Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Forgiveness, Relationships, Spiritual Development

Spiritual Growth and Our Changing Understanding of the Divine

Below is an excerpt from my book, Authentic Freedom- Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  Authentic Freedom provides a comprehensive path and protocol for supporting our inner spiritual development, integrating the contemplative practices of the Judeo-Christian tradition with knowledge of the chakras.  Learn more HERE.

Buy it now on Amazon

 

In the beginning and middle stages of spiritual growth, it is helpful to perceive God as intimately personal and human-like and as something distinct from us.  At the same time, these personal images of God do not begin to touch the vast nature of our Divine Source.   Eventually, to truly embrace the fullness of the truth of Oneness, and of love as our true nature, we have to look beyond these personal images to something more infinite.  Looking to the deeper translation of the term Abwoon that Jesus so frequently used to address God, we begin to get a glimpse of the vastness of the Divine.

O Though from whom the breath of life flows and is present in all forms of vibration and light.           (Prayers of the Cosmos, Neil Douglas-Klotz)

It is difficult to grasp the transcendent, indwelling and infinite nature of God with our human mind, and so we have to reach beyond our minds to the lived experience in order to grasp this truth.  The writings attributed to John best express the fullness of this lived experience.  It is clear through these writings that the author had a deeply personal and experiential relationship with the I Am.  It is through this experience that the concept of God as love itself is most clearly articulated.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  We love because God loved us first.       1 John 4: 16b – 19

As the author of John experienced, God is love.  Applying this expanded understanding to our existing relationship with God, it stands to reason that if God is love, it is in fact, love that created us.  As such, the love that is God lives in and through us.  In this way, not only are we loved, we are love itself.  Love is, in fact, our rightful inheritance, our true nature, our identity.  We are able to live out of this true nature when we remember that we are One with God and hence, one in love.

HOLY VIRTUE – Compassion

As we accept the truth that we are One in love with God we become content in the love that we are and we no longer feel compelled to seek that love outside of us.  This love-filled contentment invites us to explore the rewriting of our fairytales.  As we (the protagonist) come to know the love that is deep within ourselves, we exponentially increase our ability to live in the truth of this love.  Knowing that we are comprised of love, we no longer need to build defenses around ourselves, and the fortresses around our hearts begin to disintegrate and we find that we can trust ourselves and others.  Understanding that conditional love can never be a source of fulfillment, we no longer find ourselves compelled to seek the handsome prince or beautiful princess that will be able to give us our happily ever after.  Love, we remember, is who we are. As we grow in this confidence, we are able to go out into the world reflecting the love that we now know within ourselves.  It is here that we shall experience the truest expression of the virtue of compassion.  It is here that we shall find our happily ever after.

Authentic Freedom is also available as an online course, facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, church, Forgiveness, God, Jesus, Oneness with God

“God” Does Not Save

I am going to bet that a whole lot of people are going to be either offended or frightened by a blog that suggests that “God Doesn’t Save.” Bear with me here…..I promise there is a happy ending!  🙂

Yesterday while working through some specific areas of trauma – healing and releasing them through a protocol called “Brainspotting” (under the supervision of a licensed therapist!), I had a staggering realization:

God did not save me, rescue me or support me in the most traumatic experiences of my life:

God did not step in and save me from being raped.

God did not save me from years of emotional abuse.

God did not protect me against betrayal.

God did not step in when the self-appointed inquisition harassed me, wrote evil letters about me, lobbied our local priest and bishop against me.

God did not step in while the Church broke my heart and refused to stand up for me, defend me or have my back when I was challenged, harassed and abused by the fearful few.

God did not step in when I found I had no choice but to leave the Church.

God sat back and did nothing.

Even after I had given my heart, my soul, my mind, my very being to God, dedicated my life to God, I got nothing back. I got nothing but pain for all I had given to God.

“I gave it all to God and got nothing back.” THIS is the very definition of co-dependency.  We give, give, give, give and get nothing back.

THIS is the “God” most of us have been brought up to believe in. A “God” who is “out there,” separate and apart from us.  This is a “God” who needs our devotion, our time, our attention, our worship.  This is a “God” who is fickle – who gives to those who have pleased “HIM” and takes from those who don’t.  But even worse, this is a “God” who takes even, or perhaps especially, from those who give.

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This is the “God” who sacrificed his own son. This is the “God” who let his chosen one be condemned, ridiculed, and crucified on a cross…..why?  “For the forgiveness of humankind????”  Let’s be honest, this is a ridiculous kind of God!  What kind of God kills his own son?  I’ll tell you what kind of God – one who is made in the image of “man” kind – specifically the unholy masculine (not to be confused with the holy masculine) aspect of humankind.  This is a God who was created by patriarchal, hierarchical institutions for the sake of their own power and control – institutions who created a God who is to be feared so that they could use this fear to manipulate their followers – a God who looks more like fearful, vengeful, fickle, jealous, angry humans than the God that Jesus spoke about who is LOVE.

So, no, God does not save – at least not the God who is the “old man in the sky,” out there who wants us to bow down to HIM and then just maybe “HE” will give us what we need to survive.

“God” does not save…..but love does.

God did not save me from rape, but love did. Love supported me in my grieving.  Love guided me to help and support.  Love allowed me to forgive….most importantly, love allowed me to forgive myself.

God did not save me from years of emotional abuse. But love did.  Love allowed me to find healing and support.  And again, love allowed me to forgive.

God did not save me from the Church who broke my heart, but love did.

God did not rescue me from the hands of the fearful minority or from the priest and bishop who had been poisoned against me, but love did. Love allowed me to heal.  Love allowed me to create a new home for myself.  Love allowed me to stand in my own truth regardless of the condemnation.  Love allowed me to be obedient to love.  And love allowed me to forgive.

So while I gave and gave and gave to “God” and got nothing in return, LOVE was there all along, supporting, guiding, healing, transforming and bringing me safely to exactly where I need to be.

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This LOVE is not “out there” hanging out among the clouds or in some heaven light years away. This LOVE is not sitting on a throne of gold locked behind some pearly gates.  This LOVE is right here inside of me, and this LOVE is right there inside of you.  This is the LOVE that you are and the LOVE that Jesus came to know within himself and wanted everyone else to know.  This is the LOVE that is our true nature – that holds the knowledge of our life path, the path that will give our lives meaning and purpose.  This is the LOVE that tells us what is right and what is wrong, what is true for us and guides us toward that truth.  This is the LOVE that compels, guides, and leads us toward the many opportunities in our lives for growth, healing and transformation.  And this is the LOVE that helps us find our way through the devastating and painful experiences of the human condition to the new hope and new life that is on the other side of the disappointment and loss.  This is the LOVE that leads us toward those who will support us in this love and this is the LOVE that helps us to recognize them when they arrive.

LOVE is what saves, and if you choose to call this LOVE “God,” (or “Goddess”) then let it be so!

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Forgiveness, Jesus, Spiritual Practices

How “Praying for Our Enemies” Works

Among all of Jesus’ teachings, the most difficult is the one where he asks us to love and pray for our enemies:

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

Matthew 5:44

How are we supposed to love our enemies and why on earth would we pray for them? The how is not so simple, but the why is:

As long as we are harboring anger, resentment, hatred, thoughts of retribution, wishes of ill-will toward those we perceive to have harmed us (or those we perceive to be a threat to us), we lock ourselves in a karmic loop of everything bad we are wishing for them. This karmic loop is based on a universal truth and a law of nature:

Everything we send forth into the world returns to us one-hundredfold.

Because the universe is inherently neutral, this is as true of negative feelings, emotions and perceptions as it is of positive.

In other words, it is CRITICAL to our own well-being that we pray for our enemies – specifically, that we pray for their positive well-being. The gift in praying for them in this way is that as we unlock ourselves from this karmic loop of badness, we are unlocking them, because as we have imprisoned ourselves by our hatred, we have created a prison for them as well.

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Now for the love part: It dawns on me that perhaps we have been misinterpreting the “love” in this reading as being a heart-felt emotion of loving care and concern, like the love we have for our children or like the love God has for us.  Initially, when praying for our enemies, I don’t believe this is the love that was intended by this reading.  Instead, I believe Jesus was talking about “love” as an energy and as a verb.  In other words, when we are praying for our enemies, it is love that carries that prayer – or rather, the prayer itself is love.  In praying, we are intending, sending love to our enemies.  Maybe not our love (initially), but the love of God that moves through us in our prayer.  The actual heart-felt, loving care and concern kind of love, I believe comes later.  This love comes about through our prayerful effort and by the Grace of God.  As we pray for our enemies, the hatred, animosity, perceived harm, hurts, betrayals, fear, etc. is slowly (and sometimes quickly) healed.  As the layers of pain our released, that pain is replaced by love.  The more we pray, the more we are able to see our enemy in a different light – no longer separate and no longer a threat – but as another living, breathing, hurting, fearful human being in need of God’s love and healing.  Here is where love is revealed and how this commandment finds its fulfillment in and through us.

In the end, praying for our enemies is critical to our own wellbeing and as we pray for them, both of us are healed and released – freed to be the people God made us to be: loving, generous, compassionate, peaceful and kind.

If this is too difficult to believe, start praying for your enemies, after all, what have you got to lose? Pray for your enemies and see what happens!

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Forgiveness, Spiritual Practices

Taking Back Our Power through Forgiveness

ForgivenessPowerMEME

When you hear a message three times…..you’d better pay attention! For me, it was the reminder of the critical nature of forgiveness in freeing OURSELVES from past hurts and pain as we free others of the strands we hold of theirs.

This is not forgiveness in the traditional a sense as an intellectual exercise of “forgive and forget.” This is TRUE forgiveness which is a spiritual experience that comes about

Through our own effort and

Through a moment of PURE GRACE.

What these three wise teachers reminded me of is that for every negative feeling, thought, emotion we hold against another for ways in which we believe they have harmed us, we are giving away a piece of our power. At the same time, we imprison a piece of their power, for as long as we harbor anger, fear, resentment, etc. against them, they are not free to get on with their lives.  And neither are we.  It’s a tricky cycle of harboring and imprisoning that creates a undertow of energy drawing both parties into the depths, unable to move with what would normally be the effortless flow of the river.

Clearly, as reminded by my three teachers, it is time to TAKE BACK MY POWER through the spiritual practice of forgiveness.

In exercising a spiritual practice of forgiveness, there are two primary practices I turn to:

 

The Ho’oponopono prayer – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness. It is a ritual prayer we say to ourselves around an issue we want to release.  We might also say it toward the other person if that feel appropriate: The prayer goes something like this:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

 

The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, specifically, praying and chanting the following line:

 

Washboqlan khaubayn(wakhtahayn) aykanna daph khnan shbwoqan

l’khayyabayn

 

Roughly translated, this phrase means:

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

 

Forgiveness here is about letting go of our judgment of another’s actions.

As we release our judgment and let go of the negativity we are harboring, our power returns to us and we are more free to be the people God made us to be!

If you are interested in learning more spiritual practices for supporting your own power, come to Monday’s Superhero Gathering.  Click Here to learn more, or check out our free course:  Starting a Spiritual Practice.  Click on the image below to learn more! 

StartingSpiritualPracticeCourseLogo

 

 

 

 

Posted in 6D, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Christ Consciousness, End of the World Prophecies, Freedom, Inspiration, world changes

Nothing More To Forgive – from Shadow to Gods

Today’s blog is for those interested in the evolution of human consciousness and where we are in our journey as we mark this full moon in Pisces (August 29, 2015) and the final days of Saturn’s journey through Scorpio as it draws closer and closer to Sagittarius.

For the past two and a half years, as Saturn has been journeying through Scorpio, we have been in a place of DEEP SHADOW work. As the archetypal Lord of The Underworld, Scorpio (associated with Pan, Hades, Gwynn Ap Nudd, Cernunnous) has been leading us through the darkness of our own depths where we have been invited to exhume the corpses of all those things we would rather keep hidden away.

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Individually and collectively, we have been forced to look at all those things we have repressed, suppressed, denied, ignored or locked away, hoping we’d never have to look at it again. Every past hurt, wound, betrayal, etc. has resurfaced to haunt us and every fear, compulsion, and rejected aspects of ourselves have risen so as to be seen. The past two and a half years have been reminiscent of the evil queen in Snow White looking into the mirror to see what can be seen. And what we have been shown has not been pretty.

This time of deep reflection and introspection has not been without purpose. As Scorpio has assisted us in bringing all of our darkness to light, it has been done for the sake of healing and transformation. We are being invited to see what remains to be seen so that we can heal it and change it – ONCE and FOR ALL! Saturn in Scorpio (for those who have been willing to do the work) has been a time of grand FORGIVENESS. Forgiving old hurts and past wounds, but most importantly, forgiving ourselves. Every unhealed wound, disappointment, betrayal, etc. stands in the way of us enjoying the FREEDOM that is our Divine inheritance. Every experience, memory, situation that we ignore or suppress keeps us from enjoying the fullness of our unique giftedness. Every part of ourselves we condemn, ignore, reject, imprisons us within fear and keeps us from the life of meaning and fulfillment we were meant to enjoy.

With Saturn in Scorpio, we have learned that forgiving ourselves is the key to freedom and that everything we judge outside of us as having hurt, offended, wounded, condemned us is ultimately a reflection of our own condemnation of ourselves. Scorpio holds us ACCOUNTABLE to no one but ourselves and assures us that it is not us against them, but us against our very selves. When we learn this truth and take responsibility for EVERY negative reaction we have toward “the other” as reflecting an unhealed experience within ourselves, we have learned what Scorpio wanted us to learn, and we, like Saturn are ready to move from Scorpio into Sagittarius. In Sagittarius, we enjoy the rewards of hard-earned wisdom as we settle into a life of authenticity and purpose reflective of our most authentic selves. In the journey through Scorpio, we had an opportunity to understand our excesses and appreciate the values of temperance and simplicity, tested in the fire of deep shadow work. In Sagittarius, we can rest and enjoy the fruits of our labors while allowing our deep inner transformational work to take root, anchoring us in a place of purpose and intent. In other words, after completing our journey through Scorpio, there is nothing more to forgive.

Mucha

“There is nothing more to forgive.” This is the message I heard in meditation this week while observing my own transit out of Scorpio and moving toward Sagittarius (which will be complete on September 17th….interestingly the day I arrive home from Muse Camp!). In this meditation, I saw the wounded, hurt, judgmental, dualistic version of myself as a shadowy version of me. I saw it standing in its place of perceived separation – where it feels alone, powerless, wounded and afraid. Beside the shadowy aspect of myself, I beheld a brilliant version of myself I have come to call, “The Goddess Queen.” This version of myself is my true self – a radiant, light-filled being attired as a queen, reflecting the power of a goddess. I this version of myself with long, flowing white hair, wearing a sparkling crown of silver and gold bedecked with diamonds and stars. I was wearing a long flowing gown in shades of white, stitched in brocade patterns of silver and gold. The gown was fitted at the bodice with a heart-shaped neckline. On my feet were slippers of sparkling silver and gold. I was the Queen. I was the Goddess. What I realized in seeing this vision is that I AM the Queen. I Am the Goddess. And this is the energy and power of my truest, most authentic self, the one I came to be on this plane.

Then I saw the Queen/Goddess approach the shadowy, wounded part of myself. And rather than reject her or send her away, The Queen/Goddess embraced the shadowy aspect of myself and brought her into herself. As she brought me toward her, she whispered in my ear, “THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO FORGIVE.” Then I saw the part of me that had worked so hard to complete the shadowy work ascend into the heavens as she was welcome by the heavenly host and ushered into her place in heaven where she could be rewarded for her hard work and find rest for all she had accomplished. Then, all that remained was the Goddess/Queen.

I AM the Goddess/Queen, complete with all the lessons I’ve learned, with nothing more to forgive.

And so are you! Your hard-earned journey through the shadows is coming to its own place of completion. You have fought a hard and difficult battle. You have taken responsibility for your own pain, your own fears, your own compulsions, your own projections. And in doing so, you have made yourself ready for the time of your own reign – the reign of the God/Goddess/King/Queen that dwells within you and that which will uphold you in your own unique giftedness and the unique way you are called to be a LEADER of change in our world. Congratulations, you have completed your mission….and there is nothing more to forgive.

 

 

 

To learn more about Saturn in Scorpio, go here:  http://www.cafeastrology.com/saturninscorpiotransit.html .

Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Jesus, Raised Catholic, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized

Beyond Church Part 2 – What People Really Need

Somewhere around 1995, I was hired by the local Catholic Campus Ministry (Newman Center) to implement and facilitate a program for adults joining the Catholic faith. Developing the curriculum and facilitating this program proved to me what I was already beginning to understand about what people REALLY need when it comes to matters of the Spirit and inspired within me a desire to be part of something that gives people what they REALLY need.

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Let’s start with what people DON’T need:

We do not need to be forgiven. If we believe what Jesus taught and what early theologians say about the meaning behind Jesus’ death and resurrection – we have already been forgiven (not that there was anything to forgive in the first place…but that’s a whole other blog post). Yes, we need to be open to an ongoing process of forgiveness – forgiving each other 70 times 7 times, and we need to be open to the grace of forgiveness over our own non-loving acts (freedom from the shame we feel, release from our resentments and reconciliation with those we’ve harmed). But if God loves us without condition, then simply by our desire to be healed of the brokenness we feel within ourselves and the hurt we may have caused others, we are already forgiven.

We do not need to be saved. If Jesus died and rose from the dead to save us and if this has already been done, what more saving is needed? If there’s anything we need saving from, however, it is ourselves – from all fear that arises out of the false perception of separation which then cause the non-loving acts we commit against ourselves and others.

Nothing needs to be earned. If God loves us without condition as Jesus taught then there is nothing to earn and nothing to be taken away. God loves us – PERIOD. More pointedly, if we believe in the truth that Jesus died for (Oneness with God), then there is really nothing to earn. God is love. We are one with God. Therefore, we are love. Period! We don’t have to earn our way into heaven and heaven will not be denied us. It is heaven on earth that Jesus was concerned about and this is the legacy he left behind.

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If it is true that we do not need to be saved or forgiven and nothing needs to be earned, then what role and purpose is there for church? Of course there is a place for Church (religion) in the world – first as an outward cultural expression of spirituality; and as a cultural way to formulate and enforce what the culture agrees to be acceptable behaviors between human beings. Church is also a way to express our human need to be culturally connected (ie. Find our tribe). And church is important for those who believe they need to be saved or forgiven and who believe heaven is something they have to earn.

Whereas churches can provide a great container for cultural norms, and offers to some a sense of belonging and others with comfort for their own inner shame or sense of unworthiness, I would argue that there are deeper needs that most models of church are failing to address. In my own journey and in providing ministerial support for over 20 years, beginning with the program for adults joining the Catholic Church, here is what I have observed to be these deeper needs.

People need to know they are loved.
People need to feel safe.
People need to know they matter – that their unique personhood is of value.
People need a life which has meaning and purpose.
People need unconditional loving support.
People need connection (to feel they belong).

To these I would add one additional need that is unique and specific to the modern world in which we are living – a world that becomes more and more global every day and which is being decimated by our misplaced need to be right and to have dominance over the earth and over another:
We need to be freed of the ignorance, fear and false perceptions that cause us to separate ourselves from the earth and from one another. We need to know we are One within ourselves, One with the earth, and One with each other (and ultimately ONE with God).

Authentic Freedom Academy, through our programs, services, writing and publishing, seeks to help people find the fulfillment of these deeper needs – for the sake of the individuals and ultimately in support of the betterment of our world. Find out how by exploring our website or contacting Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or lauri@authenticfreedom.love .

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Posted in codependency, Forgiveness, Healing, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes

The Fear of Rejection – Superhero Report

Superhero Report for the Week of October 26, 2014 

At this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings (Monday 6:30 – 8:30 and Tuesday 9-11 am), we discussed rejection – specifically, the fear of. In everyday life, and especially in claiming and engaging our Superhero gifts, we experience rejection.  In claiming our Superpowers, cultivating, and sharing them, we serve as a reflection to the rest of humanity of their unrealized potential.  This reflection serves to poke at their unrealized parts, which then initiates one of two reactions – the desire to stay and learn or the compulsion to run like hell. Second perhaps only to death, we fear our greatness.  Only the courageous and persistent and those willing to let go of the life they have known are able to realize their Superhero potential.  And when we do, it often ticks people off.  It is this fear of rejection that most often stands in the way of our ability to claim, cultivate and share our Superpowers. As a result, dealing with the fear of rejection is one of the final frontiers in the journey toward being a Superhero.

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The fear of rejection ultimately arises out of the parts of ourselves that have forgotten we are love. In Authentic Freedom, I offer a formal process through which one is able to heal these areas of forgetfulness, returning us to our original wholeness.  I recently discovered there is a shortcut.  This shortcut is Ho-oponopono – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness.  At this week’s Superhero Academy, we learned and put this ritual in practice, specifically as a way of tending toward those places within us where we are resistant to our Superpowers.  Specifically related to the claiming and sharing of our Divine call and the use of our Superpowers (spiritual gifts), here is how it works:

  • Close your eyes and sit or rest in silence.
  • Bring to mind a gift, an invitation, a call that has revealed itself to you – perhaps it’s an idea or a dream you have always wanted to pursue but haven’t yet.
  • As you think about this gift, etc. become aware of any areas of constriction that arise in your body – feelings of tightness, tension.
  • Be aware of any emotions, thoughts, images that arise, or the voice of doubt, condemnation, judgment telling you all the reasons you should not or cannot pursue this dream.
  • Recognize that voice of resistance, doubt, etc. as a part of yourself that has forgotten it is love.
  • Silently or aloud, say/pray to that part of yourself the Ho’oponopono prayer formula:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

  • Continue this prayer until you feel the resistance in you change, relax or release.

 

In short, the Ho’oponopono prayer recognizes that we are doing harm to ourselves when we deny our Soul its call, its purpose. As such, saying I’m sorry, etc. is our highest self offering unconditional love and healing to the part of us that is afraid and feeling unloved.

In the coming week, try this formula in every situation where you feel resistant to your dreams and see what happens!

 

 

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 Being Human, Death, Forgiveness, grief

Permission NOT to be Enlightened when Grieving

Perfectionist and the quest for enlightenment

As a recovering perfectionist, the quest for “enlightenment” (ahem….perfection) has been high on my list of desired accomplishments. I’m nowhere near attaining that goal, but it is still on my wish list. Enlightened people are perfect you see….calm, cool, responsible, unflappable. Enlightened people have a high set of standards and they live by them.  Enlightened people are kind, thoughtful, forgiving, loving, generous, humble and patient.  All this is true of enlightened people…….except when they are grieving.  Here is how I learned this important truth.

Divine Irony

God is funny…..or, as my daughter says, “He just thinks he is.”  Just days before my aunt was rushed to the hospital and eventually gave in to the complications of COPD, I had embraced a forgiveness practice.  With a combination of the Ho’oponopono prayer and my own method of “praying for and loving my enemies,”  I was intentionally searching my consciousness for people toward whom I was still harboring resentment for past hurts, and surrounding other people who annoyed me or tempted my ire with love.  I was doing a pretty good job maintaining my practice and I was feeling really good about the love it seemed I was cultivating.  Then my aunt died and all hell broke loose.  Pretty soon I was ranting and raving over past hurts and casting dispersions toward anyone who ticked me off.  I found myself frequently rattling off the curse I have in the past saved for only the worst of the worst….”f….those f’ing…..f’ers.” (Yes….those on the quest for enlightenment use the F-word.) 🙂

frustration

Permission to be human

As I’ve been witnessing my own regression, there were a few moments in which I was tempted to judge my behavior as bad, corrupt, imperfect and punish myself through self-condemnation and self- loathing.  Instead, I decided that when we are grieving, we all get a “Get out of jail free” card.  When grieving, we are allowed to be as human as we need to be to process the grief.  If in the midst of grieving the loss of my aunt I need to hate a few people, then so be it.  If I need to go on a rant about everything or nothing in particular, that is ok.  If I need to crawl into a ball on the floor and suck my thumb or pull out a full-on 2-year old temper tantrum, then more power to me.  And…..more power to you when you need to do the same.  When we are grieving, we don’t need to be enlightened, or perfect, or patient, or pleasant, or accommodating, or anything we don’t want to be.  When we are grieving, we have permission to be human…..to be vulnerable, afraid, anxious, worried, sorrowful, hurting, damaged, wounded, depressed, angry, hateful, etc. etc. etc.  And….thank God/dess, because when we are busy trying to be perfect, it is awful hard for us to receive the help, and love, and support of those who are here to comfort us in our grief.  If it were not for our humanness, we would not be able to receive the loving care of another human being which is one of the primary needs in our process of healing. And those who want to help us heal would not be able to share their gift of loving compassion.  When grieving, perfection and enlightenment can wait, we have grieving to do so that we can find healing and the new life on the other side of the loss.  When we have found a little healing, then we can return to the quest for perfection…or enlightenment…or ascension…..or whatever you want to call it…..or we can just go on being human.

 

Posted in Divine Revelation, Forgiveness, Healing, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices

Magic Crystals, Life Reviews, and Spiritual Growth

Miracles

I love when the Universe (aka God/dess) gives us exactly what we need.  This week, when struggling with particular areas of “stuckness” in my life, three miracles happened. In the first miracle, a crystal was returned to me (that I had forgotten I had lent out) that has miraculous powers to UNSTICK stuck situations.  I have used it in the past and shared it with friends, all with spectacular results. The second miracle was that the crystal was returned to me just prior to the August Super Moon (full).  The full moon is traditionally a time for meditating and stating intentions around things in our life we would like to let go of or be freed from.  Saturday morning, with crystal in hand, I lit a candle and stated my intention to be freed/unstuck from these specific areas of stuckness.  As I was meditating, the crystal LITERALLY jumped in my hand.  It scared the heck out of me.  I told you it was a powerful crystal!  The third miracle happened through a life-review.  While in yoga, meditating, just going about my day, memories of situations arose in which I had experienced conflict with another human being.  Supporting this life review were conversations with my children and a few friends which brought up certain persons of interest, along with memories of how I had felt hurt by these individuals and the grudges I was still holding toward them.  This life review went on for one full day and during yoga on Sunday morning, I could not silence the review and the accompanying feelings of resentment.  Until somewhere in the middle of a sun salutation, I heard the words, “Love your enemy and pray for them.”

Anorthoclase crystal from Mt. Erebus in Antarctica
Anorthoclase crystal

God Always Answers our Prayers

So, here I am thinking the answer to my full moon intention is going to come in physical form, when in fact, what is CAUSING the stuckness that I am perceiving as material is actually spiritual in nature.  Specifically, the source of my stuckness is my perfectionistic harboring of resentment. In this, I also became acutely aware of all the situations in my life where I prevent the flow of love toward another human being – toward my abusive neighbor, for example, toward my ex-husband when I harbor negative thoughts, toward others who I perceive as potentially harmful or dangerous, toward those with whom I feel the need to set or maintain certain boundaries, toward those I suspect will reject me, and toward those who have condemned me.  In all these situations, I am aware of the inner posturing of defense and a withholding of love.  So here, rather quickly I might add, is the fulfillment of my full moon intention.  LOVE MY ENEMY and PRAY FOR THEM…..and then I will be unstuck!

Loving my enemy

In the spirit of the command to love my enemy and pray for them, this is exactly what I am doing.  When I am aware of the inner constriction that happens when I am defending against a perceived enemy, judging or condemning them, I am shifting my awareness from constricting to holding them in love.  When I have negative thoughts, feel hatred or resentment toward another, I turn that around and send them love instead.  Additionally, I have been purposefully bringing to mind those with whom I have had conflict and harbored resentment, and I am holding them in love and sending them prayers of love.  Interestingly, this very sentiment of loving one’s enemy was expressed by Jesus in is second-to last words on the cross, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”  Only after expressing these sentiments was Jesus ready to surrender himself to death, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”  Is this true for us as well…..is forgiveness the final obstacle to living in oneness with God on this earth?  Hmmmm….I wonder.