Tag: kindness

The Self Kindness Response: Boundaries for Healthy & Joyful Living

Are you tired of feeling misunderstood, taken advantage of, uncared for and want to learn and practise how to say yes or no in ways that feel right for you?

Do you struggle with setting boundaries that are kind yet firm?

Are you ready to let go of longstanding feelings of hurt and resentment and choose instead ‘inner happiness’?

As a highly sensitive person, do you find yourself picking up on other people’s emotional or energetic ‘stuff’?

Are you ready to exercise greater loving-kindness in your self care?

If you can relate to any of these questions, this workshop is for you!

“There is a very complicated and non-negotiable relationship between boundaries and (self) compassion”.  Brene Brown

goal-729571_640Join Shirley Lynn Martin for two full days of evaluation, imagining and insight. In the safe intimate setting of this workshop, you will have ample opportunities to discuss questions from your personal experience as well as the in-class exercises (ie “What if my husband/wife/partner does this __?” or “How do I respond when my mother/child/sibling does that?”). Out of this, you will be able to create an action plan that will guide you in your communications, your life and relationships beyond this experience.

For more information or to register, see The Self Kindness Response: Boundaries for Healthy & Joyful Living.

The Self Kindness Response: Boundaries for Healthy and Joyful Living

Friday & Saturday, September 25 & 26th, 2020

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Private Home just minutes from (north) Waterloo, ON

(Super-delicious morning and afternoon snacks are provided. Please bring your own lunch or visit nearby eateries.) You are welcome to enjoy the property during break times.

Cost: $297 + HST if pre-paid with cash, checks or e-transfer

(*Additional PayPal user fee will be applied for on-line payment)

Pay Online

Peace Matters: Why Do the Inner Work?

Peace matters. This affirmation and ethic holds deep meaning for me. It pulls me toward my life’s work, my life’s joy and my life’s commitment (purpose). One might even say it is my destiny. The simplicity and clarity of this affirmation and ethic is deeply woven in my heart’s consciousness, serving as a guiding force for me.

When I liken this affirmation to the flow of water, I can easily distinguish when I am aligned and in the flow of my true nature – or when I am stuck in the mud or an overgrown algae swamp, as reflected in the mental struggling and uninspired thinking circling in my mind.

Over the years, I have contemplated the word peace and what value and meaning it has for me. It certainly has evolved, more from an experiential understanding than in any conceptual framework. Through my Reiki meditation and inner path of self-knowing (we call this okuden in Reiki), through my professional study and training, through my life experiences of successes and heartbreaks, and through my grassroots involvement in the All Nations Grand River Water Walk over the past two years (and more to come), my understanding of peace matters has become as valuable to me as breathing.

Now, when I use the word peace, I can embrace an inner stillness, a serenity of heart-mind (kokoro as it is known in Reiki meditation), and a joy of contentment in the persistent meaning of my life. My understanding of peace embraces a sense of confidence in the prosperity of Spirit’s abundance and how it flows in and out of my life, connecting a golden thread to the larger wholeness in the Universe. I can even embrace a deeper patience (this has been a big learning!) in the gentle confluences of many flows that take time to appear for a real movement of change to take effect. And I understand the health of deep relaxation and the relaxation that restores health – which is why peace, deep inner relaxation of body, mind and spirit, is the ultimate healer (also a Reiki teaching).

Perhaps the greatest understanding I have become enlightened to is that peace requires my inner work. The Fourth Precept is Reiki calls us daily to work diligently, to work on ourselves, to do what is ours to do. Not ‘try’ to do. But ‘do’ what is ours to do. Not other’s inner business. Our inner business.

For me, there are three core disciplines to experiencing this inner peace, and necessary for living peace matters (other disciplines exist, but these have arisen as core for me). These tasks have a simplicity to them, yet it has taken me decades to understand them, to embrace them and to begin to live them.

  1. Open to love—let love in. Let love flow (like water). This openness to love is the big ‘YES’ to life, to Source itself and all the Infinite Goodness that flows. The easiest path to open to love is the practice of genuine gratitude for me, a gratitude felt and experienced in the heart. Not just something I think about. The latter is a concept. The former is an embodiment of a vibration and feeling that changes emotional states and perspectives of reality.
  2. Release my emotional attachments to what steals my inner peace (really, my health and inner contentment/happiness). A major task here is the work of forgiving, of releasing emotional attachments to the resentments that keep me out of love and trapped in the darkness of the past. Releasing purifies our body, mind and spirit. Releasing emotional attachments creates boundaries around us/our energetic essence and what is healthy and imbued with radiance and vitality.
  3. Be kind. Have compassion. This practice of kindness requires great moral courage and inner empowerment. Choosing to respond in kindness when someone is behaving rudely, or in a passive-aggressive manner, or even with a racist insult, requires deep inner presence, moral fortitude, creativity and compassion. Having compassion keeps our feet on the ground and our hearts seeing the equality in another, even when the other’s wounds, hurts and anger, expressed violently and with hatred, are the cause of significant pain and injustice.

Kindness is more expedient to the path of inner peace than is the rumination of anger and fear. So is opening to love and releasing emotional attachments to what no longer serves or is functional. Kindness serves as a graceful existence. Peace matters is a path, a way of being that “I don’t want to take because the work to experience it requires ‘giving up too much’,” says the ego.

And as the last living Nuremburg prosecutor of WWII, Benjamin Ferencz, who witnessed and prosecuted the atrocities of Nazi genocide, says: “Well, if it’s naive to want peace instead of war, let ’em make sure they say I’m naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don’t say they’re naive, I say they’re stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don’t even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That’s insane.”

When I keep peace matters in front of me, and I practice these three disciplines, I experience the peace the spiritual masters speak of, although sometimes only briefly. It’s an evolution toward maturity and one, I suspect, which will take me the rest of my life to master any of these disciplines to their potential. Peace matters is NOT a passive way of being. It requires the active engagement of heart and mindfulness to what really matters in the present moment. It is a higher order of human interacting and living in harmony and respect with all our relations. ALL OUR RELATIONS. Peace matters is deeply transformative. And it becomes the healing and joyful work of a lifetime.

I hope you notice that my workshops, trainings and individual sessions all arise and come home to peace matters and the disciplines that support us to live peace, within and with others.

This fall, I will be offering The Art and Practice of Forgiving – Discover the Freedom to Live, Reiki Ryoho Levels One and Two, Compassion and the Art of Self Forgiveness and other Reiki Ryoho courses. I invite you to join me in fleshing out and learning the simple truths and practices of restoring the inner serenity and calm you seek.

Let this summer be a balm for your soul and let your soul awaken to peace matters.

Namaste,
Shirley Lynn

Wisdom’s Way to Peace: The Self Kindness Response

Recently I had a conversation with someone who understood she needed ‘boundaries’, but struggled with creating the necessary boundaries in her relationships because she believed what she really wanted was connection. Wouldn’t boundaries destroy the connection she was seeking? And anyway, aren’t connection and kindness to others spiritual virtues? Won’t boundaries constrain our compassion and kindness to others?

These objections (and resistances) are quite common among those who really want to be compassionate to others and who are very sensitive to the energies and emotions around them. These questions and ones like these get to the heart of our inner objections in creating the kinder relationships and inner states of peacefulness that we yearn for.

In today’s blog, I would like to challenge this notion that boundaries exclude a sense of connection by exploring four different core operating beliefs that are commonly played out in our unconscious:

“I’m Not OK, You’re OK”

In this core belief, we enter into the land of dependency and exclude ourselves from the blessings of life, of love and life-giving relationships. Our sense of shame and unworthiness causes us to ‘do for others’ what we cannot do for ourselves. We will not be able to open to love, nor the blessing of another. If we do not perceive ourselves as being worthy of someone’s blessing, we will not be able to stand and look someone in the eye and tell them what we need.

Here, there is a lack of self-respect, a lack of boundaries and a whole lot of people-pleasing. In this land of dependency, we will find ourselves envious, resentful, exhausted and covet what we perceive others have or we give to them because we cannot give it to ourselves nor receive it from another. We lack kindness towards ourselves, remain disconnected with others and often fall into a state of passivity (-aggressiveness) about our lives.

“I’m OK, You’re Not OK”

In this core belief, we find ourselves in the land of arrogance and pride. Our acts of ‘charity’ are really ‘blessings’ imposed … and for the receiver, not really a blessing at all. In this state of arrogance or superiority, our helping another is often wrought with the assumption ‘I know better’.

Entire cultures and peoples have been destroyed in the blind assumption that ‘our way is better than your way’. Consider the disastrous results of the way we have mistreated, abused and fundamentally disregarded First Nations peoples and tribes. We destroyed connection, community and the life-giving spiritual knowing of our country and our Earth in this genocide. It’s often hard to fathom the depth of our failures toward First Nations people because of all we imposed. We failed to create boundaries of mutual respect and kindness, of common dignity for all people. The repercussions for these lack of boundaries and compassionate connection will be our burden for decades to come. What we did in this cultural example, we also do personally to ourselves and others when we come with an attitude of I know how to ‘fix’ you.

“I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK”

In this core operating belief, we find ourselves in the land of curses. Though we may find ourselves in a state of ‘likeness’ with each other, a state of common experience about what is ‘not okay’ around us or in our environment, our ‘joining together’ in this state is destructive, cynical and riddled with mutual contempt and despair.  Though we both may be ‘down in the dumps’, we injure each other to prevent ourselves from being more miserable than the other. All heart connection is lost, annihilated or in perpetual threat.

Again, we have no real healthy boundaries here. Rather, we put energy into creating emotional walls and barriers, leaving us locked away from connection and in the stalemate of our own inner hauntings.

“I’m OK, You’re OK”

Finally, this operating core belief sustains us in the land of blessing. This is the place of joining, of collaboration, of mutuality, equality, respect and appreciation. In this land, we can pray and chant the ‘Namaste’, the light in you is the light in me; the peace in you is the peace in me.

In this land, we can care for each other in dignity and respect for each other. It is not that we are needy of each other; rather, in appreciation for what another values and for what we value, we respect and validate and support the unique worth of ourselves and the other. In the land of blessing, we seek to compassionately appreciate and see the good in all things. Our boundaries here are flexible, clear, growing, strong, consistent and kind, sustaining the vitality of our own core essence. Because we respect and appreciate the goodness in ourselves and in the other, our connections are real, open, compassionate and trustworthy.

As we simplify the equations to see truly the essence of what matters in the heart of connection, we discover that boundaries are a way to sustain healthy and vital connection in “I’m OK, you’re OK.” For women who have been socialized and imprinted upon to care for others first (”you’re OK, I’m not OK”), self-kindness boundaries offer us the potential to choose self-love and joy (trumping self-improvement), to fill our own cup first and offer to others from our inner fullness, and to let our body lead us (rather than denying or denigrating our bodies).

goal-729571_640

It’s time for a shift in consciousness where self-love and strength, connection and unequivocal kindness in self-regard are the touchstones and daily practices in our relationships and in the joys of our lives. Recognizing and developing awareness and giving ourselves full and complete permission to have boundaries that sustain kindness and connection with ourselves and others is a first major healing of our hearts and psyche.

The next step is to learn HOW to create these kinds of boundaries which support our engagement in creating and living a joyful life, happy relationships and inner vitality. If you are ready to learn the ‘how’ of creating your personal, unique boundaries that fuel your body-mind-spirit connection, happiness and joy, join me at my upcoming The Self Kindness Response: Boundaries for Joyful Living workshop on October 28-29th, 2016.

If you wish to continue to nurture the boundaries you are already creating, please join us to support your self-kindness in love and strength. And if you already have been practising boundaries for self-empowerment, join us to expand the inner waves of self-kindness and joy in the boundaries you practice. In other words, no matter where you are on this continuum of creating and nurturing boundaries, there is more to do and this workshop will definitely offer the necessary tools to help you.

Namaste,
Shirley Lynn

(ps. Thanks to Rob Voyle and his work with the Appreciative Way in helping me to clarify my own understanding)