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 addictions, Authentic Freedom

New Year’s Resolutions – from addiction to recovery

Dear Readers,

Today, as an example of resolutions gone RIGHT, I am sharing with you a blog posted today by one of my clients, Brian Hayford.  It is with Brian’s permission that I share this blog here today and I do so with great pride and admiration of the VERY HARD WORK Brian has accomplished in the past year and with great humility for having been a part of Brian’s amazing journey from opiate addiction to recovery.  Congratulations Brian and KEEP UP the hard work!  Since completing an in-patient stint at Hazelden, Brian continues to work the 12-Steps, has worked through and continues to work the Authentic Freedom process, rediscovered Martial Arts as a vehicle for building strength and self-empowerment, and is in the process of rediscovering the person he lost through addiction.

Brian is a talented writer (as you will see) and artist.  He has a keen sense of justice and has an innate sensitivity to the struggles of the human condition through which he is called to help facilitate the birth of a new and better world.  I for one am grateful for Brian’s passion and vision and trust that as he stays on the recovery path, his unique participation in this vision will be revealed.

You can read Brian’s story here:  http://www.bubblews.com/news/1941482-what-a-ride-looking-back-on-my-2013-lots-of-lesson-learned-finally

Posted in addictions, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, guilt, Healing, shame, sin, The Seven Deadly Compulsions

Sex Addiction – Causes and Compassion

In yesterday’s blog, we explored the subject of sexual addiction and ways to identify this behavior in ourselves or our loved ones so that we might seek out help.  In today’s blog, we will examine some of the possible causes of sex addiction, specifically the deeper emotional and spiritual wounds what are ultimately seeking healing.

Causes of Sexual Addiction

As is the case with other addictions, there are no cut and dried formulas in their cause.  There are, however, some reported similarities between sex addicts which warrant examination:

  • Sex addicts often come from dysfunctional families
  • Many report a past history of having been physically, verbally or emotionally abused
  • 82% of sex addicts reported having been sexually abused as children
  • 80% reported substance abuse as present within their family of origin
  • Many report parents as distant, uncaring and rigid
  • It is theorized that abnormalities in brain chemistry may predispose a person to addictive behaviors, including sex addiction

(Source:  Herkov, M. (extracted 2013). What causes sexual addiction? www.psychcentral.com.)

Behavior modification

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, sex addiction is recognized in compulsive, uncontrollable behaviors most often driven by anxiety.  Addiction language speaks of this anxiety as the “emotional trigger.”    Learning effective methods for dealing with this anxiety or confronting the specific emotional trigger goes a long way in supporting recovery and healing in sex addicts and allows the addict to create new and healthier ways of responding to these triggers.  It has been my experience, however, that in many (if not most) cases, the addictive behavior ultimately has nothing to do with the behavior itself (ie: fantasizing, masturbation, use of pornography, etc.), and simple behavior modification, while necessary, is not enough to facilitate long-term recovery, and more importantly, does not help the addict learn how to cultivate and enjoy healthy, loving, intimacy. For as long as they are indulging their addiction, sex addicts are incapable of experiencing or participating in true intimacy.

Sex Addiction and Need

Instead, sex addiction has much more to do with deeper, unhealed spiritual and emotional wounds that are seeking to be made known so that they may be healed.  Sex addiction, contrary to the belief of many addicts (and their partners), is not about love or intimacy.  Sex addiction isn’t even really about sex.  Sex addiction is about seeking the remedy to a deep, inner, often unnamed pain.  As mentioned above, many sex addicts report having been emotionally, mentally, verbally, physically and even sexually abused as children.  For sex addicts, sexual behaviors (including fantasizing) allowed them to disassociate from the on-going trauma and provided temporary relief from the pain.  In order to facilitate enduring recovery, the addict needs to acknowledge this pain and identify the needs that were left unmet in their childhood.  Some of these needs might include:

  • The need to feel safe and that their needs for food, clothing, and shelter were being met
  • The need to feel of value and as if they had something significant to contribute
  • The need to feel supported in being and living as their most authentic self
  • The need to feel unconditionally loved
  • The need to feel free to express their needs and their truth
  • The need to know their truth and their path
  • The need to feel as if they were not alone

As the addict works on healing these deeper unmet needs and unacknowledged childhood wounds,  learns strategies for getting these needs met and tending to themselves in adulthood, while developing healthy interventions for managing anxiety, the addictive behaviors become less and less necessary.  Addressing these deeper wounds then provides the foundation upon which the addict can begin to cultivate what they have been missing all along – healthy, loving intimacy.

If you believe that you or your partner is suffering from sex addiction, please seek help and support through counseling, psychotherapy or 12-step recovery groups tailored to the needs of sex addicts.

To learn more about sex addiction, check out Out of the Shadowsby Patrick J. Carnes, PhD.

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Posted in Being Human, Healing, Inspiration

Replacing the Inner Critic with Love

Hi.  My name is Lauri.  I am a perfectionist, driven by my addiction to my inner critic.  I admit that I am powerless over my addiction to rejection and that because of this addiction, my life has become unmanageable.  I believe in a power greater than myself that can restore me to sanity.  I turn this addiction over to the God of my understanding.   And this is when true miracles happen!

The Demons of Self-Rejection and Self-Loathing

All of my life, I have been plagued by a voice that seems to come at me from both directions – both from inside of me and from outside of me.  This is the voice of the Inner Critic – that big, mean, Lauri that stands outside of me wagging the finger of blame and speaking within me eating away at my self worth.  “It is all your fault.  There is something wrong with you.  If you aren’t perfect, people won’t love you.  If you work really hard, you might be loved.  If you aren’t loved, it means you aren’t enough or your efforts weren’t good enough.”  This is the inner critic that for my whole life has told me that there is something wrong with me, that I am not enough and that I am not good enough.  This is the voice that compelled me as a child to embrace the compulsion of perfectionism – I had to be the straight A student, the top achiever, the teacher’s pet, the star, the best…at everything.  This voice served me well in academics where I naturally thrived, but beyond that, that voice was a B.I.T.C.H.  When I couldn’t throw or catch a ball, she said, “I told you there was something wrong with you.”  When I couldn’t draw, “I told you you had no talent.”  When I forgot the second movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata at my senior recital, “Who told you you could play piano?”  When no one asked me out for prom, “I told you you were ugly.”  When the people around me were hurt, angry, depressed, scared, the voice told me, “It must be your fault….something you’ve done.”  ARGH!  I hate that voice and all the ways she has made me feel like C.R.A.P.

Origin of the Voice?

Psychologists would tell me that this voice of the Inner Critic came about through my childhood – an overly critical or overbearing parent or something like that.  The Enneagram, however, offers a softer and kinder possibility.  The voice of the Inner Critic was something that I was born with.  While the development of its shadow side may have been supported by certain family of origin dynamics, the Inner Critic’s source of origin (according to the Enneagram) is the unique lens I was born with and through which I perceive my world and my life experiences.  Hidden within the voice of the critic is the gift that I was born to share with the world.  The trick is to find healing for the spiritual wound of separation (for more on that, see my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy), so that the shadow side of the gift may soften and relax and the gift may emerge.

Elusive Healing

I have worked for YEARS on trying to heal that wound of separation and quiet the voice of the Inner Critic.  While my perfectionist has relaxed and I am WAY better than I used to be, I have still found myself plagued by that darn Inner voice wagging the finger of blame at me.  With the recent end of a love relationship, that darn Inner Critic has gotten especially loud and annoying.  As I have been moving through the expected faces of grief, the Inner Critic has been beating the crap out of me and on Monday, I finally realized how mean she really is and how much I no longer want her to be a part of  my life.  For the first time, I PRAYED for healing and asked God to take this burden away from me.

Ask and it Shall Be Given

As I finally collapsed into a helpless heap of frustration and admitted I was powerless over this darn Inner Critic and finally asked for God’s help, miracles began to happen.  Through a series of experiences, I found the Inner Critic began to become quieter.  I re-discovered some meditation tools that helped me to further calm that inner voice and allow myself to remember a deeper state of peace and love.  Then something AMAZING happened – three separate individuals (spiritual teachers) in three separate conversations offered similar advice, “Give love to yourself.  Shower yourself in love.  Tend to your own need for love.”  It wasn’t until the third offering on the third day that I GOT IT.  And this is what I saw:

Standing outside of me was me.  At first the outside me was the Inner Critic, wagging her finger of self-hatred at me.  Then, she suddenly changed.  She lowered her arm, turned to face me, looked into my eyes, embraced me, and loved me.

The Inner Critic was now the Inner Lover.  Holding me.  Loving me.  Supporting me.  Adoring me.  For the first time in my life, I received the love that I so generously and freely give to others.  And that was an amazing thing.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com