Martha Char Love is the co-author along with her colleague Robert W. Sterling of a groundbreaking book in 2011 What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct introducing the new field of Gut Psychology that explores the intelligence of the gut feeling responses. They include in their book a complete protocol for the Somatic Reflection Process that they created and some of their verbatim counseling sessions with people using this process to unite the body-mind and assist in healthy life decisions. It is a book written from 40+ years of experience counseling with hundreds of people and accessing feeling memory through awareness of the self-regulatory gut responses. Responding to the many requests for further material on gut intelligence, they have also written a second book in 2015 as a companion titled Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity.
In 1968, Martha received a BS in Elementary Education and in 1970 an MA in Educational Psychology, with a 5th year certificate in Psychometry in the School Psychology department at the University of Georgia. Serving as a full-time counselor/instructor in the '70s and early '80s, she worked as both a career counselor and instructor at Meridian Junior College and later in a large progressive community college, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), in Gainesville Florida, as well as a licensed School Psychologist for the Alachua County Schools K-12. It was at that time that she first wrote a text for her classes with her colleague, Robert Sterling, about the gut instinctive responses that they were discovering with hundreds of people that they were working with in career exploration. In 2005, she received an MA in Depth Psychology and continued the study of the intelligence of the gut instinctive responses in a research study at Sonoma State University (SSU) in Rohnert Park, California. In 2008, she received a PMA in Art Therapy as she continued to study somatic responses at SSU.
Martha Love is presently living in Honolulu with her husband Michael. While she continues to write and work on educational materials on gut intelligence, she is retired from a long career in educational and school psychology, counseling, and education. She is still very interested in exploring and interacting with people around the understanding of the intelligence of the gut response, as this continues to be her lifetime passion and work. She is also actively engaged in writing books with her husband on Elven Philosophy under the pen name The Silver Elves and they are now writing an Elven Psychology book, which is a new perspective of psychology and s’elf awareness.
What do I do best?
It is said that we do best and excel in what we have the greatest passion for doing. My passion throughout my adult life has been in helping people explore their inner gut feelings, the impact of life upon them, and to view themselves with a new perspective that gives them body-mind unity, peace of mind and hope for a successful and happy future. Because I enjoy relating on this profound level of human communication and am rejuvenated myself from such an encounter, I never seem to tire of listening and supporting a person during even very long counseling sessions while they reflect on their feelings and discover their gut feeling memory and true self.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Without others in our lives to give us feedback, we can easily become rather unconscious of our own follies and even more importantly never really aware of our best abilities. Every success in my life has been because I listened to someone close to me who was encouraging me to put my best foot forward and try to do something that might even seem to me to be impossible. This was so all my life—from the time I was encouraged as a child by my mother to learn to walk again after having bulbar polio till adulthood when I was supported and assisted by my colleague Robert Sterling in creating and practicing the Somatic Reflection Process on gut feelings and in writing a successful book about it and mind-body unity.
What are my aspirations?
My personal goal is to continue enjoying traveling and meeting people all over the world. I’ve been trying for years to learn to speak a little Japanese and I plan to continue working on it little by little.
Professionally, I am still writing books and developing educational materials to spread the use of the Somatic Reflection Process and gut feeling awareness for wellness. It is my hope that more scientists will use this important process in their research and practice in the field of gut health. I spend a great deal of time on both Facebook and Academia.edu interacting with people who have read our book What’s Behind Your Belly Button? on gut feeling intelligence. It is my aspiration to be accessible to readers and to help people use the awareness of gut feelings in their lives for success and happiness, and to be accessible also to professionals who are curious about and wish to use our ground breaking approach to feeling memory through gut feeling awareness.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success comes each time I help someone learn to love and accept themselves. Nothing makes me feel more like I have served my purpose in life like guiding someone to the true awareness of who they are deep inside and feeling a peace and love for who they find there. When I help someone touch into the awareness of their inner gut feelings and instinctive nature and to understand themselves often for the first time from an inner point of view, I feel like I have had a successful day.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Sometimes detouring off a chosen path seems like we are throwing away part of our lives, when in truth we are only gaining an experience that we need in order to cross the finish line of success and reach our original goal. After practicing counseling and working as a licensed School Psychology for over a decade, I had my first child and made the decision to leave my professional job and be a stay-at-home mom. At first it was a very hard decision, although I really never questioned the importance of it or my desire to do it. I guess the challenge was that I was afraid I would never have an opportunity to get back to my practice.
But in the late 90s once my children were older and in college, I returned to the field. Of course, by then much had transpired in the research and practice of psychology, and now everything was computerized, of which I had little knowledge. So I returned to college as a student along with my children to update my skills. And, yes, we seriously did go each day in the same car to the college. There I spent a couple of years learning how to navigate the computer world and then went on to complete further graduate studies in Depth Psychology and Art Therapy. It was at that time in graduate school that I began important research projects to validate the Somatic Reflection Process that Robert Sterling and I had originally created and used decades earlier with hundreds of people to become aware of gut feelings and to access feeling memory for body-mind unity. All in all, although detouring off the straight path of my profession to spend more time with my children had been quite a challenging decision, the experiential knowledge I gained about child development as a parent turned out to be essential to a deeper understanding of gut feelings and instincts and to the success of my research and published books.
I have adopted the motto: “If you can not be yourself, who will you be?” see Living the Personal Myth by The Silver Elves.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I have so many favorite people that to answer honestly the question of my favorites, I would have to list nearly every family member and so many friends, past and current. So I’ll just say: my Aunt Sarah who I learned from the meaning of unconditional love at a very early age; my sister Gail who was always there by my side and who is an angel; and my parents who I have come to understand with each passing day where amazing!
Professionally my favorites are: (1) Isabel Briggs Myers, who I had the pleasure of spending time with and working with in the 70s to collect data for the Myers-Briggs Type Indictor. She truly gave me an inclusive psychological view of people’s differences. (2) Robert W. Sterling, who has been a lifetime colleague and best friend and who has shared the professional journey with me to explore gut feelings. (3) The Amazing Kreskin, who I had the pleasure of having a personal lunch with once in the early 70s when he was giving a show at the college where I was a teacher/counselor. He opened my thinking to the importance of the imagination and this had a profound influence on my life and values.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I loved visiting Thailand, Japan, Italy, and Australia. But the one place that I feel a strong pull to return to is New Zealand. Its rolling hills and charming people kept me in awe! Also, I actually love where I live presently in Oahu, Hawaii, above all places I have ever lived (and I’ve moved over 70 times in my life).
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I love teapots and only stopped collecting them because I ran out of room to display them. I also love faerie and elf figurines, of which my husband and I collect and have over 500, each displayed on shelves all over our eccentrically furnished home.
My Current Passions?
I consider myself an elf, as does my husband Michael, who I call Zardoa. Legends have it that elves love to create things over and over, like in the story of the elves and the shoemaker. Well, these elves love creating books! My current passion now is creating books with Zardoa, under the pen name The Silver Elves, on the theme of living the Elven Way, and on elven magic and enchantment. We have published 41 books now and are presently working on three more: one is on using art in elven magic; one is a dictionary on the elven language Arvyndase; and one is book on Elven Psychology, in which we are creating our own version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) into a more intrinsic view of the person and more fitting for those who consider themselves magical beings.