Posted in Being Human

I Am Who I Am

I Am Who I Am

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am

The mantra I return to as my mind grasps after fantasies…what-ifs…and hows.

When all I have is this moment now –

But with possibilities and imaginings raging in my mind –

the anxiety of the unknown rising.

I AM who I AM.

I Am who I Am.

Pen gripped between my fingers, dancing across the page.

Prince blaring through my speakers.

Feeling the sensation of ink kissing paper

and paper returning ink’s affection.

The perfect balance of giving and receiving,

Creating and allowing.

A match…rather a coming together made in heaven.

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am.

Can we escape the anxious imaginings of a possible new creation?

Should we?

I remember the doctoral candidate’s bold proclamation that

“falling in love is a mental illness.”

Or an irrational preoccupation if nothing else.

Doesn’t every new creation involve a kind of falling in love?

Preoccupation

Infatuation

Excitement

Anticipation

Twitterpation

Until that new love betrays us:

A novel’s false start

Frozen at 50,000 words

The face turned out lopsided

The stray splash of paint

Damn, that’s the wrong color brown!

The critique that plunges a dagger into our heart

The betrayal that eviscerates our Soul.

I AM who I AM

I Am who I Am

The only think I truly know

(if we can ever truly know anything)

is what is before me in this present moment.

Now.  Only Now.

But when “now” becomes too familiar,

or we long for something more –

The heart becomes anxious.

Is that a bad thing?

Isn’t new life born out of restlessness, boredom and impatience?

Don’t we have to outgrow what is now

so that new life might come into form?

Isn’t growth a journey of perpetual motion

coming forth out of THE VOID –

Something coming forth out of Nothing?

I Am who I Am

And what I shall be remains to be seen.

Copyright:  Lauri Ann Lumby

I call her Joy
Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Authentic Freedom Mastery Course

Authentic Freedom Mastery Course

September 2015 – June 2016

Choose from:

Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 pm or Tuesdays 9:00-11:00 am.

Created and Facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS

  • Learn powerful tools for self-awareness.
  • Practice proven mindfulness and creativity practices for personal empowerment.
  • Discover resources for identifying and moving through the fears which keep you from being the person God made you to be.

AfMasteryCourse

 

Posted in 6D, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Freedom, Lessons, Magic, manifestation

Beyond “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction”

The Law of Attraction is OUT!

Since the release of The Secret, and other books and videos of a similar vein, the magic formula for manifesting has been credited to the Law of Attraction – giving our thoughts credit for manifesting what we want:  “Think the right thoughts and you will get what you want.”  Even though I will ruffle the feathers of many, especially those who are attached to the law of attraction as the proven method for getting what they want, (or who have made their millions selling books, videos and products predicated on this belief) I must boldly go where no woman has gone before me.  As we evolve to the next stage of our spiritual evolution, THE LAW OF ATTRACTION IS OUT – if it ever was in at all. Here’s why:

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3D Duality-based perceptions

The Law of Attraction arose out of a 3D (duality based) construct – emerging out of the separation between faith and belief.  Faith is a natural and effortless outpouring of the Soul’s knowing of what we need in our life while effortlessly leading us toward it and drawing it toward us.  The voice of the Soul, which arises out of faith, provides the inspiration we need and the energy and motivation required when action is called for.  Faith is effortless…it is a deep inner knowing of our truest nature and the path of our Soul.  Faith is constant, persistent, grounded, sure and unwavering.  Belief, on the other hand, is of the mind and requires effort.  Belief is inconsistent, ungrounded, unsure and wavering as it is driven by the fearful nature of the human condition.  We might think of the distinction between belief and faith, as the difference between knowing in the mind and knowing in the heart.

Three grave falsehoods

In 3D where duality exists and fear reigns, the Law of Attraction may have proven to be effective for some (though maybe they simply mistook the voice of the Soul for thought).  It is important to acknowledge, however, that the Law of Attraction – the idea that “thinking the right thoughts will get us what we want”, is founded on three grave falsehoods:

  1. That what we want is in our highest good.
  2. That thoughts guide manifestation.
  3. That we have control over our thoughts.

 

Beginning with number three:

Thoughts, in and of themselves, are a function of our lower self – and are mostly based on past experiences and future fantasies, never arising out of a state of pure being.  Thoughts are rooted in fears that arise out of our false perception of separation (from ourselves, God, the universe), and are therefore illusory.  Thoughts arise of their own volition and while we can still them and quiet them through mindfulness based, creativity and movement practices, mostly the movement of our thoughts is beyond our control.  We can, however, distinguish thought from faith.  Faith is the voice of the Soul which speaks to us through insight, inspiration, true knowledge, deep knowing, and understanding.  All of these arise out of a state of pure being – those states of consciousness where thought has ceased – where we are one within ourselves,  one with God, one with all of creation.  The mind is still and here the Soul can speak.

butterflyflowers-19830_1280

#2 Contrary to what is believed, taught, and sold by many, thoughts do not guide manifestation.  Instead, it is the guidance of the Soul that empowers manifestation – when we allow it to speak – when we accept its guidance, when we still the thoughts (usually fearful or anxiety-ridden) that tell us all the reasons we should not follow the Soul’s guidance, and then take action where appropriate (if action is needed).

#1 What we want is not always in our highest good.   Want arises out of the ego and out of our false perception of separation.  Want arises out of fear, especially out of our egoic perception of lack.  The mind (the origin of want) does not know what is in our highest good…it only knows what it wants.  The voice of the Soul, in contrast. does not speak in the language of want. The Soul knows what is in our highest good and what we need to fulfill our life’s purpose.  What we need arises effortlessly out of an unconditionally loving Source of support who has only our highest good in mind.  When we operate out of the place of faith (Soul), we want for nothing because we understand that wherever we are at this place in our lives is exactly where we need to be for the sake of our Soul’s unfolding. When we function out of a duality based set of perceptions, no matter what we have, it is never enough.

As we evolve and grow as a species and work together to usher in a new world rooted in love instead of fear, the Law of Attraction is one idea that we are being invited to set aside.  In its place is the pure knowledge of Faith – Faith that is the effortless and unbidden guidance of the Soul – if we would only take the time to quiet the mind (and its thoughts) so that we might hear it speak.

In short:

The Law of Attraction requires that we DO something (think the right thoughts).

In the world of Faith – we need only BE.  Our Soul will “do” the rest.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides programs, products (books) and services to assist you in distinguishing the voice of the Soul from fear-based thoughts. Contact Lauri Ann Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@authenticfreedom.love, to learn more.  

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Freedom, Inspiration, Jesus, Lessons, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Surrender, Virtual Church

The Seed of Happiness

One of the ways that Authentic Freedom Academy supports self-actualization and personal empowerment is by providing nourishment and support for psycho-spiritual development.  The Authentic Freedom Virtual Church and accompanying Agape’ Meditation newsletter is one way we accomplish this goal.  Each week, subscribers receive access to the meditation newsletter and video lesson – centered on the non-dual teachings of Christ.  Below is a sample of what you might expect to receive as part of subscribing.  To learn more, go to our Virtual Church page and Subscribe! 

June 14, 2015 – Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

 Scripture Readings:

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

MK 4: 26-34

 

Additional Readings:

EZ 16: 22-24

PS 92: 2-3, 13-15

2 Cor 5: 6-10

dandelion

 

We Know Not How

This week’s gospel speaks to us of the kingdom of God – its abundance and fruitfulness. The same could be said of ourselves and the fruitful outcome of our life’s journey – its purpose and how we are called to find fulfillment within ourselves and in service to the betterment of the world.

 

The seed provides the perfect metaphor for the journey of our Soul. The seed bears deep within itself – invisible to the eye – something that says what the seed will be when it grows up. A sunflower seed has no choice but to become a sunflower (or squirrel food). The same is true of an acorn, a wheat berry, an apple seed. The seed, when given the proper protection, nourishment, water and light, has no choice but to become that for which it was made. Once the seed is planted and the resources it needs provided, the seed simply becomes its purpose. This happens of its own accord – and not because someone “made it happen.”

 

This is also true for us. Deep within ourselves is something invisible, yet concrete, that says who God intended us to be when we come into our own ripeness. We, like the seed, need the proper environment, nourishment, safety, support, water and light, to become that for which we were made. Once this is provided (often by our own hand), and we are willing to plant the seeds to make this happen….it happens on its own. Again, not because we, or someone else, made it happen. Coming into our own fruitfulness is the natural consequence of giving ourselves what we need to not only survive, but also thrive.

 

What is the seed in you that is trying to be born?

What can you do to provide safety, nourishment and support (ie: boundaries) for your own becoming?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – The Seed Inside of Us

For this week’s meditation, you will need some relaxing (or energizing) music, two blank sheets of paper and some crayons.

 

Begin by setting up a work area. A place you can comfortably engage in meditative art. Have everything in the space that you will need to complete this meditation.

 

Put on the meditative (or energizing) music. (I like Violin Concerto in D Minor by Bach) Listen intently to the music, allowing yourself to feel its movement – the rising and falling of the music, tempo changes, listening for the individual instruments, etc. Allow the music to inspire your soul.

 

While you are feeling the music, imagine a seed. Be open to whatever seed presents itself to you.

 

With your paper and crayons. Draw that seed.

 

As you continue to listen to the music, reflect on the seed. What is significant about the seed you chose? Is it large, small? What does it produce? Is it abundant in its production (like the mustard seed) or does it produce something rare? Reflect on how you are like this seed.

 

After this portion of the reflection feels complete, on the second sheet of paper, draw a picture of yourself growing out of the seed. What are you becoming? Draw this.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we focus our attention on the kingdom of God within us (Malkuthakh), and how it is known by a state of inner peace, contentment, compassion and joy. While we may not experience the fullness of the kingdom until after we depart this life, Jesus came to teach us how to experience the kingdom here and now.  One part of enjoying Malkuthakh is to become the person God made us to be. Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted and called by God to experience fulfillment in our lives through the use of our own unique gifts – both for our own enjoyment and in service to the betterment of our world. The work of this begins in childhood through the environment provided by our parents, teachers, ministers, etc. Yes, we sometimes have to undo that which was not supportive of our Soul’s development. As grown ups, however, we now have a choice. It is our responsibility, for the sake of our Soul and for the purpose of our own inner contentment, to create and uphold the environment in which our Soul’s purpose can finds its fruition. This begins by naming and claiming our needs and setting boundaries around these needs. In doing so, we are preparing the soil in which the seed of our Soul may take root and grow. Then it is our job to feed and water it. And finally, it is our task to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let our seed grow in the way and time that it needs to….all according to God’s plan.

 

How are you preparing and environment in which the seed of your Soul may take root and grow?

Fleur_de_Lis_Tattoo_by_ladyserenity2002

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Divine Revelation, Inspiration, teachers

Making Love with Kat Von D

 

 

Making Love with Kat Von D

Matt Sorum Presents The Darling Stillettos on July 16, 2009, Cinespace, Hollywood, California, USA

Dreams are such amazing things.  Odd.  Nebulous.  Confusing and Symbolic.  And yet sometimes, palpably real.  Like the other night when I was making love with Kat Von D.  Perhaps the fact that I’m really only attracted to men is what made these sensations (I’ll spare you the details) even more real.  But even so – this dream felt REAL. Real as in the vivid colors, the tastes and textures, the real physical nature of Kat, herself and the surroundings.  More real than watching a movie.  Real as if we were actually there.

Then perhaps we were.  Real in the sense of something tangible being accomplished.  Something that could perhaps be measured in the 3D world of waking consciousness.  Real in the sense of the outward manifestation of the inward experience of lovemaking.  For lovemaking, as we all know, has its ultimate expression in the bringing forth of new life.

katvond

So, what kind of new life might be brought forth from making love with Kat Von D?  As my ultimate girl crush (after Stevie Nicks of course), I adore her.  To me, Kat is the quintessential representation of the fulfillment of creative expression.  With her Rockstar clothes, hair, makeup and nearly fully tattooed body, I see all the ways I would like to be dressed if my heart was completely in charge.  Her look says, “I’m confident in who I am and in what I believe and if you don’t like it, I don’t give a f… “  In fact, tattooed on her arm is her personal epitaph, “DILLIGAF” – Do I look like I give a f…?  Beyond her look, is the way in which she has surrounded herself with all things beautiful – and her style is again, just how I would decorate if my heart was completely in charge – Victorian Gothic ala Edgar Allen Poe (I’d probably skip the taxidermy collection though – I’m not really into dead things).

But it’s not just Kat’s outward appearance or the way she decorates her shop and her home – it is the way she openly reveals her heart.  Through her writing, her art, her personal relationships, the intimate connections she has fostered with her family and her professional team which she boldly displays on her “family tree.”  (see more on this in her book, “Go Big or Go Home!” ) And her life is her art – tattooing, playing piano, drawing, painting, decorating (herself and her home), writing, composing and now (I hear) singing.  She has made a life and a success of creating.

Kat-kat-von-d-14102797-303-500

THIS is the child I want to be born out of my dreamtime coupling with Kat Von D – to make a life and a success of creating and for that creating to drip off of me like paint on a canvas for all the world to see – not for my own glory – but so that the rest of the world may be inspired to do the same – as my love of Kat Von D has done for me.

Kat, if you are reading,  THANK YOU!

Learn more about Kat Von D here:   http://www.highvoltagetattoo.com/

Find Kat’s books on Amazon.com!

Enjoy Kat’s beauty line at Sephora.com

Who inspires you to be more of who you are really meant to be? 

 

Posted in Spiritual Practices, Superheroes

Finding and Cultivating Your Superpowers

Superhero Report for Monday, August 4, 2014 – Part I

selfrevealed

I absolutely believe that every single one of us is a Superhero waiting to be born.  Not everyone will have the call or the drive to facilitate positive change in the world, but every single one of us has a role to play in turning the world into love. The key, for each of us, is to find out what our unique superpowers are, nurture them and then share them in the world. I have learned that the single most important thing we can do to discover, cultivate and harness our Superpowers is to develop and maintain a spiritual practice.

In Monday’s Superhero gathering, we learned how to develop and maintain a regular spiritual practice, but first we dispelled some myths around spiritual practice and defined it in a way that speaks to a post-modern world, and specifically to those who are blessed with creative and active minds.  (Note, the following is an excerpt from my as yet unpublished book, Happily Ever After copyright 2014):

Starting a Spiritual Practice

 

Sit in the silence and listen.

Listen in the silence and hear.

When you hear,

So shall you know. 

 

The purpose of the following is to offer helpful support for starting a spiritual practice and to provide additional insights for those who already have a practice in place.

Dispelling Myths

The following are myths that have been propagated in regards to meditation as a spiritual practice.  None of these myths (from my perspective as an experienced meditator and Spiritual Director) are true.

  • Meditation has a goal
  • The goal of meditation is silencing of the mind
  • There is a right and a wrong way to “do” meditation
  • If you reach the state of peace, you did it right….if not, you did it wrong
  • An empty mind is the devil’s playground
  • Meditating makes you a “better” person
  • Only enlightened/holy people meditate
  • Meditation is the path to enlightenment
  • Sitting in silence is the only valid form of meditation….or it is the preferred method
  • Meditation is an Eastern practice and cannot be practiced by Christians
  • Eastern meditation practices are dangerous
  • Lay people cannot meditate

Before embarking on a meditation practice, it may be helpful to know:

  • The goal of spiritual practice is “NO GOAL.”  Your job is to simply show up.  Striving after a goal (other than showing up) will prove to be an obstacle to your practice.
  • There is no right or wrong way to meditate.
  • If you find that state of inner calm and peace…..it is PURE GRACE…..not something you received because you finally meditated the right way or enough times.
  • There is a rich tradition of meditation and contemplation in the Western Hebrew and Christian traditions.
  • It is in the emptiness that we find God/Love/Truth…..and we are also invited to find God in the midst of the chaos.
  • Meditation can be receptive (listening, sitting, being) or active (expressing, moving, giving, processing,).
  • Meditation encompasses many formats and practices including but not limited to:  meditative reading of sacred texts, journaling, sitting in silence, movement (yoga, tai chi, dance, etc.), chant, listening to music, daydreaming, paying attention to our dreams, mindfulness practices, acts of service, making love, being present to our family and friends, being out in nature, creative expression, painting, drawing, cooking, cleaning, etc. etc. etc.
  • A spiritual practice is anything that helps us to connect with God, peace, love, joy, flow, compassion, harmony, forgiveness, mercy, ecstasy.
  • In the Western tradition, Meditation refers to the reflective thoughts in the mind.  In the Eastern Tradition, meditation is understood to mean sitting in silence.  Contemplation is the term used in the Western tradition to refer to sitting or being in silence with God.
  • The only danger in meditation or contemplation is connecting with your truth.  Warning:  Truth can be a dangerous thing if we are not prepared or if we do not have the tools to handle it.  As Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will kick your butt.”
  • Meditation may lead you to enlightenment, if that is your path in this life; regardless, it will help you to be a happier, more peaceful and more loving human being.
  • From the Hebrew and Christian perspectives, meditation and contemplation will empower you to experience the Kingdom of God right here, right now, in this life.  You will discover that you don’t have to die to know the peace and love of God.
  • Meditation can be practiced by ANYONE……regardless of your race, color, creed, education, status, position of power, ordained or not, etc. etc. etc.

Getting Started

As mentioned above, there is no right or wrong way to meditation or to enter into spiritual practice.  I have learned, however, that there are certain things we can do that will help us to be successful in our goal of SHOWING UP for our spiritual practice.  Remember…the only goal is to SHOW UP.  The following steps may help you to do this.  

  • Set aside a regular time each day for your spiritual practice where you can be uninterrupted for 15-30 minutes.  For many people, this is first thing in the morning, but choose a time that works for your own personal bio-rhythms.
  • Choose a special place in your home or office that is designated as your place for your spiritual practice.  It might be a certain chair in your living room, your drawing easel, maybe you have the luxury of setting up a meditation corner or room.
  • Have the tools that you need for your practice near your chosen place – your journal, a bible, writing utensils, maybe a candle or incense burner, a blanket.
  • Turn off any potential distractions – phones, computers, pagers, etc.
  • Create a ritual that helps you to enter into your spiritual practice.  Light a candle.  Burn incense.  Say a prayer.  Bow to your sacred space.

Magic Wands Please….

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to spiritual practice.  Each person possesses their own unique temperament and preferred ways of functioning in the world.  As such, through the ancient traditions, a variety of tools have been developed to fit the needs of a wide variety of people.  Practice individual methods until you find one that feels like it fits you.  And know that from time to time, this will change.  Or, maybe like me, you will find a variety of practices speaking to you.  You might then look for a way to incorporate several into your daily practice.  Remember….there is no right or wrong way to meditation.  Ultimately, any activity that you do that leads you to a place of peace and helps you to remember love is considered a spiritual practice. 

Stay Tuned tomorrow….same Bat time, same Bat channel….for Part II – Specific spiritual practices you might like to try.

Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Inspiration, Mystics

You’ve Got the Magic in You!

First off, here is one of my favorite songs of empowerment from my youth as a soundtrack for today’s blog.  just switch out the word, “music” with “magic.”  Enjoy!   🙂  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPXbniVqG-w

DSCF3137

Have your forgotten your magic?

Did you know that you were born to be magic?  I don’t mean magic in the form of manipulating matter or the elements or casting an evil spell.  I mean REAL magic….the kind of magic that comes from God and the kind of magic acknowledged by the ancients in such words as Abracadabra (I create what I speak) and Hocus Pocus (a contraction of the Latin words used in changing the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ – hoc est corpus meum), and my personal favorite, Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Real magic happens when we remember our origin in God and remember that we are called to be a vessel through which God’s love, peace, compassion, wisdom, guidance, sustenance and support is made known in the world.  When we remember these truths, and then allow ourselves to be emptied of our own selfish motives, we can now be filled with God.  When we allow ourselves to be emptied and filled in this way, then God is able to work through us in making manifest God’s plan for humanity and for all of creation.  When we are emptied so as to be filled with God, we are no less than magical, because it is not we who are at work – but God.  When we allow ourselves to be a channel through which God can work in the world, we operate from a place of love, of trust, of empowerment; and the world is made into a more loving and peaceful place.

Using our magic responsibly

Using our God magic, however, it not to be taken lightly.  Neither is it to be used for our own selfish motives.  Instead, God’s magic is for one thing and one thing only…..to help ourselves to remember the love that we are and to help others do the same, so that everyone can discover their own unique magic and contribute to the betterment of the world through its engagement.  This magic is manifest in unique and different ways in each of us.  Here are just a few examples of how our individual magic might be manifest within us and how we might be called to engage with it:

  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Hearing
  • Counseling
  • Comforting
  • Serving
  • Nourishing
  • Singing
  • Playing music
  • Painting
  • By simply being present
  • Teaching

What is your unique form of magic?  How are you being called to remember the love that you are through the engagement of this magic?  How are you called to use your magic to contribute to the betterment of the world?

Lauri Lumby works with you one-on-one and through workshops and retreats in helping you to uncover your own unique magic and find ways to use it in the world.  To set up a one-on-one session, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in creativity, God, Inspiration, Mystics

Mystics, Madwomen and a Rock and Roll God

The journey of the Soul, I have learned, comes in fits and starts.  Sometimes seemingly stagnant, sometimes dead and lying in the grave, sometimes dancing naked in the streets – a journey that we want like heck to control, but one we must instead learn to surrender to.  After taking a huge step forward yesterday by moving through one of my biggest fears (public speaking), I found myself writing poetry again.  Who knew that this was what was waiting for me to get over myself?  I’m sharing one of the fun poems that came out of yesterday’s creative burst.  After playing with this poem, ask yourself, “What is lying in wait for me when I move through that next big fear?????”  (PS  Thank you Rob Zombie, Motley Crue and Disturbed for being today’s muse!)

RobZombie

Rock and Roll God

You may have your god in flowing white robes, hands in pious prayer, basking in his golden hue.

My God wears black leather,

With long, flowing hair,

An electric guitar strapped across his chest,

Pounding out tunes and serenading me with:

Believe!

“Shout, Shout, Shout at the Devil”

And

“Living Dead-Girl”

While calling me forth from my grave.

copyright 2013  Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Inspiration, Mystics, shame, world changes

For Those Not of This World – Releasing Shame

Today’s blog is targeted for those of you (us), who have often felt a misfit in this world.  Freaks, geeks, dweebs, artists, creative geniuses, rightbrain thinkers, lightworkers, healers, Indigo’s, Crystals, Rainbows, Starseeds, lightwarriors, children of light. Whatever name we have called ourselves, we have always felt as if we stand outside the norm, as if we do not fit in, and that no matter how hard we try, we cannot embrace the lifestyle, expectations, and values of the hierarchical, patriarchal, materialistic, consumeristic, Western world.  Instead, we find ourselves embracing what many would consider countercultural values and lifestyles and either working seventeen jobs or becoming (as one friend recently observed about me) “chronically self-employed,”  in order to live our truth and follow our dreams.  Some, familiar with the Matrix movies might suggest that we have taken “the red pill.”  Others, might just shake their head in disgust as we continue to rock the boat of “normal,” challenge perceived authority, and shake the foundations of status quo, even though the work that we do is ALWAYS geared toward making the world a more loving, harmonious, peaceful and beautiful place.  But, people don’t like change and they don’t appreciate different, so we are often cast out as weird or condemned as shit-disturbers.  If any of this sounds familiar to you, keep reading because I am about to offer you the ONE CURE for all your frustration and impatience over simply trying to be who God/dess made you to be and the ONE CURE for any obstacle you might be facing in living your truth freely and enjoying the abundant fruits of sharing your amazing gifts. 

Releasing Shame
Releasing Shame

THE ONE CAUSE

The ONE CURE came to me in my own struggle to live my truth and trying to find my place in the world.  I have to thank my friend who first called me “chronically self-employed,” and the completely disproportionate reaction I had to these words as it gave me an opportunity to identify THE ONE CAUSE of my history of paralysis, lack of confidence, immobility, perceived failure, financial lack, vocational and relational struggles.  The ONE CAUSE, I discovered, was shame.  “What is wrong with me that I cannot work in the real world and have a real job?” I moaned.  “What was wrong with me that I couldn’t be content in an unhappy marriage?”  (millions of other people find a way to be).  “Why doesn’t anybody get what I do or understand who I am?”  I realized at the root of all these questions was ONE emotion, and that emotion was SHAME.  I felt shame for being different and for seemingly not fitting in and for feeling driven to live a life outside the norm by naming, claiming, cultivating and living my gifts and my dreams.

THE ONE CURE

Once I was able to identify SHAME as the cause, I knew I had also found the cure.  If shame is what is keeping me small and stuck, then shame needed to be confronted, transformed and released.  Intellectually, I knew there was nothing wrong with me and there was no rational reason that I should remain stuck.  But shame, as an underlying inner state, trumped all I “knew” in my mind.  So, I applied one of my favorite spiritual practices to shame and allowed it to find its release.

Releasing Shame

If you find that shame is also at the root of your own tendency to remain small, or believing that you are different and in your difference, somehow wrong, then try this practice which I am borrowing from Tibetan Buddhism – Tonglen.

1) Connect with your feelings of being different or not fitting in.

2) Identify the emotion underlying these feelings – perhaps it is shame.

3) Become aware of where you are feeling this emotion in your body.

4) Allow yourself to be present to this emotion.  FEEL it, instead of pushing it away.

5) Breathe in this feeling.  Breathe it into your heart as you allow yourself to feel the feeling.

6) Breathe out love.

7) Breathe in the feeling and breathe out love until you feel something in you shift.  Maybe a new feeling surfaces, or you begin to cry, or you feel yourself growing stronger, more confident, more self-assured. Stay with this practice until you feel it is resolved.

Why This Practice Works

Once you have released the shame, you can no longer remain small or have feelings of being rejected or condemned, or experience failure, because, there is nothing left for these negative experiences to hook on to.  Before, shame acted like a cement block that we were tied to with thick, black straps of elastic.  Every time we tried to crawl out of our feelings around being different, and every time we tried to “think” ourselves to greatness, all it would take was one crossed eye, or shaking finger of criticism to pull us right back into the pit of our shame.  Once shame is released, there is nothing left for the hooks to hang on to…..so we are free.  The proof in this practice is that once we release the shame, every door that was previously closed to us miraculously opens because we can no longer be rejected, condemned, ostracized or banished because there is no more shame to hold us hostage within ourselves, and then we are free to be our weird, creative, countercultural, shit-disturbing selves and we are happier (and maybe even richer) for it.

Lauri Lumby provides one-on-one mentoring for those seeking to birth their Soul – the uniquely creative part of themselves through which they were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which they are called to contribute to the betterment of the world.  To learn more call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in creativity, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

First of all….check out my latest YouTube posting Surviving Midlife-Confronting DeathNow, let’s get to the business of today’s post, why the midlife and menopause journey can be such a challenge…..and we only have our culture to blame for beating the creativity and curiosity out of us, starting at a very young age.

midlife-menopause-creativity-curiosity
midlife-menopause-creativity-curiosity

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause is to birth our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world.  The BIGGEST part of the midlife journey…..and ultimately its purpose…..is to AWAKEN our CREATIVITY and REINVIGORATE our sense of CURIOSITY. The person God made us to be is creative, curious, generous, loving and kind.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that from a very early age, beats the curiosity and creativity out of us.  I was recently reminded of how insidiously our culture works against our original nature, making the midlife journey not only necessary, but a bit of a challenge. (I contend that if we raised our children differently, midlife would be more of a blip on the radar instead of the full out spiritual and emotional ass-kicking it tends to be.)

Case in point – How we destroy curiosity and creativity.

1) The first example involves my son.  My son is an average, 13 year old male who, in addition to being driven toward being active, is wicked smart, curious, independent, free-thinking and has a pretty mature emotional intelligence compared to most kids his age (and even some adults). So……..you can only imagine the challenges he has in school…..where they seem to want compliance above all else. Every time he demonstrates his gifts, his desire to be challenged, his curiosity and most of all, his creativity, he is punished and his father and I find ourselves saying, “Wil, just stay under the radar.”  No parent should have to say that to their creatively intelligent and curious child! And it’s not like he’s a criminal.  He is a good, responsible and caring 13 year old boy…he’s just “too smart for his own good.”   What saddens me is that as this continues, he has become more and more disillusioned and unhappy with school.  “I hate it,” is his common reply. And our son is not the only one who is being punished….curiosity, creativity and humor is slowly whittled away in our children….in the same way it was whittled away in each of us.  Show creativity.  Get punished.  Act in ways appropriate to our developmental stage.  Get punished.  Question self-appointed authority.  Get punished.  etc. etc. etc.   Here is another example.

2) Recently, I attended a funeral service held in a Catholic Church. In the time between the “viewing” and the beginning of Mass, a group of young children….obviously unfamiliar with the nature of Catholic ritual, etc. were roaming the chapel… curiously going from shrine, to statue, to prayer candles, to altar to podium, doing what children do….they were looking, touching, discussing, exploring and pretending…pretending they were saying the Mass or reading from the pulpit.  As the curious children were playing between the altar and podium, a church “official” came up and angrily shushed and shooed them away.  As I looked on….all I could think of was, “Instead of shaming these children for being naturally curious, I would use this as a teaching moment.  I would take them to each shrine, the prayer candles, the tabernacle, altar and podium and explain what each of those things were used for and what they represented.  Then I would let them touch, explore, pretend to their hearts’ content.  I thought this was a perfect opportunity to honor the curiosity and creativity of children, instead, they were taught that in our society, we are punished for being creative and curious.  SIGH!

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

I’m sure you have a million and one examples from your own childhood where your curiosity, creativity, initiative, incentive, passions, drives, intuition, truth were punished….all because we live in a culture that wants us to conform and wants us to seek approval.  So….you can see why the Midlife journey is so dang hard.  Because in our childhood, our creativity and curiosity were stifled, midlife becomes about re- awakening our creativity and reclaiming our curiosity so that we can have the life of fulfillment, meaning and purpose that was intended.  But, in order to get this, we have to work against the conditioning of our past.  We have to overcome societal “shoulds.”  We might have to disturb the status quo and someone might not be happy about it.  Of course, we do have the option of ignoring the midlife call and remaining in the life that is familiar, if not fulfilling.  But then what are we left with, “a life of quiet desperation?”  NO THANK YOU.

For support in your own journey of reclaiming your curiosity and creativity, contact Lauri Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.