Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment

What is Your Magic? Part I

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to be a vessel through which LOVE is made manifest in our world.   In service to this unique giftedness, we have also been blessed with a certain kind of magic which allows these gifts to be used in service to the betterment of the world and in ways that are no less than miraculous.  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this magic is referred to as charisms, known in other traditions as spiritual gifts or in the yogic tradition as siddhis.


From the perspective of the Catholic tradition, The Catherine of Siena Institute has identified twenty-six charisms or spiritual gifts:

  • Administration
  • Celibacy
  • Craftsmanship
  • Discernment of Spirits
  • Encouragement
  • Evangelism
  • Faith
  • Giving
  • Healing
  • Helps
  • Hospitality
  • Intercessory Prayer
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Mercy
  • Missionary
  • Music
  • Pastoring
  • Prophecy
  • Service
  • Teaching
  • Voluntary Poverty
  • Wisdom
  • Writing
  • Speaking in Tongues
  • Interpretation of Tongues

A charism is not, however, to be confused with a gift or a talent.  Talents are something we learn.  Charisms are something with which we are endowed.  The mark of a true charism is in its effortless accomplishment and in its miraculous fruits.  When we are engaged in our charism, we find that the work of doing it is effortless and the results are far beyond what we know ourselves to be humanly capable of.  The reason for this is that when engaged in our charism, it is not ourselves who are doing the work, but God doing it through us.

In the coming days, we will explore all twenty-six charisms with the goal of helping you to discern your own special brand of magic and how God might be calling you to be a vessel of God’s love in the world.

Today…..we will start with administration, celibacy and craftsmanship.

The Magic of Administration:

If we do not personally possess the magic of administration, we know someone who does.  In my pre-entrepreneurial days, I witnessed the greatest examples of the magic of administration in church secretaries.  Not limited to those in secretarial roles, the magic of administration is present in those who are gifted to make and execute the logistical plans that make the overall vision happen.  Administrators specialize in problem solving and in seeing the forest through the trees.  They are detailed, organized and thorough.  They have the uncanny ability to see the unmet needs and organizational gaps in a project and are strongly motivated to meet these needs themselves and to assign tasks to those best able to accomplish these tasks while expertly coordinating all the various components in accomplishing the task.

The Magic of Celibacy:

Celibacy is a challenging topic in our Western culture.  The most familiar image of celibacy in our Western culture is the vow taken by some men and women as they enter into religious life. Choosing celibacy as part of a religious vow and possessing the charism of celibacy are not necessarily one and the same.  Celibacy is also not to be confused with chastity.  Celibacy, as a charism, is the ability to live a life without sexual intimacy and marital commitment and to live this lifestyle joyfully.  Celibacy as a charism is embraced with the knowledge that absent relational commitments, one is being freed up to focus their attention on another calling, most likely reflected in an additional charism.

The Magic of Craftsmanship:

The charism of craftsmanship is about creative expression that results in the material.  Painting, sculpture, cooking, sewing, construction, etc,  In craftsmanship, we distinguish a charism from a gift or talent in the way that engaging in this activity deepens our relationship with God (love, peace, joy, contentment) and is a means through which we express that relationship.  Is performing our art an outpouring of the love we have come to know in God or as a celebration of that love?  Do we find that engaging in our art feels meditative, even prayerful?  Is the outcome of engaging in this charism beyond what we believe we are humanly capable of?  Does the sharing of our art inspire others to know love, peace or joy?  If so, our artistic and creative expressions might be the mark of a charism.

Stay tuned in the coming days for more on charisms and on the invitation for you to discover your own special magic.


Posted in About Lauri, Discernment, Spiritual Direction

Hearing the Truth Beyond the Words

Today’s blog explains what I mean by “Attentive Presence” in my mission statement and to inform you of a little gift I have that just might help YOU in your own journey.

You Cannot Lie to Me!

One of the things my children have learned about their mother (ME!) is that they CANNOT LIE to me.  Fortunately, they have not had to learn this the hard way because I have been preparing them their whole lives to understand this truth.  It seems that I possess a truth barometer that sniffs out even the most subtle of lies and forms of deceit  – when I am smart enough to listen to it, that is!  I first became aware of this gift somewhere around the age of seven when we had a houseguest that was trying to pull one over on my parents.  Fortunately, a grown up also thought something was rotten in Denmark and uncovered the guest’s dastardly plan.  While this gift has served me well in my personal life in uncovering liars and deceivers (again, when I bother to listen), the true strength in this gift is the ability to feel, see, hear, sense the TRUTH that is seeking to make itself known.  This aspect of my truth barometer not only helps me, but serves as a terrific resource in the work that I do as a Spiritual Director, Teacher and Healer.

If you are looking for support in naming, claiming and living your truth, call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email to set up a personal session. 

Adaptive Strategies or Spiritual Gifts

I’m not exactly sure how this gift came to be developed.  It certainly could have arisen as a sort of adaptive strategy in response to my childhood.  Being able to sense the energy of a room or to feel other people’s emotions are great ways to assess how to engage in certain situations.  I also understand this ability to read energy as an invitation to be a source of love and support where needed.  From this perspective, some would argue this is a gift from God.  I do believe the origin of this gift is the Holy Spirit but strengthened through attention and lived experience.

If you are looking for support in naming, claiming and living your truth, call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email to set up a personal session. 

Where Truth Hides

It has been in my professional life that I have witnessed the greatest expression and benefit of this gift of sensing, hearing, seeing, feeling, the truth beyond the words.  Our truth, our life’s purpose, the meaning of our life experiences, knowledge of the path of our highest good and knowledge of our own unique giftedness….are all available to us AT ALL TIMES.  The problem is that we cover up the knowledge of this truth through our fears, our resistance, our addictions, our compulsions and our false perceptions.  On some level, we really DON’T want to know our truth.  Why?  Because we know that acknowledging our truth means we have to DO SOMETHING about it….and usually that involves change…..something none of us are really too keen on embracing.  But, as Jesus reminded his disciples, it is only in acknowledging and living our truth that we shall ever be free.  “The truth shall set you free.”

If you are looking for support in naming, claiming and living your truth, call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email to set up a personal session. 

The Gift in Practice

Here is where I come in.  Because of this strange gift that God gave me and life has strengthened, I can see, hear, feel, sense the truth beyond your words.  And the funny thing is that often, your truth is right there in your words… just haven’t heard it.  Like the man who protested that he was a “red blooded American male” yet only found fulfillment in the company of another man.  Like the businesswoman who told me that her financial investments started to go south when she allowed someone else to make decisions for her instead of making her own decisions where she had been successful in the past.  Or, the man who told me (without knowing he told me) that he thought he needed to leave his wife.  More often than through the spoken word, however, your truths will be revealed to me in even subtler ways – a shift in your posture, a tone in the voice, an energy of fear or resistance that arises out of you.  Sometimes the truth is revealed in what you aren’t saying as opposed to what you are saying.  And the strange thing I have discovered is that this truth barometer is just as strong in phone or Skype sessions as it is face-to-face.  The bottom line is that your truth might be able to hide from you……but it can’t hide from me.

If you are looking for support in naming, claiming and living your truth, call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email to set up a personal session. 

Compassion Steps In

But here is the really cool thing.  I am not going to hold space for you to identify your truth and then leave the truth to hang you out to dry.  Identifying, claiming and living in our truth is hard.  As Gloria Steinem says, “it will kick your ass.”  AND… do not need to make this journey alone.  In addition to helping you identify your truth, I am here to help you identify the fears and resistances to living that truth and will walk beside you, giving you tools to help you as you move through the fears to the life of freedom that is your DIVINE BIRTHRIGHT!  And while the journey can be challenging, the reward is GREAT.  When we embrace and live in our truth, we know a life of contentment, joy, love and fulfillment.  And in the end, isn’t this what we are all looking for?

If you are looking for support in naming, claiming and living your truth, call Lauri (920) 230-1313 or email to set up a personal session. 

Lauri Lumby

Posted in About Lauri, Discernment, Holy Spirit

Shameless Self-Promotion – Part II Discerning our Spiritual Gifts/Charisms

Part of the spiritual journey is the invitation to explore, discover and cultivate our own unique magnificence.  How does exploration of and discovery of our charisms/spiritual gifts play a role in accomplishing this task?

Each of us are uniquely gifted to reveal the Presence and Action of the Divine in the world.  There are two primary ways through which this Divine revelation is accomplished.  The first is through our talents and abilities.  These are the talents and abilities that are naturally born within us and that we have the good fortune of being able to cultivate and develop – painting, drawing, playing music, singing, cooking, knitting, etc.

The second vehicle through which the Divine is revealed in and through us is through our charisms. Charism is a word specific to the Christian tradition, but not limited to those with a Christian orientation.  A charism, as defined by St. Paul is a gift of the Holy Spirit.   The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are specifically given for the purpose of “building the kingdom of God” – in other words, revealing Divine love, peace, compassion, mercy and joy more fully in our human world.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit or charisms that have been named by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12) are as follows:

The way that we can distinguish a charism from a simple talent or gift is by observing the result of the use of that charism.  A gift or talent is used through our own actions.  A charism is God working through us.  A result of using a talent or a gift is only as good as we are and limited to our human skill and the practice we have put into these talents.  The use of a charism produces results far beyond what we know our selves to be humanly capable of.   Let me give you an example:

In my own journey of spiritual growth and self-discovery, I have learned that healing and teaching are among the charisms I have been given by God.  I have learned these to be charisms as I have witnessed the way in which these gifts have been revealed through me, but more importantly, the impact these gifts have had on the men and women with whom I have shared these gifts.  I know that I am not humanly capable of initiating physical, emotional, mental or spiritual healing in another.  I am not a trained medical practitioner, neither am I a trained psychologist or psychiatrist.  And yet, I have seen over and over again, moments of profound realization in my clients that leads to release of deep seated fears, false perceptions, prejudices, attachments, etc.  I know that it is not me facilitating the healing or release, but the Holy Spirit.  I know this because of the profound humility, wonder and awe that I feel within myself as I witness healing in my clients.  I have also seen this – far beyond my human capabilities – healing when sharing Reiki or facilitating classes and retreats.  I know when the limitations of my human self have departed and the Holy Spirit has taken over.  I hear words come out of my mouth that did not come from my own head and see images of fear and pain in clients that I know I am not in an of myself humanly capable of seeing.  It is through these experiences that I have come to understand that healing and teaching are two of the charisms given to me by the Divine.

Beyond healing and teaching, I have also come to understand that Discernment of Spirits is one of my charisms – in fact this may be the most profound gift that I have received from God.  I can best describe this gift as having the ability to “hear the truth beyond the words” ( I think I have to give credit to my friend, Karen Schmidt, for this definition.)   And…you will just have to wait until tomorrow to hear more about this gift!  🙂

Have you taken the time to explore your own charisms and how the Holy Spirit wishes to reveal love, compassion, peace and joy through you?

What might be some of your own charisms?

How can you begin to explore this topic more fully for yourself?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/yourspiritualtruth