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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Interview with a Canadian Queen – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

I recently attended a talk by Canadian author Catherine Gildiner and was quite taken with her good humored wisdom. When I read her book, After the Falls, I was hooked. She graciously allowed me to interview her and I would like to share her answers with you. They offer a revealing and inspiring description of a woman coming into her power.

Interview with a Canadian Queen – Part 1


QMD – I understand that you did not begin to write until you were in your 50s. Can you please tell me about that? What made you want to chronicle your early life?

I was a psychologist for twenty-five years and then one night at a dinner party I began telling a story of an event that occurred when I worked in my father’s drug store from the age of four. I was delivering drugs with the black delivery car driver and we were snowed in and I had to stay overnight at his house. The woman who had the party worked for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company). She encouraged me to write up the tale. She suggested I enter it into a short story competition. However once I started to write — I wrote a whole memoir! Then I sent it to a publisher and it was immediately published and on the best seller’s list. I decided at that point to begin a full time career in writing. I was already fifty so I decided I didn’t have that much time left.

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I concentrated on my early life because I had such memorable people in my work as a young child, they seemed to be screaming in my head to be written about.


CG – What was your first sense of yourself as a self-identified person, separate from what society expected of you? 

A bully was harassing me and hurting me. He was pulling out my hair in bunches for months. I went to my teacher and parents but their solutions did not stop the bullying. Finally I stabbed the bully in grade four with a compass. He collapsed. And I finally let him have it. I was kicked out of school and was forced to see a psychiatrist. That was a fairly dramatic consequence for a Catholic school in the 1950s. I had a sense that I was not doing what was expected of me but I really didn’t care. I had protected myself. It wasn’t what Catholic school expected from my parents. I however realized I was on my own and I had protected myself. If people thought I was crazy I REALLY didn’t care. It was quite freeing really.

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QMD – When and in what circumstances have you felt yourself to be powerful? 

I have felt powerful several times. I worked on civil rights in the 60’s.  Even when I was a young kid I went out in the night and decided to paint all the black lawn jockeys (lawn ornaments) white. When it was written up in the paper as “vandalism” I still felt powerful for doing it. Any time that I worked for a greater public goal I felt a surge of personal power.

CG – What powers, strengths, visions, are you working on manifesting now? 

I am not working on any powers in the external sense. I feel I have a lot of those. I am working on trying to manage my anger and type A personality so that I can better enjoy my personal relationships. If you want to talk in terms of visions, I want to see myself as someone who accepts others and accepts myself. Hard driving gets you all kinds of external rewards (PhD, money, books published, psychology private practice) but at 62 you find it wears out your motor and replacement parts are hard to come by. I have bought a farm so that I can calm down and appreciate nature and solitude.

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…     Monday, Interview with a Canadian Queen – Part 2

 

 

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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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Am I Having A Mid-Life Crisis?

posted by Donna Henes

by Carolina Smart

You ever have one of those Ah ha moments? Either one you came to on your own volition, or after a conversation with someone else; that someone being a good friend, family member or a stranger. I had one of those moments tonight.

We all date for different reasons. Looking to find the love of our life, for companionship, boredom or because we can. I have many single female friends and few married ones. I’ve asked many of them why they date, and even continue dating after one disappointment after another. These women range in age from mid thirties to late fifties.   I’ve been looking to them more and more lately, more so as a kid standing outside the store looking in at the toy they can’t have, rather than seeking out advice.

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In my observations I see women, some who are strong and independent and others who are terrified of being alone. I’ve always have put myself in the category of strong and independent, but of late, am wondering if I have been using this mask to cover up my own fears. In less then seven months I will be turning 45. 45 and still single. Is this a bad thing? I guess that depends on whose opinion I am willing to listen to.

I’m not going to lie, I LOVE being single most days. I can come and go as I please, have no one to answer to but the credit card company if I spend $200 on a pair of boots, and don’t have to worry about being looked at as a freak of nature when I walk around my apartment in my under garments, while I have dye in my hair. Most days. But I have a confession, I like waking up with a warm body next to me and it’s only really been lately, that I have started to feel the need to fill the other half of my bed.

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I’ve been battling with the whys of all of this. Am I lonely? Is my libido doing that one final war cry before giving up the ghost? Have I finally gotten to a place in my life that I am happy with who I am and now I can make room for a partner? Am I having a mid life crisis? This is where the Ah ha moment comes in. I think it might be all of the above.

It took standing in my kitchen with one of my dearest friends, listening to her lecture me, telling me that I deserve to have love in my life. That I deserve the world, deserve all the happiness and love that I dish out to others. I dish out generously to the men and women who have come and gone and now it’s their turn to reciprocate. Without soft coating it, she said I needed to stop making excuses and look for what is going to truly make me happy. But what if I don’t know what that is and what if it is no more than a 45-year old woman panicking about being 45 and single?
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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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The Feast of Life

posted by Donna Henes

by Diane Bader

I am woman, a seeker after truth, knowledge and Wisdom
One who travels secretly, inwardly, on this journey of life,
One who seeks to know the Feminine,
Who seeks to know the Divine.
I hunger and thirst for inner truth
As I read voraciously,
As I feed upon the wisdom and knowledge of others
Always seeking nourishment for guidance along my own
path of discovery.
When I find such words,
I feast hungrily upon them
Until I find another who adds to the feast
And yet another …
I am refreshed by the sweet nectar
As similar thoughts flow together
To resonate with my soul.
As years flow seamlessly into years,

The urgency of living lessens.
It is my time to grow ever more deeply and
Meditate upon the feast spread before me.
I choose the choice bits
And make them my own
No longer “out there” – someone else’s thoughts
They are my soul food.
They belong to me.
Rarely do I find the words to share them,
Rarely do I find an Anam Cara to hear them.
My soul yearns and pines
For the courts of the Divine.
Only then will the feast be complete,
Only then will my soul be satiated.

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Meanwhile, I journey upon Mother Earth
Seeking to nourish her and preserve her
For future generations.
I trod gently, very gently
As I enjoy glimpses of the Divine presence
In her sunsets, her gentle rains,
Her green blades of spring,
Her richness of harvest.

When I see brilliant vermilion and orange
Spread across the evening horizon,
I know they are for someone special
Who has just passed from this temporary dwelling
Into the next
And I am again enriched
By the abundance of such Divine Beauty
* ***
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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Message from Another Queen

posted by Donna Henes

 

To the citizens of the United States of America
From Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)  Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

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  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up ‘vocabulary’).
  1. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.   There is no such thing as U. S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.   The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
  1. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  1. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists.   The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent.   Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
  1. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler, although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  1. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect.  At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  1. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon.   Get used to it.
  1. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps.   Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  1. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all.   Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.   Australian beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer.   They are also part of the British Commonwealth — see what it did for them.   American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  1. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.   Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.   Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  1. You will cease playing American football.   There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer.   Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body amour like a bunch of nannies).
  1. Further, you will stop playing baseball.   It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America.   Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.   You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  1. You must tell us who killed JFK.   It’s been driving us mad.
  1. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  1. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

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I received this as a forwarded anonymous email.

 

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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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