Interdependence Day by Mama Donna Henes

I was recently invited to address a gathering of resident chaplains in the pastoral care department of a major urban medical center. Specifically, they asked me to present the shamanic point of view of team building with an emphasis on creating alliances and community.

There is no such thing! From a shamanic point of view (as well as quantum scientific thought) separation is a false concept. It is redundant to think of reaching out to build teams, alliances, and communities, since we are already all connected, allied, joined together as one. The fact is there is no such thing as opposing sides.There is only one side: just us folks, all of us everywhere, trying to live life as best we can, much more alike than different. There is no us and them. There is only us. We — all of us who occupy this planet: organic and inorganic; living and not; past, present, and future —are the world.

We come from our Mother Earth and return to Her belly. We are made of the same substance as the sea, the soil, the stars. There are, and ever have been, only so many molecules in existence, and all the rest — birth, growth, death, decay, development, change, evolution, transformation — is really just about recycling.

We breathe the same air as our cave-dwelling ancestors, continually inhaling and exhaling, trading carbon dioxide and oxygen with our plant relatives untold billions of times over the millennia. And the same holds true for water. We drink the tears of crocodiles and elephants. We wash in the drainage of the ages. It rains, it pools, it evaporates. We drink, we pee. Again and again and again in a grand scale cosmic round robin.

All borders and boundaries and separations are pure illusion. Each time we touch someone we leave some of our skin atoms behind and pick up a parcel of new ones in an intimate epidermal exchange. Thus we merge, quite literally becoming part of each other. I am you and you are me and we are we. We are all in this together, inextricably bound, riding on our beautiful blue planet through space and time. We are one team, one community, one world, one living, breathing entity. And the sooner we realize it, the happier, safer, and saner we will be.

Today we are surrounded by artificial division, manipulated resentment and fear-mongered anxiety. The real dynamic being played out right now is not about conflicting religious, economic or nationalistic factions. It is not even about war. The struggle is actually between those who believe that the world is defined in terms of contrast, of black and white opposition — good or evil, right or wrong, war or peace, with us or against us — and those who are able to see things in a more harmonious, holistic and congruent manner.

These are deciding times. It is imperative for those of us who perceive the big picture to make a concerted effort to reach out in ever-expanding circles of affinity, support, and empathetic embrace. Now is the time to create healthy, functioning networks in recognition and in honor of our mutual state of being and our common fate.

Let us come out of the cocoon closets of our isolated, separate selves and set our intentions on unity. Let us come together to make connections. To make friends. To make sense. To make art. To make amends. To make whoopy. To make time. To make magic. To make love. To make change. To make peace in our hearts and on the planet.

Let us project ourselves outward as cooperative partners; as interconnected members of our families, communities, species and world; as consciously coexistent inhabitants of our planet, and as conscientious co-creators of our combined future. Life on Earth depends upon our interdependent efforts.


Mama Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, eco-ceremonialist, ritual expert, spiritual counselor, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Beliefnet, and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum.  Her new book is Bless This House.

Categories: Activism, Earth-based spirituality, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, Feminist Ethics

Tags: , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. Hi! I’m a student of Gina Messina’s.

    I was wondering how I could be considered as a guest writer. What process is there in place for submitting my work?

    Thanks so much!

    ~rev rachel hollander…..ashé sent from God acting as an iPhone ✌🏼️📿🖖🏼



  2. Awareness so much needed, especially at this time of divisions. If only we could not only believe it, but feel it deep within ourselves. Perhaps this is our next step in evolving, or extinction. May your work bear much fruit, Mama.


  3. Excellent! It’s good to be reminded that there’s only us, all of us, and that the divisions being projected from politicians and others are artificial divisions because we’re all made of star stuff, made of the same molecules. But how do we persuade the “us” that the “them” are really still “us”? That’s certain a goal this FAR community can work toward.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Mama Donna Henes, for your post here, and I love that title “Interdependence Day.” You mentioned, very simply: “Life on Earth depends upon our interdependent efforts.” I strongly agree. And I noticed an online article recently that reminded us that “half of our oxygen is produced via photosynthesis on land by trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants.” In addition I read there’s also oxygen from ocean plants (that live near the water’s surface) in every breath we take. Wow!


  5. What a stirring call to arms..around each other!


  6. I love this! witty and profound!


  7. Sometimes when I read these articles I wonder if we are not just preaching to the choir. Your words are so true and I think FAR is all about this concept:

    “The struggle is actually between those who believe that the world is defined in terms of contrast, of black and white opposition — good or evil, right or wrong, war or peace, with us or against us — and those who are able to see things in a more harmonious, holistic and congruent manner.”

    But just how do we do this with people whose minds and bodies are locked into the extremes of white or black????


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