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

Reclaiming the Esoteric Priesthood

The Patriarchal/Hierarchical Priestess?

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

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

Trying to Remember What Has Been Forgotten

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

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

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

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

Posted in Inspiration, Mystics, New World, self-actualization, world changes

Where Do We Fit?

I find myself moving through an incredibly deep transformation.  I am taking a risk and sharing this with vulnerability and transparency in the event it might speak to you on some level.

I have to say that transformation is not quite the right word for what I feel is happening.  It is more like an unfolding….or a remembering…..or perhaps a reclaiming.  In this it feels as if I am birthing a new world for me and through me.  (if the bloated feeling in my belly is any indication, this new world is ENORMOUS  J  ).

In this unfolding/birthing, I am coming more and more in contact with this plain and simple truth:

I was not made for the 3d world. 

What do I mean by that?  I mean that none of the things that are valued in our externally focused world have value to me:

Money, fame, power, status, material possessions, driving, striving, achieving.

None of it.

As it relates to relationship: I am not looking for someone to complete me. Neither am I interested in partnership simply for the sake of having an “other,” or to fill a void because I’m afraid of or uncomfortable with being alone. What the 3d world offers in the way of relationship is simply not for me – there is something bigger and better that has been planted in my Soul and I will settle for nothing less.

In short, I have never felt at home in a world that values the externals and pressures us to seek after something “out there” for fulfillment.  Neither have I felt at home with all the things we are expected to “do” to achieve these external goals.

The goals of this world are not my goals, and I’m tired from 54 years of trying to fit into a world or find acceptance in a world where I do not belong.

I often feel like I came here from somewhere else and someone forgot to pack my survival suit. But more importantly (or perhaps more accurately):

I sometimes wonder if I’m here – not to fit into this world but to birth something new in its place – if not for the world, at the very least for myself.  Because if there is one thing I do know it is that birthing a new world begins by birthing a new world for ourselves. Others can play along if they want to – but that is up to them.  The other truth is that the only thing that truly matters is what we do for ourselves.  If we can’t do it for ourselves, then 1) how can we expect others to and 2) if not for our own work, how will others know what is truly possible?

So here’s the crazy idea……if I could birth any kind of world through me, if I could live in any kind of world, what would it look like?

For me, this world begins with my Divine calling.  (and maybe birthing this world IS my calling).

I have come to understand that my Divine mission and calling is LOVE and that there are many ways in which I live out that calling.

  • Just by being me. I see this most when I am “out and about” – going to yoga, grocery shopping, running errands, picking up my daily coffee at the New Moon.  I smile and am kind to the people I meet.  I strike up friendly conversations when appropriate.  I perform little niceties like bringing a local business owner a cup of coffee “just because” and sharing posts and endorsements about local businesses when I have a chance.   I have seen evidence that just being me has a positive impact on the people I meet.
  • Being a Mother. That part is easy. My kids are amazing and all I had to do is love them, see them for who they are and support them in being that. I feel like the luckiest mom on the planet to have been given two such amazing humans to love and I am more and more in awe of them every single day!
  • The public stuff. My website, blog, books, online classes, etc.  All of this is me being me and sharing my gifts in the world.
  • The secret stuff. This is the piece that is becoming more and more apparent and more and more urgent and persistent.  My daily meditation practice – that’s obvious.  What’s not obvious is the deeply healing and transformational work I have been doing for the world – but for which I have not given myself ANY credit.  This is the work that takes me off my feet and sometimes lays me out. Those days where I am feeling and bearing the weight of the world – not because I’m thinking about it, but because it has made a home in me.  The days my whole body hurts, my ears are ringing and I’m dizzy from what in the world is asking to be transformed through me.  The unexplained migraines, full body pain, emotions that are not my own, fatigue, exhaustion….the list of symptoms goes on and on and one but there is one thing that has become increasingly clear:

There is no medical reason for the symptoms I am experiencing.  This is the YUK of the world seeking healing, transformation and release; and I am one of those called to support that healing. If you are reading this, you might be one as well.

Birthing this new world for and through myself means honoring who I am called to be and what I am called to do as holy, sacred and of value and creating the space in which all of this can be. This will be no small task as the 3d world has no space for any of what I am bringing forth. It is for this reason that it feels to me as if I am birthing a new world – to bring forth who I am and what I am called to do, there needs to be a world to receive and support that.  It seems that as I am called to more fully birth myself I am also birthing the world in which I fit.

Weird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Empowerment, self-actualization

Only for the Serious Student

If you’re here looking for shiny objects, or for me to make false promises of happiness, riches, wealth, fame, then please move along. No shiny objects here.  The work I do and I offer here for you is only for those who are truly serious about:

Coming to know themselves.

and being freed of the inner obstacles to living that truth.

This work is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. It also does not happen without your commitment, persistence, determination, courage and resilience.  This is the difficult and challenging work of peeling back all the layers of woundedness, fears, false perceptions, ego attachments and societal conditioning that for years (if not lifetimes) have held you back from fulfilling your Soul’s purpose on this plane.  Until we discover and support ourselves in living that purpose we will “live a life of quiet desperation,” forever searching for that something outside of ourselves that will make us feel whole, complete, peaceful and content (money, our soulmate, fame, power, money, the house, the car, the purse, etc. etc. etc.).

The difficult truth that our society doesn’t want us to know is that the satisfaction to this desperate longing is not to be found outside of us. It can only be found within.  This is the truth discovered by some of history’s greatest spiritual teachers – Moses, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mohammad, the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Amma, etc.  This is the truth I support you in discovering and embodying within yourself – that place where you will know your truth – the truth that sets you free.

While this work is not for the faint of heart, my purpose in sharing this work is to support you on that journey. To provide the guidance, comfort, support, you need to complete this task.  I won’t do the work for you, but I will support you in doing this work and help you to move through the inner obstacles that might tempt you away from the only task that matters – coming to know yourself and living from that place of self-knowledge.  Only in knowing ourselves and our highest truth are we able to find contentment, peace, joy and fulfillment in the human journey.  It is for this very reason we chose to be human in the first place – so that we might come to know who we are.

While this work is not for the vain, I will further support you in knowing that those who come to this work and complete it are rare. As this morning’s scripture reflects:

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony.  Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. John 3: 31-34

The gospel writer is referring to Jesus in this passage – one of the great spiritual teachers who came to know this truth. Who fulfilled his Soul’s purpose by coming to know himself and living that truth to its fullest.  The truth Jesus came to know was the truth of Oneness – that all are One in our Divine Source and that when we embody this truth in our human experiences, we find peace.  Jesus then went out to teach others how to experience this Oneness and in doing so, finding their own truth.

But Jesus did not make earthly promises. He didn’t promise riches, fame or power.  Instead, he spoke of “heavenly” things.  And very few listened.  As those who truly heard Jesus’ word and fulfilled it in their own life were rare – so shall you be.

If you’re looking for shiny objects, please move along. But if you are serious about the task of knowing yourself and living that to its fullest, here you will find welcome and support.

 

Posted in priestess training, self-actualization, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

A New/Original Vision of Priesthood

For the past 2000-5000 years, priesthood (across religions) has meant one thing: a position of power and authority held by men acting as an intermediary between the undeserving flock and their god. These men have been given themselves the power to interpret the word of their god and to dictate doctrine around their interpretation of that word.  They have appointed themselves determiners of who is saved and who is not and have created rituals and practices to be practiced by the undeserving so that they might earn the “love” of a jealous and fickle god and therefore their heavenly reward after death.  These men have used the threat of eternal damnation to manipulate those they “serve” and have benefitted from a culture based in fear. These men have been held as separate, more important and more powerful than the people they “serve” and have benefitted from this separation, given places of honor and becoming rich on the backs of those who are expected to pay, pray and obey.

Whereas not every man who has followed the call to be “priest” (or woman who has taken on this kind of priesthood) has lived their priesthood in this way, all are complicit in a culture and a structure that places one in a position of power over those they are meant to serve. The current structure of the priesthood – especially as it is expressed in the Catholic Church in which I was raised, is a culture of (often white) privilege rooted in separation lived out through power and control.  I can’t help but believe that this is not what Jesus had in mind.  In fact, it seemed that Jesus spoke openly against those who placed themselves in positions of authority and who lauded their power over others.  Instead, Jesus provided a completely different model of what priesthood might be which seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.

In order to understand the kind of priesthood that Jesus lived and then modeled for those who spent time in his company, we don’t have to look very far. Scripture is quite clear about the priesthood that Jesus embodied – one of healing, comforting, teaching and empowering with Jesus hanging out, not at the top of the pyramid, but at the bottom of an inverted triangle upholding and uplifting those he sought to serve.  In this, Jesus created a container in which those to whom he ministered might be supported in doing what Jesus did – coming to know themselves as One with God in love, and in this oneness coming to know their own unique giftedness and then supported and empowered in the development of and then sharing of these gifts – for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.

This is the priesthood that Jesus embodied and the priesthood that Mary Magdalene was empowered to embrace. When we turn to those scriptures that didn’t make the cut of the emerging hierarchical/patriarchal institution that became Christianity, we clearly see Mary in this role:  comforting, healing, teaching and empowering the other disciples to go forth and continue the work that Jesus empowered them to do.  In this, Mary was living not as a priest within an institutional church, but as High Priest in the spirit of the ancient tradition of mystery schools which served to support women and men in achieving the fullness of their personal, psychological, emotional and spiritual development.  In short, Mary, like Jesus, did the work to support what modern-day psychologists call self-actualization.

What would our world look like if we lived priesthood in this way – coming to know our own self-actualization and then empowering others to do the same?

 

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

Posted in About Lauri, building the new world, End of the World Prophecies, self-actualization, spiritual gifts, world changes

The Weight of Responsibility

As a first-born, Capricorn and recovering perfectionist, responsibility has always been my middle name. Whether imposed upon me (by command or circumstance) or simply chosen because it’s who I am; I have always been “the responsible” one.  Lauri can be counted on.  Lauri is honest.  Lauri has integrity.  Lauri is strong, courageous, a hard worker, efficient, and gets things done.  Lauri takes good care of others.  Lauri is responsible.  I would agree that all of this is true most of the time.  But there is a whole other layer of responsibility that I have felt beyond the day to day “getting things done.”  This is a worldly/cosmic/universal/ responsibility that I have never been able to give words to – until now.

This morning, on The Cosmic Path (www.thecosmicpath.com) this was offered as this week’s Capricorn horoscope:

There’s a huge planetary cluster of planets transiting your sign, and it’s the scene of the manifesting entry into the new order. What that means for you is that you are carrying within your energy field all the properties and archetypal energies that can truly deliver us all to the new Golden Age. It will take a good two years for all of this energy to produce the physical reality it is designed to bring forth, and just about every last one of the planets partaking of this grouping now will remain here for the duration. That means, put very simply, you know something huge is happening to you, and it’s absolutely positively futile to try and define something so vast and so unprecedented. You’ll have to stand back and watch it unfold like the rest of us, even though its manifesting in you.

 

Ummmmmm……Ohhhhhhhkaaaaayyyyyy! In one small paragraph Stephanie Azaria describes EXACTLY the weight I have felt my whole entire life.  I’m not here to have a normal Human 1.0 life.  I’m here to birth something new and it is actually birthing THROUGH me.  Holy Crap!

Now, before you accuse me of being all up in my ego for even believing such a thing….I can most certainly attest that this weight I have been feeling has absolutely nothing to do with ego. In fact, I just as soon join the rest of the world on the planet of denial, peacefully making love to my tonic and gin while discussing the latest fashion trends, than having to show up as a vehicle through which a new world is waiting to be born!  Even if said gin and tonic opportunities had ever come my way (which they HAVE NOT), I would not have been able to, and doubt I could choose them now.  Because EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to choose a “normal life” (you know:  normal job, normal relationships, normal life), it is absolutely and without a doubt refused to me.  And believe me….I have tried.  After 100 “real job” applications and not even getting a single phone call, I have surrendered.  After 100 dating sites and nothing but absolute epic fails, again, I quit.  I do not get a “normal life.”  Instead, it seems I have no choice but to continue slogging away at what I do best which is just being Lauri while helping people discover the love they are so that together we can create a new world.

But it is not nearly as simple as that! First off, I’m not getting rich doing this work. In fact, I’m filing bankruptcy while still wondering how I’m going to pay my basic bills this month…….all that while working 3 jobs! (3 if you include parenting which I most certainly do!) Second off, there is NO security in this work.  Human beings are fickle, and few really want to invest in themselves and fewer-still want to continue that investment if it means work.  Everyone wants the shiny object, the “feel good” yoo-rah-rah event or workshop, but very few want to do the hard work. And believe me, the task of healing our fears so that we can know love is HARD AS HELL.  (Isn’t that a great metaphor….for in a sense, we are transforming the hell in which we are living while bringing forth from within us heaven on earth – BOOM!)  Even fewer are willing to give up their attachments to what they know so that they can enjoy the only true freedom which comes from within.  So yeah….exactly why at the end of Jesus’ ministry there were only a few – Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, Joseph of Arimathea, John the Beloved Disciple, Salome, and a couple other women.  The rest couldn’t handle the most difficult part of the journey which is DEATH. The death of what they had known so as to make room for something new.

And yet, this is EXACTLY what is happening, but now on an EPIC scale. Our world cannot continue if things remain as they are.  At the rate we are currently going, we will destroy ourselves – if the planet doesn’t do it to us first.  (For the record – the Earth always wins!  She will take back what is hers if we can’t learn how to care for it.  We are supposed to be the stewards of the earth….not its conquerors. )  And if it isn’t the planet we are destroying, it is ourselves.  As the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer and as the middle class is quickly disappearing; as violence increases, wars on every continent, our children choosing death by suicide, etc. etc. etc. our world is imploding upon itself.   Those who are not benefitting from the current model based in fear, power and control, are longing for something else.  But the change we are longing for is NOT going to come from the top.  It will not come from those in power or from those who are reaping the rewards of a people oppressed.  Instead, it has to come from us – and that change can ONLY come from within.

And this is what I do. Every single day – first for myself – and then for others, I am helping us find ways to transform the fears that cause us to act in non-loving ways toward ourselves, toward each other and toward our planet and am turning those fears into love.  It is that simple, and yet it is also that profound.  The cost of this work is everything that is not in harmony with love – and for some that is a great price.  I know this because of what I have personally given up for the sake of that love.  But even as I stare (financial) death in the face, I can say it has been totally worth it because while there is much I have lost, there is even more that I have gained – and that is my SOUL. I know who I am.  I know what my Soul needs and wants.  Most of the time I am content and I feel at peace.  And most importantly – I know how to love – big, deep, and true.

But even with this, my work is not complete for there are still millions of human beings ACHING for something more. Today I understand that the “something more” is love and until the world knows this love, my Soul will never be satisfied.  THIS is the weight of the responsibility I have felt, perhaps since the day I was born.  Thank you Stephanie Azaria for giving words to what I could not, but have known full well in my heart!

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, priestess training, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation

From Religious Cult to Spiritual Liberation – a Testimonial

I received this powerful testimonial from one of the women who recently completed the full Magdalene Priestess Training and in doing so, received her second ordination.  Thank you Carol K. for your beautiful words and most importantly, for sharing your beautiful Soul with all those who have journeyed through this process with you.  Love, Lauri

 

After escaping a religious cult (and navigating my way through a spiritual and emotional breakdown), I decided to re-enter the online spiritual community. I knew that my beliefs could best be described as “Gnostic” or “heretical” (still are). Lauri Lumby’s Magdalene mini-course was the first thing I stumbled upon, via Motherhouse of the Goddess.

I’d read books on Mary Magdalene and alternative gospels by Starhawk, Elaine Pagels, and Margaret Starbird and agreed there was much more to the story.

What I didn’t expect was the open honesty pouring out of the various students. Not to mention the gentle guidance and affirmations from Lauri herself. A far cry from my previous experience with that other group, where my visions and interpretations were all shot down as products of my own ego, rather than coming from Spirit.

I think I’ve taken just about every course taught by Lauri, except those in the Order of Melchizidek. I recently completed my second ordination within the Magdalene Priestesshood.

Lauri always encourages students to find their truth. No pressure. No dogma. Because of her, I am exploring avenues I never thought would be possible for me. I’m even exploring the possibility of teaching a course myself. I am seeing more options open themselves up to me as I become more empowered in .y gifts. Thank you so much, Lauri, for helping me find my true worth!

Carol K.

Magdalene Priestess Training Course
Learn more about the Magdalene Priestess Training here.
Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, shame, sin, spiritual awakening

Eve’s Serpent – the Voice of the Soul

When Eve appeared to me in the early hours of Saturday morning, she arrived with her companion. This companion, I was told, represented the tools of her trade.

If Eve’s true nature is that of Awakener,

then the tools of her trade are all the ways in which the Soul seeks to be known.

In scriptural literature, this companion was given the form of the serpent and has been cast into the role of demon for luring the original humans into disobedience, thereby causing the “original sin” which forever cast human beings into a life of suffering.

The story of humanity’s “fall” is a myth. Plain and simple, it is a story which attempts to explain the nature of the human condition, while also acknowledging a deep, ancient memory of something more. It is unfortunate that when forming its doctrine, the Christian church chose to use this story as a weapon against humanity – shaming us into believing there is something inherently disordered about us and that life was about seeking approval and forgiveness for “sins” that are not even our own.  Even Jesus, it seemed, could not undo the cause of this “original sin.”  Sigh!

Let’s return to the serpent. In yesterday’s lesson, I spoke of the true nature of Eve as a metaphor for the human calling to awaken – to awaken out of our fearful nature and into the truth of our Soul.  This is what Eve metaphorically did when she chose to eat of the tree of knowledge – her eyes were open and now she could see as the “gods” and was given the ability to reason, discern and exercise her truth.  But before she could awaken, Eve had to hear the voice of her Soul.  The serpent represents that voice.

As I have described in many lessons in both my local and online courses:

Soul is the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and the way in which you are called to find fulfillment in service to the betterment of the world. Soul is our true self – the part of us that knows our gift and our call, and is that which compels us to seek out, discover, cultivate and nurture these gifts and this call, empowering us to share our gifts in service to the world.

-Lauri Ann Lumby

 

It is the voice of the Soul that we are here to hear and abide. It is only in listening to the voice of our Soul that we are able to fulfill our purpose for being on this human plane.  It is through the Soul that we are able to discover our unique giftedness, nurture and cultivate these gifts and then find out how we are called to share these gifts – first for the sake of our own fulfillment and second in service to the betterment of the world.  This is why we are here and it is the gentle (and sometimes forceful) whisperings of the Soul that set us forth on that journey.

The Serpent is that voice. The ancients knew this and honored the serpent as the image of the human journey toward self-actualization.  The serpent was representative of knowledge and wisdom and called humanity into its fullness.  It was only the patriarchy who stripped the serpent of its rightful place as teacher and guide – because in order to rule, authority had to be placed outside of us and in the hands of the hierarchy.  With the serpent, authority resides within – as is attested by all the ancient traditions that use the serpent as the symbol of humanity’s journey of awakening to Soul and bringing that Soul into form – the Kabbalah, the Chakra system, the Kundalini of the Yoga traditions, the ancient alchemical symbol of the caduceus – and even Moses’ staff.

The serpent has long been a symbol for human awakening and a representation of the voice and force of the Soul. Isn’t it time we reclaim it as such?

 

For support in awakening to and fulfilling the path of your Soul, check out our Magdalene Priestess Training and the Authentic Freedom Leadership Training for Men.

 

Posted in self-actualization, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

#ChoosingLove Online Courses for Your Self-Care

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy, offers stand alone, online and e-courses along with complete online training programs.

You can find a full listing of Lauri’s courses by clicking the image below:

Authentic Freedom Academy

Or see individual course listings below:

 

Meditation and Prayer

meditation, creative mind, active mind, meditation practices

 

 

 

 

Life Stages

mother wound, mothers and daughters, healing the mother wound, healing, inner child, childhood woundsmidlife, menopause, perimenopause, midlife crisis

 

 

 

 

Healing Religious Wounds

Healing Our Religious WoundsDiscovering the Goddess through Biblical Women

 

 

 

 

Guided Meditations

 

 

 

 

Shadow Work

gwyn ap nudd, celtic god, Lord of the Underworld, Welsh god, shadow work, shadow, initiationSpiritual Healing - Healing Demons

Posted in Authentic Freedom, self-actualization

Strong of Heart

The tagline on my website now reads, “Self-Mastery for the Strong of Heart.” As my own work continues to evolve, so does my understanding of what I do and who I am here to serve.  Or rather, how I am called to support others by sharing the tools that came through me in support of my own journey of “self-mastery.”  (Trust me, I’m not there yet!  I’m not sure anyone is truly a “master” and if they have to say they are, it most certainly means they are not!)

Back to the matter at hand……What does strong of heart mean? I really grappled with this one because why use so many words when we have words like courageous and brave? The answer to this is simple.  Both courageous and brave have been used in our culture to our detriment.  When we speak of one who is courageous or brave, the implication is that they are free from fear.  This is not courage or bravery, it is stupidity, foolishness, or psychosis.  In the face of danger or the unknown, one should be afraid.  Additionally, when one is acknowledged as courageous or brave, rarely is their fear or vulnerability recognized.  Instead, all we hear about are their daring acts of bravery and their victory in the face of certain defeat.

It saddens me that our societal conditioning has done such a disservice to these words, most especially courageous, which from its Latin roots could be more accurately understood as “full of heart.” Brene Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame) says it well:

“In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

But unlike Brene, I could not bring myself to use the word courage to describe those who are willing and able to do the tough work required in the journey of self-mastery. While still imperfect, strong of heart more fully grasps the inner resources needed in the journey toward self-mastery…

Full content reserved for Plus and Premium Members. Click here to learn more on how you can become a member and enjoy the tools that have helped me in my own journey.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, self-actualization

Who are you….really?

Who are you? No, who are you really? This is the quintessential quandary of the human experience and one we spend a lifetime trying to answer.

I used to think I knew who I was:  strong, powerful, confident, craving attention, wanting to be seen, wanting to be famous, wanting to possess material wealth, accomplished, energetic, filled with the desire to take on the world so as to make it a better place, cultured, cosmopolitan, well-educated, articulate, independent, self-sufficient and able to do it all myself.

Then life happened.  Life has a funny way of doing that – stepping in to tear down the illusions of who we think we are so as to reveal who we really are.  When life happened, I learned that some of the above is true – some of the time.  I also learned a whole lot more about myself than I ever could have imagined would be true.

What I learned about myself is that I am courageous while at the same time mostly being scared shitless! As one teacher observed about me, “Lauri, I don’t know how you survive in the world except by force of will.”  She was not kidding.  I’m scared all the time, but somehow I get my ass out of bed, face the day and try to move through any demons that might be trying to stand in my way.  This must be one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit Paul forgot.

I’ve also learned that unlike the Lauri of my youth, I no longer crave attention. I don’t want to be famous, rich, or successful by Western standards.  I’m not looking to convince anyone of anything and I care not for other people’s approval (most of the time…..but when someone who doesn’t even know me condemns my gifts, criticizes my work or questions my integrity, my heart is broken – not because I give a shit about what the other person thinks, but because I know their words are untrue.)

Which brings me to this – VULNERABILITY!  I’m vulnerable!  Who knew?  Before “life happened” I thought I was bulletproof.  I believed I was a strong, impenetrable fortress.  Well, I was, but that fortress was built out of anger and resentment – both masking a broken heart.  Then life happened and the fortress came crashing down, and there I stood, alone, vulnerable, naked and afraid.  Sigh!  I’ve had to come to know, understand and accept my vulnerability.  I have also learned all the ways in which my vulnerability has taught me about myself.

My vulnerability taught me this:

I’m an introvert and I need quiet, solitude and time away from the world to recharge. And the older I get (or maybe the more I come to know myself), the more quiet I need.

I am sensitive. Sensitive to the energy of other people and to the world.  Where I used to feel energized by chaos, now I HATE IT!  I find chaos overstimulating, overwhelming, soul-sucking and in the face of it today, I want to shut down.  I have spent the vast majority of the past 25 years unraveling from a life built on chaos.  NO MORE!  I have worked really hard to create a quiet, gentle and peaceful life.  You can have your chaos, but please keep it to yourself! (PS  Same with drama!)

I am fragile and there are parts of me that are (likely) damaged beyond repair. Medication helps but there are somethings I can simply no longer do for myself. I’m also not sure I could ever return to “a real job” because of the sensitivities I am now coming to embrace.

I want only to move gently and quietly upon this earth.

I want to create and be creative. My creations (including my books, classes, one-on-one mentoring, creating a home that is a sanctuary, cooking healthy and nurturing meals, spending time with those I love) are my way of sharing and showing my love.

I want to simply be. To meditate and pray.  To send healing to the world.  To hold those I love in prayer.  To make every moment a prayer.  This is how I commune with the God of my understanding and the way I share that love in the world.

I want to enjoy – books, movies, theatre, dance, art, and music that inspire.

While I love the arts and all that big city life provides (I have often thought of myself as a city girl), I find now I crave the slow, quiet, gentle flow of the country – specifically where there are woods and water. (Lumby literally means, “man/woman of the woods”).

My vulnerability has also taught me the value of deep and true friendships. Having moved around a lot as a child, I never really experienced true intimate friendship – only brief friendships.  Then life happened and I have found true and deep friendships which I now cherish!

Then there are my children – another who knew!? My children have been the greatest gift in my life. They are my greatest teachers and have taught me sooooo much about myself – most especially that I am a damn good mom!  My children are my greatest accomplishment (if we can actually say that about our kids….I didn’t do anything, I just let them be themselves and I loved them unconditionally through it). At 19 and 21, they are proving themselves to be the most amazing human beings on this planet.  Each with their own gifts and challenges, I love them for who they are and celebrate all of it.  They make me laugh.  They bring me joy.  And every time I sit and reflect on who they have become my heart wants to explode.  I LOVE MY sick, twisted, hilarious, unique, too smart for their own good, mischievous, creative, thoughtful, kind, shit=disturbing children….who aren’t really children anymore. They are grown-ass adults!

My kids who aren’t kids anymore.

And I want love. Deep, true, intimate, whole hearted, mutually honoring love. My vulnerability has also taught me that if this kind of love is not meant to happen for me in this lifetime, I will have to be content with that while feeling the pain of knowing that one of my deepest longings is going unfulfilled.

Knowing who we are is not all wine and roses. And yet, it is the very reason for our human experience – to come to know who we are and in knowing who we are, discovering how we want to move and be upon this plane.  I am grateful for the Authentic Freedom process that revealed itself to me as “life happened” and forced me on this journey of self-discovery.  It is for this reason that I share this process with you here.

Which brings me to the question: WHO ARE YOU?