Hi. I’m Lauri Ann Lumby, and I am “Everyperson.” For 15 years I’ve been living in the trenches with the “working poor.” This is what my reality looks like:
I am self-employed as a Spiritual Counselor, providing mental health support through spiritual counseling (I have an MA in Transpersonal Psychology and completed a 3 year training program as a Spiritual Director), and human development training through online education. I am also a published author.
Sounds fancy, right? Sure, but the above has not produced enough income to pay the bills. So, in the fall of 2017, I started a side-gig. The side-gig has provided just enough supplemental income to pay my monthly rent.
No, wait, things started breaking apart long before Covid 19. Awhile back, I received a DIRECT command:
Let it go. Let it all go.
Because I’ve been down this path many-a-time. I knew exactly why all the letting go. When we let things go, we are creating room for something new (and better) to enter. For the past several months, I’ve been watching my income stream slow almost to a halt……then ENTER COVID-19. My side gig closed two weeks ago and while I’ve had enough to keep me busy up until the end of this week. There’s not much coming after that. The “new office” I recently opened sits empty because no one is interested in receiving hands-on healing at this time.
Time to start freaking out?
For a moment maybe. But I know better than to stay there and I have the tools for finding peace in the midst of the complete unknown.
I have no idea how I will pay my bills. (I KNOW I’m not alone in this!)
But, what I do know is that I WAS BORN FOR THIS. I was born for this time and I have known it was coming. I’ve been training and preparing for this my whole life. I absolutely 100% know that there is something NEW and HUGE coming out of this for our world AND FOR ME!
For me, this is where the rubber meets the road and where shit gets real. Instead of chasing after shiny objects, or hustling to find a way to fill the gap,
I GET QUIET.
I turn inward. I go into the silence. I enter the VOID.
I use the practices I have been teaching others to use for the past 15+ years.
I resist the temptation to “thinking it through,” or throwing noodles against the wall hoping something will stick. Instead, I look for what emerges out of the silence. Not the rambling of my “let’s do something” mind, but the pure silence of THE VOID out of which everything true and real comes into form.
I have known that the dwindling cash flow was the herald of something new trying to be born in and through me, and now I take a deep breath as another HUGE chuck falls away. This is it. This is Lauri Ann Lumby’s day of reckoning. Do I run away in panic or find meaningless activities to fill the void so I can avoid the TERROR of facing into the VOID? No, I dive deeply into the VOID and see what She has to show me.
As Mother Mary said to the Angel Gabriel,
“Let it be done according to your word.”
Or as Jesus said as he was hanging from the cross,
There are three things that are certain in this life:
There is nothing in our lives that remains the same. Everything is moving and in constant flux – even the tiny atoms that are moving within the solid steel frames that make up our buildings and our roads.
Everything changes and our lives are in constant motion. Our life is a continual movement from birth to growth to death and back to birth again. There is not one moment in our life where we are not birthing, growing, and dying. The amazing thing is that all of these – birthing, growing and dying are all happening at the same time. We are always in the process of birthing something new. We are always nurturing and growing that new life. And we are always tending to the death of that which no longer serves.
These are sobering thoughts; and they really put into perspective the conditioning that teaches us to cling to what we have known and to seek after security and surety.
Question: is this conditioning or a function of our drive to survive? We have been told it is the latter, but I’m beginning to think it is more of the former. The ancients seem to have had a much better grip on the reality of change and seemed to tap into and surrender to the movement of this change. They also seemed to have found a way to survive and thrive without being attached to “the same.” Hmmmmmm perhaps another thing we can learn from those who have gone before us……
Change. Change. Change. Everything is changing. The ancients knew this and found a way to harness the gifts of that knowledge. The sages and teachers of old wrote about it. Modern day people sing about it. (Cue: David Bowie!) Everything is changing and nothing remains the same.
But, we are conditioned to want things to remain the same. We cling to what we have known. We writhe and scream and cry when that which we cling to is being pried from our cold, dead fingers. And we are terrified of the new because we don’t know what it is; we cannot control it; we cannot make it happen and we cannot force it.
Kind of like birthing a baby! I have birthed two and I can attest that the baby comes in its own damn time and only in the way that it wants to come into the world. Yes, modern medicine (and ancient medicine for that matter) have tools to help bring the baby into the world (especially if something is happening in the birthing process that would put the mother or child’s life at risk); but as any mother will attest – there is a cost to applying these interventions.
The same is true in life. New life comes in its own damn time and only in the way that the Soul intends. We cannot force it. We cannot make it happen. We cannot hasten its arrival. All we can do is create the space in which this new life can take root (like preparing the nursery for the arrival of your new child). We can prepare the soil. We can plant the seeds. We can tend and water those seeds. But no amount of efforting will make those seeds grow until they are darn ready to sprout and grow.
The same is true of death. That which needs to pass from our lives – outmoded ways of being, non-serving beliefs, behaviors that no longer serve, jobs that have outlived their usefulness, etc. – will pass from our lives no matter what we do to cling to them. Oh yes, we can cling, we can hang on, we can grasp and bargain and plead, and that which needs to die might indeed remain (because of our clinging); but it will no longer be life-giving. Instead, it will be like the shriveled up, half-dead, immobile and worthless part of Voldemort that remained after he and Harry killed each other.
We can cling to what we have known, or we can surrender to the natural movement of our lives toward change. Forever moving from that which one day served to the new life that beckons on the other side of surrender and death.
It is our spiritual practice that helps us in navigating the ever-churning waters of life’s journey. Developing, cultivating and nurturing our spiritual practice supports us in learning how to be with whatever stage of life’s movement we currently find ourselves in. Our practice helps us to be ok with “what is.” It also supports us in discerning this movement – when is it time to stay and when is it time to go (Cue: The Clash). Our practice guides us to the voice of truth within along with our inner compass which helps us to recognize the signs of death along with the beckoning call of new life. And our practice helps us to move gently and (somewhat) effortlessly through the constant movement and changes of life. Through our practice we are able to surrender to the flow and find peace within us.
But….sometimes our practice fails us. Try as we might, we cannot find peace or contentment within that flow. In spite of our efforts to tend to our spiritual practice and to harness its gifts for helping us surrender and find contentment within the movement of our life journey, we cannot find the fruits. Sometimes we can’t even “do” our spiritual practice because even these efforts seem to be failing.
But they are not! Even though it feels like we might have Spiritual A.D.D., we are not failing. Instead, we are in the stage of our Soul’s journey that is akin to the transition stage of labor. There is this place when the babe is trying to be born that is called transition and I can attest that IT IS INSANE! Transition feels as if someone has plugged you into a 220 outlet and you are ON FIRE. Every cell of the body feels charged with electricity. You feel restless, anxious and (for me anyway) like you will kill anyone that gets in your way. You can’t sit still. The mind is anxious. You feel like you want to run. Nothing provides comfort. What seems comfortable in one moment is not the next. It is like an energy has entered the body and is doing everything it can to bring forth this new life and you are possessed by this energy.
The same thing happens in death. Those who have tended to the dying call this the “death throes.” Similar to transition in labor, the person who is dying is overcome with restlessness, frustration, discomfort, anxiousness. Nothing will make them comfortable. They writhe and thrash and (if they are able) pace as the energy that seeks to usher them into death prepares them for the transition from life into death.
When we are at this stage in our personal journey – when the old is trying to pass away to make way for the new while the new is simultaneously trying to come into being, it is ok to be restless, frustrated, anxious and uncomfortable. This is natural and expected. When this stage shows up all we can do is surrender. As it relates to spiritual practices, when it feels like we are suffering from Spiritual A.D.D., all we can do is surrender. Walk away from the practice if you need to. Or do what I do, return to the oldie moldie practices which at the very least give my mind a break. When even this fails I “go with it.” Instead of resisting the energies of transition, I engage in them. I dance. I take a walk in nature. I cook. I clean. I find something to do with the restless energies in my body (kind of like all the pacing I did when I labor). And then I let it be.
That which is passing out of our lives will leave in its own damn time. The same is true of the life that is trying to be born. We can surrender to this truth or suffer the sure consequence of resisting. The choice is ours. What would you choose?
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Surrendering is a topic I have written about before as it is the invitation that shows up over and over and over and over in our journey toward the Soul. Whether we are asked to surrender, let go, or we find ourselves in a free-fall, SURRENDER is a persistent theme. This is natural considering that we have been conditioned to believe (and many new age and new thought circles enforce these beliefs) that the circumstances of our lives are somehow in our control. You know the routine – think the right thoughts and you will get what you want, working hard leads to reward, no pain no gain, it is by your efforts that you will be rewarded, your value is dependent upon how hard you work and what you accomplish, yada yada yada. The stream of conditioned thoughts are endless. Throw in our religious conditioning including the misperception of “faith” (believe you will be healed and you will); and the immigrant work ethic and we have a one mell of a hess!
The truth is, very little of what happens in our lives is within our realm of control. (GASP!). We are told that we have free will, but do we really? This is a question I have explored with many of my clients, students and colleagues. It seems that the closer we get to our Soul, the less we are allowed free will. In short, no matter how hard we work, no matter how strongly we believe (or think we believe) no matter how much we strive toward what we think is our Soul’s calling, our Soul’s purpose, our Soul’s mission…..if it is not our Soul’s calling, it will fail. (and sometimes when it is our Soul’s calling it still fails because it is what the Soul intended). And we can know that it is not our Soul’s calling when in spite of all our efforting, belief, “faith,” wishing hoping and dreaming, all we come up with is a bloody forehead from beating our head against the wall.
The Divine path is easy. The effort comes when we are allowing the ego to drive instead of our Soul. The Soul says, “Let Go! I got this.” The ego pleads, “BUT I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL. I need to know what is happening, why it is happening and how. I need to be able to decide, to choose, to see the road ahead and what will happen as the path unfolds so I can make plans.” The Soul says, “Um….no, you don’t. If you saw where I am leading you, you would freak the f-out and say NO! You don’t need to know and you don’t get to know and while you are busy making plans, I am unraveling them for you.” God is kind of an asshole that way – but only because the Divine plan is better than what we could ever imagine, hope or dream of – but NOT from the limited perception of the ego – only from the infinite and expansive wisdom of the Soul. In this the Soul can see the good in suffering, sorrow, betrayal, loss and pain. Even death – especially death – serves the greatest and highest purpose….but to all of this the ego says NO!
Surrender is such a frequent theme because of the ministrations of the ego. The ego wants to be in control and believes that being in control, it is keeping us safe. But at the end of the day, are we ever really safe? Death, as we know, can come at any minute. We can be taking our favorite route to the yoga studio and get hit by a semi. We can be eating all the right foods and thinking all the right thoughts and still get struck down by cancer. We can be enjoying a friendly game of soccer one day and find ourselves in the ICU hooked up to life support the very next day. Life (shit) happens and we have NO CONTROL over it. If it is the intended path of our Soul it will happen no matter what we do to try to “make it happen” or avoid it.
This is perhaps the toughest pill to swallow in our human journey. We are not in control. The Soul will do what the Soul came here to do. Period. Jesus proved this. Jesus came here to be and show love. He came here to show us all how to find peace (the kingdom of God) within. He healed the sick. He gave sight to the blind. He counseled the hurting. He nourished and fed the spiritually hungry. And then he got killed for it. Jesus did everything right. He listened to the calling of his Soul. He did what his Soul asked of him. He was “obedient unto death.” And then he died – a slow and painful death on a cross. And there was NOTHING he could do to stop it – because it was the path his Soul intended. And at the end of it all, Jesus did what we are all invited to do. He surrendered it all unto his Soul, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.” The very same path his mother traveled before him, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Complete and total surrender is what the Soul asks of us. To meet each moment of every day with the understanding that what is showing up to meet us is EXACTLY what our Soul has intended for us to experience in this life. We are not to know the whys or the hows, but to simply surrender. This is especially true when we don’t really like what is coming for us – illness, poverty, suffering, pain, disappointment, (perceived) failure, etc. We need to LET IT GO. And when we are human (which we will always be), and we find ourselves struggling and all our efforts seem to be in vain, the invitation is there again – complete and total surrender as the Soul reminds us, “Let go. I got this!” And then, we let Her!
I have spent the past two weekends in DEEP CLEARING mode. Doing my year-end bookkeeping, deep cleaning my home, and yesterday I spent all day gathering and completing paperwork for a process that will free me from something that has held me prisoner for the past 7 (or s0) years. It is time to be FREED from the past to make way for the new. Beyond the material, this has also been a time of deep inner clearing – facing, identifying and healing wounds from the past, letting go of attachments to certain ideas, plans, fixations, etc. and listening deeply for what might still be cluttering my ego and which is yearning to be freed. All of this has been for the purpose of making room for the new to step in. As I have been diligently tending to the process of wiping the slate clean, I am finding the new peeking out from around the corner waiting to be seen. I see you and I welcome you!
Wiping the slate clean is a process we are all invited into from time to time. When what has been is proving to be no longer life-giving, it is time to let it go. When things from our past have become a burden or an obstacle to our forward movement, it is time to let them go! When we are clinging to old hurts, betrayals, wounds, etc. we cannot move forward until we let them go. The same is true of our ego attachments – attachments to fame, money, power, etc. In order to fulfill the Divine plan for ourselves (our Soul’s plan), we first have to be cleared of anything and everything that is not in harmony with that plan. It is time to wipe the slate clean.
But wiping the slate clean isn’t always easy. We have become comfortable and familiar with what has been. Comfort, however, does not equal freedom. And our Soul demands freedom! Sometimes what our culture tells we “must do to be successful” is not in harmony with our Soul’s path so we must let that go, while facing the sure judgment of those who cling to the culture’s definition of success and how to get there. Going against the flock is never easy – and yet in the path of the Soul it is almost always necessary!
Let me give you an example of this from my own journey. For years I’ve been told that I need to “be famous,” “be on Oprah,” or at the very least on Ellen. In order to be successful, I need to take my show on the road – get out there and do all those big workshops famous people do (you know the ones you pay thousands of dollars to attend and then the only one getting paid is the promoter?). I’ve had people promise to “make me famous” and that the key to my success will be travel. Well, here’s the deal folks……after a bizarre virus in 2015, I cannot travel. I cannot drive for more than an hour (sometimes 90 minutes) without becoming very ill. It then takes several hours – sometimes days for my inner equilibrium to return. It isn’t car sickness. It isn’t panic attacks. No one seems to know what it is and even after 18 months of physical therapy for “vertigo” the symptoms are still the same. There is no long distance driving travel in Lauri Lumby’s future. But beyond this limitation that can certainly be worked around (hire a driver, fly, etc.) what my Soul has said to me VERY LOUDLY and quite succinctly is “BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED,” while showing me all the people right here in good ole Oshkosh, Wisconsin who are in need of my gifts. And it’s time. It’s time to stop hiding in my home and get out into the community sharing my magic. (something I am already doing on a daily basis informally….but now it’s time to do it more formally).
Wiping the slate clean requires that we diligently tend to all those things that are currently in the way of us pursuing and fulfilling the path of our Soul. As we recently explored in my Order of Melchizedek course, the plan our Soul has for us is far beyond what we could ever imagine for ourselves:
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In our quest to be rational, independent, self-sufficient human beings, there is one thing we continue to forget:
WE ARE NOT ALONE!
We are not alone. And, we cannot do it alone. When we believe otherwise, we are suffering from the compulsion of pride. Forgetting the central truth of the human experience – we allow ourselves to suffer alone. Most specifically, we forget that we have a Divine Parent we can turn to for help; and for those of us who call Jesus our teacher and our guide, we can always turn to Christ; and if we are of a Catholic disposition, Mother Mary and the Saints provide additional support.
We are not alone. And yet we continually struggle in remembering this truth. We think we can do it ourselves. We believe we have to do it ourselves….and our culture supports this false believe. We are conditioned to believe we are responsible for our lives and our livelihood. If we are suffering it is our fault. If we are poor it is because we haven’t worked hard enough. If we are ill, it is a punishment from God or karma. Everywhere we turn we are told to do it ourselves, don’t ask for help, be self-sufficient, “you are the creator of your life.”
To that final comment: No, we are not! Contrary to all “New Age” beliefs, we are not the creator of our lives. God is. More specifically, our life is an unfolding of God expressing God’s self in and through us. It is a co-creation….NOT a “ME” creation. Our life is a partnership with the Divine and when we remember this truth, life simply unfolds and all that is happening is Grace…even if what is happening is difficult. The “difficult” is there for the purpose of our learning and inner growth and through this learning we come to know more about ourselves and in coming to know ourselves we come to know God.
But there are those days….those days when we feel as if we have handled all we can handle, done all that we can do, faced all the demons we could face, fought all the battles we could fight. There are those days we have done everything we can think of to make it through the challenge before us (these days never happen when things are flowing in a positive direction). We have named our demons and worked on healing them. We have identified our triggers and worked on releasing their source. We have chanted, prayed, meditated on scripture, and spoken in tongues, and still the challenge remains…or rather, our unrest related to the challenge.
This is when we are invited to remember….
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Every day as part of my morning ritual, I pull one card from my Gnostic Tarot of the Saintsdeck (Robert M. Place 2001). For the past three mornings, I have pulled the Death card. While the appearance of this card might strike fear in the hearts of many, I find the Death card to be a huge source of comfort. Maybe it is due to my gifts as a shadow worker – a master in confronting and dealing with the parts of the human experience from which most would run. More likely, it is because I understand that death is not death at all…it is simply the boundary between that which has (and likely needs to) come to an end and that which is waiting to be born. As resurrection after death is the promise of Christian belief, so is it the promise of the tarot – in every death is the promise of new life – we need simply be open to receiving it. Pulling the death card on three consecutive days suggests that the death one has just faced, or is currently facing is a HUGE one. It also suggests that the new that is coming into being is equally as huge.
This must certainly be the case for me. As I have mentioned many times over, the past three years have been a DOOZIE! Letting go. Releasing. Surrendering. Letting go some more. Complete surrender and supplication. Many times in the past three years I have uttered the prayer, “WTF????!!!!” My recent move has invited a HUGE release including many aspects of my work about which I had become comfortable. Our new place is AMAZING and feels so much more like home and perfectly reflective of my vibe….and yet I find myself in the time between what has ended and what has not yet begun. It is an insecure and uncertain time. If the BIG MOVE and the BIG LETTING GO wasn’t enough, I recently went through an experience of something that seemed to be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, only to have it turn to dust in my hands. This brought forth an ending I had never anticipated along with a grief proportionate to that ending.
With all of this, it is no surprise that the Death card should appear. Again, while the appearance of this card might strike fear in the hearts of many, I am finding profound comfort in the presence of Death. Death is saying to me, “Lauri, what no longer serves has come to an end. You have surrendered these unto Me and now you are free of them. Completely free. You will no longer be burdened by those things that no longer serve your highest good and which no longer support the mission you are called to fulfill.” As Death so lovingly stated, I feel completely free of these things and utterly at peace.
This is not all that Death has to say, however. “Lauri, now is the time for rest. As Jesus rested in the tomb for three days and three nights, so too are you invited to rest. Be with what has been and allow yourself to be healed and transformed from what in the past may have harmed you. As a caterpillar in the chrysalis, allow yourself to be made new. As it was true for Christ, as is true for the caterpillar, the new can only be made in the depths of the darkness. The new is not of your making and requires no effort on your part as like the caterpillar, it is a work that arises out of the depths of your Soul, coming forth from your own Divine blueprint. In this you need do nothing. Simply be. Wait. Be patient. Trust. When it is time to come forth out of your tomb, you will know it and you will come forth into a whole new world, the likes of which you cannot even imagine.”
To this I say, “Thank you Death. I welcome you with open arms and surrender into promise of new life.”
Big endings lead to even bigger beginnings…and to this I say, “Bring it!”
A week ago Tuesday, I awoke to the voice of (I’m not sure who – Spirit, The Mother, God, My Higher Self) speaking these words to me:
How appropriate these words are as I face the end of an era. The life as I have known it has drawn to a close and all that defined that life has come to an end. Or rather, the purpose of that era has drawn to a close. I am tempted to point to church stuff, changing the world, Mary Magdalene, etc. as being the purpose of the past nearly 20 years, but in truth, the deeper purpose seems to have been for one thing and one thing only –
My own healing.
While the externals that gave expression to the past 20 years has been about God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Church stuff, wanting to heal and change the world, creating a space in which people can find support in their own spiritual exploration and journey toward self-actualization……at the core of all of it has been my own healing. Every book I have written, every course that I have created came first out of my own personal experience of being open to the Universe giving me what I needed to find healing and in receiving this healing, discovering MYSELF. I then took what I found to be supportive and formed it into a structure that could be shared with others for the sake of their own journey of healing from their past so as to discover themselves. Looking at the lives of those I’ve supported, I have to say I think I’ve done a pretty good job (PS I’m pretty sure this piece is NOT coming to an end).
As this era comes to a close and is ritualized by a literal physical move (from the home we have enjoyed for the past 6 ½ years), I’m letting it all go. I’ve grieved through this transition. I’ve said goodbye to cherished objects, personal labels, dreams of riches and fame, attachments to outcomes and even the hope of a specific kind of love and the dream of a regular life with a regular job. I’ve grieved the loss of the home we have loved and in which not only myself, but my children have found healing. I’ve grieved the loss of a routine that I’ve known. And most importantly, I’ve grieved the loss of the familiar life in which I’ve lived which has been defined mostly by isolation, illness, depression, poverty and loss (bahbye!).
I do not know what is waiting for me on the other side of this transition, but I am grateful for what has been and open to the opportunities that will present themselves in this letting go. I figure if the Universe is inviting me into this depth of emptying, something ENORMOUS must be coming to fill its place.
First of all, a huge thank you to all who responded to my blog yesterday, “My Watch is Ended.” Thank you for understanding that my words are always more dire than my reality. Yeah….things are hard right now. Yes, I’m tired. I might even be a little depressed. (ok, maybe a lot!) Dark Night of the Soul…..for sure!!!!! Things are falling away and attachments are being released; and nothing new has yet to show up in their place. It’s scary over here.
This too shall pass. (GOD I HOPE SO! A little space to breathe would be nice!).
The good news is two amazing children. (the most amazing and truly my greatest gift and dare I say greatest accomplishment in this life!!!!!) Beautiful friends. Unexpected and overwhelming outpourings of support. A thriving Priestess Training program and developing community. Loving family. A roof over our head. Food on the table. Cars to get us places. At the end of the day, I’m a survivor (as if there has ever been a choice) and the Universe will find us the way through this.
In the meantime…….the lessons in the letting go have been profound. It is because of these lessons in letting go that I chose the above title for today’s blog based on the similar lessons Arya Stark (Game of Thrones) had to learn in her time with the Faceless Men. In order to survive her time in service to the Many-Faced God(the god of death) and then in training as an assassin in the House of Black and White, Arya had to give up her identity as a Stark along with any attachment to who she was or what she thought her mission might be. She could fulfill none of her own desires but was forced to relinquish them all in service to the Many-Faced God. If and when Arya strayed from being “no one” and took up any of her own desires, attachments or agendas, she was punished. She was beaten, starved, blinded, cast into the street, and then beaten some more. Every time she was beaten down, she came back for more, again taking up her own name and cause, and was then beaten down again. This cycle went round and round and round until Arya finally got it – becoming No One, the Girl who has no name. Only then were her faculties restored and Arya put back on her path. Only the irony in this was that the path Arya was put back upon was the path that brought her to the House of Black and White in the first place.
It seems I serve a similar “Many-Faced God.” As I’ve mentioned before. 2015 was the year of letting go. 2016, the year of emptying…..and 2017? Well….let’s just say WTF!? The letting go has gone beyond letting go, the emptying beyond emptying. Persons, places, things. But most excruciating has been the letting go of ideas about mission, purpose, ideas about the universe and how it does or does not work, and my faith in a certain kind of God, every name, title, designation, label I had given myself – recovering Catholic, priest, priestess, witch, shaman, prophet, healer, teacher, wayshower, etc.. Everything I thought I knew and what I thought I knew about myself might be showing itself to be false….or at the very least, is coming forth to be redefined. Like Arya, I feel like I have had to arrive at a place where titles no longer serve, names are no longer relevant, and that I had to become blind to ideas of mission, purpose, and what I thought gave my life meaning so that one day I might see. Also like Arya, I find I can no longer cling to a plan or a timeline. I can only be present to what shows up in the moment. If I think I’m headed south for King’s Landing, someone might show up with news that causes me to turn north instead where a different purpose awaits. Apparently part of being no one, a girl with no name, also means I am not in charge. There is an energy and a power much greater than myself that is guiding me home…..wherever and whenever that home might be.
“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.“
?The Night’s Watch oath
Once upon a time, I had a mission and a purpose.
Initially, that mission was to support people in discovering and cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus. I discovered this calling and then sought to fulfill it within the embrace of the Catholic Church.
The longer I worked in and for the Church, the more I came to realize the sins of the Institution and made it my task, like Sts. Francis and Clare, to reform the Catholic Church – turning it away from fear, power and control and toward the love of Jesus that inspired its inception.
When this proved to be an unwelcome and impossible task, I turned my gaze outside the Institution and sought to support people in becoming spiritually fulfilled – giving them the tools to discover the answer to the following questions and then empowering them to live out their answers:
Who am I?
Whose am I?
What are my gifts and how am I called to use them for the sake of my own fulfillment and then for the sake of the betterment of the world?
The more I offered this support outside the Church, the more I discovered that these are not religious questions, but universal in nature. These are the questions that are answered in our common journey toward self-actualization. In conjunction with this belief, I believed that if we would all just find our self-actualization that we would have peace and harmony in our lives. With this, my mission became nothing short of saving the world! No small goals for Lauri Ann Lumby!
The problem, however, is that the world does not want to be saved.
The sad truth is that the majority of humanity is content to live in status quo, desperately clinging to their judgment, fears, perceived separation, need to be right and the need to make someone else wrong. Even as I write this I am aware of my own culpability in this regard, creating my own version of “us and them.” SIGH!
These are the mountains I used to be willing to die on. These are the battles I fought; the causes I have given my life to; and for which I have risked and lost much. Like a member of “The Night’s Watch,” I have devoted my life to these causes and offered up similar vows. Toward what end? Like Jon Snow who was betrayed and then murdered by his own brothers, I find I have no fight left in me. And like Jon, I turn the cloak I have donned as a champion of Love over to another hand while uttering Jon’s immortal words,
“My Watch is Ended.”
If humanity wants to continue to choose separation, fear, judgment, separation, hatred, violence, war, sickness, poverty, death and despair, who am I to change their mind? I have no need to convince anyone of anything…even the invitation to peace and love. I find it is all I can do to find peace myself and to share what I have learned with a few interested souls. Maybe that is enough for one person’s life, to find their own state of inner peace. For those who are interested in learning the tools that I have found helpful, I will always be here. Otherwise, it seems my watch here is ended.