The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Take Charge

posted by Donna Henes

You need only to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.

-Florida Scott-Maxwell

Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to write, to paint — and to live. The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That we each have our own singular life to live. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical, and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power, and the response-ability to make it so.

The story of our lives is ours to create. We can design our own roles and ideals, compose the scripts, and author the sagas of our own futures and that of the environment around us. While we cannot necessarily control the circumstances and influences that present themselves to us in the course of living, we can choose how we will respond to them when they do arise.

Our power of choice is our sole control in the world. With each new paragraph, each turn of the page, each new dawn, each moment in time, each blink of the eye, each beat of our heart, we are gifted with another opportunity to exercise our right to choose. Coffee or tea? Lemon or milk? Right or left? Stairs or elevator? Vacuum? Vote? Cheat? Trust? Care? Dare? Change?

What paths we take, what decisions we make influence how the story will proceed and who we will be from this day forth. As George Eliot reminds us, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”

At midlife, we are at a major crossroads in our lives, and we can choose to move ahead, turn right or left, stay where we are, or go back where we came from. The Queen chooses always to choose, to involve Herself fully in the process of Her life and living, and to actively direct the drama of Her myth. She urges us take up the challenges of changing, of aging, of engaging in all that life has to offer — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She reminds us to look upon the difficulties, disruptions, disappointments, fears, and failures we have experienced as important life lessons, without which we could never hope to ascend to a throne of responsibility and rule.

The Queen encourages us to entertain the entire palette of our emotions, for there is where we find our strength and knowledge and true value. Some things in life just have to be learned the hard way and evading them is counter-productive and eventually destructive. The only way to get through them is to go through them. There is a wonderful old African-American Spiritual that says, “So high, you can’t get over it. So low, you can’t get under it. So wide you can’t get around it. You gotta go through the door.” And there, on the other side of the threshold, is where we find our true power.

 

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.

-Erica Jong, American writer

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Becoming the Queen of Your Self

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?”

How 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.

 

 

Now It’s Your Turn!

posted by Donna Henes

During the decades of our Maiden and Motherhood, women grow to meet all of our many demanding responsibilities. Lithe moon that can’t keep getting fuller and fuller with no retreat, we can take on only so much before exploding like a balloon pumped up with too much air. In the second half of Her life, the Queen begins to wane, to contract, to pull in. She opens the air valve and releases what is not to Her benefit.

When we reach our middle years we naturally pause and take stock of our lives — our career paths, our goals and aspirations, our sense of meaning and purpose. With our perspective of all of the changes and losses that we have seen and suffered, we come to realize that all we have left in our lives is time, and who knows how much of that remains?

Therefore, the imperative to live fully, creatively, energetically, effectively and consciously consumes us. We begin to question — some of us for the first time ever in our good girl lives — all previous assumptions, rules, restrictions, addictions, predictions and predilections, which have ordered our existence. Our heart cries out for authenticity. Is the life that we are living the life that we would choose if we knew that we had only one life to live?

“Women have to summon up courage to fulfill dormant dreams,” writes Alice Walker. The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of Her choice. When She operates from Her own inner guidance, She releases Her unique gifts and expressions, the sum of Her entire life experience to date, and allows them to ripen and come to fruition. And She recognizes and celebrates the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of doing so.

The Queen of Achievement, of Attainment, of Endurance, of Survival has experienced much during Her turns at Maiden and Motherhood. She has traveled to the ends of Her emotions, sometimes willingly, sometimes kicking and screaming. She has explored the depths of the pain and sorrow of the dark times in life as well as the joys and pleasures of the lightest moments, and has learned and integrated the lessons of each.

She knows what She wants and knows She wants it now. Her decisions might not make sense to Her friends and family, Her choices might shock and alarm them, but no amount of dissuasion can shake Her from Her resolve. Old doubts and concerns fade in the glaring light of Her determination.

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself.
-Katherine Mansfield

 

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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 Queen: A Model for Midlife Empowerment

posted by Donna Henes

Who are we supposed to be at this stage of our life when we are less likely to be bound and identified by our kinship connection to someone else — as daughter, wife, mother, lover? What exactly is our role as older than young and younger than old women who are still active, attractive and more effective than ever?

The Queen paradigm promotes a new understanding of what it means to be a middle-aged woman today who accepts full responsibility for and to her Self. And it celebrates the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rewards of doing so.

Becoming a Queen is not automatic. The Queen bursts forth from adversity and previous constraints, actual or imagined, to become a proficient player in the game plan of Her choice. The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well. Actualized, organized, efficient, self-sufficient, competent, ethical and fair, the Queen has struggled for and earned Her authority and respect. Determined and firmly centered on Her own two feet, She dares to climb, step after step, with nascent surety into the heady realm of Her own highest sovereignty.

Once on Her throne and crowned, the Queen glows golden with confidence, competence, and grace. She is fully aroused and takes great pleasure in the feelings of freedom, elation and wellbeing that come from personal empowerment.

Shining from the inside out, Her attractiveness and attraction is rooted deeply in Her self-actualization, self-worth, and inner strength. She exudes a primal excitement, Her power palpable in her very presence. Her desire reaches the boiling point and her inhibitions melt in the heat of Her renewed passion for life.

This royal mythic model that I envision is recognizably like me, like us. Not yet old, yet no longer young, still active and sexy, vital with the enthusiasm and energy of youth, She is tempered with the hard earned experience and leavening attitudes of age. She has been forced to face and overcome obstacles and hard lessons including Her own shadow, and in so doing, has outgrown the boundaries of Her old self.

Agitated with the unessential and restless for authenticity, She sheds all attachment to the opinions of others and accepts complete responsibility and control for Her own care, feeding and fulfillment. She is the Queen of Her Self, the mature monarch, the sole sovereign of Her own life and destiny. Here, finally, is an archetype that fits.

As long as I live, I will have control over my being — you find the spirit of Caesar in me.
- Artemisia Gentileschi

 

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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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