I often think one of the biggest obstacle to people getting the spiritual support and guidance they need is the illusion that spiritual teachers are perfect or that we are inhuman (untouchable, unreachable) in some way. As one who has been called a “spiritual teacher” and who has crafted a public presence around this work, I will be the first to tell you that this illusion could not be farther from the truth. If someone presents the illusion of being perfect or acts as if they are, they are lying and not likely who you want as a teacher anyway. Let’s keep it real, shall we!? I am sharing and then inviting some of the other “public” teachers I know to share their own thoughts on who they are and how they spend their time when they are not being “teacher.”
I’m Lauri. Just Lauri. When I’m not working with clients and students (and even … or maybe especially when I am…..) I am excruciatingly REAL! Other than maintaining my commitment to my daily spiritual practice and feeding my own need for spiritual support, I don’t do any of those things lauded by certain “spiritual teachers.”
I don’t worry about thinking the “right” thoughts. First of all, to believe there are right or wrong thoughts is a form of judgment arising out of separation. Thoughts are neutral, it is what we do with them that decides if they are “good” or “bad” FOR US.
I am no longer a vegetarian. I’m not a raw foodie. I’m definitely not vegan. I LOVE MEAT – especially rare, red meat – beef or lamb preferably. I have tried other nutrition philosophies and I have found that my body needs meat to stay healthy…and my veggies need to be cooked. I also don’t fast. Again, I have learned that with my fragile constitution, fasting is BAD….for me. I also take pharmaceuticals. I’ve tried the herbal remedies for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and reflux….and none of them worked. Zoloft it is!
I curse…..a lot. Some would say, “Like a sailor.” Fuck is my favorite word and I soooo appreciate the Brits for reminding me of the appropriate use of the C-word and other “misogynistic insults.” Whatever! These words are only offensive if we choose to be offended by them. I am offended by very little other than ignorance and stupidity…and even then, that’s my shit, not yours!
When I’m not sprinkling messages of love…..my tendency is to be a self-righteous, judgmental hag with wild raging anger. My friends and family have seen my rage/passion. It usually comes out when I witness injustice! I wonder how people can be so uncaring, ignorant and (on bad days) stupid! Then I get on my soapbox and start ranting….to anyone who will listen. But that’s just me. I can be a self-righteous asshole and I own it. I’m done judging myself for being REAL!
Sometimes my anxiety comes out sideways. Just yesterday I lost it on my daughter for no other reason than I was feeling anxious for some unknown reason (which was revealed later) and couldn’t find a parking spot for a local event (while ranting about our dumb city for not having enough public parking, thereby not really supporting downtown businesses. J )
Now….how do I spend my time you ask? That’s easy. WATCHING NETFLIX! There is nothing better than finding a show I love and immersing myself in its world. Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones (not yet on Netflix) are two of my favorites…..oh yeah…..and BBC’s Sherlock. I love that “high functioning sociopath!!!”
Same with books. Sadly I haven’t found any good ones lately….I have a specific genre I lean toward, but my current guilty pleasure is anything by Maggie Stiefvater. Raven Boys ROCKS! And it’s not just silly frivolous “teen lit.” Her shit is GOOD!
Music…..the heavier the better. Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson are a few of my favs – mixed in with a little Sarah McLachlan (when I’m feeling melancholy or mournful) and Bach (when I’m feeling sophisticated! 😉 ) And when I’m longing for “home” I crank up the Irish – Clannad, Altan, Mary Black.
Speaking of sophisticated – NOT! You will never find me at the Country Club or a Debutante Ball (WHO DOES THAT!?). I’ll be at the local coffee shop – the artsy one tossing back a dark roast – the darker the better….or the local tavern, savoring a Guinness. I have NO designer clothes, purses, or shoes unless they came from Goodwill. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I bought anything from a department store. Socks and underwear maybe. The only thing I splurge on is bras. Nothing compares to a good bra that fits well and lasts! Thank you Victoria’s Secret!
What else? I have OCD. Only a mild form…..but there are a few things that either oog me out or which I obsess about (like leaving a preposition at the end of a sentence……I will likely lose sleep tonight over that one!). Wet wood (wooden spoons, paper, etc ) totally creeps me out. It makes my skin crawl. I hate dirty kitchens and bathrooms and hair in the sink makes me CRAZY….which is really fun in a household with two long-haired women! There’s more but you get the gist.
I’m a mom. More than anything in the whole wide world, I love my (now adult) children. I love them fiercely! I am their greatest fan – even when (especially when) they are being REALLY REAL. They have their own gifts and challenges and I love them all the more for it – all of it. When my son is being an asshole (usually in the face of injustice) I celebrate it. When my daughter is doing nothing but watching Anime’ I know it is her way of decompressing from this too-loud and too-violent world…and then I join her!
So…..that’s me. Raging self-righteous, judgemental, cursing hag and all. I’m about as real as they get which is ultimately why every single one of my clients and students love working with me. If I’m excruciatingly real……it gives them permission to be the same.
Now, what’s your story?
Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring, and offers support through her online training programs.