Posted in Authentic Freedom, self-actualization

The Danger of Spiritual Bypass

There is a quote that has been attributed to Buddhism that I have found to be uncompromisingly true:

“What you resist will persist.”

In my own journey of self-actualization and in the 25 years I have accompanied and guided others through theirs, I have witnessed the proof of this. To this statement, I would further add:

“What you resist, avoid, ignore, suppress, repress, deny, try to escape, etc. will persist.”

As much as we might try, we cannot run from our demons.  That which we do not acknowledge and work on healing will find its way out sideways in non-loving and compulsive behaviors either toward ourselves or others.  That which we do not heal as a culture/world is doomed to repeat itself. In this repetition, the oppressed becomes the oppressor; the abused becomes the abuser; and we end up marrying our unhealed wounds. We cannot escape this truth and we don’t need to look very far to see the proof of it. Most often, the proof is as close as looking in the mirror.

At the center of the process of human development is the healing of our wounds.  By no effort of our own, that which is unhealed within us will make itself known for the purpose of being acknowledged and healed.  When we ignore those wounds, or refuse to do the work of healing them, they don’t go away.  Instead, they become magnified and compounded, making our journey even more difficult.  Our compulsions become addictions. Our guilt-driven conditioning becomes a cycle of self-loathing which we feed through a wide variety of means.  The places where we have felt rejected become a co-dependent drive to find someone (usually unhealthy) to love.

Ignoring, suppressing, repressing, denying our wounds only causes further harm.  As long as we are bypassing our pain, we are its prisoner.  We will never be free as human beings until we heal our wounds.

One of the great challenges to healing these wounds, however, are all the systems/programs/self-proclaimed teachers/conditioning that encourage distractions or denial over the gritty work of transformation.  “Get over it and move on.”  “Let it go.”  “Offer it up.” “Just keep busy:” “Think positive thoughts.” “Just be grateful.”  “It could be worse.” are all platitudes driven into us by systems that have failed to do their own healing and who are then projecting their unhealed wounds onto their followers.  Anything or anyone that tells us to ignore/deny/suppress/avoid our pain is detrimental to our emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing; and is thwarting our path to true freedom.

While complete freedom can never be fully attained, our Soul compels us to continually seek it out.  Confronting and transforming our wounds, and the conditioning that created them in the first place, is the only sure path to that freedom.  Anything that tells us otherwise is a lie.

 

To learn more about transforming unhealed wounds into freedom, check out our online course Authentic Freedom – the Hero’s Journey:

Posted in building the new world, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

An Upside-Down World

We are living in a truly upside-down world.  Everywhere I look I see division and heartbreak. People hating people.  People hating the planet. People hating themselves.

When did our world become a world of hate? Or perhaps it’s always been this way and only now, with the advent of the internet with its instant global information, are we seeing the underbelly of humanity as it has always been.  Are we doomed forever to be a species that places division and separation above all other human traits?  The very real fear, is that if we continue with all this hatred, we will soon find that we have destroyed ourselves.   Who will be left to tell the story of a species that destroyed itself and the world through all their hatred?

I’m not convinced, however, that destruction is our only fate. I have seen the good in humanity and believe that we can do better.  We can do soooooooooo much better.

While fear causes us to divide, humanity is also capable of great love. Everyday we are witness to this love – in the face of a parent as they hold their newborn child; in the hand of a caregiver reaching out to bind another’s wound, in the arms of a husband holding his beloved in their death, in the voice of the advocate who speaks out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.

I believe that Love is our natural state, whereas division and hatred are unnatural. The challenge is that for so many, fear was the environment in which they were raised, so division is what they learned. The key to healing humanity (and therefore our planet), is to heal the traumas that have caused us to divide. When we do this, there is quite naturally, more room for Love.

Healing these traumas and the fear that has caused us to divide is no easy task, but it can be done. I have done it myself, have guided hundreds to do this for themselves and have seen others find their own path to this healing. The resources available to support us in this healing are abundant – we need simply seek them out and we will find them.

The desire for healing and for creating more room for our natural state of Love is written in our DNA. We need simply pay attention to the restlessness, frustration, impatience, and longing that plague us and allow it to lead us. The Love that is our natural state will never steer us wrong.  Where is it leading us?  Back to our most natural and original selves. Back to Love.

Where is Love leading you?

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, self-actualization, shadow work, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

The Principles and Practices of Magdalene Mastery

While the world is busy chasing after shiny objects, Authentic Freedom Academy and the Order of the Magdalene focus their attention and intention on that which will remain.  Shiny objects are those things which provide temporary satisfaction, momentary titillation, and excitement.  Shiny objects make us feel good and might give us a thrill but the satisfaction never remains.  Human beings seek after shiny objects in an attempt to fill the emptiness and longing caused by the common human wound of separation.  Shiny objects, however, can never fill that void of separation.  The wound of division cannot be filled from something outside of us.  It can only be fulfilled from within.

Satisfying the longing and emptiness left behind by the wound of separation can only be fulfilled by healing that wound. Healing the wound of separation is only accomplished through a disciplined, persistent, practiced approach of identifying, healing and transforming our deepest and most stubborn wounds. The work of healing these wounds require courage, the willingness to be vulnerable, and most importantly, the ability to be honest with ourselves around the topic of our wounds and the ways in which our wounds might come out sideways in non-loving behavior toward ourselves or others.  With consistent attention to this work, we soon come to realize that we are the shiny object we’ve been looking for. In clearing away our wounds, past traumas, and the guilt heaped upon us through societal conditioning, we see the beauty, brilliance and magic of our true and most authentic self – that which we’ve been seeking all along.

At Authentic Freedom Academy and the Order of the Magdalene, we are not another one of those shiny objects that you might be tempted to entertain.  We are not about to blow smoke up your ass, or make you feel good about yourself by feeding your ego. Instead, we support you and help guide you through the tools and practices we have developed which will help you find satisfaction with yourself.  Finding yourself includes discovering your gifts, being empowered to develop, cultivate and share your gifts.  Finding yourself also includes the deep, often challenging and messy work of soul retrieval – identifying and clearing away the debris of past woundedness and the behaviors that arose out of these wounds so that only your true, original, and untainted self remains.  Here you will find the confidence to live your truth along with the inner power that will fuel you in your work.  Shiny object will always leave you unsatisfied.  With Magdalene Mastery, you will find deeply rooted fulfillment, enduring satisfaction, contentment, joy, and peace in your own personal sovereignty.

Mary Magdalene, Magdalene and Easter, Mary Magdalene and Jesus, Mary Magdalene and women's ordination

The Principles and Practices of Magdalene Mastery:

I. Commitment to a Spiritual Practice

II.  Mission and Purpose

Service to self and the world through the identification, nurturing and sharing of one’s unique gifts.

III. Dedication to Personal Development

Self-knowledge

Continuing study and exploration

IV. Shadow Work

Identifying and transforming unhealed wounds

Releasing trauma (personal and ancestral)

Undoing societal conditioning

V. Radical Personal Accountability

Ongoing exploration of wounds, triggers, etc.

Freedom from blame/victimhood

Vi. Empowerment through Love

Transcending Division to live in love.

Exercising compassion for self and others

Being Love in the world.

 

To learn more about our training programs in personal mastery, go HERE.

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, self-actualization, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, women

New Online Course: The Secret Teachings of the Holy Bride in Exile

The Secret Teachings of

The Holy Bride in Exile

Permission and support for those called to a more interior way of sacred living

Click on the image to learn more and register.

6 Lessons online and at your own pace: 

Mary Magdalene as the Bride in Exile

The Holy Bride in Exile in Mythology and Folklore

The Shekinah as The Bride in Exile

Personal Power Gained through Exile

The Promise of Provision in Exile

Creating and Being Your Own Temple

Learn more and register HERE. 

 

Genesis of this Course

The Holy Bride in Exile course has come about in both a logical and an illogical way. The logical includes almost thirty years of intensive study of the Magdalene, my own education and experience in scripture study, theology, religious history, human development, psychology, Christian and Jewish mysticism, etc. etc. etc.  Also logical are all the courses I’ve developed and facilitated including the Magdalene Priesthood training, the Order of Melchizedek Alchemist training, and my most recent courses on the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Mary Magdalene and the Path of the Holy Bride.  All of this work, and my own integration of these studies provided the framework out of which exploration of the Bride in Exile became possible.

The illogical is the lightening bolt that pierced through me while reading Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess. When I came upon Patai’s words, “The Holy Bride in Exile,” the whole world turned on its axis, everything stopped, and the downloads began.  It literally felt as if the top of my head had been opened up and someone/something was pouring awareness and knowledge into me. If this wasn’t exciting (terrifying) enough, what was being shown to me validated and affirmed a calling that has likely been present within me my whole life, but now had become increasingly urgent:

The call to a more interior way of sacred living.

 It is because I know I am not alone in this calling that I share this course with you.  This, I believe, is so much more than a course, it is:

Permission and Support

 for a way of living that has been lost in our society – one that was once valued (more on that later), but with the advent of the patriarchy, and more recently of capitalism, interior living has been cast aside as ridiculous, or at the very least, counter-cultural.

 

“Only crazy or morbidly depressed people would want to spend most of their time in solitary contemplation and study, moving slowly and gently upon this earth.”

 

The Holy Bride in Exile says otherwise.  Not only is the Holy Bride in Exile an ancient archetype, it is, I believe, a critical stage in the Soul development of those who are either called to exile as a way of living, or who find themselves in temporary states of exile as part of their Soul’s journey of unfolding.  Society needs its hermits for reasons that we will uncover in this course.

My greatest heart desire in sharing this journey with you is that you feel validated and affirmed in your own unique calling and that you discover the empowerment that is inherent in our times of exile.  Additionally, I hope that through this support you can harness the courage and strength to boldly live your interior life knowing that by doing so you are offering a powerful gift not only to yourself, but also to the world.

 

Learn more and register HERE. 

Posted in Inspiration, Magic, self-actualization, shadow work

Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain!

As I often say to my friends, “Every day is Halloween at the Lumby house!”  Halloween is my most favorite holiday and has been for as long as memory serves!  Last night my daughter asked me what I was going to dress up for today.  I replied, “I have no need to dress up.  I’m a witch every day.”  She implored me, “Don’t you have a black dress you can wear or something?”  To which I reminded her, “I do, but then I would just be dressing up as myself.”  THIS is how much Halloween is part of my bones.  In honor of this sacred day, I have shared a couple poems for the season.  Enjoy!   With love, Lauri.

Strange and Wonderful Creatures Like Me

Copyright 2013 Lauri Ann Lumby from  Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself

 

Fairies and dragons

Elves and trolls

Witches and goblins

Cinnamon rolls

Fairy Godmothers

Magic Wands

Pumpkins and broomsticks

Frogs in a pond

Vampires and Werewolves

Blood dripping fangs

Coffins and daggers

Doors that go Bang!

Clawfoot bathtubs

Cauldrons and fire

Potions that bubble

Swamp dripping mire

I love all things strange, dark and mysterious

Woodlands at midnight

Fullmoon?  DELIRIOUS!

The stranger the better

Families Munster and Addams

I’m sure I am one of them

Just call me “Black Madam”

On any day I’ll cast ye a spell

Put on a hex or

Ring a church bell.

If you are real and strange like me

I’ll see you at twilight ‘neath yonder Yew tree.

Which Witch is Witch?

Copyright 2016  Lauri Ann Lumby

 

Dark curling hair (or any color or style for that matter)

A piercing gaze

Seeing all the way through to your Soul.

At home in the world between worlds

And a bridge between the two.

Here to bring forth God’s will

As Embodiment of the Goddess.

Wisdom from the depths of infinity.

A prophetess, a seer, a priestess, teacher and healer.

A shit-disturber and changemaker.

Present at the thresholds of life and death.

Mistress of shadows.

Queen of the Underworld

– where Souls rest from what has been,

preparing for what is yet to be.

Survivor of the Inquisition and the Burning Times,

The Whore of Babylon

And the Virgin Queen of Heaven.

Much to patriarchy’s chagrin,

She cannot be destroyed.

She is here to stay.

In a world that now wonders which way to turn,

This Witch is which.

 

Posted in New World, self-actualization, world changes

Building the New World 2020 – Part 1

The tipping point has arrived!  Last Tuesday I was given a direct and urgent order:

 

Your time of being hospice to the dying world is complete. 

Now it is time to start building the new world!

 

With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no turning back.  Life as we have known it is OVER.  The old world is taking its last dying breath and the new world is emerging out of the ash of what will be left behind.

There will be those who will continue to look back at what has been and grasp for what they have known, but all that looking back will do nothing but turn them into a “pillar of salt.”  As Lot’s wife discovered, there can be no looking back.

For those of us who have spent lifetimes preparing and training for these times, WE ARE READY.  It is no longer our job to try to convince, coerce, or even beckon.  If the world hasn’t gotten it yet, and if this crisis doesn’t serve as a wake-up call, nothing ever will.  It is now our job to get busy using the gifts we’ve been given and which we have honed to perfection, to start building the new world.

 

We all have our own unique role in the new world building!

 

 

My role is “the same as it ever was.”  Through my gifts of encouragement, teaching, and discernment of spirits, I have created a process through which women and men are empowered to discover their unique giftedness, the mission and purpose in this life and how they are called to use their gifts for the sake of their own fulfillment and for the sake of the betterment of the world.  I then support them in getting out there and sharing their gifts by helping them overcome the fears that are keeping them from living out of their gifts. What I provide is what religion and psychology would have been doing all along if they weren’t stuck in a hierarchical model that puts one person in a position of (perceived) authority over another.  If there is any hierarchy in Authentic Freedom, it is me at the bottom, lifting you up!

 

In a sense, I am providing the foundational training for those called to build the new world.  Starting with the basic questions:

  • What are my gifts?
  • How will I find meaning and purpose in my life?
  • How am I called to use my gifts for the sake of my own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world?
  • What are the fears that are keeping me from living out of my gifts?
  • Where can I receive ongoing support in using my gifts? 

That final question is the new (not really) aspect to my part in building the new world.  Not only am I providing foundational training for those who are seeking to find their place in the new world.  I am here to provide ongoing support through an online community of women and men who are getting busy in building the new world through their own unique gifts.  The community platform offers ongoing spiritual support through online meditation gatherings, a weekly spiritual service and a monthly “Teacher’s Circle.”  The community members are then able to maintain an ongoing connection with each other through our very own private social network.  Unlike Facebook, there are no ads and here only love, respect and community abound.

 

A community of like-minded leaders working together in building the new world.

 

What would that look like?  It will look very similar to what monastic communities are supposed to be, but without the hierarchy, cloister, or externally imposed upon vows (chastity, celibacy and poverty).  Any vows you take are up to your own unique soul’s calling and how you are called to live in the world. In this community, you are also not required to have any particular belief system.  In fact, a diversity of beliefs are welcome.  Whether you lean toward Buddhism, paganism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jewish, Indigenous, or Atheism, all are welcome here.  We learn and grow through the inherent unity at the core of every single spiritual tradition.  All are welcome!

 

How You Can Get Involved

In the coming days, I will be launching the additional services that have long been needed to provide the invitation, guidance and support to empower people on their path of self-actualization and in the unique way they are called to build the new world.  In taking these steps, I am adding a few more bricks to the temple that is being called forth out of me – a temple not built by human hands.

 

Starting today, I will be offering a twice-weekly “Midday Meditation” that is FREE and available for all who wish to attend.  It will be available at 1:00 pm (central) on through Facebook Live on my Authentic Freedom Academy Facebook Page.  The meditations will be recorded and available for up to 24 hours after the event.

 

Wednesday, I have opened my March Teacher’s Circle for all levels of the Authentic Freedom membership.  This is where those can gather who have already been busy honing their gifts in support of the new world.  This is where as teachers and leaders we can gather for support.

 

Friday I am launching my weekly “Spiritual Service.”  This will be available for all levels of Authentic Freedom Membership via ZOOM.  The services will run from 1:00 – 2:30 pm central time and will include an inspirational reading, a lesson, meditation/mindfulness and discussion.  Think “church” only better.  These gatherings will be held weekly.

 

If you are interested in learning more about our memberships, please click HERE.

 

Also note that membership IS NOT required for those who simply want to enjoy the trainings I have created or who want to participate in the Midday Meditations on Facebook.  For those, you simply need to show up!

 

Doing what I can to help us together build a new world!

 

With love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Authentic Freedom Academy

www.authenticfreedom.love

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Boundaries, building the new world, Relationships, self-actualization, world changes

Boundaries While Under House Arrest

As an introvert, there is nothing I like better than being home.  Also, as an introvert, my preference is to be in my home alone.  There is nothing that frustrates me more than other people in my home getting on my nerves!  While I love the four days a week my children are here, I breathe a sigh of relief when they head to their dad’s so I can enjoy a few days home alone.  My home is my sanctuary and my refuge from an otherwise chaotic and noisy world.

ENTER PANDEMIC!

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, now we have no choice (if we have a spouse and/or children at home) but to share our space with others.  You think its bad when we all have activities and places we can go to outside the home?  What will things look like when we now have no place to go but to stay sequestered in our homes?  You’re right – WE WILL BE GETTING ON EACH OTHER’S NERVES.  Being stranded in our homes with nowhere to go is likely to bring out the worst in all of us.  We will be bored, restless, bored, did I say bored, and we will likely be feeling anxious about how long this will go on and how we will be paying our bills during this time of shut down.  Then there is the eternal worry about whether or not we can find toilet paper.  (rolling my eyeballs out of my head!)

Surviving House-Arrest

Here are a few tips to help us not kill each other as we are forced to share space:

  • OWN YOUR FEELINGS! You may be feeling anxious, worried, afraid, restless, bored, sad, depressed, paralyzed, or any other sort of uncomfortable feeling.  When we have the feelings and do not acknowledge and then tend to them, they tend to come out sideways.  It is more likely that we will lose our temper with our families over our own anxiety than because they did something wrong.  If you are feeling any of the aforementioned feelings, give yourself a time-out and tend to them.  If you need support in managing these feelings, do a quick search on my website and there is likely an article to help you through the pain.
  • HIDE WHEN YOU NEED TO! When in close quarters, it is natural to feel stifled or infringed upon.  When you are feeling the pressure of other people’s needs or simply because they are there, give yourself a time-out.  Go to your room.  Go for a walk.  Drive to the nearest nature preserve and enjoy some nature.  Do whatever you need to do to get away and train your family to allow it while also giving them permission to do the same.
  • SUPPORT YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS IN DOING #1 and #2. It has to start somewhere.  If you model these boundaries with your family members, you are also giving them the example to do this for themselves.  Some members of the family may not yet have the emotional intelligence to identify their feelings.  If they are acting out, it is more likely they are feeling one of the above feelings or need to give themselves a time-out.  Help them do this. As an introvert, I have spent my children’s lifetimes training them in these practices and now at ages 20 and 22 they get it.  They are good with their own self-care, and if not, I gently remind them.
  • GET COMFORTABLE WITH SIMPLY BEING. This is a tough one in a world that has trained us only for DOING.  Likely one of the reasons we are experiencing this pandemic is to remind us the value of BEING. Get comfortable with DOING NOTHING.  Resist the temptation to filling your time with activity (trust me, we will soon run out of activities to do).  Read a book.  Sit in silence.  Grab a coloring book and color (even if it’s old ones left over from when your kids were little).  Listen to music.  Take a walk in nature.  Or just do nothing.  Help your family members learn how to do the same.  Maybe even schedule (if you are a person who thrives on routine like I do) DOWN time for your family.  Time when everyone can retreat to their own spaces and just be quiet.
  • GET TO KNOW YOUR FAMILY. Yeah, we all know each other, but do we REALLY know each other?  Do you know your partner or children’s temperaments?  Do you know their preferences?  What is their number on the Enneagram or their Myers-Briggs personality type?  How do they get their energy? How do they process information?  What is their learning style?  Are they intuitive or a thinker?  Extroverted or Introverted?  Knowing these things about ourselves and our loved ones helps us to understand and support them in meeting their needs.  For example, I know that my son is more extroverted than I am and that he thrives on trying new things.  He is easily bored and needs regular physical and competitive outlets.  Knowing this about him has helped me to support him in getting what he needs.  My daughter on the other hand, is routine driven, introverted and slow to make change.  She is adaptable but doesn’t like surprises. These are all bits of knowledge that will help us manage social=distancing, the shutting down of our normal activities and being home together under one roof.

If you are in need of specific support for any one of the above, I am available.  Just email me at lauri@authenticfreedom.love and tell me how you are struggling. From that I will recommend some resources that might be of further and more specific support, including my own online courses, one-on-one mentoring and online community.

 

Hang in there.  You are not alone.  We are all in this together!

 

With love,

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Authentic Freedom Academy

 

Posted in Monastic Living, self-actualization

Welcome to My Monastic Life

My whole life I have been restless – longing and searching for more.  Typically, that “more” meant something other than what I was currently experiencing.  My mom recently reminded me that I was always looking for that next opportunity, next goal, next degree, next job, next relationship.  I was rarely, if ever, satisfied with what was right in front of me, I was always looking for that “something new” that must be right around the corner.  This searching did not arise out of boredom with the status quo – in fact, as one who thrives on order and routine, status quo has always provided me with a sense of comfort.  But still, my heart was restless.  Where was that satisfaction that my Soul longed for and relentlessly searched after?

The good news is that my searching has not been in vain.  Everything I have explored, searched after, studied, discerned, discarded or applied has been food for the searching.  Every place I landed (albeit temporarily) showed me a part of my Soul and provided me with tools which have proven, not only helpful but life-giving in the great search.  What I had begun to suspect a few years back and which I have now come to understand fully, it was not anything outside of me for which I was searching.

This whole entire time I was only searching for one thing and that one thing is MYSELF.

Nimue – original art by Lauri Ann Lumby

Lauri Ann Lumby.  Thriving in order and routine.  An Introvert who likes people and who cherishes intimate friendships.  Creative yet also logical and reasoning.  Outwardly appearing aloof while harboring deep, deep, deep feelings. Highly, highly, highly intuitive (some might even suggest psychic). Hungry for knowledge – specifically of a spiritual nature.  Enjoys a quiet, gentle, ease-filled flow to life.  Repelled by conflict or competition.  Enforcing hard-core boundaries for the sake of self-care.  Recoils from entanglements and anything smelling of co-dependency or manipulation.  A vessel of kindness and support, insight and wisdom.  Yearning for a world where we can all just get along and where people can remember that we are all one.

This is me.  I have also learned (something I’ve actually known all along) that knowing myself isn’t enough.  What this search has also led me to understand is what MYSELF needs to thrive.  It is not and has never been what our culture keeps trying to sell us – work hard, get a job, make lots of money, buy lots of things, invest your money, save your money, buy cool things with your money, be famous.  You can imagine the inner conflict I’ve been feeling all these years with the world and my Soul constantly fighting for my attention.

No more.  Now I get it and I am living it.  I have set down my conditioned desire for wealth, power, fame and success (as it is defined in our capitalistic culture).  Instead, I am embracing what my Soul needs – a monastic kind of life. But what does that mean in 2019 for a 54 year old divorced mother of two?  The answer to this question has come from living INTO the question – asking my Soul what it needs from moment to moment and doing my best to deliver.

Yesterday, I had the perfect monastic kind of day – one that filled my Soul!  It looked like this:

  • 6 am wake up.
  • Meditation
  • Breakfast and coffee
  • Check emails and Facebook for messages.
  • Upload two additional lessons to my Order of Melchizedek Level 6 training.
  • Draw.
  • Make a healthy, nourishing lunch.
  • Get a massage.
  • Come home, do dishes and clean for my evening class.
  • Shower.
  • Draw some more while enjoying coffee and a few Fig cookies.
  • Eat a light dinner.
  • Prep my class.
  • Transfer money from my Paypal account (yay….I love getting paid to “do nothing”) into my checking.
  • Pay a couple bills.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes
  • Welcome my guests for a 6:30 class.
  • Watch Dark Crystal on Netflix while enjoying a glass of wine.
  • 9:00 bedtime.

 

Easy day.  Easy flow.  The perfect blend of being and doing and only “doing” that which came forth out of my being.  Hurray!

Today is much of the same.  The only difference will be grocery shopping, a stop at the bank and my job at the ballet studio (chop wood and carry water while also getting my necessary outside of my home people interaction).

In embracing my monastic spirit and making a commitment to it in my daily life, I am indeed finding “heaven on earth.”  Yes there will still be conflict.  Yes, there will still be anxiety and stress.  Yes, I am spending a fair amount of my time alone – which actually fits my temperament.  No, my life is not complicit with what a capitalistic culture requires of us.  No, I don’t have any of the things our culture says we must have.  I don’t own a home.  I don’t have any savings or investments.  I own the simple furnishings and artwork (much of it I have done myself) that are in my home.  Much of what I own came to me second-hand, including the clothes on my back.  It is a simple life.  It is counter cultural.  And it is founded on and established in one thing:

My relationship with MYSELF and my relationship with that which some call “God.” 

 

Everything else springs forth out of and revolves around this simple goal – to be One within Myself and therefore One with God and One with everything that is.

It is here that we find true contentment and peace.

 

If the monastic life speaks to your Soul’s yearning, follow my daily posts on Facebook and Instagram.  If you are looking for connection with others walking a similar path, consider becoming a member of our growing community. All are welcome.

Posted in self-actualization

Emptying Some More

There are many times throughout our journey home to ourselves (self-actualization) where our lives are completely re-aligned.  This re-alignment begins on the day we are born in the moment we are expelled from the comfort of our mother’s womb into the cold, often cruel, world.  No longer are all our needs continually met unbidden, we have to make people aware of our needs with no words to express them.  As we find our way through infancy and childhood, every moment is a re-alignment – a constant exploration and learning of how to be and who to be in this world.  The re-alignments continue as we graduate childhood and become students, when we move from the routine of grade school into the hormone infested chaos of middle school, and from there into the segmented atmosphere of high school – defined by social groups and activities.  From there we move to the job world or college, to love and marriage, parenthood, etc. etc. etc.  At certain steps along the journey a complete overhaul is required.

Finding our way home to ourselves is no different. The past several years for me has been one letting go and emptying after another.  Just as I think I have emptied enough, the Universe presents another opportunity/invitation/command.  (It’s really more of a command.  I have discovered in this journey toward Self that we really don’t have a choice.  If we are serious about our commitment to Self/Soul, freewill isn’t really an option.  It’s more of a do or die.)  I find that I am facing another one of these commands.

When I proclaimed to the world my commitment to my monastic self, I thought (how silly of me) “Ok we’re good.”  I figured it was simply a matter of living into the monastic-ish lifestyle that has been beckoning me.  Hah!  Just as we think we have things figured out, God/Goddess laughs.  Instead, I find that not only am I living into the question of what a monastic life looks like to me, I am also witnessing the further falling away of everything I thought myself to be and every role/offering I thought I had to share with the world.   For the past several months, my students have been falling away left and right. I have few clients to speak of.  The membership options I launched on my site are not thriving in the way I hoped they would.  Etc. etc. etc.

To add insult to injury, as a normally prolific writer and creator, my creative inspiration seems to be dried up.  I have four creative projects staring me in the face – one with somewhat of a deadline.  They are all standing there looking at me waiting for some movement but I got nothin.  Zilch.  Nadda.  Nothin.  Not one spark of inspiration to get these things done and bring them into fruition.  Nothin.

Old Lauri would have worried and fretted about the “looming deadlines” and the (seemingly) ever-decreasing income stream.  Even more, I would have worried about having nothing “to do.”  Instead, I know this is simply more of the movement toward Self.  As Jesus modeled for us and the ancient mystics further demonstrated, the intent and purpose of the spiritual journey is to be made empty so that we might be filled by God.  The journey home to ourselves, is ultimately about returning to Source – God, Love, Truth, Ain-Sof (No-thing), the Void, Allah, Brahma, Sophia, Shekinah, Abba, Amma,  – whatever name/image/form/formlessness you want to give it.  The human journey is all about Source calling us home to our true nature which can only be accomplished in an emptying of ourselves.

At this point in my journey I know better than to resist the call of the Soul.  Those things that are falling away are doing so to create space for something even more amazing, life-giving and fulfilling.  I have absolutely no idea what that might be, but I am open to receive and getting out of my own way so the Divine can make its home in me.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Inspiration, self-actualization

Coming Home (to ourselves)

Since giving myself permission to embrace the monastic lifestyle that has been calling to my Soul, some interesting things have happened.  In short, I have never in my life felt so secure in myself.  I feel content, grounded and whole.  It is as if every scattered part of myself, every fragmented part of me has been drawn into wholeness. It seems that the decision to embrace my own unique form of monasticism created a magnet that simply drew every part of me into a state of wholeness within myself.  In making this commitment to myself, I have come home – home to myself.

Home.

Coming home (to myself) came about through the simple and singular act of permission.  After 54 years of struggle, I gave myself permission to BE who I have always meant to and yearned to be.  With that, all the struggle simply fell away.  It is obvious to me that the 54 previous years has been a constant leading toward and unfolding of this simple, inevitable moment of permission.  Everything I have done; all I have been through and every single tool and practice I gathered along the way provided the support I needed to acknowledge and accept this calling in a world that would have me doing everything but.

In a world where we have no models or examples of regular, ordinary, working folk embracing a monastic lifestyle, it is a commitment we must live into.  What does it mean to be monastic in the regular ordinary world?  For non-religious, non-vowed women and men, the answer will be unique to each individual.  For me, the answers come only in the moment, in each decision I make about how to spend my time.

As one who thrives on structure, I find comfort in the daily actions that reflect my Soul’s calling – morning meditation, yoga, time for reading and study, time to create, time to interact one-on-one with my spiritual friends (who I consider family), and time for work.  As I create time and space for these activities of BEING, I am finding the fruits of this permission-giving.  Time expands and I can accomplish tasks that I would normally procrastinate.  Joy steps in and makes itself a home.  Miracles happen and connections are made.  In giving myself permission to live my Soul’s own unique rhythm, a quiet and gentle flow has entered my life.

I love it.

That is not to say that the journey has been easy or that there won’t be consequences to the permission I am giving myself.  I have worked very hard to move through my fears, anxieties, unhealed wounds and societal conditioning to arrive at this place.  I had to set aside our societal dreams of fame, wealth, and success (as it is defined in our culture).  I have had to find a way to live as the working poor.  I have no savings and no investments.  I own nothing except the car I am slowly paying off. If these pronouncements make you feel uncomfortable – you understand what I have been up against in arriving at the calling of my Soul.  I have also been single and have had to learn how to be alone without being lonely.  In this, I have discovered contentment in my own company.  Who knew?

As for the consequences – these are for others to suffer.  Because of the commitment I have made to myself, I find that I have to say “no” more often then I previously have.  I already had pretty good boundaries, but now they are even more secure.  Many will not understand the container I am creating for myself and will take my no’s personally.  Some will then have to make me the enemy for caring for myself instead of bending to their will.  When we live in a culture that says it is our job to make other people happy and that everyone else’s needs are more important than our own, when we say yes to ourselves, and no to others, we are challenging the cultural norm and the conditioning in which many still live.  I have already experienced the clearing of relationships that happens when we choose ourselves.  Some would find this sad. What I have found instead, is that those who remain are closer and more intimate. There is a naked honesty, transparency and vulnerability that emerges because in each other’s gaze, we have nothing left to hide for the simple reason that we are no longer hiding from ourselves.

 

What would happen if you stopped hiding from yourself and gave yourself permission to live the life your Soul yearns for?