Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Midlife Journey, Raised Catholic, Returning book

Church of the In-Between

The midlife journey is about birthing our Soul – the unique way we are spiritually and creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in our lives, and the way in which we are called to share our gifts for the betterment of humanity.  Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, chronicles the journey toward my own spiritual and creative fulfillment while providing creative tools through which you may do the same.  Today, I share with you a recent poem that surfaced in response to my own continued Returning and the unfolding answer of what it means to be priest in the post-modern world and beyond my own Catholic upbringing.

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Priest to the Church of the In-Between

Priest to those in-between

in an in-between world

in an in-between time

A Church free of walls

Free of name

A name-less, face-less God, or no God at all.

Free of doctrine

Free of Creed.

A Church, not of my own making

 It making me according to its need.

Priest without collar or stole

privilege or power

chalice or blade.

Heart and arms open

Meeting where you are at

in the places in-between.

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in creativity, Empowerment, teachers

Everyone Needs a Fairy Godmother

In the journey of birthing our Soul – the way in which we are uniquely, creatively and spiritually gifted to contribute to the betterment of the world and in doing so, finding meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment – we often get in our own way.  Hindered by our fears, insecurities, compulsions, addictions and false perceptions, we stumble and sometimes fall.  It is during these times of struggle that it is important to know that we need not accomplish this journey alone.  We all need guidance, help and support from those who have taken the journey before us.

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Fairy Godmothers, Good Fairies and Mary Poppins

Fairytales and children’s stories are rich in their ability to reveal to us deeper and higher truths.  Like every good myth, fairytales reveal the deeper truths of the human condition, specifically, the journey toward birthing our Soul.  Every fairytale is in some way a representation of the hero’s journey, as Joseph Campbell would call it.  One valuable truth often portrayed in fairytales is that we do not need to accomplish the journey toward our creative and spiritual potential alone.  Instead, there are helpers available to assist us, maybe even magically, in accomplishing  our goal.  Cinderella had her Fairy Godmother.  Pinocchio, the Blue Fairy.  Snow White, the seven dwarves.  Briar Rose (aka Princess Aurora) had the three fairies. Dorothy had the Good Witch of the North. And the Banks children had (my personal favorite) Mary Poppins.  What is common among these helpers is a sort of higher knowledge and wisdom, mixed in with a little bit of magic.

Spoons full of sugar and bibbity bobbity boo!

The gift in these magical helpers is their ability to see beyond the fears, illusions, addictions, compulsions and insecurities of those they are helping.  Glinda knew that Dorothy had within herself the ability to return.  The Blue Fairy saw the real boy hidden beneath the rigidity of Pinocchio’s fears.  Mary Poppins saw the love and compassion beneath the Banks’ attachment to work and the longing for attention beneath Jane and Michael’s mischief.  Magical helpers are there to see the truth beyond the illusion and to hear the truth beyond the words so that they can help us to identify what is really standing in the way of our creative and spiritual fulfillment.  Then, it is their job to provide for us the resources and tools which will shake us from our attachment to the status quo, help us through our fears and restore us to the path of our Soul.  To us, these resources and tools are no less magical than a spoon full of sugar and bibbity bobbity boo!

Today’s Magical Helpers

The Fairy Godmothers and Mary Poppins of the real world are those people who show up in our lives as a source of wisdom and support as we seek the remedy to our restlessness, longing, impatience and frustration.  Spiritual Directors, Therapists, Life Coaches, Creative Mentors, etc. are all there to help us find our way to our Soul, magical helpers who help us to identify the inner obstacles, unhealed wounds, unresolved fears, false perceptions and attachments that are keeping us from the creative fulfillment that God/dess intended for us to have, and who are then there to provide us with the tools and resources for releasing, healing and moving past those inner obstacles.  The greatest gift in working with these magical helpers is that if they are good, really good, we discover our own greatness and our own unique brand of magic which we are then called to share with others – thereby making us the next generation of Fairy Godmothers and Mary Poppins’.

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  For support in this journey, call me at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

Today, I invite you to join me in celebrating a new stage in my life.  At 9:15 this morning, I am boarding a plane for San Francisco to embark on a new adventure as a student in the Global PhD (Transpersonal Psychology) through Sofia University.  This is an opportunity that came rather unexpectedly, but resonates as a really good thing on SO MANY LEVELS!  As I board the plane, I am intentionally leaving behind that which needs to draw to an end and opening to spectacular and amazing things.  As a way to ritualize this new step in my path…I will be sportin my NEW Doc Martens.  🙂  So…here’s a little poem about what I’m leaving behind and one which will be featured in my upcoming book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself. 

 

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The Shoes That Brought Me Here 

I abandon the shoes that brought me here

It’s not because I’ve given up that I leave this place

Though one may be tempted to think so

Exhausted from the effort

Frustrated from lack of fruitfulness

I fought the good fight….

But the race is not yet finished.

Having beaten my head against the wall until it bled

Forced to ask the question, “Am I barking up the right tree?”

Laying down my guns

Setting down my sword

Lowering my shield

Surrendering to the Son

It’s not because I’ve given up

But for the sake of a different path

I abandon the shoes that brought me here.

Posted in Discernment, End of the World Prophecies, Inspiration, Uncategorized, world changes

Journeying into the New World

In honor of our entrance into the New World – a world no longer rooted in fear, but bathed in love, I share with you some poems that I wrote as I contemplated this leg of the journey for myself.  I owe a debt of gratitude to poet, David Whyte for being a source of inspiration for these poems. 

blackboots

Sideways into the Light

Turning sideways into the light

Like the gods of my Irish ancestors did

No longer interested in the fight

Leaving behind the self I have known

Entering into the unknown

A new life…on a parallel plane

In some ways the same…only different somehow.

Disappearing into the Hollow Hills,

and like the Tuatha de Danaan,

promising to reappear as something new.

The Shoes That Brought Me Here 

I abandon the shoes that brought me here

I leave this place,  not because I’ve given up

(Though some may be tempted to think so.)

Exhausted from the effort

Frustrated from lack of fruitfulness

Beating my head against the wall until it bled,

Forced into asking,  “Am I barking up the right tree?”

I fought the good fight….

But, unlike St. Paul, my race is not yet finished.

I lay down my guns

Set down my sword

Lower my shield

And Surrender to the Son

Not because I’ve given up

But for the sake of a different path:

I abandon the shoes that brought me here.

New Shoes

I’m done with the shoes that brought me here:

Sensible, boring mom shoes.

Wide, flat, footbed of cork, reinforced arch.

Wide-toed sandals and clogs.

 Practical Norse design.

Sensible.  Respectable.  Conservative.

Granola anyone?

I don’t yet know what my new life will look like,

But I’ve seen the shoes!

Tall, black boots – even thigh-high.

Combat-style Doc Martens.

Black patent leather…even bright red.

Go-go boots for the seven-year old writer who was told “No.”

Ballet slippers and heels without taps for the dancer within.

I abandon the shoes that brought me here

and strap on the boots that will carry me along the next leg of this journey.

All poems copyright Lauri Lumby.

Posted in Discernment, Divine Revelation, Empowerment

Seeking Clarity on our Path

Discernment is the spiritual process through which we determine our life path – specifically, what path will be in our highest good and is God’s intention and desire for us and what path is not.  Discernment is a tricky process and not to be entered into lightly and we are invited to be cautious of the danger signs along the way as we seek the path of light.

 

Identifying the Path of our Highest Good

“God’s will” might be a phrase some would use in describing the path that is in our “Highest good.”  The idea of pre-destination notwithstanding, this phrase may cause philosophical issues for most, if not many people.  I think of it this way…..the Source of the Universe (which some might call God), knows the path that is in our highest good and wants us to discover and follow that path because it is the best thing for us and it is the best thing for the world.  I understand the path of our highest good to be that which leads us towards the discovery of our highest and most authentic selves, heals us of our false-perceptions and ego-attachments, assists us in transcending our fears and leads us toward the discovery, cultivation and eventual sharing of our unique giftedness….in service to Love/God and in service to the world, thereby bringing the world to a greater state of peace, freedom, joy and harmony.  Cool, right?!  The good news is that the discovery/awareness of this path is available and accessibly to us RIGHT NOW if we but have the eyes to see, and the faith to trust in Divine Timing!  (ie: letting go of our need to “make” things happen, manipulate and control outcomes!)  This path is also recognized by some very significant markers/signposts/identifying characteristics.  Here are those markers:

  • The path of our highest good leads us toward freedom.
  • The path of our highest good leads us toward peace, contentment, joy, love, compassion, justice.
  • The path of our highest good is expansive, liberating, moves of its own volition
  • The path of our highest good is life-giving
  • The path of our highest good makes the best use of our gifts as well as our perceived weaknesses or imperfections

 

Beware of Grandiosity

So, let me give you an example of how one might begin to seek clarity in our path to our highest good.  I shared with you a few weeks ago the vision that I received that was given in response to my prayer for “direction and clarity.”  The image was of me in white robes, wearing a red stole, presumably presiding over mass/liturgy in front of a multitude of people also dressed in white.  My initial reaction to this vision was, “NO WAY…NO HOW….YOU MUST BE NUTS….GO AWAY GOD!”  Well, I know better than to question or challenge what might be God’s “call” for me, so for the past several weeks, I have been seeking clarity about what this vision might mean.  At first it seemed it was God calling me to the priesthood.  Then I came to understand that I am already priest in the work that I have been doing and will continue to do.  Then it seemed it was God calling me to “build a new church.”  ARGH!  Certainly the furthest thing from my mind, but an idea I could not at least examine, question, challenge and think about pursuing.  Somewhere in the mix of these ideas, potential calls, etc. came thoughts of  “Well, at least someone might finally get this ‘church’ thing right.   It is about time someone considers reforming the priesthood.  To heck with the stupid black shirt and collar, I will be a priest that dresses as the people dress.”  Is there a need for reform in the church?  You betcha.  Are there changes that could be made around our ideas of priest!  YUP!  And, as I have been discerning this call and wrapped up in thoughts such as these, it all felt big, daunting, a bit overwhelming, and dare I say “important” and “grandiose.”  How cool is it that God would call ME to reform the Church and the Priesthood.  HA!!!!!   Today, it seems, God is laughing ….. again….. at little Lauri as she tries to find her way in the world.

 

KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid!

Somewhere along this path of discernment, I had forgotten the #1 rule on Don Lumby’s “Rules of Project Management.”  (for those that don’t know, Don is my dad….and one of my greatest teachers!!!).  The rule is: “KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid!”   So after much discernment, consultation with my Spiritual Direction and local advisors and spiritual brothers and sisters, it seems the BIG VISION I received might not be so big.  In fact, it might be as simple as gently expanding on what I have already been doing and empowering certain individuals to do the same.  HMMMMM   Still not sure exactly how it will all play out…..but it feels good to know that it is not my job to CHANGE THE WORLD.  (ok, it is all of our jobs to change the world……I just don’t have to do it single-handedly as a priest in a newly formed church of my own making.  YAY!)

 

Where are you tempted to give into gradiose or big plans for yourself?

How do you recognize the path of your highest good?

How has formal discernment played a role in your own life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Faith

The Gods Must Be Crazy!

Taking a journey based solely on faith makes us wonder if we have lost our minds or if the gods must be crazy!   

Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen.
Because of it the ancients were well attested.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.

Hebrews 11

 

Today, I am taking another step on a journey that can only be described as  based solely on faith and faith alone.  This weekend, I am attending Kirtan camp, led by internationally renowned Kirtan artist and musician, Ragani.  http://www.raganiworld.com/  Kirtan is the practice of sacred chant from the Hindu and Yogic traditions, specifically Bhakti yoga.  I first discovered Kirtan through the yoga classes I attend at Inner Sun Yoga in Oshkosh http://www.innersunyogastudio.com/  and then had the opportunity to attend professional Kirtan events led by such names as Krishna Das, Durga Das, Wah! and Ragani.  The practice of Kirtan spoke to something deep in my soul and when I found myself at each and every event moved to tears, I knew that there was something in Kirtan for me.  I cannot explain why singing words I do not understand and can barely pronounce has had such a profound impact on me, I just know that it has.  Then at some point in my experience of Kirtan, I found myself desiring to learn more and in that desire, the idea of possibly leading and hosting Kirtan events locally.  Have I lost my mind or am I simply pursuing the unmet childhood dream to grow up and be Stevie Nicks? 

 

 

Here is where the journey of faith comes in.  I am not a professional musician, nor do I have any qualifications to call myself anything other than a hack musician.  I studied piano for 10+ years and sang in school and church choirs, but my piano talents are only fair and my singing pretty average.  Add to this two past traumas with performance anxiety and I am the last person who should even be thinking about leading or facilitating Kirtan.  But there it is…..something is compelling me to attend Kirtan camp with the idea of holding local Kirtan events sometime in the future.  I don’t think I have lost my mind,  but the Gods must be crazy! 

 

 

In each of our journeys, there are times when ideas, inspirations, visions, invitations show up that seem to make no sense at all, and yet we are compelled to follow those dreams.  Perhaps we are compelled to quit our job, end a relationship, pursue education, embark upon a new stage of learning.  Sometimes these visions show up with nothing to back it up, but faith.  Faith is what compels us to follow these ideas even in the absence of logic, evidence or proof.  This is when all we can do is step into the journey and trust that the gods know what they are doing – even risking ridicule, rejection or even failure.  This is where I step as I enter into this weekend of Kirtan camp and all I can do is follow the trail to where – I do not yet know….but follow it I will.

 

 

This weekend, I invite you to reflect on your own journey of faith.  What are the inspirations, dreams, visions you feel compelled to follow based solely on faith and faith alone?  Enjoy the ride! 

 To see a clip of Ragani’s Kirtan:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GkVsyIay-g

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.authenticfreedom.net