Posted in About Lauri, Being Human, God, introverts, Mystics, Oneness with God, Ponderings, Relationships, Spiritual Direction, Surrender

Only God

a personal reflection by Lauri Ann Lumby

This morning’s blog is coming from a deeply personal place and arising out of a place of fragmented vulnerability….so apologies ahead of time for momentary incoherence. 😉

image credit: www.checorreaphotography.com

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. The most exciting things have been my soul-discovering trip to Ireland and the “new” things that are beginning to be birthed in my world including a promising business partnership and a burgeoning Magdalene Priestess Training program!

Playing a much more central role in 2017, however, has been the ever deepening and every widening journey of LETTING GO! It seems everywhere I turn I am being invited to let go of that which I used to turn to as a source of familiarity, routine, surety, security and support.  It seems I can’t take a single step without being confronted with something asking for release.  This release has included the need to redefine relationships (the nature of, my expectations or hopes around, boundaries, etc.), to let go of certain hopes and dreams; and more materially, facing the need to find new housing and buy a new car.  The whispering threat under all of this letting go is, “And HOW are you going to pay for that?????”  UGH!

As it all came to a head this past weekend with the resurfacing of my deepest core wound and its source, I knew that the letting go was not about letting go, but was in fact about letting in. Specifically – letting God in.

In this realization, I must give credit and gratitude to my experience as a Spiritual Director (and a mystic). If I did not have the awareness of what the Divine call looks like, I would have been in much more despair than I have been (believe me, I’ve spent many hours on the couch wallowing in my grief, despair and perceived helplessness) and not known where to turn or how to make sense of every rug being pulled out from beneath my feet.  God isn’t an asshole (though sometimes it feels like “He” is.).  When we are being invited to let go….it is always for the purpose of letting in.

So, what does it mean when life is inviting us to release EVERYTHING upon which we have previously based our lives and EVERYTHING we formerly turned to as a source of hope and support? It means that life is supporting us in knowing that in the end, there is ONLY God.  Everything that we know of in our human experience is fleeting and temporary – relationships, jobs, homes, cars, money, belongings, our health and wellbeing, life itself.  It is all temporary and in the end, it all passes away.  When all has passed away….what is left is God.  Me and God.  God and me.  And when Lauri Ann Lumby is no longer, there is only God.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director, Leanore, who supported me yesterday in verbalizing my awareness and affirming the invitation. The purpose of all this letting go is so that I can let God in – to let God in on an even deeper level than I have ever done before.  To let God in so that I might know a deeper experience of God’s love.  To know God as my source of support.  To surrender into God’s hands knowing and trusting that God is carrying me to exactly where I need to be.  Most importantly of all….to do what I tell everyone of my students to do – to make God the number one priority of my life, to give all my energy and attention to God, to be open to receiving and being compelled and empowered by God’s love.  It is not about the temporary and fleeting things of this world, it is about God…..and only about God.

In closing, I want to share these words from Stephanie Azaria’s daily post (quoting one of her writers, Marie DesRoches at www.thecosmicpath.com.  If this isn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is:

In 3D I used to “think” of surrender as giving up my way and “doing” what God wanted.  In 5D I Align WITH the God That I Am and allow myself to BE all that I AM – expressing, moving, choosing, loving, breathing, WITH and IN that Presence.” 

 

Posted in creativity, Divine Revelation, God, Inspiration, Ponderings

There’s No Place Like Home

This is for all my brothers and sisters who wonder if they are not really from here, if in fact they came from somewhere else.  I often wonder too.

orion

Faraway Star

A quiet people living in peace.

Joyful in life, work and love.

Supported in uniquely creative gifts,

Fulfilled in a purposeful life.

Hearing and seeing the truth beyond words,

Nothing of fear can deceive.

Governed by compassion,

Guided by mercy,

Knowing darkness and light are but one.

Aware of the plight of a planet in pain,

Desiring only to help.

A brave coalition sent forth through time

To teach those in fear how to love.

Arriving first on the Emerald Isle,

By natives dubbed, “the fae,”

Harnessing dragon and standing stone,

Beckoning all toward love.

Ebbing and flowing

Tuatha and Danu,

Fae Folk and Druid

At times turning into the light…

Time and time and time again,

Building the foundations of peace.

As shifting sands give way to stone,

With love to rule them all…

Accomplishing the mission

For whence they came

From the faraway star

Anu.

Posted in Being Human, Ponderings, world changes

Dying to Ourselves

As we approach the end of 2012 (and the oft-foretold “end of the world!”  😉  ) … I have observed, with increasing frequency, a strange phenomenon that I feel compelled to share here….perhaps you have observed the same phenomenon within yourself or those around you. (Here’s my favorite song from Disturbed to accompany your reading….the perfect soundtrack for today’s theme!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9nE0IowJ7Q&feature=fvst)   The phenomenon looks like this:

People we know, maybe even ourselves, coming face to face with the death of who we thought ourselves to be and what we thought our contribution in the world might be.  Our definition of self, our self-defined purpose, and the meaning we have assigned to our lives seems to be falling from our grasp (maybe even TORN from our grasp) and we are left standing, seemingly empty-handed wondering…..Who will I be in 2013? 

No longer are we able to define ourselves as:  healer, author, poet, playwrite, teacher, leader, muse, mother, wife, lover, painter, reformer, achiever, boss, peacemaker, activist, servant, sage, enthusiast, entertainer, loyalist, democrat, republican, pr0-lifer, Catholic, Lutheran, Muslim, etc. etc. etc.  Instead, we are left wondering if the red pill we arrogantly proclaimed ourselves to have consumed (Matrix reference), was really the blue pill all along and WE are the ones left in the dream.  Or….we are invited to consider that the DREAM is really all there is. 

We are not here to change the world, to do something important or make a dramatic impact…neither are we here to be the next famous rockstar, best selling author or Pulitzer prize winner….we are not even here to become the next enlightened Messiah who will save the world. 

Instead……we are left to consider the possiblity that we are simply here TO BE HUMAN and that the purpose and meaning we seek just might be hidden within the everyday, mundane, seemingly insignificant experiences of JUST LIVING LIFE.  And to wonder if only thing we are here to do is BE….to move through the journey of life, finding meaning and purpose in our interactions with ourself, the people around us and the world we live in as they present themselves to us. 

What if Genesis has it right….we are here to care for the earth, be in relationship with each other, bring forth life (whether through pro-creation or co-creation), care for that life and be grateful to whatever Source gave us this life in the first place….PERIOD.  What if that is all there is and this is all we need to do.  What if all the other things….pursuit of enlightenment, reform, change, fame, recognition, status, power, etc. are merely distractions from the AMAZING gifts we have right in front of us and the most important invitation of all which IS TO LOVE?

These are the questions that I have pondered within myself, that are being sent to me in emails and on Facebook, and are posed to me by clients, friends and colleagues.  It seems there is a theme…..and if you have been facing these questions yourself and the falling away of who you thought yourself to be…..you are not alone.  Perhaps this is the “End of the World” of which the Mayans spoke….the end of egoic strivings, delusions of grandeur, dreams of fame. And that in the New World…..we just get to be ourselves…..simple, humble, grateful, loving human beings.  What would our new world look like if that, indeed, were the case?

Posted in Lessons, Ponderings

Embracing the Wisdom of the Cross

As we move along the path of spiritual growth, we are invited to embrace a life of balance.  The symbol of the cross can be a reminder of that invitation, no matter what our religion or spiritual beliefs.

 

 

Consulting Higher Wisdom

This past weekend, as I was sitting in my respective corner and the kids’ were hiding in theirs (after a week of frenetic travel and activities), I decided it was as good a time as any to consult some higher wisdom.  I pulled out my spiritual wisdom cards and drew six from the deck for insight.  The foundational card that was placed in the center of the spread was the card for “Creative and Spiritual Passion.”  The next card, placed on top of the first card was the card for meditation and retreat.  I then placed four other cards  – two, horizontally on either side of the first two cards and two vertically, one above and one below the center cards.  Interestingly, both horizontal cards also represented meditation, reflection and retreat.  The two vertical cards, like the foundational card, represented creative passion, along with the final reminder that in order for work to be fulfilling, it must also reflect a spiritual motivation.  When I looked at the cards as a complete message, it was a terrific reminder to balance the spiritual with the material aspects of my life.  HMMMM   I think there might be a universal message here!

Maintaining a Balance

The universal message here is BALANCE.  For me, balance means that I maintain the spiritual practices that sustain me (meditation, journalling, yoga, contemplation, prayer, chant), cultivate the creative practices that feed me (in some ways, literally), nurture the relationships that enliven me (with family, friends, and in work), and allow time for work and for play.  In a more general sense, it is about the balance of the spiritual (the being) and the material (the doing).  I do not believe it is a coincidence that this message revealed itself to me in the shape of the cross.  I believe it is this message of balance that is the ultimate meaning of the cross, and a message that can transcend spiritual beliefs and religious practice.  Even saying this, I can feel the collective hair standing up on the back of readers’ necks (for a wide variety of reasons).  Before you get your undies in a bundle over this idea…let me further explain! 

 

My Own Journey with the Cross

Growing up Catholic, the cross was one of the central symbols that infused my life.  The cross, in the form of a crucifix, hung in every room of our home.  All four of Lumby kids received a crucifix as a First Communion present, along with a rosary, with a cross in the form of a crucifix hanging from the end of the string of beads.  Every classroom at St. Alphonsus elementary school had a crucifix hanging on the wall and every morning, we stood up at our desks, said the Pledge of Allegiance, then turned to the crucifix, hung our heads in prayer, made the sign of the cross and recited our morning prayers, sealing the deal with another sign of the cross.  I think you get the picture – the CROSS was it, specifically, the cross in a form of a crucifix on which hung the bloody, crucified body of Jesus.  The preponderance of this image spoke of the theology we were expected to embrace – a theology focused on the suffering and death of Jesus.  “Jesus died for our sins.”  While there is a deep truth behind this kind of theology, the human Jesus and more importantly, the resurrected Christ sometimes got lost in all those mea culpas! 

 

A Cross beyond the Suffering

While I can appreciate the image of the cross as crucifix as a reminder of Jesus’ suffering and death, the cross can be so much more than that.   As my wisdom cards reminded me, the cross is ultimately a symbol that represents balance and was in fact, utilized in this way by people and cultures who far-preceded Christianity.  For example, the Celtic people (from whom my gene pool originates), used the cross as a symbol of balance and as a reminder of the wheel of change and the cycle of the seasons of the earth.  The cross was a spiritual as well as a material symbol.  It reminded the Celtic people of the higher spiritual consciousness that governed the cycles of material birth, growth, death and rebirth.  Like the Christians after them, the Celtic people embraced the cross as a symbol of death, but more importantly it was a symbol that invited balance and promised new life.  It was a reminder that our human life must contain a balance, like the earth, between seasons of planting and harvest (doing) and seasons of lying fallow (being).  It is this message of the cross – about balance and wholeness that transcends our spiritual beliefs and religious practices and can become a universal message for all to embrace.   (ok, you can breathe now!) 😉

How are you balancing the material (doing) and the spiritual (the being) aspects of your life?

Where are you being invited to explore a more healthy balance in your life?

How is your spiritual life informing your material life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, Ponderings

Only the Shadow Knows

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts.  Identifying, getting to know and integrating the shadow is an important part on the path of spiritual growth and enlightenment.  Do you know your shadow?

The Mask

I have another confession to make.  I am not the person I appear to be.  Aha….but then again, neither are you!  Each and every one of us has a face, an appearance, an image that we are comfortable sharing with the outside world.  In reality, this face is simply one aspect of a greater whole.  For some, this face is intentionally created and defined based on what they think is considered favorable to the outside world and in no way shape or form reflects their true nature.  For others, this face very closely reflects their true nature and arises naturally, effortlessly and authentically.  The vast majority of us fall somewhere between these two ends of the personality spectrum.  I sense that the person the outside world sees in me is a pretty close reflection of my true nature, but I am also acutely aware of the “other Lauri” that still lies hidden beneath the Lauri that is known to the outside world. 

Me and My Shadow

Regardless of how closely our outside appearance reflects our true nature, there is still the shadow aspect of our true self that lies hidden in the deeper recesses of our consciousness, waiting to be discovered, explored and somehow integrated into our outward self.  The shadow consists of the parts of ourselves that we have suppressed, repressed and kept separate from our conscious and lived self.  Jung speaks about the shadow exclusively in terms of weaknesses and shortcomings and as part of our instinctive nature.  I would expand on this by suggesting that the shadow also consists of all those parts of ourselves that we didn’t feel free to explore – the inner creative drive and passions that were not supported (or we didn’t think were supported) by our foundational environment – the repressed, suppressed, ignored parts of our inner nature…and we don’t really know if they are part of our truest nature until we try them on.  (This is part of the process of integration – seeking, exploring, trying it on, taking what is life-giving and getting rid of the rest.)

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

In exploring the shadow, at first, I thought there was only one.  Instead, I find there are several alternative Lauris camping out in here.  First there is the Lauri that makes up who I am today  – mother, lay minister, meditator, peacekeeper, healer, student of theology and all things spiritual, GOOD GIRL, NICE GIRL, POLITE, ACCOMODATING, KIND, THOUGHTFUL – you know, all those things we are supposed to be.  I think this Lauri pretty closely reflects who I am and who I want to be, AND  I am acutely aware that there is a whole lot more to me than the world generally sees.  Let’s meet the other Lauris:

Linda – Linda was identified by my friends in college.  She was my evil twin.  She parties like a rockstar, throws drinks at people (sorry John!)  and then remembers NOTHING the next morning.  Fortunately, Linda has NOT made an appearance in a VERY LONG while!  She is scary!

Stevie – This is my Stevie Nicks wanna be rockstar, singer.  She wears long flowing lacy things, looks like a gypsy and wants to be the star.  We have 8mm film of Stevie dancing on the fireplace hearth at the ripe young age of 2 1/2…singing, dancing and bowing to the audience.  She made and early appearance and spent her youth and teen years organizing LP sing-alongs.  Of course, she ALWAYS had to sing lead. 

Marian – Madame Librarian – This is my tied up tight good girl, National Honor Society, scholar, geek.  She wears coke-bottle glasses, has buck teeth and braces and spends all day at the library.  Marian is pretty well integrated within me and I’m not afraid to admit it.  In truth, I’m just a grown up geek who somehow blossomed late, but doesn’t yet know it.  I’m especially grateful for Marian when watching Scot Pilgrim, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and any Kevin Smith movie.

Maudlin – I wanted to call her Mordred, but that is a boy’s name.  Maudlin in my inner MARTYR!  BLECH!!!!   She is a simpering, whiny brat, the whole world is out to get her and she likes to cry, “O woe is me.”  She is co-dependent, a cling-on, obsessive and easily rejected…in fact….that is all she is….rejected.  I don’t really care for Maudlin all that much.  But she is great to be around when I want to throw a pity party.

Maleficent – Ok, she might just be my FAVORITE!  This is the person the good-girl, Catholic school girl, responsible Lauri never got to be.  I love Maleficent!  Unlike the me seen by the outside world who tends to be kind of conservative…Maleficent is everything but!  Maleficent dresses in all black, preferably leather.  She has her whole body tattooed and sports several piercings.  She carries a riding crop or bullwhip and wear black platform boots…even in the summer.  She rides a Harley in the summer and a ’63 split window Corvette in the winter (I know, not at all practical in Wisconsin – on snowy days she drives a black Jeep Wrangler).  She is part Kat Von-D and part Angelina Jolie. She listens exclusively to heavy metal music, smokes clove cigarettes (because is ticks other people off and because they are cool), drinks Absolut vodka straight up and she goes out to heavy metal clubs and dances all night.  I’m not sure if she has a job…but if she does, it is really unconventional…..heck, she might be a writer ;).  And she is very comfortable with her sexuality.  Maleficent is cool and I want to be her when I grow up. 

That’s all for now…now it’s your turn!

Who are your shadows?

How can you begin to get to know them?

How can you make them part of who you are inside AND outside?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Ponderings

I Do Believe in God

Is it possible in our post-modern, intellectual world based in rational thought to still believe in God?  Call me fanciful, but I do believe in God and this is why.


God or No God?

We live in a world where it is no longer fashionable to say that you believe in God.  While there are pockets Evangelical Christians, Muslims and Jews who stand in bold defiance against this trend, it is much more fashionable to say that you are Buddhist, Pagan, Agnostic or Atheist.  It is my personal belief that all paths lead to the same destination, so in the end, I don’t really care what people believe or not and I certainly don’t judge people for what can be very intimate and personal beliefs.  At the same time, I find that I am unable, even in the face of rationalism and religious doctrine that no longer speaks to me, to forsake my own belief in a personal, transcendent and loving God.  Just know that the God that I believe in is not the old man in the sky, but something that transcends definition, description and certainly the human predisposition toward containment.

 

It is not cool to believe in God

I know it is not cool to believe in God.  If we acknowledge that there is a Source and a Power greater than we, then we risk losing our closely held desire for independence and self-sufficiency.  If there is a God, then we might not actually have complete control and domination over our lives and over the outcome of our lives.  We risk letting go of our need to dictate, control and manipulate the path and the outcome of our lives.  Especially for us Westerners, this is a very difficult idea to release.  We are the independent, free-thinking pioneers and we intend to continue to live this way.  My question is, how is that working for us?  HHHMMM  Not very well, I think.

 

We can’t do it alone

This is why I like to believe in God – because quite frankly, I’m tired.  It is absolutely exhausting going through life thinking we can do it all and that we have to do it all – alone.  Planning, controlling, manipulating and executing outcomes is EXHAUSTING!  Not only that, but most of the time, when I am trying to control things, I make a mess of it.  And when I look at humanity as a collective trying to manipulate and control everything – they (we) are making a mess of it too!  It is this power-driven exhaustion that is my primary motivation for believing in a Source and a Power that is bigger than me, that knows better than I what is in my highest good and benevolently guides me in the direction of this goodness.

 

God beyond description

So, call me frivolous, but I am not afraid to admit that I believe in God.  I believe in a Source that is bigger than me, that has envisioned me into creation and at the same time, seeks to live in and through me through my own unique giftedness that this Divine Source chose for me.  I also believe that this Source is friend, guide, healer, creator, parent, lover, teacher, etc. etc. etc. and that I am able to have a deeply intimate and personal relationship with this Source.  I also believe that which I call God is far beyond what I could ever hope to experience, understand, define or describe as my personal belief is that God is infinite, limitless and beyond anything we could ever hope to know.  God is more than “the old man in the sky”, “God” or “Goddess” “Great Spirit” or “The Great Unknown”.  God simply is, and that is enough for me.

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

 

Posted in Ponderings

Soulmates – Is it Live or is it Memorex?

Today, I pose a question to my readers:  Is the idea of a soulmate real or simply a figment of our over-romanticized imaginations?  Inquiring minds want to know!


Dreams of a Soulmate

Several years ago during a guided visualization exercise I had an encounter with a male figure that in the visualization could only be described as “the love of my life.”  Since that visualization exercise, this “man” has haunted my dreams, shown up in my prayer and meditation.  Of course, the first impulse is to become attached to this phantom as some sort of soulmate that has not yet appeared in my life and to go out looking for this handsome prince who will be the answer to all my unmet needs.  Fortunately, I think I know better.  But what is the meaning behind this portent? What is a soulmate anyway and do soulmates even exist?  In this I admit complete and total ignorance and turn to you, the reader for your thoughts on this topic.  Just to get the discussion rolling….here are a few of my own thoughts:

Points to Ponder

Looking back on the years of dreams and the visualization that got this all started in the first place, a few thoughts come to mind.

  • Modern day psychology would invite me to look at the visualization/dream as a representation of the unhealed wounds within myself seeking to be healed, specifically, the parts of myself that need to be passionately and adoringly loved without condition.
  • Christian mysticism would suggest that the “man” in the dream is Christ calling me to be his “beloved.”  I am actually somewhat inclined to at least partially accept this idea, especially since the dude in the dream bore an uncanny resemblance to “Hot Jesus”  (see below!)
  • New-agists would tell me the vision was of my soulmate and to keep on looking.

Enlightenment Philosophies

Now, here is where I get hung up…and bear with me as I might ramble a bit.  Enlightenment Philosophies (to which I tend to subscribe, and a category under which Authentic Freedom falls) tell us that the only source of fulfillment is within.  As such, there would be no such thing as a relationship that provides the kind of fulfillment that we ascribe to the idea of a soulmate.  However, there is also something to the idea of our outer world reflecting our inner world.  AND we ARE relational beings.  I have observed that as I grow spiritually and emotionally and find a deeper place of inner contentment that my exterior relationships tend to more closely reflect the “new me” (actually, the original me!).  So, why wouldn’t our intentional, one-on-one intimate relationships afford us the same possibility?

Soulmate Hypothesis?

The invitation seems to be to start within – to do the work of healing our inner wounds, to work toward a deeper sense of inner contentment and fulfillment.  Then, I wonder, when we do this work, are we then creating the ground upon which mutually supportive and fulfilling external relationships may take root and grow and is it possible that we might connect with a uniquely intimate relationship that reflects the contentment we feel within?  I’m just wondering……

The Goal is No Goal and No Attachment to Outcome

Here is the rub……we cannot enter into the journey of enlightenment with the goal of meeting a soulmate or with an attachment that if we do the right work the soulmate will be our reward.  We enter into the journey simply for the purpose of the journey…..  I guess if the soulmate shows up, it is simply another thing for which we can be grateful!

Tell me your ideas about soulmate!  Lets get the discussion ball rolling!!!!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/yourspiritualtruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com



Posted in Discernment, Ponderings

Soda or Pop? Signs of Coming Home

As inspired by my friend, Rose Deniz (http://rosedeniz.blogspot.com/),  What are the words that tell you you are home?

I’m warning you…I’m not sure there will be any “God-stuff” in this blog….but I will see if I can tie it in.  One never knows!

Minneapolis has always been home to me.   After several years of trying the California thing, my parents decided to return us (me, 4; Theresa infant; Dana on the way) to their ancestral home in 1969.  We lived in Minneapolis until the spring of 1980 and my parents returned again in 1988.  They have been in Minneapolis ever since.  I’m now in Minneapolis helping with my father who is ill and my mother who does not drive.  My siblings have had to shoulder the burden of elder care all summer and with a free calendar, it was my turn – a task I gladly accept.  (And thank you to Scot for taking the parent-duty until I can return). 

Being back in Minneapolis (a city I have never really left), I am reminded of the things that give me comfort and make me feel like I am home:

  • Minneapolis freeways.  I LOVE driving on the freeways.  Fast.  Congested.  Stimulating.  Driving on the freeways I feel sharp, focused, and a little bit like a racecar driver.  I have never had a panic attack on the freeways, and frankly, I’m not sure it is possible for me with the way freeways stimulate my mind. Maybe it is my own little dose of ritalin that keeps me alert, safe, focused. I LOVE IT!
  • Skyscrapers. When I drive into “the cities” (as St. Paul and Minneapolis are affectionately called) my heart is warmed by the sight of downtown on the horizon.  I LOVE DOWNTOWN.
  • Lakes and Parks – Nobody does city planning better than Minneapolis.  If you like lakes, parks, bikepaths, beaches, Minneapolis has them all IN ABUNDANCE!  The chain of lakes in the center of the city is my favorite – Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, Harriet and Cedar.  I AM HOME!
  • Totino Grace High School.  I took a drive by my former high school yesterday. AWWWWW.   It looks exactly the same – only bigger. 
  • Pop

Ok, pop warrants its own paragraph.  In Minnesota, things like Coca-cola, 7-Up, Mountain Dew are called POP.  When I moved to Milwaukee from Minneapolis, I had to learn a new word – SODA.  SODA has always felt foreign to me and everytime I utter this word, I feel as if I am speaking an alien tongue.  SODA hangs out there and I wonder, “Are they going to know what I am asking for….because it is really POP, but here I think they call it SODA?”  It has never felt right to me to use the word SODA. So yesterday, my mom and I went to Champs for dinner after a day of running elder errands and visiting my dad in the hospital.  I was SO excited to see they had Guinness on tap and promptly ordered a pint. My mom, inquired about non-alcoholic drinks and what would qualify for a beverage on her Entertainment Coupon.  The waitress responded, “We have lemonade, iced-tea or pop.”  POP?????   As she uttered this word, my ears perked up, my heart started to beat a little faster and a warm blanket of safety and security wrapped itself around me.  I AM HOME!  They speak POP here!  POP POP POP POP POP!  I am now free to utter my native tongue of Minnesota speak and I can say POP without fear of ridicule or worse, the cold, blank stare of “What the hell are you talking about?”  POP POP POP!

Ah ha….I am going to talk about God afterall……so what do any of these signs of “home” mean anyway?  Our human, spiritual journey is afterall, a journey of self-discovery: 

  • Who Am I? 
  • What is my Source of peace, contentment, compassion, joy (aka God)? 
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them?

Connecting with the things that make us feel like home is one of the ways we come to know ourselves more fully.  Freeways.  Downtown.  Lakes and paths.  POP.  These are all things that make my heart sing, give me joy and have become part of who I am.  Coming to know this gives me tools for what I need to include in my life to cultivate contentment and wholeness. 

So, does this mean I will be abandoning my family and friends in Oshkosh and high-tailing it back to Minneapolis to live?   NO!  (Maggie and Wil shall take comfort in that thought)  But, what it might mean is more frequent trips to Minneapolis and, (here’s the fun part), maybe I will reclaim POP and use it freely and boldly…whether or not Wisconsinites have any idea of what I am saying.  😉   (I know, I like to rock the boat…..hee hee hee)

What makes you feel like home?

What gives you comfort, makes your heart sing?

How are you being called to include more of this in your life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

 

Posted in Being Human, Ponderings

Shaking My Fist at God – what to do when we are angry with God

When all the signs seem to be there for a particular outcome and the universe suddenly pulls the rug out from underneath us, what are we to do but shake our fists (or flip the bird) at God.


Today, I am mad as hell at God.  I feel a little (actually A LOT) like King David when he moaned, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Psalm 22).

All the signs were there (or at least I thought they were).  The house of my dreams.   I had given to the universe a “wish list” of what I wanted in a home for me and our children.  I knew the price range that I could afford.  I had minimal requirements of 3 bedrooms, a dining room, a living room and 1 – 1.5 baths.  Then I added my dreams:  hardwood floors throughout, an office on the main floor and hot water heat.  Then as I began perusing real estate listings last spring, this house seemed to rise right out of the mist, setting itself above all the other listing.  Then, when reading the details….you guessed it, my wish list:  a first floor office (which I intended to make into a meditation room/chapel), hot water heat, four bedrooms (yea, an office for me!) and as I later discovered – a place to add a second bathroom very easily AND hardwood floors throughout (underneath 50-year-old carpeting).  Then….all the other pieces began to fall into place:

The kids LOVE the house

It is not in the neighborhood I expected, but the kids were excited to be closer to the lake (Oshkosh is sandwiched between two large lakes and separated by a river that runs through the town)

The house needs work….and out of nowhere comes a contractor looking for a portfolio project who offers me a HIGHLY discounted labor rate to start his new business venture.

I end up qualifying for a mortgage (a miracle in and of itself)

Then here is the craziest miracle:  The house of my dreams has a bathroom that is in the craziest most indescribable shade of pink – toilet, sink, bathtub and tile – all this weird pink.  The sink is shot and I thought I would have to replace a sink and toilet…..when on a whim I stop in the local structural antique shop, Crescent Moon Antiques and they have THE EXACT SINK in perfect condition.  WHAT ARE THE ODDS????

It sure seemed as if this was supposed to be my house….the bonus is that this house would have allowed me to move my office into my home, saving $500.00 per month in overhead costs.   So, all that being said, here is why I’m ticked off at God:

God seemed to be giving me all the signs, seemed to be pointing me in the direction of this house and there seemed to be no other interested parties.  The road seemed to be made clear.  So, I put in an offer.  Then, out of nowhere swoops in three other offers.  AND……I LOST THE HOUSE.  I was (still am) devastated.  What the heck, God?  Now what am I supposed to do? Then add insult to injury, I finally had the courage to pull up my bootstraps and start looking at other houses.  WTH……The houses I looked at that are in my price range (interestingly…..houses prices in the same range as the one on which I placed and offer) SUCK!!!!   They are all dilapidated, run-down, condemnable houses.  YUK YUK YUK.  I came home yesterday after 2 hours of house tours, bawled my eyes out and slept for 3 hours (mind you, I’m also sick with a bad cold).

So today I am darn mad at God.  Did I read all the signs wrongly?  Was I just making it all up?  Am I nuts?  Why lead me along this path God only to pull the run out from beneath my feet?  Yeah, Yeah, I know…”it wasn’t meant to be….God must have something better in mind…it must not have been in my highest good…”  all the things I tell myself in my head and tell clients and students when faced with life’s challenges.  But you know what….I’m still dang mad!

I want that house and I want it now! (This is me doing my Veruca Salt dance!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU7nG3KvZDA

 

So, today I’m just going to be mad at God.   The good news is that God can take it.  Maybe in allowing myself to feel the disappointment and anger a place will be made where I can be open to whatever God has in store for me in this process.  In the meantime…I’m just mad and it might be a really good day to put on and jam out to “Ten Thousand Fists in the Air” by Disturbed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drTQaAaCeh0

 

What disappointments have you experienced in your own life that have made you feel angry with  God/the universe?

Have you allowed yourself space to feel that anger?

What healing did you experience as a result of allowing space for anger?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Discernment, Ponderings

Trying on Different Parts of Ourselves. Who Are You?

In today’s blog I will explore the human journey of self-discovery and the many things we try on and work toward integrating as we come to embrace more fully our most authentic self.


As a member of the Facebook community, I have recently had great fun discovering, posting and changing my  profile picture.  A friend recently inquired as to why I am posting pictures of Amy Grant, Kiera Knightly (as a sword-yielding warrior), Jami Gertz (as a vampire-in-training), Sandra Bullock (as a “witch”) and Wonder Woman instead of posting pictures of myself.   My friend wondered why I would want to be anybody other than Lauri Lumby.  While I’ve just been having fun with pictures, my friend’s question has caused me to pause and reflect on the possible deeper meaning behind this version of Facebook fun.  Of course, there is a deeper reason, and I think it is a reason that we can all relate to as we are compelled to seek, explore, discover and eventually embrace our highest and most true self.

Part of our journey of self-discovery includes trying on, experimenting and exploring different roles.  Who am I?  What are my passions?  What are my fears?  What are the parts of myself I’m comfortable sharing with the world?  What parts do I keep hidden?  In this experimenting and exploration, we find the parts that resonate with our truth (highest self) and are able to discard the parts that do not.  The goal of this journey of self-discovery, if we can really say there is a goal, is to find the parts of ourselves that are true and learn to embrace them and integrate them fully into our truest, highest self.  In the shamanic tradition,  this process if referred to as recapitulation.  In this process, we find all the parts of who we are and allow ourselves to be open to these parts  – warts and all!  Recapitulation includes the integration of our gifts, our strengths, our passions, our longings, our desires and our fears.  As a fully-integrated being, we are able to be present to all that we are and are able to stand securely within all that we are.  It is this journey of recapitulation that I realize I have been sharing with the Facebook world.

As I look specifically at the images I have chosen on Facebook to represent myself, I realize that each of these images portray a part of myself, along with a part of myself that I want to more fully embrace.  Amy Grant represents the part of me that is moved by music and song and wants to sing my praises to the Divine.  I am moved by her music, I love her voice and she’s beautiful inside and out.  I guess that is something I hope to be.  Kiera Knightly, plays the lode-tattooed, Celtic warrior princess, Gueneviere, in the movie King Arthur (which sucks, by the way…so don’t rent it!).  In this role, she plays the part of me that wants to wield a sword against injustice and against the inner and (perceived) outer obstacles that keep showing up on my path to embracing my highest self.  When I feel like I need to fight off my fears, compulsions, addictions, etc.  it is fun to imagine myself donning battle armor and face paint and taking up my sword of truth!   Jami Gertz, from the movie, Lost Boys, absolutely represents the part of me drawn to the seemingly darker side of the human journey – vampires, rockstars, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Alice Cooper…..all these reflect the parts of me that are hidden, dark, moody, brooding and somewhat neurotic.  Wonder Woman?  Come on….who doesn’t dream of being a superhero?  Beside, Wonder Woman is kick-ass cool and really hot!  Don’t all women aspire to don the leotard, red go-go boots, golden bracelets and golden lariat!?  Then there is Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic – one of my all-time favorite movies!!!!!  In this film, she represents the parts of me that are drawn to magic and mystery and the part of me that wants to learn how to embrace this as part of my everyday life.  Admittely, she also represents the parts of myself resistant to yet longing to be loved.  She represents the parts of me I feel are sometimes misunderstood and perceived as unconventional.  Of all the above-mentioned characters, Sandra Bullock as Sally perhaps most closely reflects my own journey of self-discovery.

Speaking of Practical Magic….one of the things I love about this movie is the way that it represents this human journey of self-discovery.  Beyond the magic and the mystery is a magnificent story of discovering, resisting, rediscovering, then learning how to embrace our gifts and our highest self.  In this movie, Sally (Sandra Bullock) embarks upon this journey of self-discovery as she is forced to acknowledge, explore and ultimately embrace the gifts that she has denied for most of her life.  In this journey of self-discovery, she breaks a family curse, saves her sister’s life, frees her children to fully embrace their own gifts, finds self-acceptance and love.  If this is what the journey of self-discovery brings and if it means trying on a few roles, ….then I say, BRING IT ON!

So for today, I invite you to reflect on your own journey of self-discovery.  Who do you want to be?  Who have you tried on?  What characters (fictional or otherwise) are you drawn to as you explore the world for the missing or not yet integrated parts of yourself?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.wordpress.com