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 Inspiration, Spiritual Formation, spiritual healing

The Spiritual Life Review

At the juncture between what has been and what is coming into form, it is not uncommon to experience a “Life Review.” I have experienced the life review as a flood of memories and feelings of where I’ve been.  I think of it as the final purge before a new life is ready to begin.  The best response to a life review is to be with it – allowing the memories and emotions to flow through – without getting attached to or hung up on them, but simply allowing them to move through.  Sometimes there is an emotional release (rage, tears) that come through the life review – and that is also ok.  We need to feel our past in order to let it go.  The following is a poem I recently penned while experiencing my own spiritual life review:

Life Review

As the life review presents itself, I let it wash over me –

Feeling into where I’ve been

And where I am today.

A wholly different person.

Cleansed of my resentment, hatred and rage…

No longer fixated on changing a broken and dying world.

Secure in who I am –

a unique expression of God’s love in the world.

I am love.

Sent to bring forth a new world:

One built on love – not fear.

Knowing the journey begins within.

The change starts with me.

Healing myself of past

woundedness,

trauma,

perceived failure,

disappointment,

worry,

fear.

In forgiving my past, transforming shame into Love.

Witnessing all the ways I’ve been told I had to be

Anything other than me.

And letting that shit go!

Freeing myself of the patriarchal world’s definition and formula for success;

Knowing the only real success is in being myself –

Sensitive.

Vulnerable.

A little bit broken.

Resilient.

Courageous.

Generous.

Loving.

Kind.

One who finds meaning in the simplest things:

An autumn walk in the woods.

The scent of a baby’s head.

The quiet of winter mornings before dawn.

A warm cup of coffee.

The loving embrace of a friend.

The laughter of my children…

and who wishes only to be Love and to walk gently through this life.

 

 

Where have you experienced your own life-review? What tools have you used to support yourself in that review?  What were you able to glean from that experience?

Posted in Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Counseling New Year’s Special (Save up to $400.00!!!!!)

Welcome to the New Year!  In celebration of the new life that is waiting for all of us in the coming year, I am offering you a special gift.  Please enjoy as my New Year’s gift to you DEEPLY DISCOUNTED rates on Spiritual Counseling/One-on-One mentoring.  These discounted prices are only available now through January 8th (and can be used anytime throughout the year), so ACT NOW!

 

 

Purchase a single session at $99.00 (originally priced $150.00)

 

Buy a 3 pack for only $297.00  (a savings of over $150.00)

Save even more and purchase a 6 pack for only $499.00 (a savings of over $400.00!!!)

Offer only good through January 8, 2019!  Buy the package now and use your sessions anytime between January 1 – December 31, 2019. No refunds or exchanges on package offers.

Once payment is received, I will send you an email to schedule your sessions.  Sessions will be held over the phone or via ZOOM.

 

I look forward to supporting your spiritual development needs and your desire to choose love in the coming year!

 

Love,

Lauri

 

 

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 Inspiration, Lessons, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Behold I Make All Things New

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

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

IS 43: 18-19

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

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

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

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

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

To everything turn, turn, turn,

There is a season turn turn turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

Receiving the New

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

 

Suggested Spiritual Practice – Emptying to be Filled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember not the things of old….

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

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

 

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

 

Love,

Lauri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lessons, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

The Dangers of Spiritual Bypass

Spiritual bypass can best be described as: “the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks”(Welwood, J. (2000) [1984]. “Between heaven and earth: principles of inner work”. Toward a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. Boston: Shambhala Publications. pp. 11–21.).

In spiritual bypass, we avoid, ignore, deny, suppress and repress the challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and suffering that are inherent within the human condition. Spiritual bypass also includes avoidance and denial of the shadow.  The shadow is made up of our unhealed wounds, unacknowledged fears and includes all the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected because we have deemed them unacceptable.

spiritual bypass, shadow work, denying the shadow, lightworkers, denial, darkness,

Spiritual bypass takes many forms, but in essence the action is the same – hoping, believing, acting as if we can simply meditate, pray, chant, or positively affirmation our struggles away. The universal outcome of spiritual bypass is always the same and is best articulated in the Buddhist saying, “What we resist will persist.”  Through spiritual bypass, we are not dealing with, confronting, healing or transforming anything; we are simply sweeping it under the rug. As is true of everything we avoid, deny, ignore, the rug can only hold so much.  The rug will eventually explode and everything we have shoved under it will come out to haunt us.  Even if we are successful in keeping it all under the rug, what we have resisted and ignored will find its way out sideways – usually in non-loving behaviors toward ourselves or others. Often these behaviors become compulsive (ie: addictions), are disproportionate or uncharacteristic of our true nature.

Some very clear examples of spiritual bypass and the negative consequence of this pattern of behavior includes: the clergy sex abuse crisis, narcissistic behaviors, abuse, co-dependency, homophobia, racism, sexism, violence against children, school shootings and other forms of terrorism. What we resist will persist and what we suppress will find its way out whether we want it to or not.  I would further suggest that we are currently living in a world seriously caught up in its own bypass – ignoring, denying, projecting away the darkness and pretending that it is all ok when in fact it is not!  Societal bypass is exhibited in our divisive culture where many refuse to see the truth that is staring them in the face because it makes them feel uncomfortable (triggering their own unacknowledged anxiety or unhealed fears), or who instead of acknowledging their role in the darkness that exists in our society, either ignore it or project the blame onto someone else.  The bottom line is that we cannot meditate, mantra, pray,“beam love,” think good thoughts, repeat positive affirmations, “La La Lightworker” the darkness away. Until we learn to face our darkness (individually and collectively) we are guilty of bypass and the darkness will not only persist, it will become worse.

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am not innocent as it relates to spiritual bypass.   I too have ventured down its path.  I will admit that it felt good there – for awhile – but eventually it kicked my ass! I have since learned that the only way out is through. If we want to be free of our inner fears, unhealed wounds, and perceived imperfections, we have to go deep into them, feel them, wallow in them, and THEN through our spiritual practices, find our way through them.  In this, we are not covering the darkness with the light; neither are we turning the darkness into the light.  Instead, we are finding the light that is already present within the darkness – if only we have the courage to go there.

The work of dealing with our shadow and confronting all that is broken within us is hard! It requires personal accountability, self-knowledge, courageous honesty, humility, vulnerability, and discipline.  It also requires the understanding and belief that in the overall scheme of things, what we are tempted to call “darkness” is in fact our light.  Within the struggle, suffering, struggles, challenges and all the things we want to deny or reject about our human experience is there to serve the light.  It is within these perceived challenges where we find our greatest gifts.

Authentic Freedom is a powerful transformational tool for identifying and moving through our unacknowledged fears and unhealed wounds. Learn more HERE.

Posted in Death, self-actualization, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, spiritual healing, Spiritual Practices

Entering into the Darkness to Bring Forth the Light

Last Friday I hit the wall. I found myself overcome with the darkness of our world, despairing over that which causes me pain, confusion, frustration and deep sorrow.  As I shared my experience, I was surprised (not really) by the deafening silence when speaking of the darkness.  The only thing interrupting the silence was a post by one arguing for the light. “Keep your chin up……” they said.  At the time, I DID NOT want to keep my chin up, or look for the silver lining in the cloud.  I needed to wallow in the darkness – embracing the depth of sorrow, frustration and pain.  Not for the sake of self-flagellation, but for the purpose of transformation.

As a shadow worker, I have come to understand that the only way to transform the darkness, both within ourselves and in our world is to enter FULLY into the darkness.  It is only by entering into the darkness that we are able to bring forth the light.  While optimism has its place, there is a fine line between “the bright side of life” and repression.  As the Buddhists say, “what we resist will persist,” so why not embrace the darkness so we can hasten our journey toward the light?  Why wait around looking for the silver lining when the only way to the light is through the darkness?

darkness, dark into light, embracing the darkness, transformation, shadow worker, darkness and light are but one

Before I go on, I do want to thank one dear friend who shared her genuine concern that I had come to the edge of the cliff. For indeed I had…..just not the cliff she thought.  Instead, it was the cliff that my Soul Brother, Jared, invited me to jump off from, “Lauri, what would happen if you just allowed yourself to freefall?”  I thought I had been doing this, but apparently not enough.  So (after a two hour soul purging/transformation/healing chat with my Soul Brother) I let go AGAIN allowing myself to fall into the darkness and in falling into it, I fell through it.  I woke up this morning with a whole different attitude, and saw what had been in front of me the whole time.  Then while in yoga this morning, I was given the outline and kick in the pants I have needed for two years to finally get my Order of Melchizedek online training program off the ground.  (Official announcement coming soon!!!!)

The moral of the story is this: If you find yourself in the darkness, don’t run from it.  Embrace it.  As every shadow worker knows, on the other side of the dark (or within the darkness) is the light that has been there all along!

Or as the Psalmist said, “In you, darkness and light are but one.” (GO, there are so many ways to interpret that phrase!!!!)

PS Dear friends:  I promise if I have truly come to the end of my rope….I will definitely let you know!

Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Initiation: Standing at the Crossroads

The journey toward self-actualization is in fact, one spiritual initiation after another. Spiritual initiation takes place every time we are faced with an opportunity to remain in the perceived safety and security of what we have known or take another step toward the fulfillment of our life purpose.  The spiritual initiation is successful when we move through the fears and ego attachments that seek to keep us imprisoned within our small selves and away from the expansion we are driven toward by our Soul.  Some of these initiations are small and some are so significantly huge that we soon become aware that we are facing a major crossroad in our life.  It is at these crossroad moments that our spiritual practice becomes even more critical, as does our diligent attention to these practices.

spiritual initiation, crossroads, discernment, soul's purpose, journey of the soul, spiritual practice

Stephanie Azaria in Monday’s post in her column “Cosmic Consciousness” had the following to say about the crossroads:

“…a crossroad is a series of four very specific paths that are all equally available to us when we approach them from the observer’s perspective. We can send our conscious awareness down all four roads at the same time until the heart begins to resonate fully with one (or more) of these paths.  At that time we can take action to follow that road knowing it may or may not be permanent…..such is the way of the new world.  Nothing is permanent.”

A crossroads occurs when the life we have known has come to an end and the new life has not yet revealed itself. It is a time of spiritual initiation ripe with opportunity and danger.  At the crossroads, possibilities seem endless and many opportunities (or twinklings of opportunities) may present themselves.  At this stage, none of these possibilities are yet fully formed, so a decision (or even a discernment) cannot yet be made.  Some of these possibilities will die on the vine.  Some are not in our highest good or reflective of our soul’s purpose and therefore should not be pursued.  And some are just beginning to grow roots so are not yet strong enough to support our unfolding.  For these reasons, pursuing or chasing after possible opportunities prematurely will only end badly.  We will know that the opportunity is not yet ripe if in its pursuit we find it either drawing away, or find ourselves coming up against a brick wall. Instead of requiring effort, opportunities that are ripe and good for the soul will fall into our laps in a miraculous and effortless kind of way.

While the crossroads is ripe with possibility, it is also rife with danger. This is true for it is at the crossroads where we make our deals with the devil.  At the end of what has been, we are vulnerable and afraid. We have left behind (or are being asked to leave behind) what has been so as to replace it with something that is not yet known.  It is in our human nature to crave surety and to long for “the same.”  When we have neither of these creature comforts, we grow anxious, worried, and fretful.  Often, our first response is to bargain for the old life to be returned.  “Please let me go back to…….(insert relationship, job, home, etc. here)….at least I knew what to expect there.”  But our Soul desires nothing if not growth.  As such, as much as we might want to, we cannot return to that which has already died…or which no longer supports our growth.  (Well….actually we can…..we just end up with a zombie like life along with the constant shame of knowing we are living an unlived life…mind numbing substances and behaviors come in handy here as we try to escape our true feelings about the unlived life we have chosen).

After bargaining, we must now face the possibilities that lay before us. Some will be known.  Some will only be twinkles.  And MANY will be the paths which lead us only into the “devil’s trap.”  These are the paths which are ruled by fear and/or which tempt us through our ego attachments.  Those paths ruled by fear are the possibilities that are based in our unhealed and unresolved fears:  fears over money, time, acceptance by others, belonging, etc. etc. etc.  When we choose a path that is ruled by fear (I’m afraid that the path of my Soul won’t make me any money, so I’m going to find a path that insures at least a regular paycheck…..whether or not it has anything to do with my gifts, my mission or my purpose in this life…..), this is the devil’s trap.  The result of choosing this path will only be more fear and a deepening sense of imprisonment.  Those paths ruled by the ego are those which tempt us through our desire for fame, power, control and material wealth…..in other words, “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” – another of the devil’s games.  While fame may be an outcome of pursuing our Soul’s path, this will not be true for all, and the path of our Soul is never driven by our desire for fame. In the quest for the Soul, we must always check our ego at the door.

When we find ourselves at the crossroads or spiritual initiation we are vulnerable. We feel insecure and afraid.  The possibilities might seem overwhelming and our fears are running rampant.  The crossroads is the devil’s playground, but it is also the domain of our Soul.  At the crossroads, the Soul is seeking after and longing for its natural movement toward growth and it will not rest until the appropriate path for its growth reveals itself.  Until that happens, the Soul is restless….making us even more vulnerable to the “devil’s trap.”  At the crossroads, our spiritual practices become even more critical, along with our resilience in the face of temptation and our diligence in tending to these practices.  While at the crossroads we must not act, pursue, chase after or be tempted to make something happen.  Neither should we make any decision based in fear or arising out of the ego.  Instead, there is only ONE THING we can do when standing at the crossroads….and that is WAIT. Wait and watch.  Observe and discern.  And when the waiting and inaction become excruciating (which they will)….we wait some more.  For it is at the crossroad where we endure the greatest of all tests in our spiritual initiation …the test of whether we can wait long enough for the path of our Soul to arrive and the next stage of our life to begin.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a trained spiritual director and spiritual counselor, transformational educator, ordained interfaith minister and published author. Lauri supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of humanity and does so through one-on-one mentoring, writing, online classes and workshops.  Contact Lauri at lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Development – Surviving a Freefall

I define spiritual development as: the process through which we uncover the answer to the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Whose am I? (Where do I find peace and belonging?)
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them for the sake of my own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world?

At the moment of our spiritual awakening, we are given the choice to pursue the path of our spiritual development. Some choose this path.  Many do not. For those who choose the path of spiritual development….with self-actualization being the ultimate outcome, they soon discover that the journey of spiritual development is as much about letting go as it is about discovery.  In order to become our most authentic selves, we have to let go of that which is not authentically ours.  As such, the journey toward self-actualization includes many tiny (and sometimes HUGE) deaths.

I have recently been met with another one of those deaths. In my own journey of self-development and self-discovery, I have grown accustomed to these many deaths, but familiarity doesn’t always make it any more tolerable.  In fact, in many ways, knowing that death is upon us is more frightening than death taking us by surprise. The current death (which in truth is just another in a long line of current dyings) I am facing is the end of what I have known as my local professional life.  On Tuesday I taught my last local class.  While this has not been a financially lucrative endeavor for quite some time, and I knew this death was coming, the reality hit me like a storm.  With nothing yet to take its place, I have nothing to look forward to, nothing to plan or plan for, nothing to DO but stare into the empty void of a new life that has not yet been revealed.  Two weeks ago I felt like I was staring into the abyss.  Having faced the end, I find I am no longer staring, I am in full-on FREE FALL.  In a free fall, there is literally NOTHING to hang on to, nothing to cling to and nowhere to find a hand or foot hold.  Instead, we are only falling….or floating….or FLYING!

spiritual development, self actualization, freefalling, freel falling, spiritual awakening, defining spiritual development,

Having done nothing but support spiritual development for the past 25 years, my own and that of others, I know what to do and how to survive a free fall.

LET GO

There is literally nothing else to do. We cannot fight it.  When falling through the abyss we cannot turn around and go back from whence we came.  Without a new world in sight, there is nothing to work toward or work for.  We cannot MAKE ourselves crawl up through the gaping void to some safe place above us.  All we can do is FALL.  But, there are ways in which we can support ourselves in the falling:

During the freefall, we grieve.

We mourn the life that we are being asked to leave behind. We deny.  We bargain.  We become depressed and paralyzed (THANK YOU Netflix for 13 seasons of Supernatural to keep me entertained when I am otherwise immobile).  We grow angry.  We gnash our teeth.  We scream and shout and wail.  We weep.  We allow our bodies to grieve what has been so that we can be healed and freed of that life and made ready for something new.

During the freefall we pray.

(or whatever your language is for that). For me, it is asking and begging for support, to know that I am not alone.  My prayer includes gratitude for all the past life has given me and the support in knowing that a letting go so enormous means something equally huge is coming to take its place.  I pray for peace.  I pray for hope.  I pray for any tiny glimpses that might help me continue on.  In addition to prayer, I double up on my daily spiritual practice.  I meditate.  I read and reflect on scripture.  I journal.  I chant (or listen to mantra).

During the freefall we sleep.

When a dying occurs, our bodies, minds, and spirits are being rewired. It requires an enormous amount of psychic energy to let go of something that has been (especially when it is somehow related to our identity….which mine is) and to be made ready for the new. Sleep supports the release of what has been and the energetic preparation for what has not yet come to be.

During the freefall we remember.

This is the place for our life review. We reflect on what has been.  Any unresolved fears/compulsion/demons from that life make an appearance so that we have one more opportunity to bring them healing and transformation ensuring we are ready to enter into the new life when it comes.

During the freefall we do nothing.

This may be the most difficult part of the freefall. There is literally NOTHING we can do to hasten the departure from what has been and the entry into something new.  All we can “do” is BE.  And in our culture, being is really hard to do (not to mention all the twisted stares we get from people when we tell them all we “did” today was watch Netflix).  Doing, however, during this stage in the freefall produces NOTHING.  It simply reminds us of how NOT life-giving our old life had become and how ready we are for something new.

How have you supported yourself during the many dyings that have happened along your path of spiritual development?

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS provides spiritual direction and counseling for those on their spiritual journey.  To schedule a private session with Lauri email  lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com.

Check out our online programs in support of your spiritual development HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Healing, Inspiration, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Staying Sane in an Insane World

Staying sane in an insane world is about tools, practice and support. Below are my thoughts on staying sane along with resources and support for doing so:

It’s getting pretty crazy out there! Just yesterday I posted two comments on Facebook, one about not knowing what to believe, or if there is anything to believe in the media and an outright call to the universe:  “Mothership take me away!”  No matter where you lie within the spectrum of the perceived separation dividing our nation and the world, you must be feeling it.  Anxiety.  Fear.  Depression.  Despair.  Frustration.  Impatience.  Anger.  Powerlessness.  Perhaps even a sense of hatred.  It seems that no matter where we turn, there is another news article, news show, advertisement, etc. that is attempting to trigger our fears, anxieties, insecurities, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. interfering with our desire for staying sane.

The good news is that while we might feel pretty powerless in a world that seems to be imploding upon itself, we are not! We have the resources within us for staying sane in an otherwise insane world – we just need someone to help us discover, cultivate and then activate these resources.  THIS is what I have spent the past 25 years mastering and what I would like to share with you now:

REMEMBER your original nature is contentment and peace. If you don’t know or remember this:

Develop or deepen a daily spiritual/meditation/contemplative/prayer practice. If you don’t currently have a practice or need getting started, take my FREE online course Starting a Spiritual Practice.  Learn more and register HERE.

The Greatest Obstacle to remaining in a state of peace is our unhealed wounds and unacknowledged anxiety and fears. To learn how to identify and then heal and transform these wounds and fears:

Read my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joyor better yet, take the online course.  Learn more and register for the course HERE.

REMEMBER you are not alone. There are people out there who have learned how to stay sane in an otherwise insane world. Reach out to them for guidance and support:

As a trained Spiritual Director, I have spent the past 20 years supporting people in finding their way through the tangled web of life….supporting them in identifying and healing unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears and freeing them from the inner obstacles to enjoying a peaceful and fulfilling life. Learn more about my Spiritual Direction/Counseling services HERE. 

Take Action! If there is something you don’t like about our world, DO something about it. If you want more peace, then work for peace.  If you see injustices being done, speak or act out against these injustices.

Join the LOVE WARRIOR movement.  Become an agent of non-violent social change in a community of people trying to do the same.  Learn more and join HERE.

 

Love and Peace to you!

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS