Posted in self-actualization

My Favorite Books on Human Development

As a teacher of and guide for human development, I could not do this work without those who have gone before me. In my own journey of human development, I have come across teachers, guides and authors whose work has profoundly influenced my own journey, along with the work I do.  Below is a list of my favorite books on human development, those which have most supported me in my own journey toward self-actualization.  Thank you to all those who have gone before me!

Bridges, William (2004). Transitions – making sense of life’s changes. Cambridge, Perseus Books.

Kiersey, David & Bates, Marilyn (1984). Please Understand Me – character and temperament types. Del Mar, CA. Prometheus Nemesis Book Company.

Maslow, Abraham (1970). Motivation and Personality. New York, NY. Harper and Row.

Maslow, Abraham (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York, NY. Van NostrandReinhold Company.

Maitri, Sandra (2000). The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram. New York, NY.Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Maitri, Sandra (2005). The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues. New York, NY. Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Palmer, Parker (2004). A Hidden Wholeness – the journey toward an undivided life. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass.

Palmer, Parker (2000). Let Your Life Speak – listening for the voice of vocation. San Francisco, CA. Jossey – Bass

Plotkin, Bill (2003). Soulcraft – crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche. Novato, CA. New World Library.

Plotkin, Bill (2008). Nature and the Human Soul – cultivating wholeness and community in a fragmented world. Novato, CA. New World Library.

Riso, Don Richard & Hudson, Russ (1999). The Wisdom of the Enneagram. New York, NY. Bantam Books.

Riso, Don Richard & Hudson, Russ (2003). Discovering Your Personality Type. New York, NY. Houghton Mifflin Company.

Tallard Johnson, Julie (2010). Wheel of Initiation – practices for releasing your inner light. Rochester, VT. Inner Traditions.

In support of your own human development journey, check out our online Authentic Freedom Leadership Training.  (Click on the image below to learn more)

Authentic Freedom Leadership Training

Posted in Jesus, self-actualization

Jesus as a Model for Self-Actualization

Jesus became self-actualized and sought to teach others how to achieve self-actualization. Today’s blog explores Jesus and his teachings as a model of psychological and spiritual development through which we are empowered to become self-actualized and through which we are able to be freed of the obstacles which prevent us from reaching our full potential as human beings.

Has Jesus Become Irrelevant?

It saddens me that in our quest for intellectualism and individuation, Jesus and his teachings seem to have become irrelevant. When we pierce through the veil of dogma, however, what we see is that Jesus provides a model for psychological and spiritual development which supports the self-actualization of those following his example. What Jesus taught rivals the currently popular paths toward enlightenment and might even be more befitting those who were raised in the Christian tradition. While I acknowledge all these paths as holy and sacred and as valid means through which we can develop and grow as human beings, I contend that we are missing a HUGE opportunity by ignoring or worse yet, demonizing, Jesus and the gifts that he brings to the journey of self-actualization.

Jesus as the model

When we read scripture without the threads of dogma obscuring our view, what we see in Jesus is a man who came to understand the fullness of his human potential and who lived that out as freely as was possible. Examining Jesus’ life through the lens of psychological and spiritual development, we see:

  • A man committed to his spiritual practice.
  • Who came to develop a deeply intimate and personal relationship with that which he called “Abwoon” (God).
  • Who found healing, comfort, restoration, inspiration and guidance through this connection with his higher self.
  • Who, through a process of formation and discernment came to understand his unique giftedness and how he was called to live that out.
  • Who overcame the inner obstacles, temptations and fears which might prevent him from living this path with humility
  • Who learned and practiced the gift of spiritual obedience.
  • Who learned to surrender to and trust the Source that was guiding him.
  • Who was able to stand freely and without compromise in his truth, even to the point of death.
  • Who was a force for change and a voice for justice – ministering to and speaking out on behalf of those who had been ostracized by society.
  • Who challenged the laws that provided privilege to some while infringing on the rights of others.

Jesus as the teacher

Jesus did not go up on a mountain, become self- actualized, and then stay there. Instead, Jesus lived his self-actualization in the midst of the human race and taught others how to reach the fullness of their own potential.  Jesus accomplished this through his example, and also through his teachings. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those writers who attempted to capture Jesus’ model and message in the scriptures that have been handed down to us, as well as those that did not quite make the cut (many for obvious political reasons!).  Again, looking past the Institution’s attempt to doctrinize Jesus’ model of psychological and spiritual formation, these are some of the tools Jesus left behind to help us in our own journey toward self-actualization:

  • practices of meditation and prayer which help us to quiet our minds so that we can be open to the higher intelligence that speaks to us in the silence, that guides us, moves us, inspires us, comforts us, heals us.
  • stories which teach us about the call to justice, that speak to us of the importance of compassion and forgiveness, that heal us from our own fears and woundedness, that remind us of our own unique giftedness and the call to share those gifts in the world.
  • The beatitudes – pithy statements that demonstrate for us the natural results of our potential – as we grow toward our human potential, we are naturally poor in spirit, merciful, working for justice, etc.
  • Stories that remind us that first and foremost….we are loved….more than that….we ARE love and that the purpose of the human journey is to remember that love.

Reclaiming Jesus’ path to self-actualization

In honor of the upcoming Holy Week and Easter season, I am extending this challenge:  I am inviting us to set aside the wounds we may have experienced at the hands of religious institutions, to look beyond the veil of dogma and to restore Jesus to his rightful place as psychologist, spiritual director, healer, teacher and guru.  As we celebrate the miracle of Easter, the day that Jesus was first raised form the dead, let us allow for ourselves the Second Coming of Christ and give ourselves permission to know Jesus anew and to look at his example and teachings through new eyes.  And my prayer is that through the light of Christ, we might see the truth beyond the words and in Jesus find our own path to self-actualization.

The Authentic Freedom Mastery Program and Magdalene Priest/Priestess Training provide a structured process for supporting your own journey of self-actualization incorporating a non-doctrinal exploration of and approach to Jesus’ teachings. Enjoy a FREE preview HERE.

Posted in Spiritual Development, spiritual healing, Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Healing through the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual

Healthy human development includes the process of spiritual healing, specifically from the fears and unhealed wounds that might otherwise keep us from the path of our truth.  Healing and releasing these “demons” sets us on the path of true and enduring happiness and supports the ultimate goal of our journey which is self-actualization. I created the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual to support us in this spiritual healing.

A Seven Step Process for the healing, transformation and release of negative energetic influences. 

Created by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Magdalene Priestess, Shadow Worker and Spiritual Counselor

Whether we believe in the literal truth of demonic entities, or think of “demon” as a metaphor for either our own or collective fear, a critical part of the journey of spiritual development and growth is confronting those energies that might otherwise dissuade us from our path.  We might recognize the presence of these fear-forms in:

  • Challenging or harmful relationships
  • Past or current life trauma
  • Situations where our financial support is not flowing in a positive direction
  • Unexplainable health issues
  • Negative individuals or groups who seem to be attacking or interfering with our work
  • Feeling as if awareness of our gifts or contribution in the world is being blocked
  • Inability to make our soul’s purpose a success
  • Experiences we might interpret as bad luck
  • Crisis patterns
  • Worry, fretfulness, unrest
  • Physical or emotional fatigue

The further we move along the path of our spiritual growth, the more persistent and persuasive these fears become, to the point where they sometimes feel as if they really are a disembodied demonic entity trying to harm us.

Hence the value of having a diligent spiritual practice through which we might identify, confront, heal, release and transform these fears (See my course Authentic Freedom for more on this) so that we might continue along the path of our truth.  When even our most effective spiritual practices aren’t working however, it is helpful to have an even powerful weapon at our disposal.  It is for this purpose that I created and now share the Demon Binding and Banishing Ritual.

Learn more and register HERE.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Education Reform, mental illness, self-actualization

Self-Actualization: Where education, psychology and religion have failed

We stand at an important crossroads in our evolution as a species where everything we formerly looked to as keeping us safe; and supporting our health, development, and wellbeing; has failed.  Education.  Government.  Medicine (here including psychology). Capitalism.  Religion.  All have failed.  As it relates to Authentic Freedom Academy, I will focus on the three related to our mission of providing transformational education and empowerment:  education, religion and psychology.

Education, religion and psychology have failed.  Perhaps not from the perspective of some inside these institutions, but from the perspective of human development, they have failed.  Psychology is treating pathology only, and everything is pathology (anxiety, depression, panic attack for example which are just as often signals of our Soul’s desire to awaken!).  Religion teaches doctrine while ignoring the deepest need of the human heart which is to know ourselves and to know that we are loved.  Education remains primarily within the 19th century paradigm of creating obedient factory workers. While religion, education and psychology all insist their desire is to support human development, none in fact, are doing so.  Instead, they are, more often than not, working to keep people small, contained, frustrated and unhealthy.

Authentic Freedom Academy hopes to change this fact by being a resource through which people of all ages can be supported in their human development, the ultimate goal being self-actualization.

Self-Actualization is the term that Abraham Maslow used to describe the ultimate goal of the human journey – to become the fullest expression of our greatest self while harnessing our individual and unique giftedness, not only for our own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  Other pioneers in the field of psychology have used such terms as individuation, self-fulfillment, whole self, etc. to describe the deepest desire of the human animal to find inner fulfillment and satisfaction.  All agree that this satisfaction comes not from what is outside of us (money, power, wealth, material possessions), but is an inner quality experienced when our Soul comes to its own realization.  The Soul’s realization is called self-actualization.  The inner state of contentment and fulfillment I call authentic freedom.

AuthenticFreedomcover

Self-Actualization/Authentic Freedom is the mission of Authentic Freedom Academy.  Toward this end, we provide you with the tools and support you need to achieve your own self-actualization. We provide these tools (one-on-one mentoring, classes and publishing) because we believe that self-actualization is the answer to what ails our world.  Self-actualized individuals are more peaceful and content, problem-centered instead of ego-centered, live more simply, have a deep sympathy for the human race and a desire to serve their fellow human beings, are naturally democratic, collaborative and cooperative, enjoy an inner state of harmony and seek to create that in their world.  Self-actualized people are content within themselves and are no longer looking for something outside of them to make them happy so they are less likely to take from others and are more likely to give.  Self-actualized individuals know themselves and have come in contact with their own unique gifts and have taken time to cultivate these gifts.  After doing so, they are motivated to share these gifts not only for their own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  While detached and self-contained, self-actualized individuals can’t help but support the betterment of our world – sometimes just by being present.

Authentic Freedom Academy has made it our goal to support people of all ages in their journey of self-actualization, empowering them to experience authentic freedom in their lives.

If you are interested in enjoying the benefits of becoming self-actualized, consider scheduling a one-on-one session with Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Freedom, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices, world changes

How to Change Ourselves So We Can Change the World Part II

Today’s blog concludes the discussion on the recent government shutdown. Examining our government’s (senators, congressmen and President Obama are all culpable in this mess!) complete failure at the job WE hired them to do, we acknowledge that if we want things to change, first we have to change ourselves.  Yesterday’s blog examined the beginning stages of HOW we might begin to change and today’s blog concludes that discussion with a process for healing the fears that keep us imprisoned within ourselves and therefore by the powerful and wealthy few.

changing the world
changing the world

Suspend Your Disbelief

As my friend, Ted Balser (watch Monday for his debut column on this site, Ted and His Friends – Midlife Advice for the Slow White Male) often observes, “In order to grow and change, we must first suspend our disbelief.”  This is especially true of the personal development process that helps us to transcend our fears so that we are no longer imprisoned within and no longer able to be manipulated and controlled by the underdeveloped, so-called powerful outside of us.  True power comes from within and it is in naming and claiming this power that we find true, authentic, freedom.  While we may not be able to find scientific proof to verify the truths that will secure our personal power, thereby allowing us to transcend our fears, thousands of years of spiritual teachings (across traditions) and indigeneous cultural practices uphold the validity of these truths.

Finding Our Power

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I reveal, what I call, the seven core spiritual truths that we are invited to embrace in the process of ensuring our inner freedom and claiming our personal power, which when embraced, help us to transcend the seven core fears of the human condition (See yesterday’s blog for more on these fears).  If we had grown up in a culture where sound, personal development practices had been cultivated since childhood, we might already hold these beliefs.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture where human development only happens by accident…if at all, the result of which is collective arrested development (See Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin for more on this topic).  Sadly, most of American culture (especially those in positions of perceived power) has not development emotionally, mentally, psychologically or spiritually past the age of 12.  We do, however have the power to change this.

Transcending Fear through the Seven Spiritual Truths

Again, embracing these fears requires us to suspend our disbelief, thereby taking a leap of faith.  In short, these truths cannot be measured through empirical studies, because in truth, these are truths that lay deep within us and have nothing to do with the outward circumstances of our lives.  When we identify that a fear has arisen in us and then employ appropriate mindfulness based practices, the fear is transcended and we rest in the contentment of one of the following universal spiritual truths:

  • There is enough.  All of my need are being abundantly met.
  • I am uniquely and creatively gifted to assist in making the world a better, more peaceful and more loving place.
  • I can be my most authentic self and there is nothing outside of me that can prevent me from doing this.
  • I am not only loved, but am the very nature of love itself.
  • I am free to hear, listen and give expression to my truth.
  • I know my truth and the path of my highest good and I will discover this in a time that is perfectly aligned with my own highest good.
  • I am not alone.

When we rest in the knowledge of these truths, we experience love, contentment and joy and we are able to become our most authentic and inwardly powerful self.  In transcending our fears, we are changing ourselves which then empowers us to facilitate change in our world.

Lauri Ann Lumby works with people one-on-one in cultivating the practices of Authentic Freedom which empowers people to transcend their fears and to find a life of meaning, purpose and fulfillment through which they help to support the betterment of the world.  To explore Authentic Freedom mentoring for yourself, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

Posted in Being Human, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Midlife Journey

Nature and the Human Soul – Book review

During my own journey through midlife (including perimenopause leading to menopause), I have found in one author an enormous amount of guidance, support, validation and affirmation about where I have been and where I think I might be going.  Bill Plotkin, in his books, Soulcraft, Wild Mind and now, Nature and the Human Soul, presents a roadmap for the entire human journey, from birth to death – especially for those interested in living in a more peaceful, loving and harmonious world.  Nature and the Human Soul, the most recent of his books that I have read, provided me with affirmation and support for the midlife journey while affirming the choices I have made in my parenting and giving me hope for my elder years.  I love the work Bill is doing in the world and I highly recommend all of this books.  In today’s blog, I review Nature and the Human Soul

NatureandSoul

Moving beyond Maslow, Erickson, Piaget, Fowler and Westerhoff (among others), Bill Plotkin presents a model of human development which promises to transform our culture from one rooted in fear to one embodied in love.  Transcending the ecocentric, materialistic ideals of Western Society, Nature and the Human Soul – Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World,  re-imagines a culture in which the deepest yearnings of the human heart are met, at every age, by those charged with care, guidance and support and where every person is empowered in the birth of their Soul – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning, purpose, fulfillment and through which they are called to serve the betterment of the world.  Through his own personal insights and experiences, informed by modern psychology and indigenious traditions and practices, Plotkin presents practical advice and simple tools for cultivating a culture that is rooted in Soul and working for the benefit of all of creation.  Nature and the Human Soul would be of interest to anyone concerned with restoring our world to a state of sustainability, peace and harmonious co-existence and is a must-read for parents and teachers and others responsible for the formation of future generations.

Lauri Ann Lumby, author of Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joy and Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself. http://yourspiritualtruth.com.