The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

It Can Be Hard to Be a Queen

posted by Donna Henes

Coming from the tough love school of spiritual counseling as I do, I feel that it is only fair to warn you — There are no 10 Easy Steps to Sovereignty.

The roads leading to Queendom are diverse and many. The way to Self-esteem can be complicated and long. Each woman must take her own path, make her own trail, clear a passage for herself through the thick brambles that reach up to trip her. What roads do exist are unmapped, bumpy, and full of potholes, tumbleweed and road-kill. There are no shortcuts along the Queen’s Highway, no services, no shoulders, no signage, but many detours and cul-du-sacs.

And the fare can be exorbitant. As Dear Abby, Abigail Van Buren, once noted, “If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d be millionaires.” Like any grand journey, the trip toward Self-dominion requires stamina, determination and the passionate desire to travel. But if we pack properly, check our tires frequently, and take time for picnics, the adventure is incomparable. And the destination of Self-empowerment is majestic.

Our Queenly assignment, should we choose to accept it, is to identify, understand and connect all the component parts of ourselves, to attempt to develop and balance them equally, and to maintain them all in good working order. The Self is like a jigsaw puzzle or a quilt that promises to become a beautiful whole if we spend the necessary time and concentration to assemble it. It is at once the puzzle, the parts of the puzzle, and also, most importantly, the process of piecing them together.

The Self is the seat of sovereignty of the Queen. It is Her throne and Her domain, at once Her base of power and Her field of operation. Stepping into our sovereignty involves an almost alchemical process of adding, extracting, refining, combining and recombining the myriad elements that make up our four parts in the constantly evolving effort of perfecting the power of our best Selves.

The holy elixir that we seek is the transformation of the painful, rejected, neglected, wounded, unsatisfied, unsatisfactory parts of our Self, into the unified, organized, energized, golden glory and grace of the fulfilled Queen. It is through our sincere and complete participation in this process that we learn how to recognize, claim and proudly proclaim our own true power. The power of the fully engaged Self.

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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.

Mirror, Mirror

posted by Donna Henes

Certainly the most crucial step toward sovereignty is to know our Selves. After all our years as mothers and others, we need to reestablish who we are as individuals, separate and distinct from our relationships with those around us. Who am I if I am not a mother, a daughter, a lover, a wife, a friend, a partner, a teacher, a student, a boss or an employee?

Who am I if I am not associated with some undertaking, enterprise, creation, project, product or service? Who am I, in fact, if I just am? As I live and breathe? And how do I feel about it?

For these answers and the answers to all of life’s questions, we must look into our own heart and allow ourselves to feel our feelings, to own and embrace them for the wisdom they convey. We can only discover our own truth by paying close attention to the promptings of our inner Selves and to our honest reactions to the external energies that surround us. Marion Woodman, the Jungian analyst, writer and specialist in feminine development research, calls this process, “coming home to ourselves.”

An excellent way to start to know your Self is by taking a good long look at yourself in the mirror. This seemingly simple device is not so easy, as most of us are mirror-shy, accustomed as we are to using mirrors as weapons of Self-destruction.

  • Sit comfortably and look into a mirror. Resist the urge to check your hair for neatness or your teeth for spinach. Under no circumstance allow your mind to travel toward judgment or critique. And be nice. Spare yourself those nasty little mind-jabs of disappointment and disapproval.
  • Look at yourself as you would a stranger, with an open mind and an open heart. Do not avert your eyes, but employ them in a straightforward, fearless manner. Introduce yourself to the woman you see there. Let your eyes reassure her that you are friendly.
  • Gaze into her eyes to try to grasp the sense of who she might be. Relax into that gaze and stay engaged for as long as you can. Peer into the depths of your being. What do you see there? What memories? What motives? What myths? What messages?

If the eyes are, indeed, the mirrors of our soul, we have much to learn by looking deeply into them. Like sending a bucket into a deep well and drawing up the clear, revitalizing waters of wisdom from the source.

***
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.

Steps to Sovereignty

posted by Donna Henes

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,” women would write, “I want to be a Queen, too. How do I access my power? How can I feel good about myself? How do I change my life? How do I find magic and spiritual wisdom? How do I know what to do? How do I learn how to rule?”

Indeed. How are women supposed to know how to own our own sovereignty? We certainly haven’t been taught. World mythology abounds with inspiring examples of beautiful and adventurous Maidens, compassionate and nurturing Mothers (as well as some devouring ones) and wise and wily Crones. But shining examples of powerful midlife Queens are in short supply.

There are no rules, no recipes, no prescriptions, no instruction manuals, no precise formulas to follow when it comes to pursuing the daunting process of Stepping into Sovereignty. This does not, however, mean that anything goes. Just as in life itself, everything counts. Every single solitary thing that we do or don’t do, think or don’t think, matters. This is the bottom line of our responsibility — to ourselves and to others.

Our intentions have to be perfectly pure and our attention to the details of our process has to be focused and disciplined, and in exact alignment with our intentions. The quality of our engagement needs to be really right, not according to the standards of anyone else, but only according to our own inner truth.

Although the Queen is an excellent role model and source of inspiration, we don’t need a teacher or a guru to tell us what we should do for our Self-development, or how we need to change and grow. Each of us knows perfectly well what is right for us. Informed by the four parts of our being — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual — we know in our heart, our mind, our gut, and our soul when something is right, because it feels right. And when something feels wrong, we certainly know that, too. The answers to our confusion and questions, our yearnings and longings, are right here inside of us where we keep them safe and warm.

Our lessons, and our understanding of them, are often not immediately available or obvious to us. They often come encoded in signs and symbols that seem like a foreign language. But, no matter how difficult, it is up to us to access them, if we dare. If we care to earn our sovereignty, we must excavate the buried treasure of our own value and infinite worth. Our coming into power depends upon it.

The caveat is that this thrilling post-menopausal period of vitality, renewed energy, enhanced self-esteem, optimism and enthusiasm only comes to us in direct proportion to the intensity of our own conscious and conscientious engagement in the process and consequences of our transformation.

If we do take up the challenge to explore and mine the depths of our Selves, we will discover the unexpected caverns of courage, phosphorescent pools of passion and glittering, crystal-rich veins of gem-like wisdom running through their passages and crevices. All we need are the right tools to get at them, extract them, and polish them. And I don’t know about you, but nobody ever told me that it was going to be easy.

It always comes down to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.
- May Sarton

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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.

 

The Self Defined

posted by Donna Henes

The Self, according to Carl Jung, is the center, the midpoint of the personality, the crossroads where our personal and collective, conscious and unconscious processes intersect. The Self encompasses the totality of who we are. It is, he writes, “A kind of central point within the psyche to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which itself is a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is, just as every organism is driven to assume the form that is characteristic of its nature, no matter what the circumstances.”

The Self is the sum of all of our parts, and holistically, it is greater than the sum of all of our parts. The fluid Self transcends time and space, expanding and shape-shifting, changing and adapting to accommodate the possibility of all possibility.

In the art and philosophy of many cultures, the nature of the Self is represented by a four-part symbol such as a mandala, a labyrinth, an equilateral cross, a swastika, or a four-leaf clover. These symbols mirror the four-partite systems that organize the totality of the cosmos into the four seasons of the year, four phases of the moon, four cardinal directions.

The Four-Fold Goddess is representative of not only the stages and ages of a woman’s life, She also stands for the four parts that comprise our united Self. The Self, the Soul, the Center of a person is commonly thought to include our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides. These aspects are the ways in which we perceive and relate to the world around us and to our inner Selves, as well. Jung calls these aspects “functions,” and identifies them as sensing (physical), thinking (mental), feeling (emotional) and intuiting (spiritual). These four parts combine to compose our outlook and our insight. Together, they constitute our unique ways and means of being.

Our Queenly assignment, should we choose to accept it, is to identify, understand and connect — or reconnect — all of the component parts of ourselves, to attempt to develop and balance them equally, and to maintain them all in good working order.

The Self is like a jigsaw puzzle or a quilt that promises to become a beautiful whole if we spend the necessary time and concentration to assemble it. It is at once the puzzle, the parts of the puzzle, and also, most importantly, the process of piecing them together.

The ideal of the Queen inspires us to design the artful patchwork of our own lives designed from the wild and wonderful patterns of our own personality and experiences, and crafted from our individual inner authority. Once we do, we are able to shift into a new stage of life, a new state of being, a renaissance rebirth, ready, willing and able to rule.

***
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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