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

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).

 

Transforming

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 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 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 Spiritual Development, spiritual healing, Spiritual Practices

United States of Trauma

On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered it greatest trauma, 2996 people were killed and another 6000 wounded. As the first act of such magnitude to be committed within the continental U.S., America lost its innocence along with any sense of domestic security.  As the deadliest terrorist act in world history, the world, but most especially the United States, has not yet recovered.  I’m not sure we ever will. Since the moment the planes flew into the Twin Towers, the U.S. has been at war – first against people of color in countries made of sand and now against each other.  For the past 17 years the United States has known nothing but war, and our current cultural climate suggests that as a nation we are collectively suffering the effects of trauma.

trauma, a nation in trauma, healing trauma, PTSD, September 11, 9/11, trauma coming out sideways.

The Effects of Trauma

In the simplest of terms, when we have an experience that our mind interprets as traumatic, we are instinctually driven toward one of three survival tactics: fight, flight or freeze. If the trauma is not resolved or if the traumatic response is not released from our emotional/physical bodies, the trauma remains. When this occurs, we might find ourselves in a permanent state of fight, flight or freeze.  In this state, we respond to anything that (even subconsciously) reminds us of the initial trauma as if it is happening again.  This is known as a triggering episode.  Unless the trauma is effectively treated, we will find ourselves in an endless loop of reactionary behaviors. Until someone points out to us that our behaviors might be the after effects of trauma, we think nothing of them, often to the point where they become normalized.  I contend that our current cultural climate – defined by fear and division – is in fact, trauma coming out sideways.

United States of Trauma

Whereas September 11th initially had a unifying effect, since the decision to go to war, we, as a nation, have become increasingly polarized.  Our increasing access to information (both true and untrue) has hastened this polarization, and it seems there are those who might actually be feeding this division because it benefits them in some way, or perhaps this is their own reaction to unresolved trauma.  Unresolved trauma comes out sideway in behaviors that are uncharacteristic, often irrational and fear-driven.  We obsess.  We worry.  We fret.  We become angry. We want to fight.  We become immobile. We ignore what is right in front of us. Instead of identifying the fear that is unhealed within us, we want to make someone or something outside of us the enemy – the cause of our concern.  In the current state of our culture, many “enemies” have been named:   Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Blacks, Whites, The Police, Muslims, Christians, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Screen time, (remember when TV and Rock Music were the “enemies?”) Men, Women, The Media, The NRA, those seeking gun control, Pro-Lifers, those who are Pro-choice, The Rich, The Poor, Corporate Greed, those taking advantage of the system, The Economy, Banks, Illegal Immigrants, those seeking refuge, the mentally ill, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.   The bottom line is that the fear and division that currently control our culture have absolutely NOTHING to do with all those things we want to point our fingers toward as being “the enemy.”  Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with unacknowledged and unresolved TRAUMA.

Healing from Trauma

We are a nation in trauma. We have been for a very long time (I’m still not sure we’ve recovered from the Civil War!), but even more so since 9/11.  In order to heal from the effects of this trauma (increasing fear and division), we have to name it as such, and then do the difficult work of healing from that trauma.  Healing from trauma happens when we are able to:

  1. Name the trauma. What is actually at the heart of our fearful thoughts, reactions, and behaviors? What is the true cause of the fear? Maybe it is 9/11, or maybe it stems from something even older – an experience of childhood abuse, bullying or rejection, a devastating loss or disappointment, a past failure or betrayal?
  2. Acknowledge that the fear has NOTHING to do with what you are currently perceiving outside of you (events in the news, the disagreement with your spouse, what you read on social media), but is instead related to something within you asking to be healed. Once you are able to identify the fear comes the hard part.
  3. Instead of following our instinct which is to “make the fear go away,” (by pointing the finger of blame at someone else, ignoring or denying it, numbing it, etc.) we SIT with the fear. Allow yourself to actually FEEL the fear. Identify where in your body you might be feeling it, breathe into that fear, and then breathe out love. Remain with this practice (which the Buddhists call Tonglen), until you feel the fear change. Maybe it moves. Maybe it is resolved and you find yourself coming to peace. Maybe it changes to anger or sorrow. Whatever you do, don’t respond or react to the fear, instead, allow it to be healed.
  4. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat. Each and every one of us is a bundle of unacknowledged and unresolved woundedness and fear. Until we are able to heal the trauma that dwells within us, we will never be able to heal the fears that have placed fear and division as the rulers of our country.

Healing from trauma is difficult and challenging work, but enormously rewarding. Freeing ourselves from the effects of trauma empowers us to see our world through a different lens, allowing us to come to the discussion table where we are able to effectively work together for justice, peace and reconciliation.  Until we can heal what is broken within us, we will never be able to heal what is broken in our nation or our world.

NOTE: The practices shared here are for the purpose of addressing normal, everyday fear.  If you find your symptoms persisting, please seek additional support through spiritual counseling, traditional counseling, self-development courses, or through any of the methods of intervention which have proven helpful in healing trauma:  EMDR and Brainspotting to name a few.

non-violent social change, non-violence, social change, change agent, peaceworkers, peace makers, non-violent soclai change,If you are looking for a way to join with others in the efforts of healing our broken world, please check out the Love Warriors project.  Learn more HERE.

 

 

 

.

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

Self-Actualization – The Journey of Finding Ourselves

Self-Actualization is the process of  finding ourselves. The purpose of the human experience is finding ourselves. I was recently asked to describe my mission and how my spiritual awakening and journey toward self-actualization informed that mission.  Here is my response:

Finding Ourselves

You ask me the question of mission. Concisely naming and identifying my mission has been the constant struggle of the past 20+ years.  My Authentic Freedom website currently says this:

Supporting the Spiritual Awakening and Self Actualization of Change Agents.

While this just sums it up and makes it “marketable” (according to SEO magic), it doesn’t even scratch the surface. As I suspect “concise” isn’t your desire, I will refrain from concise and provide for you, as per your inquiry, the whole kit and caboodle as I am best able at this time in my journey.

Lauri Ann Lumby, self-actualization, finding ourselves, finding meaning, finding purpose, personal mission

Emerging Church

I have known for a very long time, perhaps since first embarking upon my ministry training, that I am here to facilitate/support/catalyze change – specifically as it relates to what we have historically called “church.” My “reform” used to be a hope to change the Catholic Church, until I realized I was fighting a losing battle.  You can’t reform something that is already in its deathbed. The institution Paul established, based in fear, power and control, is in the process of its own implosion and what was never Jesus’ intention in the first place is coming to an end.  My job is to be part of planting the seeds, establishing the inspiration and perhaps some structure for the new “church” that will likely have NOTHING at all to do with church as we have known it.

Vocations

The so-called “vocations crisis” is at the heart of the institutional church’s death. In truth, there is NO vocations crisis, only a crisis in vision.  What the institutional Church cannot see is that every single person in their pews, and among those who have left, are called to be “priest.”  Every single person is uniquely gifted to find meaning and purpose in their life and are called to do so for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.  THIS is their service to God.  This is their priesthood.  Every single person has an opportunity to be ordained into the unique way they are called to serve.  If this isn’t priesthood, I don’t know what is.  The Church, however, refuses to see this or to do anything about it- ignoring the deepest longing of our hearts which is in finding ourselves.

Spiritual Awakening, Self-Actualization and Stewardship

When I was still ministering in the Church, I had the opportunity to study the US Catholic Bishop’s pastoral letter on stewardship. The document stated that true stewardship only arises out of mature disciples, and then went on to describe how people become mature disciples by finding the answers to the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Whose am I?
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them?

In short, the journey toward becoming “mature disciples” is about finding ourselves. Then the Bishops left it there. People cannot become mature disciples unless they are given the resources and tools to so.  This is the work of spiritual formation and psychology.  The problem is that the Church refuses to provide these resources (even when they have the tools right in their own hands!!!!!!!)  and goes so far as to discourage people from pursuing the path that would lead them to spiritual and psychological maturity.  How can you expect people to plow the field, not give them the tools for doing so, and then punish them when they try to figure it out on their own?  It’s almost as if the Church really doesn’t want people to grow.  Again…..exactly why the Church is dying.

Doing Something About it

Spiritual Formation, Self-Actualization, Stewardship. Vocations. This is what I do.  I provide the resources and support for people who have awakened spiritually and who are searching for the answer to the above-mentioned life questions.  I provide resources and tools to support their exploration and their journey toward self-actualization.  I support them in naming and claiming their gifts, moving through the resistances to these gifts and then empowering into their own “priesthood” – whatever that might look for them personally.  (Side note – The work that I do could also be accomplished in the field of psychology, but again, as a patriarchal, hierarchical institution, they (with a few exceptions) too refuse to provide people with this kind of support.). Again, it all boils down to finding ourselves.

Healing

The bulk of this work of finding ourselves is about healing. In order to become self-actualized, we have to heal the wounds of our past. We need support in our grief.  We need release from trauma.  We need permission to acknowledge where we’ve been unacknowledged and heal those wounds so we can be free to be who we were meant to be.  We need to be supported in identifying and restoring the lost parts of ourselves.  We have to confront our shadow.  When people feel seen, and are able to heal the wounds of their past, they finally feel free to be who they are meant to be.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Jesus is my teacher and my beloved.  Mary is my teacher and myself.  It is through them that all I am and all I have brought into the world have come to be.  Not the Jesus of the Institutional Church – but the original Jesus – a Jewish man who came into his own self-actualization through his intimate relationship with the Divine (UNION) and who tried (mostly in vain) to teach his disciples, and anyone who would listen, the freedom he had come to know.  Mary – the one (along with John the Evangelist) who got it.  The one the Church rejected and in rejecting her all feminine power with her.

Lauri Ann Lumby

Thirteen letters in my name, born on the 13th day of the 13th month, the thirteen of the thirteen. Mary Magdalene was the 13th disciple.  Mary Magdalene was the 13th and leader of the community when Jesus left.  My whole life has been directed toward all of the above stated, and underneath it all has been my own journey toward self.  There is a part of my journey that beyond religion, spirituality, and psychology, is magic.  True magic.  Divine magic. This magical search began with Samantha Stevens and has led me along meandering paths, beginning with King Arthur, The Mists of Avalon, Wicca, Celtic magic and pre-Christian ritual practices. A significant part of this journey has been through the “shadow” aspects of magic – a fascination with vampires, werewolves, witches, Disney villains, demons.  While I used to cringe at the idea of demonic possession, I have learned of the dark forces that are present in our world (even if they are simply concentrated human fear), and the need to protect, but more importantly transform.  The path has led me to Hermetic alchemy (Thoth), Egyptian mysteries, and the Kabbalah – specifically Hebraic Kabbalah and the magic within it.  Magic with the sole purpose of UNION and which is never done to cause harm. Magic that heals and transforms.  This is not the en hoc est corpus meum of the Catholic priest, it is the magic that we all possess when we have transformed our self so as to be able to partner with the Divine in wielding love.

Confessions of a Catholic Witch

Recovering Catholics – 42.7 Million Strong!

Love.

This is ultimately what it all boils down to. One day in Shamanic practice, I asked the question of my Soul’s purpose.  The answer was so simple and yet so profound:

“Lauri, your purpose is love. To love and to be loved in return.”

To me, love is a verb. It is what/who I am called to be.  It is what I am called to do.  Period.  It is so simple.  And yet so profound.

Authentic Freedom Academy offers a full range of services, books and online courses in support of finding ourselves:  Spiritual Counseling with Lauri Ann Lumby, The Authentic Freedom Mastery Program, and Lauri’s foundational text Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, to name a few.

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Development, spiritual healing, Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Healing through the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual

Healthy human development includes the process of spiritual healing, specifically from the fears and unhealed wounds that might otherwise keep us from the path of our truth.  Healing and releasing these “demons” sets us on the path of true and enduring happiness and supports the ultimate goal of our journey which is self-actualization. I created the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual to support us in this spiritual healing.

A Seven Step Process for the healing, transformation and release of negative energetic influences. 

Created by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Magdalene Priestess, Shadow Worker and Spiritual Counselor

Whether we believe in the literal truth of demonic entities, or think of “demon” as a metaphor for either our own or collective fear, a critical part of the journey of spiritual development and growth is confronting those energies that might otherwise dissuade us from our path.  We might recognize the presence of these fear-forms in:

  • Challenging or harmful relationships
  • Past or current life trauma
  • Situations where our financial support is not flowing in a positive direction
  • Unexplainable health issues
  • Negative individuals or groups who seem to be attacking or interfering with our work
  • Feeling as if awareness of our gifts or contribution in the world is being blocked
  • Inability to make our soul’s purpose a success
  • Experiences we might interpret as bad luck
  • Crisis patterns
  • Worry, fretfulness, unrest
  • Physical or emotional fatigue

The further we move along the path of our spiritual growth, the more persistent and persuasive these fears become, to the point where they sometimes feel as if they really are a disembodied demonic entity trying to harm us.

Hence the value of having a diligent spiritual practice through which we might identify, confront, heal, release and transform these fears (See my course Authentic Freedom for more on this) so that we might continue along the path of our truth.  When even our most effective spiritual practices aren’t working however, it is helpful to have an even powerful weapon at our disposal.  It is for this purpose that I created and now share the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual.

Learn more and register HERE.