Posted in Empowerment, Lessons, temptation

Fear Proportionate to Goodness

What would happen if we acknowledge some forms of anxiety as a signal that we are indeed on the right path?

Anxiety by the Cartload

Anxiety and fear are part of our everyday lives.  Sometimes, anxiety and fear show up as a survival instinct to keep us from harm.  Sometimes anxiety appears to alert us to a truth that we have not yet acknowledged.  And sometimes, anxiety shows up by the cartload as an unexpected ally – the signal flare that we are indeed on the right path and had better keep going!  Today’s blog explores this latter form of fear.

Coyotes and the War of Art

Julie Tallard Johnson in her book, Wheel of Initiation, Julie refers to this kind of fear as the Coyote Trickster.  The trickster shows up as anxiety, fear, worry and ridiculous life situations that try to deter us from our chosen path.  The stronger the trickster and the greater the fear, the closer we are to achieving our goal and the greater the goal itself.  The arrival of the trickster heralds the goodness of our path and how closely it reflects our highest truth and our soul’s purpose.  As Julie points out, our natural inclination is to run from the Coyote, to resist its presence.  Instead, we are invited to welcome it as a sign that something really good is about to happen.   Author, Steven Pressfield wrote an entire book on the role that fear places in trying to block us from our creative life path.  The War of Art is a must-read for anyone who seeks fulfillment in their lives and desires to overcome the blocks to that fulfillment.

Get Behind Me Satan

Satan is a Hebrew word that means obstacle or adversary.  While the Western inclination is to place this adversary outside of us, often depicted as the man donning the red morph suit, carrying a pitchfork with horns on his head, the traditional Hebrew perspective would suggest otherwise.  Instead, the adversary/obstacle dwells within us in all the fears, worries, anxieties that arise trying to keep us from the path of our highest good.  Again, the more persistent or the greater the anxiety, the closer we are to our own path of goodness.  Big fear = Big Goodness!  The question is, what do we do with Satan/the adversary/obstacle when it arrives?

Just Keep Walking

When we are experiencing anxiety and acknowledge that it might be a herald of something amazing happening, the invitation is to WELCOME it!  When we acknowledge the presence of this fear and recognize its higher purpose, it no longer has the power to stop us or to deter us in our path.  Instead, we bow to the adversary, acknowledge its presence and its role, thank it for showing up and then say, “GET THEE BEHIND ME!”  A story from the Catholic tradition that I appreciate in relation to Satan’s role in heralding the goodness of our path is the story of St. Margaret.  As the story goes, Margaret is swallowed up by a demon and undertakes a journey to free herself from the demon’s bowels.  Armed with persistence and her sword in hand, (because all good saints carry their own sword!) she fights her way to freedom, slaying the demon along the way.  The invitation for us is the same as it was for Margaret:  When we find ourself in the demon’s grip, take our sword in hand, face that demon, acknowledge it as a herald of our truth and the amazing things that are about to happen in our lives, slay that demon and then…….CONTINUE ON OUR PATH.

When have you experienced anxiety or fear that are in fact heralds of your path of goodness?

What tools do you use to move through these obstacles and fears?

What is the amazing goodness that is trying to be born in your own life?

copyright 2012

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Discernment, Spiritual Practices, Truth

Dreams: The Guiding Hand of God

Today’s blog explores dreams as a vehicle for Divine revelation.  How is God speaking to you through your dreams?

How God Communicates Truth

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I explain the infinite number of ways in which God seeks to guide, comfort, inspire, educate and reveal truth to us.  God communicates truth to us through our life experiences, opportunities for learning, physical and spiritual vision, imagination, intuition and dreams.  It is through these vehicles that we come to know our purpose, our path, to find meaning in our life and to discern truth.  Today, I want to talk specifically about dreams.


Dreams are one of the often forgotten ways in which God reveals truth to us.  The challenge with dreams is that few, if any, can be taken as prophetic or accepted as literal.  Because our dreams come to us through the creative centers of our mind, dreams can only understood to be a symbol or metaphor for a larger, deeper, broader truth.  But how do we understand the symbolic images in our dreams?  My writing mentor and teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson has the answer to that quandary.  She says that “We are the meaning makers.”  In other words, we decide what the symbols in our dreams mean through our own personal association with those objects.  This perspective is right in line with the Existential school of Psychology that would have us interpret the objects in our dreams according to the way in which we would describe the object to someone who was visiting from another planet.  For example, I once had a dream in which I had lost my purse and was trying to find it.  When interpreting the purse from an Existential perspective, I described it as “that which carries my identity.”  We interpret the items through the lens of our own personal experience and I had my purse stolen once and the most challenging part of the process was proving my identity to the bank when trying to cancel checks, credit cards, etc, hence “that which carries my identity.”  Another person might interpret a purse as “something that carries a means of exchange” or “that which carries the things that keep me beautiful.”

Dreams and Animal Totems

Beyond inatimate objects, other images in our dreams may be those of animals.  Every indigeneous culture has a tradition of meanings associated with the animals that appear in our dreams or cross our paths.   In the Native American tradition, these messenger animals are often referred to as totems.  One of my favorite books for researching the meaning of the animals that appear in our dreams is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  Ted provides, through the lens of Native American spirituality, the significance of hundreds of animals, birds and insects.   It is important, however, to weigh Ted’s interpretion along with our own personal associate with that animal, because once again, WE are the meaning makers and there is no one outside of us that knows our own personal truth better than we do.

Interpreting Dreams

If we wish to be open to the truth that God may be revealing to us, it is important to pay attention to our dreams.  When you awake from a meaningful dream, write it down.  Then, go back to the individual objects in the dream and assign a meaning to them based on your own personal understanding of that object.  If animals appear in your dream, consult Animal Speak and weigh that interpretation with your own experience of that animal.  Pay special attention to the emotions that come out of your dreams.  Were you excited, tittilated, happy, sorrowful, terrified?  How are these emotions reflective of something that might be going on in your own journey?  Finally, take the time to simply rest in the silence after the dream and the reflection to be open to what else God might be trying to say.  You might be surprised!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Inspiration, Spiritual Practices

When the Heart Speaks

Today’s blog explores journaling as a spiritual practice and what can happen when we let our body speak.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

When people ask me when I knew I was a writer, I have to scratch my head in confusion.  When was I never NOT a writer would perhaps be a better question.  I don’t think I have never NOT been a writer, and my writing passion and gift began to emerge more and more fully the more I gave myself over to the spiritual practice of journaling.  I was first invited to practice journaling in a high school Theology class ( I attended Catholic schools) and when in the Pastoral Ministry training program, journaling was one of the requirments of supervision.  I came to discover that God spoke to me most loudly and most plainly through my pen….and so I wrote, I wrote and I wrote:  scripture reflections, ponderings, etc.  I did the majority of my personal, inner processing through my pen and when things were really bad, poetry bled forth onto my page in shades of deep indigo (I ONLY write in blue ink….specifically Papermate medium point).  I have discovered guidance, comfort, healing and insight through my pen.  As such, journaling is an important part of my daily spiritual practice.   (For more on journaling as a spiritual practice, check out Spiritual Journaling by Julie Tallard Johnson.)

Writing Prompts

Yesterday, in search of some spiritual and creative inspiration, I turned to The I-Ching for Writers by Sarah Jane Sloane.  I flipped through the pages to find my “reading” for the day and received this writing prompt:  Write a one-page monologue as spoken to you by the part of your body that hurts. I asked my body, “Ok, who wants to speak today?”  My heart quickly stepped forward, “I am hurting and I would like to speak.”  “Darn it!” I thought.  “I am sick to death of hearing from my mangled and beaten heart.”  I sighed in resignation and handed over my pen….and boy am I glad I did.  Yesterday, this is what my heart had to say:

When the Heart Speaks:

Yes Lauri, I am hurting and bruised; but I am not broken.  I’m really more resilient than you give me credit for.  Do you think I’m really going to be shattered beyond repair for the reasons you think I might be?  Not hardly!  In truth, it is your ego that is hurting, not your heart.  I am strong beyond imagining…..which means you are strong beyond imagining.  Keep in mind that “heart” is the root of your word, “courage” and you my dear, are courageous beyond compare BECAUSE you are strong of heart.  This is how God made you because God foresaw the life that would unfold before you and the courage you would need to persevere.  It requires great courage to move through the challenges that have been placed before you and to lead the charge toward mental, emotional and spiritual freedom.  It takes enormous courage to leave behind what one knows, to turn the finger of blame into self-awareness and accountability and to name and claim not only woundedness and fear but to identify ones gifts and boldly share them in the world.  But more than all of this, it takes enourmous courage to love – and this you have done well.  You have loved generously, freely, without condition while still maintaining appropriate boundaries and remaining true to yourself.    I am not broken, weakened or blocked.  I will not fail you or betray you for in you I am strong and with every courageous act, I become stronger.  Too strong to be brought down by disappointment.  Too strong to be destroyed by misplaced blame.  Too strong to be intimidated by another’s unclaimed and projected fears.  I am strong in you because you are strong and in this there is nothing to fear.

How might journaling be a helpful practice in your own spiritual journey?

What part of you is hurting and might like to speak through your pen?

What would your heart have to say to you today?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Discernment, Divine Revelation, Empowerment, Inspiration

Calling Oprah!

Gulp!  Today’s blog is a reminder that in order to grow, we have to step out of our comfort zone! 

Unexpected Wisdom and Temper Tantrums

I have spent the past two years sitting at the crossroads of my own life, wondering now what?  What do I need to do to take my ministry to the next level….AND…make a living wage (preferably better than just a living wage) doing so – or do I need to scrap it all and find a “real” job?  Major life changes (like a divorce) tend to bring about these kinds of soul-searching question, often out of a place of necessity.  (I have to pay my bills and put food on the table afterall!)  The most recent answer to this on-going quandary came in the first four pages of a novel gifted to me by a friend.  Aleph by Paulo Coelho is the story of a man who is at the crossroads of his own life.  He had found that his vocation as a writer and his personal life had gone stale.  When he consulted his teacher “J” about this stagnancy, “J”‘s answer was “Get out of your comfort zone.”  For Paulo, that meant taking his show on the road and going on a cross-continent book tour.  As I read those words, I felt the earth beneath me quake, stars began falling from the sky and a lightning bolt came straight out of the heavens and struck me between the eyes.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  God was asking the same of me.  “Lauri, get out of your comfort zone.  Do the ONE THING you have avoided all these years….get your ass in front of people!” (Sorry, my God likes to swear.)  Boy was I mad.  “No God, I do not want to get in front of people.  I’m an introvert.  I hate public speaking.  I’m not good at it.  It scares me.  People scare me.  Travel scares me.  I don’t like traveling. What if they don’t like me?  What if I fail? Can’t I just stay in my house and write blogs, books and crappy poetry?”   Then I had an all-out Veruca Salt temper tantrum, “No No No.  I won’t do it!  I won’t!  And you can’t make me!”

After the Fire

After I expelled my initial shock and anger at God and after the debris began to settle, a strange sense of calm began to come over me.  I began to see the truth in God’s invitation, but more importantly, I saw how right God was.  If I want the message that God has given me to reach a wider audience, I need to go to them.  So I began to imagine what this might look like and a flood of ideas, inspirations, connections came to my mind.  And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was what I needed to do…..and I might even enjoy it.  Afterall, my introvert does enjoy a little extroverted playtime from time to time.  🙂  But then the real confirmation of my discernment came.  Sitting in a strategic planning session with my newly self-appointed Board of Directors, “taking my show on the road,” came forth as a strategic directive from the Board, naturally, effortlessly and organically with almost no input on my part.  When the idea comes forth from outside of me and isn’t just a figment of my overactive imagination, I know that God’s hand is steering the ship!

Calling Oprah

Things are never that easy though, are they?  Just when I think I’m ready to package myself as the next Marianne Williamson, the grumbling Israelites in my brain start complaining.  “Why did you lead us away from the comfort of our home to wander for two years in the desert?  Where are you taking us?  Do we even have a map?  What are we going to eat?  How will we survive?”  Before the grumbling Israelites got the best of me,  Oprah came to the rescue.  Who should Oprah have on her Soulful Sunday show, but Marianne Williamson herself!  I couldn’t not watch.  So I tuned in and a miracle happened.  As Marianne began to speak I realized, “Hey…..I teach that….and that….and that….and that.”  Every single word that came out of her mouth I have shared with students, clients, family and friends – anyone who will listen in fact.  AND…I didn’t get these teachings from Marianne Williamson or the Course in Miracles.  (I have never read the Course in Miracles and I read my first Marianne Williamson book last month!)  I came to these thoughts, perceptions, ideas, beliefs through my own journey of meditation and contemplation first with Hebrew and Christian scripture and informed through the 800 books on spirituality and religion that I have read across 800 cultures and beliefs.  If Marianne Williamson can be on Oprah, become a best-selling author and sought-after spiritual teacher, then SO CAN I!

Creating Affirmations

One of my spiritual teachers, Julie Tallard Johnson, is a huge proponent in the value and importance of creating affirmations as a source of support and direction in our lives.  Julie suggests that the strength of an affirmation (as opposed to an intention) is that it is a statement of something that we affirm to already be true.  An intention, on the other hand, suggests that something is not yet true and that we are yet to attain it.  So… is my affirmation and I’m sticking with it!

I am a successful author, writer and teacher.

And, I get to define success:  well-known and respected in my field, enjoying financial prosperity and fulfilled in my work.  And now, if any of you know how I can get ahold of Oprah, let me know because I plan to be the next author whose work she enthusiastically endorses!

What is the comfort zone you are being invited to step out of?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Inspiration

Author Tour: Julie Tallard Johnson

I first met Julie Tallard Johnson through her class, Unleashing the Manuscript.  For two months, I journeyed with Julie and eleven other students in the creation of the manuscript proposal that eventually became my first published book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  It is only because of Julie’s guidance that this book ever came to print.  I have since attended several of Julie’s workshops and have worked with her one-on-one in consultation on other book projects.  Additionally, I had read and journeyed through Julie’s most recent book, The Wheel of Initiation.  I have found in Julie a terrific mentor and teacher and am humbled to now call her colleague and friend.  She is a woman well-grounded in her truth and one who stands firmly in integrity and it is for these reasons that I enthusiastically recommend her to other writers and to individuals looking for the unique kind of counseling that only Julie can offer!   


The Antidote to Abandonment

Our life is strewn with rejections and abandonments. Rejections show up as early as birth for some (no bonding from parents), and for most rejections are woven into the tapestry of life along side missed opportunities, late starts, regrets, disappointments and losses. It seems that rejection and abandonment happens to us, when in most cases, we tend to abandon our selves.

Too many times we lay the egg only to then abandon the nest. Our clutter surrounds us as the reminders of abandoned promises. Dreams and commitments in the shape of files, outfits, unread books, notes, unfinished art projects, tools, magazines, recipe books, diet guides, exercise equipment, saved emails, supplies, unopened boxes, and the like are scattered about our outer landscape as abandoned roosts. Abandoned nests also come within the context of our relationships and social commitments.

I witness many abandoned nests in both the creative and spiritual life. For too many of us the enthusiasm comes only in the early commitment, the moment of making a promise, the making of the nest and the laying of the egg. Then we get drawn away to another creative idea or spiritual practice and leave that nest.

Lasting satisfaction comes from our breaking negative patterns that keep us in the loop of our pain story. If rejection or abandonment is a central theme to your pain story, you will tend to abandon your self at critical times. In the writer’s life this happens when we jump around from idea to idea but never quite complete that one idea. The egg remains dormant. In the spiritual life we get seduced by the latest spiritual fad rather than develop our own spiritual practice. We then lack insights that endure over time.

The antidote to rejection or abandonment is to keep going, open up even further, take the idea or project as far as you can. Finish what you started. Follow through on your commitments instead of jumping around starting new projects, joining a new group or over-committing yourself to some one else’s project. Keep to your spiritual practice. Instead of starting something new, begin again with the original commitment. Bring enthusiasm to what you already said yes to. Then, even in situations where others reject you, you won’t abandon your self or the egg you laid.

So, the antidote to abandonment: Don’t abandon your self.

Our rejections don’t have to cause us to give up on ourselves. Choose the eggs you will bring to life. Make room for this commitment by emptying out the old abandoned nests. Be ready to say no to other obligations. Take the next step close in to making this commitment happen, and then the next. The next step close in is the one nearest to you, often the one that takes the most courage. We tend to send our commitments too far ahead of ourselves by wanting to do the third or fourth thing. What’s the next step close in you can take to fulfill your promise?

Spiritual & Writing Prompts on and Off the Page —

  1. This is a wonderful time to remove the clutter and abandoned nests from your environments. Don’t continue to deceive yourself and say, “I will get to it.” You probably won’t. Let it go, make room for the YES in your life by getting rid of what you have actually said No to.
  2. Write about a time you were abandoned. Then rewrite it as an experience of acceptance and rejoicing.
  3. Write a rejection letter to some belief you’ve held but not longer accept.
  4. There are always deal breakers in a spiritual pilgrimage or a creative commitment – what arises as a deal breaker for you? (See Wheel of Initiation for more on deal breakers).
  5. Make a large circle on a page in your journal. Draw a line down the middle. On the left name all your commitments, projects, promises, possibilities, agreements, nests. Give this some time, look around your home (and closets) and into your relationships and calendar. Include it all. Then on the right side name the eggs you will bring to term. What that remains on the left side is clutter?
  6. Share your creative or spiritual commitment with others whom you trust. Accountability helps keep us enthused.
  7. Write on abandoned nests using the following words: early migration, arrival, devotion, leafy twigs, kernel, liberate, sea foam.

Join me and others on a spiritual or creative pilgrimage that will help you fulfill your promises.

Tuesday March 28th is the end of Writing Tuesdays at the Driftless Depot in Spring Green Wisconsin. Come celebrate the completion of this cycle & the first written draft of my novel. (8:00 am till Noon). Write with us, and then celebrate. Breakfast & mimosas are on me.

Julie Tallard Johnson MSW, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist who maintains a private counseling and consultation service, Healing Services On the River, established in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, in 1995. Here she offers the year-long Initiation Course based on her book, Wheel of Initiation, her popular spiritual journaling classes, Bindu Breathwork, writing consultations and one-on-one transpersonal counseling.  Julie can be reached through her website:

Posted in Healing, Lessons

“I Receive Everything as Love” – Revisiting the Wheel

In her book, The Wheel of Initiation, Julie Tallard Johnson invites the reader to get in touch with their “pain story,” the agreements that we have embraced in support of this pain story and work toward naming and claiming and embodying the intention that will help to facilitate healing and release of that pain story, and assist us in our path of spiritual growth.  Today’s blog explores and opportunity to revisit the Wheel and the gifts that it provides.




As I have shared in the past, I have been working through the Wheel of Initiation as outlined in Julie Tallard Johnson’s book of the same name.  The pain story that revealed itself to me as the one in search of healing is “rejection.”  I learned through this process that rejection has been the lens through which I frequently view my life.  Integrating the practices presented in Julie’s book with the practices of Authentic Freedom, I have come a long way in recognizing when this story rears its ugly head and have done much work toward allowing this pain story to be healed and released.  Apparently I’m not done yet.


Sparing You the Details

I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that the old, familiar pain story recently made its appearance…not once…but three times.  UM….probably time to pay attention.  Three significant situations that could easily have been viewed as some form of rejection, and three situations that opened up the door for my inner victim to feel wounded, betrayed, hurt, deceived, rejected.  The good news is that I am still human and have allowed space for my victim to be sad, to feel alone, to lick her wounds, to scream and to cry (all important parts of the grieving process).  The even better news is that because of the work I have done on the pain story and my fear of rejection (Chapter 6 of  Authentic Freedom), my inner victim did not have to retreat into days, weeks, and/or months of cultivated self-loathing.  Instead, I have tools I can turn to that allow the rejection to be transformed into love.


The Trick and the Question

The intention that I have been invited to embrace as a tool for healing the pain story of rejection is “I receive everything as love.”  What I have learned about employing this intention is that it is a bit of a trick.  It is about shifting my perspective and asking a question.  The question is, “Where is the love in this?”  Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that I discovered through this work that the three situations were really not about rejection at all…but it was only my perception that made it about rejection.  They were ALL THREE really and truly situations of someone saying “no” to me….I was not welcomed, I was not wanted, I was turned down and set aside.  It is how I internalize these three situations that determines if “I am rejected” or if I can instead receive these “rejections” as love.  That is the trick!  Do I allow the “rejection” to reach deep into me and destroy me (as I would have done in the past) or do I look at the situations from a different vantage point and see that what I might perceive as rejection is really and truly about love.  HHHMMM   It does require a bit of spiritual gymnastics….but this tactic really does work. 


Receiving and Believing in the Love

So, when I look at these situations from the vantage point of love, a whole new picture begins to emerge.  It is no longer about personal rejection, instead doors are open to seeing all kinds of hidden truths: another person’s pain story, validation of my own intuitive knowings, a reflection of what no longer supports the love I know myself to be, an invitation to leave behind what is no longer life-giving and supportive and permission to move toward something that is more in harmony with who I know myself to be today.  The love, I found, is hidden behind the mask that I would initially perceive as rejection.  Then here is the really cool part, when approached in this way, the “rejection” is transformed and becomes an affirming, nurturing, supportive gift that says, “See how far you have come….here is the way to love and thank you to persons X, Y and Z that showed you the path to more and more fully embracing your truth and more and more freely embracing the love and healthy intimacy you know to be true in your own heart”.  Now that is one cool trick!

What is your relationship with rejection?

How might you begin to perceive rejection in another way?

What are the gifts that past “rejection” have given you?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Being Human, Lessons, Spiritual Practices

Back to the Wheel

As I continue my journey through The Wheel of Initiation by Julie Tallard Johnson, I am more and more in awe over what a powerful tool this is for spiritual growth, healing and transformation.  Today I am humbled to share with you the most recent revelations on the wheel.

The Pain Story and Related Agreements

As I have previously shared, the pain story that I am currently working through with the Wheel is I feel rejected. Along with this pain story are a wide assortment of agreements that I have embraced to support this perceived rejection that are calling for healing and release.  Just to name a few:

  • I have to be right and therefore others have to be wrong
  • If I am perfect, I will be loved
  • Everyone has to love me, if they don’t then I have to hate them

I know, messed up, right?

In My Face!

Recently, my pain story was served up to me in the form of an atomic explosion.  I won’t bore you with the details, but after the dust settled, the universe showed me my part of the explosion and has invited me to face my own inner demons and take responsibility for them.  UGH!  Here is what I had to own:

  • When I feel as if my needs are not being met, and someone else is the perceived obstacle to me getting my needs met, I cultivate and harbor resentment toward that person.
  • When I feel as if another has rejected me, I cultivate and harbor hatred toward that person.
  • Because I don’t want to be alone in my pain and because I have agreed that I have to be right….I often find my inner victim sharing with others “how I’ve been wronged, slighted, insulted, rejected, etc.”  That way, I get to be right and the person who I perceive to have hurt me gets to be wrong.

Dang.  I hate it when I’m standing there in righteous indignation, valiantly waving my flag of victory (more like victimhood!) and the universe taps me on the shoulder and then holds up the mirror.  So after the fallout of the nuclear explosion, I find myself humbled and admittedly, a little shamed.  I could probably handle it if the only person I hurt were myself when I go to these defense mechanisms and agreements, but in truth, it is through these actions that many other people have been hurt.  In fact, there might be a trail of carnage behind me if I am totally honest with the role resentment, hatred and maligning has played in my 46 years on this big ball of mud.  That sucks!

What to Do?

So, now that the universe has made me look into the mirror of truth, what do I do about it?

  • I own the truth of what the mirror has shown me – the way in which I have used resentment, hatred and slander to protect myself from perceived rejection.
  • Acknowledge the agreements I have made around this pain story.
  • Make amends with the people I have hurt through these defense mechanisms.
  • Return to my intention:  I receive everything as love and explore how I can apply this intention to the most recent conflict.
  • I sense there might be a place for some recapitulation in this experience as well.  (See Julie’s book for a detailed discussion of this spiritual practice.)
  • Work on forgiving myself, lest I fall again into my pain story!  (Cultivating shame is simply another way I get to stay in my pain story).


So, I stand here humbled by these recent happenings, AND, I am grateful for the benevolent universe that DOES NOT let me rest for long in self-righteousness.  I am also grateful, again, for the process outlined in the Wheel of Initiation for helping me to name, claim and be open to healing my pain story and any other unhealed wounds around it.

What is your pain story?

Where have you recently come face to face with it?

What are the tools you have used to heal and give release to your pain story and its resulting agreements?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom Book

Foreword – Authentic Freedom, Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy

Time for a little shameless, self-promotion!  Today’s post is the Foreword to my upcoming book, Authentic Freedom, Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy. The Foreword was graciously and generously penned by one of my teachers and mentors, Julie Tallard Johnson and I am deeply humbled to receive these words.  I know Julie to be a person of deep authenticity and integrity and you can know that if she says something to be true….it most certainly is.  I do not take her words lightly which makes me even more humbled to receive this Foreword from her.  Thank you Julie!


I only read or recommend books where I am certain the author has walked her talk.

You are holding such a book.

The moment I met Lauri, to the last page of this book, I witnessed a journey of authenticity that leads my Christian brothers and sisters to personal freedom. This book is a simple and compelling means to claim God’s inheritance. Lauri offers genuine ways to heal the separation today’s Christians often feel from themselves, God and each other. It is a journey that you take on your own but not alone.

She points the way with a gentle but firm hand encouraging us to heal the divide between us and the Divine. She calls this journey one to Authentic Freedom. There are many “freedoms” that present themselves to us that in fact lead us away from our true nature and Divine inheritance. To avoid these you need someone who has walked her talk.

Her inquiry practices and exercises guide the reader gently through a process that can only lead to one’s true birthrights of inner wisdom and happiness. She doesn’t make false promises instead relies on your willingness to heal the divide from your side and take the necessary steps toward your spiritual legacy.

She bravely challenges one’s perception of God while borrowing from her studies in Lay Ministry in the Catholic Diocese, reveals Christian practices that offer direct experience with the Divine, and presents real means to the Christian Mystical Experience incorporating the Yogic Chakra system and her studies in Reiki energy. She doesn’t hold back and boldly reveals to the reader the hidden teachings of Christ that her studies and practices uncovered.

If you feel a divide within yourself, have had a painful relationship with the church, are searching for means to heal the wounds of the past, or want a journey that uses the teachings of Jesus the Christ, you have found the perfect book. Don’t set it down until you know what Lauri knows, God has been within you all along.

Julie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSW author of The Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light.

Posted in Lessons, Spiritual Practices

It is None of Your Business

In today’s blog, I will explore worry, compulsive planning and the need to fix other people’s stuff as obstacles to our own journey of awakening, spiritual growth and enlightenment.

It is none of your business!

There seems to be a theme emerging as I move through this stage of my own personal growth and transformation.  As I have been moving through this process of divorce and its accompanying professional and spiritual transformations, the words that keep showing up for me are:

It is none of your business!

What is peculiar is that these words keep showing up and they are showing up in seemingly unrelated areas.  If you read yesterday’s blog, you know that these words showed up on Sunday as God and my God Squad offered their response to my spiritual temper tantrum that effectively put them all on notice.  When I wonder how everything will work out, their unanimous response was, “Lauri, it is none of your business.” This was also the answer nearly one year ago when it was revealed to me in a very clear and obvious way that my husband of nearly 15 years and I needed to divorce.  I asked the powers that be, “How am I going to make a living and support my family?”  The loud and clear response (in a little more colorful language), “It is none of your damn business.”


The Inner Planner

My friend, Karen accuses me of having a freak brain.  I remember really weird things and can seemingly pull trivial data out of thin air.  Accompanying this “gift” is the ability to think of more than one thing at a time.  I know science suggests that this is impossible, but I can attest to the fact that I can indeed think of at least two if not three things at once.  While this may be a gift in some ways, it also proves to be a curse because my brain is rarely quiet.  The curse is that a fair share of the busy activity of my brain is planning.  On some level, my brain is constantly planning, what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it and while it is at it, it seeks to find the answers and solutions to all of my life challenges.  Another word for this constant inner planning might be worry. I suspect that this constant inner planning and figuring is some sort of attempt to feel safe and secure in an otherwise insecure world.  The Divine is reminding me in the words, “It is none of your business,” to be content in the unknowing and trust that the universe has a higher plan….one far better than what I could ever create for myself.

The Inner Fixer

The other area where “It is none of your business” was recently revealed to me through my work with Julie Tallard Johnson and her Wheel of Initiation. One of things we are invited to let go of in the Wheel is our compulsion to carry another person’s shadow.  What this means is that instead of tending to our own junk, we spend time judging others and in some cases, trying to “fix” the things within them that we deem broken.  I am raising my hand in admittance of my guilt in this area!  I have spent a large portion of my life observing the brokenness of others (especially family members) and planning how they can fix their brokenness and then offering my “expertise” and assistance in helping them fix their problems.  Julie would remind me that all this energy spent in trying to fix another is energy taken away from my ability to embrace my highest truth and my greatest joy.  It is also energy taken away from the only person I can truly fix….and that is ME!  The more time I spend trying to fix others, the less time I have to enjoy my gifts and my passions….my purpose in this world.  The mantra Julie offers when we come face to face with this temptation to carry and try to fix the shadow of another is “It is none of my business.” Yep, there is definitely a theme going on!  So, here’s a great song to remind us:   “It’s none of your business!”

Where do you find yourself tempted to plan, fix things, figure it out?

How much time do you spend in worry?

Where are you guilty of carrying the shadow of another or trying to fix another?

How might, “It is none of your business” be a helpful reminder for you?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries