Family Relationships

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Friday, August 27, 2010

We Are Queens Not Princesses

We were pleased to host Donna Henes here at Nourishing Relationships for a Virtual Book Tour on Wednesday. She answered questions about her stimulating book, The Queen of My Self: Stepping Into Sovereignty in Midlife.

Several readers wanted to clear up their understanding of some of the words Donna used when she was chatting with us.

One reader asked:
Excuse my ignorance, but what is an urban shaman?

And Donna responded:

"To answer your question as to what an urban shaman is:

As shamans in every culture always have, I create contemporary rituals for my community, which I consider to be all of humanity. My role is that of catalyst: organizing and instigating innovative, de-mystified systems for creative public interaction, celebration, and communion.

I am an Urban Shaman, a modern urban woman, living in the city that is the capital of the world. My specialty is multicultural ritual and ceremony. I learn from all of the members of my community and blend together rituals that speak to all people from all backgrounds. My circles reflect that diversity and I am proud to be the ceremonial connector of people of all faiths and ethnicities."

Remembering the negative label of 'Princess', another reader inquired:
Just wondering how a Queen is different from a "Princess." I never wanted to be thought of as a "Princess" when I was younger, so why do I want to be a Queen now?"

Queen Mama Donna replied:

"A Queen is not a grown up princess. A princess is pampered, cosseted in a cushion of entitlement. A Queen is a mature ruler of her own destiny. She rolls up her sleeves and does whatever needs to be done, because she sees the need and has the ability to respond. A Queen owns and embraces her own power and uses it to empower others."

Sharon commented:
I like that just because we're focusing on being the best we can each be, it doesn't mean that we ignore the rest of the world. As you say, we can use our maturity to respond to the needs of others and give back.

And Donna's response was:

"Yes, respond is the key word. I like to spell responsibility with s hyphen: response-ability. Our responsibility to ourselves, our inner circles, our community and our world is defined by our ability to respond."

Finally, two readers asked Donna for some advice about how to think of themselves as Queens.

Gloria said:
Thanks for your encouragement. I'd like to think of myself as a Queen but to my kids either I'm invisible or, if they do acknowledge me, I'm an intrusive, royal pain in the butt.

Queen Mama Donna answered her:

"Hi Gloria, So your kids don't see you as a Queen... What do they know?! You are the Queen of your own life. We all are. IF we can allow ourselves to own our own power. Only you can validate your own sovereignty. Issue an official Royal Decree "I hereby declare that I am forthwith Queen of My Self." All hail!"

Another reader put it this way:
Mama Donna, You make so much sense - but it's hard to keep thinking of myself as a Queen when I keep getting shot down. What can I do to keep myself on track?

Here's how Donna weighed in:

"Keeping your own center in the midst of opposition is not easy. But it is incredibly important. It is all about Self-esteem.

In The Queen of My Self there is an entire chapter of exercises and practices to help develop a healthy sense of internal sovereignty. Also, I write a daily bog on with information, advice, inspiration and encouragement for obtaining Meaning, Moxie and Majesty in Midlife.

You can also subscribe to The Queen's Chronicles for a monthly Ezine full of ideas to keep empowered. Just go to and sign up.

These tools are helpful as reminders of and as connectors to your own power.

In the end, it is your opinion of you that counts. Eleanor Roosevelt said, No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

Again, our thanks to Donna for joining us here at Nourishing Relationships. For news about other Virtual Book Tours we have hosted, visit our website, and watch some videos about past guests we have welcomed. You'll also find information on our website about how to order our new ebook, Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm: Practical Strategies and Resources for Success.

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