Posted in codependency, Relationships

Help for the Dark Night of the Relationship

The Dark Night of a Relationship is an important stage in any long-standing, committed relationship.  This is a stage that no one tells us about, neither would we believe it could happen to us as we stand doe-eyed awaiting the celebratory nuptials.  The Dark Night of the Relationship is real, it is necessary and when committed and aware, some relationships will survive it. Some will not have the knowledge, patience, trust or stamina to survive.  And some will find after the stage of the Dark Night that the relationship should not continue and termination or divorce is a necessary and supportive option.  The following is my current best understanding of this necessary stage in a committed relationship.

1)  We meet someone and fall in love.  We see the other party and the relationship through the eyes of idealization.  One or both parties are still carrying around with them the unhealed wounds of their past and are probably looking for the other party to be their source of fulfillment and satisfaction, ie:  “you complete me.”

2)  One or both parties begin to feel restless and the blinders of the early stage of the relationship begin to fall away.  We begin to see each others’ wounds, strange behaviors, etc.  We enter into a stage of disillusionment, frustration maybe even anger.

3)  If we are open, we might realize that part of the source of frustration is our own unhealed wounds and we might begin to do the work of healing our old wounds and work toward the realization of our own deeper truth.  If we are lucky, our partner has a similar realization and begins to do their own work as well.   This is the stage in which one or both parties does the work of shedding the ego and the false self (the person they brought into the marriage) so that their true self can emerge.  The old self has to die so that the new self can be born.

4) At some stage in the process (whether or not both parties are working toward their own healing), the realization is made that the marriage or relationship is not what it used to be.  Both, or one party has now changed and the relationship has to change as well.  This is the dark night of the marriage.  The marriage that was (or the illusion of the marriage) has to die so that a new marriage can emerge.  The marriage based on the ego-filled self cannot survive the newly born self-realized individuals.  This stage, like any other death, is a time of grief, sorrow, bargaining, denial and rage.    NOTE:  This is an especially difficult stage if only one of the parties in the relationship are doing their work of self-actualization, especially when it is revealed that for the self-actualizing party, divorce is a life-giving and supportive choice.  Divorce in this stage is often met by resistance, surprise and anger on the part of the un-realized individual.

5) Now….here is the delicate part of this process.  If the couple steps into this stage of the process with open communication, patience, courage and faith, and enter into it with no attachment to outcome….the new life of the relationship may emerge.  Unfortunately, most people bail before even trying to take this step.  Now, the trickiest part to this stage is to accept the possibility that continuing in a committed relationship may no longer be in the highest good of the individual parties.  After the dark night of the marriage, after honest renegotiation of who we are as individuals and who we want to be as a couple, we might realize that staying in a committed relationship is no longer mutually supportive and life-giving.  At this point, the couple ends their commitment and move on as individuals from a place of loving acceptance and compassionate support of each other as they go along their individual journeys.  In this place, divorce can be a beautiful ritual of supportive release.

6) Some marriages, after completing the process of the dark night, may discover that it is in the highest good of both parties to remain as a committed couple and enter into the process of allowing a new marriage to emerge.  The old marriage has died and the couple allows themselves to be open to a new marriage.  In this stage, an attitude of openness and detachment are necessary.  We are not creating this new marriage on our own, but allowing the universe to present to us the kind of marriage that will be mutually supportive and life-giving.  We allow ourselves to be free of ego in allowing this new relationship to emerge.

Again, I am no expert on this subject, and I hope that shedding light on the Dark Night of the Relationship as a necessary and important stage in the spiritual journey has provided comfort, support and affirmation for those who have experienced or may be facing this stage in their own committed relationship.  While the Dark Night of the Relationship is a painful part of our spiritual journey, the promise for those who survive it is a new life that is nurturing, supportive and free.

If you are looking for support through the Dark Night of a Relationship, or looking to build a happier and healthier relationship after a breakup or divorce, check out my online course, “Happily Ever After.”  Click on the image below to learn more.   (P.S. It’s cheaper than counseling or a dating service!)

Register HERE
Register HERE
Posted in Authentic Freedom, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Empowerment, grief, Spiritual Direction

Before Psychotherapy

Today’s blog explores the ancient mentoring practices that preceded modern-day psychotherapy, still exist today and in many ways are more effective than traditional therapy.

Freud

Life before Freud

I know it is hard to believe, but psychology was not born with Sigmund Freud.  Neither did it only come to exist thanks in part to Greek philosophers.  I know this is what is what academia teaches as the roots of psychology, but there have been psychologists throughout human history – perhaps as far back as our human origins.  Before Freud, however, these remarkable women and men were not called psychologists, instead, they were called such things as spiritual director, teacher, abbott, abbess, priestess, priest, elder, medicine woman, medicine man, guru, oracle, and shaman.  Throughout human history there have been powerful women and men gifted and then trained to assist people in becoming their truest self and helping individuals to find healing and transformation from their inner ills.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worry, grief, loss, vocational discernment, even physical maladies were tended to through these wise and gifted teachers.  These women and men held places of honor within their communities and their needs were provided for by the community in exchange for the generous sharing of their gifts.

What Happened?

In a person – Descartes.  With his masterful separation of God from reason and matter, mystery was divorced from science – so much so that anything of mystery came to be set aside or disregarded as something only for the ignorant and foolish.  With near surgical precision, the transcendent was excised from the treatment of the human person and in the Western world, the spiritual director, shaman, medicine woman and man lost their place and psychotherapy stepped in.

It All Comes Back Around

Not anymore.  People have grown frustrated with the limitations of traditional psychotherapy – and the medical model in general.  People are tired of being reduced to something that must be “scientifically verifiable.”  Women and men are looking for depth, meaning, fulfillment and wholeness and this can only be accomplished by reconnecting with mystery. While there is still an important place in our world for traditional psychotherapy, many are searching for more.

Authentic Freedom Mentoring

This is where Authentic Freedom mentoring comes in.  As a trained spiritual director and Reiki master, I have honed the necessary skills for leading people through the mystery and for empowering them to become self-actualized.  In doing this work, many of the everyday issues of anxiety, depression, panic attack, the effects of trauma and grief, are healed and released so that the individual is free to be their original self – the person God made them to be.  As there is no talk of God or mystery in traditional psychotherapy, this might not be the path for all – but it is an effective path for many – even those who consider themselves to be atheist – for even in atheism – the mystery remains.

Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring over the phone, via Skype  and in person. To schedule a session call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Click HERE to learn about being trained as an Authentic Freedom Facilitator or Mentor.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Direction, Truth

Beyond Psychotherapy – Authentic Freedom Mentoring

Today’s blog explores the important question:  What in the world does Lauri Lumby do and why should I care?  Or another way to look at it: “How might Authentic Freedom Mentoring benefit you?”

dragonrider

Speaking with Dragons

Saturday evening I was working with a newly acquainted soul-sister on a creative project for my upcoming Fabulous Fifty.  She was inquiring about what exactly I do for a living.  As I muddled through the description, these words flew out of my mouth and gave her goosebumps from head to toe – confirmation of a truth being spoken.  Here is what I said:

If I had to boil it all down, the work I do is all about supporting individuals in becoming self-actualized. 

We then discussed how this is the work that people really need and is rarely offered…this is the deep stuff that goes beyond recovery programs, psycho-therapy, talk-therapy, behavioral counseling, life-coaching, or any of the traditional professional or self-help approaches.  This is also the kind of work that ENDURES.***  Getting to the root of our behavioral, attitudinal, mental, emotional, compulsive, addictive issues and healing them at their SOURCE.  Doing this work doesn’t provide just a temporary fix that will crumble at the appearance of our first trigger -no….it goes to the cause of the pattern and heals it, making the pattern no longer necessary.  As we heal the causes of our mental, behavioral and emotional (and even physical) distress, we draw closer and closer to the person God made us to be – happy, healthy, joyful, content and enjoying a life of meaning and fulfillment.  In the process, we are birthing our SOUL – or as Abraham Maslow called it – we are becoming self-actualized!

What is SOUL and why does it matter? 

SOUL is our true self.  SOUL is who we were born to be and who we came into the world being.  SOUL is the uniquely creative way in which we were born to find meaning and purpose in our lives and through which we find fulfillment within ourselves and  in service to the betterment of the world.  SOUL is what we are here for but somewhere along the line, life happened and interrupted our SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to identify those experiences outside of you and those feelings and beliefs inside of you that have blocked the knowledge and manifestation of your SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to heal and transform the deep, inner spiritual wounds that arose out of these experiences and beliefs so that your SOUL is free to emerge.  Think of it like a sunflower seed – deep inside the seed, beneath the shell is the tender, vulnerable meat of the seed that will eventually emerge out of the seed and become the sunflower.  The shell is LIFE – the tough, outer crust that developed around the seed to protect it and which has to be shed in order for the seed to grow.  Authentic Freedom mentoring supports you in shedding that shell so that your true self can emerge and be nurtured in becoming the fullness of who you were meant to be.

Lauri Lumby is available for Authentic Freedom mentoring in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To schedule an appointment, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

***Note:  Authentic Freedom mentoring is not a replacement for psychiatric care where medical treatment is appropriate and necessary in treating specific diagnoses of mental illness.

Posted in Midlife Journey, Relationships

Midlife and Dark Night of the Relationship – Part 3

Part 3 of a series on the Dark Night of the Relationship, what it looks like, why it often shows up during midlife, and some resources to support you in moving through this critical stage of your intimate relationship.  Read Part 2 HERE   and Part 1 HERE.  Today I will share my own experience of the Dark Night.

dark night of the relationship

Causes of the Dark Night

To begin, I want to warn the reader that the Dark Night of the Relationship does not always end in a happier, healthier, reconciled relationship.  For many who identify this stage in their relationship, seek help and do the difficult work, the end result (and the hoped for result) may be a healthier, happier, loving, and mutually supportive relationship – renegotiated to meet the newly identified and claimed needs of both parties.  For those who do not identify this stage and do not seek support, the end result will either be divorce or silent misery.  For others who identify this stage and seek help and support, the most life-giving thing for all involved may be a termination of the relationship, this proved to be the case for me.

How we got there

I want to preface this sharing by saying there are things about my marriage that I will not share here.  I will also not throw my ex under the bus by presuming to know his side of the story.  As such, I can only speak from my own perspective and out of my own particular viewpoint.  That being said, hindsight is 20/20.  I can look back now, through the eyes of wisdom and experience and identify two primary issues that, from the beginning, doomed the outcome of our marriage.

1) I believe that both myself and my (now ex) husband were looking for someone to complete us.  As I mention in Part 1 of this series – relationships are doomed when established on this foundation.  For us, a clear pattern of co-dependency was established and when I began to seek help for these behaviors and began to retrieve the strands of my co-dependent behaviors, the shaky foundation upon which our marriage was built began to collapse.

2) We had nothing in common.  Yes, we shared a few similar core values and have similar philosophies of parenting (which we still do together quite well), but our day to day interests and passions could not have been more different.    Over time, and with some work and parenting decisions that were made, we ended up living two completely separate lives.  There was nothing shared, other than our children, to tie us to each other.  Further complicating this was the fact that we were so incompatible in certain areas that this tended to overshadow any connections that might have been able to be established.

Naming my part

With the co-dependency issues and lack of common interests, the foundation of our marriage was already on shaky ground.  Compounding this were the following issues that I brought into the marriage that exerted their influence, thereby undermining the potential success of our marriage (Of course, I was not alone in contributing to the end of our marriage, but I can only take responsibility for my part.):

  • Unhealed wounds from childhood
  • Unresolved issues of co-dependency
  • Not knowing how to name and claim my needs, set healthy boundaries
  • Inadequate tools for managing grief, anger, disappointment, loss, needs not being met
  • Inadequate tools for managing anxiety, stress, fear, loneliness
  • Issues of low self-esteem

Seeking Support

When the bottom began to fall out on a relationship that didn’t have much of a bottom to begin with, I sought help.  Through 10 years of therapy, spiritual direction and intense personal development, the final outcome was arrived at.  The horse that was our marriage was dead (and I accept my part in this death) and there was truly no way of renegotiating a relationship that could be healthy, let alone mutually loving and supportive, so we decided that divorce would be the most life-giving decision for both of us, and our children.

Divorce Sucks!

Yes, divorce sucks, and the journey has not been an easy one.  In fact, I do not wish divorce on anyone.  But, what I can say is that after three years of moving through this process – from decision to now, I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.  Through on-going support and personal work, I feel more content, more whole, more confident in naming and claiming my needs, setting healthy boundaries, etc.  I have terrific tools for dealing with loss, disappointment, anxiety, sadness, fear and feelings of loneliness.  I know who I am and I know what I want.  And, I honestly believe our children are happier and healthier.  Yes they (we) grieved, and things aren’t always easy, but our children will never doubt that they are loved and cared for and that they will be supported in getting their needs met.

Dark Night Work

The moral of the story is that Dark Night work requires us to identify and transform the behaviors, attitudes, unhealed wounds that we brought into the relationship so that we are made whole and complete.  Only then can we meet at the negotiating table with our significant other (who has presumably also done their work) and determine the future course of the relationship.  For those who are able to negotiate their differences, find common ground and a shared desire to be together, the end result is a relationship better than what you ever could have imagined for yourself.  For those who choose to renegotiate through divorce, the promise is a healthier and happier self and tools through which they might be able to find mutual love, support and interdependence with another.  For those who don’t do the work, the outcome is continued unhappiness and pain.

Lauri Lumby is working with Ted Balser to bring Dark Night of the Relationship support to couples.  To learn more call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom

Become an Authentic Freedom Facilitator

Becoming an Authentic Freedom Facilitator provides a terrific complement to your existing skills as a counselor, life-coach, energy worker, massage therapist, holistic practitioner, medical doctor, psychologist, Reiki master, yoga instructor, meditation teacher, addictions counselor, spiritual director or ordained minister.  Authentic Freedom Facilitator training gives you additional tools for helping your clients, students and patients find meaning, purpose and connection in their lives.  More importantly, it gives you the tools for helping your clients move through the inner obstacles to a life of fulfillment and joy.

TeacherTraining

TeacherTrainingPage2

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Formation

Psychological and Spiritual Development

Through my ministries as a Spiritual Director in the Ignatian tradition, a Lay Minister and a Reiki Master Practitioner,  I have developed Authentic Freedom, a formal curriculum for the Psychological and Spiritual Formation of adults.  Rooted in the Western Contemplative tradition, Authentic Freedom has a universal application that speaks to people across a broad spectrum of religious beliefs and practices.

AuthenticFreedomcover

Transcending dogma, Authentic Freedom  reveals the powerful and life-changing message at the heart of Jesus’ teachings and the universal truths at the core of every religion, making this curriculum relevant to a modern audience.  Authentic Freedom provides effective tools through which participants are able to grow in their relationship with God (the God of their understanding) and with themselves, begin the process of gifts discernment, identify and transcend the inner obstacles to naming and sharing those gifts so that they can freely and openly sharing their gifts in the world for the betterment of all.

Authentic Freedom is comprised of four courses:

  • Called to Freedom
  • Authentic Freedom
  • Deepening Freedom
  • Living in Freedom

With applications for spirituality, religion, psychology, counseling, recovery, movement therapies, meditation and mindfulness, holistic wellness and ecumenism, Authentic Freedom appeals to a wide audience with a diversity of interests.

It is my hope to create a network of teaching centers where the Authentic Freedom curriculum is being offered.  As such, I have created a diverse spectrum of offerings through which Authentic Freedom can be shared in the world:

1) Local courses

2) On-line courses (Click HERE for upcoming online offerings)

3) Authentic Freedom facilitator training (Click HERE for information)

4) And finally, I am in the process of contacting retreat and wellness centers who might be potential centers through which Authentic Freedom can be made available.  My goal is to find people within those centers who could be trained as Authentic Freedom facilitators and share this curriculum with their unique audiencee.

If you think you may be interested in taking an Authentic Freedom class, becoming a facilitator or if you know of retreat or wellness centers who may be potential centers for learning, please contact me at (920) 230-1313  or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Thank you.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction – Lauri Style Part III

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often wonder how to respond.  As my friend Derek says, “It’s……just…..Lauri.  She’s awesome and you have to try her classes and services.”  Thank you Derek, and as we have both observed, this is usually not enough to get people to make the call or show up for the class.  When my Board of Director’s and I came up with my mission statement: Through compassionate listening and attentive presence, I partner with those longing to find meaning, purpose and connectedness in their lives, this at least explains the benefits that you receive from working with me and how I do it…..but still, what the heck is Spiritual Direction and why am I person you might want to work with?

Windows to the Soul by Catherine Case
Windows to the Soul by Catherine Case

Yesterday, I revealed a little about the “what.”  Today, let’s talk about why me? And just because I sometimes like to have fun….I’m putting it into the language of Spiritual Gifts.

Why Working with ME (Lauri Lumby) differs from other forms of counseling, therapy, recovery work, spiritual direction:

  • Speaking in Tongues: While my background is Roman Catholic and my guru is Jesus, I speak AND understand all forms of religous, spiritual and even non-religious language.  More importantly, I speak YOUR language.   If you are Buddist, we’ll speak in that tongue.  If you are Christian, we’ll speak that language.  Athiest…yep, I can speak that one too.  Bottom line:  differences in religious beliefs and practices are NOT an obstacle to the work we will accomplish together.
  • Discernment of Spirits: I can identify in you when something is coming from your truest self.  More importantly, I can see, feel and hear the fearful, anxious, worried, stunted parts of you.  The fear in you waves like a red banner that I see and help you to identify so that it no longer has power over you.
  • Prophecy: Prophecy is the ability to hear, see and evaluate the sign of the times.  In one-on-one work, it is the ability to HEAR, SEE, and PERCEIVE, the truth beyond the words.  You say one thing….but your heart wants, desires, reveals, something else.  My job is to be attentive to this and help you to see it too.  And trust me, I CAN see it.  😉
  • Teaching: It has been said that more than anything, I am a teacher.  A teacher’s job is to INFORM, SUPPORT, UPLIFT and most importantly…..TO EMPOWER you to be your most authentic and most fulfilled self.   Effective teachers also hold us accountable.  I will let you know when your ego is in the way, when you are clinging to your need to be right or harboring resentment against yourself or another.  I will also let you know when you need to grieve a loss instead of wallowing in the guilt over your depression or sorrow. And finally, I will encourage you to BE GOOD, GENTLE, TENDER and KIND toward yourself. And, I will give you the tools to help you do all of these things.
  • Healing: The work we will do together is HEALING.  I give you the tools you need to heal your unhealed losses, hurts, disappointments, wounds and more importantly, the tools to help you MOVE THROUGH your fears so that you can live a life that is joyful, happy and free.

To schedule your session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. Lauri is available for appointments over the phone, via Skype and in person. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction Lauri Style Part II

Are You:

  • Feeling Restless, Impatient, Unfulfilled?
  • Grieving  a loss (death, diagnosis, divorce, job change, unemployment, empty-nest)?
  • Facing a life transition?
  • Longing for connection or healthy intimacy?
  • Suffering anxiety, depression, panic, worry?
  • Searching for answers?
  • Seeking balance?
  • Learning to name and claim your needs?
  • Recovering from abuse, addictions, loss?
  • Yearning for clarity?
  • Healing from childhood wounds?
  • Desiring to know the Source of peace?
Lauri and her brother, Patrick
Lauri and her brother, Patrick

Lauri Lumby is a professional Spiritual Director in the Ignatian tradition, Lay Minister and  Reiki Master Practitioner.Lauri has developed, Authentic Freedom, an approach to Spiritual Direction that goes beyond traditional counseling, therapy or recovery work, supporting you in identifying and transcending the deeper fears that are the source of your  compulsive behaviors and unhealed wounds.

Through compassionate listening and attentive presence, Lauri supports you in enjoying a fulfilling life of contentment, love and joy.

Lauri is available for appointments in person, over the phone and via Skype. You can reach Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com