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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Dangerous Territory

posted by Donna Henes

Dedicated to Our Great Work in the world,
and The Cosmic Cowgirls

We are a tribe of truth tellers.
Revolution makers.
Movers and shakers
of things that need moving
and shaking. Like hips.
And old ideas that need
shaking off.

We are a gathering of women who
straddle the worlds.
We have one bare foot on the earth?(toenails painted sparkly of course)
and one cowgirl boot in the marketplace of life.
With our heads in the stars for big dreaming
and our arms outstretched
to embrace as much aliveness as we can.
We have our hearts on our sleeves, both of them.
Whether we be sinners or saints
or wear halos or horns there is
one thing you have to admit about us….

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We agree…
Be the most you that you can be.
Be your own revolution
while being a part of the collective one.

We believe this truth to be self evident:
That each woman can transform
her life into a legend.
That stories are made for telling
around the campfire,
but legends are meant to be lived.
And sisterhoods are meant to
be your bridge when you don’t know
the way over the troubled water of
the lies you have been told
and tell yourself still.

To help in the great adventure
of revealing the more you that there is,
we may hand you a paintbrush
a writing pen a drum a fiddle
a magic wand a bar of chocolate
some cowgirl boots and
a jar of red glitter and a ball of
red thread. And the craft of
inquiry. That’s right – the path
of questions is that path
each of us must walk and keep
on walking. Creativity, curiosity
and? inquiry into oneself is the daily
cup of tea here.

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Here we know what women
are worth and we tell you what we
know of our ancient and future wisdom.
We have been gathering the stories
of our grandmothers and grandfathers
about birth and death and transformation
that have been lost. We will not
allow them to be lost again. We
are carrying scrolls of wisdom
across the planet so that thousands
of hands hold these legends
and it will not be lost from us
like it was before.

This is where women
come to gather the bones
and sing their whole self
back together again.

We believe there is medicine,
sacred and true in
community that comes with the
territory of belonging.
Of being a part of that which
is bigger then you. And me.
A place where the collective
soul can unfurl her bright
wings and together we can
fly in a future that reflects
who we are and what we
care about.

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And in closing I must give you a
Warning – if you enter
Cosmic Cowgirl Territory
there is no way your wild
woman will keep herself
contained. Beware of shifting
stories and old ideas falling away.
Beware of taking up space
that might make others
uncomfortable around you.
Beware of no longer being
willing to live a life that does not reflect
who you are. This is dangerous
territory. Welcome.
Your cup of revolutionary tea
is waiting for you.


Shiloh Sophia McCloud, CA

* ***
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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On the Queen of My Self

posted by Donna Henes

On Finding Myself Middle Aged With No Role Model I Could Relate To Because I Am Not a Crone
We have outgrown our tenure as Maidens and as Mothers, yet old age no longer follows immediately after menopause, which is why so many midlife women don’t see ourselves (yet) as Crones. Where is the authentic archetype for us?

Treading the Turbulent Midlife Waters
Aging and changing might be inevitable, but it isn’t easy. It precipitates in us a great uncertainty. The myriad dramatic disturbances of modern middle life — menopause, health concerns, the empty nest, divorce, death, and career shifts — create an overwhelming crisis of identity and purpose for us. What follows is an intense period of questioning absolutely everything — our goals and achievements, our priorities and our operating systems, our morals and our values, our fears and our fantasies.

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Embracing Her Majesty
When I started introducing the Queen in workshops and articles as a helpful archetype for midlife women, I received many 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?”

Sovereignty Ain’t Easy
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.

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Empress Energy: Extending Our Influence Out Into the World
The Queen is a mature woman who has conquered the challenges in Her life and claimed Her own royal power. Now that She is firmly rooted in Her best Self and acting for Her own benefit, She is free to reach out in ever increasing concentric circles and offer Her compassion, expertise, time, and money to people and causes that call to Her sense of response-ability.

* ***
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 Joys of Menopause – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

By Rosanne Barr 

More than a few times recently, as a verified old woman, when I’ve been tempted to view life as a swirling, chaotic rush from the womb to the tomb, I’m brought to my senses by the unshakable feeling that something sure as hell seems to know what it’s doing.

Just as the acceptance of rot and death sets in, the funnier things get. When all is done and said, my body, not my mind, was truly my destiny after all. ROFLMFAO.

Sooner or later, we’re all made aware of the über-politics of the body. The real deal that’s never stopped churning away down in the engine room is the physical reality of our marvelous, mysterious, meat-puppet bodies in all their accident-waiting-to-happen splendor. Of course, splendor isn’t the word that leaps to mind when the average hapless 12- or 13-year-old hears and feels that first all-consuming full-body “uh oh” that marks what the happy-talkers love to romanticize with commencement-speech rhetoric as “the entry to womanhood” or some other shiny, sugared-up BS. Maybe they mean well, and figure that such a euphemism sounds so much better than “40 years of blood, sweat, and depression bordering on occasional madness.”

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Of course, again at the back end of the long road that is the tyranny of reproductive biology, the colorful language folk start up with their whiny crap about feeling less like a woman. Hey, for starters, we only get old if we’re lucky! Can we let the logic of that sink in, sisters? Yeah, you’re not going to be taking home any more little bundles of joy from the hospital, and maybe you won’t be getting quite as many lascivious glances from the males of the species (if you were ever the type to get lots of those), but guess what? You’re free, goddesses! No more “time of the month” or “curse,” no more “on the rag” with all its attendant hassles, no more “riding the cotton pony”… in fact, take a minute to stand in the winner’s circle as the cotton pony is led out to pasture, for good.

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Menopause is the victory lap over the curse of being born female!

You can bet that a realist like moi isn’t here to take up your time pretending that menopause is a walk in the park. I’ve heard that close to a third of women find menopause to be, at worst, a temporary and fairly inconsequential passage. To those women, I’d like to say: congratulations, and I hate you! My experience was a raw and often torturous ordeal. And about the only two factors on the upside were the just-mentioned no-more-periods, and also the chance to occasionally pitch a major, flaming bitchfest without being (or needing to be) sure that it was my biological transition and not just me being myself in high gear.

Sometimes, as the months whip past now, like telephone poles from the window of a bullet train, I continue to realize how much of my life I spent firmly under the thumb of Mother Nature, that inscrutable Boss Lady. I can still hear my biological clock ticking, but it’s a calmer rhythm. Without being one of those happy-talking, sugar-coating types I can’t stand, I just have to say it’s so much easier living on this side of menopause, even with my high-mileage body.

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On the far side of that long passage, I’m sailing on much calmer seas. I’m not exclusively under the flag of any of the titles that womanhood bestows on those who choose (or are pushed into) the familiar roles: mother, grandmother, wife. Although I am, of course, a mother and a grandmother, which is a stone-cold blast.

My family is close, but I have more me time—there, I said that too! And what do I do with some of the time I don’t spend being whipped around by the desperate process of staving off the appearance of aging and all the rest of the crap we’re sold 24/7? For one thing, I meditate, and for another, I think. Let me elaborate (after I meditate, and then think for a bit). Ah, OK, I’m in full Crone mode now.

 

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Depending on who’s defining the word “crone,” it can be a really wonderful gem of language. Crone got saddled with the role of synonym for hag, an old grizzled woman who’s often bitchy at best, malicious at worst: the sinister, old, gossipy type who sometimes had magical or supernatural associations. Luckily, intelligent women, and some men, have begun returning the word to its rightful definition: an experienced, mature woman who’s arrived on the north shore of the raging seas of this largely corrupt planet.

We’ve run the gauntlet and we stand, battered, bruised, and perhaps even worse, some of us, but we’re consciously here and mostly intact.

And, with a little luck, we have some time to affect things. Some sources cite Crone as the third stage of goddess formation: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Well, I like the goddess part, but I don’t mean to insult or diminish women who aren’t mothers. In fact—after holding the world up to the light and subjecting it to a quick exam I call “Do the math!”—I’m here to say, we could use a lot more women who don’t become mothers of their own offspring, but instead Mother the world in a more expansive way—and help to alleviate some of the misery and need of countless millions of people who are here already.

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But, let’s get past the idea of things we have to do, breathe a sigh of relief, and remember that there’s probably more time to do things we want to do. Form or nurture a few good and real friendships, and silently observe the world. You don’t need a young athletic body or piles of money to read some of the world’s great books; or to soak up brilliant music and art; or to grow something beautiful (and edible?) in a little garden spot. May your uterus remain relatively undisturbed during these, your glorious turban years!

 

 

* ***
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 Joys of Menopause – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

By Roseanne Barr

Sure, menopause is hell. It saps your sex drive and puffs your ankles. But when it’s over, you’re calmer and more connected. Embrace it, sisters!

After menopause, I discovered the joy of drinking wine, and of sinking deeply into writing and time alone. These things replaced the sex drive I had thoroughly cruised down as a youth, exploring one dead end, detour, and unpaved dirty road after another. I have refused to take the libido-restoring male hormones constantly proffered me by this culture and Suzanne Somers and her hordes of apologists and postmenopausal cougars. Being 53 and having sex with folks in their early 20s is just so Norma Desmond. There, I said it. I can dig the dead writer in the pool thing, though.

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I am more of a badger. The sex drive is that dark continent that I see now receding in the distance, behind me and the ship that has sailed with me at its helm—and I am no longer feeling mixed about seeing it go; I am actually relieved. It produced so much pain, really, so much wear, tear, and worry, not to mention the work, and sweat of raising the kids that come from it, who roll their eyes at you when you say things like these things I am saying in this article. My three daughters are approaching middle age themselves, the age when the libido of a woman speeds up for a time, just before it has a stroke, goes blind, and dies.

I am old now: gray, wrinkled, tired, and bloated, and my joints ache, too. But I am ready to come into my full destiny—as my childhood dreams predicted—as a Neo-Amazonian Pirate Queen of my own vessel: firing cannonballs at the worldwide culture of patriarchy in the name of all that does not suck. I no longer fear moving on to a better existence than this one, which is, of course, no existence at all. Oblivion will be fucking sweet after a lifetime at the mercy of my hormones and my biological clock and the twisted logic that produced the craving for a dominant male sex partner. I’m quite thrilled to say that at this late hour, in my autumn years, I have at last found a man who is more savant than idiot, and with whom the sparse occasions of physical enjoining of souls is quite sublime.

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Ahoy, matey! Hail, hail, all ye who enter here! You have arrived! Congratulations, sister!

You have made it through the grip of Nature, and the attack on your intellect that began at your first breath as a female on this spinning sphere of waters, and you are still here to tell the tale—the tale of the Queen of Swords alive in each of us who navigated her way through those most dangerous Matriarchal Waters and Emotional High Tides. Sailing through the dictatorship of the body, the pulsing, plodding meat machine of it all, from that first shock at puberty, through birthing, nursing, raising, and letting go of grown children, you have reached uncharted territory, dangerous and mysterious. Brain space seems more liberated now. Time to kick back a little, to observe more, to feel less fear and more connection.

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…..To Be Continued on Friday

***
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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