Posted in Monastic Living, spiritual gifts

Within is the Goal

Authentic Freedom Academy Sacred Living Series

Part 1


Today, I begin a series of reflections in support of a growing trend, dare I say calling, that I have been experiencing in my own life, while also witnessing it in the lives of others.  This growing trend is a deep, inner calling for (what I am choosing to call):

Sacred Living

While the expression of sacred living is showing itself in ways as diverse as the humanity out of which it is emerging, the calling is the same.  A deep desire to go within and to choose a way of living and being that is reflective of the stillness we find there.  That which drives this calling harkens back to Jesus’ own words to his disciples:

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’  For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”  Luke 17: 20-21

 This, is indeed, one of Jesus’ greatest messages to humanity.  That which we seek can never be found outside of us but can only be found within.

What is it that we seek in the human condition?  When we look beyond what we have been taught to seek after (approval, money, power, popularity, success, etc.) the answer is simple.  What we are all truly seeking is peace.  While the fullness of that peace may not be found until we have departed the human experience, Jesus reminds us that we can have the peace, right here, right now, and that this peace can only be found within.

Sacred living is both the pursuit and fulfillment of that search for peace.  When we know inner peace, we want to live in ways that support and are reflective of that peace.  Sacred living is the name I’ve given to that choice.

Sacred living is what I have seen specifically emerging from within the members of this (Authentic Freedom) community.  Women and men seeking a quieter, gentler, more authentic way of being, while detaching from the “values” that have been imposed upon us by our culture.  While some might be tempted to believe that it is the dysfunction of our culture that has driven us inward, I am more inclined to believe that the calling for sacred living comes from within and is at once a charism (spiritual gift) and a true vocational calling.

The call to sacred living is no less urgent or Divinely-driven than the call to ordination, matrimony, or vowed religious life.  It is simply a vocational calling that has not been given the credit, attention, encouragement or support it deserves. What sets sacred living apart from the aforementioned divine callings, is that it is happening outside of any specific institution and it is coming forth in human beings of all natures and walks of life.  One need not be single, celibate, or even accept a vow of poverty to be called to and embrace the calling to sacred living.  Instead, sacred living can be embraced and lived out from whatever state we find ourselves in our lives – married, single, with children, without children, working, retired, being of simple or prosperous means.  The externals of our lives have no bearing on our calling or ability to live sacredly.  Instead, we need only say yes to the calling and live it.

In the coming weeks, I will be offering reflections, encouragement and support for the calling of sacred living.  I invite you to share your own experiences of this calling and to share how you are living it out.  You can do that through the discussion area at the bottom of this page.  Thank you for hearing the call to sacred living and for choosing to live that out!


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Posted in shadow work, spiritual gifts, spiritual healing

The Invisible Work of the Empath

The purpose of today’s blog is to provide encouragement, support and permission for those who have been gifted with the calling of Empath (and in some cases, Priestess of Death).  The work of an empath can be lonely and thankless as the work we are doing is primarily invisible.  It is for this reason that I want you to know you are not alone, that the sensations you are feeling are real and that they have purpose and meaning.  Our world would be a much darker, scarier place were it not for the Empaths doing their difficult work of feeling and transforming.



Feeling is the number one task of the empath, and likely the first sensation we are aware of that is pointing us toward our gifts.  As empaths, we FEEL everything around us.  We feel other people’s feelings and emotions.  We feel the energy of a space.  We feel the energy of another person’s intentions.  We can feel if someone is being authentic or if they are a liar.  We can feel the energy of our community and the energy of the world.  We can feel weather patterns, impending storms and the oncoming of natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.).  We can feel if there is conflict happening or about to happen somewhere in our world and we can feel ahead of time when a tragedy is about to strike (as in the incident in Oshkosh last week).



Sometimes we are feeling for the simple sake of feeling.  If we know the energy of a space or a person, we can use that knowledge to set boundaries where necessary.  The gift of empath is like having our own personal barometer so we can know if a person or a space is “safe” for us.  In most cases, however, we feel so that we might respond.  In some cases, our response is conscious.  We may become aware of a feeling of sorrow in a family member or friend and we might reach out in support.  We may know that a group of people are grieving, and we might take time out to pray for them.  In other cases, our response is unconscious.   A specific example of this from my own life is the feelings and sensations my body processed while I was in graduate school and the university I was attending was going through a crisis.  I didn’t yet understand my calling as an empath and every time I attended our semi-annual seminars, I became sick and depressed.  Twice I became seriously physically ill.  What I didn’t understand then, but I understand now is that my body was processing and transforming the trauma, grief and fear that was being experienced by students, faculty and staff at the university.


Hepa-Vacs of the Human World

As empaths our primary job is to take into our own bodies, the emotions and feelings that others are unable to process themselves so that they can be processed and transformed through our bodies.  We are like the Hepa-Vac of the human world. We take in the fear and pain that is around us and through our spiritual gifts, they are healed and transformed.  The more aware we are of our gifts and the more conscious we are of the work we are doing, the less we experience our gifts as negative and the less we suffer any negative effects from the work we are doing.  (For example, if I’d known in grad school what I know now, I would have been purposefully doing my empath work and would not have become physically ill).


Time and Attention

The calling of the empath requires time and attention.  This is perhaps the greatest challenge for us in a world that does not acknowledge or recognize our gifts.  Whether the world knows it or not, we are doing it a HUGE favor in the use (as if we even have a choice) of our gifts.  The greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to our world is to take time out for our gifts.  If/when we feel the overwhelming grief of those around us, or become aware of the anxiety of impending tragedy, it behooves us to STOP what we are doing so that those feelings can move into and through us.  We can stop and pray or sending healing intentions – even if we don’t know what we are praying for.  With the incident that occurred in Oshkosh last week, I immediately responded to my body’s demand for prayer, meditation and for healing.


A Thankless Job

Whether the world sees it or not, our calling as empaths is critical to the healing and transformation of our world.  While our culture does not acknowledge nor compensate us for our gifts, the sharing of our gifts is critical. Think of what our world would be like if we weren’t doing our job of healing and transforming the negative things of our world.  This is where faith comes in.  While we are taking time out for the use of our gifts, we have to trust that as we are engaged in our Divine calling, our humanly needs are being met.  While compensation may not come through our community, we will be rewarded in other ways because as we give, so shall we receive.


For ongoing support in the development and use of your gifts, check out our membership offerings.  Learn more HERE.

If you feel called to make a donation to Lauri Ann Lumby for the empath work she has been doing, click HERE. 




Posted in About Lauri, spiritual gifts

Punished for What I See and Know

This past week I realized a grave truth.  For my whole entire life, I have been punished for what I see and what I know.  I guess this goes along with coming into this world with gifts the world does not understand, let alone honor or support.  The result of this lifetime of punishment (as the punishment continues) has been that for the most part, I choose not to share the depth of knowledge I am able to grasp based on what I see and understand because I know the consequence of that sharing.  People don’t really want to know the truth. I am also aware of a deep level of shame that has been heaped on me as a result of my gifts – the unconscious (and unspoken) feeling that there must be something wrong with me for all the times I have been punished for simply being me.  As the gift and myself are One, not only is the gift “wrong,” there must be something wrong with me too – for having and (gasp) daring to share (or just being) my gift.

But here’s the deal, I have rarely “shared” my gift.  I don’t walk up to someone and say, “Here’s what I know about you just by being in your presence.”  I have found that I don’t have to articulate my gift for people to “feel” its presence.  It is more a gift of presence and awareness than one that is shared.

Here’s the true confession: my gift is the uncanny ability to “read” people – a gift I have learned is 100% accurate.  The best way I can describe it is that I have the ability (I’m not sure I can even call it an ability as it’s not something I can “turn off”) to see into people’s Soul. I see beyond the appearance of the person into who they truly are.  In this, I am able to see their TRUE SELF, along with all they try to hide from the world.  It is really less of a seeing than a feeling and hearing. I see/feel/hear their fears and secret motivations.  I also see their deceptions – both the lies they tell the world and the lies they tell themselves.  I know when someone is being authentic and when they are living a lie.

Rarely in my life have I given words to these feelings, but people almost always know they are being “seen.”  This is what has gotten me into trouble and where the punishment has taken place.

Let me give you a concrete example:

  • I don’t know how I knew or what I saw or felt that told me this, but I knew there was something not right about my kindergarten teacher.  I never said or did anything about that knowing.  I was simply a regular 5/6 year old trying to figure out how to do this thing called school.  But, for no reason whatsoever, my teacher HATED me!  She essentially confessed this to my parents at conferences saying she didn’t know who had won at the end of the day, her or me. Apparently kindergarten is a battle?  Because hindsight is 20/20, I now understand she hated me because on some level she knew I saw her.  I saw her for who she really was – an emotionally unstable woman who had no business being in the classroom as she taped my mouth shut and locked me in a closet, and who threw another student into a fish tank which then shattered, exploding its contents all over the classroom!  She was crazy and I knew it….and she knew I knew it. So I was punished both literally and figuratively by her hatred of me.
original art by Catherine E. Case. Used with permission.

This punishment has been the theme of my life.  Seeing the truth where truth does not want to be seen and then people hating me because on some subconscious level they know I see their truth – a truth they are either hiding from themselves or from the world.  This punishment has been present in every single area of my life – with family, peers, teachers, in work environments, in the Church, etc. etc. etc.  Me just being me (I can’t NOT see what I see) and people hating me because of it.

Admittedly, possessing this gift has made it difficult for me to be in and around people.  I can’t shield my gift (neither would I want to) and apparently people can’t not feel themselves being seen.  On a deeply personal level, being out in the world for me, is kind of like going into a war zone, never sure of what of other people’s feelings will be coming at me. The good news is that not everyone is afraid of being seen.  For those who know themselves and who are comfortable with who they are in the world (who have nothing to hide), my presence is a gift.  Under my gaze, they experience the feeling of being SEEN and this makes them feel good. So I’m careful.  I go where I know I am safe and stay away from places where people hide (like in Church). I also spend a lot of time alone and am very careful with whom and how I share my space.

While I can guard my interactions with the world, the place I cannot is with the people I care about.  It’s one thing to see that someone I hardly know is not the person they are pretending to be, it’s another thing to see and know what is happening in and around the people I love.  For those closest to me, no shielding is required as we have cultivated the kind of relationship where we are able to be honest with ourselves and honest with each other.  There is a mutual transparency and respect that allows space for us to call each other out on our crap (because there are times we are all guilty of not living our truth or taking responsibility for our unhealed wounds and fears).  But for others, this is not the case.  Couple this with the knowledge that we are all here to walk our own journey and it is not my job to interfere with a lesson someone needs to learn.  I can’t really walk up to someone I know and say, “Hey, I’m not sure this is the person you want to marry,” or “if you continue along this path it will end in disaster.”  Yeah, I could tell them, but either they won’t really hear me or they will hate me for telling the truth.  In addition, who am I to deny someone of the lesson that relationship or experience will provide?

So I’m quiet.  I watch.  I wait.  I’m honest when asked.  But ultimately, I leave people to their own devises.  And I do a LOT of self-care.  The biggest piece of self-care I am invited to right now as it relates to simply being me is FORGIVENESS.  Intellectually, I know there is nothing wrong with me for possessing these abilities.  It is not my fault that many people don’t really want to be seen or that my presence triggers the unconscious shame they feel for living a lie.  Neither am I doing anything wrong by just being me.  I can’t help what I see and I know and I couldn’t turn it off if I tried (and neither should I).  On an emotional level, I am aware of the pain of being hated for simply being me.  It hurts to have people hate me just for being me.  It is here I am thankful for the spiritual practices and tools I have that allow me to heal myself of this pain.  Tonglen and Ho/oponopono have both proven especially helpful in the journey of healing as it relates to owning my gifts and transforming the pain that has arisen out of simply being me.


faith, self-actualization, testing our faith, practicing our faith, discernment, spiritual gifts,


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 ( 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 Discernment, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, spiritual gifts

The Call of the Prophet and its Curse

The call of the prophet and the gift of prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts that is explored in my work of supporting the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents.  Discerning our gifts and how we are called to use those gifts makes up a significant part of that process.   As one who has this gift, I can attest to the gift as well as the curse of possessing and sharing this gift.

Defining the Prophet’s Gift

In my online course, What is Your Magic, I offer the following definition of a prophet as described by Albert Nolan, a Dominican priest in his book, Jesus Today – a Spirituality of Radical Freedom (Orbis Books, 2008):

Prophets are people who speak out when others remain silent. They are watchful of the areas in need of reform in their own society, their own country, or their own religious institutions. True prophets are men and women who stand up and speak (or act) out about the practices of their own people and their own leaders – while others remain silent. True prophets are not part of the authority structure. Prophets are never appointed, ordained or anointed by the religious establishment. They experience a special calling that comes directly from God, and their message comes from their own personal experience of God. (pp. 63-67)

prophet, the gift of prophecy, speaking the truth, bearing the truth, fulfilling the prophet's call, Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene fulfilling her calling as Prophet

In my experience one who possesses the gift of prophecy has the ability to:


For the prophet, seeing goes beyond what can be perceived through mere physical vision.  One with the gift of prophecy has the ability to see the truth beyond the material.  Here we are able to see…..really see.  The prophet sees what is before them, while also seeing the subtle inter-weavings of all that is around what they are able to see.  Prophets are able to see the connections, what led to what they are seeing and what will continue to unfold from what they are seeing unless significant change takes place.  The seeing of the prophet includes material things, human actions and interactions, the energy and emotion of what they are seeing.  A prophet can identify what is “of the good,” and what is not.


In their ability to see, prophets can also read.  This most commonly presents itself in the ability to read people – to see beyond the mask that every person put out into the world, beyond the projection of what people want others to think or believe about them.  The prophet sees the truth. We see all that people are trying to hide from the world….but we also see their gifts.  We see the potential within every human being and how the masks they were are blocking the fulfillment of that potential.  The most challenging aspect of this ability in the prophet is that while most are not consciously aware of the fact that they are being SEEN, unconsciously they do.  For those whose “survival” depends on their ability to be seen in a certain light, the prophet becomes “the enemy,” not because of something they’ve done, but for who they are.  This is one of the curses of the gift of prophecy.


In addition to seeing the truth beyond the illusion, prophets hear the truth beyond the words.  Regardless of the chosen words or their intention, the prophet hears what people are really saying.  If someone says, “It’s a great day,” but truly feels elsewise, the prophet will know it.  The prophet hears the truth beyond every subtle deception for under the gaze of the prophet no one can hide.  Again, this sometimes proves to be one of the challenges for the prophet.


Like a Geiger counter or seismic graph, prophets have the ability to feel.  We feel the energy of the world and its movement.  We feel the energy within and embodied by every person or situation we meet.  We can feel whether the energy is of expansion and love, moving in the direction of “the good,” or if it is the energy of fear and constriction moving toward harm.  We feel it and we know it.


Discernment is perhaps the greatest gift of the prophet and one cannot be a prophet without first possessing and honing this gift.  Discernment is the process through which we determine (in everything we encounter) what is “of God” and what is not.  Through discernment we are able to identify what is based in fear, power, deceit, or control, and what is rooted in love.  Anything that is not “of love” is not “of God” and it is the prophet’s job to make that fact known to the world.

For additional reading on the gift of prophecy check out these articles: 

The Poem of the Awakened

Spiritual Direction – Lauri Style

Carrying the Magdalene Wound

Being a Catalyst

The Prophet’s Curse

Herein lays the challenge of being a prophet and the curse that is inherent in the gift.  A prophet has no purpose in only seeing, reading, hearing, feeling and discerning.  The purpose of the gift of prophecy is to heal and change the world.  The world cannot be changed if what the prophet knows is not spoken.  The prophet must speak what they see, read, hear, feel and discern (subtlety is allowed).  The problem is that more often than not, those to whom the prophet is called to speak “Can’t handle the truth.”  Acknowledging the truth would require change and if there is one thing human beings fear more than death, it is change.  As a result, this often leaves the prophet as simply another “voice crying out in the wilderness…” and in my experience, “speaking only to sand.”


Discover and be supported in your own unique giftedness through our online course What’s Your Magic, or enjoy this course as part of the Authentic Freedom Mastery or Magdalene Priestess Trainings.