Wednesday, September 24, 2008
SharedBliss: Interview with Urban Shaman & Author, Donna Henes
Listening to: The visuals in this are great, but I adore this music; I, too, am someone who loves to listen to the same thing over and over, all day long. (See the interview.)
Bliss: Posting an interview with an author whose book you have cherished!
I have always been a sky watcher. At the age of 11, I saved up for and bought my first telescope. Yet, still, my favorite way to view the sky is with the naked eye. And my favorite thing to keep track of is the moon.
A few years ago, as I delved deeper and deeper into the idea of feminine divinity, my interest in the moon reached a new level. I sought out as much information as I could find. I started keeping track of the day of each moon in my journal -- rather than writing the date by the solar calendar, an awkward invention, really.
Then I started dreaming of a book filled with all sorts of bits and stories and facts and myths about the moon. I started collecting notes, thinking I might write it. Then I found it already written, happily for I was beginning to write a novel and did not want to stop for anything.
What I had found was Donna Henes' book, which I have quoted from in this blog, The Moon Watcher's Companion.
And now here I am, interviewing her! Life is a splendid thing, indeed.
Donna is an Urban Shaman (that is a link to a wonderful short video of her speaking at the Hayden Planetarium, where she mentions light pollution!), a writer, and a speaker and counselor. (You can sign up for her wonderful e-mail newsletter here.)
How did you come to know that this was your PrimaryBliss?
From the earliest age, my deepest soul just knew. I was guided by some innate inner source of wisdom, obtained through many lifetimes as a seeker. I was compelled to follow my spiritual path, despite the limiting circumstances of my life.
What types of choices and sacrifices did you make to be able to craft this bliss-filled life?
I have always said that unless you are an heiress, which I am most definitely not, you need to choose between time and money. For me, the choice was simple. Time wins, every time!
When people ask me whether I support myself as a shaman, I have a pat answer. I always say, “I support myself in the means to which I have become accustomed.” That is, ice skating on the edge of a razor blade.
How does your PrimaryBliss radiate out into the rest of your life?
My PrimaryBliss is my life. It allows me to radiate an energy of affirmation, of enthusiasm, of empowerment, of optimism.
What are some other activities that also give you this sense of bliss? Things that make you lose track of time?
Sitting in solitude and absolute quiet, writing, drumming, chanting, gardening, dog cuddling, walking, swimming, dreaming, making love, making art, making sense.
What is your daily or weekly spiritual practice?
I bless my self every day, at every opportunity. This is the core of my spiritual practice. The more you bless yourself, the more you believe it. The more you believe it, the more you project it. The more you project it, the more you invite it in. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of contentment and bliss.
What music is your bliss?
I love sacred music from around the world, especially drumming and chanting. My favorite thing is to listen to one side of an album or a single track of a CD all day. It defines the rhythm of the day and provides an emotional theme.
Name books or authors/poets or people who are your bliss, who influenced your bliss.
Annie Dillard, Diane Ackerman, Barbara Kingsolver, May Sarton
What advice would you give to someone who feels they have not yet discovered their PrimaryBliss?
Live each minute, each second of each day. Pay attention. Notice signs and symbols and omens. Look for miracles. Seek and ye shall find. Your PrimaryBliss will manifest itself and you will know it.
Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?
“Follow your bliss.”
Donna picked the defining quote for this site!
Lately, the air filled with feuding and political nit-picking, it seems that so many people have lost sight of the beauty and bounty of life; it seems the "practical" and the material have been given royal status, whereas compassion and the spiritual aspects of life are being downgraded to "unnecessary" or something we don't have time for or silly fancies in light of the "real, serious" stuff.
But the real, serious stuff is the stuff of people like Donna -- her work as an Urban Shaman, reminding us city dwellers to look up every night and take a breath, to look around every day and take a break, to be aware of and open to miracles, every day, every moment.
We need to remember who we are and we are not simply and only consumers! We are creators and we are here to be filled with and to share awe.
To quote from Donna's Moon Watcher's Companion:
Even today, the most dapper, jaded urban dweller will take an instant, astonished notice of the full moon as if seeing it for the very first time. In so doing, they celebrate a simple celestial observance which connects them with the cosmos if even for a single mystical moment.
May we all be more aware of our inherent mystical natures. May we all take the time to bless ourselves so that we might bless others. May we all stop bludgeoning one another with agendas and start simply doing and being for one another with utter abandonment and joy.
The moon is eternal; our current problems are not.