Posted in Authentic Freedom, manifestation

The Secret to Manifesting Abundance

I have spent my entire professional life chasing after the secret to manifesting abundance. I have followed both the Capitalistic model of achievement and the so-called spiritual laws of attraction. It wasn’t until I understood the real secret that my life became abundant.

magic, manifesting abundance, manifesting, the secret, prosperity gospel, Law of attraction, law of abundance

The “hard work” model

I have worked my ass off, one year making as many as 10,000 cold calls chasing after the promise of abundance. I have worked up to 100 hours a week chasing after abundance. I have networked, sent out press releases, written hundreds of letters of introduction, mailed hundreds of fliers and brochures, plastered the internet with thousands of blog posts and professionally written articles.  I have hosted workshops, classes, events, retreats. I have followed the advice of marketing experts.  I have employed the help of a strategic planning team.  I have pounded the pavement, looked under every bush and beneath every stone.  I have climbed mountains.  When all of this proved futile, I turned to the “spiritual” experts.

“The Secret”, “The Law of Attraction” and “Law of Manifestation”

I have thought the right thoughts. I have censored my negative thoughts.  I have recited mantras, offered prayers.  I lighted candles. I Feng-shuied my home and my office. I have written it down, visualized it, and believed it to be real.  I have set an altar, cast spells, carried crystals, put it in a cauldron and burned it – setting my prayers out on the wind. I followed the “energy alignment” protocols said to “guarantee” abundance. I slowed down in my doing so that I could simply be and allow.  I surrendered, submitted, let go.  I “trusted” my ass off and when I was out of energy for trusting, I asked for help in trusting.

The Prosperity Gospel

Then I wondered, if something was wrong with me or if I had done something wrong. Did “God not love me enough (as the Prosperity Gospel preachers claim) that I should be so poor?  Did I need to pray more?  Give more money to my “church?”  Confess my “sins?”  Had I sinned in leaving my Church and was I now being punished?  Of course I knew none of this to be true, but surely I must have done something wrong or there must be something wrong with me if all of these formulas worked for others but they haven’t worked for me.

In every way shape and form, I “asked” and it wasn’t given. Or wasn’t it?

The Secret to Manifesting Abundance

The secret to manifesting abundance is that THERE IS NO SECRET. The truth is that there is nothing we can manifest on our own.  When manifestation happens, it is simply GRACE.  Manifestation happens not because we thought the right thoughts, or worked hard enough, or planted enough seeds, or cast the right spell, or appeased God enough with our prayers.  Manifesting abundance happens because it is our Soul’s purpose at that moment in time.  That is an action of pure Grace.  And everything is Grace – even that which we want to judge as adversity, challenge, failure and loss. Everything is Grace as Grace is simply the natural unfolding of our Soul, leading us along the path we need for the fulfillment of this life’s purpose –  the joys and the sorrows, the births and the deaths, wellness and disease, financial prosperity and financial lack, the struggles and the victories – it is all Grace.  When we realize this truth and accept everything as the natural and necessary unfolding of our soul, then, and only then, are we truly abundant.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is an author,  Spiritual Director, Transformational Educator and mentor.  Lauri supports you in your spiritual awakening and journey toward self-actualization.  Schedule a private session with Lauri today by emailing lauri@authenticfreedom.love.

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, building the new world, Christ Consciousness, Empowerment, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Healing, Inspiration, self-actualization

No Reward for Being Good

A letter to all healers and change-makers

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Yesterday I was gifted with a startling realization – one that I believe applies to many (if not all) of the amazing women, men and children I know who are here to heal and change our world.  The roots of this lie within our childhoods, the roles we took on, our beliefs about those roles and how these beliefs have translated into our adult lives – specifically in our tendency to take the unique and special people we are and the gifts we bring to our world for granted and the physical manifestation (or rather, the lack thereof) of taking our gifts and ourselves for granted….which for many of us has translated into struggles over money. (UGH).

It begins in our childhood and in the roles we took on within our family of origin and then brought forth into our life experiences.  For many who become healers/changemakers, these childhood roles include: protector, peacemaker, mediator, “good girl/boy,” caretaker, approval seeker, the responsible one, etc.  These roles become so much a part of who we are that they are often taken for granted.  “Oh, that’s just how (insert your name here) is.”  While on one hand it simply is who we are and what we do and likely the result of the gifts we brought into this world, no one thinks anything of it. Never is there recognition or reward for the effort we put in (often internally) to assume these roles or the inherent gifts we were given that allowed us to take on these roles in the first place. Additionally, there is no acknowledgment for the gifts that come forth out of these roles, which for many include: courage, self-sufficiency, discipline, foresight, empathy, compassion, kindness, the desire to help and to serve, etc. What we take away from these lived experiences is the understanding that there is no reward for being good.  Even more devastating perhaps is the understanding that there is no value to who we are or what we do because “it is simply who and how we are.”

This understanding then follows us into our adult lives.  As we found our calling to be healers/changemakers and understand that this IS who we are and WHAT we came here to do, our past experiences color our beliefs and feelings around this.  If it is simply who and what we do and who and what we are has always been taken for granted, then what value/reward/recognition is there for the gifts we bring into the world to make the world a better place?  We see the manifestation of this is our struggles with money – in our struggles with charging for our services, for asking for an adequate exchange for sharing our gifts in the world, etc.  We also see it in the constant struggle of getting our names and our gifts and services out there…. It often seems as if what works for everyone else simply doesn’t work for us, making us wonder if we’re simply invisible!

When we take our gifts for granted, others do too.  When we fail to see our true magnificence, others will also fail to see it.  The remedy to all of this has already begun in the demon being named – the false belief that there is no reward for being good. The next step is believing in the unique gifts we bring to the world and that what we bring IS TRULY UNIQUE!  To help you/all of us with this, I share the following meditation:

Place yourself within your own body for a moment….go deep within yourself and REMEMBER.  Remember the magnificent gifts you brought into the world that allowed you to become the person you became in your family of origin – protector, peacemaker, mediator, etc. etc. etc.  Remember the gifts that already existed within you that allowed you to become who you became – courage, tenacity, patience, creativity, empathy, self-sufficiency, independence, responsible, deep listener, observer, rememberer, playful, entertaining, discipline, etc. etc. etc.  Remember that your mission and purpose were already present within you at the moment of your birth and reflect on how that mission and purpose was informed, developed, cultivated through your childhood experiences (good and bad).  Remember how your gifts are unique from those of your peers.  Remember how you were set apart as (or thought of yourself as) different.  Remember the moment you became aware of your calling and everything you have done to pursue and fulfill that calling.  Remember every training, every class, every experience that supported the development of your gifts and your calling.  Remember ALL THE HARD WORK and everything it took within you, every sacrifice you have made to get where you are today.  Recognize that you are unique in having pursued your calling!  Recognize what you had to leave behind in order to fulfill this calling.  Acknowledge all those who have had the opportunity to pursue their calling and were too afraid to continue.  Recognize the courage, tenacity, patience, faith, stubbornness that got you to where you are today.  SEE the brilliant star-like presence that lies within the center of your heart.  This is the Light of the Divine that dwells within you and which IS your soul’s calling.  See this light pulsing and glowing and shining forth into the world from within you.  Watch as it reaches out into the farthest reaches of space, bringing forth your light and love into the world.  As it reaches out into the world, observe as it draws toward you all those who are in need of your unique gifts – gifts only you can give them.  Watch as those who need your gifts reach toward you in acknowledgement and gratitude for your gifts and know in your heart that only you can fulfill this need within them.  FEEL the recognition of your gifts as seen through their eyes and FEEL the value of the gratitude they feel in receiving your gifts.  FEEL the value of who you are and what you bring into the world. FEEL the value of all your hard work, years of study and practice, etc.  KNOW that what you have is special and unique and that there are thousands, if not millions, clamoring for your gifts.  KNOW that as you believe in the value of your unique giftedness so too will the world.

As we commemorate the birth of love into the world in the person of Jesus who became Christ,  this is my prayer for you:  That in 2018 you REALIZE the magnificence that you are and experience the abundant reward in being good.

Merry Christmas,

Love,

Lauri

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Faith, God, Initiation, Jesus, Lessons

When I Stopped Believing in God – God’s Response!

Well, as my dear friend Gretchen Herrmann predicted, God did respond to my complete meltdown in yesterday’s blog.  I must preface this response by making it clear that my ultimate frustration is about MONEY.  Doing the work of my Soul and continuing to find the financial piece only by the skin of my teeth….or sometimes even less than this, and having to be really creative about money.  The situation has become increasingly hairy the closer I get to launching my Sunday Service and my fall academy.  I often want to get all Cuba Gooding Jr. on God and shout, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”  Alas, what is (or isn’t) being shown often tests my faith. 

money-634901_1280

Yesterday morning, immediately after reading Gretchen’s prediction, as I was getting ready to write my weekly meditation newsletter based on this coming Sunday’s scripture, what I’m guessing to be God’s answer showed up.  Then, in case I didn’t get it the first time, while attending my monthly gathering with the local CSJ (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet) community the VERY SAME readings were given as our reflection.  The following are the readings that I’m taking as God’s answer to my meltdown…YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!!!

Reading 1 2 Kgs 4:42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God,
twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits,
and fresh grain in the ear.
Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.”
But his servant objected,
“How can I set this before a hundred people?”
Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.”
“For thus says the LORD,
‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’”
And when they had eaten, there was some left over,
as the LORD had said.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
feeding-5000-2

GospelJn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves
that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Ok God.  I get it.  The truth of Abundance.  Chapter Three in my Authentic Freedom book.  And, the closer I get to the fullness of my Soul’s purpose, the harder the ego will work to keep me from that path.  Employ the practices I know for cultivating contentment, surrender and peace.  Resist the temptation to fall into fear and doubt.  And trust I’m on the right path, doing the right thing(s) and that in this, all my needs will be provided for. 
And….could we make it a little less than just by the skin of my teeth please! 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Lessons, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices, Surrender, Virtual Church

To Have and To Have Not

This week’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church supplement explores the changeability of the human condition.  Sometimes we experience times of abundance, and sometimes due to circumstances outside our control, we experience times of lack.  St. Paul reminds us of the invitation to find equanimity in the constant changing nature of the human condition. 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service for Sunday, October 12, 2014

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.

Phil 4: 12-14, 19-20

 

Additional Readings:

Is 25: 6-10

Ps 23: 1-6

Mt 22: 1-14

 

To Have or to Have Not

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he makes a very astute observation about the changeability of human circumstances. Due to circumstances outside of our control, sometimes we have an abundance of what we need and sometimes we do not. Reading between the lines of Paul’s letter, we also hear his acknowledgment of the typical human response to either circumstance. When we have an abundance of material wealth, we often take it for granted, spending it foolishly as our compulsive drives compel us to seek out the thrill of accumulation or seeking after other people’s approval as we try to “keep up with the Joneses.” When we do not have abundance, we slip into fear and dread – sure that this will forever be the circumstance of our life. This fear can also lead us, in our current credit-driven culture, to overspend in rebellion of the fear we are feeling inside, or to slip into depression over the paralyzing fear of lack.

What Paul discovered, however, is that through diligent attention to his spiritual practice (for him, turning to God in prayer), he found the inner peace he needed to navigate both worlds. Through his attention to prayer, he found the peace to weather the times of “humble circumstances” and the temperance to not get taken over by gluttony during times of abundance. This is Paul’s lesson for us this week.

Where are you tempted to take periods of abundance for granted?

Where are you tempted during times of abundance to be frivolous or gluttonous in your use of these resources?

Where are you tempted, during times of humble circumstances, to believe that this will ALWAYS be the circumstance of your life?

Where are you tempted to allow the fear to control you during times of lack?

 wheeloffortune

Spiritual Practices – Turn, Turn, Turn

The key to living with both humble and abundant circumstances is to cultivate humility. Humility arises as a result of transcending our fears and remembering our Oneness with God in Love. Humility reminds us that God is present in all things, at all times – the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the abundant and the lacking. God – the source of peace, is never absent and is always present giving us exactly what we need in each moment – even when it appears, by human standards, that our needs are not being met – God is there, carrying us along the ever-changing wheel of human experiences.

LISTEN to the song, Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds.  (You Tube Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4 )

REFLECT on the words of the song.

READ Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

REFLECT on the movement in your own life between periods of abundance and “humble conditions.” How have you felt during those changing periods? Did you experience peaceful equanimity in either or both experience? During times of peace, how did you achieve that? If you felt anxiety or stress or found yourself using the times of abundance frivolously, what drove those behaviors?

WRITE your thoughts and reflections on the above.

REST in silence as you allow the meditation to become integrated within you. In this rest, allow yourself to feel the presence of God’s peace.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, Humility is considered one of the seven virtues, specifically, the virtue that arises when we REMEMBER our Oneness with God in Love. Humility allows us to know peace during the challenging times of our lives and to practice temperance during the abundant periods of our lives. The path to humility is through diligent attention to our spiritual practice which helps us to remember our Oneness with God. In this, we come to know that the true source of all our needs is God – this is where we find nourishment, sustenance, and support – regardless of the external circumstances of our lives.

How are you being invited to surrender to God as the Source through which all of your needs are being met?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Securing Abundance – Virtual Church Meditation Supplement

For Sunday, August 3, 2014

Eighteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

 

Scripture Reading:

R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. R/ The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Psalm 145: 8-9, 15-18

 

Additional Readings:

 

Is 55: 1-3

Rom 8: 35, 37-39

Mt 14: 13-21

 

Abundance

The readings this week are all about God generously meeting our needs. Notice that the word is NEED, not WANT. God alone knows what is in our highest good, and it often has nothing to do with our wants. Contrary to many pop-culture self-help books on prosperity and abundance, God gives us what we need, not what we want. Just because we WANT $1Mil and just because we ask for it and just because we think the right thoughts, does not mean that God will give it to us. The invitation for us is to be open to receiving what we NEED instead of seeking after what we think we want, and trusting that what we have right now is exactly in line with what God knows we need.

How are you invited to trust that what you have right now is exactly what you need for your highest good?

  

Spiritual Practices – Needs vs. Wants

This week’s practice is a take on St. Ignatius’ Examen. Through this practice, you will take the time to distinguish need from want. This will be a kind of brainstorming exercise.

  1. On a blank sheet of paper, write down everything that you think you want. If you find you can’t come up with anything, write “I want….I want….I want….” on the paper until wants start to emerge. Perhaps you want money, success, romance, a new house, a new car, that striking outfit you saw on that lady at the department store. Just let your writing flow. What do you think you want?
  2. This exercise will be a little more difficult. Begin by bringing yourself to a state of quiet. Become aware of your consciousness and draw this awareness need into your body, allowing yourself to become peaceful and centered. Once you feel fully connected to your physical self and in a state of peacefulness, then ask yourself, WHAT DO I NEED? Pause in the silence and allow the answer(s) to present themselves. Then, write them down and compare them to your list of wants.

 

Authentic Freedom

 

In Authentic Freedom, abundance is defined as an inner quality of peacefulness, expansiveness, contentment and joy. Abundance is measured by this inner quality and is independent of the external circumstances of our lives. In Authentic Freedom, when we seek after abundance, this is the quality we are looking for.

 

Where in your life are you experiencing this inner state of abundance?

 

What spiritual practices help you to cultivate this inner state of abundance?

Posted in Inspiration

Poet Laureate – Bruce Dethlefsen

Today’s Guest Blogger is Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2011-2012) Bruce Dethlefsen.  Bruce  has two chapbooks, A Decent Reed and Something Near the Dance Floor, and his full-length book, Breather, published by Fireweed Press, won an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association.  His new book, Unexpected Shiny Things, is published by Cowfeather Press.

Bruce’s poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and Your Daily Poem.  A retired educator and public library director, he lives in Westfield, Wisconsin.

Bruce, thank you for your contribution, Wealthy – a terrific reminder of true value in our lives!  You can learn more about Bruce at his website:  http://www.brucedethlefsen.com.

Bruce Dethlefsen - Wisconsin Poet Laureate
Bruce Dethlefsen – Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Wealthy

 

after my reading

a very serious sixth grade girl

asked me if I was wealthy

well I said I have twenty-two

dollars in my wallet right now

my purple truck has two hundred

and thirty-five thousand miles on it

I’m wearing clean and mended clothes

I’ll sleep in a warm bed tonight

I’ve got my health my hands my eyes

my family and friends who love me

and I can come here to sennett middle school

to read poetry to you guys for free

so yes I’m very wealthy

wealthy indeed

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, teachers

What We Have Is To Be Shared

Today’s blog examines the idea that if we want to receive, we have to give. 

Conversations with God

Yesterday I was listening to a talk given by author Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God fame.  I have been a fan of Neale’s work since his first book was released.  I love his writing, the philosophy that emerges out of him and his humble and gentle nature.  Neale said something in yesterday’s talk that hit me right between the eyes.  He said that if we want to receive something in our life, we first need to give that same something to another.  In other words, if we want hospitality, welcome, friendship, compassion, love, humility, acceptance, understanding, tolerance; we need to be hospitable, welcoming, friendly, etc. to another.  Then he extrapolated on this idea to the field of money…an issue around which I have recently been struggling…..and my brain exploded.  My attitude about money, prosperity, abundance, wealth was all wrong.  Actually, my attitude isn’t really wrong, I was just thinking about it the wrong way.  Of course, I don’t want money for my own sake…..I want the freedom that prosperity gives us to support others.  I don’t want money for myself, I want money to give it away – exactly the attitude Neale says we need in order that we may receive.  I am now thinking about money in a different way……who do I want to and who can I help?  I think of the amazing editor who has journeyed with me through three books and who I want to provide with a living wage.  I think of the graphic designer who charges me WAY TOO LITTLE for the cover art she has provided me for my books.  I think of the graphic designer who is doing the interior of my next two books in trade for classes.  I think of the orthodontist who will be equipping my son with braces, the heating and electric company who provides comfort for my home, the farmers who grew my food, the physicians who help to keep us well, the men and women who work on the oil rigs providing fuel for my car.  Every penny I make is to help support the life and well-being of a whole slew of people.  And….I’m glad to play a role in the care and feeding of others.  And in the spirit of this little tweek in my personal intention around prosperity, abundance and money…..this is the Psalm that I wrote while sharing my gifts with the small group of people that gather for contemplative prayer and discussion every Sunday night:

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Abundant are God’s gifts and I am grateful.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

I see before me all who hunger and thirst for God.

I offer what God has given me that all may be fed.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

As the smallest seed produces abundant yield,

So shall the word of God that goes forth from my lips.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Though I am too young and slow of speech,

A cracked pot and a broken vessel,

The Lord can work the good in me.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Full of wonder and awe in the Lord

I take not for myself, but so others may live.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

What are you being invited to give so that you may receive?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Faith, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices

Magic, Miracles and the Truth of Abundance

Today’s blog explores the truth of an abundant Universe and the magic and miracles that happen when we believe this to be true.

The First Spiritual Fear

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I reveal the Seven Spiritual Fears that prevent us from living a life of contentment and joy.  The first fear that I reveal is the fear that there is not enough. This fear arises out of our survival needs for food, clothing and shelter, but becomes distorted and irrational, causing us to constantly live in a state of anxiety over money, food, clothing, time, material possessions, money, money, money.  The truth that is the remedy to this fear and also revealed in my book is that the Divine meets all of our needs in abundance.  For most of us, it is a significant leap of faith to even consider the possibility that there is a Divine Source, let alone one who cares enough about us to make sure our needs are being met.  Then when faced with the reality of unemployment, a declining economy, world hunger and poverty, we really doubt this truth.  What we learn, however, is at the highest and deepest levels, this truth ultimately has nothing to do with our material world and has everything to do with our inner terrain.  Our original nature is peaceful and content and that inner state of peacefulness is independent of our external life circumstances.  In other words, even if we are dying of starvation and exposure in a Nazi prison camp, we can still know peace.  A tough pill to swallow to be sure, but this is the peace that God invites us into, invites us to remember and cultivate.  And, it is this deep well of inner peace that will give us comfort no matter what life throws at us.

Practicing What I Preach

Two years ago when it became obvious that divorce was inevitable, one of my teachers prophetically stated, “Well, now you will have an opportunity to practice what you preach.  You will be living the words written in your book.”  As the past 24 months unfolded, I can tell you there were many times I wish I had never written this dang book as I found myself choking on my own words.  Every fear that I teach about in Authentic Freedom came to bite me in the butt and I had to return again and again and again to what I had written.  The fear there is not enough was most certainly the most frequent visitor….and I still struggle with that fear from time to time and sometimes on a daily basis.  I guess the adage is true that we teach what we need to learn!

Proof in the Pudding

I do have to say, however, that everything I wrote in my book proved to be true.  In the face of all of my fears, through adherence to the principles of Authentic Freedom and engagement of the spiritual practices outlined in my book, I have found abundance, my own unique giftedness, empowerment, love, the freedom to generously share my gifts, insight and direction and most importantly the peace of remembering my Oneness with God and with all the Universe.  Specific to the fear there is not enough, the past week has been a glorious reminder of how truly abundant our God is and how our needs are abundantly met when we have faith and believe.  I want to share with you a few examples:

  • When I began this journey 24 months ago, a vision of a house appeared in my prayers – the house that would meet all the needs of myself and my children and my fledgling business.  I found what I thought was “the house” and lost it in a bidding war.  Later, I had a dream of a friend “giving” me a house.  This served as a reminder that the house that was in our highest good would come in some magical and miraculous way.  A month or so later, this is exactly what happened.  My children and I now live in a magical, amazing home that also houses my business and I am head over heels in love with this house!
  • When struggling with the fear there is not enough  last week, I brought it to prayer and in my prayer, I saw a vision of two fish and five loaves of bread.  Duh…..loaves and fishes.  God was giving me a message.  I was smart enough to hear the message and believe it.  I then paid my bills and found I had more than enough money to cover the bills and may have even discovered a $300 error, in my favor, in my bank account.  (still waiting for verification of that error)
  • I have a suggested fee that is in the reach of many of my clients, but out of the reach for some.  My commitment to God has been to offer my gifts without regard to people’s ability (or lack thereof) to pay.  As a result, I have worked out discounts, trades and barters with several clients.  One of my standing “jokes” around my trade and bartering is “Now I just need to find a farmer who will give me food in exchange for Reiki.”  Yesterday it showed up in an even bigger package than what I had asked for.  One client brought produce from her own garden and venison that her husband had hunted.  Another client brought a bag of organic groceries from my favorite Co-op in Madison.  When it rains it pours!
  • In an effort to meet my client goal for the week, I posted a message on Facebook, inviting past and current clients and friends to send people my way.  That very day, I got three new clients….completely unrelated to the Facebook request.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that God really does meet our needs when we have faith and believe.  And in those moments when I find I am unable to believe or trust in an abundant God, this is the prayer that gives me comfort:

Lord, Help me in my unbelief.

Because I have also found that all the praying in the world sometimes doesn’t calm our fears….and in those moments I know that only God can help me to believe.

Where do you struggle with the fear “there is not enough?”

What tools do you have for moving through that fear into belief in abundance?

Where do you turn to God for help when you are afraid?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Discernment, Surrender

Want vs. Higher Good

As we move along the path of our spiritual growth, we are invited to move out of the world of want and surrender to the world of our highest good.  All of this requires an immeasurable amount of trust and our own willingness to let go of our ego-filled desires and need to control. Today’s blog explores that process.

Pop Culture Abundance Theology

“God loves you so much that God wants you to have EVERYTHING you want.  In order to get what you want, you just need to think the right thoughts.  If you don’t have what you want, then you are thinking the wrong thoughts.  Like attracts like.”  Sound familiar?  These are the words that have been getting tossed around in our pop-culture as a justification for indulging our wants and making the masses believe that this is what God wants for us and that makes it right, right?  I personally know people who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars in support of organizations and churches that preach this kind of “abundance” theology and in the end, have NOTHING to show for it except maybe a pile of debt.  What is missing is the reality that Divine abundance has nothing to do with want and it certainly has nothing to do with money, stuff, things OR thinking the “right” thoughts.  The Law of Attraction is nothing more than something made up by a culture that wants to justify its gluttony and greed and instead of supporting our dreams, hopes and visions, belief in this law only gets us trapped in the hamster wheel of guilt, blame and shame. (because if we don’t have what we want, we must be thinking the wrong thoughts and then it is our personal fault if we don’t have what we want.)  And I don’t mean to shatter anyone’s illusions, but there is no “Secret,” not the one our culture wants us to believe anyway!

The Real Secret

The truth is that God is abundant.  Just not in the way our pop culture wants us to believe.  God does want us to enjoy our highest good.  God knows what we need in our lives to feel peace, calm, content, joyful, compassionate, merciful and loving.  God knows what are our greatest gifts and how we could use those gifts to find inner fulfillment and how we could share those gifts in the world in service to others so that our world can become more peaceful, just, harmonious and loving.  And what God WANTS is for us to know this, to believe this, to embrace this and to live this.  This is the true nature of Divine Abundance….and it has nothing to do with money, status, fame, power, stuff.  And quite frequently, it has nothing to do with what WE want, but it has everything to do with what we NEED!  (I think there’s a Rolling Stones song that says something about this!)

Getting in our Own Way

So, if there is a path to fulfillment, peace, joy, compassion, justice and God knows what that is, why aren’t we living it?  Because….we keep getting in our own way!  We go through our lives trying to get what we want, trying to make things happen, trying to manipulate and control the outcome of our lives.  And what does that give us?  FRUSTRATION  PAIN  DISAPPOINTMENT  DRAMA  CHAOS  STRESS  ANXIETY  What would happen if instead of making our own plans, deciding our own destinations, seeking the fulfillment of our WANTING, we sought direction from the ONE source that actually knows what is best for us?  HHHMMM   We might know PEACE  LOVE  CONTENTMENT  FULFILLMENT.  Sounds like a great idea to me!

The Magic Formula

So, how do we get out of our own way and allow God to drive the bus?  In a nutshell…READ MY BOOK!  (ha ha).  In truth, there are a million fabulous resources that support us in our journey of letting go of our ego-driven wanting so that we can be open to surrendering to the Divine flow of abundance.  The bottom line….is…..being open to receiving guidance from a source higher (deeper, wider, more intimate, ) than our selves.  Meditation, prayer, contemplation, creative endeavors, are all supportive tools for being open to receiving the guidance that leads us toward our highest good.  And then, we need to get out of the way.   When we let go of our wanting, our plans, our need to control, and allow ourselves to surrender to what God would reveal to us as in our highest good, then we are guaranteed an abundance of peace, contentment, love and joy….and we are given the tools we need to move through the ups and downs of the sometimes insane human condition, trusting that even the losses, disappointments and tragedies of life are somehow serving our highest good.  Now that is ABUNDANCE!

Where do you find yourself clinging to your own need to control?

Where have you gotten caught up in the wheel of guilt and blame over “not getting what I want?”

How are you being invited to be open to Divine guidance towards the path of your highest good?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Healing

Dow Jones, Debt Ceiling, AAA rating, Stock Exchange…the trouble with money

As the US loses its AAA credit rating, the Dow Jones tanks and we face the probability of another (did we even leave the last one?) recession, we are tempted to allow fears around money creep into our consciousness.  As we move along the spiritual path, growing, awakening and searching for enlightenment, we are invited to choose another path.  How did we get into this mess and how do we get out of it? 

 

 

The Symptom

Why did the US government have to raise the debt ceiling?  Why is the Dow Jones crashing?  Why are our investments losing money right and left?  Why has the US lost its AAA credit rating?  Why is our government considering another “stimulus package (because the last one worked so well….)? Why are investors and investment bankers and advisors in a state of alarmed panic?  In a word:  GLUTTONY!!!!!   While I am often tempted to get on my soapbox and pontificate about all the things wrong with the world….this is not one of those times.  Gluttony is a behavior that is not to be judged or fingers waved at, instead, it is a behavior motivated by fear and one that calls for compassion and healing.  Gluttony is known by the behaviors of excess consumption and fearful deprivation that come from an even deeper cause and the cause is one of the seven core spiritual fears (see my book,Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy).  The fear is :  There is not enough

 

The Cause of the Behavior

Gluttony is the behavior through which we seek rampantly to acquire the “stuff” that we think will soothe the deeper fear within us that there is not enoughThis fear of “not enough” has within its roots very real survival fears and urges us to seek the food, clothing, shelter, safety and partnering that we need to survive.  Once these basic survival needs are met, however, this fear should be calmed and we should live in peaceful contentment.  Unfortunately for many (if not most), this fear isn’t calmed and we find ourselves creating more fear and out of this fear comes the false belief that there is something outside of us that will create the peaceful contentment that we crave – and the stuff outside of us that we think will make us feel peaceful are:  money, power, control, stuff, more stuff, more stuff, fame, status, time.  What began as a simple survival fear now morphs into something that drives us to seek more stuff, to use more than we need, to consume without regard for others or for our environment, to feel anxious about time, to seek fame, power, status, etc.  We think that if we have the most stuff and the right stuff, then we will finally be happy and content.  Instead, what we find is simply more fear and more discontent.  The end result in a society consumed by this fear and this is exactly what we are facing in our economy today:  THE RICH getting richer, THE POOR getting poorer and THE MIDDLE CLASS getting ticked off!  (Are you familiar with the French Revolution????  “Let them eat cake” simply doesn’t work!)

 

The Upside Down Map

Every single one of us wants to feel peaceful, content, loving and joyful, right?  These qualities of peace, love and joy are our DIVINE inheritance…our truest nature…why we are living on this ball of mud in the first place.  We are genetically programmed to be peaceful, loving and joyful AND we are compelled to seek this out…NO MATTER WHAT.  The problem is that our fears lead us down the path that will give us everything BUT contentment and joy.  Instead, our fears only lead us to more fear and more discontent.  The fear, “there is not enough,” is one of those misguiding fears.  This fear makes us think that there is some magic something outside of us that will help us get this peace.  It is like someone gave us a map and we are reading it upside down. 

 

The Truth

The truth that we are invited to embrace is that “All my needs are being met in abundance.”  I know, another pie in the sky promise.  Let me explain.  The truth is that THERE IS NOTHING outside of us that will give us the peaceful contentment and joy that we desire and is in fact our truest nature.  There is no job, no person, no amount of money, status, power, prestige that will magically make us happy and content.  As the state of our economy reflects, we have been looking in the wrong place.  We have taken too much, deprived others of what they need, wasted valuable resources, gone to war, destroyed the environment…all in the reckless search for “that magic something.”  The peaceful contentment that is our truest nature IS NOT OUTSIDE of us.  This peace ONLY COMES FROM WITHIN. 

 

The Economic Solution

I’m not an investment counselor, or banker, or financial advisor….BUT I do know the solution to our current economic problem.   And…the solution is simple……CULTIVATE inner peace and contentment.  As we work toward believing the truth “all my needs are being met in abundance,” as we grow in our ability to embrace the peaceful contentment that is our truest nature, as we let go of our fears that “there is not enough”, then we stop looking outside of ourselves for the stuff, the money, the power, the status, the time, and we find that we have EVERYTHING we need…right here, right now, within us.  Yes, our stock portfolios might take a hit, we might enter another recession, the dollar might even crash, but in the end, even that cannot deprive us of the compassion, peace and joy THAT WE ARE!  And all you need to do is believe in the joy that you are and allow it to be true.  (For tools to help you in the journey toward remembering this truth, see my book, Authetic Freedom).

 

Where are you aware of the fear, “there is not enough” as present in your life?

Where have you indulged in the behavior of spiritual gluttony?

How are you being invited to release this fear and its resulting behaviors?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com