Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

by Laura Grace

Happiness is inward and not outward;
and so it does not depend on what we have,
but on what we are.
–Henry Van Dyke

Happiness is our birthright. It’s the goal of our life. Yes, there will be times when we will suffer, but some of the most influential and healing people on our planet are those who choose and allow themselves to be happy, no matter the circumstance.

In order to experience genuine happiness, we must understand what happiness is and where it comes from. And sometimes, it’s easier to start with what it is not. Heartfelt happiness has nothing to do with external circumstances; it’s not based upon what we have or what we do. The most ambitious accomplishments cannot provide us with lasting happiness, nor can beauty, money or fame. None of the idols we subscribe to can ever fulfill us for happiness comes from within and cannot be discovered outside ourselves.

Rick Foster & Greg Hicks, authors of How We Choose to Be Happy affirm, “True happiness is a profound, enduring feeling of contentment, capability and centeredness. It’s a rich sense of well-being that comes from knowing you can deal productively and creatively with all that life offers—both the good and the bad. It’s knowing your eternal self and responding to your real needs, rather than the demands of others.”

Further, happiness is a choice; it’s less about our circumstances and more about our attitude. Recently, after facilitating  A Course in Miracles lesson titled “My happiness and function are one,” a group of us committed to choosing happiness for fourteen days. When we reconvened two weeks later, everyone agreed that the mornings we meditated and consciously chose happiness, our days were filled with contentment, even some bliss. But on the days we didn’t, fear, anxiety and stress influenced our daily lives. We also discovered that the first week of choosing happiness was easier than the second week. Resistance—the ego’s crafty ploy—crept in, preventing the same amount of satisfaction and peace from occurring. A Course in Miracles reminds us that the “happy learner” is someone who recognizes we can just as easily learn through joy as pain, for the choice is ours: “There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly.”

Finally, courage is an essential ingredient to living a happy life. It requires courage to allow yourself to be genuinely happy. We do not yet reside in a society that supports happy people. There are countless support groups for those suffering, but not for those who take risks, go beyond self-imposed limitations and live life with gusto. Robert Anthony once penned, “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”

Since we can’t give what we don’t have, it will be difficult to embrace another’s joy if we are not feeling good about our own life. So if you are truly ready to be happy, then you must accept that not everyone will necessarily be happy for you. It all depends on their perception of their own life. A wonderful affirmation a friend passed on to me for living a courageously happy life is: “I have the courage to be happy.”

In my own life, I have discovered there are certain qualities that a “happy learner” possesses. They are qualities which lead not only to happiness, but to integrity, conviction and healing as well:

1) Taking Responsibility—realize you are not a victim and are accountable for your thoughts, feelings and actions, and everything that happens is occurring for the unfoldment of your greatest good;

2) Clear Intention—become clear of what makes you happy, making choices accordingly and setting a clear intention that is in line with your life’s purpose;

3) Looking for Lessons—acknowledge that every situation is an opportunity for growth and can be reframed in a positive and healing manner, which reminds me of John Barrie’s quote, “The secret of happiness is not getting what you like, but liking what you get.”;

4) Appreciation—actively appreciating your life and the people in it; practicing staying in the moment and having reverence for life as something extraordinary and invaluable;

5) Honesty—recognize your truth and speaking it with sensitivity and love;

6) Compassion and Extension—being willing to give from a place of beneficence without expectations or demands.

Express the courage to choose happiness. As you let your own light shine, you give permission to others to be happy, too.

 

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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.

 

 

 

I found this article on women24, but unfortunately cannot find an attribution for the writer. It is wise advice that proves you are never to young to become The Queen of Your Self:

I’m turning 35 on Saturday and I’d be lying if I said I’m not having a little wobbly about it.

Even though I am happy and healthy and reasonably hopeful about life in general and my own life in particular, every now and then panic squeezes me in its merciless, clutching grip.

Time is moving too fast. The years are going by too quickly. Will there be enough time to do everything I want to do before it’s too late? Why did I waste so much of the precious stuff? And oh, how I long for the arrogance of youth that makes us all think, somehow, that we’re going to be the exception; that we’ll be immortal.

These are the thoughts that haunt me in the early hours of the morning.

Then my kitten starts nibbling on my eyelashes, and I have to get up and wash my hair and suddenly the days seem endless and the vastness of life stretched before me infinite.

But really, it isn’t.

And in the blink of an eye another ten years will have passed and I will look back at photos of myself now and think “you were so young then, if only you understood it and used it.”

So, I will. My present to myself, at this juncture of my life, will be to try and live the rest of my life with more mindfulness, more wonder, more honesty, and more joy.

Please forgive me if this list is too corny or too cheesy for you. But I’m clearly in the midst of a mid-life crisis here, so bear with me.

  • Do your work with passion. If you immerse yourself in something, it becomes engrossing and enjoyable. If you can’t find the will to get excited about your work, maybe it’s time to look for another job.
  • Spend time with your friends. And not only with the yay-sayers and the new ones that make you feel shiny. These are called fans, not friends. Hang out with the people who ground you, who know you, and who love you unconditionally.
  • Enjoy the comforts of life. Something as basic as a walk to the shop or your daily shower can be soothing, energizing, relaxing or whatever you need it to be if done with care and mindfulness.
  • Feed yourself properly. Food is not the enemy. Try and turn at least one meal a day into a sensual experience. It’s more than just fuel. Cook something from first principles. Set a table. Light a candle.
  • Don’t be scared to voice your feelings. Allowing your vulnerability to show is true strength. And it’s the only real way to build meaningful relationships. Tell people what you want; you’d be surprised how often they give it to you.
  • Enjoy and take care of your body. Sure, your boobs might not be what they were when you were 17, and your knee might hurt after climbing too many stairs, but unless you make the necessary changes, things will only get worse. Quit smoking. Start exercising. Be thankful for your health now, and invest in it for your old age.
  • Identify your priorities. What do you want from this life? What would you regret not doing? Why aren’t you doing it? What’s holding you back? What are you so afraid of?

It sounds so simple, so obvious. But how many of us are actually living our lives with the passion, care and enjoyment it deserves? I know I can do much better.

Do you think it’s worth it?

Love and 35 candles,

 

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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.

 

I have been inundated lately by articles, poems and stories about the so-called “Midlife Crisis.” Clearly it is subject very much on the minds of many, many women. 

Mid Life Crisis: What is it? Is it inevitable? Is it even a real phenomenon? Or is it an invention of the media — that is, corporate advertising trying to sell us things we don’t need? (Not only do we not need these cosmetic and quasi-medical accoutrements, they are downright insulting and sometimes even dangerous.)

These writings cover the gamut of opinions, ideas, and suggestions about coping with a Midlife Crisis, ours or someone else’s. I offer them up to you to for your interest and edification.

As always, I invite you to send me your stories — experiences, advice, and inspiration to share with our community of Midlife Queens.

Midlife Crisis or Midlife Consciousness? You choose! 

xxQueen Mama Donna

 

I Turned 50 Today
By Fawn Germer

 

When I was 29, I went to a therapist
And told her
I felt old.
I turned 50 today,
under the towers of Zion
where I cycled and hiked and laughed until
the day ended in darkness
under the watch of a million desert stars.

Sometimes, I am officially irrelevant,
A middle-aged woman,
Invisible.

Yes!

Don’t tell, but I sneaked into the pool of a five-star resort
Just put my beach bag on a real nice lounger and when I put on my sunscreen,
A server brought me a glass of champagne,
Because she thought I belonged there…
Free champagne, I am so free.

I can wear whatever bathing suit and show off all kinds of cellulite because,
At this point,
No one is looking to criticize
The middle-aged woman.

Let the world ignore me while I ignore the expectations
Every day,
I will look up to God and
kiss warm light.

I choose not to dream,
But to live.

 

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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.

 

 

 

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. or
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Thank goodness there’s a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better even though I have it!

This is how it manifests: 

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mailbox earlier. 

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
And notice that the can is full. 

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first. 

But then I think,
Since I’m going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first. 

I take my check book off the table,
And see that there is only one check left. 

My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking 

I’m going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside
So that I don’t accidentally knock it over. 

The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. 

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye — they need water. 

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I’ve been searching for all morning. 

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I’m going to water the flowers. 

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table. 

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I’ll be looking for the remote,
But I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I’ll water the flowers. 

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor. 

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill. 

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do. 

At the end of the day:
The car isn’t washed
The bills aren’t paid
There is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter
The flowers don’t have enough water,
There is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can’t find the remote,
I can’t find my glasses,
And I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day,
And I’m really tired. 

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I’ll try to get some help for it,
But first I’ll check my e-mail… 

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
Because I don’t remember who the hell I’ve sent it to.

– Sent in by the Queens in the New Bern, NC Queen Group

 

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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.