Posted in Authentic Freedom, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, temptation

Resistance Part II – Superhero Report

Superhero Academy – We Are Here to Heal and Change the World.

Coyote Trickster
Coyote Trickster

 The Superhero Academy’s headquarters are in Oshkosh, WI.

We have two meeting options Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm or Tuesdays 9 – 11 am.

To learn more, click HERE.

 

At this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings, we covered resistance. Resistance is a force of the false-self/ego in its desire to keep us fearful and small.  Resistance shows up EVERY time we draw close to or dare to be open to the call of our Soul.  Soul is the place within us that knows, without a doubt, our purpose on this plane.  Soul is the uniquely creative way in which we are gifted to find meaning and purpose in our lives and through which we are fulfilled in contributing to the betterment of our world.  Soul is the LAST thing the ego wants from us because Soul means the death of part of the ego.  The ego wants fear, small, limited, constricting.  The Soul wants freedom, expansiveness, and fulfillment.

Resistance shows up in any number of ways – fear itself, excuses, distractions, inner and outer perceived obstacles, boredom, confusion, mental, emotional, and physical pain. Resistance also shows up in our material world as struggles, challenges, things falling apart. At its core, resistance is about FEAR.  As such, it is helpful in working through resistance to FIRST identify the fear that is driving.  To facilitate that process, the Superheroes reviewed the seven core spiritual (universal) fears as outlined in Authentic Freedom. 

  • There is not enough
  • I have nothing significant to contribute
  • I can’t live as my most authentic self
  • I am not loved (I will be rejected)
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know my truth or my path
  • I am alone/I have to do it alone

The Superheroes then participated in a meditation process that facilitated the identification of part of the Soul – a call, invitation, gift that is seeking attention and cultivation. Then, the Superheroes entertained all the voices of resistance that sought to derail their quest of their gifts.  Through a flash-journaling exercise, the Superheroes wrote down all the reasons, fears, excuses for NOT pursuing their gift.  Then they identified which of the above seven fears was at the root of their resistance.  Finally, we learned and engaged in the practice of Tonglen to help facilitate the release of these fears.

Tonglen – a mindfulness practice for moving through fears and painful emotions:

  • Be attentive to when you are feeling fear.
  • If you are able, identify which of the seven universal fears you are feeling.
  • Allow yourself to experience the fear.
  • Draw your awareness to your physical body, specifically where in your body you are feeling this fear.
  • Breathe in the fear toward the place you are feeling the fear.
  • Breathe out from the place of fear, visualizing yourself sending love into the world from that fear.

 

Through this practice, we discovered that the most common fear that arose in the Superheroes in response to their gifts was the fear of rejection. This will be the theme of next week’s gathering.

If you have always felt that you were here for a reason, but perhaps didn’t know what that reason was….If you want to change the world but don’t know how, or have felt alone in this desire….The Superhero Academy might be for you. To learn more go HERE or call Lauri Lumby (920) 230 – 1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com for more information.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, sin, Spiritual Practices, temptation, The Seven Deadly Compulsions, Virtual Church

Get Behind Me Satan – Meditation Supplement

Agape Meditation Newsletter – Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service for Sunday, August 31, 2014

 

Scripture Reading:

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”

MT 16: 21-17

 

Additional Readings:

Jer 20: 7-9

Ps 63: 2-9

Rom 12: 1-2

 

Get Behind Me Satan!

Satan is a Hebrew word which means adversary or obstacle. In the Hebrew tradition, Satan is most commonly thought of as existing within us as the inner fears and egoic attachments that try to keep us from the path that God intends for us. In the Christian tradition, Satan is most commonly associated as a personified, external source of temptation – the devil. Whether we perceive Satan as within us or outside of us, the experience is the same – something arising which triggers our fears or flatters our ego so that we are tempted to stray from the path of our highest good, the path God intends for us. In this week’s gospel, Peter acts as the adversary, tempting Jesus to stray from his path. Jesus recognizes in Peter’s words, his own fear of death and the temptation to stray from the path of his truth. Jesus then reminds us that God’s way is not always our way and that we are to trust that what God ordains is in our highest good, even if the path or the outcome seems grim.

 How do you recognize the adversary at work in your own life?

Where are you tempted to avoid the path God has laid out for you by judging it as negative?

 RobertDeNiroAngeHeart

Spiritual Practices – Recognizing Satan

The first step in avoiding temptation is recognizing its presence. The adversary triggers our fear, our unhealed wounds and tempts us through fame, power, and material wealth. The job of the adversary is to tempt us from the path of our highest good and to imprison us in fear and constriction. The adversary flatters us with delusions of grandeur and tempts us into believing we know what is better for us than God does. A good place to begin to recognize the adversary is through knowledge of the seven core spiritual fears:

  • There is not enough (money, safety, power, control, love, sex, things, fame, etc. etc. etc.)
  • I have nothing significant to contribute
  • I cannot (be and live as my truth)
  • I am not loved
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know (my truth, my path)
  • I am alone (or I can do it alone)

In the coming week, pay attention to when one (or several) of these fears is triggered. Recognize that it is Satan at work, trying to keep you from your path. Then use Jesus’ words to name the adversary and to actively set aside its temptation:

Get behind me Satan!

 

Authentic Freedom

The most important virtue to cultivate is humility, for it is in being humble that all of the other virtues come to fruition – temperance, fortitude, mercy, love, generosity, and zeal. In cultivating humility, we acknowledge that we are nothing without God and that God knows, better than we do, what is best for us. In living humbly, we surrender our lives to God and to the path of our highest good that only God can know. In living humbly, we trust that even the challenges in our lives and the things that do not seem to be working for the good….are. In humility, we trust that God is working all of our life experiences for the good. Humility compels us to turn to God for guidance and direction and allows us to set aside our own ego attachments, wishes and desires to God’s guidance – no matter how challenging the path might appear. Humility leads to spiritual obedience which leads to the freedom God intends for us.

How are you cultivating the virtue of humility?

 

Posted in Empowerment, Lessons, temptation

Fear Proportionate to Goodness

What would happen if we acknowledge some forms of anxiety as a signal that we are indeed on the right path?

Anxiety by the Cartload

Anxiety and fear are part of our everyday lives.  Sometimes, anxiety and fear show up as a survival instinct to keep us from harm.  Sometimes anxiety appears to alert us to a truth that we have not yet acknowledged.  And sometimes, anxiety shows up by the cartload as an unexpected ally – the signal flare that we are indeed on the right path and had better keep going!  Today’s blog explores this latter form of fear.

Coyotes and the War of Art

Julie Tallard Johnson in her book, Wheel of Initiation, Julie refers to this kind of fear as the Coyote Trickster.  The trickster shows up as anxiety, fear, worry and ridiculous life situations that try to deter us from our chosen path.  The stronger the trickster and the greater the fear, the closer we are to achieving our goal and the greater the goal itself.  The arrival of the trickster heralds the goodness of our path and how closely it reflects our highest truth and our soul’s purpose.  As Julie points out, our natural inclination is to run from the Coyote, to resist its presence.  Instead, we are invited to welcome it as a sign that something really good is about to happen.   Author, Steven Pressfield wrote an entire book on the role that fear places in trying to block us from our creative life path.  The War of Art is a must-read for anyone who seeks fulfillment in their lives and desires to overcome the blocks to that fulfillment.

Get Behind Me Satan

Satan is a Hebrew word that means obstacle or adversary.  While the Western inclination is to place this adversary outside of us, often depicted as the man donning the red morph suit, carrying a pitchfork with horns on his head, the traditional Hebrew perspective would suggest otherwise.  Instead, the adversary/obstacle dwells within us in all the fears, worries, anxieties that arise trying to keep us from the path of our highest good.  Again, the more persistent or the greater the anxiety, the closer we are to our own path of goodness.  Big fear = Big Goodness!  The question is, what do we do with Satan/the adversary/obstacle when it arrives?

Just Keep Walking

When we are experiencing anxiety and acknowledge that it might be a herald of something amazing happening, the invitation is to WELCOME it!  When we acknowledge the presence of this fear and recognize its higher purpose, it no longer has the power to stop us or to deter us in our path.  Instead, we bow to the adversary, acknowledge its presence and its role, thank it for showing up and then say, “GET THEE BEHIND ME!”  A story from the Catholic tradition that I appreciate in relation to Satan’s role in heralding the goodness of our path is the story of St. Margaret.  As the story goes, Margaret is swallowed up by a demon and undertakes a journey to free herself from the demon’s bowels.  Armed with persistence and her sword in hand, (because all good saints carry their own sword!) she fights her way to freedom, slaying the demon along the way.  The invitation for us is the same as it was for Margaret:  When we find ourself in the demon’s grip, take our sword in hand, face that demon, acknowledge it as a herald of our truth and the amazing things that are about to happen in our lives, slay that demon and then…….CONTINUE ON OUR PATH.

When have you experienced anxiety or fear that are in fact heralds of your path of goodness?

What tools do you use to move through these obstacles and fears?

What is the amazing goodness that is trying to be born in your own life?

copyright 2012

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in guilt, shame

Shame and Guilt – What’s it? Who’s it?

Guilt and shame are two words that when uttered,  just might make your skin crawl.  What is the difference between guilt and shame and how do they act as sources of growth in our spiritual journey?


Divorce is never an easy thing and the journey is everything but easy and smooth.  For me, the last two months, especially have been difficult emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  In particular,  I find myself short of temper, hyper-sensitive, impatient, angry, resentful, needy and even a little bit paranoid.   The perfectionist in me is not ok with all these chaotic negative emotions and I feel bad for my husband and children who have had to bear the brunt of the pain within my own being that is finding its way out sideways through projection, impatience, etc.  It is in these moments that I am grateful for the supportive experts that I have welcome as sources of support as I move through this process.  Yesterday I met with one of those sources of support http://www.rhiannon-consciousvisions.com/ and as I shared with her (vented actually) all the things I have been feeling, she posed the following question to me: “Are you feeling guilty?”

Guilty?  Now, that came out of nowhere.  Why in the world would I feel guilty about any of this?  While my first inclination was to say, “No, of course I’m not feeling guilty….this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing and I know that in the end it will be for the highest good of all of us.”  But then, a tiny place within me whispered, “LIAR!”   So while I could not immediately own guilt in the context of this divorce, I knew it was something I needed to explore more fully…..so, explore I did and here is what I discovered:

GUILTI have to say off the bat that I have a problem with the word guilt.   I have come to embrace the idea of guilt as being nothing but a source of temptation – guilt (in my understanding) is something that comes from outside of us out of the mouth of perceived or self-appointed authorities simply for the sake of keeping us under control.  Guilt is the voice inside me that says, “You had better go to church on Sunday or God will punish you.”  It is also the voice that says, “It is your job to make sure everybody else’s needs are met – you must sacrifice your truth, your gifts, your needs for the sake of others – afterall, that is what a good wife and a good Christian would do.”  As I have grown spiritually, I have found these voices to be a source of sabatoge – keeping me from hearing, embracing and living the truth that the Divine would have me know and ignoring my own needs for support, boundaries, creative space, etc.   I have been heard to say to my students and clients, “Guilt is the Devil.”  And in the role of adversary, I have found this to be true.  Guilt does not help us, it harms us.

So, when Rhiannon invited me to explore the question of guilt, I had a hard time coming up with a response.  But then, as I sat with the question, I had a vision of another word, a word more powerful and devastating and it stepped out in-front of guilt and pushed it aside.  This word is SHAME.

SHAME – ouch! Shame, as I have come to understand it is the natural feeling that arises to tell us that we have done something to hurt another human being.  Shame is what alerts us to our boundaries being infringed upon, or tells us that we are being tempted to give away our power.  Shame has icky, sticky sensations all around it and as much as we like to push it aside, ignore it, deny that we ever feel shame, I firmly believe that the feeling of shame has been given to us as a profoundly helpful tool.

As human beings, we were created to be in community and to be in relationship.  While some of our species are authentically called to be alone, it is challenging to live or exist as a species in complete solitude.  In the call to be in community, we are most healthy when we work toward cultivating harmony, understanding, healthy communication, deep and authentic listening, and work toward looking upon and honoring each and every human being as the magnificent expression of the Divine that they/we are.  The problem is that most of the time we are operating out of our own fears and compulsions and these stand in the way of our ability to cultivate a healthy humanity.  But how do we know when we are sabatoging these goals?  The answer, I believe is SHAME.

Shame, I believe is an interior alarm system given to us by the Divine to alert us to the places where we are not succeeding in the call to live in community –  harmoniously.  When we intentionally or unintentionally hurt another being, we feel shame.  When we are hurt by another, we feel shame.  When we give our power away, we feel shame.  When someone tries to infringe on our own needs and boundaries, we feel shame.  When we ignore the voice of truth within or suppress our own unique magnificence, on some level we feel shame.  Shame is the feeling that guards our needs, our gifts, our magnificence, our safety, our truth.  When looked upon in this light, shame can serve as a remarkable tool for healing when we allow the feeling of shame to be a wakeup call to our own inability to honor our own magnificence or the magnificence of another.

So, when I invite the question of shame to enter into my consciousness, I am forced to humbly admit all those places within that are filled with shame in regards to my childhood, adult years, marriage, pending divorce, parenting, etc. etc. etc.   OUCH!  OUCH OUCH!  The good news is that while I may be tempted to indulge a little self-flagellation, I am more inclined to remember that it is only in naming the demon (this one being shame) that it can be healed and I find comfort in knowing that once the demon has been named 95% of the healing has already taken place. YEA!


What roles do guilt and shame play in your own life?

Is there shame that you are carrying within that is in need of healing and release?

How can you invite a new perspective on guilt and shame that invites your own healing?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com