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, Authentic Freedom Book, Empowerment

Shared Creative Dialogue Part II

Please enjoy this transformational creative dialogue between Lauri Ann Lumby and Tom Clute:  Exploring Mission and Emerging into Wider Audiences. Access Discussion HERE. 

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Explore more of Tom’s work at: http://www.tomcluteconsulting.wordpress.com

Learn more about Lauri HERE.

 

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. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Healing, Spiritual Practices

Shining the Light on Our Shadow

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about the “nothing good” I had to say. Well, that isn’t entirely true.  While it is easy to see all the “bad” in the world, as the psalmist said:

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,  and the light around me become night,”  even the darkness is not dark to you;  the night is as bright as the day,  for darkness and light are but one.

– Psalm 139: 11-12

From the highest perspective, from the Divine perspective, from the perspective of love and hope and belief in the promise that within every death is the promise for new life, all of the “bad” we are currently seeing in our world is ultimately in service to the good. In other words, the world of fear, power and control that no longer serves us and is hastening toward its own demise is dying so that a new world can be born.

Yes it looks ugly. Yes it is violent.  Yes it is self-centered, hateful, ignorant, sexist, prejudice, discriminatory, greedy, gluttonous, hungry for power and control, jealous of other people’s happiness.  It is the playground bully puffing itself up, pushing people around, trying to get its way because in the end, he is insecure, feeling unloved and afraid.  What is manifesting in our world is the worst expression of all that we have suppressed within ourselves and all that we have ignored as we have taken from others so that we might have power.

What we see out there that we detest is ultimately what we don’t want to see within ourselves. The microcosm is the macrocosm.  And we are all guilty.

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This is a good thing. We cannot grow or heal or transform until we take a good hard look at our shadow.  We cannot become the fullness of our potential as individuals and as a nation until we SEE the shadow and do something about it.  And with the current state of things….we can’t NOT see our shadow.  The shadow is present in all of our unhealed fears, forgotten dreams, repressed memories, suppressed gifts, denied hurts, losses and betrayals.  She shadow is in every situation in our life where we experienced something as less than love and failed to grief and heal from that wounding.

Our purpose on this plane is to know that we are LOVE and to BE that love in the world. Anything less than that results in a spiritual/psychic wounding and this wounding must be healed for us to find wholeness.  In order to change/heal what we see “out there” we first have to turn within.

  • When we are angered by prejudice, we must examine the places within us where we have experienced prejudice against another. And then work on forgiving and healing ourselves of this wound.
  • When we are furious with the violence in our world, we must examine our own propensity toward thinking, feeling, wishing violence on another or against ourselves. Then forgive and heal that violence.
  • When we are bereft over the poverty, hunger, homelessness in our world, we must heal the places within us where we feel poor, hungry, alone.
  • When we fear for the state of our environment because of the shortsighted actions of greedy men, we must examine our own temptation toward gluttony and greed. When are we taking more than we need, failing to share what we have, or wasting the gifts we’ve been given….then forgive and heal that wounding.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If we want to change the world, FIRST we have to change ourselves.  The changing starts with shining a light on our own shadow and then doing something about it.

My favorite ritual for healing the shadow within me is the Ho’oponopono prayer. It goes like this:

Everytime I am triggered by something “out there” I examine the wound that is being triggered (fear, hatred, anger, loss, rejection, envy) and apply the Ho’oponopono prayer to myself:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

 

Remember, we are not saying this prayer to the persons, places, things, “out there,” we are saying it to ourselves. As we shine the light on our own shadow and do the work of healing it, we are transformed and so is the world around us.

Changing the world begins by changing ourselves.

For support in facilitating the transformation of your own shadow, read my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, take the online course, or subscribe to Authentic Freedom Weekly where you will enjoy weekly lessons on Authentic Freedom.

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Freedom, Inspiration, Lessons, self-actualization, Spiritual Practices

When Our Fears Come Back to Haunt Us

Image Credit - Pixabay.com
Image Credit – Pixabay.com

The purpose of the human journey is growth. We grow physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.  Physical growth and aspects of mental(cognitive) growth are automatic.  In order to grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, we need engagement – both from outside of us and from within ourselves.  On many levels, emotional, psychological and spiritual growth is a matter of choice.  We choose if and how we want to support ourselves in this growth and what kind of help we are willing to receive in support of that growth.

When we choose to say YES to the opportunity for emotional, psychological and spiritual growth, the journey is limitless. There are forever opportunities for growth and we always have a choice as to whether or not we want to accept that growth.  An ENORMOUS part of this kind of growth is facing and moving through our fears and the unhealed wounds that are the cause of these fears. There are two ways in which these fears come up for us and two ways to find healing and release for these fears.

Fear comes up for us each and every day. Fears about money, food, clothing, shelter.  Fears about our place in the world, our purpose, our search for fulfillment.  Fears about taking action and fears around feeling powerless.  Fear of rejection and not being loved or having a place of belonging.  Fears of not knowing our path, our purpose, how to find guidance and direction in our lives.  And the fear that we are alone.  These fears come up for us each and every day.  Our job is to identify them (which isn’t always easy), and then find ways to move through these fears, sometimes healing them along the way.  I developed Authentic Freedom specifically for this purpose.  For more on a proactive approach for dealing with fear, read my book, or take my online class.

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The other way fear shows up is as part of an organic process by which we are being transformed from within – a process by which we are being filled with love and light and as we are being filled with this love and light, our fears and unhealed wounds are being pushed out. It was exactly this kind of fear that showed up for me this past week.  I suddenly found myself face to face with a parade of the fears that I return to again and again and again for healing and release – fears about money, fears about my purpose, fears about my direction in my life, doubting the path I’m on and wondering if it really is time to “get that real job.”  Also in that cesspool of fears is the one that taunts me for having been “irresponsible” and that suggests I might really be crazy.”  UGH!

This is the darkness I spoke about in yesterday’s blog. Darkness that feels impenetrable.  Darkness that feels like FOREVER.  Darkness that feels like it will never end and that there is NO WAY OUT.  As I found myself writhing in agony in this darkness, letting the fears and relentless taunting thoughts of my mind confuse and overwhelm me, I had no choice but to WALLOW in it.  There was no way to push through it.  No way to make it go away.  My only choice was to SURRENDER to the darkness, ACCEPT its presence and let it have its way with me.  THIS is where the HEALING took place.  After surrendering to the fears, and letting them have their way with me…..they simply went away.  And then it hit me…..DUH!  These fears were not FOREVER.  Neither was the darkness.  Instead, in exactly the same way as I experience it while receiving a Reiki treatment, and as my clients experience it, the fears were surfacing, not because I was truly afraid, but because they were passing through my consciousness as they were on their WAY OUT.  They were surfacing as a result of healing energy that had been filling me and finding their way out.  What I perceived as darkness was really my fears saying “goodbye.”

What tools are you using to support yourself in moving through and healing your fears?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book

Authentic Freedom Class Announcement

Authentic Freedom

Tuesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm

April 14, 2015 – June 16, 2015

Facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby and Michelle Davies-Schaeve

Course Fee:  $225.00 (payable in up to four installments, includes a copy of Authentic Freedom and student workbook.)

To register, call Lauri Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. ($50.00 nonrefundable deposit required to secure your place in the class.)

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Christ Consciousness, Freedom, Gifts of Contemplation, Grace, guilt, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, sin, Spiritual Practices, teachers, Virtual Church

Show Me the Way to Go Home

Through the metaphorical Adam, the human conditional was born, providing for us the (false) perception of separation and the sensation of having fallen from Grace. In birthing the human condition, we now know fear and suffering in contrast to the love and peace we knew “at home.”  Jesus (among other prophets) discovered the remedy to the human condition and through his teaching and example, shows us the way to go home. 

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter for Sunday, November 23, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 But first:  a little humor!  🙂 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWQ-rnXi_n4

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17

Psalm 23

Mt: 25: 31-46

 

Jesus Shows Us the Way

“Since death came through man,

The resurrection of the dead came also through man.”

When the metaphorical Adam chose power over obedience to God, the human condition was born. Instead of the peace, love and joy experienced in our original state of Oneness with God, humans now knew fear – fear that then led to a whole host of fears and their resulting compulsions. Inside of our beings, in this place of perceived separation from God, we felt as if we had fallen from Grace. As a loving parent, understanding our need to explore and to learn, God allowed us this choice, knowing that in this choice, we would suffer and experience the burden of guilt for turning away from God. God, however, did not leave us abandoned, neither did God leave us to our own devices, instead, God sent prophet after prophet after prophet to help remind us of our original nature and to help us find our way home. The greatest of these prophets (in the Christian tradition), was Jesus. Jesus, in his own longing and search for God, found the remedy to the suffering of the human condition (the remedy didn’t alleviate the suffering, but provided a means to transcend it), and generously shared what he learned with others. Thankfully, some of his disciples remembered bits and pieces of what Jesus taught and others wrote it down. Through scripture, specifically a prayerful reading and reflection on scripture, we find glimpses of what Jesus taught and sparks of what he remembered. What is even more remarkable is that like the gurus before him and since, Jesus’ very spirit is accessible as a teacher and a guide to those who seek out and cultivate a deeply intimate and personal relationship with Jesus as the Christ. In this way, Jesus, himself, becomes our teacher – helping us to see the deeper truths beyond the words of scripture, leading us to other resources including human teachers who can guide us. We even find that Jesus can come to us himself to teach and guide us.

The “sin” of Adam allowed us to experience the human condition. Jesus helps us to find our way home.

How have you cultivated a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Inviting Jesus to be our Teacher

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Look at the created image of Jesus above. Let it sink into your consciousness.

Close your eyes.

Imagine Jesus, as you saw him in the picture above, standing before you.

Rest with that image of Jesus standing before you. Remain in this visualization for 15 – 20 minutes.

Know that as Jesus stands before you, he is gazing back at you with unconditional love and acceptance.

Allow yourself to receive that love.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, emotions that may arise as you imagine Jesus standing before you.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge Jesus as our teacher and as the example of one who learned authentic freedom and taught it to others. Every story, parable, lesson, example that Jesus taught, can somehow be brought back to the core wound and the resulting fears explored through Authentic Freedom. Jesus, while experiencing the fullness of the human condition, found his way to freedom – a freedom, he discovered, was found only in God. This is the freedom we are called to discover, cultivate and embrace through Authentic Freedom. God is the remedy to the suffering of the human condition. Jesus showed/shows us the way.

 

What is the suffering you currently want to transcend or have healed?

 

How might Jesus invite you to turn toward God as a source of healing and support?

Authentic Freedom is available for purchase on Amazon.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, creativity, Empowerment, Lessons, Spiritual Practices

How Authentic Freedom Works and Why it Matters

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Inspiration, Mystics, Spiritual Practices, Uncategorized, world changes

How to Change Ourselves so WE Can Change the World!

Yesterday, I responded to the current political debacle (the government shutdown) and complete failure of our government to do what WE hired them to do, by issuing an invitation, “If we want the world to change, WE need to change ourselves.”  In today’s blog, I remind us of how we can change ourselves so that we can see real and enduring change in the world.

changing ourselves/changing the world
changing ourselves/changing the world

Not Just Some Pie in the Sky Idealism!

The tools for personal change that I will share with you today are NOT just some pie in the sky idealism preached by vagrant prophets from far-off lands.  While the following tools have been tried, tested and proven to be effective by thousands of years of yoga practitioners, mystics and ascetics, we NOW have the proof of science to verify what contemplative men and women have known all along, mindfulness based practices:

  • decrease anxiety, fear and stress
  • increase physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing
  • decrease violent behaviors
  • help us to cultivate empathy and compassion – the building blocks of healthy communication and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and communities.

(If you need the science to convince you, simply Google Richie Davidson, Andrew Newberg, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Thich Nat Hahn.)

STEP ONE – Seek out a mindfulness practice that works for you! 

There are as many forms of mindfulness based practices as there are fish in the sea!  A Zen-inspired sit works for some, but not for all.  Mantra or Kirtan brings some to a state of inner quiet…but it isn’t for everyone.  A rosary or string of meditation beads may help some to focus, but others will need something more engaging.  Take comfort in knowing that if you haven’t yet found your meditation style, keep looking, there is sure to be one out there perfect for you.  Maybe it is something as simple as gardening, cooking or being in nature.  Some find running and aerobic exercise mindful.  And please disregard the ridiculous Western notion that mindfulness has a goal and that if you don’t experience a complete state of bliss any or every time you failed.  Your job is to simply SHOW UP.  And, the key to cultivating and maintaining a mindfulness practice is to find one that WORKS FOR YOU!  (For a wide variety of mindfulness based exercises, check out my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joyWhile the context is Christian Contemplative Prayer, the exercises are universal.)

STEP TWO-Identify and root out your fears

In conjunction with cultivating peace and love within us through mindfulness practices, the greatest gift we can give to ourselves in our journey toward change is to OVERCOME OUR FEARS!  FEAR is the number one obstacle to peace, contentment, love and joy!  Fear creates all the perceived separations favored by our wounded world:  prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, nationalism, etc.  Fear is also the root of all of our non-loving and self-centered behaviors – gluttony, lust, wrath, envy, greed, sloth and pride.  Fear causes us to seek outside of us for its remedy and makes us believe that happiness will be found in things, money, power, fame, status, power, control, other people, etc. etc. etc.  Fear also keeps us silent and ignorant of the truth that seeks to be known within us and that seeks to be expressed in the world.

STEP 2.5

In my book, Authentic Freedom, I reveal what I have come to know as the seven core fears that plague humanity, along with their resulting compulsions:

FEAR:  “There is not enough”

Compulsion:  Gluttony

FEAR:  “I have nothing to contribute to the betterment of the world”

Compulsion:  Lust

FEAR:  “I can’t” (be my most authentic self)

Compulsion:  Wrath

FEAR:  “I am not loved”

Compulsion:  Envy

FEAR: “I am not able to express my truth”

Compulsion:  Greed

FEAR:  “I do not know” (my truth, my path)

Compulsion:  Sloth

FEAR:  “I am alone/have to do it alone”

Compulsion:  Pride

You can start your journey of overcoming fear by NAMING the fears that are currently at work in your mind.  I have found that naming the fear is 99% of the journey…..like they say in classic horror books and movies, “Once you name the demon, it no longer has power over you.”  😉  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will explore in more detail how we might move through the fears once they are named.

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Midlife Journey

What to Expect in Midlife and Menopause – Confronting Fears

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world.  Last week, we talked about the midlife crisis or awakening that heralds the midlife journey (which includes menopause), the process of revisiting our past and the map of midlife.  Yesterday we explored the shattering of illusions.  Today we continue the process of exploring the many aspects of midlife by examining the fears that we must confront and overcome in approaching the birth of our Soul.

Midlife Map

Dealing with Midlife and Menopause – confronting our fears

The purpose of the midlife (perimenopause and menopause), transition, is the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way we were gifted to know meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and through which we are compelled to serve the betterment of the world.  In birthing our Soul, we must first let go of all the things in our lives which are no longer life-giving and supportive of the new person God/dess is calling us to be.  In order to do this, however, we must first confront our fear of change and our resistance to leaving what we know.  In the birthing of our Soul, we must also confront the reality that quite often, the person our Soul desires us to be will cause us to confront the status quo, societal “shoulds,” rules and expectations.  The birth of Soul separates us from the egoic, materialistic, consumeristic norms of Western society and makes us vulnerable to the rejection of those attached to the status quo.  The birth of the Soul also invites us to confront our personal attachments to money, power, status, materialistic gain and achievement.  In order to birth the Soul, we might have to simply our lives and detach ourselves from Western society’s measurements of success.  Birthing the Soul requires that we listen to the voice of truth within and let go of the outside perceived authorities clamoring for our attention.  Birthing the Soul compels us to live from our heart and to embrace a life that gives us joy, peace and a sense of expansiveness and freedom.  Embracing the path of the Soul in midlife raises all of our inner fears that are attached to what is known and afraid of the perceived insecurity of not knowing.

In my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joy, I reveal the seven core spiritual fears that we will confront in the midlife journey, and provides tools through which we are able to identify these fears as present within our lives, and tools through which we are able to transcend these fears:

There is not enough (money, time, sex, power, things, status, fame, etc.)

I have nothing to contribute, no unique and special gifts and I am unable to  bring forth life/change that will persist.

I cannot be or live my truth/Soul

I am not loved (fear of rejection)

I am unable to express my truth

I do not know (my path or my truth)

I am alone

If you are seeking help and support in confronting the fears of midlife (menopause and perimenopause), I am available for one-on-one mentoring in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To schedule a session, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.