Category: Winter 2017-18

Stepping on the Path to Peace: Intentions that Inspire in 2018

It was quite cold for the past couple of weeks, with enough snow to use my snowshoes. I love this weather as does Carlie. She has certain ‘snow games’ she loves to play which include digging for her green ball and jumping to catch the snow I kick. Lucy has aptly named this game ‘kick snow’. Carlie’s life purpose is about living our joy. It’s not a goal she has – it’s an innate attunement to a way of being in her world. It’s part of her expressed consciousness and intentionality!

As a new year begins and our hopes are ignited for a better 2018, Carlie and Rayna (Carlie’s dog sister), as well as my professional training and spiritual practice, call me to live the lessons I have learned, and they teach me. Although 2017 has just ended, our lives are continuing and will be an extension of the past year!

This ritual of starting a ‘new year’ is a celebrative invitation

to come back to our soul’s focus, to our purpose and dreams,
to our vision of what we want our lives to mean and to be about,
to what we hope and aspire to experience in this year,
to bring forward the best of who we are and what we love to do.

It is also an opportunity to release what is now finished. An opportunity to lay down the burdens that keep us from ‘lightly’ walking our life’s path. Not everything from 2017 and before is relevant to this present time. Let it go with blessing and gratitude.

The ‘spirit of joy’ of this New Year can be a blessing of hope, of aspirations and of new intentions for changing toward our preferred future and who we hope to be. To take full advantage of this ‘celebrative spirit’ which currently inspires us, we need to co-create with and absorb this ‘spirit of joy’ into our New Year’s hopes and wishes for a finer year.

As I watch how Carlie and Rayna embrace everyday moments, and I apply the best of what I have learned, I have chosen to share a few ways to accelerate your path to joy or your heart’s intentions for this year —

1. Clarify your vision of what you REALLY, REALLY desire in your heart … for how you would love and cherish to live your life. Communicate it to those who can help you. Be grateful for what you already have done or accomplished. Bring these timeless blessings with you.

2. In heart meditation, contemplation or centering prayer, listen with open and softened mind to your inner wisdom for the ‘intentions’ that will serve to influence and shape your actions and choices toward your vision. Choose only those intentions that have the power to truly influence your actions and choices when the challenges to revert to old habits are in full gear. Your intention/s must absolutely matter to you.

• They need to be Life-Giving and Life-Affirming
• They need to be Genuinely Personal to Your Heart
• They need to Provide Power, Love and Strength to You in your Present Reality – Enough to Transform Your Attitude, Belief, Habits, Emotional, Motivation, etc
• You Can, Will and Do Emotionally Commit to Living your Intention Because the Outcomes and the Path to the Outcomes are Precious Blessings.

3. Identify your current resources to get started in living your intention. Resources often include your skills abilities and talents, your contacts/network/support, your financial resources, your inner inspiration or aspirations. Carlie has learned to keep track of her toys and what she treasures. For me, when I want to learn something new or accomplish something, I first clarify what I need and then look around at those in my life and see who has what would be useful to me, or who has the contact that I need.

4. Identify where you need help to gather and put in place the resources you need and ASK FOR HELP. Both Carlie and Rayna are confident in asking for what they need. They trust their needs are important and will be listened to respectfully and appropriately. Carlie will give a single bark to let me know a toy is someplace where she needs help to get it. In this past year, I have brought new people on my ‘best life’ team, released others and maintained those who remain dear and wise and ‘useful’ to me.

5. Daily Ask your Inner Guidance three core questions as you connect to your life vision:

What would I love to do today to serve the greater well-being?
What do I need today to love and be loved?
What is love calling me to become or do or be aware of in my world today?

6. Take inspired and informed action. Carlie has learned skills and behaviour that support her pursuit in living joyfully and exuberantly. Likewise, when I ask for guidance and listen to my intuition, remaining attuned to the power and light of my intention, the action presents itself. It is up to me to follow through on the action, and often the action is a behaviour I have already learned, but need to apply in a new situation.

What I have learned over the years is that for me, truly inspiring intentions toward my vision of a more peaceful world, where all beings are healthy, happy, prosperous and at peace (thus justice and kindness are core values of our common humanity and determine our relationships with all of life) are the catalyzers for my change. Whether it’s through a spiritual word which focuses and empowers me, or a soul expressed intention which expands and informs my actions, these simple and yet powerful words carry me gently, cleanly and synchronistically beyond my familiarities toward the reality of my vision well lived.

This is a Goddess way of living for me. I have a vision that grows, changes and evolves as my soul awakens, evolves and grows. I have core intentions that attune me to my True Self. My goals arise out of these intentions and vision from deep within me. My intention for 2018 inspires me and continues to support my vision to love and be loved, to be peace and act for peace. My actions are beginning to naturally flow from these heart inspired intentions to live with greater kindness and generosity. And as Carlie reminds me, when I follow my inspired dream and intentions, I will know my joy, Goddess joy.

What I have laid down over the years are the ego goals and/or intentions of status, of colonial definitions of belonging, of excess use of resources and wealth for the elite rather than for the whole of the planet – goals and intentions that deny the presence of the Goddess as Life-Giver here on our Mother Earth. As Indigenous teacher and scholar, Maya Chacaby, stated recently, “we have all been colonized”. She challenges us to lead by doing differently than the status quo, by not following the ‘normal’ which is depleting us all and making us all sick.

So, when you listen for your intentions, listen deep, listen in truth and love for what will awaken your soul to the fullness of love and life and light, even if it upends the status quo. Sometimes, as Carlie knows with her arthritis, living your joy can also mean you will need to attend to your pain. However, her motto is GO FOR IT! Joy lessens pain.

My 2018 hope for each of you and all life that you touch:

Happy New Year to all young and old and those in between. To those who stand tall and to those who crawl on the ground. To those who fly and to those who swim. To those who sing and to those who howl. To those who bloom and bear fruit and to those who mushroom and grow in groves. To those who trickle and wind, and to those who ebb and flow. To those who shine and radiate and to those who cause darkness through cycles, I wish you a year of joyous happiness, healing hearts and bodies, and the essence of abundance that is sufficient, generous and sustainable for all. Blessed be.

Shirley Lynn

A Santa of Peace and Kindness

I met Santa the other Saturday. It was an unexpected and most extraordinary meeting. This Santa was a she and appeared slim as though she takes care of herself. She wore makeup and colourful glass beads around her neck. Her hair was styled and silver. She had winter walking boots and pulled a little cart behind her.

I had just finished work and after a quick trip to the bank Carlie and I were ready for a little walk in the snow – a reward for waiting patiently and quietly. We came out of the credit union and crossed the street to sniff the snow when I noticed Santa crossing the street toward us. She greeted us cheerily and then said, “I don’t like to see litter everywhere, so I need to go pick that up.”

I followed her gaze and saw the garbage in the corner of the church property. I told her, “wow, how kind of you to do that. Thank you.” I watched her pick up the garbage, using her little cart for support. Carlie and I continued around the block, casually sniffing every new spot.

We were coming around the last corner and heading towards my car and I saw “Santa” again. She was again bending over, picking up other people’s garbage. No one was paying any attention to what she was doing probably because it looked like the behaviour of a homeless person, weeding through garbage to scavenge something of value for themselves. But, here as Santa, with makeup and a glass bead necklace, she was picking up our garbage. This was her gift to the community. She was picking up the plastic, the paper, the bow and tie, the knickknacks that others decided not to be responsible for in the end. Her cart was full, with ‘stuff’ people throw away because they have too much ‘stuff’.

My heart skipped a beat – what an incredible sight. She wasn’t asking to be noticed. She loved her community. She loved the ‘home’ where she lived, our Mother Earth. As Carlie and I were walking right past her, I wondered what I could offer to acknowledge this elderly, unassuming, beautiful spirit. I had no money in my pocket, only a mid-size glass marble of Mother Earth I carry around with me in my coat pocket. Carlie and I stopped, and I said “and here we are again, meeting each other. I’m not sure if this will be of value to you, but I would like to offer you this Earth marble.” (It was quite beautiful with the oceans and all the continents on it).

She took the marble, looked at it and with her eyes shining bright, she exclaimed, “why yes, I would value it very much. Thank you.” Carlie and I continued, but as I moved to keep walking, I noticed her spin the marble in her hand, look at it again and then put it in her pocket. She resumed picking up other people’s garbage.

In these two brief encounters I felt gifted and blessed. Watching her take something we hold rather dear in our culture, Santa Claus, and turn him into a ‘her’ and into a servant leader, modeling to the generations of those who are younger than her, how to care for our home, our Mother Earth, if we would only pause to see.

In her way of being, she embodied the fruits of the spirit, the essentials of any active and genuine spirituality:

  • She had learned to loved self and others, regardless of what they had done or not done. Her engaging smile and eyes expressed more than words may ever communicate.
  • Her body rhythms were smooth, gentle and methodical. She carried no air of resentment, as one who practises forgiveness.
  • She freely practised kindness, indeed, random acts of kindness.
  • She recognized the sacred, especially the sacred essence of our home, our community, our Earth.
  • She was gracious and grateful for the attention and gift offered her, but she would have offered this service to her community regardless. There was no display of craving attention for her deed. She was Santa serving the good.
  • She had the wisdom that doing good helps us feel good, deeply satisfied, even if it is picking up garbage and even when others may not see the good we do.
  • And finally, she served her community with joy, even in picking up their garbage. She dedicated her Saturday to a purpose larger than her own satisfaction alone. What vision of a beautiful planet must she have that she is so committed to even on a winter’s afternoon?

Whatever your cultural or religious holiday might be this season, I invite you to consider engaging in something which offers your community a gift of kindness, love, joy, peace, vision, wisdom and generosity. Take a familiar symbol of the season and turn it on its head. Instead of the cultural norms of power and fantasies of spiritual magic, disguised as excess consumption in these symbols, turn them upside down.

If you were Santa this year, what kind of Santa would you be? What gift would you bring? Does this ‘gift’ heal or harm? Who really will be responsible for the gift you give? The Earth? Our water? You? Or the Receiver?

This past 6 weeks, I have met people like this who have inspired me in a new way. From water walkers, to a servant Santa, to those surrendering to a living/loving Higher Power because it’s the only way they can find freedom from their addictions. What new inspirations and aspirations to serve from your heart do you want to share in 2018? Let’s re-commit to making this life, this world a better place for us and those beings to come. Let peace begin with us.

May you and your families be well and happy. May you be peace-filled and sufficiency. May you be safe, healthy and live joyously, with just enough bravery to turn ‘normal’ upside down. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays and Joy to the World.  Namaste,

Shirley Lynn