When I was deep in my 20’s and 30’s – looking for approval and validation from relationships, jobs and the mirror – my mom gave me a piece of advice that gave me hope.
She said “You’ll see Nina – once you hit your 40’s and even more so when you step into your fifties – you won’t care as much about what everyone else thinks.”
How could that be possible, I thought. My whole life at that time was consumed with trying to “get it right” – trying to be more like “her” – whoever the “it” girl of the moment was.
I couldn’t imagine a time when I would be okay with who I was, because clearly – according to the standards that I was measuring myself against (magazines and movie stars) – I wasn’t showing up so well.
But sure enough, my mom was right.
As I walked through my 40’s (although it felt more like barreling down the highway at high-speed) and stepped firmly into my 50’s, a transformation happened.
I stopped measuring myself against the outside world.
I started listening more to my inside world.
I started giving myself the things that deeply nourish my body, mind and soul – and discovered that the more I fed myself on the deepest levels – the more I became the person I truly am and was meant to be.
This process, in the archetypal psychology arena, has been described as moving from the Princess to the Queen stage.
The Princess stage primarily applies to women in the twenties and thirties. It’s a time when they are discovering who they are, and need the world to reflect back to them their identity. The term princess in this context is not a derogatory term, it’s an acknowledgment of their evolving power.
The Queen stage exists for women upwards of 40. Queens are defined from the inside out, versus the outside in. They are self-secure, they know their worth, and are ready to share their wisdom. Queens speak their truth with compassion and all those around her benefit from her authentic and powerful expression.
Are all 50 year old women evolved Queens?
No, not at all.
Many women are still caught in looking to the outside world to tell them they are okay. They are still doing Princess work – and there’s no shame in that at all…that’s just simply where they are in their personal development.
But for those women who are ready –they do become Queens – life teaches us how to be gracious and wise if we let it.
For those of us who do know our passion and purpose in life, and who are already sharing our wisdom, do we always feel like Queens?
No, we need support and external nourishment as well.
The key for those of us who are still working on Princess/validation issues or Queen/wisdom issues is to be creating a life of deep nourishment, a life where we honor our own needs, desires and wants. When we are truly nourished, all those around us benefit.
Unfortunately this deep self-nourishment is not as easy as it sounds. Even though our society hollers wellness information from every media source, at a core level, there really isn’t permission for women to put their needs on the top of the list. Women are trained from early on to give to others and do for others. Now of course being loving, giving, and generous are great, but sadly for women – that’s often a one way street – away from ourselves.
In order to step into this developmental stage of queen, we have to tend to ourselves. Here are three concrete ways to support yourself and make space for you, so that you can experience your Queen.
1. Take a hard look at your to-do list. Put yourself at the top! Everything further down will benefit because you’ve prioritized yourself.
2. Before asking everyone around you what they think about a certain subject or issue or restaurant, ask yourself – what do I think, feel, and want? Honor your own wisdom and knowing!
3. Connect yourself with other like-minded women who value and honor themselves and understand the deep value of nourishing themselves.
4. Get individualized support. Having a coach that can help you move through the places where you feel stuck in Princess or resistant to your own power is the fast track way to embodying your Queen.
Working with this concept of Queen is a powerful practice. Personally, it’s given me more confidence in myself and my wisdom. I’ve also seen clients end their body-struggles and step into sustainable healthy habits because they finally honored themselves.
Step into feeling like a Queen, support it with the 4 strategies above, because you deserve to be the Queen that you are.