Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, Boundaries, codependency, detachment, Empowerment, Healing

Heal Yourselves! Lessons on Detachment

It is said, “The good Lord helps those who help themselves.”

The key here is “help themselves.” The Lord (or whatever name you give to the transcendent aspect of the Divine that is said to be a source of guidance and support) cannot help those who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives, their own patterns of dysfunctional behavior, their own woundedness and their own fears.

The same can be said for us. When we reach out as a source of loving support for others, we can only help those who are willing to help themselves.  We cannot help those who are unable or unwilling to identify their own patterns of dysfunctional or compulsive behaviors (including behaviors of gluttony, addiction, victimhood, martyrdom, rage, power and control, envy or jealousy, sloth or pride); and we cannot help those who are unwilling to do the work of identifying the unhealed woundedness or fears that are in fact the cause of their dysfunctional behaviors and the unfortunate life situations their behaviors get them into.

What we can do is provide a listening ear and a compassionate heart. We can be a presence of unconditional abiding love.  We can educate, inform and direct them toward resources that might help them (including ourselves if we have the proper resources).  The rest is up to them.

As it is also said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”

Whether or not those we hope to help refuse to drink from the well of support we lead them to is completely out of our control. Even if we could make them “drink” that doesn’t mean they will actually do the hard and often painful work of taking responsibility for what ails them.  This is where the subtle and necessary practice of detachment comes in. When we have offered all we are able in the form of guidance and support and when those we hope to help refuse to help themselves, there is nothing left for us to do but walk away.  For the sake of our own wellbeing, we cannot allow ourselves to take another person’s decisions personally; neither can we lose a minute of sleep over it.  As one teacher says, “their decisions are none of my business.”  Detachment is the ability to be a loving source of support while also having no attachment to what the other person decides to do with our offer of support. If they receive the support and take appropriate action, then they are well on their way to healing.  If they refuse the support and continue in their dysfunction, it is now on them.

As the Lord helps those who help themselves, it is also true for us. We can only help those who are willing to help themselves.

The Authentic Freedom Mastery Course empowers us with the ability to identify our gifts, along with our compulsive and dysfunctional patters of behavior and then provides tools for helping us to heal these patterns ourselves.  Learn more by clicking the image below:

 

Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, codependency, Death, Empowerment

Power in Our Aloneness

The greatest fear in the human experience is not death, neither is it public speaking.  The greatest fear in the human experience is that we are alone – really, truly, alone; and in this aloneness, life has no meaning and no purpose.  This is our greatest fear because it is also our greatest truth.  At the end of the day, we are really, truly alone.  Death brings us face to face with this absolute truth.  When we release our final breath, there is no one – only ourselves and our hope that there is another to take us home – and the fear that this “other” is simply a lie we have told ourselves to make ourselves feel better.

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Day in and day out, this fear that we are alone, haunts us. While we may not acknowledge that this is the fear haunting us, or that we have any fear at all, believe me, it is there.  It is there is our restlessness, our boredom, our short attention spans, our search for something “out there” that will make us happy.  It is in our “retail therapy.” It is in our social media searching and trolling.  It is in our cultural addiction with reality TV (including the clown show that has become our election process).  It is in our food, alcohol, tobacco, drug addictions.  It is present in every single situation and experience where we think something “out there” will fulfill us and in the relentless search for that “something.” This fear that we are alone is in our longing and yearning for “the other” who will complete us – even when that “other” is given the name of “God.”

We spend nearly every minute of every day avoiding our fear of this aloneness by chasing after “that which we cannot name.” We are sure if we keep chasing we will eventually find it.  It’s in that check we’ve been waiting for, the mysterious windfall, the lottery jackpot.  It’s in the elusive soulmate who will bring perfection to our lives.  It is in the next great car, the bigger home, the job with the bigger paycheck.  It is in the victory of our chosen political candidate.

But guess what? The fear of being alone is NOT remedied through any of the above, because THERE IS NO CURE for our fear of being alone.  This fear is the consequence of the human condition and a fear we will always intimately know.

We came here to have a unique and individual experience which by its nature means we are separate and alone. Within this choice also exists the knowledge of our true nature – of a time before we chose separation.  It is the knowledge of our true nature that causes us to feel alone while at the same time it is calling us home.  It is an ache that will never cease as long as we continue being human.  While there is no remedy to the fear of being alone, there is an answer to all the relentless searching and avoiding we do by searching.  The answer is to stop running from this fear.  Stop looking “out there” for something that will fill the eternal vacancy inside.  The only way to calm (not remedy) this fear, is to BE WITH IT.

Being with our fear of being alone means just that. Be with it.  Turn away from all the external searching and turn within.  Go deep into our hearts where this longing resides.  Move past the ego attachments to fame, status, money, power, success and achievement. Move beyond the need to be right and for others to be wrong. Move past the restlessness, boredom, loneliness, impatience, and anxiousness.  Move past anxiety, depression and despair.  Beneath all of it is the DEEP ACHE, the indelible pain, the vivid realization that we are alone.  SIT with this fear.  Sit with this awareness.  Sit with the excruciating discomfort.  Simply be with all this pain is, has to say, and feels like for you.  FEEL IT.  Revel in it.  Bathe in it.  Know it to be a deeply intimate, true and cherished part of who you are.  KNOW that this ache is your Soul calling you home – NOT home to some “heavenly abode.”  Home to YOURSELF.  It is here in the deep well of your aloneness that you will find yourself.  And here, you will find your power.

 

The Authentic Freedom Mastery Program provides tools to help us navigate the fears of the human condition, moving us from fear into a deep and abiding love. Learn more about the Authentic Freedom Mastery Program HERE.  Check out the FREE preview course to see if Authentic Freedom is for you.

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Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Inspiration, Lessons, Mystics, Superheroes

Light Workers, Shadow Workers and Middle World Workers

Today’s blog – as an offering of the Superhero Academy – explores the difference between light workers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Healers of every sort populate our world and deserve to be honored for their uniquely special gifts.

Please note, after January 1, 2015, the Superhero Report, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service and Agape Meditation Newsletter will be available by subscription only.  For a very reasonable monthly fee, (about the price of your weekly cappuccino) you can receive all three.  Subscribe HERE or use the Paypal link below:

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It takes all kinds of Superheroes to heal and change the world.

In the twenty plus years that I have been involved with the world of complementary and ancient healing practices, I have learned that there are all kinds of Superheroes – men and women who are here to heal and change the world.  When it comes specifically to the people I know who are healers, they seem be of one of three varieties – lightworkers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Each of these varieties of healers bring their own unique gifts and talents to the fore and have their own audience to which they have been sent to minister.

Lightworkers

Galadriel-oLightworkers are easy to identify and are those who have been given the most attention as we have moved into the new age and ascension movements.  Lightworkers are just that – light.  They tend to speak the language of angels and fairies and draw our attention to things of sacred geometry, cellular healing, quantum layers, and mystical realms.  Not seeming to be “from here,” Lightworkers dress in ethereal almost mystical attire – a reflection of the light and love filled realms from whence they came.  Lightworkers are highly attuned to “the heavens” and are here to remind us of and re-attune us to our Divine, angelic and otherworldly nature.   You know when you are in the presence of a Lightworker because they are really nice and give you the impression they would not hurt a fly. The challenge for Lightworkers is just this – that they are sometimes too nice – not trusting their intuition about another’s deceit or lack of integrity.  Lightworkers can also be challenged when their quest for the light is at the expense of or privileged over the human experience – the reason all of us are ultimately here.

Shadow workers

gollum_fin2If we can think of healers existing along a continuum, Shadow workers exist on the opposite end of the spectrum from Lightworkers and as such, possess polar opposite gifts.  Shadow workers are fiery-warrior types and possess a darkness about them.  They live in the shadows and are comfortable in the darkness.  As such, they are extremely gifted in helping us to identify our shadows and bring them to the light.  Shadow workers help us dive deep into our fears, our past woundedness and traumas, our compulsions and all the parts of ourselves we have hidden from the world – and often from ourselves.  Shadow workers are relentless in their pursuit of darkness so that it can be integrated within us.  Shadow workers are masters as Recapitulation and Soul Retrieval and help people reassemble the lost parts of themselves into a harmonious, cohesive whole.  Since most people resist their shadows, Shadow workers often feel dangerous – at least at first glance.  Again, they have a darkness about them.  While this darkness can be a gift, it can also be the bane of the Shadow worker’s existence if not treated with respect.  Many shadow workers I know have struggled with addictions.  These addictions, I believe, arose because of the shadow worker’s fear of their own power – and perhaps for some – because in the past they have used their powers for their own benefit (and even to cause harm) and not for the common good.  Healing the past frees shadow workers to do what they came here to do – help people fully embrace the HUMAN that they came here to be.

Middle World Workers

Middle World Workers are those who exist somewhere between Lightworkers and Shadow Workers.  In other words, they are a little bit of both.  Middle Workers are drawn to the heavens, but are also comfortable in the shadows.  Middle Workers seek to bring light and love into the world, but also invite us to embrace and integrate the shadow.  Middle Workers understand that we are not here to avoid or transcend the human experience – instead, we are here to live it fully, while also remembering the fullness of our Divine nature.  Middle Workers invite us to remember the fullness of our Divinity while living the fullness of the human condition.  Middle Workers seek to assist people in bringing their Divine nature fully into the human experience while inviting the human experience to become Divine.  “As above, so below,” might be considered the mantra or mission statement of Middle World Workers.  You can recognize Middle World Workers in their approachability and in the way they are authentically real and how they seem to be of light and love while living the human experience.

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One ring to rule them all…

In this human experience – we need them all – Lightworkers, Shadow workers and Middle World workers.  We need those who remind us of our light, along with those who invite us to confront and integrate our shadow.  And, we need those who help us to find the glue that holds it all together.

What kind of worker are you?

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Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, world changes

Superheroes and our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

Superhero Report – July 28, 2014

Our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

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It is not something we like to admit, but the New Superheroes have often had trouble with mood-altering substances.  Whether it is caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, a whole host of illegal substances or ones that have been prescribed by our doctors for ADD, anxiety, stress, depression, or panic attack, certain ascetic meditation practices, television, video games, the internet – the New Superheroes are likely to have (or had) some sort of habitual relationship with one or several of the above.  There is a sound explanation for the attractiveness of these substances and to the way in which we are almost irresistibly drawn toward them and why they can so easily become addictive.  There are also some simple practices we can engage in which can render these substances unnecessary.  (Note: if you have an addiction, please seek out the support of your local 12-Step recovery program.)

 

The question of why we are drawn to mood-altering substances has a many-layered response:

 

1) We remember our true nature and our original home and we want to go home!

On an unconscious and often conscious level, Superheroes remember what “heaven” feels like. We also know our “true self” is not of this earth, but that we are pure, spiritual beings. Mood-altering substances stimulate the brow and crown chakras and give us an experience of being “home.”

2) We were given a vision of what the earth is supposed to be like, and this is not it.

Until we know how, we often resist this human form and are looking for ways to ESCAPE. The earth we are currently residing in is the not the vision of earth that was planted into our hearts and that we are here to make real. Again, mood-altering substances give us an experience similar to being home, thereby allowing us, at least temporarily, to escape the painful human condition.

3) The false belief that spiritual is better than human.

This is a biggie – especially among certain members of the New Age, Ascension, and Lightworker communities. We are NOT here to be spiritual, we are not here to ascend the limitations of our humanness, we are not here to sprinkle fairies and stardust upon the world singing songs of light and love and perfection, believing that if we think good thoughts all will be well and we will have everything we want. No, we are not here to do these things – not at the expense of being HUMAN anyway. WE ARE HERE TO BE HUMAN. PERIOD. We are ALREADY fully Divine. We came here to experience being human AND to bring our already perfect Divine nature fully into this experience. Rather than Ascension, the journey of the New Superhero (and the rest of the world with us), is actually INCARNATION – transcending the illusions of duality and becoming BOTH fully Divine AND fully Human. We already know the Divine part….let’s figure out how to be human! (ahem….I know a pretty cool dude who lived about 2000 years ago in and around Palestine/Israel who came here to do the same.)

4) Shame

As strangers in a strange land, we often have the experience of not fitting in, of being judged for being weird or strange. People don’t understand us, or the vision we carry in our hearts and the drive to make it real. When we feel rejected by those around us, and sometimes even by those we love, we take it personally. This rejection becomes internalized as shame. Mood-altering substances are a great way to numb the pain of this shame.

5) Loneliness

Just ask Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, being a Superhero is lonely business. Until they discovered each other and formed the Justice League, these Superheroes were out there on their own trying to make the world a better place and feeling very alone. The same is true of us. We often feel alone in the world with few who understand our unique temperaments, gifts and call. Mood altering substances help us to numb the pain of feeling alone and misunderstood.

Again, if our relationship with mood-altering substances has reached the level of addiction, then it is time to seek help.  12-Step recovery programs are a great way to get support in stopping the use of the substance and Authentic Freedom helps to identify and heal the inner fears/wounds which led us to the compulsive behavior in the first place.  If our relationship to mood-altering substances is less problematic but we still find ourselves drawn to them, the following practices may prove helpful.

 

1)Tonglen 

Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice which incorporates visualization and breathwork for the intention of transforming painful emotions. For the Superheroes, applying Tonglen to feelings of loneliness and shame can prove effective. Here is the practice in short:

  • Identify the feeling you want to work with (shame, loneliness)
  • Call that feeling up in your body.
  • Identify where in your body you feel it.
  • Breathe INTO that place in your body, while feeling the emotion (shame, loneliness).
  • While breathing into that place, follow your breath with your mind.
  • Now breathe out love, following the love with your breath as you imagine it flowing out of you from the place of the painful emotion.
  • Continue with this practice until you feel something change – perhaps the emotion shifts to something else, maybe you begin to weep.

2) Embodiment

Embodiment is a practice that I discovered while struggling with an overactive and fretful mind.  The intention of this practice is to REMEMBER that we are here to have a HUMAN experience – no matter what we remember about our “heaven home” or our true nature as spiritual beings.  Embodiment allows us to set aside the false belief that spiritual is better than human and gives us the tools for bringing our, already perfect, Divine selves FULLY into the human experience.  When our spirit is fully incarnate in our bodies, we feel safe and secure and are less likely to be tempted to FLEE.  It is not, however, until we INCARNATE that we feel safe in our human selves, so let’s get to incarnating, shall we???

 

  • Close your eyes and draw your awareness deep into your body.
  • See if you can identify the distinction between your spiritual and human self. (Note, the spiritual self, until we are incarnate, tends to hang out in the upper chakras, especially our head, or even somewhere outside and above us.)
  • Conscious of the distinction between your spiritual and human self, bring your consciousness deep into your body.
  • Imagine the Earth beneath you as hands reaching up to hold, support, protect, and nourish you.
  • Feel the sense of safety in resting in this supportive space.
  • Imagine your HUMAN self as supported by the Earth and receiving its nourishment from the Earth.
  • As you begin to feel the safety of humanness, imagine that your human self is like a chalice – an empty vessel waiting for your Spirit to be poured into it.
  • From this place of security, observe as your Spirit willingly pours itself into the safe home of your human chalice. You are not pushing, forcing or pulling it in, it willingly enters in the knowledge that the Human form is safe.
  • Returning to the awareness of your human form, FEEL the sensation of being fully human and safe in this experience, while completely filled by your Divine Spiritual nature. Feel the wholeness and completeness of this experience. As you sit in this feeling of safety, you become aware of all illusions of separation melting away. Your Spirit and your Human natures are now one – no longer separate or distinct from each other, but ONE.

 

Embodiment eliminates the temptation to FLEE because when we INCARNATE, we find that WE ARE HOME and that there is a home for us in the human condition and that with our embodiment, it looks a whole lot like the heaven we remember and the heaven we were sent to make real upon this earth. 🙂  In this experience, we know that HEAVEN IS REAL and it is right here, within and among us.

 

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,

Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed,

And no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘ look, there it is.’

For behold, the kingdom of God is within (and among) you.”

 

Luke 17: 20-21

 

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, codependency, guilt, Healing, Relationships, shame

For Partners of Sex Addicts Part I

Today’s blog is part three in a series on sex addiction.  Parts One and Two explored the ways in which one might identify sex addiction in one’s self or one’s partner and possible causes and suggested supports for healing sex addiction.  In today’s blog, I hope to provide partners (and former partners) of sex addicts with some support – specifically validation for the devastating effects of being in relationship with a sex addict.  In tomorrow’s blog, I will explore possible supports in helping the partner heal from having been in relationship with a sex addict.

Sex addiction confused as love

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, for as long as sex addicts are indulging their addiction, sex addicts are incapable of experiencing or participating in true intimacy. This truth has devastating effects on any and every relationship into which the sex addict enters. As Stephanie Carnes, states, “Sex addiction thrives in secrecy, (Mending a shattered heart, 2009, p. 9)” and addicts will go to any length to protect their double life.” Whether engaging in compulsive fantasizing, pornography, sex sites, prostitution and/or masturbation, addicts accomplish this in secret and their partners are often none the wiser.  Additionally, many sex addicts are masters as presenting themselves as simply “passionate” and pride themselves is being masterful “lovers,” luring potential partners in with their exceptional “skills.”  Soon, however, the partner begins to see that no matter what they do or how they do it (sexually), it is never enough, neither is it good enough, because nothing can compare with the fantasies cooked up in an addicts mind or with the intensity and danger of what they might be viewing through pornography or experiencing on sex-sites.  As the partner of an addict eventually learns, the partner’s need for sexual stimulation has nothing to do with love and instead of helping to facilitate intimacy, actually destroys it.

Sex Addiction is Still in the Closet

One of the challenges with sex addiction is that in most circles, it remains in the closet.  Sex addiction is not discussed publicly and neither has it attained the recognition and acknowledgement of other addictions such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.  For some, sex addiction is considered a joke – something that was cooked up by some fundamentalist, repressed, suppressed, uptight religious folks trying to keep us from having great sex.  The accessibility and mainstreaming of pornography, does not help in this regard. As such, sex addiction is difficult to identify, especially for the partner of a sex addict, who maybe never witnesses the behavior itself, but only the before and after-effects.

Effects Experienced by Partners of Sex Addicts

Before: The before effects of sex addiction are most easily recognized by feelings of withdrawal such as irritability or restlessness on the part of the addict when unable to act out sexually, which escalates until they get their fix. The partner feels the tension of these feelings and often becomes the target – being blamed by the addict for these feelings (you aren’t servicing me enough or in the ways that I want). Often, not knowing any better, the partner believes it must be their fault.  Shame and guilt step in and the partner often feels pressured to play their part in helping the addict “feel better,” often agreeing to sexual behaviors that actually make them feel uncomfortable.

After: The after-effects are also comprised of shame and guilt because no matter what the partner does or how, it will never be right for the addict.  For the addict, sex becomes a bottomless pit of need that can never be met, and in the mind of the addict, their partner becomes the person “responsible” for their dissatisfaction.  Until they know otherwise, the partner often takes on the responsibility for the addict’s unhappiness, frequently entering into the cycle of addiction with the addict – trying everything within their means to make the addict happy and having to face the shame of continued failure.  Eventually, the partner may shut down sexually and cut off any connection they may have to their own sexual needs and desires, unable to face the continual shame of failure and humiliation.  Compounding this shame is the addict’s blaming and shaming behaviors toward the partner.  Because of their inability to “please” them, addicts often accuse their partners of being “frigid, repressed, uptight,” or even “asexual.” Sadly, partners begin to believe these lies and end up losing any self-esteem they might have had in regards to sexual intimacy and desirability. These feelings of shame are compounded when the sex addict turns away from the partner toward masturbation, pornography, sex sites or other partners in search of a “better” fix.

Shame

Ultimately, what is created within the partner of a sex addict is a deep well of shame – shame over not being able to please their partner, shame for agreeing to sex acts they might feel uncomfortable with, shame over wondering what is wrong with them and shame over wondering if there is something wrong with their partner in a culture that often glorifies sex addiction and in a partner who might still be in denial.  When recovering from a relationship with a sex addict, healing this shame is the primary and most critical task.  In tomorrow’s blog we will explore strategies for healing yourself from a relationship with a sex addict.

If you are a partner of a sex addict, please seek out help and support through counseling, psychotherapy or a local 12-Step group well versed in the subtleties of sex addiction. For additional support, check out Mending a Shattered Heart – a Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, edited by Stephanie Carnes, PhD.

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Freedom, Inspiration, Jesus

How Many Gays Have to Die?

Today, I write this blog with a heavy heart.  Two men that I have had the pleasure of knowing died – one from suicide, the other from the complications of addiction. The common denominator in both of their deaths was a lifetime of trying to suppress the deepest longing of their soul which was to love another man.  My purpose for writing this blog today is to ask the question, “How many gays have to die before we, as a culture, change our attitudes around homosexuality and other expressions of sexual orientation?”

marriage equality

Rolling Stone Magazine in their expose of the anti-gay culture in the Anoka-Hennepin School District said the following about suicide among gay youth:

“Suicide rates among gay and lesbian kids are frighteningly high, with attempt  rates four times that of their straight counterparts; studies show that  one-third of all gay youth have attempted suicide at some point (versus 13  percent of hetero kids), and that internalized homophobia contributes to suicide risk.”

(Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202#ixzz2jg5NYqi7 )

Of course, not every homosexual turns to alcohol, drugs or suicide as a means of repressing their truth.  Many have the loving support of family and friend, adults in their lives who have modeled an open and empowered homosexual lifestyle, religious institutions that honor all spectrums of sexual orientation as divine gifts, and some have the inner strength to embrace their orientation and live it freely.  But even for these men and women, the journey is not easy.  “Homosexuality is not a choice,” I have heard many of my gay friends say, on the one hand acknowledging the genetic and biological nature of sexual orientation and on the other hand, suggesting that the road might have been easier if God/dess had decided to make them straight.  I propose that the only reason the latter might be true is because our culture continues to uphold heterosexuality as the norm and as the “right” choice.  Anything that differs from this “norm,” is then questioned, and most often condemned.

But the fact remains, homosexual people are dying because we live in a culture where homosexuality is judged as negative and condemned, most often, as a sin.   Gays are dying because they do not have the affirmation, validation and support they need to be the person God/dess made them to be and because it is a battle to find the support one needs to identify, embrace and live ones truth.  Then to make matters worse, there are the so-called Christians hurling judgment and condemnation at homosexuality as being depraved, evil and the work of the devil, crafting their beliefs in a way that  justifies their condemning and hateful attitudes and actions against homosexuality.

This needs to change.  First of all, people need to stop using Jesus as the excuse for their fear.  In none of the gospels does Jesus address homosexuality.  In fact, on this topic, he is quite silent.  Secondly, we as human beings, need to stop fearing what appears to be different or what seems to stands apart from our own personal experiences.  Third, we need to be willing to listen to our own truth and move through the fears of living that truth – when we are denying our own truth, it is easy to project that shame outward on to others.  It is not a surprise that often the loudest anti-homosexual and anti-gay voices are from those who are suppressing their own latent homosexuality or who at the very least are attempting to compensate for their own fear in an unsure world by creating tightly-held definitions of right and wrong, good and bad, saved and condemned.

The bottom line in all of this is that instead of being fearful of our own truth or the truth of another, we need to learn how to LOVE – to set aside the perceived separations within ourselves, between each other and between ourselves and love.  When we set aside perceived separations and realize the truth of oneness, we REMEMBER that love is our very nature, and that there is, in truth, nothing that can separate us from this love.  When we know the love that we are, we have no choice but to be loving and compassionate toward those we might initially perceive as different from ourselves. Furthermore, when we remember the love that we are and remember our oneness in love, we discover that each and every person is a unique expression of  love in the world, and we learn to honor each other as holy and sacred in our own right as individual manifestations of this love.  Beyond simply knowing this, we then reach out a hand in friendship with the goal of understanding and coming to know the unique magnificence of each human being. This, above all, is my prayer for the world – that we remember this love not only for the sake of homosexuality, but for the sake of all we might be tempted to judge as different based on the color of our skin, our gender, nationality, religious beliefs, etc. etc. etc.  In the end, it is all love, and love is all there is.

In closing, I offer a prayer of healing and comfort for the family and friends of these men who have died and a prayer of hope and support for all the men, women and children out there who are coming to know their sexual orientation and my wish that they find the love and support they need to embrace their truth and find ways to live it freely in the world.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Gifts of Contemplation, Healing, Initiation, Midlife Journey, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Healing for our Addictions – Retreat Invitation

Dear Readers,

balanceI am writing to extend to you an invitation.  For the past 14 days, I have been engaged in a 30-day “in the world” spiritual healing retreat.  Through this self-imposed spiritual healing retreat, I am discovering profound insight and experiencing dramatic transformation while unraveling from a series of pesky compulsive behaviors (dare I say, addictions). Thanks in part to this spiritual healing retreat (with a healthy dose of GRACE), the world as I have known it and as I have defined it has literally shifted poles.  (Just check out my new website design to get an idea!)

I am inviting you, if you feel so called, to design a 30-day, “in the world” spiritual healing retreat of your own.  (I am calling this an “in the world” retreat because you aren’t going anywhere but staying present to your everyday life.) Here is how it works:

1) Identify your most pervasive compulsive behaviors/addictions (tv watching, eating, shopping, drinking for comfort, excessive worry, distractions such as Facebook, checking emails more than twice a day, etc.).

2) Meditate on the underlying emotions that may be driving these behaviors/addictions (loneliness, boredom, jealousy, impatience, resentment, hatred, grief, depressions, anxiety, etc.).

3) Choose for the next 30 days to avoid the compulsive behaviors/addictions and instead, to allow yourself to FEEL the underlying emotions.   Every time you feel compelled to indulge in one of your compulsive behaviors, choose instead to BE WITH and FEEL the underlying emotions.  Allow these emotions to speak to you.  They are there because they have something to say to you and are seeking your loving attention and care.  Allow yourself to be a loving attendant to these feelings and SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

4) Keep a journal/diary dedicated to this retreat.  Write what the underlying emotions are saying to you.  Record your thoughts and reflections on this.  Observe and record any changes that begin to happen in your life because you are tending to these underlying emotions instead of medicating them with your compulsive behaviors.

5) If you feel called to be in community with others through this journey, please join us on the “Contemplatives and Mystics” site on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/641404835887171/  You will have to send a request to be invited, and once your request is activated, you will be able to share your thoughts, reflections, etc. from the retreat.  Please keep comments accepting and loving, affirming and positive.  We are here to support each other in the journey to our Soul’s birth.  🙂

6) If you find you need additional support as you move through this process or find things showing up that need additional care, please seek the support of a Spiritual Director, Therapist or Loving Friend.  (PS I am available as a source of professional support, but this is not intended as a solicitation…just a reminder).

If you decide to participate in this retreat, you can RSVP to this site in the comment section below. This serves two purposes

  • Stating your intention publicly makes it real and helps you to remain accountable.
  • Let’s other participants keep you in their loving prayers and support as you move through the retreat.

Thank you to those who say yes to this invitation….more importantly, YOUR SOUL says THANK YOU!  😉

Ok…..for those ready to dive in….On your mark…..get set……GO!

And, as one of my teachers always says, “May peace be your journey!”

lauriprofilebwwebshot2013Love,

Lauri Lumby, Midwife to your Soul

(920) 230-1313

lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction and Fears

As we continue the exploration of the ministry of Spiritual Direction, we explore the role of a Spiritual Director in assisting their client in learning how to recognize the fears that are standing in the way of their ability to embrace their most authentic self and the role of the Spiritual Director in offering the client effective tools for finding healing of these fears.



The primary role of a Spiritual Director is to stand as objective witness to the spiritual journey of their clients.  The task of a trained, professional Spiritual Director is to hold space for their clients to move through the process of coming to embrace their truest and most authentic self.  Attentive presence is the greatest gift a Spiritual Director can offer as the hidden and vulnerable highest truths of their clients attempt to emerge.  A large part of this process of emergence is to confront and overcome the obstacles to freely living as our most authentic self.  These obstacles consist of the fears, wounds and false perceptions that imprison us within our false-self.  It is my job as a Spiritual Director to help you to recognize these obstacles and find effective ways to give them release so that your truest self may take flight.


One of the things that I am most grateful for as a Spiritual Director is my knowledge and experience in the field of energy medicine – specifically Reiki.  Through the integration of my knowledge and experience of Western Spiritual Practices and Reiki, I have found a short-cut to assisting clients in their journey of emergence.  Through the integration of these seemingly separate disciplines, I have come to the awareness of an intimate connection between our outward compulsions (addictive and unhealthy behaviors) and the spiritual fears that are at the root of these behaviors.  While changing our behaviors is an effective way to clear the path for our true self to emerge, what would happen if we could heal the behaviors at their source?  This is where healing our spiritual fears comes in handy.


In the work that I have done, I have uncovered seven core spiritual fears that seem to be at the root of all of our human compulsions, addictions and unhealthy behaviors.  These seven spiritual fears are the obstacles to our ability to stand fully in our truth and live as our most authentic selves.  The fears are as follows:

  • There is not enough (money, food, love, time, power, etc.)
  • I am insignificant and have nothing to contribute to the world
  • I cannot live as my most authentic self
  • I am not loved
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know my truth or my path
  • I am alone


Through the ministry of Spiritual Direction, I have been able to help many people learn how to recognize these fears as active within their lives and have offered effective tools through which they have been able to find healing and release from these fears.  Releasing these fears has the compound effect of releasing our compulsions, addictions and unhealthy behaviors and eases the release of these compulsions by healing them at their root.  Bringing healing to these fears allows us to live more and more fully as the women and men of compassion, contentment and joy that our Divine Source intended.



What is currently standing in the way of your ability to live more fully as your most authentic self?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.wordpress.com


Call Lauri today to schedule your own personal session for Spiritual Direction.  (920) 230-1313 or email laurilschmidt@ntd.net.