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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say

posted by Donna Henes

By Michelle Combs

Google ‘what not to wear after age 50′ and you will have your pick of thousands of articles telling you what looks terrible on your old ass body.

I want to point out to the writer who wrote the ‘no-no’ article, you need to remember you are writing for over 50 women, not preschoolers. I don’t think I’ve said ‘no-no’ since my youngest was a toddler.

We could spend hours studying the clothes we shouldn’t wear and the slang we shouldn’t use and the makeup techniques we need to retire.

Here’s me, weighing in on this topic.

You are over 50 for fuck’s sake. Wear whatever you want. If you’ve made it to 50 and still need to consult articles on how to dress appropriately then you are so missing out on one of the best things about being over 50. One of the best things about getting older is realizing that we don’t have to spend our energy worrying what other people think and we get to be comfortable in our own skin with our own freak flags.

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Still, there are a few things that women over 50 really shouldn’t wear:

  1. The weight of the world.
    When you wear the weight of the world on your shoulders, you age. If you like the feel of the world’s weight and don’t want to give it up, then try scaling back a bit. Perhaps just wear the weight of a few of the smaller continents. For instance, I am only wearing the weight of Australia and a made up country called ‘Michelloponia’. I think it they have a slimming effect.
  2. Shame and regret.
    So few people can carry this look off. Most of us just end up looking haunted or like we were forced to eat liver and onions. Shame and regret are especially hard to wear after fifty. Wearing shame and regret past fifty is one of those things that make your eyes all red and runny looking. The downward spiral just snowballs from there. Once the eyes get old lady looking, then you have to re-evaluate the wisdom of black eye liner. I say give up wearing shame and regret and fuck giving up on black eye liner.
  3. Rose-colored glasses.
    Oh, sweetheart, you know who you are. Those glasses do nothing for you. Not only do they make you look like you’ve been smoking weed for days, they also keep you from examining life and your surroundings realistically. Yes, reality sucks, but by the time we hit fifty, we need to suck it up, take those glasses off and dick punch reality into submission. Or just get some really big dark sunglasses instead. They cover all manner of sins.
  4. Stiff upper lip.
    There is a time and a place for the stiff upper lip, but damn, it can’t be worn all the time. Too much stiff upper lip causes those funky vertical lines between your upper lip and your nose holes. We don’t always have to be stoic. I’m not suggesting that you wear your heart on your sleeve, but that is a much softer look than wearing a stiff upper lip.
  1. Too many hats.
    Personally, I can’t pull off wearing one hat, much less many hats. I don’t have a hat head. My hair poofs out and my ears look like car doors when I wear a hat. Wearing too many hats just exacerbates these issues. When you wear too many hats, it’s easy to forget which hat you’re wearing. For instance, are you wearing the “no nonsense corporate” hat when you meant to wear your “quirky and kicked back” hat? We’re not getting any younger, you know. Sooner or later you’re going to accidentally wear your court jester hat to the gynecologist and then where will you be? I’ll tell you where you’ll be. You’ll be in an undignified position and wearing a stupid hat is where you’ll be.
  1. Resting bitch face.
    Hahahahaha. Just kidding. Wear that one all you want. Although, it wouldn’t hurt if every once in a while, you had a welcoming and kind look on your face. At least that’s what I hear from other people.

There isn’t anything wrong with getting advice about updating your look or what to wear, but we are just inundated with that shit, aren’t we?

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Who says what is appropriate? From where I sit, it seems ‘appropriate’ changes based on geography, social status, income and size. After a while, the advice becomes a confusing blur. I think I’ll just keep wearing my Keds and jeans and black tee shirts.

Oh, I do have one real tip. Stop wearing holiday theme clothes. Seriously.

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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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Waking Up at Midlife

posted by Donna Henes

By Sharon Blackie

It used to be called the ‘midlife crisis’; sometime later, it became known as the ‘midlife transition’. Whatever you want to call it, it happens to us all, somewhere in the middle stages of our lives: usually in the years between forty and fifty, but sometimes a few years later. The change in terminology is helpful, though: often it isn’t a crisis, because that word suggests an acute, one-off event. The midlife transition isn’t an event, it’s a process. It can go on and on. Just when we think we’ve worked our way through it and we’re out of the dark woods, bam! – here it comes again, to make us face up to all that we had imagined we understood, but really hadn’t quite grasped at all. The midlife transition takes you by the scruff of the neck, shakes you until you rattle, until don’t know which way is up any more, and keeps on shaking you till you’ve learned what you need to learn. If you don’t fully engage with the process the first time, it’ll be coming round again. You can count on that.

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The midlife transition is about waking up. About ripping away the veils, facing the darkness and the Shadow, as well as the light. Both can be equally scary. The midlife transition isn’t easy, but then it isn’t supposed to be easy. The greatest growth comes from the greatest pain, and at midlife, for better or for worse, you get to really grow. It’s not an optional add-on; it’s a developmental necessity. For women, if nothing else has pushed you into it, dealing with menopause surely will. And the only way through it is through it. There are no shortcuts. It’s the ultimate Call. No, not a Call to Adventure – this stage of our lives is all about letting go of the requirement for that kind of thing, for activity, for doing, for plot; it’s time to let go of the active, linear, all-conquering Hero’s Journey terminology. Rather, it’s a Call to something approximating pilgrimage. It is a journeying, but it isn’t about doing. It isn’t even about being – it’s about learning to become. It’s about learning to become what we can uniquely become. It’s about finally getting our act together, in the final stages of our lives. It’s about figuring out what we bring to the world, and getting on with bringing it. It’s about showing up.

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All too often, people try to avoid the midlife transition. Why not? – it’s scary, and there are no guarantees. If you follow the Call, all bets are off. And so sometimes we try to resist it. Don’t bother: it’ll get you one way or another. If you don’t heed it the first time, that bell will keep on tolling till you do. But even if we hear the midlife wake-up Call, and even if we follow it, leap off the edge, embark on the Journey, it certainly isn’t plain sailing. Growing can hurt, and if we do it properly, many things must be left behind which once we thought we treasured. The gifts are concomitantly great, but sometimes it’s hard to see that for the darkness of the woods. Midlife is about letting go. About necessary lettings-go. Letting go of illusions, letting go of Shadows. Sometimes, letting go of people and places. Some people blunt the pain of new growth with alcohol or other addictions. We blunt the fear, not just because we are afraid of the dark, but because we are afraid of the light. Because we are fearful of coming into our power, especially when for so many of us – particularly if we are women – our lives have been about keeping it carefully under control. You can’t get away with that at midlife. It’s a time for shaking loose.

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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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Creating Self-Love Rituals

posted by Donna Henes

By Cozetta Lageman

With so much of our time and attention focused on other people, places, tasks and responsibilities it rarely dawns on us to slow down and spend some time on ourselves, just for the pleasure of the experience.

Sometimes it takes an illness or other huge sign from the Universe to get us to slow down and figure out that something needs to change. However, if we take care of ourselves on a regular basis, we’re free to enjoy our lives more freely and with a light and grateful heart.

 

A simple but consistent self-love ritual can also take care of the need to feel loved, pampered and important. We can’t and shouldn’t rely on others to take care of that for us. It’s our own honorable responsibility to make sure our health and happiness are in good standing.

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If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of adding one more thing to your to-do list, here are some ideas to get you feeling motivated, in control and in charge of your time.

 

  1. Get nice and quiet. Meditate or pray and really listen to what thoughts and feelings bubble up. This is going to be your self-love ritual compass. What you need day to day, week to week changes. Today your body may be craving a long afternoon reading in the sun, tomorrow you may need some silly, fun, girl time. Being in the habit of getting quiet and listening to your intuition will only strengthen your connection with what you really need and want in your life. The more you do it, the easier and more natural this will become.

    2. Shift your energy and shake your booty. Get moving by going for a walk, or putting on your favorite song and dancing in your kitchen. This has the almost immediate effect of letting you get out of your head (away from whatever’s bothering or overwhelming you) and focus on something else. You’ll also get a boost of endorphins and feel great afterward. You just may be inspired in the middle of dancing to “Uptown Funk” on what it is that you need right now.

 

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  1. Clear some time from your schedule. Have designated blocks of time that are strictly for your self-love rituals. If it’s on your calendar, then you’re so much more likely to commit to it. You may not feel like you can schedule a full day to lounge and be pampered at a beautiful and indulgent day spa, but you can probably squeeze in 15 minutes before going to bed for a little reading or slow stretching. Schedule it in, on a regular basis, and you’ll find that it becomes a regular habit that gets easier and easier.

 

Now that you’re all set, and feel like you can fit this into your life, I’m going to share 10 ideas of what to do during your self-love rituals. This list is just a small snapshot of what you can do, the sky’s the limit!

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  1. Start a journal or smashbook. Depending on how creative you want to be with it, you can simply jot down what’s going on in your life, the things you’re grateful for or you can cut, paste, draw, paint or design a book that’s really beautiful.

 

  1. Take up yoga, if you don’t practice already. It can be such a nurturing and relaxing activity. I highly recommend it.

 

  1. Create a list of affirmations to read to yourself. Go online for inspiration if you need it, but having a list of personalized, go-to positive phrases to say in times of frustration or overwhelm can be like having your own cheerleader in your pocket at all times.

 

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  1. Read an uplifting, inspiring or motivational book. There are so, so many to choose from. Find something written by an author or speaker that you like, or ask friends for recommendations.

 

  1. Take a hot bath. This one’s a classic. Personalize your experience by adding essential oils, lighting candles, playing relaxing music or listening to an interesting podcast.

 

  1. Subscribe to a gorgeous magazine. When you get it in the mail every month, sit in a comfy chair and just enjoy it.

 

  1. Take a hike or walk near a body of water. Take pictures, pack a gourmet lunch for yourself, look for interesting rocks. Keep the rocks in a pretty dish on your bedside table as a lovely reminder of your self-love ritual.

 

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  1. Get a massage, body scrub, wrap or facial. Just get yourself to a spa. Close your eyes and point to the menu. You’ll love whatever you choose, I’m sure of it.

 

  1. Find a quiet spot and just be. Let your mind wander without any agenda at all, except to enjoy yourself and your thoughts.

 

  1. Buy yourself a new set of sheets. Go a click softer and more luxurious than what you currently have. Make a ritual out of making your bed, and then slip into bed once you’re finished. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Now, as a bonus, take a nap. Just because you can.

 

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I hope this has helped you, and inspires you to create regularly occurring self-love rituals for yourself.
 

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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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Creating a Sacred Space

posted by Donna Henes

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

The more conscious and respectful we become of the abiding presence and guiding force of our Selves, the more we feel inclined to spend time alone in Her excellent company.

One way to honor these healing times of communion, of seclusion, and reflection with that deep part of us that is the source of our strength and wisdom is to conduct them in an environment that is both worthy and conducive to the sacredness of the occasion.

That source, that center of Self, cries out to inhabit a special, sanctified space of our own creation, “a room of our own” as Virginia Woolf put it, where we are happily at home within ourselves. The Queen in us becomes very discriminating as to the quality of peace, order, and beauty that She establishes in Her environment, and She defends its inviolability as sacred.                     

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The Queen Suggests: Create Sacred Space

  • Put some meditative music on, dim the lights, and walk, dance, slide, crawl, or roll, slowly through your home. You might want to close or squint your eyes so that you can concentrate on what you feel rather than what you see.
  • Do you feel yourself drawn to a particular area or corner? That is your sitio, your particular sacred space. This is the place where you can feel most strongly your connections to the energy of the earth, to spirit, and to your inner best Self.
  • Your sitio can be as large as a room, as small as a chair or rug, as contained and hidden as a closet. It can be a sitting area or desk space in a larger room. It can be under a dormer in the attic, or even outside in the yard or on the porch.
  • Claim this space as sacred.
  • Cleanse your sitio. Wash the floor, window, or whatever furniture or shelves are in your space. Burn some incense to smudge away any negative energy. Frankincense, sage, cedar, camphor, and copal are especially effective purifying agents.
  • Consecrate your sitio. Bless your sacred space with the intention that it be a safe and comfortable haven for you, a shelter from the storms of living where you can always find your center and reconnect with your Self.
  • Sanctify your sitio by creating an altar with some amulet or altar items that will continually remind you of the purpose of your intention. The amount of space and privacy you have will determine the size and form of your altar.
  • You can construct an actual altar with many holy icons, lucky charms, inspiring images, offerings, and candles. You can discretely place certain personally (and privately) precious items on your desk or dresser top, bookshelf, or window-sill.
  • You can create a drawer or cabinet or closet altar that is completely hidden to all but you.
  • Claim and defend adequate blocks of time to spend in your sacred space so that you might engage with your Self on a regular basis. Use your sacred time and space to write in your journal, listen to music, meditate, do your yoga or exercises, dance, read, daydream, or nap.
  • With Self-engagement and development on our mind any time can be auspicious and any place a sanctuary. All we need do is claim 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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