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

 

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Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Lessons, Mystics, order of the magdalene, priestess training, self-actualization

Reclaiming the Esoteric Priesthood

The Patriarchal/Hierarchical Priestess?

Until this moment, we have only been able to define, express and understand the calling of priestess (or priest) within the context of the hierarchical and patriarchal worldview.  As a result, those who have discerned and accepted this calling have done so within the only framework Western culture knowns – that of presider.  In this expression, the priest or priestess is charged with the task of performing and facilitating ritual – first for herself and then for those who are called into community around her.  She is called to honor the lunar phases and the turning of the year with proper rituals, offerings and intentions and to do so in a (somewhat) public way.  Beyond presiding, some priestesses are also called to be healers, to counsel, and in some traditions – to be an oracle through card reading, throwing runes, reading palms or speaking with the dead.  All of these external, exoteric, outward expressions of priestess are critical to the priestly calling, but in interpreting the priestly calling through the hierarchical/patriarchal worldview, we have missed a critically important task of the priestess – that of transformer.

(I am choosing the word transformer to describe the forgotten task of the priestess because I don’t know what else to call it!  If you come up with a better word, please let me know! )

Trying to Remember What Has Been Forgotten

This is where things are going to get a bit sticky as I try to describe something for which we have no historical context and therefore no conscious memory.  This forgotten task of the priest/priestess is one we have not seen in our patriarchal world for over 5000 years.  This hidden/esoteric/secret and mostly silent task of the priestess was left in the dust when the hierarchical/patriarchal hoards conquered the peaceful and egalitarian communities that preceded them.  What was left was an external model of priest – one who has power over the people and who is the intermediary between the people and their god.  This is not as it was before.

The Exoteric: Prior to patriarchal rule, the spiritual needs of the community were supported by women and men who played a wide variety of roles.  Some led ritual, made offerings to the gods, counseled, and healed.  Some read the stars and the earth for signs of impending change. Some were teachers. These were the exoteric (meaning outward or external) priestly roles.

The Esoteric: Alongside the exoteric, however, was the esoteric – the priestly role that was internal, quiet, and mostly done in separation or secret.  These were the women and men who spent their day communing with Spirit (praying), and who took into their bodies that which needed to be transformed/healed/released on behalf of the tribe and for the sake of the world and then transformed/healed and released it.  These were the transformers of ancient times and the task of the priest and priestess that is reemerging today.

The above is an excerpt from Authentic Freedom weekly lesson.  Full content reserved for Plus, Premium and Premium-Plus Members. Click here to learn more on how you can become a member and enjoy the tools that have helped me in my own journey.  Find an example of what is available in the full content HERE.

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, Spiritual Development

Shhhhhh

Do you hear it? Me neither.  It is the deafening silence that occurs after the old has imploded upon itself, after that which is no longer life-giving has passed away in the fire of transformation, after all that remained of our old lives has turned to dust, and after we have been emptied of anything and everything that has been tested and shown to no longer support the life we were born to live.  This is the silence that happens after the old life has passed away and before the new is ready to be born.

Shhhhhhh. Remain still.  Refrain from trying to make things happen.  Cease from doing and tasking.  Resist the temptation to return to the old and familiar activities simply for the sake of creating movement.  The movement that once served is the movement now that will destroy.

Shhhhh. Be still.  Enter into the silence.  Be with the stillness.  Dive deeply into the discomfort of the unknown. Make friends with impatience, restlessness, longing, and boredom.  Surrender to the pain of death and the excruciating darkness of the unknown.

Shhhhh. Be still.  Be still.  Be still.  And listen.  It is in the silence you will hear the whispering of the new life as it is preparing to be born.

Shhhhhh.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, detachment, Lessons

Freedom in Not Knowing

Many moons ago, I thought I knew. I thought I knew and understood the workings of the world.  I believed in God.  Jesus was my teacher.  I wasn’t really sure about the whole thing about hell, but I definitely believed in heaven.  I thought there was a distinct line between right and wrong and that life functioned in absolutes (kind of but not really….which is why I kept getting in trouble with the priests.) I believed that Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead.  I even believed that the “fullness of redemption” was in the Catholic Church (how silly of me!).

As I grew and began to explore my beliefs, my theology, my spirituality, myself, my beliefs began to change.  I no longer believed in a place called hell. I still believed in heaven, but longed for something more in this life. (Why did we have to die to meet God face to face?) While my beliefs were changing, I continued to cling to the idea that what I believed was absolutely true – at least for me.  At this stage in my journey I was ok with others believing differently, but I still thought it was my job to convince some of my beliefs (especially the Institution of the Catholic Church), and that in some (many) cases there were some things that were just inherently wrong and that I knew what was right. (Again, how silly of me!)

Then, life taught me otherwise. Now, at the ripe young age of 54, I KNOW NOTHING.  I don’t know a thing about (that which we call) God.  I don’t truly know anything about Jesus – he sounds like he could have been a cool dude, but what evidence do we have that he was even real (so says the scientist in me)? I don’t know if there is a heaven – or a hell for that matter.  I don’t even know if I’m real or if this is all just a dream!

I don’t know…..and I’m totally ok with that! I don’t need to know, because if there is one thing I have learned in this life, NOTHING is certain.  Nothing. Not even my own discernment, sense of right and wrong, or my “calling” to serve the cause of love.  I don’t even know if my own beliefs are true as it is quite possible that everything I think I know I simply made up to make myself feel better.  And, I’m totally ok with that too.

Why? Because it does not matter. I no longer care what is real or not, what is truth or not because I am no longer clinging to the need to know in a world that is anything but predictable or even definable. I know nothing.  And that’s ok.  I’m also totally ok with whatever you want to believe and I have no need to convince you otherwise.

There is freedom in not knowing. I no longer need to convince.  I no longer need to change things.  I no longer need to stand on my soapbox waiting for “the other” to agree with my ideas, philosophies, or beliefs.  I am ok with being me and I’m ok with you being you.  And if you need to be “right” – that is ok too.  It is a natural human desire to want to KNOW – to be able to define, explain, make sense of the human condition and to be sure that our own knowledge is right.  Knowing gives us a perceived sense of safety and surety in a world that is everything but.  Knowing that at any minute Jupiter might tumble out of its orbit, pummel to earth and destroy us all makes us seek after something to hang on to – our beliefs, our philosophies, our theologies.  We need what we think we know to be right because it makes us feel “safe” in an otherwise unsafe world.

But knowledge is an illusion. At the most basic core of who we are – WE DO NOT KNOW.  We don’t know a single thing!  When we understand this about life – realizing that life is uncertain and then become content in that uncertainty – we find peace.  When we are no longer seeking after truth or clinging to our need to be right, we are free.  We can let go and stop worrying about everyone else and what they do or do not believe.  We are free to be ourselves. At the end of the day, this is (my belief) what we are here for…..or not.  The choice is up to you!

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Posted in Lessons, the bible

Unraveling Biblical Wrath

God’s Infamous Wrath

For two-hundred centuries, Christianity has spoken about the wrathful nature of God. God is jealous, fickle and when “His” people sin against “Him” He punishes them with His wrath – doing all manner of terrible things against humanity in retribution for their sin.  We hear of God’s judgment and how those who disobey, who anger or disappoint God, who do not live up to God’s standards will be cast into hell where they will burn for an eternity for their sins.  We read stories of God’s punishment of humanity – barring us from paradise, devastating the world through a flood, destroying Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins, condemning the Hebrews to wandering in the wilderness for 40 years in their search of the elusive “promised land.”  We hear of how God tested humanity by His wrath – asking Abraham to sacrifice his long=awaited son, creating an environment where jealousy would emerge between Cain and Abel and Esau and Jacob, Jacob’s sons and Joseph.  In the Christian interpretation of Hebrew scripture, God’s wrath has become infamous and for 2000 years has been used as a means of threatening Christians into obedience – even though Jesus spoke only of a loving and compassionate God.  What happened?

Lost in Translation

As I was doing some research in preparation for my Order of Melchizedek Level Four class on the Hebrew Alphabet and the Major Arcana of the Tarot, I came upon an obscure reference on the biblical term wrath:

Wrath is the quality associated with (the Hebrew letter) Samech, but this is a blind. The literal meaning of the original Hebrew noun is “quivering” or “vibration.”  A similar blind is found in the use of the Greek noun thumos, also translated “wrath” in the New Testament. (The Tarot – a Key to the Wisdom of the Ages;  Paul Foster Case. Pg 153).

This reference blew me away! If it were true, it completely changes what Christians have been taught about the wrathful nature of God.  Not satisfied by a singular reference, I got to researching and discovered that what Paul Foster Case is suggesting is undoubtedly true.  While there are many Hebrew words that have been translated “wrath“they all have one thing in common – a sense of movement and vibration, somewhat akin to breath.

The Hebrew word chemah provides the perfect example of the deeper meaning of wrath:

Chemah is commonly translated as wrath. When we break this word down into the Hebrew letters which make up this word so that we can more fully grasp its meaning. we get the following:

Ches/Chet: Means an enclosure – that which supports, protects and carries us. On a spiritual level, Ches/Chet implies Divine Grace.

Mem: Means water. On a spiritual level, Mem represents the revealed and the concealed – inviting us to look beyond the surface of things to what lies beneath/within.

Hei:  Hei means window/door – that which allows light and air to enter our home. On a spiritual level, Hei is the breath through which God creates and represents God’s limitless mercy. (The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael Monk)

Putting this all together, we have chemah – the breath of God which supports, protects and carries us – no matter what that breath looks like from our limited human perspective.  In other words, that which feels like punishment is in fact God’s infinite mercy carrying us to and through our growth.

Let me give you an example – the most basic example – the example upon which every fear of God’s eternal punishment has been predicated – the story of “The Fall.” We all know the story – Adam and Eve lived in Paradise. The serpent came and tempted them to eat of the tree from which God forbade them – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They ate.  God was angry over their disobedience and as punishment, cast them forever out of the Garden of Eden.  The problem is, however, that this is not really how scripture describes it:

Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—  therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. GN 3: 22- 24

First of all, it only says that the man was driven out.  (things that make you go hmmmmm). Beyond an interesting feminist exploration, a bigger question emerges!  Was God’s action a punishment or an act of mercy?  If the human condition is the consequence of humanity’s decision to “eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” do we want to live forever?  Do we want to be condemned to remaining in the Garden where we will have to experience the suffering that is inherent in the human condition – FOREVER?  I don’t think so!  In God’s great mercy, God removed humanity from the Garden where we could eat of the Tree of Life so that we WOULD NOT have to live forever.  In barring us from the Tree of Life, God opened the door/window (Hei) to our return by ensuring that the human experience is only temporary and after we have completed our journey here, we can return to our original state of Oneness with God.  The other mercy in humanity’s exile from the Garden is the longing for home that has been planted within every human being (Ches/Chet) that compels us to seek after the satisfaction of that longing that can only be fulfilled in God.  This longing is the foundation and source of our spiritual development and growth and ultimately what makes us human.

Throughout scripture we can apply this perspective to every story that speaks of God’s wrath. Was it wrath and punishment or God’s infinite mercy?  Is it condemnation or an opportunity for growth?  When we look beyond the surface of things (Mem), we can see the loving hand of God in everything that unfolds in our human experience – even those things we would rather avoid (pain, suffering, loss, death, betrayal, etc.).  When we look at life through the lens of love, we see that EVERYTHING is an opportunity to know love (aka God) more.

Wrath from a Human Perspective

Now that we have a better understanding of wrath as it pertains to God, let’s take a look at it from the human perspective as it relates to the very real human experience of anger. (Putting on my spiritual psychology hat)….

 

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Posted in Empowerment, Lessons

It’s Not Enough to Be Saved

As I was reflecting on this week’s scripture passage from Mark’s gospel, the following words hit me between the eyes:

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

In the spirit of Imagination/Contemplation, I immediately thought of how these words might apply to me and to my own Divine calling. Not to say that I am Jesus, but to say that I/we are called to be like him in love.  The reason the Jesus story matters is because it invites us beyond the smallness of our human egos to the great love that dwells within and then seeks to be known through us.  Jesus came to save us from ourselves – from the too small self that is ruled by our fears, unhealed wounds and unhealthy societal conditioning – so that the God-self within us can shine.  Like Jesus, we are both fully human and fully Divine and we are here to unleash the inner Divinity that is imprisoned by all those things formerly mentioned.  This is what Jesus did for himself and then tried to teach others, and which we are now called to do.

In the words above that bore a hole into my brain, I heard the calling of my own Soul – looking out over the horizon of humanity I felt deep compassion for all of humanity’s pain. I felt the struggle.  I saw humanity’s pain and woe.  I heard the cries and moans of complaint over all the difficulties and challenges of the human condition.  And I felt their/our longing – the deep, empty, vacant longing for that which we cannot name – the longing that some have called “for God” and what others have described as “home.”  The longing to be reunited with what we have lost – not even knowing what it is we have lost.  It is the common pain of the human condition and I felt in every fiber of my being.  We are all lost sheep just trying to find our way home.

And in the midst of the pain that I saw in the ocean of humanity, I felt my own pain. I remembered discovering that pain and finding the fleeting relief of this pain in my intimate relationship with (that which I call) God.  I remembered finding enduring relief of that pain in coming to know myself – all of me.  My personal pains, losses, struggles, traumas, betrayals, places of brokenness and imperfection.  I found it in every rejection I had suffered and in finding my way beyond that suffering.  I remembered and in the remembering – I re-membered myself.  I put myself back together piece by piece by piece by re-locating every lost part of myself and welcoming myself home.

And then I saw myself helping those sheep find their way home because now I knew the way. This is what Jesus modeled and what he calls us to do – each through our own unique gifts. Some will be healers.  Other teachers.  Still others civil leaders, artists, craftsman, advocates, workers for justice, etc. etc. etc.  We are each uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine Love in the world and in Re-membering ourselves we are then called to lead others home.

This is who we are. This is what we are called to do.  It is not enough to simply call Jesus our “Savior” and “Our Lord.”  In fact, we don’t even need to consider Jesus either of these things to find the kind of salvation that Jesus brings.  Jesus saves by showing us the way to our true nature as One within ourselves, with the Divine and with all of creation, and then he asks us to do the same.  Just like he did with the disciples.  Jesus didn’t offer to feed the 5000 hungry people…..he empowered the disciples to do it.  He asks us to do the same.

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Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Behold I Make All Things New

Happy Solstice! Happy Yule!  Happy Hanukkah!  Merry Christmas!  Joyous Kwanza….and happy whatever else you are celebrating this time of year!  Here is my holiday gift to you!  The (dot)Love weekly newsletter FREE FOR ALL (usually available for (dot)Love Plus members only).  Please enjoy!  If you find it meaningful, pass it on.  If you loved it, consider signing up for a Plus membership.  Now….without further ado:

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

IS 43: 18-19

There could not be more joyous words to hear than these words from Isaiah, which are then repeated throughout scripture and then brought into fruition in the Book of Revelation. As we approach the end of 2018, these could not be better words for the many I know for whom 2018 has not been the greatest of years.  Many I know have experienced 2018 as a year of suffering, struggle, great challenges and most of all – death.  Physically and metaphorically, 2018 has been a year of letting go = letting go of loved ones, letting go of things we have known, letting go of things we thought we knew about ourselves and our mission and purpose on this plane.  2018 has also been a year of financial difficulty for many I know – whether it be due to staggering medical bills, funeral costs, job loss, or just plain old struggle.  It seems that no matter where we turn, 2018 has been a year of having to face physical, material, tangible struggle and hardship and learning to find ways through it – or not.  Regarding the “not” I know that for many, 2018 has brought with it the desire to QUIT – for some out of despair, desperation, frustration or just plain exhaustion – and for those who have been paying attention – the desire to quit because what used to be is quite simply no longer life giving and needs to be set aside to make way for something new.

And the something new is coming. Or rather, it is already here! Do you not perceive it? We are at the place in our planet’s movement around the sun where the new is being born!  No matter your beliefs, the Winter (for the north) and Summer (for the south) Solstice is a time of great celebration.  Whether we are celebrating the sun at its highest point (Summer solstice) or the birth of the sun which ushers in the end of the dark days, the world over has something to celebrate!  Spiritually, we are at the threshold of a new year and our entrance into a new world – for those who have eyes to see and a heart to believe.  But, in order to truly receive the new that is promised, we have to let go of the old.  This we have done over and over and over in 2018, but now, we are invited to REALLY LET IT GO and to BELIEVE that IT IS DONE!

It is done! Whatever suffering or difficulties you experienced in 2018, LET THEM GO!  But more than this, we are invited into an even deeper letting go.  This is a letting go that requires an intellectual understanding, a willingness to change, and belief that change is possible.  It goes something like this:

Intellectual Understanding: There is a little thing that psychologists take for granted and quantum physicists consider as doctrine: We are conditioned by what we have known. Whatever experiences our life has held for us forms who we are while also forming our expectations about what life has in store for us.  If we have experienced poverty, we expect poverty.  If we have felt rejection, we expect rejection.  If we have felt abandoned, we expect abandonment.  If we have been betrayed, we expect betrayal.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  We are conditioned to expect what life has handed us, and most often, we expect nothing more.  Not only do we expect what has been, we become emotionally addicted to the chemicals that are produced in our brain that come forth out of these experiences – the anxiety, worry, frustration and victimhood of poverty, the self-loathing or rejection or abandonment, the shame of betrayal, etc.  We become addicted to these “negative” emotional states, and until we know better, we unconsciously seek out life situations where we are certain to have experiences that will give us our emotional drug.  Gross, right!?  But, it doesn’t have to be or remain this way….because today I am going to offer you something better:

Willingness to Change: Scripture is going to help us here – Remember not the things of the past! God meant this when S/he spoke these words through the prophet Isaiah and again through all who echoed his words.  In these words, our Divine Parent is reminding us of one of the only two things that are certain in the human experience: death and CHANGE.  What has been is not always what will be.  In fact, it is quite certain that what has been WILL NOT BE what will be.  In the immortal words of the Byrds while quoting the book of Ecclesiastes:

To everything turn, turn, turn,

There is a season turn turn turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven…..

We are here to fulfill God’s purpose. We are here to fulfill God’s will.  We are here to bring forth the kingdom of God which Jesus knew as Oneness and which John the Evangelist spoke of as LOVE.  We are here for the single purpose of knowing the love that we are and then being that love in the world.  #chooselove!  BUT…in order to be that love, we first have to be freed of the things of the past – our old wounds, our past conditioning, our unacknowledged fears, ego attachments and anxieties.  We are not free to be the vessel and vehicle of God’s unbounded love as long as we are holding ourselves prisoner to our past.

We need to stop re-membering (putting these experiences back into our body) all the suffering we have experienced. We need to make a conscious choice to CHANGE and let go of the patterns of what we have known (a process we might call forgiveness) – along with our emotional addictions to it – so that something new might come in taking its place.  This change moves beyond the intellectual, and invites us to literally take on a new body – replacing the body conditioned by fear, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, shame, etc. and allowing LOVE to take its place.  It is that simple…..and yet it is also that profound.  Just like love!

Belief: As many are aware, I am not a fan of either “The Secret” or “the Law of Attraction.” I cannot believe in a universe that punishes us for our thoughts – many of which we have no control over.  As one who has experienced anxiety, depression and panic attacks, I can attest that we are not in control of our thoughts.  Our mind is simply our mind, casting out thoughts in an attempt to help us feel safe.  Our thoughts do not have the power to dictate our life circumstances.  I can also attest that I can think great thoughts about that million dollar house on the lake I think I want, but if it is not in my highest good to possess that house no thoughts in the world will make that house mine.  Thoughts (alone) do not dictate our world.

Beliefs, however, do. As it relates to the invitation to change, when we believe that we can change the impact that past unpleasant experiences have had and continue to have on us…..then we can most certainly experience that change.  It doesn’t mean we will get that million dollar house on the lake, but it will mean that we are no longer prisoners of our past experiences.  We are now free to be the love we are meant to be in this life and in being that love, reminding others of the unbounded love that they are as well.  And if we struggle with belief (as many of us often do) or are plagued by doubt about the possibility of healing and change, scripture helps us here too:  When a man approached Jesus seeking healing for his son, Jesus said:

“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  To which the father responded:   “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9: 23-25)

Our loving Divine parent understands the fragile nature of the human condition and is always there to help – especially when the help we most need is with our struggle to believe.

Receiving the New

As we allow ourselves to identify the past patterns and beliefs through which we have been conditioned and consciously work on releasing/healing/transforming them, we are now free to receive the new. As a friend just recently reminded me, when we empty ourselves of that which is not made of love, LOVE (another name for God) rushes toward us, excitedly filling those spaces made empty by our healing efforts and intentions.  When we are filled with Love/God instead of our past suffering and pain, AMAZING things begin to happen.  Instead of feeling like prisoners of our past, we are carried toward the path/mission and purpose that God/Love intended for us and which is in our highest good.  Not the life that our limited minds can imagine – but a life far beyond what we could ever imagine for ourselves – a life born out of, made from and living only from a place of love.  Who wouldn’t want that!?

 

Suggested Spiritual Practice – Emptying to be Filled

The suggested spiritual practice for this week is an adaptation of the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen. In and through this practice, you will allow yourself to heal/transform and be freed of “the old” so that you can be ready to receive “the new.”

Set aside 20-30 minutes to complete this practice, knowing that you can return to this practice again and again and again as the need arises. You will also need a notebook or journal and a writing utensil for this practice.

Begin by creating a quiet space where you can be free from interruption. Turn off your cellphone; make sure that all other devises are silenced.

Begin by reflecting on your past. What are some of the negative or painful experiences that you have had in your life that have caused you to feel:  abandoned, afraid, rejected, ashamed, jealous, guilty, anxious, despairing, betrayed, etc.?  As these memories arise, list them in your notebook or journal.  Record the experience and the feeling associated with it.

After your mind runs out of memories, go back through each one reflecting on how these experiences are coloring your current expectations. How have you been conditioned by your past experiences to expect these negative experiences to continue?  Where are you expecting to be betrayed, rejected, abandoned, etc.?  Record your thoughts and reflections in your notebook or journal.

Now, with your journal in hand, you are invited to enter into a powerful healing process through which you will consciously release the experiences of the past while creating space for new and better things to take root in you.

Begin with any of the experiences you listed. Drawing the experience to mind, allow yourself to FEEL the feeling that lodged in your body as a result of that experience. FEEL the feeling, and then take a moment to identify where in your body you might be feeling this emotion.  You might find it is in your neck or shoulders, in your lower back, in the center of your abdomen  – or any other place in your body.  Once you have identified where you are feeling the feeling, breathe into the feeling  – directing your thoughts and intentions for healing into the place in your body where this feeling is held.  Breathe into the yuk, and then breathe out LOVE – believing and intending that as you breath into the yuk, the pain is being broken up and as you breathe out LOVE you are giving it release.  Continue with this practice until you feel freed of that past experience and the conditioning that happened because of it, knowing that as you are clearing your body of the yuk, you are making room for love or peace or hope to take its place.  Once you have completed work on that single experience, move on to the next one of your list.  Continue this practice until your allotted time is up.

After completing the practice, observe how you might feel differently in your body. Do you feel more free?  Do you feel lighter, more peaceful?  Do you feel more optimistic or energized by a new-found hopefulness?  Observe these new feelings and BELIEVE that they are here to stay.  And WHEN (not if) you feel your own conditioning trying to sneak back in, return to the practice you just completed above, remembering that this is a practice you can return to whenever the need for healing arises.

Remember not the things of old….

behold YOU (have the power) to make all things new!

Please share your thoughts, feelings, questions, experiences with this week’s lesson in the comment section below.

 

Wishing you a very happy holiday season and blessings for a joyful new year!

 

Love,

Lauri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons

Getting Out of Our Own Way!

Scripture has all kinds of great things to say about the Divine’s plan for us:

Jeremiah 29: 11 – For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare (often translated as “prosperity”) and not for harm (also translated as “woe”), to give you a future with hope.

Romans 8:28 – We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

John 15:7 – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

And on….and on….and on…. Scripture is filled with passages that tell us the good God has in mind for us, along with the prosperity and abundance we will enjoy because of how much God loves us.

These scripture passages have been used by many to paint a rosy picture of what it looks like to receive God’s blessings – that all we have to do is “think the right thoughts,” hold the proper beliefs, belong to the right Church. Then there are those who instead of painting a rosy picture, describe something threatening instead – how we will only receive God’s blessings if we follow a certain set of rules, follow the prescribed doctrine, and do what we are told (without asking questions).

While these approaches work for some, this is not what scripture truly says…

Yes – scripture says that God’s plan for us is far greater than what we could ever imagine for ourselves. BUT…..scripture also says that in order to participate in God’s plan for us, we have to GET OUT OF THE WAY.  In order to participate in the Divine plan for our life and to fulfill our Soul’s mission and purpose in this life, we have to set aside what we think we know, let go of our own plans, and pry our cold and dead fingers from the life that has become familiar but likely no longer serves.  We have to do what every 12-stepper knows, “Let Go and let God.” For the fragile ego, who thinks it is in charge and that it needs to be in charge, this is perhaps the most difficult of all things to do.  In this, we are invited to embrace the words of scripture that are often forgotten in our haste to enjoy the abundance of God:

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Posted in Divine Masculine, divine mother, Jesus, Lessons

My Love Child

For the past several years, I have been operating two distinct and separate businesses: Authentic Freedom Academy and Temple of the Magdalene. While there has been much overlap between these two aspects of my offering to the world, they individually represent two aspects of my own being.  Authentic Freedom Academy represents the more linear, pragmatic, academic and therefore masculine aspects of whom I am.  Temple of the Magdalene has become the platform through which I have channeled the more interior, inner, shadowy, esoteric, and therefore feminine parts of whom I am.  I have bounced back and forth between these two poles depending on where I am in my personal journey and what aspect of myself needed attention.  I have always felt a little  divided as I have nurtured both of these offerings and confused as I have tried to navigate how best to share these offerings in the world.  The question has always been, “Who am I and where do I want to focus my attention?”

Not anymore. As will always be the case when we enter fully into the dance of the masculine (active) and feminine (receptive) within us, the Holy Child will be born.  Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is that child – born out of the full integration of the masculine and feminine within me, a new life has come forth – one that reflects all that I am and all I wish to offer in the world – the kind, the fierce, the courageous, the vulnerable, the self-righteous, the compassionate, the empathic, the steel-clad boundaries, etc. etc. etc.

This integration of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine and the Love Child produced out of that union is the highest/deepest/most profound/ lesson and truth of every spiritual tradition that exists – whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Pagan, Indigenous, etc. etc. etc. As it relates to my own Catholic-Christian tradition, this is the most hidden of all of Jesus’ teachings…

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Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is my Holy Child.  What is yours?

Posted in codependency, Jesus, Lessons

We Can Only Save Ourselves!

The deeper we move into our inner spiritual work, the more we become aware of the subtle temptations of the ego – especially those we would never have thought of as ego-attachments because our cultural conditioning tells us these are good and benevolent traits. For me, this has come more and more fully to light over the past 10 days – a time that has been deeply transformational albeit painful. The ego-attachment that presented itself to me (which admittedly has been presenting itself over the past many years in all its many guises) is that of SAVIOR.

What has hit me upside the head in the most painful and glorious way is the long-standing pattern within me of wanting to and believing I was capable of changing the world (or for that matter, changing anything or anyone around me.). I falsely believed that partially by my efforts, the world would/could become a kinder, gentler place. You know, kinda like Jesus. But the trick is that even Jesus was unable to change the world. By Jesus’ efforts, the world did not become kinder or gentler. Some might even argue that because of the acts done in Jesus’ name, the world became more violent. If the so-called savior of the Christian religion was unable to change a broken world, how could I believe my efforts would prove any more fruitful? As it turns out, they have not.

The threads of this savior-complex in me are long and deep. They reach back across time and generations and are tangled and intertwined with centuries of societal conditioning – the deception that says, “humanity can be saved and it’s your job to do it.” For 53 year I have believed this lie and given my heart and my soul to trying to “save” the people around me while also trying to save the world. I wholly admit that part of (maybe all of) my need to “save” is a projection of constantly feeling unsafe in this violent and fearful world. Instead of finding a way to make myself feel safe, I have turned my efforts outward. Ignoring my own safety needs, I have tried to save (help) others. Time and time and time again this has ended in failure.

As it turns out, it is not my job to save others. It is my job to save myself. I think of this in terms of The Titanic: “If the ship is sinking, the only one you can save is yourself.” (Unless you’re a mother with children, then you definitely risk your own life to save theirs.)

Coming to this awareness, confronting it and letting this attachment go has been excruciating. I’ve raged. I’ve wept. I’ve felt paralyzed by grief. At the same time, a profound liberation is taking place. IT IS NOT MY JOB TO SAVE THE WORLD! And I cannot help those who are unwilling to help themselves. All I can do is uncover what I need to feel safe, fulfilled, joyful, supported and loved in an otherwise broken and violent world, and bring these things into my life (including all the resources and tools I share here). In making and allowing this choice this is what I’ve discovered:

Freed of the burden of savior, space is made available for pure enjoyment, true freedom, and abundant and fulfilling love. Here, I AM enough!