Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine Conquering Overwhelm

Monday, 26th October 2009

A queen who lived through high periods of drama and chartered the course of overwhelm was Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her second husband became an Angevins King of England, Henry II (1154-89). With her marriage to Henry II, she brought with her the land of Aquitaine, which added considerably to Henry’s vast continental empire.
Eleanor of Aquitaine was well known for her fiery personality. She let nothing stop her. Not her previous marriage to King Louis VI of France that had been annulled on grounds of consanguinity. Not the fact that she was Henry’s senior by eleven years and they had a tempestuous marriage with eight children in fifteen years—five sons and three daughters. Oh, and not the fact that England was in civil war while she and Henry persevered.
Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine survived the death of her oldest son, who died 11 June 1183 of a fever in France. Her son had been raging war against her other son, Richard. The contention in the family didn’t stop there. The queen wasn’t innocent in the turmoil. When her husband separated from her, actively involved in affairs, she incited a rebellion against the king through her sons. This bold action of conspiracy against the king ended with her being put under house arrest at Winchester for sixteen years, although captivity did not extinguish Queen Eleanor’s ambition. Her husband died 6 July 1189, at age 56, from injuries sustained from being thrown by a horse. Queen Eleanor continued to live for many more years, dying at age 82. After her husband’s passing, Eleanor became actively involved in her son Richard’s taking the throne and arranging for his marriage to Berengaria of Navaue.
Her long life is a testimony to the fact that she learned to rise above the family drama and not allow stress to stop her.
Another signal that she mastered overwhelming events was the fact that she played a major role in the 12th century, which is extremely impressive considering that at the time medieval women were considered nothing more than chattel.

One of the ways Eleanor thrived through the chaos was by capitalizing on her smarts, enterprising nature, and beauty. Eleanor rose to her high position by maintaining a lofty royal vision of herself, which she held onto steadfastly.

Steps Through Being Overwhelmed

Monday, 19th October 2009


1.    Identify all the items that are stressing you.
2.    Step back, take a deep breath, and become the observer. Ask yourself these questions:
◦    Out of all the items on my list, what are the things that I can do something about?
◦    What items are not really that important that I can delete or delay until more conducive and necessary circumstances?
◦    What items can I delegate?
◦    Out of the items that are important to do, which one is the most important, second most, and third most, etc., on my list?
◦    What is the very next step I need to take?
3.    After you have answered these questions, go through your listed items and act accordingly:
1.    Delete what is not absolutely necessary for you to do.
2.    Assign who you will delegate to, and come up with a follow-up plan that will ensure relief instead of increased stress.
3.    Outline your priorities and the baby steps needed to be taken.
4.    Start initiating the plan, following the outlined priorities.
5.    Check your list on a regular basis to be sure that it is still in the best and most serving order. Make adjustments as needed.
6.    Relax, knowing you have a way to deal with the issues.
4.    If your overwhelmingness is due to stressful events in your personal life:
1.    Stop
2.    Take a breathe
3.    Take another breathe
4.    Become an observer
5.    Figure out what you can do right now, acting on your heart’s intention. This last part is important, needing to reflect on what you truly want for the relationship or to convey to the other person—from your heart and not from a defensive reaction.
6.    Let go of what you can’t change.
5.    Hey, I know number six is really hard, and sometimes, in certain situations, feels impossible. If you are in the middle of one of those impossible events, ask, “Can I let go for now?” or, “Can I let this go for the next thirty seconds?” I haven’t found a person yet who hasn’t been able to “let it go” for thirty seconds. Doing this exercise throughout the crisis will greatly relieve the stress.

    Rise and Fall of Responsibility

    Monday, 12th October 2009

    Taking charge of your life, and not blaming, shaming, and rationalizing others, is one of the principles that some of the greatest kings and queens that ever ruled learned quickly and applied efficiently. The interesting thing that history teaches is that when royalty did accept responsibility for their actions, things tended to work better for them than when they looked for an escape door.

    A classic example of this principle is King David who ruled ancient Israel from 1010-970 BC. His ability to take on responsibility was revealed early in his life, such as the famous story of how he became appointed king. He was from the tribe of Judah. David was a young shepherd boy who worked in the fields tending to his flock, and was the eighth child and youngest son of Jesse. When the prophet Samuel came to visit, all of David’s other brothers attended to the feast, but David stayed true to his responsibility and continued to mind the flock. Samuel eventually sought David from the field and anointed young David to be king.

    What would you do if you were anointed king? I doubt many of us would do what David did. His attention immediately went back to attending to his current responsibility, the sheep. He continued to work the sheep until the day he was summoned by his father to visit his brother’s at a camp for soldiers. While there, he heard Goliath, a Philistine, jeer at the army of Israel.

    Most of us grew up hearing the story of David bravely taking on Goliath with a sling slot—killing the giant with one flick of a sling, thus freeing Israel.

    Although David was a mere boy at the time of this incident, he was already the anointed king of Israel, and it was his duty to protect the people of Israel.

    Another part of his duty and the responsibility of his forth coming position was to become educated in the affairs of running a kingdom. David again rose to task when he was summoned by Saul, the current king, to join the court and play music, when beckoned.

    He continued to honor his responsibility as future king by fighting to protect his people in war. He was an exceptionally powerful warrior, claiming many victories, including successfully reclaiming the city of Jerusalem by forcing the Philistines out of the country.

    There are many praiseworthy qualities about King David who had a bright future laid out before him. But he became snagged by blaming and rationalizing in his personal life, which many people believe led to his eventual downfall.

    King David became involved with another man’s wife, and when the woman involved became pregnant, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, King David tried to hide them by having the woman’s husband sent to the front of the battlefield where he would surely be killed.

    Many believed this caused a myriad of tragedies in his life, including his son Absolom trying to kill him to usurp the throne. And his son Amnon raping David’s daughter Tamar. David also suffered early death of his children and huge amounts of shame. Many scholars attribute the Book of Psalms to King David, saying he wrote them as penitence as he suffered under the weight of his actions.

    How do we avoid a downfall like King David?

    Steps To Take Charge of Your Life

    Monday, 5th October 2009


    1. Stop Blaming, Shaming, and Rationalizing
    2. Taking Responsibility for Your Life—Know What Can Change and What Can’t
    3. Plug into Your Life Purpose
    4. Stay True to Your Values

    Love to hear how these steps works for you.