Category: Winter 2013/14

Peace in Relationships: The Power of No

The little word no is such a powerful word when we use it well. No can change the well-being of our life and relationships. No can also be incredibly dis-empowering when we disregard its value and power to protect our health, our sense of integrity, our dreams and the time and energy it takes to realize them.

Why is this little word so hard to use, at least well? What I hear most from people about their resistance to saying no is the fear of not being liked, of not feeling like they belong or of not being needed (translation meaning not feeling significant).

Our inner consciousness offers us ‘red flags’ when something is amiss and it often speaks to us through our senses and our body, namely the gut (hence the phrase “I have this gut feeling”). Frequently, people share with me how they dismiss or disregard their gut instinct, for many reasons. Some go so far as to say, but how can we trust our gut, our intuition, that something is amiss and we need to say no?

Years ago, when I took significant steps to learn about intuition and to trust mine, I used a systematic approach of writing down what ‘my gut said’ towards something and ‘what my head said’. I then wrote out the results of what happened when I listened to my intuition and when I dismissed it. It’s a  powerful little exercise that lets one see exactly where one went against one’s gut instinct and what happened – as well as when one went with it. It was a turning point in saying ‘no’ to over-analyzing a situation and learning to trust my own inner wisdom that supports the knowledge of my mind.

Peace of mind comes with the practice of saying yes and no in alignment with one’s sense of self-respect, truth and self-dignity, especially in relationships. I have discovered that when I say ‘no’ and mean it, while also saying ‘yes’ when I mean it helps others experience my honesty and trustworthiness. When others know that I’m speaking honestly and they can trust my response as genuine, they aren’t left guessing about what I’m saying and meaning.

6-year_old_tortoise_shell_catOne of the best examples I can think of who exemplifies the appropriate use of no is our cat Taz. Her no comes without apology, without remorse or guilt and without much hesitation. It’s an emphatic ‘no’ to anything she doesn’t want, need or like. She doesn’t eat food she doesn’t want or like. She swats at anyone who doesn’t attend to her needs (or maybe not in the right way or not long enough). She speaks clearly and cleanly. Taz has been an ally in my teaching and coaching over the years as she has a keen awareness who needs to practise and learn self-respect by applying this two letter word.

Last week I coached Rosie Fernandez, a producer at CBC, as part of a radio show about the POWER OF NO. I invite you to listen to it. It’s a fun show and perhaps you will hear yourself in the stories that are told.

The truth is that if you never say NO, you are not showing up honestly in your relationships. It also says that you aren’t saying YES to the right things, time and energy for what you really want either. No is a big word. But even a two-year old knows its power – and practises this word OFTEN! If you’ve lost touch with this word, then as Rosie discovered, it’s time to make it your new friend and gain some momentum in creating peace in your relationships.

And Taz … I trust and respect her. I never question whether she’s being honest with me. She is! Her use of no connects us and makes our relationship more peaceful … because it’s truthful. I wish this same peace in relationships for all of us.

Namaste,

Shirley Lynn Martin

 

Bringing the Best of the Olympic Spirit to the Ordinariness of Relationships

I only watched bits and pieces of the Winter Olympics this year, but the media recounted numerous stories of athletes who displayed what it means to be human beings at our utmost best, to shine our light most fully. These displays of true ‘Olympic Spirit’ made me reflect on how we might bring this ‘spirit’ into our own everyday aspects in our relationships.

  • Roberto Carcelen of Peru competed in the men’s 15 km cross-country skiing Classic with a broken rib and finished last. However, at the finish line Carcelen was met by his competitor and the race winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland, who congratulated him on finishing the race. Why did Roberto compete – to inspire his country and children who need a positive role model! Why did Dario meet him at the finish line? I don’t know what his motivation was, but this act of kindness and respect that honours, recognizes and welcomes the ‘last’ brings harmony and peace and breaks down barriers that equalize the dignity and value of every human being. Dario offered him an equal moment of ‘being on the podium’ where Roberto’s light could shine.
  • Canada’s cross-country skiing coach Justin Wadsworth replaced the broken ski of Russia’s Anton Gafarov after he crashed during the men’s cross-country skiing sprint freestyle semifinals. Why did he do it? He says because he was there and it was in him to do it! He accepted various interpretations about what it may mean, but in the end, he hoped that anyone would do what he did. It was an act of kindness so someone else could shine and fulfill their dream.
  • Carey Price spoke of the unity and connection in the Canadian men’s hockey team, stating that Canadian men’s hockey players just always find a way to get along. The commitment to connect and be united allowed them to remain focused on their game plan. The team harmony showed up in their discipline to play as they needed to. No one needed to be superior in the game or team. They stayed true to the connection they felt for each other and the ultimate purpose of their task.
  • Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio gave up his spot in the 1,000-meter Olympic speed skating race so his teammate Denny Morrison could have an opportunity to compete instead. For Gilmore it was about the team, the bigger picture. In the end, Denny won silver.

In each case, a significant act of kindness and selflessness raised the consciousness of humanity as these stories went global! In each case, the spirit of the heart shone through, the ego surrendering to the higher spirit of the moment and greatness was achieved beyond those directly involved in the moment. These acts all came from the heart. These acts of kindness, of sportsmanship, of Olympic spirit are accessible to all of us and we can choose to practise them in the ordinary moments of our everyday relationships.

Consider what it might mean to a co-worker if you wrote a note letting them know what you value about their work and presence as a team member. What might it mean if you focused on what your partner or friend did for you or gave you, rather than what they didn’t do? What difference might it make if your mindset broadened to be open to sacrificing something for a greater win of the human family? What conflicts might be averted? What hurts or feelings of unworthiness might be healed?

dalai lama on kindnessNone of the fore-mentioned acts of kindness, respect and harmony displayed during these Olympics cost them anything. Not money, not self-worth nor self-respect. In fact, it increased it for each of them and higher aspirations for the greater good were manifest!

When true acts of kindness manifest, love and power are joined and the human community’s heart is blessed and made whole! This is the best of the Olympic spirit. I invite you to train for this kind of way of showing up in the world. It’s worth gold.

Namaste, Shirley Lynn

Peace and the Crazy Drama of Relationships

Recently, a colleague shared with me a situation in which ‘a lot of drama’ was playing out in a business relationship. She was wondering how she could gracefully and peacefully ‘exit’ this situation. This reminded me of what my mediation instructors used to say … that even really good, kind and the best of people can and do get caught up in conflict or in a drama they don’t know how to get out of. They don’t know how it ‘got to this point’ and they feel embarrassed to seek help of any kind.

Frequently people share how a particular relationship triggers them in ways that they just don’t know what is going on and soon they find themselves reacting to the other person’s comments or engage in behaviour they themselves find ‘icky’ and intolerable.

To think that ‘that will never be me’ would be a mistake. Getting caught in the drama of relationship dynamics happens to the best of us. Without realizing it, we have sent that email with words we can’t take back, or we have said something that we simply can’t pretend wasn’t said. Or we find ourselves playing out the drama because we don’t know what else to do. We may not have the boundaries or tools to step out of the drama and stop it (yet). I also believe we use the word ‘drama’ because we don’t really know what is going on.

I believe this kind of ‘drama’ happens when participants within the relationship dynamic do not take responsibility for how they feel or what they think. Participants end up ‘throwing around’ their shame, guilt and anger or lashing out in hurt or blame causing a wave of disrespect, disregard or failure to truly listen. People feel ‘hit’ by this anger and in this emotional chaos of energy, words begin to be thrown about. All communication speeds up and quickens in reactions, our shame being fuelled. A true recipe for disaster and deep hurt – even with those we love the most.

So what can we do when drama shows up?

  1. BREATHE. And breathe again.  Breathe into your kidneys (practise doing this when you are not stressed, so it can be a reflex-like response in a necessary moment). This will begin to calm your heart rate and regulate your stress flight instinct so you can think more resourcefully.
  2. SLOW DOWN THE CONVERSATION! As I mentioned, ‘drama’ is fast and mindless. So slow down the conversation. Put in breaks such as a 24-hour delay in responding to emails or simply say in a conversation, ‘I will need 24 hours to think about what you just said and get back to you.’ Or, ‘let me go outside and put my feet on the ground and get centred, so I can show up here feeling good about how I am doing that.’
  3. Answer this question: What is the boundary of respect that is needed here? When we become reactive and step into a drama dynamic, often our sense of shame (sense of inadequacy, failure or not being good enough or worthy) become fuelled. When shame is present, respect is absent.Be present to your feelings, including shame. Perhaps tap on specific points if you know how to do that (ie. EFT, TFT, Midline Therapy, or some other way that you bring down the emotional arousal level). Shame feels ‘icky’ to face and we fear being ‘exposed’ when shame takes over. It’s often the best time to ask for help from a trusted other, because it’s precisely the time when our subconscious will try to convince, and our ‘shame voice’ threaten, us that if we ask for help we will be exposed and even less acceptable than before.
  4. EVALUATE YOUR OWN TRIGGER. What does this dynamic awaken in you which feeds your shadow relationship pattern? Even if you assess you have contributed only 5% to the drama, you have contributed that much and so that is the part that remains your responsibility. Often our own core wound, such as we feel our incompetence or lack of worth has been exposed somehow. Learn to detach from this trigger and know its patterns so you can catch it early when it becomes activated. Have someone help you develop more responsive relationship patterns, especially in conflict.
  5. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU REALLY NEED AND VALUE. Clarify what you really want to have happen and what the relationship really means to you. Perhaps you need to exit the relationship because it is draining your energy. Perhaps you each need to clarify what values and core needs are being disrespected so it becomes clear what you need or want to have happen instead of the ‘drama’. Don’t shortchange this step. Take the time to deeply listen to what you need and then the other person. When people come back to the same issue again and again, even ‘after it’s been discussed’, it signifies that a core need or value is still not validated and people are still not feeling listened to. David Ausberger says that deep listening is really an experience of true love. I agree. Establish boundaries that reflect your core values and true needs so that your relationships have improved patterns of connection rather than ‘drama’.

These are just a few ways to address ‘relationship drama’ when it shows up. In the coming days, weeks and months, pay attention to our theme of creating peaceful relationships and see what other means and techniques you can gather. For this next week, write down what relationships are ‘drama-driven’ for you and see if you can start to identify where the lack of respect is playing out, on both sides!

If you are serious about finding new peaceful ways to stop this drama pattern in your life, consider one of the options we have available:

Live Peacefully & Namaste,

Shirley Lynn

Creating Peaceful Relationships:That Which I Seek is Also Seeking Me

That which I seek is also seeking me is a principle of the heart for me. If I remain true and connected to the vision in my heart, including with relationships, the hearts who carry the resonance of this same vision are also seeking me. It may be through a book, a professional meeting, over tea, sharing a meditation, or engaging in a coaching conversation, but the resonance of creating peaceful relationships, relationships with meaning, guides the unfolding connection.

Creating a vision for peaceful relationships takes time, energy and creative imagining – they don’t just happen. And these visions can grow and change as people do within the relationships.

When I help couples who are thinking about marriage or who are married, one of the questions I invite them to consider is what ‘vows’ they will make or have made to each other. I think of these ‘vows’ as guiding principles for the marriage which will support and serve as codes of behaviour in the way you seek to share and build and manifest your dreams and intimate relationship with each other. Even in significant friendships, core values, strengths and principles come into play if we want these friendships to grow, to be healthy and to fulfill our need for connection and love.

One of the greatest disconnects I hear among couples and even family members is the difference between ‘who you were’ and ‘who you are today.’ Probably there are strengths and core values that may still be part of the person when you met them or when you were both younger as siblings, for example. At the same time, how you have come to understand these core values and strengths, how you have come to live the habits associated with these strengths,  how you have chosen interests or lifestyle choices related to these core values may have evolved.

We are all becoming. Life changes us. We lose jobs. We have a health crisis. We suddenly awaken to a new passion in a new career or hobby. We meet someone who meets us back heart to heart and we are changed. The inner essence of who we are wants to explore the potential of our hearts and of our capacity to love. Life provides these opportunities, often in ways we never expected. All kinds of life lessons will come our way and we will change as a consequence of how we engage with life and the lessons we gain. We evolve. We become more and more of the inner essence we came to discover and be.

The issue is that many layers often cover over, hide, even distort this true inner essence and so as this truth of who we are begins to surface, our family members, our friends, our lovers can sometimes feel betrayed and deeply angry and hurt with who we become. We have changed and the expectations and sometimes lack of shared guiding principles and vision for the relationship may leave them shipwrecked and heart-broken.

When I explore this dynamic with couples or family members in conflict, one key issue is that the expectations and the guiding principles (or vows) are viewed differently or rarely are articulated in a way they understand in the context of their lives. Vows and family ‘rules’ were made as a reflection of ‘who’ each of them were at that moment. Rarely, was a clear vision really shared with discussions about what guiding principles would support them as they change on their shared path.

If you want to create peaceful relationships, you need to have a shared vision with your partner, or family member, or friend. But you must first have some notion of what peaceful relationship means to you.

Some of you have started already to work at this vision of creating peaceful relationships with your purchase of Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide. Thank you and I commend your efforts. This week, begin to really focus, reflect, imagine and write down what your vision for peaceful relationships includes. Remember, what you seek is also seeking you. The quality of your map is what creates more ease and clarity in your goals along the journey toward an evolving destination!

I have included a few questions to get you started (remember to include all the aspects of your life: social, community, health, hobbies, money/investing/budgets, education and personal growth, spirituality, family, friends, work/career):

  • What areas do you want your relationship to grow in?
  • What problem areas do you want to overcome?
  • Do you have dreams that need to be included in your financial plans?
  • How does each of you define your spirituality and the way of peace in your relationships?

Today’s blog, and especially the aforementioned questions, are indicative of the work you will be guided through in my new Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide. It is now available for purchase online and at the Feathers, Rainbows & Roses office. The Working Guide includes a free 20 minute coaching session to help you move through a challenge or block. You might also consider making this theme the focus of a series of individual coaching sessions (and get the Working Guide for free!). So let’s get started!

For help in creating a sustaining and life-affirming vision of peaceful relationships, contact me at 519-886-6732 or via email at Shirley@shirleylynnmartin.com.

Shirley Lynn

May your relationships be filled with love, peace and good fortune!

Is Peace Going to the Dogs?

Yes!  Let me (Lucy) explain …

While working with Shirley Lynn in preparing the 2014 guide book Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships, I was thinking about my own relationships. In particular, I reflected on a relationship that is very near and dear to my heart – my young dog Rayna. How am I creating a peaceful relationship between us?

In right relationshipRayna is a large young adult who now has the size, strength and tenacity to resist any physical manipulations (aka ‘man-handling’) if she chooses to. When she has the desire to go in a certain direction, she has the ability to do it. Having had big dogs in my life previously, I knew the frustration of trying to restrain a powerful dog from going or doing something I didn’t want. I also recall how anger (for such ‘disobedience’) could drive me to use tools and techniques that were less than peaceful and did little to enhance our relationship.

Having been down that road a few times in the past, I knew this time I wanted to take a different path. One where respect is mutual; where both of our desires are factored into the equation of a healthy meaningful partnership; where trust and communication are central to our relationship.

Not that our relationship is all comfy and cozy – there are definitely challenges and clashing desires – but the goal is always to remain in (or return to) a place of peace between us. As Rayna moves through her adolescence and tests and pushes harder to assert her own desires and ideas, I have to stay even more consciously committed to our core intention of peace.

I am faced daily with how to peacefully ask Rayna to do something differently without using force or suppressing her personality or desires. Those who share our home are frustrated at times by my choice not to keep a collar on her all the time, but I find it reminds me to consider alternate methods of engagement  – to seek more creative ways of communicating with her about more appropriate behaviour. For me, the collar can too easily  become a means of control and expedience, so when I have the option, I want to exercise creative influence rather than manipulation. Of course, this approach isn’t always feasible (like when guests come to our home). In the real world, we don’t always get what we want.

But back to the guide book Wisdom’s Way to Peaceful Relationships. Without realizing it at the time, I had followed a similar system in designing the relationship I wanted to have with my next dog. I looked back at my previous relationships – at what worked and what didn’t, what I wanted to change and how I was going to do that. I prepared myself as best I could to make this vision come to life – I read a lot of books and other resources, I talked with people who had relationships with their dogs that I admired, and I sought out a trainer who could help me be more creative and resourceful in my commitment for a peaceful relationship with Rayna. And I wrote down what it was that I wanted (my vision) so I could recall it later and bring it to life. I also continue to review and revise as we go along to better reflect our reality and partnership.

What I am learning on this journey with Rayna can be generalized to other relationships as well. I believe when you seek to live peacefully in one relationship, you soon need this to happen in other relationships as well. Otherwise, there is too much discord which will eventually infiltrate your so-called peaceful relationship. But you have to start somewhere, and why not with the one nearest and dearest to your heart? The journey begins with that first step.

I encourage you to pick up the new Wisdom’s Way to Peaceful Relationships to focus your quest in evaluating, re-defining, and even changing your relationships to reflect the peace and harmony you desire in your relationships. Buy a pdf version on-line and get started today, or purchase a printed version at Shirley Lynn’s office. You can also get it free with the purchase of a Wisdom Package. Whichever way is best for you, I know it will get you thinking and moving toward more peaceful living … so why wait?

Submitted by Lucy Martin

Creating Peaceful Relationships: Accepting Failure

Recently I was working with a client who became aware of how ‘fear of failure’ was getting in the way of their path to a new life direction. Throughout our conversation, we explored the positive role failure can have in our life and how we can use it to empower ourselves in the midst of failure rather than be paralysed with fear or stone-walled by it.

Part of our discussion included the analogy of an athlete, whose muscles need to break down before they can re-build them bigger and stronger. In this way, muscles need to ‘fail’ in order to become stronger, which can contribute toward overall longevity of health. Moreover, we can rebuild and repair our muscles through eating or taking in proper amounts and sources of amino-acids (proteins). Since only 20-30% of our muscles are made up of protein (the rest is water), we must eat enough protein to give our muscles the building blocks they need to get bigger and sustain their core strength. We also need to allow enough time for rest and recovery for our muscles to rebuild.

Just like every autumn when the leaves fall, life breaks down, only to re-build and potentially become bigger and stronger following the winter’s rest – given the proper nourishment and growing conditions. I suggested that failure is inherent in the fabric of our existence. We need to come to terms with failure and gain the wisdom and power we can from our failures, including in our relationships.

One of the powers of doing daily spiritual practices is that we begin to build acceptance and equanimity about what is happening in the Now, in the present moments of our day and life. Exercising the power of acceptance when failure strikes us provides us with the ‘protein source’ for re-building. We will all fail. It’s integral to living! If we fear failure, we will fear living. When we fear living, we will shortchange ourselves of the best kind of relationships we deserve.

Good healthy relationships in which we feel connected and secure and loved sustain us, even in the midst of life’s most difficult challenges. Studies repeatedly highlight the power of healthy and connected relationships as the ‘protein source’ for good health and mental well-being.

One of the self-destructive habits we fall into with ‘having failed’ is that we hide what happened, sometimes with ourselves and often with others. The result is that the shame of these failures begins to disintegrate our sense of worthiness and confidence in our capacity to be loved because we ‘have failed’. This feeling and habit of shame – which takes many forms such as withdrawal, hiding, aggressiveness, criticizing and blaming, or even trying to annihilate ourselves in the extreme – can often show up as conflict and  disconnection in relationship, especially with those who matter most, whether personal or collegial.

Rather than let our failures destroy us, I suggest we find ways to benefit from them. The following strategies offer to do just that:

  • Sharing our failures with a trusted other who can compassionately listen with us while still loving us without judgement or blame
  • Taking time to contemplate the lessons and valuable insights about what we learned and what we can or will do differently next time (write it down!)
  • Identify the knowledge or skills we need to learn or improve to better create the opportunity for the outcomes we want (ie. better listening skills so we can build improved connection and trust with those we love … then take action toward learning it)
  • See the ‘failure’ as a sacred opportunity for growth and soul wisdom (restores the goodness of our humanity)
  • Feed ourselves with ‘proper nutrient’ such as compassionate self-talk which builds up and repairs any broken-down sense of self
  • Take time to rest and restore our energy so that we have the strength/power to sidestep the negativity of old self-criticizing and self-shaming habits that may be triggered
  • Breathe deeply into our sense of failure and bring light and compassion to the Energy of this sense of failure until the intensity of our negative emotional attachment to it begins to dissipate and lose its power to bind us (the power of self- acceptance).

If you would like a supported way to see clearly where you can turn your relationship failures into relationship wisdom and insight, consider purchasing my newly released Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide. The book leads you through a creative process to find a clear path to connection, love and relationship success, and opens doors to living your potential in a new way!

I encourage you to value your relationships with your heart to the degree you will do what you must to create the peaceful relationships you desire. Namaste,

Shirley Lynn

Peaceful Relationships: Why We Value Them

If you are like me,

  • You know the value of having relationships that give to us and nurture us because they feel harmonious, calm, balanced and honest.
  • You deeply appreciate and value relationships where you can be authentic and share who you are without hiding or shrinking away the essence of your soul.
  • You love and deeply value the experience of joy and laughter that relationships of ease can foster!  These are the deeply valued relationship experiences of connection.

Sometimes these relationships are gifts and come naturally. However, even the best of relationships call us into self assessment and growth. Most of us have learned about relationships through the trials and errors of life. Some of the relationships most intimate to us can become the biggest catalysts for awakening to our truer and whole self.

In this new year, we want to focus on how to create these peaceful relationships as well as communication skills, personal growth benefits, identity dynamics, mechanics of listening, boundaries of connection and spiritual practices. These will enhance who we are in our relationships and how we show up to the bonds and heart relationships that matter most to us. Rarely does a magic pill or the application of a onetime technique create the long term success of peaceful relationships. On-going commitment, communication, curiosity, compassion and empathy, acceptance, forgiveness and other choices of healing connection are essential.

One of the gifts I have experienced in creating peaceful relationships is being able to design the kind of relationships I would love to show up to and how I would love for others to show up to me. Dreaming and designing our vision for relationships is an essential part of designing a plan to improve our relationships. We need to foster intentional design, commitment and action to create the best possible opportunities for peaceful relationships. We need to discover the best in our present relationships and learn from the failures in our relationships.

When we learn from the failure in our relationships, we can sift through the grief and losses which inevitably become the residue of these failures – and awaken to the insights we need to integrate into our lives. What is considered ‘best’ and what has been experienced as ‘failure’ must all be integrated within in order to understand and make true conscious steps to creating peaceful relationships.

Just as we plan and develop goals for our career, our health, our investments, we also need to invest the same kind of creative energy into the quality and expression of our relationships. We are hard-wired to be in relationship and without them, we will experience a ‘failure to thrive’. But we can choose to grow and evolve so we can know the joy and blessing of peaceful relationships.

I believe so strongly in the power and harmony of peaceful relationships that I have compiled Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide. This is a wonderful resource to guide you to this better way of being and relating.

This book is designed to take you through a process of  reflection, dreaming and learning in a very supportive way. You begin on a journey of remembering and discovering what has been the best and the worst of times in your relationships. With these insights and desires ‘in front of you’, you will then be prepared to design your goals and personal action plan to create the peaceful relationships you have envisioned.

Why do I need this guide book? What will I get out of it?

Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide promises:

  • Clarity in where your relationships are helpful and healthy;
  • Better Understanding of what you need and want from your relationships;
  • Enriched boundaries of connection in your relationship;
  • Improvement in the quality of engagement, presence and connection with those that matter most;
  • New Meaning is given to losses and failures, turning them into empathic insights about what you will do differently next time;
  • Focus for your attention, intention and love on a vision that captures your heart and soul (because we thrive when our relationships are meaningful, secure and connected);
  • Multiple Avenues of Support to help you along the way – for the times when you get stuck or need extra support to open your creative inspiration about how you can improve your relationships.
      • A free 20 minute coaching session is included at any point in your process when you need extra support

This is just what I have been looking for. How Do I Get Started?

  1. You can start today. Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide is just a click away. Get the e-book version for only $13 (tax included).
  2. Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide is also available for purchase at the office. Ask Shirley for your copy. Print versions are $15 (tax included).
  3. Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships: Your 2014 Working Guide isfree when you purchase a Wisdom Plan Soul Coaching Package as part of your regular whole life therapy and coaching journey.
      • You might also consider using this Working Guide as the focus for your sessions with Shirley Lynn.

So what are you waiting for?

Every journey begins with the first step. You and those who matter to you most will be grateful that you took it.

For additional information about this Guide Book and what it can do for you, please call or email Shirley Lynn today.

A Vision for 2014: Creating Peaceful Relationships

We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.

While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.

Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together.

Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity. Steven Covey

Now that we have stepped into 2014, some perhaps more excitedly than others, let’s explore what this year can hold for us. In preparing for this coming year, we listened for a theme or a word this past fall that would help us focus our energy, our time and resources, our talents and passion in 2014. One day a theme surfaced in our conversation – creating peaceful relationships. It captured my heart. YES! At Feathers, Rainbows & Roses, we have been working diligently to envision a year where we could support people’s efforts, dreams and resources to creating peaceful relationships in their lives.

Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

  • What energy would you have if your relationships were more harmonious?
  • What possibilities and potential within yourself would you embrace and explore if your relationships with those who matter most offered you the connection you desire?
  • What sense of inner empowerment and confidence would increase if you developed an understanding of how to listen and communicate when conflict arises?
  • What blessing would you imagine opening up to if you had new awareness of how you dance and would rather dance in intimate relationships?

Creating peaceful relationships takes work, patience, commitment, and great courage to speak truthfully. It also takes forgiveness as well as LOVE and compassion. We have concentrated on supporting your personal inner awareness and that support is still necessary and part-in-parcel of creating peaceful relationships with others.

We live in relationships. Whether with friends, family, colleagues and co-workers, mentors, animal companions and even with Nature and the Divine, relationships offer us the best mirrors for learning about ourselves – our shadow, our light, our talents and abilities, our best self, our lesser self. So the spaces of our relationships become a wonderful garden of lessons and growth, of fulfilment and connection, of love and grace.

Conflict becomes an opportunity to be curious and seek understanding and different perspectives. It becomes an opportunity to experience our strength and resilience to love and love and love (this is a lesson Nelson Mandela so wonderfully invited us to learn and practice with him).

As you begin to envision creating peaceful relationships in 2014, we invite you to benefit from the various offerings available through Feathers, Rainbows & Roses and also in sending us your questions as they arise in your musings and meanderings.

As a taste of what is to come this year:

  • The 2014 edition of Wisdom’s Way to Creating Peaceful Relationships. This e-workbook focuses on helping you clarify goals to creating peaceful relationships. RELEASE DATE: this week!
  • Reiki Training as a path to inner peace and harmony in relationships.
  • Cultivating Joyful Living: Balancing Self Care within Relationships workshop (SPRING 2014).
  • An audio Peace Meditation you can access as a free resource on my website (COMING IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS).
  • Great reading through blogs and other wonderful offerings.
  • And more to come!

So find a way to join us and begin to cultivate a path of peaceful relationships which sustain your being and soul growth in 2014. And as always, I am available for private sessions to help you on your journey – call or email today to book an appointment.

Happy New Year to everyone.  May all your lessons be blessings and your abundance and rewards be lessons!

Namaste,

Shirley Lynn

Opening Ourselves to Unseen Possibilities in 2014

Guest Blog by Mary Martin

The recent ice storm and the subsequent power failure created the opportunity for me to colour a mandala. My choice of mandala and colours used were made with little thought – I just began where the colouring book opened.

I had decided to begin in the centre of the mandala and work outward beginning with a soft coloured centre. However, the colour came out stronger than I anticipated. I had no intention of using the strong yellows and oranges that I ended up using. The result actually turned out quite attractive, with the exception of one colour. But what really caught my attention was the overall combination of strong colours – ones I usually am not drawn to. There was nothing “soft” about it!

I have since reflected on this colouring experience and what it might be saying to me. I am aware that changes have been and will be happening in my life due to my recent surgery as well as my retirement.

In light of this, I have been browsing through a book I bought years ago but have never read called Creating a Spiritual Retirement by Molly Srode. I realized this could be important for me to read because of the sub-title “A Guide to the Unseen Possibilities in Our Lives”. In it, she suggests three steps to discover these Unseen Possibilities: “letting go of who we were, finding out who we really are, and connecting with Spirit.” I find myself having conflicting feelings when I imagine myself surrendering to such a process.

I wonder if this is what the strong colours are in some way trying to convey. What about the one colour that didn’t really fit in the overall picture? What is that trying to say? I find that I can relate to this quote by Molly Srode:

“I am standing here looking where I was yesterday.

Around me is time and space.

Will it be a vast and lonely place

Or will I create

A sacred place in which to dwell?”

As I am poised for 2014 this seems to be the challenge that is trying to present itself. Will I embrace it? What happens if I don’t? Why not ‘just start where the page opens’? Maybe as I live the question the answers will come…

I will close with two additional quotes from her book:

“Now is the time to perceive our spiritual dimension – the strong, silent presence of our spirit.”

Now is the time to reflect on our lives and recognize the strength of spirit that has been there.”

You may not be recently retired but I still encourage you to reflect with me how we can, in 2014, “create peaceful relationships and sacred places in which to dwell”. Committing to these ideals will surely bring about the “peace on earth” we have been hearing/singing about this Christmas season. Find the courage to embrace the unseen possibilities in the coming year.

Richest Blessings,

Mary

 

Path to Peace: Let the Light of Universe Shine

 

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.  W.T. Ellis

 

 

As the holiday season fast approaches, I am again reminded to be grateful for all of my wonderful clients, colleagues, friends, neighbours, family and mentors. May this Christmas Blessing touch your heart.

 

May your inner light shine and grow in radiance

May your giving be as your receiving: full, generous and filled with love.

May your laughter be as frequent as the twinkling of the stars

May your sorrows and sadness be comforted by the whispers of angels who remind you that you are abundantly and infinitely loved, regardless.

May your joy be felt as deeply as the ocean floor

May your compassion be kindly sent to the far corners of the Earth for all our relations

May your pain be transformed by the gift of Grace which guides you and makes you whole

May the circle of Love go round and round and round and round infinitely in your heart.

May you be at ease with a forgiving heart

May you live every moment as though you are confident you are worthy and loved unconditionally

May your peace be anchored in the Infinite Peace.

And if for this season, you have no family to celebrate with or go home to:

May you realize that Infinite Peace is your companion who calms your loneliness and lights your heart with Love so near to you as the tree outside your window.

And if for this season, you cannot be open to Love, may you find quiet time and contemplate the wisdom of Rumi:

Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Namaste,
Shirley Lynn