Posted in Death, mental illness, New Kids, New World

Our Kids Are STILL Not Alright

Sunday morning, another classmate of one of my children died by apparent suicide. Between my two children, this is 15 children who they know who died by their own hand.  To say this is tragic would be an understatement.  Our kids are not alright!  What follows is an excerpt from a previously published article.  Here I will no longer make excuses for who is “not at fault.”  Because as our children keep dying….WE ARE ALL TO BLAME.  Here’s why:

 

The single most problem, and the reason our kids are not alright is:       Our world.

 

Our world is a mess. Our world is a mess for all of us – and for some of us, it is just too much to bear.  Let’s look at the facts:

  1. For as long as our children have been alive, THE WORLD HAS BEEN AT WAR.

If it’s not a conflict or a war with a name, (Desert Storm, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, etc. etc. etc.) it is “the war on terrorism.” And the worst of all the terrorist attacks have been accomplished right here on our own soil by our own U.S. citizens.  The media does not help in this regard by triggering our fears through sensationalism.  As my son said, “Hundreds of people a year are shot in Chicago and no one cares, but as soon as one guy gets shot in Oshkosh, the whole world is in a state of panic.”  (This also points to media and racial bias which is a topic for another blog another day.)

For our children – the world does not feel safe.

  1. In the U.S. success is determined by external measurements like money, status, power and fame. And some of these measurements are literal – how much money you make, how many time you are Tweeted or your Facebook post gets “liked,” if you have your own reality show or not, and do you measure up to the current standards of “beauty.” For those who do not know their true selves and who have no way of knowing themselves except in comparison to others, success feels like an impossible goal – especially when they look at the TRUTH of our economic situation – which brings me to #2
  2. Education does not mean what it used to. In the old days, a high school education was enough to prepare you for a regular job with a decent rate of pay. Then, college became the necessary gateway to a career, a paycheck and economic security. Then, a master’s degree became the gateway, then a PhD. Now….none of this really matters – and our children know this. A college degree guarantees you nothing, or as a friend of mine told her daughter, “Do what you love because there won’t be any jobs for you after college anyway.” Bleak, but true. As much as politicians are touting the economic recovery and that the “recession is over,” this is not the truth.
  3. The world as we know it is dying. Our children know this and they know that they will be the ones who will be creating the new world. For some, this is just too overwhelming a task. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a player in the Hunger Games and the entire world (as you have known it) crumbles at your feet and you are left with the task of building the new world. While the endless possibilities and the excitement of building something new is enticing for some, for others, it is overwhelming and feels impossible and they shut down under the burden of the task.
  4. And finally…..our children are empaths. What this means is that not only are they feeling their own anxiety in the face of a world that is a mess, they are feeling EVERYONE ELSE’S anxiety. They feel the anxiety of their parents, their siblings, their classmates, their teachers, and the entire world around them. When there is a terrorist attack on the other side of the world, they feel it – maybe not consciously, but they feel it. When a weather system is moving through that will cause people anxiety, they know it – again, maybe not consciously, but they feel it. For those that don’t understand the gift of empathy and who don’t have tools for managing this gift, the emotions come out sideways – temper tantrums, disproportionate negative behavior, anxiety, depression – and you guessed it, suicide.

Today (8/19/19) as I write this, I don’t know what caused that young man to jump off the bridge to his death.  What I do know is that his death should not be in vain (my original post was in January of 2016….and literally nothing has changed to help our kids!.)  His death should be another wake up call for us as parents, teachers, and other adults.

Our children are not alright!

Photo credit: Hans Kretzmann @ Pixabay

 

Our children need our help. While we cannot change the outside world, there are things we can do to help our children, and in helping them, find help for ourselves in a messy and broken down world:

  1. Lead them to resources to help them manage anxiety. Resources that have been proven to help manage anxiety include: meditation, mindfulness, regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate and deep sleep, creativity exercises, being in nature, being with others in healthy community interactions.
  2. Here’s a new one:  SUPPORT THEM IN GETTING THEIR BASIC NEEDS MET:  food, clothing, shelter, transportation and safety.  (Thank you Oshkosh Kids Foundation for taking the lead in doing this much needed work!!!!!)  
  3. Another new one:  TRAUMA INFORMED CARE.  Too many of our children are growing up in trauma….not only from the world in general, but in their immediate environment.  Unless treated, this trauma will come out sideways in anxiety, depression, panic attacks, inappropriate and often dangerous behaviors.  Beyond their basic needs, these kids need TRAUMA INTERVENTION and support.  A little mental-health care please!  PLEASE!  School advisers and counselors are not enough.  We need full-blown mental health clinics in our schools so our kids can have some support.  PLEASE!
  4. Support them in knowing their TRUE selves. Self-knowledge increases self-esteem, confidence, and the ability to be ok with our differences in a world of great diversity, and to weather the storm of other people’s judgements.
  5. Help them develop a different set of values. This starts with us. We need to stop valuing ourselves in terms of money, fame, status, power, and physical characteristics. What we are wearing, whose bag we are carrying and what car we are driving DOES NOT MATTER. These external measurements of “success” or “popularity” do not give us happiness. In fact, all they do is create more ANXIETY. If we want our children to be comfortable in a world that will NOT have the resources in which everyone can be a Kardashian, we have to help them find value in the internals – peace, contentment, joy, and fulfillment in knowing and exercising their gifts. We then need to give them tools for finding this inner peace which leads us back to items 1 and 2.
  6. Support them in their dreams. Our children see and know the new world. They see a world that is free from the separation with which we have defined the world. Instead of separation, they see only oneness. They do not comprehend the separation we keep placing between ourselves and others we view as different from us and they definitely do not comprehend the violence that arises out of these perceived separations. Our children do not see race, religion, sexual orientation, or even gender as barriers, they only see this as the miraculous and amazing diversity among human beings and they seek to know more and to honor these differences. Let’s get out of the way and let them do this, shall we!?
  7. Teach them what to do with Empathy.  Empaths are healers and those with this gift (all of our children) possess this gift because they are here to heal our dying world so that a healthier and happy world can emerge. Our children need to know what to do with these feelings and how to stop taking responsibility for everyone else’s pain. Interestingly, this also brings us back to items 1 and 2.

While we cannot change the world, we can change the world in which we are living and the journey starts within. Let us join together to help our children, and in helping our children, helping ourselves so that we can survive in a world in the midst of change and through our children’s dreams, help to support the birth of a new and better world. Then perhaps these children would not have died in vain.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, mental illness, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, Teenage Suicide

Mass Shooting – Why it’s Easier to Look Away

Another mass shooting? More innocent children and their teachers dying?  Another mentally unstable adult with an assault rifle taking out their unhealed wounds on society and then themselves?

Mass Shooting – The New Normal?

With Wednesday’s mass shooting, we are reminded that violence against the innocent has reached epic proportions, and yet what is sadly true is that this has now become the “new normal.” Even my own children who are loving, caring, compassionate and peaceful young adults simply shrug their shoulders in response.  Yep, it is an everyday occurrence.  For our children, if it isn’t mass shootings it is their peers committing suicide.  Kids are dying.  From the perspective of our children, since nothing is being done about it, then apparently nobody cares.  As children they have no power over how the outside world responds to tragedy, so they are choosing the only response they can (in order to not lose it themselves) – which is to normalize – or rather, to shrug it off as just another example of how they are the victims in a broken world and how they are powerless to do anything about it.  This deeply saddens me.  What exactly has our world come to if teenage suicide and mass shootings are normal and when resignation is our only response?

But is it? Of course not!  But, what our children are realizing is the truth of the very deep societal sin of sloth.

Sloth is refusing the use the brain we have been given to reason, discern and exercise truth.

Instead of recognizing the violence our culture has relaxed into and doing something to change it, we look the other way. We ignore it, shrug or brush it off or project by laying blame on the mental health of the shooter or the students who “didn’t report the problem.”  UGH!  All of these responses are classic examples of sloth.  It is so much easier to look away because if we really SAW what was happening, we would HAVE to do something about it.  Sloth allows us to escape responsibility.  It’s not our problem if we refuse to see it and if we do see it, we know that working to change the system might mean (will definitely mean) changing something about ourselves.  Denial and avoidance are other faces of sloth. A classic example of sloth that might be a little closer to home is the spouse who denies their partner’s alcoholism, or the fact that they are being emotionally abused.  If we don’t see it, we don’t have to do anything about it.

Taught to Look the Other Way

Sadly, sloth is how we are conditioned to behave. This pattern of sloth begins at home in platitudes like, “Speak only when you are spoken to.”  “Don’t make waves.”  “You’re too young to know what is good for you.”  Sloth teaches us that there is an outside perceived authority who is in charge and who knows better than we do what is good for us.  Sloth also teaches us that it is our job to make the outside perceived authority happy and that in order to gain their acceptance (whether that authority be our parents, teachers, pastor, church, peers, or God “himself”) we must obey them.  Sloth teaches us that they are right and we are wrong and not to trust our own truth.  Western culture (American culture especially) has established itself on a model of fear, power and control where the masses are expected to be obedient to those in (perceived) positions of power – the outside perceived authority.

When tragedy strikes, we have been trained to look the other way. To act differently alters the entire scope of Western Society.  More than anything we want to be loved and we know that the very real consequence of seeing and speaking our truth is the withdrawal of that love.  No wonder when mass shootings happen we look the other way.

Choosing Another Response

The good news is that we do not need to continue to act in this way. Instead, we can gather our courage around us and begin to do the difficult work (which isn’t all that difficult once we get started) of OPENING OUR EYES.  We were given a mind to reason, and discern truth.  We have the power to see what is wrong in our world.  With this, we have also been given the power to change it.

mass shootings, teen suicide, mental illness, sloth, open your eyes, seeing the truth
Windows to the Soul by Catherine E. Case

Read Wednesday’s blog, School Shootings – Had Enough Yet? for instructions on how to make that change.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides programs and services which empower us to use the gifts we were given to reason, discern and exercise our truth. Learn more HERE.

Posted in Healing, Inspiration, mental illness

Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Video Blog with Kayla Burger

This morning, I was so honored to be contacted by Kayla Burger, a lifestyles Video blogger.  Yesterday she posted a video blog on the topic of Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks and referenced some of my writing.  I found her work to be inspired, articulate, authentic and empowering.  Check out Kayla’s Vlog here and learn more about her work below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pm3VMVwlhg&feature=youtu.be

In Kayla’s words:

In stopping and listening to our symptoms, we no longer need to get rid of them, because we are allowing them to tell us what we need to know. 

Read Lauri Ann’s blog here : http://authenticfreedom.love/2…

Watch the first video by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/_9UOe76x3J4

This video is really important to me and even though I may get a lot of hate for it, I feel like it’s something we need to talk about and open our minds to. Thank you for being here and thank you for being you, I hope you find the courage to love yourself enough to start the journey of discovering and listening to the voice within. 

“May you listen to the voice within even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding and lead you to freedom.” 
Elizabeth Lesser 

W E B S I T E :

designlife.wtf@gmail.com

T W I T T E R :

@kaylabecoming (https://twitter.com/kaylabecoming)

I N S T A G R A M :

@kaylabecoming (https://www.instagram.com/kayla.burger/)

B L O G G E R :

http://kaylaburger.blogspot.co.za/

P A T R E O N : 

https://www.patreon.com/designlife


// A B O U T : 

My name is Kayla. I am a writer, video creator and a holistic beauty and life coach. My purpose is to share information and inspiration about loving yourself, body mind and soul. 

DESIGNLIFE is about living your life by design and not default. It’s about living a life of inspiration, rather than desperation. 

Follow the journey and join in on the discussions, each happy and open-minded person makes the world a better and more loving place. We are a community of people who are willing to learn and share and help.

Posted in Inspiration, mental illness

Married to a Narcissist?

It seems like every day another person crosses my path who is looking for support in recovering from being in a relationship with a narcissist. Whether the narcissist was their parent, boy or girlfriend, wife or husband, or boss, it seems that the number of people suffering the after-effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist is epidemic!

(If you believe you might be one of those who has suffered from being in a relationship with a narcissist, learn more HERE.)

In my experience working with those who have been in a relationship with a narcissist, there are two kinds of narcissists – those who were likely abused themselves and who are suffering from an extreme case of arrested development and who are narcissistic in their behaviors, but not necessarily intentionally cruel. Then there are those who are true sociopaths and who engage in their narcissistic behaviors so as to purposefully do harm to another person.  Narcissism is a clinically defined mental illness which unfortunately, is difficult to diagnose because narcissists are masters of disguise.

Narcissists, usually because of a very deep inferiority complex, likely unknown to them, create an external persona that they present to the world and that they have convinced themselves is their truth. Only those closest to the narcissist, or the unwitting and innocent victims of the narcissist’s truth when it comes out sideways, are the wiser.  To everyone else, the narcissist is the kindest, most generous, thoughtful, helpful and supportive person on the planet.  To the innocent, narcissists are nothing if not charming!  To those who have been caught in their web, the narcissist is a monster.

maskpixabay

It has been said that there are three stages of being in a relationship with a narcissist – idealize, devalue, discard. Narcissists are magnetically charming to those they are trying to bring into their web.  They will convince you and others that you are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  You rock their world and they have been waiting their whole life for a child, lover, employee, like you.  Typically, narcissists seek out those they know they can manipulate – typically those who are truly generous, kind, helpful, supportive and empathic.  Once they have charmed you into their web, the abuse begins.  Slowly, subtly, surely, the narcissist begins to devalue you, whittling away any sense of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.  Everything you do is wrong.  Everything you say is wrong.  Nothing is good enough.  If you wake up and begin to take care of yourself, learning about the abuse you have been in and work on getting help, when you can no longer be manipulated by the narcissist, they start to look elsewhere for their “supply.”  (narcissists are parasites, succubi who “feed” on other people’s kindness, goodness, generosity, etc.) Once they have found someone else to manipulate, then you will be discarded….left with what remains of your soul (if there is any left), and wondering what the hell happened.

Narcissist cannot be cured because they do not believe there is anything wrong with them. (a “cure” is only possible when the narcissist admits they have a problem and are willing to do the work of stripping off the mask to unveil the vulnerable truth within and then work to heal those vulnerabilities, unhealed wounds, etc.) To themselves and those who do not know their truth, narcissists are perfect.  They are the masters of their destiny.  Everyone loves them.  At least that is what they believe (and what they want others to believe).  Only you (and others who have seen the truth behind the mask) know differently.

Recovering from a relationship with a narcissist is not easy. First, one has to realize that the symptoms of narcissistic abuse are akin to PTSD and require the same kind of support.  A combination of therapy, trauma release (EMDR, Brainspotting  and SEVA Acupressure have all been shown to be effective in releasing the effects of trauma) and medication may prove helpful.  Secondly, in recovering from a relationship with a narcissist, one has to accept  all the things they cannot and will never be able to heal or change in the relationship:

  • An active narcissist will never admit they are wrong or at fault and will never say they are sorry.
  • A narcissist will never let you win. If you were married, plan that you will be financially devastated and never get your “fair share” of the assets, etc.  Know that it will take years to rebuild after leaving a narcissist and that you will probably have to go into debt to get there.
  • The narcissist will never stop trying to manipulate and control you. In their eyes, you will always be wrong and everything you are doing will be wrong.  (For the sake of your own mental wellbeing, ZERO contact is recommended when leaving a relationship with a narcissist.  If zero-contact is not possible, then minimal contact is advised).
  • If you try to defend yourself, speak your truth, ask for what you deserve, the narcissist will retaliate. You will not be heard, you will not get what you want and the narcissist will use what they know about your vulnerabilities to reduce you to nothing for trying to name and claim your needs, your opinion, or assert your value.

In short, with a narcissist you can never win (not in the way that winning is measured in our culture anyway).

justice pixabay

But, there is karma. There is justice.  And the Truth always wins out in the end.

In the end, the narcissist will always dig their own grave. Truth cannot remain hidden forever and the narcissist will eventually be found out for who they truly are.  The narcissist can only create so much carnage before others become wise.  Their “success” begins to fail. Their “fame” begins to fade.  Their charm no longer works because too many people have viewed the carnage in their wake.  While this does not heal the pain of being in a relationship with a narcissist, it does provide a measure of comfort in knowing that truth will win out in the end.

And, you will be the ultimate victor for having the courage, stamina, self-love and tenacity to successfully leave, unravel from and heal after being in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you are or have been in a relationship with a narcissist, please seek outside support in dealing with and unraveling from the relationship. Seek out mental health professionals, a good attorney and financial advisor to help you in unraveling and recovering.  Narcissistic abuse is real and if you have suffered from this, please get help! 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons, mental illness, teachers, temptation

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

On Saturday, June 13th I had three full-blown panic attacks, the third so debilitating I was not able to drive myself and my son home from a shopping trip 30 miles from home.  As I mentioned in my blog on Monday, panic attacks suck…..or do they?  What if panic attacks are not here to harm or torture us, but are instead, here to teach us?  What if instead of judging them as harmful, rushing off to medicate them, or wanting to push them away, we welcomed them closer and allowed them to be our teacher?  What, you might ask, could a panic attack teach us other than, “life sucks and then you die?”  Let’s find out… 

panic

There is always more to the story…

As much as I hate having panic attacks, and they are terrifying while they are happening and every moment in between, for me, and I suspect many others who experience anxiety, depression and panic attacks (note:  the three are closely related), there is always more to the story.  Panic attacks don’t simply show up out of nowhere (though they sure seem like they do).  They always have deeper roots.  As I sat in the fog of the post-panic, post-Xanax hangover, I had ample opportunity to sort through all the potential precursors of panic (while trying not to get too much into old patterns of self-deprecation and negative self-judgment of thinking I did something wrong to bring on this panic and that there must be something wrong with me…).  In the search, I discovered there was a litany of potential “causes”:

Wine – ugh!  One tiny glass of wine the evening before (and as I noted had happened before every panic attack or near-panic I’ve had).  Wine=yeast=triggering my candida allergy.  Apparently there is a tie between candida and panic.  SIGH.  No more wine for me.

Keeping a lid on it!  Tending to a friend who received a medical treatment.  Helping another friend who received a cancer diagnosis.  Being present with a friend whose mother recently passed.  Lots of travel.  And just life in general.  Lots to carry.  Lots to hold.  Throw in some good old fashioned money fears…and….NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF in the midst of it all!  TONS of emotions were bottled up in me that needed to find a way out…..and boy did they!  (And let’s not forget the link between panic and past, unresolved trauma!)

STEPPING INTO MY GREATNESS!  The week leading up to the panic attack was a HUGE week for me.  I stepped into my new venture as Authentic Freedom Academy.  I put AFA out into the world.  I formed an affiliate program and sent out invites.  I completed the most recent Resurrecting the Magdalene course and ordained (yes, I said “ORDAINED!”) four women into The Order of the Magdalene/Christ. I received an important message about my beloved partner.  And finally…..through the support of some shamanic journey work, I rediscovered some very ancient methods of manifestation (ie: magic) and for bringing the new world into being.  Hint: “The Law of Attraction” is OUT (truth be told, it was never in for me anyway…more on that later).

Gethsemane

The link between panic and POWER

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there IS a link between panic and STANDING IN OUR POWER.  The way I understand it, the link between panic and power is two-fold:

Ignoring the voice of our Soul:

First, panic (and its precursor – anxiety) arises when we ignore, silence, suppress and repress our POWER, our truth, our gifts, our call, our purpose and our passions.  When we ignore the voice of our SOUL is will do everything in its power to get our attention.  The more we ignore the voice of the SOUL, the harder it works, sometimes having to resort to desperate measures to get our attention – even if it means panic.  This has definitely been the case for me.  When the truth is in my face again and again and again and I choose to ignore it, panic steps in.

Stepping into our power:

Panic attacks can also arise as a form of temptation.  The closer we get to our Soul’s purpose, God’s call for us in our life, the path of our highest Self, the harder the ego works to thwart us on our path.  Our Soul longs to be free – to have a life of fulfillment, expansiveness, meaning, peacefulness and love.  The ego wants SAME, status quo, what is old and familiar.  Think of Jesus in the desert and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In both instances, Jesus did battle with “Satan” over the path before him.  Heed the voice of fear and make himself equal to God (as was the discussion in the desert) or heed the voice of fear and recant his truth (that he was One with God but not necessarily equal)?  The ego does not want us to enjoy the path of our Soul or to embrace our gifts or our true power.  Instead, the ego wants us to remain small, in a place and situation that is familiar.  Toward that end, the ego will resort to all sorts of ministrations to keep us from our power – even panic attacks if it needs to.

Power and panic in proportion

I can think of two situations in particular (this weekend included) where a powerful moment of stepping into my power presented itself and panic stepped in.  In both situations, and army of support presented itself and I eventually figured out the true source of the panic – not in something I had done wrong, but in something I had done right!  Talk about empowering.  It is interesting to me to note that the degree to which we are stepping into our power is equal to the degree to which the ego fights to keep us from it.  From the degree of the panic attacks I experienced this weekend, I’m guessing I’m getting pretty dang close to the purpose of my soul and to the root of my true power.  How about you?

Stay tuned Panic Attacks, the Devil Inside Part II where we will learn how to embrace temptation (ie: panic attacks) as our teacher instead of our tormentor.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides resources and support for those wishing to heed the voice of their Soul – for those who know they are here for a reason, who want to know what that reason is, and who wish to contribute to the betterment of themselves and the world through their own unique giftedness.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@autheticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in Being Human, mental illness

Panic Attacks Suck! – A lesson in receiving

I am one of the (probably) millions who suffer with panic attack disorder.  And even though many might put me into this category, I’m not going to join with all the “think the right thoughts,” “La-La-Lightworker,” “New Age” people who will try to paint panic attacks in any other way……when you are having one, before you have one, after you have one and every moment in between there is one very stark and real truth….PANIC ATTACKS SUCK!  They suck. They suck.  They suck.  And they especially suck when you have one (or three….as was my case this past Saturday) while driving, most especially when you have one of your children in the car with you while you are having one.  And they REALLY suck when you have one when driving and are then unable to get yourself home and have to pray like hell that your sister-in-law is home and has nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than drive 60 miles round trip to get my stranded (and at this point completely undone) ass and my son and my car home in one piece.  (Thank you dear sister in law and brother in law BTW!!!!).

panic

For those that don’t have panic attacks….try to imagine that you are dying….because that is exactly what panic attacks feel like.   For me anyway, it starts with a weird feeling in my belly….a stirring and a twirling that feel uncomfortable and disconcerting.  This is often accompanied by a burning pain in the middle of my lower back.  This stirring then starts rising up, first to my heart which then starts to pound, then my body starts to tremble, and then perhaps the worst part of it all, my vision starts to close in.  It is like someone is taking my field of vision and drawing the curtain inward toward the center of my forehead while at the same time the top of my head is opening.  As the panic rises, my field of vision closes and I’m sure that in just a moment I won’t be able to see and then I might pass out.  In a way, it feels like how one might feel when their soul is leaving their body and in a sense that is the very fear one experiences during a panic attack.  We are sure we are going to die.  It is the most terrifying feeling that in spite of all our efforts to control (through breathwork, visualization, talking ourselves down, etc.), it has control over us.  Once the panic attack is in motion….it will have its way with us…not the other way around.  There are no “thinking the right thoughts” when it comes to panic.  In the past, I have been able to head off a full-blown panic attack through the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen (breathing in the fear and breathing out love).  If I could get to the point of tears, the panic would usually subside.  Not this weekend however….nothing worked…not matter how hard I tried.  Instead, I was forced to surrender to the very real truth that I was not in control, that I could not get myself home (safely anyway) and that I had to pull over, let the panic take me, ASK FOR HELP and then allow myself to receive it – without shame.  Hah…good talk!

Surrender.     Not in Control.   Ask for Help.   Receive it.     Without shame!

As I write these words, I realize the lesson I had an opportunity to practice with this Saturday’s panic attacks.  For a type-A, overachiever, introverted, perfectionist…..these are the hardest pills to swallow:

I have to surrender to the fact that:

I am not in control.

I cannot do it by myself.

I sometimes have to ask for help.

Then be willing to receive it.

And…..be willing to receive it without shame.

 

The last of these might be the hardest.  As a spiritual director, I KNOW there is no shame in panic attacks.  But as a recovering perfectionist, I believe panic means that I am not perfect and that I have failed in some way.  As a spiritual director I KNOW that none of us should have to do it alone and that we thrive when we work as a team and support each other in our challenges.  As a perfectionist, I am sure I have to do it alone and that I can do it alone.  I’m great at offering help to others, but when it comes to asking for help….not so much.  And challenges?  Well….perfectionists have to be just that – perfect, which means there is no room for challenges and that challenges equal failure.  Finally there is the receiving part.  Asking for help and receiving it are two separate matters.  It’s one thing to be brought to ones knees such that asking for help is the only option.  It is another thing entirely to be able to receive that help without apologizing and/or getting into the self-flagellation game.  “Bad Dobby…Bad Dobby” is what it mostly looks like for me.  I would be more than happy to help another when asked and there are never any negative thoughts or feelings of being put out by another in distress…so why do such harm to myself when I ask for help?  Why can’t I be as loving to myself as I am to everyone else I know and come in contact with?  Why?

As I continue to recover from being brought to my knees by Saturday’s full-throttle panic attacks (recovery is usually a several day process for me), this is the invitation I am offering to myself:

Can I be as loving toward myself as I would be toward anyone else?

I’ll try this on, see what it looks like, and let you know.

Lauri Ann Lumby is the Founder and Director of Authentic Freedom Academy.  Lauri can be reached at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@authenticfreedom.love.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Education Reform, mental illness, self-actualization

Self-Actualization: Where education, psychology and religion have failed

We stand at an important crossroads in our evolution as a species where everything we formerly looked to as keeping us safe; and supporting our health, development, and wellbeing; has failed.  Education.  Government.  Medicine (here including psychology). Capitalism.  Religion.  All have failed.  As it relates to Authentic Freedom Academy, I will focus on the three related to our mission of providing transformational education and empowerment:  education, religion and psychology.

Education, religion and psychology have failed.  Perhaps not from the perspective of some inside these institutions, but from the perspective of human development, they have failed.  Psychology is treating pathology only, and everything is pathology (anxiety, depression, panic attack for example which are just as often signals of our Soul’s desire to awaken!).  Religion teaches doctrine while ignoring the deepest need of the human heart which is to know ourselves and to know that we are loved.  Education remains primarily within the 19th century paradigm of creating obedient factory workers. While religion, education and psychology all insist their desire is to support human development, none in fact, are doing so.  Instead, they are, more often than not, working to keep people small, contained, frustrated and unhealthy.

Authentic Freedom Academy hopes to change this fact by being a resource through which people of all ages can be supported in their human development, the ultimate goal being self-actualization.

Self-Actualization is the term that Abraham Maslow used to describe the ultimate goal of the human journey – to become the fullest expression of our greatest self while harnessing our individual and unique giftedness, not only for our own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  Other pioneers in the field of psychology have used such terms as individuation, self-fulfillment, whole self, etc. to describe the deepest desire of the human animal to find inner fulfillment and satisfaction.  All agree that this satisfaction comes not from what is outside of us (money, power, wealth, material possessions), but is an inner quality experienced when our Soul comes to its own realization.  The Soul’s realization is called self-actualization.  The inner state of contentment and fulfillment I call authentic freedom.

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Self-Actualization/Authentic Freedom is the mission of Authentic Freedom Academy.  Toward this end, we provide you with the tools and support you need to achieve your own self-actualization. We provide these tools (one-on-one mentoring, classes and publishing) because we believe that self-actualization is the answer to what ails our world.  Self-actualized individuals are more peaceful and content, problem-centered instead of ego-centered, live more simply, have a deep sympathy for the human race and a desire to serve their fellow human beings, are naturally democratic, collaborative and cooperative, enjoy an inner state of harmony and seek to create that in their world.  Self-actualized people are content within themselves and are no longer looking for something outside of them to make them happy so they are less likely to take from others and are more likely to give.  Self-actualized individuals know themselves and have come in contact with their own unique gifts and have taken time to cultivate these gifts.  After doing so, they are motivated to share these gifts not only for their own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  While detached and self-contained, self-actualized individuals can’t help but support the betterment of our world – sometimes just by being present.

Authentic Freedom Academy has made it our goal to support people of all ages in their journey of self-actualization, empowering them to experience authentic freedom in their lives.

If you are interested in enjoying the benefits of becoming self-actualized, consider scheduling a one-on-one session with Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Posted in Being Human, mental illness

The Potentiality of Anxiety – Guest Writer, Aimee LaBree Hohn

I met Aimee LaBree Hohn while standing in the lunch line at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, California while attending my first academic seminar with Sofia University.  Aimee looked down at my nametag and asked, “Are you Lumbee Indian?”  I was startled at her question as I thought no one but my daydreaming father knew of the legendary disappearing tribe with the characteristic grey eyes.  I responded, “No, but my dad wishes we were.”  She countered with, “Oh.  I have a friend in Minneapolis with the last name Lumby who says they are Lumbee Indian.”  Now I was really startled.  “If their last name is Lumby, we’re probably related.  Is it Scott or Annie?”  “No,” she said.  “Now I can’t remember his name…..Oh yeah, Patrick.”  “Um……” (I could hardly talk now as synchronicity was obviously hard at work) “That’s my brother.”  What are the odds of meeting someone 2000 miles from home who not only knows my brother, is dear friends with his wife AND now turns out to be my classmate?  Aimee and I have been great friends ever since and as it turns out, soul-sisters.  I’m so excited to be sharing Aimee’s wisdom as part of an on-going conversation about anxiety and its role in the unfolding of our Soul and our Soul’s purpose.  Thank you dear sister!  I love you!

 

Lynette Cook, Gemini Observatory
Lynette Cook, Gemini Observatory

po·ten·ti·al·i·ty (p?-t?n?sh?-?l??-t?)

  1. the state of being potential.
  2.  Inherent capacity for growth, development, or coming into existence.
  3. Something possessing such capacity.

 

I am honored to have been asked to share some writing by wonderful Lauri, a classmate, soul-sister, and inspiration. The other day, she sent us a blip from Lauren Gorgo’s website describing anxiety as an energetic mimic of high vibrational energy.

I am a highly anxious person. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the age of 19. My strange little behaviors—like severe rumination about having AIDS at a non-sexually active 12 years old, and confessing to teachers that I had “damaged” school property with my fingernail—while entertaining, didn’t seem so strange anymore. It is a chemical imbalance (if we’re going with that theory). It was my growing spirituality and intuition that helped me garner tools to survive, and I was graced with some pretty powerful experiences that nudged me toward my path today. I bring my story with me every time I meet with a client and feel compassion for the anxious. It would be nice if that was the end of the story. Far from.

My anxiety takes different forms and rears its ugly head at random. Last year I had a sustained full-body panic attack that left me shaking, unable to catch my breath, crying, laughing, and tired for an entire week. This coincided with a trip I was on to a spiritual place during a turning point in my life. This triangulation was not lost on me. The anxiety was spurring me to make decisions, dammit! Make them NOW! Did I do this immediately? No—but that’s another story called “Don’t Be Afraid to Jump!” I’m working on it. Through talking with others, I realize that anxiety seems to be felt by everyone at increased levels lately. Vibrational shift, we’re hearing. This shift seems to be showing up through anxiety that has no obvious cause—more “Who am I and why am I here?” than the usual “I have to speak in front of these 100 people!” So, I reflected on Gorgo’s theory while driving the other day—a major channeling time for me.

I think she’s right. What came through is that anxiety may be a misinterpretation of energy reception; our brains trying to shut out perceived negative energy that is actually telling us specific things for our positive futures. I believe it is potentiality that we are feeling. I felt nervous energy wash over me as I got the following info about this potentiality:

We are given the seeds of change through the ideas we get; the nervous ticklings, the what-ifs. We are channeling! If we want to change jobs, we need to facilitate it. If we want to get healthy, we need to facilitate it. The time is now. Nervous energy holds unhatched and potential action. Our society teaches us to medicate this, not harness it; to see it as disorder and not creative material. When we are unable to process our ideas, or stifle them, we disrupt the flow from our Creator, our Universe.  What we process as “fear” is showing us the way to love. Even those “normal” anxious feelings are opening doors. What happens if instead of shutting down we honor the energetic message?

Anais Nin’s quote came to mind: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

We experience anxiety and pain when we attempt to stifle our blossoming.

External situations cannot control our emotions when we don’t allow them to. We fear the movement into our true purpose only because we are re-aligning and breaking old patterns. I have been experiencing this through shaking, shortness of breath, headaches, breakouts, sickness, anger. How are you experiencing it?

As we move towards and through the process, we must listen. We must remember to break patterns that don’t serve us anymore. For me, it is certain types of food. For others it may be certain behaviors. We dampen our energetic potential through the tools we use to numb ourselves. It anesthetizes energy and ekes away at the health that we need to create our path. When we crave these anesthetics we are craving the comfort of old patterns. Anxiety swells up to remind us. I imagine you can think of your patterns right now—those old fallbacks that seem to comfort us but actually cycle us into non-action. Remember, though, we must also be forgiving. Breaking the patterns can be like a mourning process. We leave behind rituals that do not serve our brighter future. Perhaps they protected us then, but today we let them go. . . Coffee, this is going to be a hard one.

What if there is more to it? Different types of anxiety? Anxiety also:

Propels us to ACT: Notifying us that something is wrong physically or emotionally that needs immediate attention. People, foods, chemicals, and environments affect us. Our bodies put up alarm bells–fight or flight.

Assures us of TRUST: We must allow decisions to flow. We get anxious if we can’t have the answers, NOW! We can’t dictate what will be, we can merely play our part in the Universal plan. This is a physical response to the dualistic ideas of “wrong” and “right” at any given time and anxiety reminds us to live in the grey area of not-knowing. I heard somewhere once that anxiety is our current fear of a previous result. We fear this negative result will play out again but we cannot know what will happen next!

Encourages us to PROTECT: We can pick up negative spiritual energy/entities. We can experience active or imprinted energies that hold current or historic emotions. For example, if I have an earthbound spirit in my area that holds addiction, sadness, or anxiety, I will react to this. Additionally, I will experience the energy of other humans if I don’t protect myself and hold awareness of how others’ emotions are affecting me. Energy is catching.

I have been sitting with this information to integrate it. It feels like a truth I forgot. My anxiety is particularly bad in the mornings, but lately I’ve noticed this: I slowly wake with hands subconsciously placed on my 3rd and 4th chakras. . . As if through comforting my body’s “anxious” energy, I am also holding power to facilitate change in my life, creative potential, and the love that flows from all of us as we bring our light and service into the world.

Aimee ProfileAimee V. LaBree Hohn is an educator, intuitive counselor, and lover of all things mysterious. She is a student of the paranormal and metaphysical with a background in History and Master’s degrees in Education and Transpersonal Studies (Psychology). She has taught internationally and locally on topics ranging from multicultural education to spirit effects on the human psyche. She utilizes her intuitive gifts, varied studies, and experience to assist others on their paths towards wellness and remembering their spiritual selves. More information about Aimee and her services can be found at www.intuitiveaim.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Direction, Truth

Beyond Psychotherapy – Authentic Freedom Mentoring

Today’s blog explores the important question:  What in the world does Lauri Lumby do and why should I care?  Or another way to look at it: “How might Authentic Freedom Mentoring benefit you?”

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Speaking with Dragons

Saturday evening I was working with a newly acquainted soul-sister on a creative project for my upcoming Fabulous Fifty.  She was inquiring about what exactly I do for a living.  As I muddled through the description, these words flew out of my mouth and gave her goosebumps from head to toe – confirmation of a truth being spoken.  Here is what I said:

If I had to boil it all down, the work I do is all about supporting individuals in becoming self-actualized. 

We then discussed how this is the work that people really need and is rarely offered…this is the deep stuff that goes beyond recovery programs, psycho-therapy, talk-therapy, behavioral counseling, life-coaching, or any of the traditional professional or self-help approaches.  This is also the kind of work that ENDURES.***  Getting to the root of our behavioral, attitudinal, mental, emotional, compulsive, addictive issues and healing them at their SOURCE.  Doing this work doesn’t provide just a temporary fix that will crumble at the appearance of our first trigger -no….it goes to the cause of the pattern and heals it, making the pattern no longer necessary.  As we heal the causes of our mental, behavioral and emotional (and even physical) distress, we draw closer and closer to the person God made us to be – happy, healthy, joyful, content and enjoying a life of meaning and fulfillment.  In the process, we are birthing our SOUL – or as Abraham Maslow called it – we are becoming self-actualized!

What is SOUL and why does it matter? 

SOUL is our true self.  SOUL is who we were born to be and who we came into the world being.  SOUL is the uniquely creative way in which we were born to find meaning and purpose in our lives and through which we find fulfillment within ourselves and  in service to the betterment of the world.  SOUL is what we are here for but somewhere along the line, life happened and interrupted our SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to identify those experiences outside of you and those feelings and beliefs inside of you that have blocked the knowledge and manifestation of your SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to heal and transform the deep, inner spiritual wounds that arose out of these experiences and beliefs so that your SOUL is free to emerge.  Think of it like a sunflower seed – deep inside the seed, beneath the shell is the tender, vulnerable meat of the seed that will eventually emerge out of the seed and become the sunflower.  The shell is LIFE – the tough, outer crust that developed around the seed to protect it and which has to be shed in order for the seed to grow.  Authentic Freedom mentoring supports you in shedding that shell so that your true self can emerge and be nurtured in becoming the fullness of who you were meant to be.

Lauri Lumby is available for Authentic Freedom mentoring in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To schedule an appointment, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

***Note:  Authentic Freedom mentoring is not a replacement for psychiatric care where medical treatment is appropriate and necessary in treating specific diagnoses of mental illness.

Posted in Being Human, Initiation, mental illness, Mystics, Superheroes

Rude Awakenings – the Birth of a Superhero

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Rude Awakenings – the Birth of a Superhero

This post is an addendum to the Superhero gathering of Monday, August 11, 2014.  In addition to exploring the question about world changes, the shift, etc. the topic of the Superhero Awakening peeked out its ugly head.  And I say ugly, because the Superhero Awakening is anything but pleasant – for most of us anyway.  Even if we had parents who supported our emerging intuitive gifts and helped us find ways through our strange sensitivities (food, aromas, electronics, clothing fibers, lotions and cleansers, crowds, other people’s emotions, etc. etc. etc.), we are still subject to the often painful experience of the Superhero Awakening. Symptoms of a Superhero Awakening include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Hot Flashes
  • Death Chills
  • Nightmares
  • Social Anxiety
  • Sudden unexplained illnesses
  • A series of illnesses
  • Heart palpitations
  • Strange “memories”
  • Mystical or Peak experiences
  • A strong desire to escape – typically through mood-altering substances
  • Symptoms akin to ADD

 

All of these are things that Western Medicine wants to medicate, suggesting that when these symptoms arise, there is something WRONG with us.  Indigenous cultures, on the other hand, recognize these as signs that there is something very RIGHT with us and acknowledge these symptoms as the awakening of a healer/shaman….an ancient word for SUPERHERO!  Indigenous cultures then provide the education and support needed by an emerging Superhero so that they can realize the fullness of their gift and then share these gifts for the betterment of the tribe/world.

 

The New Superheroes hopes to do just that – help support those who are emerging in our culture as Superheroes, to give you the affirmation you need for your emerging gifts and provide the resources and tools through which you can learn to use your gifts, for your own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of our world. The world needs Superheroes…..the world needs you.

 

Join us:

Monday Evenings

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Oshkosh, WI

To learn more, click HERE. 

 

And if you are not in the Oshkosh area, please join us through the weekly Superhero Report and through the other resources available on this site!