Posted in church, Raised Catholic, the bible, Truth

Healing Our Religious Wounds – new online course

Online course

Do at your own pace

23 modules

Only $49.99!

(content heavy and fiscally light)

Click on this image to register.

While religion has provided a great service to humanity, it has also done great harm. If you are one who has felt harmed, rejected, condemned, judged, ridiculed, stifled, silenced, by religion, you are not alone. In fact, the second largest “religious” denomination in the United States is made up of 42.7 million non-practicing Catholics – those who have left the Church because they no longer felt welcome or at home.  Perhaps like me, you are one of those.  Whatever it is that brings you to this class, “Healing Our Religious Wounds,” know that here you are welcome!  Through this course you will find acceptance, unconditional love and support for healing the wounds that you experienced at the hands of religious institutions or from those associated with that religion (even when those may have been your own parents or loved ones).

The structure of this class will be four-fold:

  1. To name and claim the harm that we have experienced through religion and to find unconditional support for claiming these wounds.
  2. To grieve the losses that we have experienced as a result of these wounds: loss of community, loss of familiar rituals, loss of perceived belonging, loss of God*, loss of self.
  3. To provide a space upon which you can heal religious wounds by confronting some of the core “beliefs” that are often the platform upon which this wounding has taken place.
  4. In doing so, providing space in which you can build a belief system of your own, perhaps discovering that in doing so, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater (which many, sadly have).

The format of this course will be part storytelling, part recorded lecture, part written content, and part personal reflection and meditation.  You are invited to share what you are comfortable sharing throughout the course and you are free to refrain from sharing if this is how you are called.

Topics Covered:

  • Telling our story
  • Grief
  • Guilt
  • Images of God
  • Re-examining “The Trinity”
  • The question of salvation
  • Jesus – Redeemer or Revealer?
  • Scripture
  • Outside perceived authority vs inner truth
  • Prayer – speaking to vs. listening to God
  • Religion vs. Spirituality
  • Naming and claiming your own truth

*A note about “God.” Throughout this course you will see the use of the word “God.”  I will also interchange this with “The Divine.”  Please know that in the use of these terms, I impose no specific belief or understanding of what that means….but that it has nothing to do with the traditional “Old Man in the Sky” god and everything to do with the “God of your understanding.”  If you have a hard time with the word “God,” please feel free to replace it with “Love” or “Peace” or any word that describes your current understanding of our Origin and our Source.

Please also note that I will be using Judeo-Christian scripture throughout this course. I do so because it is the primary text which has been used as a weapon for harm.  In my own healing journey, I have discovered the beauty of scripture when examined through the light of love.  Scripture was never meant to cause harm, but to be a vehicle through which we can find ourselves, and in finding ourselves, finding our own understanding of “God.” My hope in using scripture, along with the proper tools, is that you will find this also to be true.

What you will need:

  • Yourself
  • A computer with internet access
  • A notebook or journal
  • A music source (your computer will suffice)
  • A box of crayons (Crayola 64 count is my favorite)
  • Time

As an additional source of support, I have created a “Secret” Facebook group (meaning only members can post or have access to the page) for course participants. Here you are welcome to share your own journeys and to connect with others healing through this process.  This is purely optional, but please use this resource if you feel so called.

 REGISTER HERE. 

From the Course’s Welcome and Introduction:

Since the beginning of time, human beings have created belief systems, rituals and communal practices to support and give expression to their search for meaning. For many primitive cultures, religion became a means of trying to survive in an otherwise unfriendly world. Beyond mere survival, as sentient beings we are driven by an inner longing to know who we are, to understand the workings of the universe and to somehow participate in the universe’s ongoing act of creation.  Religions were created in an effort to fulfill this longing.

Historically, the development of religious systems has proven helpful in gathering people around a common set of beliefs and cultural practices, providing a system of education and support through the inherent rites of passage in the human journey (birth, coming into adulthood, coupling, aging, death), and supporting humanity in developing necessary codes of conduct and systems for addressing breaches in that conduct. At their best, religious institutions bring humans together, support them in their psycho-spiritual development and equip them for living out the fullness of their human potential while being of service to the betterment of the world.

Many religious institutions are not, however, functioning “at their best.” Instead, many have risen up out of systems of fear, power and control, or as an adversarial response to other systems of power.  As a result, many religious institutions are functioning not as a system of support and empowerment, but instead are seeking control.  In many cases, fear and intimidation are the vehicles of control as those in power seek to rule over those who are not.

As a result of this disparity of power, many thousands of human beings have been injured – told they are unworthy of the love of their God, made to feel less than because of the person God made them to be, or flat out rejected because of their gender, sexual orientation, or life choices. In some cultures, people are even being killed because they disagree with the ruling religious power.  And what about all of those who have been sexually abused by those in religious power and those who are still being abused?

 REGISTER HERE

Posted in Forgiveness, Lessons, Spiritual Practices, Truth

The Truth Cannot Stay Hidden

This weekend, I had the profound confirmation of a theory to which I have long-subscribed – the theory that no matter how hard one tries, truth will not stay long hidden. Truth always finds its way to the light where it can be readily seen by those who have the eyes to see, bringing justice to situations where untruths otherwise prevailed.

In this particular case, I was well aware of these truths. Although the revelations of these truths would have provided me with much vindication, I had kept silent about these truths for the sake of others who might be hurt by them.  These truths had been the cause of much pain in my own life, truths that the human part of me wanted to shout to the world as a way of “getting back” at those who had hurt me.  Instead, I chose silence, knowing and trusting that these truths would eventually find their way to the light for those who needed to know in a time that was perfect for them.

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And this is exactly what happened. The truth came to light bringing healing and closure where neither were previously thought possible.  In addition, the way in which these truths came to light brought empowerment for those, who through their own observations had intuited these truths.  The revelation of these truths brought great validation for me in having taken the “high road” in choosing silence and trust over revenge. It also served as a great reminder that no matter how hard one works at disguising, denying or avoiding their truth, truth cannot be hidden for long and the deceiver will always give themselves away, if not directly then by slips of the tongue or getting caught in an outright lie.

This is the advice I offer to students and clients who are faced with similar situations of untruths – where harm has been done to them, and they want to take revenge on the “other” by telling everyone the truth. I say, “Wait.  The truth will win out in the end.  Those that need to know will find out if and when they need to.”  This weekend’s experience proved my theory true.

Choosing silence, trust, and a patient heart allows us to turn away from the human desire for revenge and toward forgiveness practices – those practices that free us from the resentment, hurt, sense of betrayal, anger and hatred that we might otherwise harbor against the other. Here we are able to free ourselves of the pain of the hurt while not causing harm to another.  Choosing this path gives us freedom.

As I also advise my students and clients, “Karma is a bitch.” While I do not believe in a punitive God, I do believe in (and the human part of me takes great comfort in) the law of cause and effect.  What you put out to the world will come back to you 100-fold.  If you (intentionally) cause harm to another, that harm will come back to you.  If you betray another, you will be betrayed.  If you are a liar, you will be deceived.  If you cheat, you will be cheated, etc. etc. etc.  There is comfort in knowing that we reap what we have sown and for those who sow deceit this is what they shall reap.  Truth, on the other hand, always wins.  Choose truth.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Jesus, Oneness with God, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Truth

We are all Gods – When the Divine Within Reveals Itself

 

I said, ‘You are “gods”;     you are all expressions (children/creations) of the Most High.

Psalm 82: 6

 

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’.  If Abwoon called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of Abwoon came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Creator set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am the Creator’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Creator. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Creator is in me, and I in the Creator.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

John 10: 34-39

 

Since the inception of Authentic Freedom in 2003, I have been teaching what Jesus taught – that we are ONE with God in love and that remembering this Oneness is the balm that heals us and restores us to inner peace in the face of the challenges and struggles of the human experience.  Authentic Freedom was developed as a process and a protocol for inner alchemy – returning to this original state of Oneness, thereby bringing us into wholeness within ourselves and achieving what alchemists would call  the philosopher’s stone, what psychologists refer to as “self-actualization” and what the religious recognize as “mature faith or mature spiritual development.”  Here we know who we are, we know our unique giftedness and we are empowered to share these gifts for the sake of our own fulfillment and in support of the betterment of the world.

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It is one thing to know that we are one with God.  It is another thing to KNOW that we are one with God.  The former is an intellectual knowing, the latter is an embodied knowing recognized in the felt sense of this ONENESS which is further known by a deep state of inner peace, wholeness, and love.  One is centered in the mind.  The other, is a true KNOWING  -centered in the heart and felt in the entire body.  Here one is grounded, whole, complete, content, unflappable.  THIS is the “kingdom of God” that Jesus often referred to and the GOAL of our human experience – to be fully human while KNOWING this state of unflappable contentment.  Jesus knew this. The Dalai Lama knows this.  Amma knows this.  We too are invited to know this.

For twenty-three years, after first getting a glimpse of this Oneness with God, I have practiced the HOW. I have meditated, entered into contemplation and deep reflection, read and studied scripture.  I have practiced movement meditation (Chi Qong and Yoga).  I have listened to meditative music, practiced journaling and meditative drawing.  I have voraciously read every book I could get my hands on describing the spiritual journey, inner alchemy, the psychology of transformation, etc. etc. etc.  I have DONE IT ALL.  After (and while) doing, I created a curriculum and taught.  And then I wrote a few books.  In this journey, I learned of Jesus’ oneness teachings and built the foundation of all my practices, courses and writings on this teaching.  I knew I was One with God, and in the course of this work have gotten glimpses and fleeting experiences of this Oneness.  But I didn’t truly KNOW it.

Now I do. (at least for now, because the Irish in me knows that this KNOWING might very well be a moving target and a fleeting sensation….but for now, it feels really good and in truth, quite stable.)

My experience of getting to this place of KNOWING I am One with God and that the Divine dwells within me as ME has been no easy task! It has been very much as Jesus described, like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle!  In order to fit through that needle’s eye, I have had to let go of EVERYTHING I have built my life upon,  EVERYTHING I thought I knew about myself, EVERTHING which has felt, if not safe and secure, at least familiar.  In this process, I have had to let go of dreams of fame, riches (or just plain financial stability for that matter!), notoriety, the illusion of good health, perfection, self-righteousness, pride.  I have been made to let go of century-old grudges, forgive those undeserving of forgiveness, and made to learn how to love my enemy.  I lost my health and entered into a 6 month process of healing and then surrendering to medical support that I have spent 16 years trying to avoid.  Currently, portions of my business are dying and I’m losing the home I have come to love and am forced to find lodgings elsewhere – something I’m finding is no easy task for a family of 3 in a university town.  In short, I have been pushed to the place of having to LET GO of EVERYTHING I have come to know about myself, my vocation and my day-to-day life.  I have also had to ask for help in more ways than I have ever had to ask before.

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This has been my journey for the past 19 months. Letting go.  Letting go.  And letting go some more.  Emptying.  Emptying.  Emptying.  All the while HOPING that this emptying was taking place so that something amazing could come in.  I had no idea that this something amazing might be God.

Then it happened. First in a dream.  Sunday night/Monday morning I had a crazy dream.  In the dream were all the animal totems who had previously come to me in dreams, visions, meditation – wolf, panther, owl, bat and dragon.  At first the dream was about the externals, but the more I meditated, the more I realized the totems were all aspects of my own inner gifts – wolf  = magic, safety and security and the support of the pack.  Panther = my own inner strength and power to protect and defend myself.  Owl represents my own inner wisdom and gifts of seeing and hearing.  Bat is the part of me comfortable and secure in working in the shadows – in confronting and transforming fear, darkness, that which we suppress and repress.  Dragon is my Soul’s power and the inner force that carries me.

Then, yesterday morning, while meditating on Jeremiah:

“For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.”

I pleaded with God that this would be so….that God would rescue me from the pain I have been experiencing as the letting go continues.  Suddenly, while allowing myself to “hear” the God out-there say these words to me, the God out there was no longer out there.  Instead, the voice of comfort came from within me – originating in the place somewhere in the center of my heart, but feeling as if it was coming from my whole being.  And, I no longer saw God as “the old man in the sky,” instead “God” was ME – a bigger, more substantial, whole, confident, content, secure, complete, version of ME.  In this experience, I felt whole, complete, as if I was suddenly my whole and true self – I was Me and it was MYSELF who is the source of peace and comfort within me.  No longer is the source of comfort “out there” in some fickle god who “giveth and then taketh away.”  God is ME within MYSELF but even more than simply being within, God is ME.

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Now I understand and KNOW the ONENESS about which Jesus spoke. God is me and I am God.

But this ONENESS is not just for me. As the Psalmist and Jesus both say above, what is true for me is also true for you, for we are all God – God in me and God in you.  God is me and God is you.

How are you invited to KNOW the God that is you?

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, End of the World Prophecies, Mystics, Truth, world changes

Witness to the World’s Destruction

The world is on the path to its own destruction and there is nothing we can do but stand as witness, and hopefully when it is all said and done, be a source of support for those left standing.

destruction pixabay

Yesterday morning, we were graced with the beauty of a late-winter snowfall.  At 7:30 am, I went outside to shovel the sidewalk and steps up to my house in preparation for my morning Authentic Freedom Mastery course.  As soon as I stepped outside, I was hit with a powerful blast of pressurized energy that set my heart pounding and my head spinning.  The vertigo was so intense it was I could do not to pass out as I finished shoveling the walk.  After I completed my task, I clawed my way back into the house and laid on the floor hoping to stop the spinning.  Then the migraine hit – one of those axe-to the head migraines that insists, “You’d better cancel your whole day because you won’t be able to get off the couch.”  So I did.  Then I spent the day raging and writhing, venting and weeping, generally feeling sorry for myself, for everything and for nothing.  When I woke up this morning with the migraine hang-over and still feeling shaky and disoriented, I thought to myself, “not again.  I’m really getting tired of this shit!”  Then I prayed.  What I saw in my prayer shook me to the bone and the body-wracking sobs that poured out of me helped me to understand that it was not my own pain I have been feeling with these recurring migraines.  Instead, it is the pain of the world – specifically, the pain of a world on the path of its own self-destruction.

There it is.  The prophet’s apocalyptic call that most will choose not to hear, or will simply call me out as crazy for seeing and speaking the truth.  But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see where we are headed as a species if we don’t QUICKLY and DRAMATICALLY change our course.  Yes, I (we) know exactly what the world needs to do to change its course, but I’ve (we’ve) been singing THAT song for 15 years now and the world continues to turn a deaf ear.  Every single minute of every single day, people are choosing fear over love and as a collective, we are reaping the fruits of that choice – the fruits being the dead and rotting corpses of the mindless zombies we have become, attracted to noise and driven by an endless hunger for flesh.  As it turns out, the flesh we are consuming is our own, and it doesn’t appear that this is going to be changing anytime soon.  (Where is Rick when we need him?)

Cue the music video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

So what are the prophets and a mystics to do when the world seems hell-bent on its own destruction?  There is really nothing more we can do but resolve ourselves to this fact, then stand by as witness as the world based in fear continues to choose fear, destroying itself in the process.  For those who will be lost in this fear, we grieve.  For what will be lost in this fear, we weep.  For the fear that is driving this destruction, we mourn.  And then we wait.  We wait in silent witness to the destruction and we wait in hope for those who will be awakened through this loss.  And when they awaken, we stand as teachers and guides, as sources of healing and support as together we work in building the new world that will seek to be born out of the ashes.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Discernment, Empowerment, God, self-actualization, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Truth

Not Church

It seems the final piece of an ever-evolving puzzle has found its way into place. Starting Sunday, August 16, 2015, I will be adding a Sunday service to the offerings of Authentic Freedom Academy. This addition came about through no effort of my own. Instead, it literally fell into my lap. In truth, I had given up on the idea of a Sunday Service of sorts as I have tried this over and over and over again in many different forms and all had come to a screeching halt. In actuality, I had given up on the idea. So when the invitation came through the words of my yoga teacher/friend, I was shocked and surprised…..AND….it was the easiest yes I’ve ever said in my life….which is why I know the invitation, while offered through the person of my yoga teacher, actually came from God.

This is the piece of my Soul’s purpose that was missing (there’s one more piece that is missing…I’ll save that for another day). Funny thing is I didn’t even know it was missing. Sr. Shawn knew though when she offered me the following words when I met with her to discuss my call to priesthood, “Lauri, don’t neglect the part about priestly vocation that involves public worship.” “Yeah right,” I thought. “I won’t be doing that. Been there. Done that. Failed at that. No need to step into that hot mess again.” HMMMMM…..it seems Shawn knew something I did not know. Public….something or other…..is part of the puzzle….and it’s an important part.

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BUT…..IT’S NOT CHURCH – at least not in the way that Church has been experienced for the majority of the past 2000 years. Church, as most Westerners have experienced it, has been about an outside perceived authority (usually a man) claiming to be earth’s representation of Christ, telling people they have been rejected by God and then telling them all the things they have to do to earn back God’s approval so that if they are lucky, they might be allowed into heaven after they die. If they fail to earn God’s approval (by not following the rules set forth by the Church), then they will be doomed to an eternity in hell.

Um….yeah…..Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday Services is nothing like that. Instead, we leave authority where authority lies – in your own intimate connection with the Divine Source within. Our job then, is to give you tools for nurturing and cultivating that relationship with your own inner Source of truth, guidance, peace, compassion, forgiveness, etc. along with tools for distinguishing the voice of truth (aka God, the Heart) from the voice of the mind (aka ego, adversary, etc.). And then, we provide the support and encouragement you need to heed the voice of truth and then live out that truth for the sake of your own fulfillment and sense of purpose in the world…..ultimately in service to the betterment of the world.

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Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday service is ultimately about empowerment – empowering you to be the fullest expression of your Fully Divine and Fully Human self that is possible. Our goal is to support you in the journey of your own self-actualization where you are free to experience a life of meaning and purpose that provides you witl the inner contentment that comes with a fulfilling life experience. We accomplish this through various means:

  • One-on-One mentoring (Spiritual Direction)
  • Hand-on-healing
  • Classes
  • Writing and Publishing

And now……

  • Sunday Service

Whereas the former offerings emphasize education and empowerment, the Sunday service will focus on nourishment. Nourishment through music, ancient wisdom writings (scripture), an inspirational lesson, chant, mantra, meditation and prayer…..all in the company of a loving, supportive community where all are welcome.

To learn more about our upcoming Sunday Services, click HERE.

Posted in 6D, Discernment, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, Truth

The Voice of our Truth vs. our Ego – Discernment

In this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings, we continued our exploration of 6D consciousness and Divine Manifestation by learning about the critical skill of discernment.

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Discernment is defined as the process through which we distinguish the voice of God/Truth/Higher Self/Love from the voice of our False Self/Ego/Adversary.

 

Discernment is the process we use to determine if the guidance we are accessing through our meditation practices is indeed coming from Source or if it is simply our ego at work trying to keep us small.

 

Discernment requires that we arrive at some foundational agreements:

 

The full Superhero Report is available by subscription only.  To read more, subscribe HERE:

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Divine Revelation, Faith, Spiritual Practices, Truth, Virtual Church

Follow that Star – the Journey of Faith

Dear readers, please note that this is the last FREE issue of the Agape Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  Starting next week, the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service and accompanying meditation newsletter will be available by subscription only for a very nominal fee.  For the price of one large cappuccino a week, you will receive the service, newsletter and the bi-weekly Superhero Academy Report.  To secure your subscription, subscribe HERE:

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Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter – Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service – Feast of Epiphany

 

Scripture Readings:

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Mt 2: 1-12

 

Additional Readings:

Is 60: 1-6

Ps 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-13

Eph 3: 2-3a, 5-6

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Following a Star

“ A prophet is not someone who first had an idea.

A prophet is the one to first believe in it – and take it to its conclusion.”

– Taleb

The story of the three magi is ultimately a story about faith. Legend suggests that the magi were astronomers – learned men who were taught how to read and interpret the movement of the stars. In watching and observing the stars, they saw something that suggested to them that something magnificent was happening. There was no way of explaining how, why or what the “something magnificent” might be, but whatever it was the magi saw, compelled them to follow the star. They had no idea where the star might lead them or what the outcome of their journey might be, but what they discovered at the end of their journey was far beyond what they could have imagined themselves – the birth of LOVE in the world.

The magi provide for us a model and an example of faith. Each and every one of us are gifted at least once (but for most it is MANY) in our lifetimes with a STAR – something that shows up seemingly out of nowhere – twinkling and sparkling and urging us on in search of something. Often, we don’t know what that something is – only that we have to follow our urging. Following that urging brings us through many life experiences – easy pathways and some that seem treacherous. But like the magi, we are compelled to continue on. Faith is what compels us and what allows us to continue searching in spite of the many obstacles to the search that may arise. We may take a detour from our path because the path feels fearful, or we are not yet ready to let go of the things we cling to that would allow us to receive the gift at the end of the star. But Faith, eventually draws us back on course and toward the destination – ultimately of our Soul. Faith is not something that happens by our effort, but is instead the imprint of our Soul’s Purpose leading us home. Yes, we can deny the calling of our Soul – but there are consequences to this choice – desolation, despair, loneliness and even physical illness and pain. Faith will win in the end and we have a choice as to whether we experience the gift of the star in this life or if we have to wait until the moment of our death.

What is the star that has shown up in your life?

How are you following the star that is leading to the birth of love in your own life?

What role is faith playing in your journey with the star?

 

Spiritual Practices – Time Line

Chances are that you have already experienced one, if not many, stars in your lifetime which have shown up to lead you to greater and greater experiences of love, meaning, purpose and fulfillment. As hindsight is 20/20, it is often helpful to look back in order that we may look forward to the current stars which are calling to us and leading us toward even greater joy.

On a blank sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line. Place a zero at the beginning of the line and your current age on the end of the line. Reflect back on your life and take note of where “stars” showed up in your life. What were the situations, experiences, conversations that awakened you to a new sense of calling, that provoked you to explore making a change in your life, urged you to begin a new search. Mark those situations, etc. on the line and the age you were when they appeared. Choose one of the stars and go back and imagine in detail all the circumstances that surrounded the appearance of the star and the journey it took you on. Take the story all the way to its conclusion and all the details surrounding the process of getting there (if it has been concluded). If the story has not yet come to its conclusion, bring it into the current time and imagine for yourself what the outcome might be – or better yet, invite God to show you what the outcome might look like.

Write down the story of this star and its conclusion or imagined conclusion.

Reflect on what you have written and experienced. What role did faith play in this journey?

 

Authentic Freedom

This week, instead of expounding upon how the story of the magi fits into Authentic Freedom, I am offering you an opportunity to experience a two living examples of Authentic Freedom as experienced through modern-day individuals – Mahatma Gandhi and The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Two spectacular movies have been made which represent the way in which both of these men lived Authentic Freedom – Gandhi and Kundun. This weekend, go to your local library or video store and watch one of these movies, or watch them on Amazon Prime or YouTube (links below).

 

Gandhi – http://www.amazon.com/Gandhi-Ben-Kingsley/dp/B00190N4E4/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1420032966&sr=1-2&keywords=gandhi+movie

 

Kundun – Part 1 of 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8auIjicuK-U

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Direction, Truth

Beyond Psychotherapy – Authentic Freedom Mentoring

Today’s blog explores the important question:  What in the world does Lauri Lumby do and why should I care?  Or another way to look at it: “How might Authentic Freedom Mentoring benefit you?”

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Speaking with Dragons

Saturday evening I was working with a newly acquainted soul-sister on a creative project for my upcoming Fabulous Fifty.  She was inquiring about what exactly I do for a living.  As I muddled through the description, these words flew out of my mouth and gave her goosebumps from head to toe – confirmation of a truth being spoken.  Here is what I said:

If I had to boil it all down, the work I do is all about supporting individuals in becoming self-actualized. 

We then discussed how this is the work that people really need and is rarely offered…this is the deep stuff that goes beyond recovery programs, psycho-therapy, talk-therapy, behavioral counseling, life-coaching, or any of the traditional professional or self-help approaches.  This is also the kind of work that ENDURES.***  Getting to the root of our behavioral, attitudinal, mental, emotional, compulsive, addictive issues and healing them at their SOURCE.  Doing this work doesn’t provide just a temporary fix that will crumble at the appearance of our first trigger -no….it goes to the cause of the pattern and heals it, making the pattern no longer necessary.  As we heal the causes of our mental, behavioral and emotional (and even physical) distress, we draw closer and closer to the person God made us to be – happy, healthy, joyful, content and enjoying a life of meaning and fulfillment.  In the process, we are birthing our SOUL – or as Abraham Maslow called it – we are becoming self-actualized!

What is SOUL and why does it matter? 

SOUL is our true self.  SOUL is who we were born to be and who we came into the world being.  SOUL is the uniquely creative way in which we were born to find meaning and purpose in our lives and through which we find fulfillment within ourselves and  in service to the betterment of the world.  SOUL is what we are here for but somewhere along the line, life happened and interrupted our SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to identify those experiences outside of you and those feelings and beliefs inside of you that have blocked the knowledge and manifestation of your SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to heal and transform the deep, inner spiritual wounds that arose out of these experiences and beliefs so that your SOUL is free to emerge.  Think of it like a sunflower seed – deep inside the seed, beneath the shell is the tender, vulnerable meat of the seed that will eventually emerge out of the seed and become the sunflower.  The shell is LIFE – the tough, outer crust that developed around the seed to protect it and which has to be shed in order for the seed to grow.  Authentic Freedom mentoring supports you in shedding that shell so that your true self can emerge and be nurtured in becoming the fullness of who you were meant to be.

Lauri Lumby is available for Authentic Freedom mentoring in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To schedule an appointment, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

***Note:  Authentic Freedom mentoring is not a replacement for psychiatric care where medical treatment is appropriate and necessary in treating specific diagnoses of mental illness.

Posted in Being Human, Divine Revelation, End of the World Prophecies, God, Healing, Inspiration, Mystics, Truth, world changes

How I Know I’m Not From Here

This is for my brothers and sisters who also know they are not from here.  The key is to find a home within ourselves, and to seek out the company and support of others who are also not from here.  But first, the dream:

Standing under a sunlit sky, a star-filled cloud, similar in content and form to the Milky Way Galaxy, hangs low in the sky.  With destination and purpose, it floats over and past me, the stars hanging from the cloud twinkling in silver light, tinged in midnight blue.  Suddenly, the stars begin falling from the cloud, tumbling toward me, circling and enfolding me in their light.  Out of the stars comes a voice, speaking my true name: “Aniyakah, in my native tongue, then in my human tongue, “Starfire.”  Surrounded in a double-helix of dancing stars, a being clothed in light appears handing me a drink, a deep blue liquid, sparkling with silver stars, “liquid starlight.”  I obediently swallow the drink – medicine to make me whole and return me to my original nature – “Starfire.” 

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A Stranger in a Strange Land

For as long as I can remember, I have felt like I was not from here.  Even as a young child, when enjoying innocent play and singing and dancing on fireplace hearth in our home in Sacramento, CA (where I lived as a young child), I remember the feeling of being more an observer of the human condition than a participant.  Perhaps this is the nature of being an introvert, but I often feel there is more to it than this.  I was truly content in this quiet place of observation while sheltered in the arms of my parent’s loving embrace.  But eventually, the truth of the human condition began rearing its ugly head and in these revelations, I realized I was different.  These experiences felt strange and foreign – many beyond my comprehension.  I also realized certain abilities within myself that other human beings did not seem to possess.  I felt strange, out of place.  And when others noticed my strangeness, the reaction was often fear, quickly followed by outright rejection.  The fear and the rejection, especially, boggled my mind.  What had I done to cause them to act in that way, other than being myself?  In this, I have spent much of my life confused.  Fortunately, there have been many who have loved and honored my “strangeness,” and in their company, I have found wings.  But even so, the strangeness of the human condition remains, such that I have come to believe that quite simply, I’m not from here.  Here’s what causes me to believe this to be true (and which might resonate as true for you as well).

Only Love

If I could sum it up with one sentiment – I have to say it is ultimately about love.  Love, is really all I understand.  Never in my life have I understood anything that is not a reflection of love.  War, conflict, discrimination, racism, sexism, nationalism, etc. etc. etc. have NEVER made any sense to me.  Why can’t we all get along?  The God I know is only a God of love and in spite of the religion I grew up with that wanted to present a God that might sacrifice, judge or punish, I knew only a God of love, and all I wanted to do was please this God – not for fear of punishment, but for the sake of love.  The same is true for my fellow human beings – all I ever wanted to do was act in ways that are loving and kind.  Yes, I have felt anger, resentment, even hatred, but only out of a place of feeling hurt and rejected, or in the face of human injustice.  Perhaps I have been tempted by thoughts of karmic revenge, but ultimately, I wish only love and always seek to be healed of my own hurt so that forgiveness may arise.  I never understood “mean girls.”  I was shocked and offended by violence of any kind against human beings.  I was sickened by any of the isms that humans use to separate one from the other – privileging one and condemning the other.  I just don’t get it….and hopefully, I never will.  Somewhere deep, deep inside me, in the place that feels I’m not from here, I know there is another way – and this other (and for me only) way is LOVE.  I often feel that it is for the sake of this love that I am here – and other ones like me.

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Gifts for the Purpose of Love

In service, perhaps, to this purpose of love, I have been given certain gifts – gifts that until I learned how to use them, often caused me trouble.

1) Inner Truth Barometer – I have an uncanny ability to read people – in particular, their ability to be of integrity or not.  I can tell when someone is lying or lying to themselves – pretending to be someone other than their true self.  As you can imagine, this ability can cause a lot of problems – especially in those attached to their deceit.

2) Awakener – somewhat related to the first, I have also learned that in my presence, people wake up – specifically to their truth.  Here is where it gets tricky, not everyone can handle the truth.  As such, those in my presence either run away in fear, or stay, feeling loved and supported, enjoying the process of growing into the fullness of their truth. This is where I must also acknowledge my gift of healing.

3) Empath – This one has been especially tricky.  My energy field is like a radar, picking up the emotions and feelings of people and places.  Until I knew better, I took these feelings (especially the negative ones) into my own body – subconsciously believing it was my job to take them on and my job to fix them.  In many cases, I also took responsibility for these feelings – thinking they were somehow my fault, instead of the reflection they are of the other person’s fear.  This left me mostly feeling stressed out, sick, anxious and tired.  Eventually, I learned this empathic ability is simply so I can become aware of places and persons in need of love, so I can offer them up for God to be healed and to heal the places in me where similar wounds might be harbored.  I am quite simply a radar, taking note of where healing is needed and allowing God to do the rest.

From Fear into Love

In these experiences, I can’t help but wonder if I’m quite simply not from here.  At the same time, I find I am here – in this place and in this time.  I also acknowledge there must be a reason and a purpose for these feelings of strangeness – for the marked contrast between the conflict, war, discrimination, hatred, etc. I see in the human condition and the unconditional love that I know is REAL and POSSIBLE.  If I (and many others I know) believe that there is another way – that we can enjoy the experiences of the human condition from a place of love instead of fear – than perhaps this is WHY we are here.  Not from here – but here nonetheless, for the sole purpose of LOVE – to help turn a world of fear into a world of LOVE.

Who is with me?

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Jesus, Spiritual Practices, Truth, Virtual Church

The Consequence of Denying our Gifts and our Call

When we deny the gifts God has given us and the call to be a vessel of God’s love, peace, joy, healing, etc. in the world, we suffer – not because God is punishing us, but as a natural consequence of denying our gifts, our truth and our call.  In this week’s Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, find support for overcoming the fears that keep you from living your truth.

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

For Sunday, November 16, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

Scripture Reading:

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

MT 25: 14-30

 

Additional Readings:

PV 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31

PS 128: 1-5

1 Thess 5: 1-6

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The Consequence of Ignoring our Gifts

“For to everyone who has, more will be given … but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Once upon a time, there was a young woman from, Bingen, a town along the Rhine. She was given the gift of hearing and knowing the voice of God. Hildegard was her name. Frightened of this voice that asked her to write about God, about God’s healing gifts, about God’s kingdom and most importantly, about God’s love, she held this voice at bay. The voice continued to pursue her while she begged for its silence. The voice, however, would not be silenced. Refusing to act upon the voice’s request, Hildegard began to experience excruciating pain in her head along with blinding and flashing lights. The priests and doctors knew not how to alleviate her pain. She took to bed, and there she remained for months at a time. In her convalescence, the voices continued. Finally, she relented, asking for paper, quill and ink, and began to record what she heard and saw. Immediately, her pain and the blinding lights ceased. (To learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen, check out this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen).

St. Hildegard of Bingen provides the perfect example of what happens when we ignore or deny the gifts God has given us. Her illness was not punishment for denying her gifts and her call, but instead, are the natural consequence of ignoring the voice of God (in her case literally), within us.

Each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted by God and is uniquely called to be a vessel through which God’s love, peace, joy, healing, contentment, guidance and truth are to be revealed in the world. When we take the time to discover, cultivate and eventually share these gifts, we know peace, contentment, fulfillment and joy. When we ignore, suppress, repress, deny these gifts and their call, we experience anxiousness, discontent, frustration, anger, sorrow, and even mental and physical pain – again, not as punishment but as a natural consequence for denying the voice of God within us.

How have you taken time to discover, cultivate and share the gifts God has given you?

How have you suppressed, denied, ignored, repressed the gifts and the call God has given you? What have been the consequences of ignoring God’s voice?

Spiritual Practices – Connecting with Gift

In this week’s spiritual practice, we acknowledge the sacral chakra (the energy center located in the center of our lower abdomen) as the center of creativity. The awareness and call of our creative gifts are housed in this energy center. In this practice, you will engage the “laying on of hands” as a practice for creating a safe space in which your gifts may emerge so that you may begin (or continue) the work of nurturing and cultivating these gifts.

Sit in silence, or with meditative music playing in the background.

Rub your hands together vigorously to stimulate the flow of energy and to create warmth.

Rest your hands, palm down, on your lower abdomen.

Breathe as you keep your hands on your abdomen.

Maintain an intention of safety, openness and allowing as you continue to breathe while resting your hands on your abdomen.

Imagine that you are creating space for your gifts to reveal themselves to you.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, images, emotions that may arise as you continue to hold your hands on your abdomen.

Continue this practice for 20-30 minutes.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge fear as the obstacle to living as our most authentic self – the person that God made us to be in the fullness of our human potential. The second spiritual fear – I will not be able to bring forth life that will persist is the specific fear that prevents us from identifying, cultivating and eventually sharing our most authentic self. Through Authentic Freedom, we are reminded of the sacred truth – that each of us is uniquely and creatively gifted by God to be God’s love (peace, joy, guidance, healing, etc.) in the world and that when we discover, cultivate and share this giftedness (in service to the betterment of the world), we experience peace, contentment and fulfillment and the world, in turn, becomes a better place.

 

In short – what are you waiting for?

Lauri Ann Lumby provides support in helping you to awaken to your gifts and your call, and provides the tools through which you can nurture and be empowered in sharing these gifts.  Contact Lauri for a private session (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com