Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Freedom, Spiritual Practices

Awaken Equip Empower

The greatest professional challenge I have faced is trying to explain to people what I do for a living.  When I offer titles like, Spiritual Director, Spiritual Counselor, Hands-on-Healer, Human Development Expert, Teacher, Interfaith Minister, I mostly get met with a blank stare.  When I boldly proclaim Author, people mostly cringe.  So…in today’s blog, I will try to explain what I, Lauri Ann Lumby, actually do for a living and WHY the services I provide might be of benefit to you! 

Midwife to your Soul

AWAKEN

This is the part of my job that is completely invisible, intangible, defies measurement or explanation, and yet, it is a gift I have that is intimately part of my call, and one I can no longer deny.  In my presence, people wake up.  They wake up to their own longing, the creative call within them, the desire to know peace, love, joy and the hunger to use their gifts in service to the betterment of the world.  Under my gaze and simply by being in my presence, people wake up.  Now….with that, there are one of two responses – they either stay and grow, or they run away screaming in fear.  The stay and grow part is really cool as I then have the opportunity to be witness to the excitement that happens in the other in the discovery of their gift and their call.  The running away in fear piece – that’s a weird one.  Fortunately, I no longer take it personally, but it is only a little unsettling when I suddenly become the “enemy” as a projection of their own unacknowledged fear.

EQUIP

Here’s the fun part.  When people awaken and they stay, they get to go on a treasure hunt, and I have the profound gift of being their guide.  I get to help them uncover their gifts, identify their passions and explore the call of their soul – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in the world and to find fulfillment in sharing this gift in service to the betterment of the world. How fun is that?  There are many tools I use to help people in this search – mindfulness and creativity practices, temperament and personality assessments, one-on-one counseling and mentoring.

EMPOWER

This is the stage where things get a little messy.  The closer we get to our gifts and our call, the harder the ego (our false self) tries to work against us.  The ego likes same, status quo, and the harnessing of our gifts almost always means SIGNIFICANT change.  So as we approach our gifts, the ego throws all kinds of obstacles in our path – fear, anxiety, past hurts, the unhealed and unrealized parts of ourselves, the inner critic, the negative messages we subconsciously or consciously took on from others, the parts of ourselves we have rejected, suppressed, repressed, etc.  The ego does this both from within us and from outside of us.  My job is to help my clients and students identify the false self at work and to offer sound practices for freeing themselves from these obstacles.  These practices include movement, mindfulness, meditation, shamanic soul retrieval practices, hands-on-healing, the Authentic Freedom protocol which I developed, and others.  The goal of the Empower stage of the process is to do just that – EMPOWER.  I firmly believe and have come to see that my job is to make TEACHERS, not enable followers.  As such, my greatest joy is when one of my clients or students is ready to leave the nest and fly on their own….it is in this moment that I know I have accomplished my task, and that they have fully and freely birthed their own soul.  This, indeed, is my greatest joy!

Lauri Ann Lumby is available to AWAKE, EQUIP and EMPOWER you.  To set up a one-on-one consultation, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book

Returning: Another Review

Thank you to poet, author, psychotherapist and healer, Jay Ramsay for his beautiful review of my soon to be released book:  Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself.  And just a little personal note about Jay, his book, Crucible of Love, was instrumental in my own search for authenticity within relationship.  His book The Poet in You provide a structure through which I could nurture my inner poet.  And his book Gita awakened me to my own longing for intimate, honest and enduring connection.  Thank you Jay!

Jay Ramsay
Jay Ramsay

Lauri’s lucid talent for teaching and facilitation is combined with a personal poetic journey as a woman, and as a Christian woman, at a time when the church is in crisis, reaping the bleak harvest of its own male-dominated narrow-mindedness. Mid-life is psychologically all about inclusion in pursuit of authentic wholeness, and Lauri covers the ground with passionate honesty, inviting you to do the same both spiritually and creatively in your own voice. We need her !

Jay Ramsay, author of The Poet in You (O Books, 2009) and Crucible of Love—the alchemy of passionate relationships (O Books, 2004/2012)

Posted in Initiation, mental illness

Mental Health Week – Jay Ramsay

Today’s contribution to Mental Health week comes from poet, author, psychotherapist and healer, Jay Ramsay.  I first came to know Jay through his book, Crucible of Love, and later, Jay was kind enough to read and write a review for my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  You can learn more about Jay through his website:  http://www.jayramsay.co.uk/.  Thank you Jay for this beautiful piece of poetic prose and for being a dear friend and companion on this wild and crazy journey! 

Strange Days of the Soul

God must, in some way or other, make room for himself, hollowing us out and emptying us, if he is finally to penetrate into us. And in order to assimilate us in him, he must break the molecules of our being so as to re-cast and re-model us. The function of death is to provide entrance into our inmost selves. It will make us undergo the required dissociation. It will put us into the state organically needed if the divine fire is to descend upon us. And in that way its fatal power to decompose and dissolve will be harnessed to the, most sublime operations of life. What was by nature empty and void, a return to bits and pieces can, in any human existence, become fullness and unity in God. —Teilhard du Chardin, Le Milieu Divin (Collins, 1960) As the saying goes, ‘it is terrible to fall into the hands of the Living God’. In our terms, it is the sudden fate of the ego to find itself out of the driving seat, and plunged into another world of air that is the Self—the one we may find in us who is really there.

My spiritual emergency was a breakdown of seven months during 1989. The run-up to this period was fairly classic: over-exertion, and ego assertion, to the point of burn out. The year previous (my 30th) I’d had seven books of poetry published in a year, and had organized a South Bank launch for my anthology Transformation1. I’d been aware of needing to stop, needing a break, and had been invited down to Tuesley Manor by Viscountess Bronwen Astor, an inspired Christian whose philanthropy extended to making over part of her grounds and a house called The Quarry to retreatants of various kinds, lay and religious. Tuesley Valley, originally a pagan site named after the god Tue, is a potent pocket of land just south of Godalming: one of Nature’s healing places which, like Culbone near Porlock in North Somerset, has a primeval depth. I decided to come as I thought for a month. My plan was to have some space and catch up with my writing without some unwanted pressures, and the hassle of London traffic. One month became seven as my plan fell to pieces. I was basically exhausted but resisting the invitation to let go, not wanting to waste precious time in this unique location. However every attempt to write rose up only to fall flat, grey and lifeless. I felt as if I was sitting in a fog, or rather, something more subtle and insidious, a kind of obstruction in the air that prevented me from making any progress. Slowly, repeated failure became panic as something else, something far more potent, began to take place. This became located in the Christian experience leading up to Easter and then beyond, into the light of the summer. Essentially, this was crucifixion-the death of the ego, and resurrection-the birth of the transpersonal self. At the time it was like hell, a limbo without flames. Some of the intensity of what happened was also no doubt fanned by solitude, long hours alone under the eaves of a large country house where there was no escape. It was as if God was outside all the windows looking in; somehow I knew my number was up.

Perhaps this vaguely paranoid state indicates a kind of displaced self/’Self-’witnessing; certainly it was my ego’s fearful perspective of change, which I came to express in the poetry I did manage to write2. It was also a deeply physical experience as well as being emotional (depression and anxiety). A number of rebirthing sessions with Bronwen, who had trained with Leonard Orr, greatly aided and deepened the process (‘It is dark and the air breaks in freezing waves’); my body responded in a gestalt like way (‘As your hands rise, frozen, half-raised—fingers splayed’), and it was after one of these that I had one of several distinctly emergent experiences. An early evening experience of deepening depression had once again become panic. I withdrew upstairs and sat in an armchair in my room as the light faded outside, simultaneously anxious and furious at this suspension of faculties, willing some final breakthrough to happen. Nothing happened. At least for some minutes. Then I noticed I couldn’t move. My body became as if liquid, deliquescent. I went to lift up my arm and nothing happened. Then the sensation of heat began to appear on my forehead, like fingers gently pressing there— but very hot fingers. There was no avoiding them. The light deepened outside, the lit candle flickered. The heat on my forehead became like a disk of sustained warmth. Then slowly it began to fade; and my power of movement returned.

Because of my work with the theme of Apocalypse, I had been looking at the Book of Revelation. I found myself walking over it and opening it at random. The sentence stared out at me: And the servants of God shall be sealed in the foreheads. The rest is in the poem ‘surrender’, prior to and after this, one of several numinous happenings that became my path, both inside, and outside as I worked in the wild valley garden to clear the length of stream. How did I get through this—especially when it continued to seem so open-ended ? There was a fundamental paradox for me throughout between will (making an effort) and surrender (letting go, handing over). I realize now that in some way they were the polarities of the dynamic process I was in, but I couldn’t get my head around that at the time. Certainly, I learnt to surrender—hence the title of the poem. I learnt to become more Taoist about it, going with the flow. Also I was seriously trying to ‘read the signs’ so regarding as a creative process however (seemingly) impossible, was also very important.

Finally, and as mysteriously a third thing emerged beyond will and surrender and that was intuition, and choice. And in early September, unfinished as the sentence was, I decided: enough. Time to return to London, my patient partner, and the world—or at least my more hermit-like version of it. Somehow the time was right. And as I sat gazing out of the window of my attic room on that last morning at the woodpigeons flying in and out of the still full-leaved trees beyond the stream, wondering what it had all been about or for, a voice quite distinctly in my ears said ‘You had to fail in order to heal’. That was my final lesson, one I am still learning. But as I sat a month later in my little garden shed studio in Kew, working on a long poem, I had a sensation I’d never had before; of a well of strength beneath me and inside me, a well that has never run dry. For then on too, my relationship with poetry as an exclusive discipline changed, and I began to see my work was about people, not just my literary achievement. I began writing my 18 month correspondence course Chrysalis—the poet in you3 , and my one to one work with people began, entering into the journey of psychospiritual therapy4 and healing. ‘And all these things shall be added unto you’. Jay Ramsay

1 Transformation—the poetry of spiritual consciousness, with an Afterword by Sir George Trevelyan (Rivelin Grapheme Press, 1988). Some copies remaining from JR/Chrysalis.

2. Strange Days (Stride Publications as Taxus Press, 1989). Enquiries: RML@stridebooks. co.uk

3. for further details please see www.lotusfoundation.org.uk or call 01453-759436 4. psychosynthesis, The London Institute, Hendon, NW4: 0208-202-4525

Posted in Faith, Grace

Miracles, Signs and Manifestation

Yesterday I received an unexpected gift from a dear friend – a Girlie from artist, Kelly Rae Roberts http://kellyraeroberts.com/Little did my friend realize the depth of meaning to this gift.  In today’s blog, I explore the truth of miracles, signs and the magic of manifestation.

As most of my readers are aware by now, I am currently going through a divorce.  While this process is mostly amicable, there is of course grief, fear, trepidation and whole lot of having to trust trust trust that the god’s that initiated this process know what the heck they are doing!!!  In the midst of this process, I have had to cling to this trust with every ounce of my being, looking for the signs of where to go and how to proceed, along with the little (and sometimes HUGE) miracles that show up along the way as a form of affirmation and validation that I am indeed on the right path.  Yesterday’s gift showed up as one of those miracles, a sign along the way and evidence that we are indeed vehicles through which the highest good is made real in the world.

As I mentioned in the prelude above, I received a gift yesterday from a dear friend in the form of a Girlie from artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  Now…..I have to tell you the story of why this gift is a miracle and a sign that I am indeed on the right path.  But first, I have to tell you my history with Kelly Rae Roberts.

As some of you know, one of the spiritual practices I have embraced is the art of collage.  When I feel really stuck spiritually, I find that collage helps me to get unstuck.  I have created several pieces and have shown them locally.  One day, my mom sent me a link to an artist that she had discovered who she thought I would like because of her seemless integration of whimsy and collage.  The artist was, Kelly Rae Roberts.  I immediately fell in love with her art and have been coveting her pieces ever since.  While Kelly’s art is extremely reasonably priced, I just never allowed myself the gift of one of her pieces.

But then came the process of divorce.   While this is a process long in its unfolding, the end result will eventually be that I will have my own home to play with and decorate – completely in my own taste (along with the taste of our children).  As I have been dreaming and imagining my new home, Kelly Rae Roberts’ art keeps showing up.  Unfortunately, her online shop has been closed as she awaits the birth of her child.  NOTE:  THE SHOP IS NOW OPEN!!!!!  http://kellyraeroberts.com/ In the days since her shop has re-opened, I have been perusing her virtual shelves for the perfect pieces for my new home.  I knew I wanted to start with the Girlies, but wasn’t sure where I would display them.  Ok….so here is the fun part.  YESTERDAY morning during my yoga meditation, the exact Girlie presented herself and the place that she wanted to call home.  “Listen to your Life” showed herself and told me that she wanted to sit atop my upright piano that will be displayed front and center in the front room of my new home.

So….who should show up yesterday afternoon in the form of an unexpected gift???   YOU GOT IT!!!!  “LISTEN TO YOUR LIFE!”  As I shared my surprise, joy and wonder with my friend, all we could do was stand in awestruck wonder at the miracle that presented itself right before our eyes.  Now here is the real irony, my friend had NO IDEA that I loved Kelly’s art.  In fact, she and I had never discussed my artistic taste.  AND….she did not purchase this piece online….she found it in a giftshop some 60 miles away.  Ok…..all you statisticians out there…..you tell me the odds of this….Getting a Kelly Rae Roberts piece from a friend who had no idea that I liked Kelly’s work let alone that it was the “Listen to your Life” Girlie I had been coveting…and that she should present me with this gift on the afternoon of the very day that the piece showed up in my meditation and told me where she wanted to be displayed.  Come…I dare you!  I’m guessing this is like  a one in a zillion chance.  So….considering the odds…..I officially declare this an honest to God-ness MIRACLE!  MIRACLE MIRACLE MIRACLE!   I do believe in miracles, I do, I do!

So today, I give a heart-felt thanks to my friend who somehow acted as a vessel through which God could offer me validation and assurance of a rightly chosen path.  And I thank Kelly Rae Roberts for being not only a fantastic artist, but a source of inspiration for me as I embark upon the journey of embracing my own artistic life.  This is the other part of the miracle…..as I have been open to this period of transition, I have been longing to more deeply claim my creative self and embrace the life of a writer, author, artist and musician.  Receiving one of Kelly’s Girlies seems like a little nod of affirmation from the Divine and a nudge in that direction.  So, again I thank Kelly for being a source of inspiration and for being a resource for those of us to wish to more fully embrace ALL of our Divine gifts!

And one final thought…..and is this an example of how we, ourselves, can be vehicles through which God’s miracles can be made manifest in our own lives?  Did God send me the Girlie, or did I draw her to myself?????  The world may never know!

All images copyright Kelly Rae Roberts. http://kellyraeroberts.com/

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.wordpress.com