Category: Winter 2015/16

Wisdom’s Way to Peace: What is Love Really?

Why can’t we give love that one more chance

Why can’t we give love …

Because love’s such an old fashioned word

And love dares you to care for

The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night

And love (People on streets) dares you to change our way of

Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves

Under pressure

Just after David Bowie’s death, I listened to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury singing an acapella rendition of Under Pressure. Both of these artists throughout their musical careers called us outside the status quo of our deep social-cultural norms of male and female, of love and paradox. I invite you to read and reflect on the words of this song again. When you speak and utter the word love, what does it dare you to be, to do?

My Reiki Master/Teacher, Inamoto Huyakuten, says that in Japan and other places in the east, they do not use the word love. They speak of compassion or loving-kindness. This language of compassion and loving-kindness has helped us to reclaim the power, light and blessing of our western use of ‘love’ out of the trite idioms of many pop songs, valentine cards or romance movies that have little to do with the transformative essence and power of love. It saddens me that we have reduced our experience and understanding of love to mean what is shared in passionate encounters under the covers, hoping it will fix the emptiness inside.

We have stripped love of its radical nature and ethic to walk justly, to be kind and patient, to forgive and to let go of wrongs done. We have stripped love of its capacity to make us feel secure and confident that our physical and emotional needs will be attended to in a respectful way. We have stripped Love as the experience and essence of Abundance.

In a recent Reiki practice night, we were discussing what we believe Love is. One person commented that we really can only experience Love – once we begin to try to define it, we lose connection to its essence. We immediately switched into a loving-kindness Reiki meditation. We began to remember heart stories of where we felt love, where we received and offered love. The entire experience and energy of the evening became richer and more dynamic healing!

Years ago in my seminary studies, I was drawn into the journey of love, into the experience of God’s grace. The word, God, may be a poisoned word for you, but its true ‘character’ was about bringing an experience of the Universal Essence of Love, Light and Creative Wisdom onto our tongues, to help us share in a common experience of what brought life to the soul of who we are. Albert Einstein used the term ‘Universe’ to describe this incredible Great Mystery that loves and bewilders us. The bible refers to this sacred love as agapé, a love that is shown by what it does and expresses its own true nature to love for no other purpose than LOVE loves. That is Grace. It’s the gift of love in kindness and abundance, just because. When the bible says, God is Love, it means that this Sacred Universe is love. This Love is benevolent, charitable, kind, and good, and faithful, and committed, and willing.

Lao Tzu said to his follower: “Love is no other than the rhythm of Tao. I have told you: you are come out of Tao,’and to Tao, you will return. Whilst you are young – with your soul still enveloped in darkness – in the shock of the first impulse within you, you know not yet whither you are trending. You see the woman before you. You believe her to be that towards which the rhythm is driving you. But even when the woman is yours, and you have thrilled at the touch of her, you feel the rhythm yet within you, unappeased, and know that you must forward, ever further, if you would bring it to a standstill. Then it is that in the soul of the man and of the woman there arises a great sadness, and they look at one another, questioning whither they are now bound. Gently they clasp one another by the hand, and move on through life, swayed by the same impulse, towards the same goal. Call this love if you will. What is a name? I call it Tao. And the souls of those who love are like two white clouds floating softly side by side, that vanish, wafted by the same wind, into the infinite blue of the heavens.”

This Love birthed us. This great Love nourishes us. We have learned that like food and water, we need love. Without love, infants die – ‘failure to thrive’, we call it. What is most sad and distressing to me is how so many people have no experience of this agapé, of Tao, of God who is LOVE. They haven’t experience this love through their parents or community. It was gone from these guardians too. Or the hurt in their hearts has closed the door to Love and their tenderness within is starved of the nurturing it needs.

Last night, I listened to a lecture where several experts where sharing their process and technology of transforming conflict into connection. At one point, they asked if either knows where Love comes from, and they didn’t know. The listening group had no real answer either. It just is. It arises when we open our hearts to the interactions between us or any living being. Amazing!

When was the last time you really committed to learning to love—body, heart and soul? When was the last time you really opened to the space between you and another living being, totally committed to the ONENESS, to the creative uniqueness, affirmation and blessed connectedness linking you together like the rim of a circle to its centre? Love tends to the needs of each member and tends to the well-being of the whole with heart. Like circle, Love is about WE and ME.

Call to Action

I invite you to attune to Love. Receive the gift of abundance that is LOVE. Start loving yourself, your neighbour, your life, your foe. It’s your essence. It is Tao. It is God. It is Universe. LOVE.

If you want to remember Love, have an experience of love, join us this Mar 23rd for Peace Circle: Open to Love.

And if you need to heal your heart so you can open to love once again, and really feel alive, drop the excuses, tell yourself or tell a friend it’s time to book a session with me. Love is waiting.


Shirley Lynn

Wisdom’s Way to Peace: I Want Change Please. You Go First!

Sunday mornings Carlie and I meet with our tracking club to practise developing tracking skills. Basically, we each follow a track (or scent trail) with several items for the dog to identify, each carrying the scent of the person who had laid the track). Although we are still quite amateur in our skills and abilities, we all enjoy our time and keep stretching our skills and our partnerships with our dogs.

Typically, the facilitators lay our tracks before we arrive, so each track has a chance to ‘age’ (this is more difficult than fresh tracks, which are easier to follow for the dog). This week, several challenges were added to Carlie’s tracks. They were intentionally ‘contaminated’ by two other people who had walked across the track – which means that she had to really concentrate and discern which track we were following. Second, the wind had picked up since the tracks were laid, carrying the scent farther off the tracks. This drifting makes it more difficult for the dogs to stay with the ground track. And to top it off, Carlie’s tracks involved corners, both into the wind and away from the wind, meaning the scent would be more or less strong, respectively. Garbage was also strewn around, so she had to ‘mark’ the real items ‘lost’ by the person, separate from random garbage on the field.

My own challenge of the tracking was that I didn’t have any idea where the track went. This is a sport where you learn to read and trust your dog. Carlie’s sense of smell is approximately 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than mine. A human has about 5 million scent glands, compared to a dog, who has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million (depending on the breed). While a dog’s brain is only one-tenth the size of a human brain, the part that controls smell is 40 times larger than in humans. So I have to learn to trust her and what she knows through her nose. That being said, she still looks to me for direction when she is unsure about a situation.

Carlie and I enjoy this sport and our goal is to set the dogs up for success. This time however, with the shift in wind, we all ended up being somewhat frustrated, dogs and people. I found myself wanting Carlie to be able to find the right track and ‘mark’ the items. I couldn’t help her because I didn’t know where the track went. The facilitator was calling out ‘read your dog’. Carlie wasn’t on the right track but I didn’t know how to help her get there. We both were getting frustrated. When she followed a track she was sure was right, I stood still and wouldn’t follow. So she came back to me looking for direction, looking at me, “well which track then?” She was doing exactly what she is trained to do – look to me for direction when she is unsure of what is expected. Yet, in this moment, I was asking her to be the one to go first, to get calm and work through the challenge before us.

The third track was even more difficult with angles and repeated contaminations of the track. When I realized what I was expecting of Carlie, I took a deep breath, called Carlie back to me and paused with her. I got myself calm and shifted the role of being patient back to me. I asked the facilitator for the orientation of the path. I reset her and reassured her she was doing a great job even though it was hard.

We got ourselves re-oriented and I directed her to ‘search’ again. We got through the contamination section and onto the last part of the track. Although we still had the wind, we now were dealing with only one track and she found her last item. We were both cold, somewhat frustrated, and yet relieved we had finished – we had found all the items. Together, we had completed the task and we felt a sense of accomplishment in the midst of the frustration.

On the way home, I could sense that Carlie had found the morning very challenging. Dogs have the capacity to understand us and are often impacted or influenced by our emotions. I wanted to change our response to the morning and I knew that change needed to come from me. Our trainer always tells people to talk to their dogs. Explain things. Even though there is no scientific evidence to prove they understand us, again and again, she sees that it works, so go with it.

I, of course, know Carlie listens when I speak with her. What she understands I’m not sure, but I can tell when she has understood the concept or sentiment I wish to convey. I told Carlie that “I know it was frustrating and very hard. But we did it. We stayed with the track. We finished it together. We worked together and didn’t give up on each other. We both kept working to finish the track. That is what we celebrate.” I thanked her several times for her good work and partnership. She sighed, relaxed and put her head on the door handle (her favourite resting spot in the car).

Change is difficult. It requires our all and sometimes more than we know we have (like this tracking session with Carlie). And when change is necessary in a relationship, change needs to be mutual. Both parties need to stick with the change process. If only one person is doing the changing, eventually the partnership will fall apart or one party will get sick or at the extreme, die.

Change is a natural given. How much change is often up to us. However, the level of change we allow, is the level of peace and joy we will be gifted. Change will take us outside our comfort zone as it did for Carlie and I. It will mean learning new skills that push us outside of our competency. And change will mean that sometimes we need to leave some people behind who cannot and will not join us on the change journey. But if we do not leave them, we will find ourselves frustrated and angry or depressed because we will have to stifle our own joy, freedom and potential to stay with the other … and perhaps make ourselves sick.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I’ve been inviting people to listen for their sacred word for 2016; that sacred word that will grow them, transform their hearts, expand their sense of self and guide them. My word is ‘imagine freedom’. To have more freedom, to imagine more freedom, I have to change. And I can’t ask Carlie to be the one to go first. It’s not for me to ask my family or friends to go first. However, as I change and invite more freedom into my life, I can ask them to partner with me in changing. I can invite them onto a journey of change with me, so we can move up toward partnership or companionship with each other, toward more intimacy and connection, toward higher expressions of love and joy.

This month I am offering a Reiki Retreat on February 19-21st on Moving into Freedom for anyone who wants to join us on ‘being free’.

I am also co-facilitating Peace Circles in which amazing conversations happen among people who want to walk inner peace to interpersonal peace in our lives. With peace, we are free. In peace, we have joy. If you really want change this year, are ready and committed for it, join us.

If you looking for new ways to imagine peace in the way you live your life this year, plug into one of the available programs. Or contact me for an individual session. You just might experience the freedom to be the ‘you’ you are, rather than the ‘you’ you think you would be, should be or could be if only life were different. Change you and you will change your life.

Blessed be.

Shirley Lynn

Peace on Earth: Get Ready for It

We have just about completed our rotation around the sun for 2015. That’s approximately 149,600,000 km over 365 days travelling at 30 km/second. Mind boggling, isn’t it?
As we celebrate this journey, as well as the journey of Light that is also born within us, we again prepare ourselves for this journey around the sun in 2016. I am reminded of the line from a John Lennon song “… and what have you done?… let’s hope it’s [2016] a good one, without any fear.” The closing of each year inspires us to reflect and evaluate our successes, our failures and our goals and dreams for the year ahead.
For me, peace is a constant theme that weaves its way through my life and work. Peace within. Peace in my close relationships. Peace in my work. Peace in Nature. Peace in the global sphere. And while peace is central to who I am and what I do, it does not come easily or quickly.
Pause for a minute. Breathe deeply. Soften your belly and let the memories of 2105 wash over you. As you journeyed around the sun this past year, what peace did you experience? Where? When? With whom? What about this experience brought you peace or restored peace and harmony within you or your environment? What effort did it require of you? Who did you need to ‘be’ to experience this peace?
Although this peace can be experienced in the Now, rather than some far-off distant future, experiencing the expansion and fullness of peace over longer and longer moments can often require us to develop ourselves and our heart’s maturity. This path to maturity is more than a short term goal. It’s more than one lunar rotation and often more than a single season. Such journeys of inner development and heart maturity require journeys around the sun. It requires more difficult character virtues of steadfastness, self discipline, commitment, forgiveness, patience, resilience, love, compassion and more.
For peace on earth to be sustained, humanity needs to become mature. We need to take the journey of wise and creative development. Short term vision will not be enough to provide for our existence. We need mature hearts and souls to step forward and speak. We need to be willing to release the old pains, the old resentments and hurts, willing to forgive and choose to do the bigger journey of peace that involves burning away the inner greed, narcissism, hatred, violence and falsehoods we carry individually and collectively. We may want the peace of the still calm water, but for true peace, we first need to journey through the fire, the journey around the sun. We will be offered the rewards of peace in the moments that the lunar cycle gives us, to be sure. However, real transformation, real maturity takes us around the sun.
As 2016 approaches, we have before us another opening, another opportunity to end the wars, both internally and externally. We have an opening where we can imagine what peace and light of truth we are called to restore, create, build, embrace and awaken to within and around us. We are being called back to the beginning of the journey where we can boldly claim the light of our truth and be stewards of our contributions to peace on earth.
The time has come. We have journeyed around the sun. A new year is about to begin. I invite you to make 2016 the year where you begin living peace on earth.
Living peace does not come easily or quickly, but the benefits outweigh the challenges by far. It’s the nature of peace to thrive in community and through Feathers, Rainbows and Roses, I provide multiple avenues for you to find a community that will support, encourage, love and hold you accountable to your aspirations as you step into this journey.
The fires of transformation, of heart maturity is a path of wholeness. Rarely do we accomplish that journey alone. Find the resources, support and love you need at Peace Circles, Reiki community and practice nights (requires Reiki course training), Reiki Winter Retreat, and/or individual whole life therapies and soul coaching. Aspire to the joy and peace and light you really are.
Shirley Lynn