Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Expanding Our Offerings – Coming Soon!

Here is a sneak peek of what we are hard at work creating and making available soon!  A huge shout out to Kim at Leadas.love for the backend work.  Watch this blog and your emails for the big REVEAL! 

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a community of women and men who are responding to the calling of their Soul to discover their own unique giftedness and how they are called to find fulfillment in these gifts while being supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

We are here because we long for a more loving, more compassionate, more tolerant, more accepting and gentler world where the needs of all are met for the common good and where all of humankind can once again live in harmony, peace and understanding.

If you have found yourself here, you are either just beginning to hear the rumblings of your Soul, or have already come to know that you are among those who are being hospice to the dying world while midwifing the new world that is coming into form and are looking for people of like-mind with whom you can share this challenging and exciting calling!

We are changemakers, wayshowers, sh.t-disturbers, mystics and rebels. And here we are safe to question, explore, discover, be empowered and supported for our own unique giftedness and for how we are called to exercise these gifts in our world.

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love supports you through:

Education

On-Going Spiritual Formation

Social Network/Community (coming soon!)

Individualized Support

Empowerment

Publishing

 

Authentic Freedom is the life-work of Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS who created the Authentic Freedom protocol which supports women, men and children in overcoming the unhealed wounds, fears, and societal conditioning which might otherwise prevent them from being their most authentic self – the person they were born to be and whom their Soul is calling them to be!

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

 

The Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training and the Order of Melchizedek Training programs are our flagship offerings – for the serious student who is interested in being supported in their journey of self-actualization and vocational empowerment.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Authentic Freedom is Becoming a Learning Community

Authentic Freedom is becoming a learning community.

In addition to my blog, my books, and online courses, the “new” offerings will include:

  • A weekly Authentic Freedom lesson
  • A social network (something like Facebook right on my own website!!!!!)
  • A monthly teachers circle

These offerings will be available through paid membership tiers running from $13.00 – $22.50 per month.  All but the social network option are already available but will now be streamlined and easier to access with a more purposeful vision.. Watch this site for updates and announcements on how to join!

The social network option will allow us to GET OFF FACEBOOK!  Hurray!  This will insure greater privacy and a more secure community of women and men who are serious about their inner work and who want to connect and build community on that level.  I am really looking forward to launching this option (SOON!).

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please let me know.  In the meantime, I welcome your prayers of support as I continue through the internal and external symptoms related to “upleveling.”  It has been doozie!  “Hello Trickster, the fact that you are here tells me something magnificent is happening!”

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a 25 year labor of love (blood, sweat, tears, heartache, ecstasy, fulfillment and joy) which began with my own search for meaning and fulfillment. Beginning with my Catholic upbringing and from there through nearly every spiritual tradition known to us today, the meandering path of my journey has brought me to one universal truth:

LOVE

Through this journey, I have discovered and been called to develop tools which supported me in coming to know this love and through this love, coming to know my unique giftedness and how I am called to find meaning and purpose in my life through the engagement and use of these gifts – first for my own fulfillment and then in service to the betterment of our world.

The mission of Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is to support you in doing the same.

Through our many offerings, we support you in coming to know LOVE and how to choose this LOVE over our culture’s fear-based conditioning. In addition, you have the opportunity to discover your own unique giftedness and how you are called to find fulfillment in these gifts and to feel supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

Education

On-Going Spiritual Formation

Social Network/Community (coming soon!)

Individualized Support

Empowerment

Publishing

 

 Learn more about our philosophy of education HERE. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, self-actualization

What is Authentic Freedom?

Authentic Freedom Academy supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents. As a center for experiential education, we support the transformation of human consciousness through the integration of Western psychology and Western Spirituality, equipping students to be agents of positive, non-violent change in the world.

We accomplish this mission through:

  • writing and publishing
  • one-on-one mentoring (spiritual counseling)
  • local and online courses
  • on-going service to the community

 

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Authentic Freedom™ is a trademarked protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

Authentic Freedom has applications in:

  • Personal Development
  • Parenting
  • Relationship Support
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Management

As a tool for professionals in the fields of:

  • Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Spiritual Guidance/Spiritual Direction
  • Life-Coaching
  • Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and any other hands-on healing protocols

 

Specific Tools used in Authentic Freedom™:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

 

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From Western Psychology, Authentic Freedom™ draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, Authentic Freedom™ has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of God (the God of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

jesusabstractshutterstock

 

Enjoy the benefits of Authentic Freedom through:

One-on-one mentoring with Lauri Ann Lumby.

The Authentic Freedom Online Course:

Read the book and the companion user’s manual:

Buy it now on Amazon

Buy it now on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Programs which include the Authentic Freedom Protocol:

Authentic Freedom Academy Leadership TrainingAuthentic Freedom Academyorder of melchizedek, Christian Magic, Catholic Magic, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

 

 

 

 

 

My Approach to Scripture: You will notice that scripture plays a predominant role in my writing and in most of my local and online courses. Please note that my approach to scripture is unlike any you have likely experienced before!  I do not approach scripture from a dogmatic or doctrinal perspective.  Neither do I use it as a way to instill fear or manipulate specific actions or behaviors.  Instead, I approach scripture as the ancients did – as a collection of stories which have the opportunity to reflect back to us aspects of ourselves.  In this way, scripture becomes a vehicle through which our highest self can speak to us – providing guidance, support, inspiration, nourishment and even healing.  When we pierce through the veil of other people’s interpretations and allow the Divine to speak to us personally and directly through these ancient texts, we discover the transformational power of The Word as it was originally intended – as a tool to guide and sustain us on the path of love.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how Authentic Freedom might be for you. lauri@authenticfreedom.love or (920) 230-1313.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Authentic Freedom Book

Unchoosing Fear

Each and every moment of each and every day we choose which world we are living in. We are either choosing to live in the world of fear or the world of love. If we are choosing the world of fear, we are easily manipulated by the world that is dying and in the midst of its own collapse – a world that is ruled by fear, motivated by the desire for power and control.  If we are choosing the world of love, we are no longer vulnerable to the fear-based world and live in a world where there is peace, contentment, joy and faith and trust that all is unfolding in service to the higher good.  What world do you want to live in?  What world are you choosing?

Choosing the world of LOVE begins by unchoosing fear. Yes, we really DO have the power to unchoose fear (though the current patriarchal/hierarchical structures that are dying do not want us to know this, and neither does the media, or advertising).  Unchoosing fear begins with knowing how to identify fear in action, a skill few of us know how to do.  In fact, the old and dying structures did a really good job of teaching us how to fear and all the things we should be afraid of – death, war, violence, hunger, homelessness, hell, rejection, condemnation, and that we would not be loved unless we are a size 4, driving a Lexus and living the life of the Kardashians.  As such, unchoosing fear starts when we STOP listening to the old, fear-based, power and control driven institutions and start listening to our hearts instead.

The next step in unchoosing fear is being willing and able to identify what fear actually feels like and knowing when our fears are being triggered. Unchoosing fear then invites us to identify all the behaviors we tend to engage in when we are afraid – gluttony (over and under consumption), lust (giving our power away or trying to manipulate others through fear), wrath (harboring resentments, seeking vengeance), envy, greed (withholding our gifts or hoarding our resources), sloth (refusing to use the brain God gave us to reason, discern and exercise our truth), and pride.  Finally, unchoosing fear invites us to CEASE from engaging in our fear-driven actions and do the cold, hard work of healing the fears that causes those behaviors in the first place.

Choosing to live in the world of Love begins by unchoosing fear. How are you unchoosing fear so that you can live in a better world?

Lauri Ann Lumby supports you in unchoosing fear and choosing the world of love through one-on-one mentoring, online classes, workshops, retreats and writing.  Learn more about Lauri and her offerings HERE. 

 

For further support in unchoosing fear, check out my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy available for purchase through Amazon.com. Or, check out the Authentic Freedom Mastery Course – an online curriculum which supports you in choosing to live in a better world.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Empowerment, End of the World Prophecies, world changes

Waiting in the Wings

And chomping at the bit….

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. And the time we’ve been waiting for is NOW!

The world as we have known it is on its own journey toward oblivion. That which has been established in fear, power and control, is in the midst of its own collapse.  This system that has proven to be unsustainable is imploding upon itself.

In the midst of this collapse, a new world is already being born. And WE are the ones building it.

This new world is not coming from those who have held the power. It is not coming from anyone or anything that is on the top of a hierarchical ladder.  It is not coming from the Church, government, or any corporation, institution, or entity who has benefitted from a world built on fear, power and control.

The new world is coming out of the masses – the tired, the poor, huddling masses of humanity who have grown tired of war, tired of violence, tired of those systems that are destroying our environment and making it impossible for many to receive their very basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and safety. We are tired.

But out of this deep exhaustion, a collective vision has arisen. The vision of a better world – the world that we know we came here to make real.

We are here. And we are ready.  For the past 20 years (maybe lifetimes), we have been preparing.  We have honed our vision. We have practiced our skills.  We have reached out our hands and our hearts to others who share a similar vision.  And we are right here among you – ready to act as a source of support for those who might fear the death of the old and the time of uncertainty before the new is fully born.

We are here to support those who see a vision for a new world and who are looking for ways to manifest that vision. We are artists, healers, counselors, teachers, advocates and activists. We are praying for the healing of our world and upholding the vision of love that will heal our world.  We are here to support the transformation of our world from one of fear into one of love.  We are not alone and our numbers are large.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for and our time is NOW!

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If you are interested in joining this movement to build a better world, check out our weekly gatherings HERE.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, End of the World Prophecies, Mystics, New Kids, New World, world changes

Our Children Need Our Help!

Yesterday I fielded a slew of phone calls, text messages and Facebook notifications from parents concerned for their children. An “unconfirmed threat” (News story HERE) was leveled against the local high schools and the school district responded by closing the schools, insuring our children’s safety while the proper authorities researched the threat and resolved the issue (which they eventually did).

Was the threat real? Were our children in danger?  Perhaps.  But more concerning is the fact that this happened in the first place.  These kinds of situations are symptoms of larger issues, coming out sideways.  Our children are smack dab in the middle of it, living and trying to survive in a world that doesn’t feel safe.

Our children need our help!

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I have spoken at length about the societal issues that are causing our children distress. (HERE.)  Now I want to speak about our children themselves and what it is about them that make them especially vulnerable to anxiety, depression, anger, and all of symptoms of a world gone awry.

Our children were born into this world as kind, sensitive, loving, beings who came here with a mission. They are here for the purpose of building a new world – a world built on love, compassion, appreciation of diversity, peace, collaboration and harmony. This is the world that they KNOW in their hearts and the world they hoped would welcome them.  Instead, they found themselves waking up to a world at war, where fear rules, where those in power rule through fear, where diversity is not honored, where differences are demonized, where hatred reigns and where people are afraid.

To our sensitive and loving children, this world does not feel safe (it shouldn’t feel safe to us either….if it does, perhaps we should take another look). Not only do they feel unsafe in this world, the world they know in their hearts has made them ill-equipped for survival on this planet.  As such, many of our children struggle with sensitivities – food, environmental toxins, certain scents, textures of certain foods, the air itself, fabric, anything synthetic, the environments in which they find themselves (school, daycare, work, etc.).  Many are sensitive to light and sound, even temperature and weather.

Beyond the obvious material sensitivities, our children are also empaths. Empaths are human beings who are sensitive to the emotions of the people around them, the environment in which they find themselves, and for some, the world.  Not only are they experiencing their own anxiety in the face of a world that does not feel safe, they are feeling EVERYONE ELSE’s anxiety.  Without proper guidance and support in how to manage these feelings, that aren’t even their own, our children feel overwhelmed and many shut down.

Now, let me offer a little metaphor that might help us to better understand our children:

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Imagine, just for a moment, that our children are not from here. Imagine that their origin is a beautiful planet where there is only love. Where people have learned to live in harmony with one another, where diversity is honored as sacred, where each person is acknowledged and honored for their unique gifts and what they bring to the whole.  Theirs is a world where people work together for the common good, and where all decisions are made on behalf of the all.  Nature is honored as beautiful and sacred as it is the Divine breathing into them through the grasses, trees, the flowers are the face of the Divine and the air is the Divine’s embrace.  In this world, everything is as the Divine made it and nothing has been tampered with by man’s selfish designs.  The air is clean and pure.  All water is safe to drink.  The soil is rich with minerals and nutrients. Medicine comes from the earth.  The elders are the guides of the community.  Children are the promise of generations to come.  They live in harmony with their planet and everything that dwells on it.  They receive what they need to survive and to thrive because everyone works together and knows now to share.  Nothing is wasted and everything that isn’t used is given back to the earth. 

Then imagine that the air they breathe on their home and the gravity there differs from this planet. On their planet, things are lighter and when they walk, it feels as if they are walking on air. 

Finally, imagine that they were sent here without their moon suits. They cannot breathe properly.  They are not being protected from the harsh environment that is so unlike their own. Because of the gravitational difference, which makes walking on this planet feel as if they are walking through lead, they are left feeling worn out, exhausted and tired.  Our children have had to slowly learn how to acclimate to this planet without the proper supports. Some have been successful.  Many have not.  🙁

There is, however, a happy ending for those children, if we allow it. This world NEEDS these children, their unique sensitivities and their unique gifts so that we can come back from the hole we have dug for ourselves.  They are indeed here to help us build the new world.  They already know what it looks and feels like.  We just need to get out of their way and support them while they are doing it.

In the meantime, as parents, it is our job to see our children for who they are. To ask them what they are feeling and what they need to navigate this strange world they were born into.  It is our job to seek out support when we have exhausted our own efforts, or rather, before we have.  And most importantly, we need to do the same for ourselves – because the children who came here to change our world, were born from parents who came here to do the same.  Let’s get on with it, shall we?

world-pixabay

Authentic Freedom Academy offers services and support for those who are here to help build the new world and who are called to provide hospice to the old world as it is dying.  Our mission is to turn our world from fear into love.  Check out our online classes and consider a private session with Lauri Ann Lumby for individualized, one-on-one support.  Family services are also available. Email Lauri Lumby at lauri@authenticfreedom.love or call (920) 230-1313 for more information.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, Death, End of the World Prophecies, grief, Inspiration, New World, world changes

Will You Survive the Collapse?

As the Obamas bid their final farewells and we wait in anticipation for the next administration to take their place, there are many holding out hope that the new administration will usher in better days, making good on their promise to “Make America Great Again!” If they are able to make positive, life-giving change which is for the good of all Americans, I will be the first to shout “hurray!”  Unfortunately, this promised change is highly unlikely. As long as policy decisions are made on behalf of the 1%, by those whose pockets are being filled by the 1% (who have acquired their wealth through fear, power and control and who have done so on the backs of those they loathe (the poor, immigrants, people of color, Muslims)), nothing is going to change.  In fact, it will likely get worse – a lot worse!

dyingworld-pixabay

God Bless Donald Trump for believing he will have the power to restore our country to greatness, but he does not and will not have the power to do so. Why?  Because the President is not in charge.  There is a power much greater than our elected officials guiding policy – and we need only look as far as the failed Affordable Care Act to see how quickly great visions, intended to meet the needs of the collective, serve only to meet the selfish and greedy desires of the 1% (in this case, insurance and pharmaceutical companies).

The change that we are looking for will not come from the top. Positive, life-giving change, on behalf of the greater good, NEVER comes from the top because those on the top have too much to lose. Those of us on the bottom, however, have reached the point where we have literally nothing left to lose. Blood cannot be extracted from a turnip and with an economy based in debt there is no money to be gotten from those who are already so far in the hole they can barely see the light of day. So how, may I ask, does the incoming administration think they are going to pay for all these great programs, new jobs and walls they promise to build?  Print more money that is backed by nothing but air?  Good luck with that!

Instead of the change from the top many are looking for, what I suspect is coming our way is complete systemic collapse. And thank God! It is long past time that the world model based on fear, power and control, met its demise so that something more loving, kind, collaborative and unifying can take its place.  But first…the collapse.  How are we going to survive as the world we have known crumbles around us and the world we have been waiting to build has not yet found its legs?

We start by making a choice. We choose how we will respond to the world out there while making a choice in support of the world in here.

The world out there is that which is displayed in the media, which manipulates us through fear, which continually tells us we are not good enough, and then tempts us with “lifestyles of the beautiful, rich and famous.”  The world out there is reflected in the words and actions of our incoming president who perfectly reflects the shadow of our culture which we must now face – the shadow of racism, sexism, ageism, all matters of prejudice, scapegoating, white patriarchal and hierarchical privilege, greed, gluttony, lust (for power), arrogance, pride and wrath.  You name it, he embodies it…as do those he is gathering around him. (For the record….I’m not sure things would have been much better for Hillary….ultimately, both of them are puppets for the larger powers that govern policy).

How we going to respond to the world out there?  Are we going to allow it to manipulate us and throw us into terror?  Or are we going to recognize that what we are seeing out there is simply the old world dying.  The closer it comes to its own death, the louder, more extreme, more violent their tactics will be.  Our job is to see it for what it is, be conscious of how it might be triggering our own unhealed wounds, inner shadow and unacknowledged fears. Then we make our second choice: We go within.

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The change we all hope to see in our world will not begin from out there.  That change can only start from within.  THIS is how we will survive the collapse while being vehicles through which the new world is being born.

  • We will support ourselves in naming, claiming, and taking responsibility for our fears as they are triggered by the world out there in its death throes.
  • We will employ the resources we have for being present with, healing and moving through our fears.
  • We will gather in community with those of like-mind who also feel called to be a part of ushering in the new world.
  • And….we will be hospice to the dying world.

People will be afraid, very afraid.  The world they have been led to believe they could count on is in the midst of its own collapse. The structures they thought they could rely on for support will crumble at their feet.  If they have benefitted from the system of fear, power and control, what they have reaped will be torn from their grasp.

The world out there will need our help as they struggle to let go of what they have known in preparation for that which has not yet been revealed.

But, we can’t help them all. Many will cling to the old with their last dying breath.  Some will refuse to see the dying that is happening around them while clinging to the nostalgia of times long past.  Many will fear the work of going inward to the place of their grief as it might make them feel.  Some will prefer to believe that there is someone to blame and will seek ways to project that blame outward.  We can only be support for those who want our help.

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But first, we need to help ourselves:

  • Choose to recognize that the world out there is dying and that the fearful things we see out there are merely symptoms of its death.
  • Listen to the deep inner knowing of our hearts that remind us a new world is being born in the midst of the old world’s collapse.
  • Use the resources and tools we have for maintaining clarity, peace and hope in the midst of change.
  • Gather with like-minded folk who also know they are here to help usher in the new world while being hospice for the world that is dying.
  • Search your heart for how you are called to support those who are grieving the death of the old world.
  • Share your vision of the new world with anyone who cares to listen.
  • Be the love that you are and be that love in the world.

 

If you are living in the Oshkosh area, Authentic Freedom Academy provides many options in support of those who are here to help bring forth the new world while being hospice to the old as it is dying. Join us Monday evenings at 6:30 for our Weekly Service.

If you are outside the Oshkosh area, check out our online resources. Learn more HERE.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Divine Revelation, Raised Catholic, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Beyond Christianity

On Monday, I wrote about how I am nothing like Richard Rohr. In particular, I mentioned how Richard Rohr is hard at work reforming Christianity, while I have moved beyond the need to reform an institution so that we might find the love that resides within all of us. In this, I guess one could say that I am inviting us to explore something beyond Christianity – something that hasn’t yet been given a name – but is already being born in our world.  Apparently part of this is being birthed through me. While the part that is being birthed through me has its roots in my Catholic upbringing, and I consider Jesus and Mary Magdalene the teachers that led me and then called me toward this, it is so much more than how people usually experience church.  I refuse, even, to call it church because for most of the people to whom I minister, church is a bad word.

So what is it? In truth, it is something that hasn’t even been given a name, and perhaps that is a good thing, for once we name a thing, we try to define it and put it in a nice, tight container so we can carry it around and show it to others.  Birth is messier than this and that which is being born needs the freedom to find its own feet and to discover its own name.  So, I’m getting out of the way and letting it be born and allowing it to find its own name.

While I can’t tell you what it is or what its name might be, I can tell you what it is made of. More importantly, I can tell you its purpose.

Its purpose is to provide a vessel in which women, men and children can come to know the love that they are and how they are uniquely gifted and called to be that love in the world. In short….our mission is self-actualization.

Unlike anything that has been accomplished before, the way in which we support this self-knowledge is through the seamless blend of psychology, pedagogy (education), creativity, and contemplative spirituality. In this way, individuals are supported in moving beyond their socialization into the truth that resides within their hearts.  Here is where we discover the freedom promised by all the great spiritual teachers that have gone before us:  Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, Black Elk, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Amma, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and where we find the universal message within them all – the message of

LOVE.

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Learn more about Authentic Freedom Academy and our mission HERE. 

 

To being the exploration into your own truth and the love that resides within you, check out the Book of Life guided meditation and divination (hearing the voice of the Divine) tool. This is a tool/practice that you can return to again and again and again in search for the answers that reside only within your heart. Only $13.00!!!!!

Only $13.00!  Click on image above to register.
Only $13.00! Click on image above to register.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Authentic Freedom Book, Christ Consciousness, church, Jesus, Mystics, New World, Oneness with God, Raised Catholic

Nothing Like Richard Rohr

Today’s blog: Richard Rohr, emerging church, beyond religion, unity consciousness, healing a divided world, what does it mean to be “church” in a post-modern world?

Before sharing today’s blog, I want to extend a profound thank you to all those who offered words of encouragement and support, along with your prayers.  When I accepted the call to step even more fully into my truth by initiating the “Gathering of the Tribe,” the “devil” came a callin’!  Every one of my fears and insecurities has shown up to test my resolve.  Any and all safety nets were removed and I’ve been free-falling, trusting (trying to trust anyway) that I am being carried to the fulfillment of this mission. I am committed to the mission of the Tribe and to the work of Authentic Freedom and will continue to do the deep inner work that allows me to show up to this mission each and every day.  Thank you for your love and support.  We cannot do this alone! 

Now for today’s blog:

No, I’m Nothing Like Richard Rohr!

If I had a dime for every person who has said to me, “your writing reminds me very much of Richard Rohr’s,” I would be the richest person in the world. As I have come to know Richard Rohr’s work, I can see how people might judge us as similar: we are both Type Ones on the Enneagram, we are both speaking on the topic of unity consciousness, we are both working to unite a divided world, we are both arriving at our topics from the perspective of a mystic.  But there is one very important thing that sets us apart from which I must insist, “No, I am nothing like Richard Rohr.”

No offense to Richard as he is speaking to a very specific audience in the great work he is doing in the world.  And he is working from within the comfort of his white, male, ordained, clerical privilege; deeply embedded in an institutional Christian mindset and supported by that institution. I am not.

Case in point: Yesterday, in Richard’s daily meditation email newsletter, he reflected on Making Christianity Relevant Again. While I agree with many of his points, if we ever hope to heal the divisions of our society and our world, we have to first recognize that the separation put forth by the Christian message is an enormous part of the problem….and it has been since the Jesus message was sold out to the fear, power, privilege and control of the Roman empire.

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When the message of love that Jesus came to teach became institutionalized in the form of Christianity, the love was lost and fear took its place. (Just a reminder, Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian and he never sought to start a new religion, but to bring forth the love that was already at the heart of the Jewish message.) Suddenly, we were unworthy of the love of God, we needed an intermediary (in the form of an ordained priest) between ourselves and God, and in order to earn God’s love, we have to pay, pray and obey.  The freedom that Jesus promised was replaced by indentured servitude.  We were no longer free. Instead, we became slaves to the institution and to the institutional laws (dogma, doctrine), that serve mostly to keep us from God’s love, or to remind us of how this love had to be earned and the eternal threat of that love being taken away.

It is not Christianity that needs to be made relevant – it is love. In fact, this is already happening and the unfolding of this is not coming from within the institution of Christianity, it is coming from without.  THIS is the emerging church that Protestants say they are looking toward and which Catholicism seeks to ignore.  It is happening in people’s homes, in popular media, in the publishing industry, in online communities – all those places where people are coming together to rediscover the love that is at the heart of every religion – the love that erases the perceived separation between belief systems, making their chosen teacher’s words relevant to an entire world, not just to the “chosen few” who will find salvation through obedience to the institution’s laws.  This is the work I am doing through Authentic Freedom Academy and another reason I am nothing like Richard Rohr.  I am no longer seeking to reform an institution (Christianity) that is part of the problem in the first place.  I’m going directly to the source which is love.

The place where I came to know this love is within, and it was from and through Jesus’ teachings (which are clearly written in scripture when we move beyond the doctrine) that I came to know this love within. This is the love that Jesus came to know within himself through his oneness with (that which he called) God, and which he then sought to teach others.  This is a love that is universal and available to every single human being that walks on this planet – and you don’t have to call Jesus your teacher to know this love.  In fact, if we look closely enough, we learn that this love is at the heart of most every institution that calls itself a religion or a philosophy.  Love is what we are all seeking to attain/remember and it is love that will heal the divisions of our broken world.

From the chair in which Fr. Richard Rohr is sitting as a white, ordained, Catholic priest, I understand his point – for him and for those to whom he ministers, perhaps it is Christianity that needs to be made relevant. But from where I am sitting, the only thing we need is love.

If you are in the Oshkosh area, please join us for tonight’s Gathering of the Tribe.  6:30 pm at Authentic Freedom Academy. 1103 School Ave.  Oshkosh.