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Ask Your Mama

by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shamani

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

*Ask Your Mama™

The What, When, Where, Why, How, and Who of

Ceremony & Spirituality


©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman


A Question of Keeping Balanced in Rough Seas


Dear Mama Donna,

I came out of work at 9PM tonight and found my Honda Accord where I had left it in a gigantic parking structure surrounded by cars. It was minus all four wheels — rims and tires. Vandals, probably four of them, did a quick job. I freaked and started shaking. 2 1/2 hours later, I’m home with no car. AAA had a huge job towing my car to my shop in Del Mar. I have a $500 deductible. That equals one week’s pay. AAA says it happens all the time and I’m lucky to have my car. I got a ride home with Del Mar Police. You are always writing about balance. So what does balance say about this???????????????? The hell with balance. I’m getting into bed, going into the fetal position, hiding under the blankets, and turning the air conditioner up to 9.

Disgusted and Catatonic in California

My poor dear Catatonic,

How can I break this to you? It’s not all about you, honey. Balance did not forget you. You forgot balance. It is a huge universe, and it is completely counterproductive to take hard times personally. Our personal problems, our dizzying ups and downs aside, the forces of the cosmos continue to operate in perfect balance around us. Clearly you had a lousy time of it, but take a deep breath and look around you. I think that, if you are honest with yourself, you will find that a broken car, no matter how inconvenient, seems fairly inconsequential given all that is going on in the world these days.

Though you didn’t recognize it at the time, your miserable evening had everything to do with balance. It was an important aptitude test on keeping your balance during rough, rocky times. Life is nothing if not a balancing act. Not that it is easy to be balanced all of the time. We are human beings, after all, being human. We get pissed when things don’t go our way.

We are constantly bounced around by forces beyond our control. Each bump is like a subpoena for the soul. Every time that fate deals us a blow, we find ourselves on trial to determine how we handle ourselves in disruptive circumstances. Do we fall off the tight rope and crash and burn at the slightest inconvenience? Or do we gather our resources, fine tune our sense of perspective, and go with the flow with good humor and grace?

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not break.

The AAA was right. In balance, you were lucky not to lose the car, or your life, for that matter, had you happened upon the thugs mid-theft. You had a home to go home to, a computer and an electric blanket. Get a grip, girl friend. This is not the end of the world. Count your blessings and be grateful. Be very, very grateful.

Yours for keeping in balance,

xxMama Donna

If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look squarely in the eye and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me."

Ann Landers



*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. Send your questions about seasons, cycles, and celebrations to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com.


Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman,

eco-ceremonialist, award-winning author, syndicated columnist,

popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations

of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and

contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than

100 cities since 1972. In addition to her popular public rituals for

equinoxes and solstices, she is the official Grand Spirit Marshall

of the world famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and the

Mistress of Blessing Ceremonies for NYC Earth Day Festivities.

She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed quarterly

journal and writes a column for UPI (United Press International)

Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called,

maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and

consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful

ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.

For information about upcoming events and services contact:

Mama Donna’s Tea Garden & Healing Haven

PO Box 380403

Exotic Brooklyn, New York, NY 11238-0403

Phone: 718/857-1343

Email: CityShaman@aol.com






Read her blog at:










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