In today’s blog, I’m going to use my own recent life experience to demonstrate how Authentic Freedom works and why it matters.
Lauri on a Rant
Last week, I went on a bit of a rant. (Read Part I HERE, and Part II HERE) Now, something interesting to note about my rant is my blog traffic QUADRUPLED that day! Apparently my rant resonated with someone! That being said, I am the FIRST to admit that when I am compelled to go off on a rant, it is clearly my fearful and compulsive self who is speaking. As a Type One on the Enneagram, self-righteous-moralizing is my characteristic compulsion and a sign that I have lost sight of Presence. I’m not going to apologize for my rant, however, because more than anything else, I AM HUMAN and I will not pretend to be anything other than who I am and sometimes who I am needs a good old fashioned rant to return to center. I seem to remember a certain teacher of mine who one day went on a rant and cleared the temple courtyard of the evils that were being done there. Sometimes the courtyard needs to be cleared and sometimes we are called to be the voice pointing out the disease that has found its way to our doorstep. At the same time, I am humble enough to recognize my own fears at work and humble enough to use my own fear-driven behaviors to point out how we can all transcend our fears and potentially destructive behaviors.
The Back Story
So….in an effort to illustrate how Authentic Freedom works and why it matters, I will share with you the back story on my rant. Some things I have learned that create a feeling of safety in my life and help me to cultivate peace are the following:
- Structure, order, routine
- projects that make me feel productive and give me a sense of accomplishment and achievement
- Being in my own home or in familiar environments with people I know well
- Feeling vital, healthy and energetic
I have also learned that I am a bit of a control-freak and that I am pushed off-center by circumstances I cannot control, especially those that might have a direct impact on me. And for those of you who do not know, I’m not a huge fan of driving. I used to love driving until I had my first MAJOR panic attack while driving and now there is always a bit of anxiety that shows up pre-drive, especially if it will be over long-distances. SIGH!
Now, let me paint the picture. It is Christmas break. I have no school, no work, no teaching to keep me feeling productive and accomplished. My routine is completely disrupted. I have programs I want to prepare for 2014 and I cannot get the information I need to move forward from others involved in the project. The university where I am pursuing my PhD studies is in the midst of a political upheaval and has been shutdown to students, so no communication is happening, there is no way to reach support staff if you are having problems with getting information on classes, problems, registration, financial aid, etc. As a type-A, overachiever, control freak, I want to get started on my January classes but not all the information or content is available so I can’t start. My end of the year funds are dwindling. Kids need Christmas presents. I have to make a major technology decision (WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE). I take my children out of town for a week to have Christmas with my family, which means I have a DRIVE a long distance on treacherous winter roads. We are out of our comfort zone, out of our element and subject to other people’s agendas, plans, etc. And then, I get sick. REALLY sick. Sick in bed for a week sick. So sick I had to cancel all my client appointments, which then stirs the whole fear over money thing. GET THE PICTURE!!!!????? Lauri is NOT a happy camper.
Compulsions Driven by Fear
Feeling as if I have absolutely no control, feeling frustrated, impatient, angry and afraid….I rant. I rant over all the things that make me angry about our world (rightly so) and about which I have absolutely NO control. It was a good rant because it helped me get over the hump of self-pity, looming depression and seething frustration. And I own the FEARS that drove my rant:
- Fear over money
- Fear over the situation at the University I’m attending
- Fear over the investment I’ve already made in grad-school and what may or may not happen
- Fear over 2014 courses that I will be offering and over whether or not they will be successful – which ultimately boils down to fear over MONEY!
- Fear over not getting what I want in the way that I want it.
This I how Authentic Freedom works – examine the compulsive behaviors (moralistic-self-righteous ranting) and look beyond the behavior to the fear driving that behavior. In this case, the fear boils down to three fears (according to the Authentic Freedom protocol):
- The fear that there is not enough
- The fear that I have nothing to contribute to the world
- The fear that I will not be able to be the person God made me to be
The good news is that naming the fear is actually 99% of the work. Once the fears are named, they tend to take care of themselves. However, if the fears remain, Authentic Freedom then lays out specific mindfulness and creativity practices that help us to move through, transcend and sometimes even heal and release these fears. In my case, I employed music meditation, movement and creativity practices to help me transcend the fear. (examples of these are interspersed throughout this blog).
My invitation to you
If you sometimes find yourself acting in ways outside of your preferred happy, peaceful, contented self, engaging in compulsive and/or potentially destructive behaviors, and you wish to find another way, check out my book Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joy…..or if you are in the Oshkosh area, check out my upcoming course: Authentic Freedom – The Fairytale Edition. For more information on the course, click HERE.