The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Thanksgiving Prayer

posted by Donna Henes

IROQUOIS THANKSGIVING ADDRESS
by Ohenton Kariwahtekwen


The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters
We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish
We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants
Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants
With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs
Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals
We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one

The Trees
We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds
We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds
We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers
Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun
We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon
We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the nighttime sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars
We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers
We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator
Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words
We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.


* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Potlatch – Encouraging Generosity

posted by Donna Henes

A potlatch encourages the flow of resources in a community and reaffirms the importance of community ties.

We can learn much from the Native American tradition of the potlatch. It is a tradition that values generosity above all else, and a potlatch, which is a very grand ceremony, is an exercise in giving away material possessions, food, and money. It is not uncommon for the host of a potlatch to give away so much of his own resources to his guests that he ends up with nothing. However, he can regain his wealth by attending potlatches at which he is a guest. In this way, a potlatch validates generosity and encourages the flow of resources in a community, while at the same time continually reaffirming the importance of community ties.

When we are held in a web of trust and connection, we can give generously, knowing that when it is our turn we will be supported. In this way, our whole sense of ownership becomes less individualistic and more communal. Resources are in an acceptable state of flux, moving within the community through the vehicle of the potlatch, which serves the additional function of strengthening community ties. This seems clearly preferable to isolating ourselves from one another and hoarding our resources.

Perhaps we can find ways in our own lives to create a community in which a flow of resources happens in this way, in which we support one another to be generous. We might begin by celebrating our own type of potlatch, having a dinner party and giving each guest an object that is dear to us. Or we could give everyone a little bit of money in an envelope to spend on themselves just for fun. Someone might get inspired to throw their own potlatch, and before we know it we might have a tradition that supports and validates generosity even as it creates a safety net for leaner times. In the most profound sense, that is what a community, a tribe, and family do best.

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Gratitude

posted by Donna Henes

When we expand and grow and the situations of our lives start to flow, when the going is good and the living gets easier, it seems only natural to be thankful. But what about all those times when nothing seems to budge? When we are stuck in the rush hour traffic jam of daily life and our bodies and souls start to feel like banged up bumper cars? When we are tested and pounded and pummeled. When things seem so crazy and out of control we wonder what do we have to be thankful for?

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melodie Beattie

The greatest gift of the mind is, perhaps, perspective. Our reflective, rational side keeps us in balance, helps us from running wild with our myopic emotions. “Well,” my dear Daile once calmly commented in the midst of an intense work disaster that would normally have driven her quite mad, “at least nobody died.” That’s it, exactly. If we have a healthy sense of perspective, our lives become infinitely more precious to us and we automatically operate with an attitude of gratitude. In the words of Queen Doris Lessing, gratitude is “to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.”

Those of us who have ourselves been ill, or who care-take others, have earned a certain understanding of this point of view. Aging helps, too. Even so, for most of us it is a daily, hourly, minutely learned lesson — one that we easily forget. One that we would be wise to remember. Despite the fears of economic doom, we all have an amazing abundance of abundance in our lives. Let us give thanks.

We are in possession of the greatest gift of being alive. Let us appreciate the bountiful blessings of breath and food and love.

All we have in this world is our life. We owe it to ourselves, the living, to be very, very grateful to be alive in this magnificent world. We owe it to the dead to honor their presence and influence in our life and times. We owe it to the entire complicated universe to live our precious life with full consciousness, conscience, and compassion.

And we owe it to Life, itself, to wake up each morning and retire each night filled with reverence and awe at the mighty miracle of it all, humbled, to have been even an infinitesimal part of the wonder, the wisdom, the intricately woven web of the world.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay
attention, how to fall down
into the grass…
how to be idle and
blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been
doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t
everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to
do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver
“The Summer Day”

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

The Universal Golden Rule

posted by Donna Henes

Most of us were raised with some version of The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat others as we, ourselves, would wish to be treated. This basic ethic is repeated in a multitude of variations in the texts of all the great religions of the world. And, really, what else is there to say?

BAHÁ’Í
If thou lookest for justice, choose thou for others what thou chooses for thyself.

BUDDHISM
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

CHRISTIANITY
As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

CONFUCIANISM
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.

GNOSTICISM
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

HINDUISM
This is the sum of all true righteousness: deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which thou wouldst not have him do to thee after.

ISLAM
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

JAINISM
Indifferent to worldly objects, a man should wander about, treating all creatures in the world as he himself would be treated.

JUDAISM  
What is hateful to you do not to others. That is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary.

NATIVE AMERICAN
The Universe is the Mirror of the People, and each person is a Mirror to every other person.

SIKHISM
As thou deemest thyself, so deem others; then shalt thou become a partner in Heaven.

SHINTOISM
Irrespective of their nationality, language, manners and culture, men should give mutual aid, and enjoy reciprocal, peaceful pleasure by showing in their conduct that they are brethren.

TAOISM
The good man ought to pity the malignant tendencies of others; to rejoice over their excellence; to help them in their straits; to regard their gains as if they were his own, and their losses in the same way.

WICCA
And ye harm none, do what ye will, lest in thy self-defense it be, ever mind the rule of three.

ZOROASTRANISM
That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self.

There is an important caveat here. Notice that there are endless permutations on the theme “Do Unto Others What You Would Have Others Do Unto You.” Or, “Love They Neighbor as Thyself.” Not one — not one single one — says anything like “Love They Neighbor More than Thyself.”

It is very clear that love of thy neighbor is predicated on the assumption of love for thyself. How can we, after all, love humanity as a whole and not love ourselves? Are we not included? If we are not human, what are we? Some slug-like subspecies? Deities on high, exempt from the human struggle? Rocks?

Imagine the world full of people who honor their own sacred worth and grant that same respect to every other person on Earth.

What a golden world it would be.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
- Lucille Ball
* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Previous Posts

Thanksgiving Prayer
IROQUOIS THANKSGIVING ADDRESS by Ohenton Kariwahtekwen The People Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetin

posted 6:00:05am Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Potlatch - Encouraging Generosity
A potlatch encourages the flow of resources in a community and reaffirms the importance of community ties. We can learn much from the Native American tradition of the potlatch. It is a tradition that values generosity above all else, and a potlatch, which is a very grand ceremony, is an exercise

posted 6:00:51am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Gratitude
When we expand and grow and the situations of our lives start to flow, when the going is good and the living gets easier, it seems only natural to be thankful. But what about all those times when nothing seems to budge? When we are stuck in the rush hour traffic jam of daily life and our bodies and

posted 6:00:38am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

The Universal Golden Rule
Most of us were raised with some version of The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat others as we, ourselves, would wish to be treated. This basic ethic is repeated in a multitude of

posted 6:00:07am Nov. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Broken Heart Work
A Message for those doing the hard work of heart work... by Shiloh McCloud When everything you think you know changes what do you do then? When all that you dreamed you might cause shifts what do you dream then? When who you thought you were isn't how then to re-invent? When how you b

posted 6:00:06am Nov. 14, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.