Category: Reflections

Getting Honest with our Spiritual Path to Peace:

Over the past months, I’ve had the opportunity to have great conversations with colleagues, participate in various trainings and witness many clients and reiki students make profound discoveries and advances in their lives. Just as I have. The common thread that seems to make its way through all our stories is the very real and honest and RAW conversations we have had to have with ourselves and those who support us.

Many of us who have gone through the fires of transformation more than once know that awakening to our soul and the purity and peace of Spirit is a journey of sweat and hard work equal to that experience of joy and exhilaration in the discovery and feeling of inner peace and purpose. This journey is not without its blisters and bruises and stripping away of layers of raw emotions that have plagued our minds and hearts with toxic heaviness and difficult relationships and lives out of balance.

Whatever symbol or metaphor you use, the yin/yang symbol, the tetter-totter, Jung’s concept of the shadow, you encounter both the light and the dark, the day and the shadow, the up and the down. We are not exempt from the shadow, the dark, or the down. What we do in these moments is what defines our character and essentially our spirituality. Furthermore, the deeper the awakening of who we are, we also encounter the parallel shadow aspect of ourselves and of life. We realize the more we know the less we know and the more strong and humble we must walk. And that’s life…to embrace the paradox of being spirit as human being.

We are inundated with ways to alleviate our shadow sufferings quickly and easily. We all want to feel better both physically and psychologically quickly and without incident. Contrary to the magical thinking of what has been deemed as “prosperity theology” by the likes of the Secret and the Law of Attraction, we are meant to release our pain and distress by embracing the truth of what we feel and the authenticity of faith we have that God/dess/Spirit/Divinely Sacred can work through our distress to gift us with wisdom, grace and compassion.

We are not here to escape our emotions and wounds, rather to truly be honest with what is and to truly allow ourselves to be aware and PRESENT to what we feel. Being in the moment is a challenging principle because it requires us to BE AWARE of what we are feeling in the moment and be PRESENT to the grief, the joy, the anger, the frustration, the excitement, the empowerment of all that lies within the moment. It is the only way where true resolution AND PEACE within us takes place because we surrender to a soul healing and awakening, rather than simply manipulating the ‘healing’ of our personalities.

A recent Spirituality &Health magazine editorial by Stephen Kiesling states that we now need a time for ‘reality spirituality, to bring spirituality back down to earth.’ Hooray! A recent training workshop I went to in Toronto, Fred Gallo, a psychologist of energy psychology, stated that tapping our emotions away simply to suppress them is not healing. I breathed a sigh of relief to finally hear professionals acknowledge that we cannot escape our grief, our sorrow, our trauma, by simply tapping them or balancing them or creating illusions that we have snapped them away without truly being present to the process of soul healing!! It is not that these techniques don’t work and are not effective, but our INTENTION in using these techniques makes the difference as to whether the healing creates authentic whole self peace that extends to all humanity.

So what are we to do? Ancient traditions and practices of spiritual healing remain tried and true for many. Religions around the world contain seed truths that have brought great meaning and power and sustained great faith for centuries. Perhaps the doctrines and political agendas of these religions have not, but core truths that lie within their centre remain as common threads that still give life to any real spirituality or any ‘new’ method created today. Many people still quote the ancient sages and enlightened beings from the past. Their truth is still a thread that evokes confidence in us that we have the strength and compassion to face the raw emotions of our wounds and hurts and traumas. These are the moments of transformation that define us because we open deeply to ourselves and the essence that makes us both human and holy. This is Grace!

I have also noted over the years of my study and experience that most people in most times and places are broken in the midst of being with others, that is, we are broken ‘in community.’ Here a homeopathic principle applies for me where like with like creates a transformative, healing effect. I have witnessed and equally experienced within my own life, the power of sharing my hurt and wounds with another, whether professional or personal, someone who is genuinely present with me in the Spirit of love and compassion. I heal, as others have, in the presence and by the love shared ‘in community.’ I often tell people that grief or shame is healed in the presence of a loving other, not in the singularity of self-relationship. When we are honest in community, everlasting healing takes effect!!

Get honest with how you feel. Suppression only hurts us and those around us and harms those we love. Repression doesn’t work. It just creates poltergeists of raw emotions running around loose as energy asteroids smashing into people, as a teenager recently remarked to me. Using energy healing to ‘rush’ away our grief and pain without honestly being present to it to gain the deep awakening from the insights and accompanying lessons is only a temporary fix. Eventually, our ‘fixes’ need to increase and we lose the sense of empowerment that we first intended to create within ourselves. We have then misplaced our responsibility to gain wisdom from our own experience into the hands of another. This way does not heal us, nor our planet.

This year I am taking another step of living Grace by walking the path to peace. I’m beginning to teach about peace-building conversations out of my experience, study and training. The journey of peace continues to demand honesty of myself and the way I interact with others regardless of whether I am afraid. The courage and strength in Peace as the Way and Grace as the Holy experience is my mission that moves me, and those of you who learn and join me, gently onward. Peace be with you.

©Shirley Lynn Martin

Practical Grace: Guiding You into Deep and Sacred Love!

We have been exploring the essence of Grace over this past year as we choose the path we are meant to be on to know happiness and peace (re-read December 2008 below and 2009 reflections). It has been an extraordinary year thus far for me in choosing more deeply my True Path and my True Self. Although we can choose our True Self in a moment, it is the choosing of our true heart over and over and over and over again, with every deepening and quickening of our life’s expression that reminds us of the practicality of Divine Love within us. I invite you to slowly and mindfully read this in first person as though it is your experience in this moment, written just for you!

“Today, All that is Sacred and Good and Divine tenderly invites me, calls me into and out from my pain and into the heart of Divine, Sacred, Holy Love. I realize I have been conditioned to expect love to require and demand my energy and that my heart should somehow attend to myself, others and life in ways that cause exhaustion and a complexity of guilt from which I can rarely find freedom. Today, I gently open myself to a new experience. A space in myself is opening up, for just this moment, creating a freedom to surrender more deeply within the Sacred, Holy Love of All; Love Unfathomable.

With all Presence, I breathe and surrender. Even if I’ve felt Divine Love before, today the opening of space seems different somehow. I don’t know how, I just know it’s beyond what I have known before.

I carefully open the door to Divine Love today. I am surprised and delighted, but a little wary because I am not manipulated, coerced, overwhelmed into, nor tricked into entering this realm of Sacred Love and it feels a bit foreign. With new courage, I decide to ‘enter’ this Deep And Whole Love today.

As I tentatively step into this Divine, I am tenderly and compassionately called into becoming my true nature and personal essence. I am gently and wisely and humourously led into the foundations of myself that sustain this Oneness with Sacred Love. The breadth of possibility here is endless and, almost without hesitation, Sacred Love pulls me into a Divine Embrace, showing me the extraordinary purpose of my created incarnation.

I choose today deep openness and courage so to just taste this extraordinary realm of Divine Love. I look around and it truly extends and expands beyond what I can see and feel and touch and know. That in itself fills me with an awe and wonder, for my very existence seems to have a divine purpose that is joy-full.

What am I to do here? Who am I to be, I ask? Surprisingly, these questions take on a different quality than those psychological questions I ask of my life and experience. In this realm of Sacred Love, these questions begin to illume an existential narrative in my heart about my own humanness. It opens me into the awe of my own extraordinary, unique creation about why I am here.

If I choose now to completely embrace this extraordinary, deep and compassionate Divine Love that has no end, rather guidelines and boundaries for holy living, then what does my heart need to do here, want to do here, is compelled to do here in this realm of holy loving? What is so important, good and joyful about being human and being in human relationships? These are questions that spring forth within me and awaken me to a new level of my human, yet sacred narrative that has been dormant in my heart.

And then a profound and inexplicable realization dawns upon me….I am meant to be human, completely and fully incarnated, nothing more, nothing less. I am struck that no matter what stories I might have heard or not heard about Jesus, or Buddha or Lao Tzu or Mohammad and no matter what I think might be real or not real about what people have said about them, the seed good news they all were compelled to share with anyone who was open and willing to hear, was the power and profoundness of the Divine Love experienced within incarnated essence and human life.

I pause and breathe and take in what has been offered here for me. I am called to RECEIVE Divine, Sacred Love in my heart and existence, deeply and completely. I am fully and adoringly embraced.

Here, I am asked in this Free moment to accept and receive holy love. I am asked to refrain from rejecting and hiding from such deep and abiding love for this moment. I breathe again and again and sink into its depth, slowly and yet with many questions. I leave the “surfaceness” of my ego living for just a moment and sink deeper into my Truth, my core. I breathe again and notice that here in the depth I can more aptly sustain this gracious connection with this Sacred Love and feel more calm and quiet in my mind.

And just as quickly I notice my fear of this Divine Love, fear of myself and fear that it is no longer eternal, that it will run out on me; fear that I am outside of the Divine’s loving arms. My breathing becomes most shallow and I hear and see the stories, some for the first time, that I tell myself. These narratives are dark and sombre, are overwhelming and filled with hurt, grief and pain, worry, defensiveness and excuses. I encounter my anger, my hatred for myself and others. I see the ways my own stories create my own inner hell and sickness. I want to run and hide. I want to pretend none of it exists. I want a way to escape these fear-based narratives I’m holding onto for dear life. But the dear life I yearn for never comes here in this fear and then, suddenly, I come into the awareness of how deeply I feel betrayed and inadequate by my own reality..

Courageously, I break into the moment of my own fear and betrayal. I choose Divine Love and the moment I do so, it kindly rushes to surround and enfold me. This Sacred Love tenderly becomes one with me without judgement, without hesitation and my breathing calms and gentles once again. This Holy Love leads me to my Inner Peace in a way I cannot seem to rationalize; I just seemingly need to surrender and yield to its most tender and compassionate power as it leads me back into my heart’s deeper truth and the Heart of the Sacred. I stand here in amazement.

Without knowing exactly how, I know some deep part of me has experienced and has just remembered the interceding power of Grace….a gift of such profound love that it transforms me out of my repressed and hidden despair, although unconscious to me, negatively remained my life’s compass. Til now….

I giggle. I feel mischievously amazed that we are called to be human, completely incarnated. I am divinely loved, in all my humanity. What GRACE! I am invited to experience Grace, to be sensitive to the ‘God/dess moment of love daily, and then to share this deep, deep, abiding love with those we love over and over and over again. As I pause for this moment and reflect upon the extraordinary depth and expansiveness of Divine Love for me, I am awed and humbled.

I finally have discovered here and now, in a rare and perhaps even raw moment just how eternally I am loved–sacredly and graciously. The path is finally clear here in this present moment. I am to KNOW THAT I AM LOVED DEEPLY, so deeply, more deeply than I can even possibly fathom. And in this knowing, I do and do and do and do what I love. I suddenly feel the rush of wondrous joy flow through my veins. I can see the heaven of my peace!”

Blessed be!

©Shirley Lynn Martin

Grace and Life Purpose: A Way through the Inner Conflict

We are already half way through 2009, this eleven year—the year of choosing your true path. What path are you actually living? Is it the path you said you want to live at the beginning of the year? Is it the path of purpose that gives you joy and meaning in your life? Is there peace in your heart on this path? Does this path reflect your life purpose?

The dictionary defines purpose as ‘a RESULT which it is desired to obtain and which is kept in mind in performing an action.’ To live ‘on purpose’ is to live with intention, with consciousness. So to live our life purpose is to live in a way that we experience and intentionally obtain the results by living the actions aligned with our life purpose!

Are the choices and actions you are taking manifesting results in alignment with your life purpose? Is your life purpose shining through your actions and results you are experiencing?

What we can never escape in this human endeavour we are all living are the paradoxes and polarities of existence. We live with constant polarity and paradox. Paradox as defined by the dictionary means ‘a statement which though true, seems false and self contradictory.’ Polarity defined is ‘the state of having one or other of two opposite polar conditions.’ We are constantly living in a state of polar opposites of realities of truth that contradict each other, whether we like it or not.

In other words, the clearer we are about what we want and take steps toward what we want, we will attract the likeness of results to what we want through synchronicity and faith in the goodness of our purpose. At the same time, we may also encounter the opposite forces to what we want and take action toward, these forces raising their heads to get our attention, turning our intention away from our true path and purpose!

When we give these opposite forces attention, we often give them power and perhaps even increase our own measure of fear that we cannot attain the results of our true purpose.

So what is truly available to us in these moments of polarity and paradox, of fear and doubt about the worthiness, the goodness and the ability of living the results of our live purpose?

For me, it’s an experience of Grace that gently breaks into our thoughts and hearts and offers us a gentle reprieve from these opposite forces of fear and negativity. Grace is constantly available to us, giving us permission to step into a state of worthiness, of love, of daily perpetual forgiveness, of recognition of our divine holiness, freedom and inner peace. Truly, the gift of Grace transforms our mistrusting mindsets and our woundedness, no matter its source or origin, into a knowing that we have the right, the ability and are so truly loved and completely found worthy of the life purpose that brings us wholeness, peace and joy. (see archive Grace and Laughter, May 2009).

Whether we want to improve our relationships, our communication patterns, our eating and exercise habits, become more loving and less negatively critical of ourselves and others, or whether we want to find a different career or enhance our intimacy, pay off our financial debts, Grace offers us the gentle, yet courageous path that we can and will live our life purpose, regardless.

Although choosing grace as one’s path to live our life purpose requires incredible courage, it is equally an elegant and gentle path. This abiding presence of love and forgiveness, of gentle yet powerful Life-giving confirmation of our worth and
acceptance asks us to shed our shame and our inadequacies without hesitation, without rationalizations, without guilt! Grace makes the process of worthiness
and acceptance so elegant and easy and yet it takes all the courage we can
muster to walk beyond the universal truths (lies), negative paradigms and beliefs that we have held about ourselves forever!

Grace, for me, includes the divine in-breaking of abiding love, a transcendent mystery that can and does forgive karma or sin to bring peace and abundance of purpose to someone here and now, for the purposes of expanding consciousness of the masses. We cannot control such Divine Manifestations of Grace (or forgiveness or agape, some may call it), nor can we manipulate it, nor use it for harm in any way. The best we can do is to surrender to it, to embrace its love and mystery and to accept the divine worthiness showered upon us in that moment.

To live in Grace is, therefore, to live spiritually as an authentic human being so our life purpose can manifest the results we seek deep in our heart. Whatever our spiritual practice may be, we need to nurture it in ways that open us to the gift of Grace daily, to recognize it when it comes to gift us!

We will continue to explore this whole living in Grace and Peace as this is my life purpose, my mission to myself and to the world. Whether in 1:1, in the workshops I lead, the reiki and soul coaching programs I teach, GRACE will always be welcomed, embraced and explored to deepen our consciousness of our holiness and goodness as human beings. So rather than try to escape it, deny it or run from it, I invite us to explore Grace, be open to this mystery of holy love and to find its way of moving to create results in living the purpose of our real lives. What a better way to live peace on the planet.

What choices will you continue to make in this 11 year, a year of Grace indeed!

Blessed be!
©Shirley Lynn Martin

Grace and Laughter

The onset of spring and cheery flowers always brings greater smiles to people’s faces and tends to lighten their hearts. Since I was a child, I laughed in a way that echoed throughout the whole room or so I was frequently told. Several years ago, I had a friend tell me that my laughter made his day because my laughter came from way down deep. What a compliment! Although I am very selective about any TV that I might watch, when I do watch I intentionally watch something that makes me laugh. I feel better. My heart lightens. My face lifts and my perspective begins to change. In other words, laughter is a daily habit.

I recently read a comment that if ‘’it’s possible to laugh our way out of a serious illness, why don’t we try it for other things that have gone wrong in the world? As they say, laughter is the best medicine!” I laughed at the synchronicity of finding this comment and its harmony with my Playing with Divine Light Exercise.

Then I reflected on why I’m inspired to speak of laughter to bring peace in this newsletter. In the bigger picture, I realized that we are all choosing a new path this year, being its an 11 year (see December 2008 archives). We are choosing not only a new and true path for ourselves, but we can also participate in creating an alternative path to the destructive patterns and energies all around the world. This path has the power to bring peace in the simple effort of good laughter. This good laughter neutralizes suffering and opens the way to experiencing community.

Have you ever experienced how quick people warm up to you when they hear you laugh? I’ve had people tell me that my laughter made them know I was a safe person to be around. I laugh in sessions with people, even in the most raw moments of their journey because in that moment, Grace enters and transcends the rawness out of any karma or pain or deep loss. In that moment, Grace and laughter partner together and through me, deep healing is made possible to the client. It’s always incredible because people awaken to the experience of knowing that they are not their pain and suffering. They are richly more. And they know in that moment, they are worthy of being special, unique, a gift. And they know in that moment, there worthiness is not just minute, but a universal worthiness, for it came in the rawest of moments. Grace is like that!

Many years ago, in one of my transformative moments in understanding the experience of Grace, I came across this passage from A Spirituality of Wholeness, The New Look at Grace, by Bill Huebsch. He speaks of Grace in this way:
“This grace, of which Jesus was full, this grace is the life of God. The life of God/dess is itself powerful, creative, and energizing and Jesus was full of that. Do you realize what this means? This means God/dess’s own life, God’s energy, Goddess’ grace is WITHIN US. And it means we are empowered (empowered!)…..Anybody created by God/dess, which includes all of you, is created to be Somebody. Don’t become a nobody, don’t give away your power to be yourself, don’t deny my grace to you.”

Grace for me is accepting the gift that the FULLNESS, THE WORTHINESS OF MY SOMEBODINESS is truly mine to live just because GOD/DESS deemed me as good, powerful, loved and divine. Period. Period. Period.

When you are a ‘Somebody’, you laugh with heart and soul. This laughter echoes throughout the Universe and has the power to heal the rawest wounds of humanity. GRACE and LAUGHTER are like that. My newsletter this month has an exercise of bringing peace in our hearts, lives and the planet through a light meditation with laughter and grace. Give it a try and let me know what you discovered and what unfolded for you.

©Shirley Lynn Martin

The Wealth of Spirit

SPIRIT IS WEALTHY IN ANY ECONOMY! That is the thought I woke up with this morning. I had gone to bed last night having watched 10 minutes of the news until I couldn’t stand the ‘fires of fear’ that were spreading so pervasively. After all the banks still had a net income of $20billion last year (a statement reported to my financial planner from an inside contact from TD). I went to bed with the question, “as a leader of my own life, how do I respond to all the financial disparity that seems to be spreading in people’s psyche about the ‘direness’ of our future?” This thought followed by other thoughts that have been going through my mind that have served me well:

“You can’t think your way out of problems you have behaved your way into” (Stephen Covey)

“The answer to thriving and being wealthy is right here inside me and in my relationship to Nature, to Great Spirit.” (Shirley Lynn Martin)

“You must start beyond scarcity to be wealthy. You can’t achieve wealth from scarcity. You must start beyond it!” (Tony Robbins)

“This moment is the perfect moment for me to truly open my heart to the wealth of Spirit and create my life.” (Shirley Lynn Martin)

As a child, I knew wealth started in my heart. I loved animals with such a big heart that of course, our relationship with each other was wealthy. It still is today. Being wealthy doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes, but I sure am clear where I place my value and the principles I live by to make sure that my relationships with animals (and others) have deep wealth and richness to them. I knew that how I behaved from my heart toward my animals determined the quality or wealth of my relationship with them.

In my family, we never had TV until I was 11 years old or so. Recreation and playtime was filled with creating games and inventing our entertainment in the nearby creek, the fields and animals around me. I learned that wealth meant having an imagination and knowing how to play for hours without adult intervention. I learned about the wealth of time being directed to what makes me happy and fulfilled and sustains my overall health.

In my family, working together on our little farm was interspersed with playing. Looking back on our family photos, it is obvious that we didn’t have much by way of excess furniture or décor! My mother had a wringer washer (if anyone even knows what that is), until they got a new one. I remember being old enough that my younger brother and I decided to take it apart to see if we could fix it. Couldn’t! We did get greasy though. (I think my mother had to clean up the mess). Nevertheless, I didn’t feel poor. Our work had purpose and our home environment was respected through our efforts to keep the space clean and tidy. I experienced wealth of purposeful work and safe space in the fresh and clean space.

Wealth for me meant playing with animals and my siblings. It meant reading books with my mother and sitting on my father’s lap snapping his nose and laughing. Wealth meant eating from the garden, and then especially treats from Dairy Queen. Wealth had little to do with money, but a lot to do with the joy of my spirit. In the years after my father’s death, much changed and yet, a constant remained. Wealth was still expressed in what I loved to do and what was most natural to me. Even though there was much turmoil and deep grief that had come over my whole family, I could still find inner wealth and outer wealth in playing sports. I loved the physical vitality it required. I loved the competition and the community I felt with my teammates. As I look throughout my life, I can find wealth because of the meaning I have given it.

Recently, my siblings and I discussed some of the events around my father’s death and the financial impact it had had. No one was resentful. No one had wished for a different outcome about what happened financially. Forgiveness had truly been experienced in our hearts. And with that forgiveness, our relationships with each other and towards the community around us, remains wealthy.

Wealth is not only about money and certainly not about the amount of money. It’s about Spirit. True wealth is about Spirit! Spirit is wealthy. Wealthy behaviour means I give to others from a heart of kindness because I have faith in the wealth of Spirit. Spirit gives with blessing, with anointing, with grace and forgiveness. To experience wealth as Spirit does, I am invited to give with blessing, with loving kindness, to forgive and accept grace. Spirit is wealthy and so gives generously. Jesus never criticized wealth. He spoke out against greed and one’s lack of generosity!!

We all know that to receive different results we must behave differently. It’s not enough to think differently. We must behave differently with our heart! And that requires being alive to Spirit. BEHAVING WEALTHY starts beyond scarcity!

If I look into Nature and observe what makes it thrive and be rich, to be healthy, so to speak, I notice that getting a balance of sunlight, night, rain, dry, cool and warmth, good nutrients and then space and time to follow its own natural course of coming into its fullness. In other words, my wealth of spirit is dependent upon my spirit’s health and my spirit’s health is dependent upon the balance of my life. This balance of life is rooted in the wealth of Great Spirit that sustains my health and wealth.

My spirit knows that it takes a season of focused energy toward manifesting who I am naturally. I can’t cram it like I did on my exams in university. Growing up in an agricultural family, the harvest takes focused planning, diligent, purposeful action and lots of faith in the season of time and natural flow to bring about the harvest. I also observed that naturally, a flower does not try to become a tree. A healthy dog does not want to become a cat. They live and breathe naturally into the wealth of who they are!

Spirit is wealth. Spirit is health. Spirit is balance. Spirit is peace and love and more, not just for me, but for ’the WE.’ When Spirit is my centre, then wealth follows. What is your experience, meaning and mindset of wealth? How does your spirituality sustain you in these economic and spiritual times? Let the transformations of us all continue indeed!

©Shirley Lynn Martin

Get Ready to Open the Gift of 2009

As I reflect upon 2008, I am aware of all the action I took to align my life, my work and my body. At the beginning of the year, I invited you to join with me on this path in your own way and so here we are at the close of this year, measuring how well we have done to stick with our commitments and intentions. Given the kind of events that unfolded, staying aligned was a gift of grace for me and I know for those of you with whom I journeyed! I recently read that 2008, being a number 10 year, and therefore carrying a number 1 vibrational energy, gave rise to many new, unexpected and extraordinarily challenging life conditions. We only need to look back over the year to notice perhaps not only what happened personally for many, but also globally. Regardless of these events, I knew deep inside the unexpected and extraordinary life challenges were good, intended upon providing opportunities of purification and creativity in every way. In November I stepped into the energy of 2009 and my soul sighed with huge relief. In some way, there is coming an arrival to something we have been working toward. All through November and December, I could feel the lightness of this energy and the good changes I knew it would bring me. These changes have already started manifesting!

I took note of the qualitative value of the year 2009 that equals the vibrational energy fields of the number 11 (one of my favourite numbers). I recognized how the energy of this number matched the energy of 2009 that I have already been feeling. The number 11 is, in part, a universal number and one that challenges us to choose between two paths, one that is positive and filled with change and transformation out of the old mindsets and the other path is the continuance of a path of negativity, dishonesty and injustice.

There are other astrological events for 2009 such as 4 retrogrades (which is like asking us to look back and finish up de-cluttering the unfinished). As well, the number 11 is also partnering with the planet Uranus, known as the system of the “Great Awakener.” In other words, we have a year of great change and transformation that is coming to us whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not!

In 2009, I am both introducing new workshops and bringing forward new approaches and ideas of leadership and inner peace that I have been sitting with for a long time. It is now time. The year has arrived. The time has arrived for each of us to step forward as leaders of our own lives, within our families and communities and on the world platforms. Whether your leadership is claiming self empowerment instead of a path of on-going disempowerment, or whether your leadership is creating a new program to teach others or whether your leadership is to give of your resources to others who have the skills, expertise and calling to make profound changes in the various parts of our world where it is needed, we are joyfully called forward in 2009. No matter what your leadership may be like for you, the time is certainly here for all of us to step forward and be the leaders we trust to bring peace on this planet.

My mission is about peace. My leadership is about inner peace. Stabilizing peace on the planet is a passion within that instructs everything I do and choose. Yet, peace on the planet cannot be stabilized until we can stabilize inner peace. I invite you to join me in 2009 to choose the path of inner peace; to become the leaders you trust and to surrender to all the changes and transformations that awaken us to the inner peace that awaits us. The year 2009 will bring change and transformation to our feet whether we like it or not. For me, the changes, although require effort and discipline, are fun and prosperous. From deep in my heart, I encourage you to challenge yourself to change your old mindsets, release the fears of lack and the weight of your past. Let the light-filled changes that are coming awaken you more deeply toward your joy! Come and learn to be a leader and move forward with inner peace. Now that’s a Christmas gift I’m excited to open and live!
Blessed be!

©Shirley Lynn Martin

The Power of Encouragement

“Wow! You look like you are really making progress in your life. I can really feel how you have strengthened your inner confidence. That’s amazing. Keep working at because it looks fantastic on you!” Imagine receiving an encouragement of this nature every week. Or what about variations of such encouragement. “I know its tough changing core beliefs when they have so controlled your life and kept you functioning. And I know how hard it is to trust that changing beliefs could truly change your reality, but the progress you have made in this last week has brought a lightness to your heart that is incredible and its lovely to be with you.”

Or what if its just really simple?

” I truly believe in you. Go for it.”

” It doesn’t matter whether you fail at trying something new, I just know you’ll master what you most love to do. You’ve got that kind of soul in you.”I remember when I was in grade 8 and my teacher organized the classroom by grades. I was in the B section of the class. The ‘ordinary/average’ section of the class. No matter what we did our ‘lot’ had been assigned us. So as many of you can imagine, I simply decided that I would be a rebel to a greater cause. Not that I had any desire to raise my grades. That wasn’t my dream to learn their way. However, we were the group that laughed the most and caused the most disruption in the class simply because I wouldn’t give him the power to lock the whole of my spirt in the ‘average’ category. Nevertheless, I wonder how different my school experience would have been if he had encouraged me rather than labelled me. I know he never envisioned me with 2 masters degrees! In university when I was defending my master’s thesis, there were 2 professors arguing with each other over the concepts and theories I had created. One was in favour and supported me and the other didn’t like it. The third professor just sat there and hardly said anything. At the end of the defense, I got up to leave, not sure what to think about my capabilities to create new ways to be in the world that brought freedom and kindness to humanity and to all life.

The professor who was in favour of what I had written, came to me and said, “You know Shirley, what you wrote was amazing and you have the potential and the goods to do your PhD. Think about it. You would do well at it.” What difference might it have made if I didn’t have to wait until the end of my first master’s degree for that genuine encouragement of my potential?

His encouragement stayed with me. His encouragement was the power I drew upon when I went on to complete another masters degree and when the next defense came and the profs argued with each other about I wrote on power and accountability, I knew I had the goods. What I wrote created conversation, dialogue, inner searching and challenge. They couldn’t dismiss what I wrote in sheer robotic boredom. It engaged them. The encouragement of this one professor helped me stand my ground and speak my truth, even when the “experts” argued about it.

I realize how much negativity we feed ourselves and how much we hand out to others in an attempt to help others be realists about their life. We hear so much negativity in the news, media and even in our churches or circles of faith, that we loose sight of the power of encouragement to uplift and support each other. In a recent course I took, the teacher reminded me that studies have been done that show that 80% of our self-talk is negative (85,000 -110,000 words we speak to ourselves daily) and of that percentage, 70% of that negative talk is about others! Now that stopped me in my tracks. No wonder we aren’t getting anywhere fast.

The fifth principle in Reiki is to BE KIND. I believe encouragement is a truly extraordinary expression of kindness. Recently, I hired a new Results Coach for myself as I love to grow and work at opening to my potential. She asked me what I need from her to build trust in the coaching relationship. Besides accountability, one of the key supports I needed to most get to my potential, I said, was encouragement. Now I get a beautiful, genuine, heartfelt expression of encouragement every 10 days about what really matters and about the steps I am taking. It is making all the difference for me!

I invite you to consider where you weren’t supported to be and live your potential in a job, or in a relationship, in studies, or in starting something new, and what beliefs about yourself you are still operating from out of that negativity. Then, equally consider the difference it made when you were genuinely encouraged with heart by someone. I bet that the encouragement from the heart made all the difference in the power and the choices you made and lived by. And I bet that the ripple effect of this encouragement went further to positively affect others than you ever imagined.

Do you need more encouragement in your life? If you were given regular encouragement, what do you believe you would have the power to do? To move to? To start? To live? To write? To step forward with? To let go of? To leave behind?

For me, Reiki is one way that I receive daily universal encouragement. Its why I’m still here. I commit to encouraging you even more so because I love and believe in you all! Each one of you is extraordinary and I believe that if we encouraged each other with the kindness of our hearts, together we would change the world. All it takes is for you to encourage another, to encourage yourself and allow another to encourage you!

You must participate wholeheartedly in the game, however, even when the old core beliefs and negative programs start acting up to ‘protect’ you from being encouraging and receiving encouragement in case you might one day get hurt. We have all been hurt. No one escapes it. But we do have a choice whether we live by the hurts of the past or equally honour the potential of a life of love, peace and joy that comes with frequent acts of encouragement! The power of encouragement is the leverage to living successfully and prosperously. Give it a committed effort!


Always a Sunrise

Author unknown
Look out, look in. Every day has a sunrise. Wherever you are, like a magic circle, the world is all around you. Everything has a purpose. Every action a reaction. All around there are happenings.

People, places and ideas, all offering you opportunities. Some to be touched and changed by the very nature of your uniqueness. Others to be left alone for they are not worthy of you. Life is a love affair. Love the people around you; love what you do.

Everyday dawns with a sunrise. Always, High days and low days. Blue skies of pleasure are there to enjoy. Celebrate. Dark clouds of storming hurt, however black, they always pass. Today was yesterday’s tomorrow; yesterday is gone. History. And the wonder of yesterday is whatever we didn’t like is behind us. Make a change. Unlimited you. Greatness from within.

There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. Some things are easy to learn, others hard. What is easy for one may be hard for another. Lessons to be learned, not burdens to be carried. Everyone is different. Everyone is special. We are all creative. WE are all tool makers.

Greatness and humility. Both are you. Leader and follower. Warrior and water carrier. Teacher and student. Champion and cheerleader. Who is to say? One day you are one, the next day you are the other. Pace setters tread the untrodden path. Never given away your sunrise day of action to an excuse.

“When the time is right.” “When I feel like it.” “When I’ve enough money.” Sometimes it’s too easy to justify not taking action. Sometimes you have to say “no’ to your voice of fear when it tries to keep you too comfortably where you’re at. Always a new light. Always a new day. Each day a gift of opportunity. There is always a sunrise even when it is far from our view.

There is always a door. We simply have to seek. There is always a key. We simply have to persist. And, sometimes, we just have to wait a while. Patience does have virtue. There is always a future. The future is hope and the magic is faith.

It begins with you today. Today a new day. Always. Today our decision to be the person we really want to be. Today our choice of courage to accept what we cannot change. Today our choice to rise to the challenge of changing what we must. These are the choices of happiness.

Always an answer. You simply have to believe. The dawn. The magic of a new day given to us. A love affair. A love affair with today. Today, a gift of opportunity; to laugh; to learn; the achieve; to make someone happy, to be happy. Always a sunrise.
For this month, I invite you to live as the Sun–certain in who you are, certain in the design of your purpose and full of faith that it is safe to have a love affair with your Best Self as you live the expansiveness of Divine Love and Light! Blessed be.

Shirley Lynn Martin


Easter is coming upon us and the renewing of Spring’s cycles upon our hearts and bodies. The Story we have told for centuries about Easter is one of death and resurrection, one of trauma, abuse, betrayal and salvation. In many ways, quite simply, Easter is the story of our lives. We experience every moment an Enlightened Master experiences…betrayal, violence, forsakenness, the power of love and forgiveness, being delivered from our own darkness through a profound choice to humbly surrender to the Light of the Divine and the Sacred. Although the details of our story may be uniquely re-arranged from another‘s story, yet in the end, the Story We Tell, reveals the same mysteries of the Sacred awakening and guiding the Potential of our Lives and Hearts. Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth, that over 700,000 people from around the globe are simultaneously studying and over 1.5 million people are downloading, writes that the spiritual story we need to tell is one where a ‘radical transformation of human consciousness’ must awaken us to a higher awareness of our inner purpose. He writes that whether we call it enlightenment, salvation, the end of suffering, liberation or awakening, a new story of transformation is required or we will die.

What a powerful time for the world to be studying this book given that much of the world will honour, in some way, the Easter story , spring equinox, this March, Passover in April and other religious celebrations. Whether or not you have claimed Christianity as your spiritual tradition of faith or not makes no difference. The point is can you see the deeper story of love and transformation available to anyone who can hear and anyone who has eyes?! The story that Buddha told is the same story that Jesus told, that Atman told, the same story in the legends of the Native peoples, a story of inner sacred knowing that requires our discipline and truth to live and set ourselves free to evolve in Love and Light. We are now being called to be open to align our stories with the Light of ‘Christ/Buddha/Nature’s Consciousness’.!

Olive Ann Burns died in 1990 and before she died she wrote one of my favourite and very funny stories, Cold Sassy Tree. How we tell our story from day to day can vary depending upon our willingness to receive the deeper currents of truth and love that lie beneath the surface of our emotional rationales. The story, set in southern Georgia, is largely about a grandpa who marries a younger woman after his wife dies and the relationship he shares with his grandson, Will Tweedy. Will Tweedy is often struck by the way his grandfather simply throws out the ridiculous of religion and culture and finds within his own heart, the truth that sets him free to live, laugh and love.

So as you enter into the new spiritual consciousness available to us this Easter, what ‘transformation, enlightenment or salvation’ story are you willing to be open to tell? If you need some laughter to help you to awaken to your story of transformation and enlightenment out from beneath the darkness of your story that may have started with violence and betrayal and abandonment, I invite you to discover the wisdom of faith in Grandpa’s words to Will Tweedy as he recounted his ‘sermon’ to his new young wife, Miss Love.

Tweedy asks, “Gosh, Grandpa. You mean you don’t think Jesus rose from the dead?”
“I’m a-sayin’ thet did He or didn’t He ain’t important, son. What’s important is thet when the spirit a-Jesus Christ come down on them disciples later, they quit settin’ round a-moanin’ and a-tremblin’ and got to work. They weren’t scairt no more, and the words they spoke had fire in’m. Compared to a miracle like thet, Jesus rollin’ back a dang rock and flyin’ off to Heaven ain’t nothin’. …..

“Grandpa, you don’t think Granny’s gone to Heaven? Tweedy asks.

“I like to think so, son. If’n they is a Heaven, she’s Up There, I know thet, he said softly. “ Ain’t but one way to find out if she is or ain’t, though. And I’m not thet curious. He sighed, spat and said, “ Havin’ faith means its all right either way, son. The Lord is my shepherd means I trust Him. Whatever happens in this life or the next, and even if they ain’t a life after this’n, God planned it. So why wouldn’t it be all right? He looked dead serious, then all of a sudden laughed again. “You know, if’n I was a real preacher, Will Tweedy, wouldn’t nobody come to my church.”

“I would Grandpa.”

Now I encourage you to re-read this small section of story again and transpose the word Him for Her/Goddess. So what if the Consciousness of Christ had come to us in the form of a woman? What awakening of freedom and transformation become available to you in this SPACE? And now re-read it a third time from the vantage point that YOU have come out of Light, and put your name in the place of the disciples. What story of transformation or enlightenment is sparked in you that you now need to tell? It’s our choice which story we tell of our past, of our present or the one yet to come. The story we tell, however, will lead us to the GREAT LIFE, the GREAT LOVE, the GREAT HARMONY/PEACE we seek or the story of our death, our sickness and our darkness. Sweet Blessings!

“Reflecting through the Heavens, All darkness is made light.
Descending, the vastness of the great sea Is filled with the voices of Joy.”
Morihei Ueshiba


©Shirley Martin


In the last hours of our time in Japan, most of our group had gathered to relax until the parting time for the train station. We had taken one last stroll around the neighbourhood in Tokyo where we were staying. As we were relaxing, a group member decided to check her email one last time before the trip home. Upon logging in, the above quote came up on the screen in full letters with a picture. No one could explain from where it came, but we all were amazed at the powerful moment of synchronicity and blessing as the trip was coming to a close. As only poetry could do, this quote captured our trip and the experience of the soul.

Whenever we journey great distances, whether physically or within the Heart of Being, the power of hope keeps us progressing forward even when the light of love has seemingly vanished. I journeyed great distances in preparing for Japan and again while on my voyage, both external and internal. This journey brought with it its own challenges and its moments of new hope and the voices of joy. Not only did I have to navigate a very different culture and social mores, I also had to navigate the journey in my own soul as I encountered the many spiritual energies downloaded during my trip.

If we look back over 2007, many of us can see where hope guided us through the stresses and unknowns that presented themselves to us. I’m the kind of person who likes to look back at the end of the year and see that so much has changed in my life, especially internally, that I say, “Wow, look who I am…I don’t even remember who I was last January.” This year is no different. At the end of December I want to look back and find the snow has covered the tracks where I have been, so that I look forward to 2008 with new hope about where I am going, both internally and externally. This is not a year I need to look back to honour my journey. I have honoured it all along the way.

How am I able to do that? I practice Reiki on myself and meditate daily for at least 2 hours. It’s my commitment to myself. What I have learned is that the more I practice, the more I am required to practice. It takes discipline to meet the quiet truths of HOPE for new life when the old voice of woundedness and betrayal echo in our ego mind and keep pulling us back into our wounds. Ueshiba’s quote reminds us that it is time to silence these voices with a voice that reflects the heavens, fills us with joy and turns the darkness into light!! And that’s the season of NEW HOPE—to birth within us a NEW MINDSET and a NEW VOICE!

For New Hope to be real to us in every moment, we do need to descend into the vastness of the great sea within—the heartsoul. Descending, we may encounter many memories of darkness. The strategy is to use NEW HOPE as our guide, always moving us forward to the next voice of joy. And the voice of joy will be present as this is the promise that Hope brings us. For example, for some, Christmas season can be a time of great stress as the hours of celebration seem to surface the inner truths of discontent in our lives. Some struggle to actually feel the joy of the season. Many find that the ‘family bonds of love’ hold more experiences of loneliness than they do connectedness. Many too, find that the season of imposed frenzy and bustle overwhelm their already guilty conscience for the secret thoughts of just wanting to skip out of all the gatherings and be quiet with their hearts.

Yet, despite all the internal stress that many experience over the holidays, we are presented with a prize opportunity to celebrate NEW HOPE that comes with the SEASON OF LIGHT and NEW BIRTH. Just think of the times wherein the worst moments of sadness and hurt from which you may be writhing and then serendipitously, you encountered a baby who catches your attention or perhaps your heart. Whether it be an infant, or small toddler, a kitten or puppy, the innocence and delight with which they engage with the world envelops us with a blanket or deep and soulful hope that all will find its well-beingness and order once again. For hope truly brings a positive mindset and opens our hearts to the possibilities of miracles deliciously manifested!

Marzie and I are retreating this season to be filled with the Light of NEW HOPE and NEW BIRTH. We intend to step into 2008 with this HOPE as the fire of our inner power!! I truly bring with me from 2007 all the sense of freedom, wisdom and hope I need to leap into the New Year with laughter, a great, big smile and a huge YES! This season of new hope is asking me to plan for the birth of a miracle!! Will you join me in utilizing the energy of new hope to plan for a miracle in your life this 2008?
Blessed be!
Shirley Lynn Martin and Marzie


©Shirley Martin