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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Transforming Anger into Compassionate Wrath (Part 2)

posted by Donna Henes

By Mari Selby

…continued from Part 1, published on Friday, June 5th…

Dakinis by their very essence, represent a transformational journey. The Dakini principle is found in all ancient and modern cultures. Thousands of years ago, before being swallowed by Buddhism, Dakinis were allies in the daily passage of life. Millennia later they were further demoted to a kind of demon encountered during an individual’s journey through the Bardo. (To Buddhists the Bardo is the place you go when you die, then travel through to the next level of spiritual evolution.) Dakini literally translated from Tibetan means sky-goer, one who moves through all dimensions. In our modern world, Dakinis represent the natural ever-changing flow of energy, from wrathful to peaceful, and back to wrathful again. The Dakinis may physically appear to us as a person, in our emotional patterns, or as animals. Dakinis are wisdom beings, as are we all.

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The Hindus and Buddhists refer to these spirits Dakinis. Native American, African, Celtic and other cultures also have many names for elemental spirits. Spider Woman is an example of a dakini in the Navajo tradition. The legend of Nzingha, the African woman who saved her people from slavery, is another example of a Dakini at work.

Dakinis are primarily represented via one of the 5 Buddhist families, each seen in its specific color, element, direction, time of day and lunar cycle. Each Dakini also represents a completed integrated range of emotion, for instance, from fear and rage to creative wrath and grace. The beauty of the Dakinis is the full range of emotion and the transformational journey within that range. When we see the creative spark in our rage and feel inspired, when we recognize the power in vulnerability, we truly know what transformation means.

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To many traditional Buddhists, the Tantric Dakinis are still secret, with practices given to certain lamas and nuns. Traditional Buddhists normally do not introduce Dakinis to lay practitioners as an enlightenment practice. As well, to some westerners, the idea of confronting our demons of fear, denial, anger, jealousy or greed is very threatening. However, to those of you magnetized by these Dakinis, they are perhaps already familiar allies. To those women, we say, go ahead, leap into your dance with the Dakinis!

Any unreasonable woman is a Dakini. All the therapy and spiritual practice in the world can still leave us caught in endless negative emotional spirals. Through the realization of Dakini wisdom, integrated with our emotional poisons, we are able to break out of patterns.

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Dakinis offer women a mirror image of ourselves as untamed women. Who hasn’t had a bad hair day when bitch is the only word we can relate to? By embracing the energy of the Dakini we embody an elemental spirit that surrounds us in nature. By invoking the Dakinis we become a primordial goddess, an eternal image, and a compassionately unreasonable woman.

Unearthing the primordial feminine brings relief to the tensions of a positive outer image and an inner life in turmoil. We can be angry or fearful, and, at the same time, know that the transformation of those emotions is creativity and grace. When we have exposed the hidden poisons in our psyche, the Dakinis provide a path of soulful living and transformation. With rampant worldwide spiritual hunger, Dakinis offer the synthesis of our emotional, creative, and spiritual realities.

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Dakini life began for Mari Selby in December 1988 when Tsultrim Allione gave the Queen Simhamukha Dakini transmission in Santa Fe. With the dakinis Mari discovered her whole self. A few months later she began to dream about the dakinis, and of creating an oracle deck. Together with the artist, Jennet Inglis she designed an interactive oracle. Today she has her own publicity firm and is currently looking for a publisher for the Dancing with Dakinis oracle deck.

 

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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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Transforming Anger into Compassionate Wrath (Part 1)

posted by Donna Henes

By Mari Selby

As 21st century women we will continue to be easily seduced, and then just as easily dismayed, by the media’s “perfect woman” as long as we buy into the outdated feminine ideal of motherly nurturance and essential passivity. And even if we don’t buy into this limited ideal, our search for a “media correct” woman often leaves us dissatisfied with our army of personal trainers, therapists, and beauty consultants. What’s missing? Perhaps a more evolved and holistic view of the feminine includes a wrathful aspect to our nature. Anger (or rage) is not wrath; wrath is focused, compassionate, creative and intelligent anger. Perhaps the next step in a personal and global evolution will guide women to become more primordial, wrathful and unreasonable, yet still compassionate?

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What might wrathful creativity produce? Recently a friend sent me an image of a group of unreasonable women from Pt. Reyes, California. They were protesting US aggression in the Middle East by forming the word PEACE with their naked bodies. The “spirit” in the display was powerful and definitely sent a message. Their intention was to “shame” the government into rational thinking about the Middle East crisis.

Where do we source this wisdom of compassionate wrath? Today more and more women are turning to other world religions besides Christianity in their search for a deeper, more primordial and wrathful connection to feminine spirit. There has been a recent upsurge in the popularity of Kali, the Hindu goddess whose compassionate nature is both destructive and creative. In the Southwest women are drawn to the Hopi and Navajo Kachinas as a way of embracing another version of themselves. The arrival of Tantric Buddhism in the West has introduced us to the (secret and formerly hidden) ancient female deities called Dakinis. The burgeoning popularity of Dakinis is rooted in their compassionate and wrathful nature. The unique compassion of the Dakinis is their focus on the embodiment of sanity through the integration of all emotions, not just peaceful or looking-good emotions.

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So, still, what are we hungry for? Are we searching for outlets for our rage? Has our rage become so strong that we can ignore it no longer? As women we’ve learned that the personal is political. How can we not be more angry than ever? We still see women being beaten and raped by their husbands, still assaulted and threatened by religionists, and still not being paid enough to feed their children.

We have also learned that we cannot be just angry, and then expect to be truly productive. As well, anger may not necessarily be the spiritual image we choose to mirror. How do we reconcile our rage with our desire to be spiritual? Many religions tell us to swallow our anger, or rise above it, or pray harder, or devote ourselves more intensely to our children, husbands etc. These practices do not change anything deep within ourselves.

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Can we transform this anger into creative energy? One of the best films to deal with the transformation of anger into wrath is “Erin Brokavich”. Erin’s bitter frustration with her own single motherhood merged with deeply felt compassion to create wrathful action. Through witnessing acute humane suffering caused by corporate polluters, Erin transformed her anger into actions that profoundly benefited her community. Erin was unreasonable throughout her entire process.

We can all create wrathful change. We can transform our lives. Where do we find the wisdom to know how to do this? Wrathful women are a force of nature, to be respected and venerated. Who were our personal models who embodied a wrathful spirit? Did our mothers stand up for us? Was there a neighbor who fostered our courage and talents? Which teacher allowed us to question authority? Each one of these people mirrored the Dakini inside us. To embrace our unreasonable and compassionate selves is to recognize ourselves as Dakinis.

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…to be continued…read Part 2 on Monday, June 8th

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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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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

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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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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.

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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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