Posted in Being Human, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Practices, Truth

Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks

What if anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not pathologies, something wrong with us that needs to be treated medically, but instead, is our Truth, our Soul, trying to WAKE US UP?  Exploring the spiritual meaning behind depression, anxiety and panic attacks along with effective means for moving through the symptoms through attentive presence. Healing that is at once holistic, enduring and FREE. 

A Bold Proposal

Bill Plotkin, in his latest book, Wild Mind, makes a bold proposal:

“. . . many of the behavioral patterns that mainstream psychology labels as psychopathologies . . . are not necessarily problems in themselves. . . What if most actual pathologies are primarily symptoms of underdeveloped psychological resources – inborn capacities of the Self that await cultivation within everyone?  Psychological symptoms may best be relieved not by directly trying to eradicate them, impede them, or mask them but rather by developing our innate resources, the unavailability of which may be the primary reason these symptoms appear in the first place.  Perhaps we exhibit psychological symptoms not so much because we’re dis-ordered but because we’re deficient in our embodiment of wellness, health or wholeness. (pp. 4-5)”

In Bill’s proposal, he gives voice to the theory that has been formulating in my own mind in the nearly twenty years that I have accompanied individuals and groups through the ministry of Spiritual Direction and in the forty-eight years that I have accompanied myself in this journey.  What I have observed and come to believe is that what is experienced in the way of psychological symptoms (anxiety, depression, panic attack, etc.) is quite often our TRUTH, our highest Self, our SOUL, trying to be made known.  I have also seen that the degree of discomfort in symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attack, etc. seems to be proportionate to how hard we have worked to SUPPRESS, DENY, IGNORE, REPRESS, RESIST and SILENCE our truth.

Lauri Lumby supports you in hearing the voice of your truth and heeding the longing of your Soul.  To schedule a one-on-one session, call (920) 230-1313 or email

Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Sleeplessness, Worry

In Western medicine and psychology, symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attack, sleeplessness and worry are considered to be consistent with mental illness and treated through medical intervention and therapy.  Whereas there are certainly cases in which medical intervention and therapy are both helpful and necessary, it has been interesting to observe both within myself and in working with clients the profound way in which identifying and naming our TRUTH alleviates the symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic, sleeplessness and worry while producing healing that is enduring and FREE.  It is almost as if the symptom (anxiety, for example) is simply there as a flag waving, trying to get us to pay attention to the deeper inner truths that seek to be known.  Once these truths are acknowledged, the symptom subsides because the flag no longer needs to be waved.

Conditioning and Instinct

Sometimes life happens, and when it does experiences of sadness, worry, doubt, fear, etc. show up.  Our culture, however, tells us we can be none of these, so we judge these feelings as “bad” and know that if we want to continue to be loved and accepted, we’d better find a way to get rid of these “bad” feelings.  Our instinctual nature supports this by telling us to avoid pain, that pain is bad and that we need to get rid of or at least get away from it.  As such, our conditioned and instinctual response to anxiety, depression, panic attack, etc. is to seek a way to GET RID OF IT  or at the very least, to GET AWAY FROM IT.  The most effective method I have seen in moving through symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic attack, sleeplessness and worry, however, is at once counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.  Instead of getting rid of or getting away from the “pain,” we invite it in and we draw it toward us.

Lauri Lumby supports you in hearing the voice of your truth and heeding the longing of your Soul.  To schedule a one-on-one session, call (920) 230-1313 or email

A New Prescription for Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attack, etc.

The new prescription for symptoms of what might traditionally called pathology, involves becoming radically present to these feelings instead of following our instinctual or cultural conditioning which would tell us to push it away.  This new prescription involves RADICAL ACCEPTANCE.  Instead of judging our anxiety as “bad,” we accept it.  We allow ourselves to stop running from it and create a space where we can be present to it.  We SIT with the anxiety.  We FEEL the anxiety.  We BREATHE in the anxiety.  And then, WE LISTEN.  LISTENING, then, becomes the most important step in this process because more often than not, the anxiety is there because IT HAS SOMETHING TO TELL US.  The anxiety, like a waving flag, is there as a symptom of something deeper that wants to be known.  Perhaps there is a grief that wants to be released.  Maybe where we are going is not reflective of our Soul’s calling or our highest truth.  Perhaps there is a creative project that Soul longs for us to accomplish and we are resisting the call of the soul.  Maybe underneath the anxiety is years of built up resentment over needs not being met or the awareness that the relationship you are in is unhealthy and damaging to your soul.  In stopping and listening to our symptoms, we no longer need to get rid of them, because we are allowing them to TELL US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW.  Once we hear, see, understand, comprehend, realize, know the truth beneath the symptoms, the symptoms are no longer necessary and simply depart on their own.  The most amazing thing about this process is that it proves the saying, “what we resist persists.”  The harder we work at ignoring or denying our deeper inner truths and the longings of the soul, the harder they work to get our attention which manifests as an increased severity, frequency and duration of the unpleasant symptoms.  When we give our truth the attention it deserves, not only do the immediate symptoms subside, but the frequency and duration of these symptoms decreases, eventually to the point where they are no longer necessary. Even greater than the subsiding and healing of the unpleasant symptoms, however, is the fulfillment and joy that comes in allowing our SOUL to be known and the liberation that comes in living our TRUTH.

Lauri Lumby supports you in hearing the voice of your truth and heeding the longing of your Soul.  To schedule a one-on-one session, call (920) 230-1313 or email


I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!

6 thoughts on “Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks

  1. Lauri,
    This is one of the absolute BEST pieces you’ve ever written!!! It is enlightening, healing and is overall deeply empowering. EXCELLENT work!!

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