Posted in Spiritual Practices

“Peace, Be Still” meditation practice

Jay P. Raeder
Jay P. Raeder

Today’s blog comes to us via Jay P. Raeder, a regular reader and contributor to this blog.  Jay has discovered and honed a daily meditation practice which has helped him to cultivate inner peace and one which he is able to turn to when confronted with normal, day-to-day stress.  Thank you Jay for sharing this practice with our readers.  I trust many will find inspiration, comfort and help through your words and your experience.

Peace, Be Still Meditation Practice

When I first began to meditate, I had no success until I began to use the verse “Peace, be still,” which Jesus used to calm the wind and sea. While feeling the energy flowing throughout my body, hands and arms, I would repeat this verse in my mind. Breathing in the word Peace first, knowing at first that my inner breathing seemed shorter than my outer breath. Then breathing out, in my mind, I would softly and slowly say, “Peace, be still.”  After awhile, the outer breath became so prolonged that at the end I felt as if I was no longer breathing, or thinking.  I had discovered, the great “pause within the pause,” as I came to call it.


In this state, as though I were dead, a great peace and love filled my whole being.  This was a release not of this world.  Then, when I breathed back in “Peace,” this also became prolonged and I felt an energy surge through my entire body, making everything vibrantly alive with new Life and Light.  As I continued there was a great silence beyond the senses. I could hear the crickets singing a circular song of Light! I could see and hear beyond senses! For the first time I knew what Eckhart Tolle meant by the “Power of Now”!


The next day, the trees, and everything were filled with the glorious Light of the singing crickets in the great silence! In the binary code I had become the 0 seeing through God’s eyes – 1 for the first time! The silence and the empty space became the same thing, experiencing the Spiritual universe recognizing itself through me becoming the “Light of the world”! This is a supernatural practice! I hope your readers may take this seriously and try it for a prolonged period of time! Even if a person just reaches the release phase of the out breath, after a period of time of practicing this daily, they will notice the Peace and Light beginning to come back to them throughout the day and night deep within and out!  In amazement, they won’t be disappointed!

Sincerely, with love and prayers always,

Jay P. Raeder


Posted in Being Human, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Another Existential Crisis

For many adults, midlife, perimenopause and menopause put everything into question.  We question our vocations, our place in the world, our relationships, our family of origin, our past, our present and our future.  It is also during midlife that many question their beliefs – who or what do we believe in and why?  Today, I share with you an essay I wrote during one of those times of questioning. This essay came out of a period of study in which I was deep in the midst of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, and quite frankly, tired of being told that the path to enlightenment was to sit down, shut up, quiet the mind and silence my passions. 


Another Existential Crisis

I don’t know about you, but trying to attain enlightenment or striving for some sort of spiritual perfection only leaves me feeling anxious and assured of failure.   After beating my head bloody against the enlightenment door, I threw my hands up in surrender, sat down hard on my ass, with the cold steel door of enlightenment against my back, and quit.  In surrendering, in quitting, in ceasing to strive after enlightenment, I finally found peace.  Liberation came to me on that day when I realized that I am already Divine and that the reason I am here, the whole point of the human experience is just this – TO BE HUMAN!

So, if I’m here to be human (and maybe you are also here for this reason), why should I deny my passions, set aside my desires, sit down, shut up, quiet my mind?  Why do I have to be perfect, sinless, emotionless, bulletproof, impervious to pain? Instead, why not harness the creative energy God gave me?  Why not give voice to the words God wants the world to hear through me?  Why not dance, scream, shout out my anger, rage, wrath, sorrow, pain, despair, worry, depression, anxiety, panic and fear?  Why not poke the sleeping giant and set fire to a sleeping world?

God is the only God there is….why do we think we have to be him/her/it?  Can’t we just be the human beings God/dess made us to be and be happy with that?????  And where is the theology that allows us to be human?  Frankly, all I see in the world religions is a whole lot of teachers telling us we have to learn to be like God. I’m all for practices that help us to find inner peace, to cultivate empathy and compassion and which empower us to work for the betterment of the world.  And, if we came from God and are going back to God, aren’t we here to be something other than God?  And if we are here to be something other than God, then perhaps there is a place for our anger, impatience, passion, desire, lust, restlessness, etc. etc. etc.  So that being said…….

Where is the theology that doesn’t reject the way God/dess made us – unique expressions of the ever-living and ever-creating God, seeking to be known in the world?  Where is the theology that doesn’t ask us to deny, repress, suppress or transcend all of what makes us human?  Where is the theology that acknowledges that creation and growth come out of chaos, tension and pain?  Where is the theology that gives honor to the pains of birth instead of condemning them as a curse or as punishment for some mythological ancestor’s sin?  Where is the theology that honors as sacred the fecund, fetid, putrid, bloody, oozing condition of the human experience?  Where is the theology that sees passion and desire as God’s longing to be known and to be made known?  Where is the theology that allows us to be human in all the ways God wishes to experience the gift of being human? Where is the theology that doesn’t expect us to be God or that doesn’t set the drive for enlightenment as the supreme and ultimate task of our existence?  Where is the theology that acknowledges all that is good and holy and sacred in the human condition?   Where is the theology that recognizes that our origin is divinity and that we are here to simply be human?

Lauri Lumby mentors men and women in their journey of living as their true and most human self.  To schedule a one-on-one, phone or Skype session, call (920) 230-1313 or email

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Inspiration

Government Shutdown? It’s not over ’til it is over…and the end is up to us!


Well, the government shutdown has come to an end and the debt ceiling temporarily released.  Do not, however, let this band-aid approach to the issues fool you.  We are not out of hot water folks!  We are still plagued with the issues of a bi-partisan government, mostly controlled by special interest groups who have their own interests in mind, not the interest of the common good.  Our founding fathers established a representative government whose job was to work for the interest of the common good.  This model has been destroyed from the inside by the corporate greedy who have paid to put their puppets in office.  Granted, not all Senators or Congressmen are guilty of this, but the vast majority are, which leaves those with noble intentions powerless.

What does any of this have to do with the mission of birthing our Souls?  Quite frankly, it has everything to do with it.  When we remain silent to our own gifts, our call to be loving, compassionate and peaceful people, the structures outside of us reflect our own arrested development.  When we ignore the voice of our truth, suppress our uniquely creative gifts, deny the force within us that seeks fulfillment and joy, we enable a world where we are silenced, suppressed and oppressed, and we are vulnerable to the power structures which capitalize on the inner fears that keep us imprisoned.  In the end, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the current mess we are facing in our government, our economy, our medical structures, education, etc. etc. etc.  When our economy crashes, which is where things are heading,  and we are tempted to point fingers at the government officials and corporate power mongers, we might want to look in the mirror instead.  WE are the ones who put these people in power by remaining silent, by giving into the status quo instead of mustering up the courage to cultivate our own souls which in turn cultivates a culture with soul instead of the soulless culture we are now living in.  Yes, my words today might appear harsh to some, but desperate times calls for desperate measures.  What do YOU want to do about it?  Nothing will change and we will continue plummeting toward destruction until YOU do something about it.

1) Start with yourself.  Who are you and what do you want out of this life?  More importantly, what does your SOUL want? What are the fears standing in the way of birthing your soul?  Seek tools to help you move through these fears.  Finding peace within yourself contributes to a peaceful world.  Find a mindfulness practice that helps you to cultivate this inner state of peace.

2) Take time to listen to your Soul.  Hear what it has to say to you.  YOU have been uniquely gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection in your life and to work for the betterment of our world.  THE WORLD NEEDS YOU and your gifts.

3) Seek support.  Gather your friends.  Support each other’s dreams.  Empower the use of your unique gifts.  Enjoy the freedom of gifts unleashed and fulfillment realized.

4) LOOK for the people, organizations, communities you are called to serve.  Who needs your gifts?  How will the world be made better with your gifts?   Do what you are called to do.  Be who you are called to be.

5) AND  VOTE with your voice, your hands, your feet and most importantly, your heart.  What kind of world do you want to leave for your children?  A world controlled by fear and under the command of the greedy few or a world where we live in peaceful harmony, where the needs of the all are considered and fulfilled and where every single man, woman and child is honored as a sacred child of God?

The world that we live in is up to you.

Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Midlife Journey

Choosing Not To Choose

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about the courage necessary to fully embrace the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and through which we contribute to the betterment of the world.  Midlife and Menopause often usher in the process of birthing our Soul, and the end result is simply a matter of choice.  What happens, however, when either we feel as if we cannot choose something other than what we currently know, or we feel as if choosing the path of our Soul would cause ourselves or others too much pain?  In these scenarios, sometimes the choice is not to choose.

Choosing Not to Choose

One of my all time favorite songs about the Authentic Freedom journey is Freewill, by Rush.  In this song, Geddy Lee addresses the truth that sometimes our choice is not to choose:

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”


This decision not to choose is equally available to us in the birth of our Soul.  Some aren’t even aware that they have a choice.  They believe that life is “what it is” and have no conscious thought that life could be any different.  For others, the decision not to choose is made out of a perception that the choice of the Soul is not available to them.  They feel as if they do not have the time, money, support, resources, environment, freedom to choose the path of their Soul.  This is where the Authentic Freedom process provides tools through which one might overcome the perceptions around this choice.  For some, however, the decision not to choose is real because they do not have the freedom (or the civil liberties) to make such a choice, and do not feel called to risk their own lives and the lives of their families for that choice.  For many, the decision not to choose is a completely conscious decision based in the knowledge of the consequences of such a choice.  They know the consequences of the path of their Soul might mean freedom for themselves, but they are also conscious of the impact of their choices on the people around them.  Sometimes we choose not to choose because we do not want to hurt or harm the people around us.

Finding Peace in Deciding Not to Choose

In the Authentic Freedom process and philosophy, we acknowledge that authentic freedom, a life of enduring inner peace, contentment and joy, is independent of the external circumstances of our lives.  As such, we can absolutely choose NOT to choose the path of our Soul and still know peace.   In choosing not to choose, one is not doomed to a life of quiet desperation.  Without proper tools for managing the ever-restless Soul, the outcome might be quiet desperation, and this is where Authentic Freedom, and other approaches, which include mindfulness based practices, come in handy.  Whether we choose the path of our Soul or choose not to decide, we have access to age-old practices which have now been scientifically proven to cultivate and deepen contentment, peace and joy within us.

Lauri Lumby works with people one-on-one and in groups to help them connect with the mindfulness practices that work best for them and to then help them to establish a mindfulness discipline which helps them to cultivate inner peace, contentment and joy.  To schedule your own mentoring session, call (920) 230-1313 or email