, are produced regularly to keep our eyes lubricated–these contain a chemical called “lysozyme” which functions as an anti-bacterial and protects our eyes from infection. Tears also travel to the nose through the tear duct to keep the nose moist and bacteria free. Typically, after crying, our breathing, and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state.

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Emotional tears have special health benefits. Biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” Interestingly, humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears, though it’s possible that that elephants and gorillas do too. Other mammals and also salt-water crocodiles produce reflex tears which are protective and lubricating.

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Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. You don’t want to hold tears back. Patients sometimes say, “Please excuse me for crying. I was trying hard not to. It makes me feel weak.” My heart goes out to them when I hear this. I know where that sentiment comes from: parents who were uncomfortable around tears, a society that tells us we’re weak for crying–in particular that “powerful men don’t cry.” I reject these notions. The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self awareness to cry. These are the people who impress me, not those who put up some macho front of faux-bravado.

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Try to let go of outmoded, untrue, conceptions about crying. It is good to cry. It is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress. Crying is also essential to resolve grief, when waves of tears periodically come over us after we experience a loss. Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we are a set up for depression if we suppress these potent feelings. When a friend apologized for curling up in the fetal position on my floor, weeping, depressed over a failing romance, I told her, “Your tears blessed my floor. There is nothing to apologize for.”

I’ve been this enthusiastic about crying for years. In fact, during my psychiatric residency at UCLA when supervisors and I watched videos of me with patients, they’d point out that I’d smile when a patient cried. “That’s inappropriate,” they’d say. I disagreed then; still do. I wasn’t smiling because my patients were depressed or grieving. I was smiling because they were courageously healing depression or other difficult emotions with tears. I was happy for their breakthrough. In my life, too, I love to cry. I cry whenever I can. Wish I could more. Thank God our bodies have this capacity. I hope you too can appreciate the experience. Let your tears flow to purify stress and negativity.  emoting. Such empathetic communication deepens and enhances love partnerships.

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© Copyright Judith Orloff, M.D., adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Harmony Books, 2009). All Rights Reserved.  

 

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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.

 

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Strong Woman: Empowering Feminine Energy

posted by Donna Henes

by Madisyn Taylor

What makes a woman confident is her ability to call upon her feminine wisdom.

So often in our world we tend to think of strength as a quality that arises from a place of firm determination and a will to succeed no matter the cost. Even though we might want to think of a strong woman as being defined in this way, what really makes a woman confident is her capacity for listening to her true self and being able to call upon her feminine wisdom to any situation that may arise. A woman does not need to step into an assertive role or act like a man in order to be effective at what she does—she simply needs to get in touch with her insight and sense of compassion to truly demonstrate the depth of her strength.

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Listening to the feminine side of ourselves may not seem easy at first for this type of energy is something that is often overlooked in many aspects of our everyday lives. If we can connect with this part of who we are, however, we will find that there is an unlimited wellspring of strength available to us. Our capacity to tap into our intuition and listen to our inner guides, to take into account the needs of those around us, and to view a situation with compassion and love are ways that we can show the world the true power that is part of our feminine nature. When we learn to integrate this source of strength into our daily tasks and decision-making, we will find that we can be more flexible and open to the things that happen around us and more receptive to new ideas. Not only will we see the world in a different light, but we will truly start to realize the potential for this form of energy to both empower ourselves and those around us.

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As we cultivate our feminine energy we can redefine the meaning of strength. By embracing our feminine power as something that is strong in its own right, we are able to use it with true assurance and determination and draw upon what truly belongs to us.

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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.

 

 

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