Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self


NOVEMBER

The month of elections and politics. Now’s the time for all good women to run for office! Women in power. Women speaking truth to power. Wise women rule wisely!



By Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

I firmly believe that women, especially women of a certain age, will be the changing force of society, and that we possess the vision, the wisdom, the experience, and the wherewithal to lead the charge for change toward sustainability, sanity, and peace. However we cannot do it alone.

All people — all people — need to be involved if we are going to truly transform our attitudes and cultural ethos. Making the world a better place has got to be a fully participatory project if we are not just dreaming or talking through our hats.

But we women have to see ourselves as leaders. We need to stand in our center, embrace our power, and be willing to use it. We need to speak our truth, walk our talk, and model our intentions. We have to accept and exercise our own authority. That is, we need to own the authorship of our own destiny. The responsibility is no one else’s. It is ours.

The patriarchal powers-that-be have created a complete mess. Clearly, it is up to us women to roll up our sleeves and get busy putting life back in order again. If there is any hope at all for healing this planet and all who live upon it, that hope is us.

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 generations of fiery, accomplished, clever, competent, 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 energy: our purity of purpose, our passion, our heartfelt compassion, and our enormous power, and let us direct it toward creating a safe, sane, sustainable, sublime, and peaceful world for us all. The future is in our very capable hands.

I hereby call on women everywhere to take a stand and use our vast stores of wisdom, experience, creativity, and chutzpah do something positive, each in our own unique and inimitable way, toward creating a better future for us all. Not out of a misplaced sense of duty, but because it is a joy and an honor to do so. Because we can do no less.

What in world are we waiting for?
If not us, who? If not now, when?
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough
to turn the world upside down all alone, together
women ought to be able to turn it rightside up again.

– Sojourner Truth

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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.


NOVEMBER

The month of elections and politics. Now’s the time for all good women to run for office! Women in power. Women speaking truth to power. Wise women rule wisely!


 

I am mad. So very mad. No, that doesn’t begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed.I am outraged. I am enraged. I am livid. I am GOD DAMN FURIOUS.

“All men are created equal,” states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn as much as 68 and 77 cents on the dollar (depending on our skin color) that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.

And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights, our freedoms, our health care being stripped away, one by one, by mean spirited, misogynistic, right wing religious uber-conservatives. In 2015 there is still no Equal Rights Amendment. Women are still not equal under the law.

Of course I am angry! How can I not be? I am not angry only about the injustice perpetrated upon women in this country, but also all the women everywhere in the world who are abused, exploited, enslaved, and murdered – untold thousands as newborns – simply because they are female. Better believe I am angry.

My anger is far reaching and inclusive. Every virulent expression – be it verbal, physical, cultural, political, or armed – of religious hatred, xenophobia, racism, classism, ageism, homophobia set my teeth on edge. As does witnessing extremely common displays that range from disregard to disrespect to downright mean, nasty disdain directed at folks with abundant body fat or those who are differently abled.

Every goddessdamn fracking pipeline, oil spill, contaminated river, felled forest, wild fire, melting iceberg, radiation leak, gmo apple, dead bee, poached animal, endangered species, and cancer patient, stirs my wrath. Every hungry, homeless, terrified, traumatized refugee and GI incites my furious, protective tiger mother wrath.

My partner often questions why I watch the news if it makes me so mad. Because it is important for me to know what is going on around me. I do not want to be deaf and blind even if the shrill blare and horrendous images are painful. I want to feel that pain, to feel part of that pain. I want to accept any culpability on my part for perpetuating pain and peril through denial, laziness or depression. Depression is the flip side of anger.

Women are uncomfortable with anger. We are frightened of anger directed at us for very real reasons. But we are most scared of our own anger. We have been raised to be good girls, after all. To be sugar and spice and everything nice. Yeah, right.

Anger is a natural emotion and needs to be honored and expressed, lest it eat us up from the inside. Anger contains a huge amount of energy, which can be converted to powerful creativity, positive purpose, and proactive change.

I think of  my anger as righteous indignation. It spurs me to react, to respond, to resist, to rebel. My fury is the fuel that fires my fiercely impassioned efforts toward the defense of Mother Earth and all of Her exquisite creations and creatures.

And you better believe that the ongoing onslaught of disregard, disrespect, abuse, violence, terror, rape, and murder perpetrated against girls, women and Mother Earth, Herself, tempts me to stay in a pissed-off state. But this same anger also cripples me and would prevent me from pursuing proactive methods of protest.

So I prefer to think of my anger as righteous indignation and let it fuel my determination to work toward the empowerment of women and inspire my involvement in causes pushing for social and gender justice.

And to my delight, I have been discovering legions of women everywhere who take on the troubling and terrifying threats of a world gone mad and are actively engaged in extremely courageous and creative activities which provoke thought, challenge oppression and produce real solutions.

I hereby call on women everywhere to take a stand and use our vast stores of wisdom, experience, creativity, and chutzpah do something positive, each in our own unique and inimitable way, toward creating a better world for us all.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

“The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the
world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived.”
– Ann Patchett

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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.


NOVEMBER

The month of elections and politics. Now’s the time for all good women to run for office! Women in power. Women speaking truth to power. Wise women rule wisely!


 

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.

 


NOVEMBER

The month of elections and politics. Now’s the time for all good women to run for office! Women in power. Women speaking truth to power. Wise women rule wisely!


With the question of power — its uses and abuses — on my mind, I reached out to the Facebook fans of The Queen of My Self to see what power means to other Queens of Themselves. (Part 2 of 2, continued from Part 1, posted on Friday, November 10)

Q. What does power mean to you?

I posed this question in the last issue:

Q. And you, dear Queens? What does power mean to YOU?  Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 

A. Just perused the latest of your Queen’s Chronicles, and am inspired to write you about a powerful anthology put together by Sandra Haldeman Martz, At Our Core: Women writing about Power that is unfortunately out of print because the publisher crashed, but a number of copies are available through Amazon.com at amazing reduced prices: 17 new from yes! 35 cents, and 54 used from (yes) 1 cent. It was marketed new for $11.00, a bargain even then, with a stunning cover and 179 pages about women and power. Tragic that it’s no longer being marketed, but what a bargain at the above prices. Power to us Women People! Power to the Queens! Love you and all your productions,

– Karen, NJ

 

A. Empower = power in my Queen world.

– Miriam, CA

 

A. I have always felt that there is a strong connection between love of self, security in your self, power, love and gentleness, tolerance and understanding towards others. When you are strong and you know you are strong, you don’t need to prove it and you are thereby free and secure.

– Lorraine, PA

 

A. Power-

There are times when I have witnessed someone who is acting at the top of their compassion, intellect, spiritual service and ability to communicate. (Maturity level and physical strength are not factors here.) I get a feeling of pause as if to move would shift a current that would dissipate the aura, the perfection of the moment. To me ultimate power is in this synchronicity.

-Katherine, CT

 

A. I am powerful when I am centered and standing strong in my life’s purpose.

– Donna, OH

 

A. Watch out, world. Here I come!  A sassy gal who is determined to do what I want to do. I was a good girl for far too long!

– Mo, RI

 

A. Power is my Goddess-given right to live my life as a free agent.

– Saundra, UT

 

A. Power is being 100% yourself and not compromising based on what others want you to be, do or say. It is also not giving anyone else free rent in your head — which is essentially giving your personal power over to them!

Christine, OH

 

A. To thy own self be true

– Micklo, CA

 

A. A Queen’s power should be used to further her life’s path and to help along her sisters to do the same thing. We can do much to improve the lives of others if we use our power to do so.

– Katharine, Denmark

 

A. It means knowing how to access my life force energy, what activates it, what zaps it, and granting myself permission to do whatever it takes to stay connected to this inner fountain of youth! It is my chi!

– Daina, MI

 

A. To me power means being able to say the hard stuff with grace and non-attachment!

– Judith, NY

 

A. Responsibility.

– Ruth Ellen, England

 

A. Power is the life force within us and around us. And the ability to tap into it.

– Cristie, ND

 

A. In the mind of the Goddess (A Bitch) is a Woman of Strength, Power and Wisdom. Never take offense to this title of Queenship. And those who use this word are aware of its Goddess meaning. Blessed be the Woman who holds her own.

– Janel Oriana, NY

 

A. I KNEW someone would say “bitch!” It just reminds me of the well worn saying “Well behaved women rarely make history.” I had a conversation with a friend one day about Madonna who is one of my favorite examples of a powerful woman. I said I realized that she has a tendency to step on toes, act bitchy and make some doubt her sanity. I then realized I was one of those people, and I was perpetuating that view of a very powerful woman who has pissed a lot of people off with her creativity and confidence. I don’t agree with everything she does, but she does it well!

– Kimberly, IA

 

A. To me, true power is changing the world simply by the force of being exactly, only, and completely who you are.

– Carolyn, MA

Q. What does power mean to YOU?

 

If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious, you’re on the right track!

– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

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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.