During the middle of our Crowning Ceremony week we started to feel that, while we had most definitely enjoyed our youth, the best of life might really be yet to come. By letting go of things like self-doubt, fear of being judged and worry about how to look younger, we were setting ourselves free to admire who we were right now. We were overjoyed to discover that we did admire the women we had become. We were two strong women, who brought with them to the second half of life courage, wisdom and, most of all, the knowledge that they could survive anything with their dignity and humor intact.

At the end of our Crowning Ceremony week, by examining our lives and asking each other these two questions, we felt strong, powerful and positive that this second half of our lives would certainly be the best half. Cindy had left her doubt about being smart enough to compete in the business world with some swans floating in the Vltava River outside a three star seafood restaurant and was taking great pleasure in the knowledge that she was still the courageous twenty-year-old woman who had sold her bike for two hundred dollars, taken the money and moved to New York City. Kathy, leaving behind her fear of not being worthy of love, in an underground gothic café that served beer, absinthe and goulash, was elated to reclaim the sense of humor that had helped her keep a positive outlook on life since she had told her first knock-knock joke at the age of four.

Having declared ourselves Queens of Our Own Lives, we ended our vacation and returned to our homes. We were delighted to find that we both continued to feel empowered by our Crowning Ceremony. Every woman we told about our vacation loved the idea and wanted to have a Crowning Ceremony of her own. We'd had so much fun and gained such strength, we decided that the least we could do was pass it on to our friends. So we began to host gatherings that we continued to call Crowning Ceremonies.

Kathy and Cindy's top 10 ways to become a queen in your own life

Kathy Kinney is best known for her iconic role as Mimi Bobeck on The Drew Carey Show. She has acted in more than a dozen films, guest-starred on numerous television shows and has toured worldwide with Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars. Kinney may also be seen in the title role of Mrs. P at, a website for children aimed at keeping the joy of books and reading alive.

A veteran publishing executive,
Cindy Ratzlaff created marketing campaigns for more than 100 New York Times best-selling books, including The South Beach Diet. She is president of Brand New Brand You, which specializes in using new social media platforms to increase brand awareness, and is co-founder of the online publishing company Supreme Social Media.

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