Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Showing Others the Way

A friend recently shared something on Facebook about the 12 signs of the Zodiac and our purpose in 2020.  The message for my sign of Capricorn said something like this:

Accomplishing the mission of your Soul and showing others how to do the same.

BOOM!  As I find myself at the place of choosing and committing myself to embracing the calling of my Soul to live a monastic-styled life, this is exactly what I feel like I am doing.

I did it.  I got here.  After nearly 55 years, I feel like I am home.  I feel at home within myself and I feel at home within the rhythm and movement of my own style of monasticism.  I feel content and whole after shedding myself of the fears, false perceptions and societal conditioning that stood in the way of my own inner arrival. I doggedly, persistently and tenaciously followed the yearning of my Soul and in doing so, I have found my way home.

I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one who shares this longing.  It may in fact be the universal longing.  Yet few follow the promptings, let alone follow its pursuit.  Fewer still have the resources or tools for helping them get there.  This is where I come in. As I have discovered, the journey to our Soul’s fulfillment is really as simple as choice.  But choice, as we all know, is not so simple.  In order to choose we must:

  • Know what we want (actually, not what WE want, but what our Soul wants).
  • Identify and move through every single resistance to living that truth.
  • Heal the wounds and overcome the past conditioning that says we “can’t” live that truth.

And we must do this over and over and over and over again.

Piece by piece, step by step, we have to peel back the layers of resistance, fear, attachment, societal conditioning, etc. that stand in the way of us living our truth. Understanding what our Soul wants is a journey in an of itself.  But that is nothing compared to the number one reason people either choose not to or quit this journey:

Because of what they might have to GIVE UP!

I can’t tell you how many people enthusiastically enter this journey toward their truth only to run the other way at the first sign of having to give something up.  I can’t really blame them.  I know what I have given up on this journey and it hasn’t been easy:

  • A marriage.
  • My church.
  • The promises of fame.
  • A Steady income.
  • The home in which I was comfortable.
  • A Retirement fund.
  • The Western idea of success.

Embarking on the journey of our Soul is never an easy one and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with any pop culture “Secret,” “Law of Attraction,” or “The Color of Your Parachute.”  (Have you noticed how Eckhart Tolle is no longer one of Oprah’s gurus of the week……I wonder why?????  ? ? ?  ) The journey to our Soul does not guarantee riches, fame or the Western idea of success.  The purpose of our Soul is not necessarily something that can be commoditized, neither will we necessarily make a living doing it (GASP!!!!!).

The journey to our Soul has nothing to do with anything “out there” and everything to do with what is “In HERE.” For each person in each lifetime, the Soul has specific needs and wants and this varies from person to person.  For me it is quite specific and is reflective of my INFJ (Myers-Briggs) personality and Enneagram Type 1 temperament.  It is also related to my passion, my interests and reflective of my unique giftedness.  It is also reflective of my Catholic upbringing and my Irish ancestry and temperament.  Your Soul’s desires will be similarly unique to you and reflective of who you are an where you’ve been.  While you may not be drawn to an interior, introverted, quiet, private yet transparent monastic life, your Soul will (and already is) guiding you to the place within you that feels like home.

The good news is that you do not need to do this journey alone.  I am forever grateful for the resources that came to me in support of my own journey “Home.”  I have then taken these resources and put them into a format that others can use and apply in their own journey.  Additionally, I am available as a one-on-one guide should you need one.  And there is always our online community – a gathering of women and men who have made a similar commitment to their Soul’s calling and who are finding encouragement and support from their sisters and brothers on the journey.

If you are looking for support in the journey of your Soul, check out all the resources Authentic Freedom provides!  All are welcome here.   

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Authentic Freedom Book, Christ Consciousness, church, Jesus, Mystics, New World, Oneness with God, Raised Catholic

Nothing Like Richard Rohr

Today’s blog: Richard Rohr, emerging church, beyond religion, unity consciousness, healing a divided world, what does it mean to be “church” in a post-modern world?

Before sharing today’s blog, I want to extend a profound thank you to all those who offered words of encouragement and support, along with your prayers.  When I accepted the call to step even more fully into my truth by initiating the “Gathering of the Tribe,” the “devil” came a callin’!  Every one of my fears and insecurities has shown up to test my resolve.  Any and all safety nets were removed and I’ve been free-falling, trusting (trying to trust anyway) that I am being carried to the fulfillment of this mission. I am committed to the mission of the Tribe and to the work of Authentic Freedom and will continue to do the deep inner work that allows me to show up to this mission each and every day.  Thank you for your love and support.  We cannot do this alone! 

Now for today’s blog:

No, I’m Nothing Like Richard Rohr!

If I had a dime for every person who has said to me, “your writing reminds me very much of Richard Rohr’s,” I would be the richest person in the world. As I have come to know Richard Rohr’s work, I can see how people might judge us as similar: we are both Type Ones on the Enneagram, we are both speaking on the topic of unity consciousness, we are both working to unite a divided world, we are both arriving at our topics from the perspective of a mystic.  But there is one very important thing that sets us apart from which I must insist, “No, I am nothing like Richard Rohr.”

No offense to Richard as he is speaking to a very specific audience in the great work he is doing in the world.  And he is working from within the comfort of his white, male, ordained, clerical privilege; deeply embedded in an institutional Christian mindset and supported by that institution. I am not.

Case in point: Yesterday, in Richard’s daily meditation email newsletter, he reflected on Making Christianity Relevant Again. While I agree with many of his points, if we ever hope to heal the divisions of our society and our world, we have to first recognize that the separation put forth by the Christian message is an enormous part of the problem….and it has been since the Jesus message was sold out to the fear, power, privilege and control of the Roman empire.

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When the message of love that Jesus came to teach became institutionalized in the form of Christianity, the love was lost and fear took its place. (Just a reminder, Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian and he never sought to start a new religion, but to bring forth the love that was already at the heart of the Jewish message.) Suddenly, we were unworthy of the love of God, we needed an intermediary (in the form of an ordained priest) between ourselves and God, and in order to earn God’s love, we have to pay, pray and obey.  The freedom that Jesus promised was replaced by indentured servitude.  We were no longer free. Instead, we became slaves to the institution and to the institutional laws (dogma, doctrine), that serve mostly to keep us from God’s love, or to remind us of how this love had to be earned and the eternal threat of that love being taken away.

It is not Christianity that needs to be made relevant – it is love. In fact, this is already happening and the unfolding of this is not coming from within the institution of Christianity, it is coming from without.  THIS is the emerging church that Protestants say they are looking toward and which Catholicism seeks to ignore.  It is happening in people’s homes, in popular media, in the publishing industry, in online communities – all those places where people are coming together to rediscover the love that is at the heart of every religion – the love that erases the perceived separation between belief systems, making their chosen teacher’s words relevant to an entire world, not just to the “chosen few” who will find salvation through obedience to the institution’s laws.  This is the work I am doing through Authentic Freedom Academy and another reason I am nothing like Richard Rohr.  I am no longer seeking to reform an institution (Christianity) that is part of the problem in the first place.  I’m going directly to the source which is love.

The place where I came to know this love is within, and it was from and through Jesus’ teachings (which are clearly written in scripture when we move beyond the doctrine) that I came to know this love within. This is the love that Jesus came to know within himself through his oneness with (that which he called) God, and which he then sought to teach others.  This is a love that is universal and available to every single human being that walks on this planet – and you don’t have to call Jesus your teacher to know this love.  In fact, if we look closely enough, we learn that this love is at the heart of most every institution that calls itself a religion or a philosophy.  Love is what we are all seeking to attain/remember and it is love that will heal the divisions of our broken world.

From the chair in which Fr. Richard Rohr is sitting as a white, ordained, Catholic priest, I understand his point – for him and for those to whom he ministers, perhaps it is Christianity that needs to be made relevant. But from where I am sitting, the only thing we need is love.

If you are in the Oshkosh area, please join us for tonight’s Gathering of the Tribe.  6:30 pm at Authentic Freedom Academy. 1103 School Ave.  Oshkosh. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Enneagram, Initiation, Jesus, Oneness with God, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation

The Secret Tradition of Christian Alchemy

Authentic Freedom – the Secret Tradition of Christian Alchemy

Christian Spiritual Alchemy is the initiatory process through which human consciousness is transformed from fear into love; from perceived separation into Oneness. This is the process Jesus mastered and then shared with his disciples, Mary Magdalene in particular.

As the orthodox interpretation of Jesus’ message took hold, spiritual alchemy quickly went underground, hiding in plain sight, to be rediscovered by those who had “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Over the centuries, the secret tradition of Christian Spiritual Alchemy found its way into the works of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, St. Benedict, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart and Julian of Norwich, to name a few.

Authentic Freedom, as it was revealed to Lauri Ann Lumby, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with the support of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, is a modern reinterpretation of this secret tradition – integrating Christian contemplative practices with Eastern Energy Medicine and Western Psychology, providing a tool that speaks to people of all beliefs in an increasingly pluralistic world. Here the truth of universal love is revealed and made real in the lives of all who complete this initiatory process.

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Authentic Freedom – the Secret Tradition of Spiritual Alchemy

Taking a non-dual approach to transforming consciousness.

Harnessing the rich tradition of Christian mysticism and contemplative prayer.

Employing the latest research in psycho-spiritual development in support of your self-actualization.

Utilizing mindfulness and creativity practices to facilitate healing, transformation and growth.

LIFE CHANGING!

 

Authentic Freedom consists of four courses which are recommended in the following order (click on the highlighted text for complete course descriptions):

whats-your-magic-lauri-ann-lumby-300What is Your Magic – Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts?

Discover your own unique gifts—the gifts you have been given to experience meaning and purpose in your life and through which you will find fulfillment for yourself and in service to the betterment of the world.

 

 

heart mixed medium painting with flames blue canvasAuthentic Freedom – The Secret Tradition of Christian Spiritual Alchemy

Learn the seven core fears that prevent you from being your most magnificent and fulfilled self, along with proven tools for moving through and overcoming those fears.

 

 

aramaic-lords-prayer-course-iconDeepening Freedom- The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus

Learn and apply the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus as a powerful tool for moving through the fears and inner obstacles for living your truth and fulfilling your life purpose.

 

 

 

living-in-freedom-enneagram-lauri-ann-lumby-300courseiconsquareLiving in FreedomChristian Spiritual Alchemy and the Enneagram

Exploring the Enneagram as a tool for self-empowerment and as a resource for balancing your fear-based perceptions and behaviors, ultimately harnessing your Soul’s purpose as a reformer, helper, achiever, muse, sage, strategist, enthusiast, champion or peacemaker.

 

To learn more about pricing and registration options, please click HERE.

Authentic Freedom is a trademark of Lauri Ann Lumby.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Divine Revelation, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

What is Magdalene Priestess Training?

Mary, The Magdalene is the only one identified to have completed the full course of Jesus’ teachings (“healed of seven demons”) and was initiated as co-equal partner and Beloved with Christ. It was to The Magdalene whom Jesus first revealed his resurrected/Christed Self and it was The Magdalene he commissioned to share the good news with the other disciples and to continue his work in his stead. As “The Magdalene” and designated “Apostle to the Apostles,” Mary was “the great tower,” shining the light of truth in a world separated by fear.

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The Order of the Magdalene continues this work in The Magdalene’s name so as to awaken the world to the truth of Mary’s role in Jesus’ ministry and life, and the higher truth of Jesus’ mission of LOVE which Mary alone understood, thereby restoring 2000 years of defamation at the hands of a patriarchal, hierarchical Church, further undoing the harm done to women specifically and the feminine in general. In restoring the Holy Feminine to the Jesus story, we also create the space in which the Holy Masculine can reclaim its place in our world, thereby supporting the world in the returning to its original nature in unity, harmony, peace and love.

Being a priestess of the Magdalene is about spreading the message of Mary’s true role in Jesus’ life and in the continuation of his work, but more importantly, it is about restoring the world to its original nature as LOVE.  As was true of Jesus’ disciples, priestesses of the Magdalene fulfill this mission in their own unique way, relevant to their own unique giftedness and the way they are called to share these gifts in the world in service to LOVE.  The ways in which current Magdalene priestesses are living out their call includes:

  • Counselors and Therapists
  • Holistic Healthcare providers
  • Artists
  • Writers
  • Wives and Mothers/Husbands and Fathers
  • Teachers
  • Professors
  • Philanthropists
  • Public Speakers
  • Shamanic Practitioners
  • Ordained Ministers and Officiants
  • Spiritual Directors
  • Massage Therapists
  • Hands-on Healers/Reiki/Acupressure/Healing Touch Therapy
  • Yoga Teachers
  • Meditation Teachers
  • Medical Doctors
  • Business Owners

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

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Magdalene Priestess Training supports you in:

  • Knowing who you are.
  • Discovering  your unique giftedness  and how the development and use of these gifts will provide for you a life of meaning and purpose.
  • Moving through the fears and unhealed wounds that might otherwise prevent you from using these gifts to their fullest.
  • Enjoying fulfillment in the use and sharing of your gifts for yourself, and for the sake of the betterment of the world.
  • Connecting with a like-minded community through which you will find validation and support for your own mission and purpose in this life.
  • Finding ongoing education and inspiration for the continued use of your gifts.

 

Magdalene Priestess Training integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

Specific Tools used in Magdalene Priestess Training:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

From Western Psychology, Magdalene Priestess Training draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

jesus

From Western Spirituality, The Magdalene Priestess Training has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which Mary, called Magdalene fully understood and which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of The Divine (the God/dess of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Magdalene Priestess Training, please contact Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS at lauri@authenticfreedom.love or (920) 230-1313.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Mission Possible!

Our Mission:

Authentic Freedom Academy is a center for experiential education, supporting the transformation of human consciousness through the integration of Western psychology and Western Spirituality, equipping students to be agents of positive, non-violent change in the world.

We accomplish this mission through:

  • writing and publishing
  • one-on-one mentoring
  • local and online courses
  • on-going service to the community

 

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Authentic Freedom™ is a trademarked protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

 AuthenticFreedomcover

Specific Tools used in Authentic Freedom™:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

 

HierarchyofPurpose

From Western Psychology, Authentic Freedom™ draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, Authentic Freedom™ has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of God (the God of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

jesus

What Authentic Freedom is not:

  • Authentic Freedom is not counseling.  Whereas counseling focuses on treating “disease” and supporting behavior modification and recovery, the focus in Authentic Freedom is self-awareness and deep, enduring transformation. Authentic Freedom may include the healing of old wounds and unresolved trauma, but it is accomplished through supporting deep, inner change.  In Authentic Freedom, anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not pathologized but are acknowledged as symptoms of the Soul longing for its fulfillment, symptoms that subside on their own the closer we get to the purpose of our Soul.
  • Authentic Freedom is not life-coaching.  While encouragement and support are a big part of Authentic Freedom, the emphasis is on personal responsibility, accountability and empowerment.  The goal of Authentic Freedom is that one day you will no longer need our services because you will have all the tools you need to fly on your own.

NOTE:  If you are under the care of a licensed therapist or life coach, you will find that Authentic Freedom complements this work by providing you with additional tools in support of your overall goals of self-care.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how Authentic Freedom might be for you. lauri@authenticfreedom.love or (920) 230-1313.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

What is Authentic Freedom?

Authentic Freedom Academy, founded by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, provides empowerment training through:

  • Local, on-line and e-courses
  • Workshops and Retreats
  • One-on-one mentoring and consulting
  • Writing and Publishing

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What is Empowerment Training?

  • Empowerment training arises out of the deepest longing of the human Soul to find meaning and purpose  in our lives through our own unique giftedness; acknowledging  that we are forever dissatisfied and restless until this longing is fulfilled.
  • Empowerment training provides the resources, tools and support we need to fulfill our purpose and satisfy this deep, inner longing.

Through empowerment training, you will:

  • Identify your unique giftedness (your magic!) and the passions that when engaged will give you a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfillment; and in doing so, helping to serve the betterment of our world.
  • Discover the deep, inner fears that are preventing you from nurturing and sharing your gifts.
  • Learn effective tools for moving through these fears so that you are more free to nurture and share your gifts.
  • Be empowered to experience the full use of your gifts and finding fulfillment in doing so, both for your own sake and for the betterment of the world.
  • Receive on-going support in the use and on-going expansion of your gifts and in moving through the resistance and fear of doing so.

Here is what empowerment training through Authentic Freedom Academy includes:

HierarchyofPurpose

 

What empowerment training is not:

  • Empowerment training is not counseling.  Whereas counseling focuses on treating “disease” and supporting behavior modification and recovery, the focus in empowerment training is self-awareness and deep, enduring transformation. Empowerment training may include the healing of old wounds and unresolved trauma, but it is accomplished through supporting deep, inner change.  In empowerment training, anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not pathologized but are acknowledged as symptoms of the Soul longing for its fulfillment, symptoms that subside on their own the closer we get to the purpose of our Soul.
  • Empowerment training is not life-coaching.  While encouragement and support are a big part of empowerment training, the emphasis is on personal responsibility, accountability and empowerment.  The goal of empowerment training is that one day you will no longer need our services because you will have all the tools you need to fly on your own.

NOTE:  If you are under the care of a licensed therapist or life coach, you will find that empowerment training complements this work by providing you with additional tools in support of your overall goals of self-care.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how empowerment training might be for you.  lauri@authenticfreedom.love

And check out our wide variety of online and local courses.

Posted in Empowerment, Enneagram, Freedom

Living in Freedom Class


It has been a LONG time coming…..I am excited to announce that I will be offering my Living in Freedom class starting May 19th! (see flier attached.) This is your personal invitation!
Many of you have heard me rave about the Enneagram, and what a powerful tool it is for self-discovery, personal growth and transformation. It is through the Enneagram that I learned of my compulsion of perfectionism and its underlying passion of anger. It has been working with the Enneagram that I have learned to identify the triggers which feed this inner dissatisfaction and resentment so that I might calm these triggers while cultivating a greater sense of contentment within. Working with the Enneagram has helped me to feel more whole, more content, more at peace and to find productive ways to channel the inherent giftedness (and dissatisfaction) of being a Reformer (Type 1 on the Enneagram). I have used the Enneagram with clients and students for the past 12 years with terrific results.

In this course, Living in Freedom, I use ancient wisdom literature to unfold the nine temperament types of the Enneagram. I then present mindfulness and creativity exercises as tools through which we are able to fully integrate the lessons of the Enneagram, while providing effective practices that you can use beyond this course to deepen your own inner journey toward self-actualization…..the place we are compelled to go in our search for meaning, purpose, contentment and joy!

I am giving you first “dibs” at the course as I will be limiting registration to 12 participants. Also….please do not let the “ancient wisdom literature” (Judeo-Christian scripture) dissuade you. As many of you know, my approach with scripture has NOTHING to do with dogma…..and everything to do with finding your own truth beyond the words. 🙂

LivinginFreedomFlier

 

Posted in Empowerment, Freedom, Midlife Journey, Spiritual Practices, teachers

“Mischief Managed” – Book Review for Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin

I’ve recently been enjoying the books of Bill Plotkin, psychologist, author, wilderness guide and cultural visionary.  I just completed his latest book, Wild Mind, and I LOVE IT!  Wild Mind provides a map for the journey of birthing our Soul, offering tools for spiritual and psychological healing and growth.  I love this book! 

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Assuming the guise of modern-day wizard, Bill Plotkin is his latest release, Wild Mind, presents readers with a gift akin to the Marauder’s Map of Harry Potter fame.  The Marauder’s Map is gifted to only the bravest of wizards and can solely be opened by those clever enough to uncover the incantation for its opening, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”  Upon opening the map, the wizard discovers insight into the potential obstacles and dangers along the path of their quest.  The Map of the Human Psyche serves this very purpose in the human quest for the Soul – defined by Plotkin as “a person’s unique purpose or identity.”

With Plotkin’s guidance, readers are invited to plunge into the depths of their psyche so that they may uncover and then transform all of the ego-constructs, defense mechanisms, and inner obstacles to living their Soul’s purpose.  With a breadth and depth akin to the Enneagram, Plotkin presents a comprehensive approach to spiritual and psychological growth that speaks in images and symbols that are universal and fully grounded in our indigenous spirit.  In his nature-based map of the psyche, Plotkin gives readers the tools and support they need to face all that they have hidden in the darkness so that they might bring them to the light in service to their unique identity and purpose.  In freeing their imprisoned Souls and enjoying the contentment, fulfillment and joy that this brings, readers can then confidently close the map, tapping it with their wand while proudly proclaiming, “Mischief Managed.”

Wild Mind is perfect for psychologist, therapists, counselors, ministers, and spiritual directors; for self-directed seekers of spiritual and psychological growth and would be well suited for an intentional group gathered around this same intention.

billPlotkinBill Plotkin, PhD, describes himself as a “psychologist gone wild.”  A cultural visionary, author and wilderness guide, he’s been blazing new trails for decades.  His ecocentric re-visioning of psychology invites us into a conscious and embodied relationship with soul and with the natural world.  His previous books are Soulcraft and Nature and the Human Soul.  He lives in southwestern Colorado.  You can learn more about Bill, his programs and services at http://www.animas.org.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Enneagram, Lessons

Embracing Temperance

Today’s blog continues the discussion on “Holding the Tension,” specifically, how to create balance in our lives and not being driven by the sometimes chaotic drive of our emotions while still allowing ourselves to feel.

Hidden in the Cards

Yesterday unexpectedly became a LAURI DAY for me. I completed the tasks I had planned for the day by 10am and then I had nothing to do and no kids in the house to please.  So, I embraced this as a time to read, reflect, rest, ritualize.  One of the choices I made that fell into the ritualize and reflect quadrant was to pull a card from my inspirational card deck.  The card I pulled was TEMPERANCE.  Traditionally, we think of temperance from a material perspective – not overindulging, taking only what we need and nothing more, sharing with others.  In the past two years, I have had NO CHOICE but to live from a place of temperance materially.  So, the meaning of this card had to be mental, emotional or spiritual.  It turns out that for me, the invitation to embrace temperance covered all three.

Emotional Intelligence

A little background:  As a recovering perfectionist, a Type 1 on the Enneagram, emotional intelligence is something that I have had to learn.  When rooted in my compulsion (as most of us are until we begin the journey of self-awareness), I had to be perfect.  Perfect meant being Mary Poppins – not showing emotion, being impeccably dressed in Talbot’s conservativism, collars buttoned up tight, shoes laced up to the knees.  To the world, I had to be put together and unflappable.  The only threat to this unflappable Lauri was the on-going tide and swirling current of chaotic emotions that were tumbling around beneath my stoic exterior.  The only way I knew how to survive the chaos within was to IGNORE IT.  The problem with ignoring emotions is that our Inner Spirit, our Inner Truth needs to be experienced, needs to be made known and when we ignore who we really are, when we ignore our truth, we feel RESENTMENT and ANGER.  As such, these were the only two feelings I really knew and as a perfectionist, the WORST thing you can feel or be is angry.  Now throw some shame and guilt on top of that messy pile of emotions and all you get it YUK!

Learning by Feeling

In perfect universal timing, the following showed up in my email box this morning as a reminder of the journey toward emotional intelligence for the Perfectionist/Reformer/Type 1:

The overall keynote of Ones is objectivity.
Ones attempt to be objective, rational, and fair-minded and to be unmoved by
personal desires or private passions that would interfere with their obligation
to meet their own standards. Notice today when you are being overly objective.
(Understanding the Enneagram, 132)

As these words remind, part of my growth journey (and the journey for many) has been to let go of these standards of rigidity and embrace the swirling chaos of emotions that flows beneath the icy surface of my temperament.  Since the birth of my children, the journey toward emotional intelligence has been my focus (not necessarily by choice, mind you!) –  learning to FEEL, ACCEPT, BE OK with what I was feeling, when I was feeling it.  I had to learn to feel joy, happiness, love.  I also had to learn how to feel the pain of loss, disappointment, grief, betrayal.  And I had to learn the source of all the resentment that was locked up in my body and I had to be ok with anger. In contemporary terms, I had to embrace my inner Kat Von D.  Not a journey for the faint of heart…..but necessary and valuable.  I would say I’m maybe 75% along the path of emotional intelligence (if we can even measure this) and at this point, I can say it has been totally worth it.  I don’t think I’d be able to do the work I do or write what I write if I wasn’t comfortable with the sea of emotions that flow through my consciousness….and that I suspect flows through yours as well.

The Catch 22 and Temperance

But, there is a Catch 22 to this discovery and acceptance of our emotions.  That is the temptation to get swept up, carried away and controlled by our emotions.  When we are too attentive to our emotions, especially those that might be rooted in fear, it is difficult not to react to them.  For me, this reacting to my emotions presents itself through compulsive behaviors:  spending time on meaningless, non-productive activities rather than doing the tasks that really need my attention, spending too much time on emails, Facebook, chat sites, worrying and fretting about things over which I have no control, seeking for “surety and security” in an unsafe world.  This is where my self-appointed Board of Directors’ wisdom comes in handy:  HOLD THE TENSION.  (for more on that, see Monday’s blog!).  Instead of reacting to my fearful, anxiety-ridden, worrisome emotions, I am invited to SIT WITH THEM….FEEL THEM….ACCEPT THEM…EMBRACE THEM.  Instead of running to compulsive behaviors as a way to fix, eradicate or solve an emotion….I am asked to BE WITH the emotion and ALLOW IT.  This, I believe, is the definition of TEMPERANCE and a great reminder for me today as I face a weekend of non-activity.  There is nothing I have to do….fix….or heal.  I can simply be……happiness, joy, contentment, anxiety, worry, fear and all and everything will be ok.

How comfortable are you with your emotions?

Where do you find yourself tempted to react to your fear-based emotions?

How might you practice Temperance today?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Healing, Mary Magdalene, shame, Surrender

Those Demons in My Head

Today’s blog explores those stubborn, deep, elusive, hard to heal wounds and where we can go for healing and comfort. 

No Doubt!

Yesterday while driving my daughter to volleyball practice, a song popped up on my CD player that spoke loudly and clearly about one of my own elusive, stubborn, hard to heal wounds  And….I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.  The song was In My Head by No Doubt.  Here the Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB0sH2OpPzE  and a portion of the lyrics:

I try to think about rainbows
When it gets bad
You got to think about something
To keep from going mad
I try to think about big fat roses
When the ship starts going down
But my head is wicked jealous
Don’t want to talk about it right now

[Chorus:]
Long distance
Don’t talk about ex-girlfriends
Don’t talk about you with out me
Don’t talk about your past

In my head
It’s only in my head
In my head
It’s only in my head

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

Demons in Our Heads

When scripture tells us that Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of seven demons, Luke wasn’t talking about the dudes in red morph suits donning horns and carrying pitchforks.  He was also not talking about the demons that make our heads spin around and vomit pea soup.  Luke was talking about the perceptions and voices of fear that plague our human existence and keep us from living in the peace, love and joy that make up our original nature in Oneness with God.  These demons, I have found, vary in their strength and stubbornness.  Some we can heal simply by naming them.  Others take years or maybe even a lifetime to transcend.  Some, it seems, stay with us until we die.

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

Stubborn, Willful Demons

There are two demons in particular who have plagued me for as long as I can remember.  These two demons say, It’s my fault and There’s something wrong with me. I have worked really hard to find healing and release from these demons, but I find the healing elusive.  The worst part is that these demons work together, rarely alone, at torturing me and keeping me imprisoned behind a wall of shame.  And, these demons are really tricky because they come disguised as the virtue of Integrity.  As a person of integrity, I strive to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I also want to own my part in a challenge or struggle before confronting another party.  I want to be clean within myself before taking a challenge out into the playing field.  I work really hard not to blame others before examining the mirror of my own guilt.  See how tricky these demons are?  It is truly a good and virtuous person who owns their own stuff, who does their own work, who can accept their own responsibility.  True……to a point.  It is the demons job to make sure that I never escape from the cycle of self-examination, culpability and blame.  It was ultimately the work of these demons that kept me stuck in my childhood wounds, seven years too long in an unhealthy marriage and hesitant to hold the other person accountable for their part in the hurtful end of a relationship.  It must have been my fault because there must be something wrong with me.  BLECH!

To learn more about the seven core fears (demons) and how to heal them, read Authentic Freedom.  Buy it HERE!

If at First You Don’t Succeed

Try Try again!   Or when all else has fails, turn it over to God.  This is the point I have reached with these two demons.  I have tried and tried and tried to find healing of these fears.  I have employed every tool at my disposal, every weapon in my arsenal.  I have employed the Authentic Freedom principles, the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, mantra, Tonglen, the Enneagram.  And still, these demons sing their evil songs in my head and perform their wicked dance, surrounding me in darkness like Rothbart, the evil swan demon of Black Swan fame.  Damn them!  Literally!  So last night while wrestling these demons in my head,  after trying and failing with rainbows and big fat roses,  I screamed out in defeat, “GOD TAKE THESE AWAY FROM ME!”  I’m done with these demons and done fighting and struggling with them.  Your turn God!  Of course God answered.  This morning, I opened up the scripture for today and here were God’s words to me:

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

Beside restful waters he leads me, he refreshed my soul.

Even though I walk in the valley of darkness

I fear no evil, for you are at my side.

Psalm 23

There you have it.  Today, God has the final word.

Who are the elusive demons that you struggle with?

How have you sought healing from these voices of fear?

How are you invited to give it over to God?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com