Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Faith, Freedom, Healing, Lessons

Authentic Freedom – Help for When the Bottom Falls Out

About a month ago, I received news that is a COMPLETE game changer. This news changes everything AND puts everything into question.  This news impacts literally EVERY aspect of my life and to say it has caused a mild state of shock would be an understatement.  It is during times like these that Authentic Freedom – the process I created which supports human transformation – comes most in handy and proves its effectiveness.

Each and every one of us has had these kinds of experiences – when the rug is pulled out from beneath us, when the ceiling caves in and when the universe, in one fell swoop, tosses us out of the nest of what we have known into what we cannot yet imagine.

The greatest temptation during these times of freefall is to make plans. Our mind, in search of something to hang on to, out of fear of the unknown, tries to make plans, or tries to become attached to potential and possible outcomes.  As many have learned, when we make plans (or try to make plans), God laughs.  I have witnessed the truth of this many times over in the past month as I have tried to plan my way out of and through this change.  A possibility shows up, a potential, a promise, and I get excited about it, imagining all the possible ways in which this will support myself and my family and then POW, the Universe throws a wrench in the deal and the whole things falls apart.  This is EXACTLY what happened this past Wednesday.  Two universes collided and everything that I had planned and waged my future on completely collapsed.

anxiety2

Understanding the importance of grieving our losses, I have allowed myself time to grieve – to cry the ugliest cry, to tantrum, to rant and rave and wail. I reached out to my most trusted advisors for support and perspective and allowed myself to move through and to feel deep support.  In this, I found my way through the debris to the place where I can be open to what truly needs to manifest, knowing that in every death is the promise of new life.  I just don’t yet know what that new life might be.

I then created time and space away from all that might distract me from what I truly need to be doing at this time: SURRENDER. And in this surrendering, turning to what I know will guide me and support me in ALLOWING what it is that the Universe has in store for me – not a plan of my making, but one that comes directly from God and which is sure to be in my highest good, using my gifts in a way that is both fulfilling for me and in service to the betterment of the world.  And what I know will guide and support me is the very process that I created for others, Authentic Freedom.

In this process, I maintain diligent attention to my spiritual practice and apply the principles of Authentic Freedom for identifying and moving through the fears that might otherwise prevent me from seeing and knowing God’s plan when it shows up. I will then use the process of Authentic Freedom to move me through any fears or inner resistance to God’s plan so that I can step into the freedom that God has in store for me (and for all of us when we are paying attention).

The irony is not lost on me that all of this has occurred in proximity to the Fourth of July – the time we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the journey that secured our liberty. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, let us be grateful for this external freedom while taking steps to secure the only freedom we will ever truly need – freedom from the inner fears, resistance and unhealed wounds that might otherwise stand in the way of a life of contentment and joy.

Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy available now on Amazon.  Buy it HERE.

AuthenticFreedomcover

 

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Love – the true fulfillment

Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service for Sunday, September 7, 2014.  The theme:  LOVE

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Rom 13: 8-10

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 33: 7-9

Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9

Mt 18: 15-20

heartchakraclipart 

Love – the fulfillment of the law

As St. Paul observed, there is nothing else we need to learn in the human experience if we learn how to love. Coming to know the love that is our true and original nature, and then living as that love in the world, IS the “do-all, end-all, be-all” we are all looking for. When we know this love, we are happy, content, fulfilled and we know peace. When we live this love, we act accordingly. We no longer act out of our fearful and compulsive natures, instead acting only out of love. This is how we come to experience “heaven on earth” and how we show others to do the same. When we live out of the love that we are, we act as a mirror, causing the spark of love that lives within others to be awakened. Of course, they have to decide what to do with that spark of love. But even should they reject or turn away from that love, the love that we know within ourselves causes us to have compassion for those who are unable to accept the love that they are.

What would the world look like if everyone came to know the love that they are and then chose to live that love in the world?  

How are you called to more fully embrace the love that is your true and original nature?  

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Let’s Pretend

“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a helpful sentiment when attempting to remember the love that is our true and original nature. In embracing this sentiment, we are taking a leap of faith – entertaining the possibility that LOVE really IS our original nature….and not the fears and compulsions that tend to make up the human experience. For this exercise, you will be invited to momentarily set aside any doubts about love being your original nature and PRETEND that you believe. And if you already believe love to be your original nature, than this exercise will be even easier.

 

  • Sit in silence.
  • Believe that love is your original nature.
  • Imagine this love as a source of bright green or fuschia light originating in the center of your chest, near your heart.
  • While sitting in silence, draw your attention to this light of love in the center of your chest and rest there.
  • When you find your attention straying, bring it back to the light of love in your heart.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this source of love within you, that your believe in this love is growing stronger.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this love, that you are being healed of any inner obstacles to believing more fully in this love.
  • Believe that this love is cleansing and healing you of any places of past hurt or betrayal.
  • Continue this attention and awareness exercise for 20-30 minutes.
  • Record your thoughts, feelings and experiences of this exercise in your notebook or journal.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge the heart chakra as the energy center that corresponds with love. It is through the heart chakra and its related physical, emotional, mental and spiritual correspondences that love resides, along with all of our life experiences which have been a denial of this love. The effects of grief, disappointment, loss and betrayal are all housed within the heart chakra, hampering our ability to love freely. In order to know more fully the love that we are and to live that love more fully in the world, we need to find healing for the past hurts that have hindered our ability to love. Healing comes through active grieving and through diligent attention to forgiveness practices. Being freed of these past wounds, we are more able to love – both ourselves and others with the unconditional love that is our original nature.

What past hurts, losses, betrayals, disappointments are you aware of that may be compromising your ability to know the love that you are and live that love more freely in the world? 

How might you support yourself, or seek outside support for healing these past wounds?

 

Posted in grief

Revisiting Grief

As a Professional Spiritual Director, I have learned that grief is a valuable and critical tool in helping us to heal from the many losses of the human condition.  Today’s blog explores the ever-unfolding process of grief.

 

Grief Comes Back Around

It is not a coincidence that as I prepare to offer a workshop on grief  (to be held at Inner Sun Yoga Studio tonight at 6:30..drops in are welcome!), that my own grieving process would decide to pay me a visit.  Without revealing the gory details, suffice it to say that certain circumstances have re-opened some recent and not-so-recent losses and brought me back into another layer of healing through grief.  Tears have been shed.  Sadness felt.  I have experienced the depression-related shutting down of my brain.  I’m exhausted and just want to sleep.  In this I am reminded that the grieving process is certainly NOT the linear, goal-oriented process theorized by some, but is an on-going process of healing and release that in fact may never truly end.  Isn’t there, afterall, always a wound somewhere in our hearts where love once dwelled and was torn out through disappointment, loss, death?  I am beginning to think so.  The good news is that over time, with patience and attention to our grieving process, these wounds are soothed, comforted, and healed, little by little by little.

 

Holding Space for Grief

As I will share with the participants of tonight’s grief workshop, the invitation when grief decides to pay a visit is to be present to it.  The process of grief is a profound healing tool through which we are able to find healing for our losses, move past the “old” and be open to the new life that is forever promised on the other side of the grief.  It is in being present to and allowing the grieving process that we can facilitate this healing.  Breaking the rules of Western culture which say, “Move on, get over it,” we enter FULLY into the grieving process and cry, scream, shake our fists at God, sleep, sleep, sleep some more, retreat from the world, lick our wound, allow ourselves to be mad as hell, spend moments in the respite of denial.  When we allow ourselves to surrender to the process and BE PRESENT to whatever shows up, we are allowing the healing to take place.  When we suppress it, stifle it, ignore it, feel guilty about it, we halt the process of healing that is trying to take place.  So for today, I surrender to the face of grief that decided to make its home in me today, and invite the workshop participants (and you readers) to do the same when grief pays you a visit.  I promise that you will find healing and release in the surrender and that there IS new life on the other side, just waiting for you to discover and accept it!

Grieving our Losses

September 15, 2011

Inner Sun Yoga Studio

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Suggested Fee:  $10.00

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Being Human, Ponderings

Shaking My Fist at God – what to do when we are angry with God

When all the signs seem to be there for a particular outcome and the universe suddenly pulls the rug out from underneath us, what are we to do but shake our fists (or flip the bird) at God.


Today, I am mad as hell at God.  I feel a little (actually A LOT) like King David when he moaned, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Psalm 22).

All the signs were there (or at least I thought they were).  The house of my dreams.   I had given to the universe a “wish list” of what I wanted in a home for me and our children.  I knew the price range that I could afford.  I had minimal requirements of 3 bedrooms, a dining room, a living room and 1 – 1.5 baths.  Then I added my dreams:  hardwood floors throughout, an office on the main floor and hot water heat.  Then as I began perusing real estate listings last spring, this house seemed to rise right out of the mist, setting itself above all the other listing.  Then, when reading the details….you guessed it, my wish list:  a first floor office (which I intended to make into a meditation room/chapel), hot water heat, four bedrooms (yea, an office for me!) and as I later discovered – a place to add a second bathroom very easily AND hardwood floors throughout (underneath 50-year-old carpeting).  Then….all the other pieces began to fall into place:

The kids LOVE the house

It is not in the neighborhood I expected, but the kids were excited to be closer to the lake (Oshkosh is sandwiched between two large lakes and separated by a river that runs through the town)

The house needs work….and out of nowhere comes a contractor looking for a portfolio project who offers me a HIGHLY discounted labor rate to start his new business venture.

I end up qualifying for a mortgage (a miracle in and of itself)

Then here is the craziest miracle:  The house of my dreams has a bathroom that is in the craziest most indescribable shade of pink – toilet, sink, bathtub and tile – all this weird pink.  The sink is shot and I thought I would have to replace a sink and toilet…..when on a whim I stop in the local structural antique shop, Crescent Moon Antiques and they have THE EXACT SINK in perfect condition.  WHAT ARE THE ODDS????

It sure seemed as if this was supposed to be my house….the bonus is that this house would have allowed me to move my office into my home, saving $500.00 per month in overhead costs.   So, all that being said, here is why I’m ticked off at God:

God seemed to be giving me all the signs, seemed to be pointing me in the direction of this house and there seemed to be no other interested parties.  The road seemed to be made clear.  So, I put in an offer.  Then, out of nowhere swoops in three other offers.  AND……I LOST THE HOUSE.  I was (still am) devastated.  What the heck, God?  Now what am I supposed to do? Then add insult to injury, I finally had the courage to pull up my bootstraps and start looking at other houses.  WTH……The houses I looked at that are in my price range (interestingly…..houses prices in the same range as the one on which I placed and offer) SUCK!!!!   They are all dilapidated, run-down, condemnable houses.  YUK YUK YUK.  I came home yesterday after 2 hours of house tours, bawled my eyes out and slept for 3 hours (mind you, I’m also sick with a bad cold).

So today I am darn mad at God.  Did I read all the signs wrongly?  Was I just making it all up?  Am I nuts?  Why lead me along this path God only to pull the run out from beneath my feet?  Yeah, Yeah, I know…”it wasn’t meant to be….God must have something better in mind…it must not have been in my highest good…”  all the things I tell myself in my head and tell clients and students when faced with life’s challenges.  But you know what….I’m still dang mad!

I want that house and I want it now! (This is me doing my Veruca Salt dance!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU7nG3KvZDA

 

So, today I’m just going to be mad at God.   The good news is that God can take it.  Maybe in allowing myself to feel the disappointment and anger a place will be made where I can be open to whatever God has in store for me in this process.  In the meantime…I’m just mad and it might be a really good day to put on and jam out to “Ten Thousand Fists in the Air” by Disturbed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drTQaAaCeh0

 

What disappointments have you experienced in your own life that have made you feel angry with  God/the universe?

Have you allowed yourself space to feel that anger?

What healing did you experience as a result of allowing space for anger?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com