Posted in Being Human

The Complexities of Being Human

Original Art by Lauri Ann Lumby

 

I am courageous

and terrified.

A brave warrior

and a shrinking violet.

Forgiving

while relishing thoughts of karmic retribution.

Non-violent

while imagining a horrendous demise.

Confident

and jealous of another’s success.

Welcoming

while holding steel-clad boundaries.

Empathetic

and judgmental.

Letting go

while harboring resentment.

Loving

yet filled with hate.

Appearing strong

while sheltering a broken heart.

Resilient

but easily discouraged.

Passionate

yet timid.

Sensuous

and shy.

Creative

and excruciatingly predictable.

Adventurous

while remaining comfortable in my routine.

Open to learning

and opinionated.

Exceedingly kind

but cruel when crossed.

Generous with my heart

and selfish with my time.

Accepting of our humanity

while being completely intolerant of imperfection.

Desiring Union

while building walls of division.

Simple

yet complex.

copyright Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Being Human, building the new world, grief, Spiritual Practices, world changes

Surviving Social Distancing

As an introvert, social distancing is one of my superpowers.  I have honed and perfected this craft, while moving through all the challenges of being apart.  In this article I share what I have learned about the loneliness, grief and anxiety that come with being apart.

 

Loneliness

I have often felt that loneliness might be the core wound of the human experience.  Rooted in that first moment of separation from the cozy and safe room in our mother’s womb, we are forever yearning for our return.  We long to feel connected with another and to feel safe within that connection.  As most have come to discover, however, even our human connections do not fulfill the depth of longing we feel to be reunited with that which cannot be named.  We are forever seeking the satisfaction to that longing.  Existential loneliness is the angst we feel in the depth of that longing.  Loneliness is the universal human emptiness that is only further compounded during times of social distancing when we don’t even have our superficial relationships to distract us.  The key to dealing with loneliness is to face it.  As I learned during a 30 day loneliness practice, our loneliness has much to teach us about ourselves.  Here is the practice I employed to arrive at a place of being comfortable in being alone without feeling lonely:

Loneliness Practice: For this practice you will need a notebook or journal to record all that your loneliness wants you to know about yourself.  Set aside 10-20 minutes each day to simply SIT with your loneliness.  While sitting, close your eyes and bring your awareness into your body.  Move your awareness until you find your loneliness.  Focus your attention on your loneliness and FEEL it.  REALLY feel it.  Dive deep into the pit of loneliness and then give it a face.  Envision your loneliness in a form (mine takes the shape of the Little Match Girl from Hans Christian Anderson’s tale).  Once your loneliness takes a form, let it speak to you.  What does your loneliness want to tell you about yourself?  Most likely, it will show you past pains and hurts that are asking to be healed and released.  It may also show you your fears.  As these pains, hurts, fears, etc. come forward, acknowledge them.  See them.  Hold them in love.  Then let the pass.  Once they have passed, they have been released from your being and you are healed.  Continue with this process until it feels complete.  Then record your experience in your journal, along with any thoughts or reflections that might surface in your writing.  Note that your loneliness may also show you hopes and dreams that you have not yet fulfilled, or parts of yourself you have rejected or not allowed to come into being.  As these come forth, they are showing you the things you are now invited to explore or begin to make a part of your life.  DO IT.

Grief

As we are collectively experiencing social distancing, our routines are changing.  The things we used to do every day are no longer available (yoga class, the YMCA for workouts, the library, etc.).  Maybe our work situation has also changed (I know mine has).  With this change in routine, it is natural to experience grief.  Sadly, our culture does not give enough credit to grief – period – let alone the grief we experience in the simple face of change.  Change = Grief.  When grieving we will experience every face of grief:  Shock. Denial. Bargaining. Depression. Anger. Sorrow. Acceptance. Angst and restlessness will also be faces of this grief in the face of a change in routine.  Similar to loneliness, the best thing we can do with our grief is to BE WITH IT.  Identify which stage of grief you are experiencing and FEEL IT deeply.  Allow yourself to be in denial – to pretend this will all soon go away.  Indulge in your bargaining (which might look like restlessness).  Pace the floor.  Wring your hands.  When feel depressed, wallow in it.  Take a nap.  Allow paralysis to take you.  When rage hits you, let it out – in a safe way!  Dance it out.  Go for a run.  Grab a swimming noodle and whack the shit out of the basement or tile floor.  When you are sad, weep.  And if you find yourself stuck in depression, find a way to get angry (I listen to heavy metal music – my favorite being the group Disturbed).  Anger pushes through the depression and allows us to get at the true issue which is our sorrow over the loss of routine.

For more on dealing with grief, please click here.

Anxiety

Fear is a big one! There is so much anxiety around the Covid-19 virus itself, not to mention the anxiety that surfaces in the face of social distancing.  I will try to limit the anxiety discussion here to that experienced in the face of social distancing.

The key to anxiety is to first uncover its cause.  What is triggering our anxiety?

Is it loneliness (which we addressed above)?

Is our anxiety related to grief?

We may experience anxiety related to our finances or our everyday concerns:  How will we pay our bills if our work hours are reduced?  Who will care for my child when childcare centers have closed and I still have to work?  Where will I get toilet paper?  What if I run out of food?  What if I get sick?  Who will care for me?

We might also experience anxiety as it relates to boundaries.  If we are cooped up in our homes with our partners and children or roommates, we are bound to get on each other’s nerves.

Our anxiety may surface due to the news or social media.  There is a lot of fear out there and much of is unfounded.

We may also find that the anxiety being stirred in the face of current events is triggering old anxieties and unhealed wounds.

Talk about a can of worms.

 

The first step in managing anxiety is to understand that it is normal and biological.  This means that anxiety is not our fault.  It is simply a biological response to something triggering our fear.  Sometimes the fear is justified (being chased by zombies).  Sometimes it is a mis-fire.  (when we look more closely and discover what we thought was a snake is only a stick).  Excitement can also look like anxiety for those who are struggling with anxiety or panic disorders.

If you are being treated for anxiety or panic disorders, continue with your treatment plan, while employing some of the techniques I will share with you here.

 

            Meditation and Mindfulness Practices have time and time again proven to be effective in rewiring the part of the brain that governs anxiety and panic.  Through regular and diligent practice, the anxiety center of the brain (the amygdala) learns a new response to triggers, allowing the mind to act out of reason instead of panic in the face of non-life threatening fears.  Diligent and regular practice also builds a sturdy foundation of inner calm which reduces the incidence of being triggered by fear. To learn more about the many ways that you can practice mindfulness, take my online course Starting a Spiritual Practice which is available for FREE through the month of March.   Click on the image below to register and receive the free pricing.

If you are interested in the science behind Mindfulness and Meditation – email me your contact information with “Meditation Paper” as the subject, and I will send you a FREE copy of an academic paper I wrote on the topic which includes a list of verifiable resources.  My email is lauri@authenticfreedom.love.

Other practices that support us in managing our anxiety: yoga or any meditative movement practice, dance, exercise, eating well, creative projects, gardening, being outside, going for a walk and talking with our friends.  Since we may not have an opportunity to gather face-to-face, do the old fashioned thing of picking up the phone and giving your friend a call.  I just reached out to two of my friends for support as together we face what we do not yet know or understand.

As I am here for my friends, I am also here for you.  Watch this site for ongoing support as we move through the Covid-19 event, and please reach out for additional support if you need it.  One-on-one support.  Online classes.  Our online community. Books and more.

 

Holding you all in big love as we support each other through this life-changing event!

 

With love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauri

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being Human

It Isn’t Death We Fear – It’s Love.

In the current state of our world this sharing my come as no surprise.  In writing a deeply, intimate piece about love, I came to the realization that my greatest fear may in fact be humanity’s greatest fear.  With all the needless violence and death in our world, it seems death is not what we fear.  Instead, it is love. 

My Greatest Fear is Love

This morning I awoke to the grim realization that I’m afraid of love.

I’m not afraid to die.

In fact, when the time comes, I will welcome death’s reprieve.

Instead, I’m afraid to love.

At one time I did love – truly, madly, deeply.

I gave everything I had for love.

In countless measure I gave for love.

I believed in love.

I hoped for love.

I forgave for love.

I fought for love.

And by love I was betrayed.

Abandoned

Rejected

Abused

My body.  My Soul.  My Spirit –

Torn into a thousand pieces

Then placed on the pyre to be burned.

After love had its way with me,

There was nothing left of Me.

Nothing.

Nothing but the me that arose in defense:

“I’ll show them!”

Then life showed me.

Until again, there was none of me left.

Exactly as it was meant to be?

Ordained by my Soul?

A personality built, torn down, built up again…

Only to once again be destroyed.

Brought down to nothing.

No-Thing.

What the Kabbalists call “Ain-Sof”

Returned to the primordial Void.

Where there lives nothing but potential.

Pure and Infinite Potential.

Truth.

That which remains after the Angel of Death has had his way:

Is TRUTH.

And what can stand in the stark, dark reality of Truth?

Love.  Only Love.

Copyright Lauri Ann Lumby

 

 

Posted in Being Human

I Am Who I Am

I Am Who I Am

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am

The mantra I return to as my mind grasps after fantasies…what-ifs…and hows.

When all I have is this moment now –

But with possibilities and imaginings raging in my mind –

the anxiety of the unknown rising.

I AM who I AM.

I Am who I Am.

Pen gripped between my fingers, dancing across the page.

Prince blaring through my speakers.

Feeling the sensation of ink kissing paper

and paper returning ink’s affection.

The perfect balance of giving and receiving,

Creating and allowing.

A match…rather a coming together made in heaven.

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am.

Can we escape the anxious imaginings of a possible new creation?

Should we?

I remember the doctoral candidate’s bold proclamation that

“falling in love is a mental illness.”

Or an irrational preoccupation if nothing else.

Doesn’t every new creation involve a kind of falling in love?

Preoccupation

Infatuation

Excitement

Anticipation

Twitterpation

Until that new love betrays us:

A novel’s false start

Frozen at 50,000 words

The face turned out lopsided

The stray splash of paint

Damn, that’s the wrong color brown!

The critique that plunges a dagger into our heart

The betrayal that eviscerates our Soul.

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am

The only think I truly know

(if we can ever truly know anything)

is what is before me in this present moment.

Now.  Only Now.

But when “now” becomes too familiar,

or we long for something more –

The heart becomes anxious.

Is that a bad thing?

Isn’t new life born out of restlessness, boredom and impatience?

Don’t we have to outgrow what is now

so that new life might come into form?

Isn’t growth a journey of perpetual motion

coming forth out of THE VOID –

Something coming forth out of Nothing?

I Am who I Am

And what I shall be remains to be seen.

Copyright:  Lauri Ann Lumby

I call her Joy
Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Choose Love Revolution, Lessons, non-violence, Spiritual Development

Acknowledging My Own Racism

Racism is a hot topic these days.  As it shows up in our media and our politics, we are reminded of the prevalence of racism in our country and those who suffer as a result.  As the topic of racism emerges front and center, I hear many white people arguing, “I’m not racist.”  I would suggest that if we need to defend our racism, we may, in fact, be racist.  As an awakened human being, I would like to say I am not racist.  However, when I am completely honest with myself, I am aware of the subtle ways in which I am, in fact, racist – not because I want to be, but because it was how I was conditioned.  The good news is that I can acknowledge the subtle ways in which conditioned racism comes out sideways and begin to do something about it.  I would invite you to also reflect on how racism may be present in your life, and what you might be able to do about changing that.

Acknowledging my Racism

As a white person of European descent,

If I don’t acknowledge my own racism,

It cannot be healed.

Ashamed am I to admit the subtle presence of racism within me –

The things I don’t mean to do, but come out anyway

because of my white, middle-class conditioning:

Making judgments based on what I think I am seeing

with nothing but conditioning forming that judgment:

 

What I’ve seen on TV.

Heard from family or friends.

What’s been portrayed in the media

 

The ease with which I’m tempted to judge a race

based on the singular action of a morning hold-up;

One man’s desperate action

unfairly coloring my view of an entire population….

 

Not really, but sometimes.

 

Ashamed am I of the vestiges of racism

that somehow took root in me by no fault of my own.

Knowing better, yet still aware of when the racism slips through.

 

I don’t mean it – but there it is:

The averted gaze

The skip of a heart beat

The racing mind

Anxiety

Clutching my purse more tightly toward me

Looking for an exit plan

 

For no reason other than the lies I’ve been told

And a few negative experiences…

 

But it was a white man who raped me;

and white men who have betrayed and abused me.

So why the unfair judgment of men of color

when life has shown me it’s white men I should fear?

 

Ahhhhhh – the power of conditioning.

 

But I now understand I can choose otherwise.

As a self-aware human, I can move past my conditioning by:

Acknowledging it.

Seeing it when it arises in me.

Choosing otherwise.

And in the process, healing.

 

In my heart of hearts, I wish I could be completely free

of the subtleties of racism – because I know better.

But I humbly acknowledge I may never be completely free.

Even so, I am committed to doing what I can

for my own sake and for the sake of all those

who have been unfairly judged simply because of the color of their skin…

 

I know as human beings we are ONE,

and it is only fear that divides…

and when we heal that fear,

we find that only love remains…

And I choose love!

 

Copyright 2019  Lauri Ann Lumby

 

Become part of the Choose Love movement.  Learn more HERE. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Discernment

Seeing through a Lens Clearly

As I ready for an enormous expansion of my work in the world, I find myself tempted by the ghosts of my past. Insecurities I thought I had healed.  Unfounded worries and fears.  Afraid it will not produce the fruits I am hoping for (by fruits I mean gathering and forming a community while supporting members of that community in coming to their own wholeness).  While sitting in meditation this morning I was confronted with an unexpected ghost….one I definitely thought I was done with:

PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY!

(Ugh!  Lauri Lumby being excruciatingly human again!) At first, I was tempted to condemn myself for still hanging on to this old demon. The demon that makes me cringe every time I am compared to someone doing “similar” work.  Or when I see someone I judge as undeserving getting ANOTHER publishing contract.  These thoughts have made me feel so petty, jealous, and like such a baby.  “Lauri get over it!  Who cares that ___________ keeps publishing books which all say the same old crap!?   Who cares that _____________ is Oprah’s flavor of the week!  Who cares that _________________ has absolutely no education or experience in this field and yet keeps getting publishing deals and speaking engagements on the topic?!”

But then, in my meditation it hit me! There are many authors with whom I do not have these kinds of reactions or feelings.  Instead, I celebrate every time they publish a new work or book another speaking engagement or public interview.  Bill Plotkin, JK Rowling,  Cynthia Bourgeault, Jean Yves-LeLoup, Barbara Marx Hubbard (who sadly recently passed), Rabbi Michael Munk, Tau Malachi, Mary Sharrat, Maggie Stiefvater, Dennis William Hauck, are all authors whose work I cannot get enough of and I hold a party every time they publish a new work.  My demon of “professional jealousy” does not show up at all for a single one of these authors.  This realization made me pause.  Why do I have (what I have interpreted as) professional jealousy over some authors but not for all?

If I had to identify ONE THING that all of the authors above have in common…..it would be INTEGRITY. They write within their own field of expertise.  They ARE experts in their field.  They are writing from their heart and their soul.  They are not writing with the intention of appealing to the masses (though for some their work does).  Instead, they are writing what THEY want to read.  Their works are intelligent and wise.  They are impeccable with their word and they are staying in their own lane.  And most of all, they are not trying to blow smoke up anyone’s ass!

Then it hit me. What I have been judging as professional jealousy isn’t jealousy at all!  Instead, it is ME seeing through a lens clearly.  What I have called jealousy is actually my superpower of discernment seeing what is truth and what is falsehood.  What I have called jealousy is simply my ability to read people and their truer intentions.  I’m seeing the person behind the persona.  The truth behind the lies.  The reality behind the illusion.  The capitalistic drive that tempts people to leave their integrity behind in favor of a big fat check and the possibility of fame.

Now, before you call me an asshole with a capital A (which sometimes I am which is why Denis Leary and I are friends!), I am also aware that what I am seeing in my discernment is ONLY FOR ME! What is true for me is not necessarily true for others.  We are all on our own path and if the words of _______________ speak to you, then cool!  Their work just doesn’t speak to me.  I want grit.  I want depth.  I want to be challenged in my growth.  I want to grow.  I want to learn.  I want to expand my knowledge in the areas of my passion – human development and spirituality.  And I want to be entertained (Thank you Maggie Stiefvater!.).  I also recognize that as human beings we are all at different stages in our journey and that we all need resources that reflect our current stage of development.  I mean, let’s be real…..I had a book of Tau Malachi’s on my shelf for 10 years before I could read it!!!!  The same is true of my copy of the Sefir Yetzirah.

I’m just glad that as I ready for this next stage of expansion, I can now set aside my own self-judgment over what I’ve been calling professional jealousy and OWN my ability to see through a lens clearly.

 

Posted in Being Human, Death, Inspiration

The Death of Our Dreams

For the last several days (weeks, months, years) I have been experiencing a deep and pervasive sadness. This is a sorrow that I have been unable to give a name to; neither have I been able to identify its source.  Until now….. After giving myself the time and permission to sit with this sorrow, exploring its depths, its name was finally revealed:

The death of every dream.

As I sit at this place in my life, I am realizing the difficult truth – every dream I had once had for my life has died (ok, not every dream, only the ones born of ego). I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at 54 years old when I embarked upon this journey of self-fulfillment some 26 years ago.  I am not a best-selling author.  I’m not rich or famous.  I have not been successful is reforming the Catholic Church or in starting a new way of being church.  Neither am I speaking Jesus’ message of love before thousands.  And I have definitely not met and am not living my once-dreamed of “happily ever after” with the elusive “Mr. Kelly.”  Finally, not one of the “new age” or “new thought” promises of abundance and prosperity have found their fulfillment in my life.

“Death” by Robert M. Place

As it turns out, I am not living a single one of the “American dreams.” Even more disappointing I’m not even living one of my own dreams. But then again, who is?  How many people do you actually know who got everything they wished for?  Not too many I suspect.  In fact, I bet many who say they are living their dreams are lying, and if they are living their dreams, they are not likely happy for it.

I remember when my parents hit this stage of realizing many of their dreams have died. I watched two of my dearest friends face the death of their dreams when their perfectly healthy 21 year old son died. I have watched three other dear friends face a similar death with the loss of their beloved partners to brain cancer. And just this week, another friend’s dreams died with her son in a deadly car crash.  Every day, thousands, if not millions or people face the death of their dreams.  I am convinced that this is the path of the human experience.  We dream.  Our dreams die.  And on the other side of the dream is the life that was meant for us all along.

The ancients call this alchemy. Christians call this redemption.  Jesus called it “the kingdom of God.” Throughout scripture Jesus speaks on this topic of leaving our worldly dreams behind so that we might fulfill the calling of the Soul.  Over and over he turns the table on the societal conditioning and ego-filled dreams of riches and fame (he had to confront these temptations himself) and invites us instead into humility.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. MT 19: 24-30

 

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Mark 8: 36

 

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? MT 16: 24-26

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever. 1 John 2: 15-17

 

As Jesus continually pointed out to his disciples, the world’s ways are not God’s ways and the things of this world will not lead us to peace, contentment, or love. The kingdom of God that Jesus came to know within himself and then tried to show others how to attain, cannot be found through worldly gain or through what the world values as “success.”  Instead, it can only be found by moving past worldly aspirations and then emptying ourselves of any and all attachments we might have for worldly things – riches, fame, success through doing, accomplishments, goals, achievement, possessions, positions of power or status, etc. etc. etc.  Only when we are empty – completely empty – like Jesus was on the cross – are we able to find that Oneness that defies reason and understanding.  Only in setting aside the things of our ego can our Soul step forward, leading us to the life we were always meant to live before taking on all these attachments.

For myself, this means another layer of ego-death. Acknowledging the death of my dreams.  Sitting with the loss.  Allowing myself to grieve.  And then, walking on.  As I step out of the ash left by my dying dreams, I will enter into a new world.  No longer encumbered by the weight of these dreams, I will be free to receive the new life that is intended on the other side of this death. Kinda like enjoying my very own Easter.

What dreams have died for you?

How are you creating space for yourself to grieve the loss of those dreams?

How are you supporting yourself in being open to the new life that will come forth once you lay your dying dreams to rest?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Forgiveness

The Journey from Vengeance to Compassion

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Jeremiah 20: 10-13

 

I must humbly admit I sympathize with Jeremiah in his rant against his enemies and his desire to see vengeance meted upon them. In the many years I have had to deal with those who “hate me” I have gone from praying for their suffering and basking in satisfaction as I watch karma enacting its justice upon them to where I am today – still finding some satisfaction in karma (I’m still human!) but mostly having compassion for the suffering they continue to choose while I (mostly) live in peace. Not a peace born out of satisfaction for karmic retribution, but my own peace in knowing the Love that I am in God and doing my best to live from that Love.

The peace that I now know is the fruit of 25 years of diligent attention to my spiritual practice. This is a practice that goes beyond sitting in silence and includes unwavering accountability to everything within me that might otherwise infringe upon my ability to know Love. This unwavering accountability has nothing to do with freeing myself from “sin” out of a fear of Divine retribution. Instead, it is an acknowledgment that I have wounds from my past, social conditioning and fears that have kept me from knowing God’s love – not because God’s love is being withheld, but because these wounds, etc. prevented me from feeling and knowing the Love that has been here all along.

In knowing this Love, I feel whole and complete within myself. When I waver from this feeling of wholeness, I tend to the wound that is still asking for healing. Now, this is where I’m going to lean a bit in Jeremiah’s direction in describing in contrast the inner life of my “enemies.” For the record, I no longer consider these people my enemies, but I know that to them, I am the enemy. I am the enemy because I dare to question, challenge, and confront the doctrine they cling to – a doctrine they cling to mostly out of fear of God’s punishment.

These are those I have come to refer to as “the self-appointed inquisition” who for years harassed me, tried to sabotage my work, spread rumors against me, called the contemplative practices I teach “the work of the devil,” called my healing work “sorcery and witchcraft” and wrote letters of complaint to the local bishop so much that I understand the file on me is enormous and that I have been officially blackballed in the local diocese. To them, my work is “dangerous.” And, I guess it is. I invite people to use the brain God gave them to reason, discern and exercise their truth and to challenge anything cloaked in fear.

In the past, I was heartbroken by the action of these people – many of whom I thought were my friends. I was traumatized when a group of them came to one of my classes and turned it into an inquisition. I was further traumatized by the local chancellor who harassed me about a class I was teaching on the Aramaic Lord’s prayer. I was profoundly insulted and disappointed when the same chancellor promised to let me speak on behalf of Reiki – arrived 45 minutes late to our meeting and then issued the Reiki prohibition (which he always intended to issue) the very next day. I found myself writhing in anger, hatred and confusion of how these so-called Christians were treating me. I felt like a victim to their constant harassment.

Then the harassment stopped. Not because the self-appointed inquisition ceased their relentless inquiry and reporting on everything Lauri Lumby – but because I no longer care. Not caring is not a defense mechanism born out of fatigue. Instead, “not caring” is the detachment born out of Love. The more I have come to know the Love that I am, the less I am triggered by other people’s fear. The more I know God’s Love, the less I care about what other people think of me or my work. And in this I have peace – a peace my “enemies” will likely never know.

This is where my dreams of vengeance turn to compassion. Today when I see or hear from my “enemies” I no longer see their cruelty, I see their fear. I see a fear born out of shame – shame for who God made them (it’s not ok to be gay in the Catholic Church), shame for past actions for which they have never forgiven themselves, shame out of secrets that might destroy ones place in society, shame out of something so deeply suppressed that the only thing that can come through is prideful self-righteous. As it relates to the officials of the Church who have made me their enemy, I see fear, shame and in some an arrogant quest for power – using fear, deceit and manipulation to acquire that so-called power. For all of these I now bear compassion knowing that they will never know the peace I know in coming to know the Love that I am as God’s beloved daughter – the same love available to all of us if only we have the courage to heal the fears that keep us from knowing this Love.

Support yourself in healing the fears that keep you from knowing the Love that you are.  Discounted pricing through April 30, 2019.  Click on the image below to learn more and to register. 

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God

Reclaiming My Right to Be Excruciatingly Human!

DAMN IT. All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!!  In my head I know better….and my work reflects that.  But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making.  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Hi. My name is Lauri.  I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Trying to be perfect

Maybe that’s all you need to know…..but maybe not. For as long as I can remember, I have tried to be perfect.  The perfect daughter.  Perfect student.  Perfect pianist.  Perfect dancer.  Perfect friend.  Perfect wife.  Perfect mother.  I’m not sure if I was born this way or if it is a product of my conditioning or a little of both.  The Enneagram suggests we are born with our “Type.”  There is no doubt that I am a Type 1 on the Enneagram and that I undoubtedly look at myself, the world and my life experiences through the lens of this question: “How could this be better?”  So there’s that.

I am also acutely aware of how my early life experiences along with my Catholic upbringing fostered the critical nature of this lens. Little messages along the way which have said I’m not good enough, there is something wrong with me, the way I’m doing things is wrong, what my Soul needs and wants is not in line with what society expects from me….and worst of all…..the ongoing message of a jealous God examining my every move and like Santa Claus, keeping a record of all the bad I’ve done in my life – bad for which there will be some sort of punishment – if not in this life, then certainly in the next.

But I’m not bad!

But here’s the thing. I’m not bad.  I’ve never done anything bad.  Yes, in the normal stages of childhood development I fought with my siblings and was likely mean to them at times.  Yes, I became angry at my parents and sometimes grumbled against their guidance.  Yes, in college and early adulthood I made the usual “mistakes.”  But ultimately, I’ve never done anything to intentionally harm another or to do damage in this world.

So if I’m not bad and I’ve never done anything bad, then why have I spent a lifetime feeling so bad? Feeling as if there is something wrong with me?  In response to this deep inner feeling of wrongness, I have done a WHOLE LOT OF WORK.  Healing the pain from past abuse.  Healing trauma.  Undoing negative conditioning.  Reclaiming all the parts of myself that I locked away deep in my subconscious because it might not be “acceptable” in this world.  I have opened Pandora’s Box and have welcomed every single demon therein – meeting it, listening to its fears and concerns and supporting the healing and transformation of all my old wounds so that I might not only feel better about myself, but so I might also feel better about this world and my place in it.

This week while reading the comments of the women and men in my Magdalene Priestess Training I realized there was one final demon to tackle.

My favorite Moses scene is when he throws the tablets to the ground in disgust, rage and disappointment over his people.  This is me everyday!  And yet, I’m just as guilty of confusion, doubt, and running after distractions and shiny objects (hello Facebook).  UGH!  We are excruciatingly human – and isn’t that the point!?  God loves us no matter how dense we can be at times….and this is THE GOOD NEWS.  We are utterly ok exactly as we are in this and every other moment. God doesn’t care.  This is a lesson about Unconditional Love I am still trying to learn.  God doesn’t care if I enjoy a glass of wine.  God doesn’t care if I’m depressed and unmotivated.  God doesn’t care if some days I just don’t give a fuck.  God doesn’t care that on some days I despise the human race.  Because God knows WHO I AM and in the center of all my human frailty there is Love.  Just plain Love.  And Love is who I am even when (maybe especially when) I am excruciatingly human!  

That demon’s name is “GOD”

Now, before you get your undies in a twist, let me explain.  The GOD who I am calling a demon, is not God – but is instead, the god of someone else’s making.  This is not the God who Jesus spoke of who loves without condition.  This is the GOD made up by a hierarchical and patriarchal system who rules by fear, power and control.  This is the GOD who was created to make us feel bad about ourselves, to plant seeds of doubt, confusion and pain in us …. all so that this hierarchical system might control us.  Because here’s the thing – if we believe in a GOD who is always judging us, who is measuring our humanness against us and who is waiting to punish us for that evil, then we will always be afraid.  We will feel badly about ourselves and can therefore be easily manipulated.  You see, when GOD’s love can be taken away, if we have to earn that love, if we will be punished for angering this GOD, then we will do anything to gain the approval of this GOD – a GOD that ultimately has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with humans that want us to look toward them as the ultimate authority so we will do what they tell us; and humans who wants our money.  Notice- the Church is not the only creator of this GOD.  Oh no….they are co-conspirators with every other hierarchical institution which has arisen out of a desire to have power and control over the masses.

The Demon isn’t only in the Church

Oh, and for the record…..a whole lot of “New Age,” “Ascension” and “Prosperity Gospel” people also preach this kind of GOD. You know…the GOD who will only reward us if we “think the right thoughts.”  The GOD who isn’t actually a GOD but is in fact ourselves – because WE are GOD and our life is created by what and how we think.  If we think the right thoughts we will get what we want because WE are GOD.  And if we think the wrong thoughts, then we can expect the consequences of these thoughts because we are GOD and we made it happen.  And if what we have in our lives is not what we want (if we are poor, struggling with illness, experiencing difficulty in our lives) it is because this GOD who is US is punishing us for thinking the wrong thoughts and the solution to changing what we do not want in our lives is to simply think better thoughts.  Or perform magic spells.  Or do the right ritual.  Or light a candle.  Oh wait….there’s more.  We also need to be PERFECT.  If our life isn’t what we want it to be it is because there is some wound in the way and if we clear that wound (fear, compulsion, etc.) then our external life will magically change. Ourselves disguised as a demon disguised as GOD.

(For the record, I’m all in favor of healing our wounds….it is what I do best……but healing our inner wounds is NO GUARANTEE of a change in our external lives.  Jesus never promised EXTERNAL abundance – only the abundance we know within when we are free.  #authenticfreedom). 

THIS is the demon GOD that remains at the bottom of my Pandora’s Box. The GOD that says I’m not good enough.  That I will never be good enough.  That no matter how hard I work to heal my past wounds, fears, etc. I will never be free because this GOD is looking over my shoulder waiting to hand out reward and punishment.  The GOD that has me believing that my life experience will change if I can just figure out what about me is soooooo wrong and heal that one thing so that everything will be good again. DAMN IT.  All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!!  In my head I know better….and my work reflects that.  But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making.  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

NO MORE! Today, I reclaim my RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. Excruciatingly human! Jesus spoke of a God who loves without condition.  A God who made me exactly as I am – for a reason and a purpose – and THIS creation is PERFECT.  I am already loved by God.  I don’t have to earn God’s love and it cannot be taken away.  I was LOVED into being and I am LOVE itself – and this version of love swears like a sailor, enjoys a glass of wine at the end of the day, on some days despises the human race, becomes impatient with ignorance and intolerance, grows enraged in the face of injustice, is at times judgmental and self-righteous and is sure that my way is right – or at least better; who loves deeply, burns passionately, gives generously – even if sometimes out of a “need to help or to feel loved,” who hates certain individuals and harbors resentment like Gollum harbors the ring.  Sometimes I’m depressed and unmotivated.  Other days I’m a workaholic.  I have anxiety, suffer with migraines and sometimes have panic attacks.  Like Denis Leary sings, sometimes I’m an Asshole but I can also be one of the kindest people you will ever know.  This is me in all my excruciating humanness exactly like God made me and there is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with how I am living my life.  And the parts of my external life which I wish would change (Gawd I’m tired of always having to worry about money and how my next bill will be paid) have absolutely nothing to do with something I have yet to heal, or some thought I need to correct.  SHIT JUST HAPPENS.  This is life.  And God has nothing to do with it and neither do we.  We are here to be human – excruciatingly human and maybe somewhere in that humanness we have the opportunity to discover that in addition to being human we are also LOVE.

 

Posted in Being Human, Jesus, Order of Melchizedek

Enlightenment Means Being Fully Human

In no way, shape or form do I profess to have attained enlightenment. In fact, if someone has to tell you they are enlightened, they are not.  Those who have reached true enlightenment, like Jesus, have come to know that:

“… though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of all human beings, and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Phil 2: 6-8

Enlightenment is not about escaping the human condition or denying the human experience. Enlightenment is about being fully human and embracing all that it means to be human – death and all.  While the path toward enlightenment does include ascending toward and coming to know our true Divine nature, as Jesus came to know and which he demonstrated to his disciples.  Enlightenment doesn’t end there.  As Jesus demonstrated, once we have come to understand our inherent Union with God…

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”  John 17: 22-23

…we then have to bring that Union into our human form and live that union fully. While the journey toward enlightenment begins with ascending, it can only be fulfilled when we allow that Union to descend fully into our human form so it can be lived out in our human experience.  In this, we become, like Jesus, fully human and fully divine.

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Herein lays the challenge with many of the modern-day interpretations of enlightenment. Instead of honoring the fullness of the human experience, many of the ways in which enlightenment (ascension, 5D consciousness, etc.) is spoken of today, would lead one to believe that enlightenment is all sunshine and roses.  It is not.  Enlightenment does not mean we have some magical way of avoiding the darkness of the human experience…or that we have to.  With true enlightenment, we still experience pain, suffering, sorrow, loss, betrayal, disappointment, and the sharp pain of rejection.  When we attain enlightenment, we are not given a “get out of jail free” card.  In fact, for many who have attained enlightenment, it seems the human experience is that much more painful.  Look at Jesus for example.  He was condemned, beaten, and crucified on a cross.  Enlightenment didn’t make Jesus’ life easier.  If anything, it made it more difficult.  HOWEVER….because Jesus had become enlightened – both fully human and fully Divine…..he had the tools within him to face all that life gave him – including his suffering and pain.  Jesus didn’t run from, ignore, or try to “la la” the reality of the human experience away….he embraced it….crucifixion and all.

The Order of Melchizedek Training includes study of the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life – tools which guides us in our journey of ascending and descending – ascending into Union and bringing that Union (Love) fully into our human experience. Learn more by clicking on the image below.

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