Posted in Inspiration, self-actualization, Surrender, women

The Harm We Do to Ourselves- Listening to Our Souls

The Harm We Do to Ourselves – Listening to Our Souls

This past weekend I had a meltdown. Perhaps it was the prednisone I was taking for an ear infection.  More likely, it was a part of my SOUL communicating a deep truth.  The truth was about all the ways in which I have ignored the deep longings of my Soul, ignored the truth of my Soul and ignored the voice of my Soul, in favor of what society says we “should” be doing.  The meltdown was unique to me and my own unique temperament and gifts, while being deeply reflective of the harm we have done to ourselves by putting on what is not authentically ours.

For me, the harm arises out of all the ways in which I have denied the feminine within me in favor of the masculine.  At some point in my journey, I came to (falsely) believe the feminine to be weak, powerless, frivolous and silly and put on the qualities of the masculine – assertive, self-sufficient, independent, aloof, active, striving after achievement, success (as it is defined by Western culture), and doing so by driving and striving.  I was the pain in the ass Type-A overachiever, straight A, National Honor society snob who was hell bent on making my own way in the world and becoming rich and famous doing so.

While there is nothing wrong with being achievement oriented and striving after success, for me, it has been a journey that has proved fruitless and has cost me my health and my Soul. The past two weeks on the couch have shown me that – and the meltdown this weekend showed me why.  This pattern has shown up over and over and over in my life – every time I’m burning the candle on both ends and through the middle, I CRASH.  In high school it was mono and strep throat that got me down. In my adult years, a chronic illness coming out of remission.  Now….a viral ear infection with vertigo that has left me couch bound for the past two weeks.  After fifty years of the same repeating pattern, I think I got it.  I got the how, now to repair the why.

St. Mary Magdalene Crucified by Giedrius Plioplys. Used with permission.
St. Mary Magdalene Crucified by Giedrius Plioplys. Used with permission.

Repairing the why begins with listening DEEPLY to my Soul. What does my Soul really want?  How do I really want to operate in the world?  What does my Soul need to feel nurtured, supported and fulfilled?  For me, it starts with asking questions about what has proven harmful to my Soul:

  • Thinking I can and should be able to do it by myself. (THIS IS A BIGGIE!)
  • Believing success is defined by money, fame, reputation, power.
  • Listening to so-called experts about how success is obtained and trying to follow them even when their ways feel counter-intuitive to me.
  • Judging myself and my decision by societal “shoulds” (ie: debt is bad, public speaking and networking are the roads to success, you are valued by how hard and how much you work, if you work hard you will be rewarded, if you think the right thoughts you will get what you want.).
  • Comparing myself to others in my field.

After sorting out what is NOT life-giving and nurturing to my Soul, I ask my Soul what it really needs from me. Her answers were not surprising in the least because at the deepest part of who I am….this is what I long for:

My Soul, more than anything in the world, wants to be nurtured and cared for…..so she can be the source of nurturing and support for others I am called to be. My Soul feels nurtured when I:

  • Feed my body through healthy, beautiful, nourishing foods I enjoy.
  • Move my body gently through yoga, dance, walking, stretching.
  • Take regular time for meditation, prayer, self-reflection.
  • Write – simply for the sake of writing, especially when it is creative.
  • Read – for enjoyment and for learning.
  • Create a home that is beautiful to me and feels like a sanctuary for myself and my loved ones.
  • Take time with those I love.
  • Spend time with dear friends.
  • Take time for creating.
  • Spend time in the woods.
  • Take time to enjoy the arts.
  • Honor my introvert with alone-time and with activities that feel supportive of an introverted personality.
  • Enjoy ease in the allowing – taking a wait and watch attitude and trusting that what I need to support myself, my well-being and my Soul’s longing and purpose will show itself when I am quiet enough to perceive its arrival.
  • Exercise the unique gifts I have been given to share with the world – and sharing them.

As I sat in deep listening to the call of my Soul, I also heard her speak about the true role of the Sacred Feminine and along with this an invitation to allow more of this into my life:

The Sacred Feminine

  • Creates and tends to the nest.
  • She nurtures, supports and guides, often by example, those under her care.
  • She cares for those in her care when they need caring for.
  • She watches for the readiness of those in her care to go out into the world on their own and she sends them forth with encouragement, support and empowerment.
  • She sees, hears and feels deeply – often seeing what needs to be seen in another before they can see it themselves. She sees the promise in another and supports them in becoming that.
  • The work of the feminine is sacred and holy and is honored by the Holy Masculine who protects her and provides for her so she can do her great work.
  • The sacred feminine surrenders into the arms of this support.

And more than all of this my Soul has one fervent plea, “I’m tired of seeking….I want to be found.”

 

How have you taken time to listen deeply to the needs of your Soul?

How might you be ignoring the voice of your Soul in favor of what society says you “should” be doing?

How have you been doing harm to yourself in ignoring the voice of your Soul?

What does your Soul really need and want from you?

 

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation

Special Offer on Spiritual Direction

I know that these have been difficult times for many people, especially financially.  As such, I am offering a special reduced rate on my Spiritual Direction services at least through the end of August.  The special rate is $60.00 per hour and sessions are available in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To book a Spiritual Direction session, email me at lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313.  Below…..what the heck is Spiritual Direction anyway? (PS  I’m not a psychic!)

 

 

What is Spiritual Direction?

The ministry of Spiritual Direction is difficult to explain because it can take on so many different qualities.  It looks a little like therapy because there is a lot of talking involved and the topics that do come up might be the same as the topics you would bring to a therapy session:  grief, life transitions, seeking direction, relationship struggles, recovery, etc.  Spiritual Direction, however is dramatically different from therapy in its intention, direction and desired outcome.  The primary focus of Spiritual Direction is to help you get in touch with the voice of truth within yourself and to move through the obstacles to living that truth. 

Sounds pretty fancy and esoteric, right?  To put it into theistic terms (God), Spiritual Direction provides you with the tools to

  • Know God
  • Know yourself
  • Uncover your own unique giftedness and to find ways to live that out in the world

Ultimately, Spiritual Direction is NOT about talking.  It is about listening….and my job as a Spiritual Director is to help you learn to hear your own truth and to give you tools to move through the fears that may be blocking your ability to hear and live that truth.  To give you some examples, here are the things Spiritual Direction has helped me to hear and move toward embracing:

  • I heard the call to pursue training as a Lay Minister, Spiritual Director and Reiki Master Practitioner and Spiritual Direction helped me move through the fears that had previously kept me from these roles.
  • I came to understand that I had been gifted as a writer and was called to share my writing publicly (through this blog and through my published books)
  • Spiritual Direction gave me the tools to move through the fears and pain of being rejected by my church for standing in the call that God had given me (Reiki, Contemplative Practices, my books)
  • Spiritual Direction helped me to see that my marriage had come to an irreparable end and that divorce was necessary
  • Spiritual Direction helped me to release past resentments, hurts and betrayals that were blocking my ability to being open to healthy intimacy with friends, family, loved ones.
  • Spiritual Direction helped me to identify behaviors, perceptions, etc. that were keeping me from living a joyful and contented life.
  • Spiritual Direction helped me to find tools that have deepened my relationship with the Source of peace (that I call God), and have allowed me to experience more peace in my life.
  • Spiritual Direction helps me to receive Divine guidance more clearly with less confusion and doubt.
  • Spiritual Direction has helped me to listen, hear, receive, BELIEVE and live my truth more authentically and with less fear.

In a nutshell….Spiritual Direction is really cool……and the best part is that it is EMPOWERING!!!!  You are the one doing the work.  I am just standing as witness, helping you to hear the things that you can’t hear yourself.  In this way, the responsibility of Spiritual Direction ultimately lies with you….I am just the witness.  And while I have been accused of being able to “hear the truth beyond the words,” I am not psychic.  I’m just listening and helping you to do the same.

Shameless Self-Promotion

To learn more about Spiritual Direction, click on the following link: http://yourspiritualtruth.com/private-consutations/

And know that I provide Spiritual Direction in person, via phone and Skype.  If you are interested in exploring Spiritual Direction as something that may be helpful in your own journey, call me at (920) 230-1313 or email:  lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.   Thanks!

Posted in Empowerment, Spiritual Direction

Why Spiritual Directors Rock – Part Deux (2)

As a trained, professional Spiritual Director, I know I am biased……but I think anyone who has made a commitment to their own spiritual growth needs a Spiritual Director and here is why:



Yep.  I’m biased.  I think anyone who has made a commitment to their spiritual growth needs a Spiritual Director … and in my opinion, there are a million reasons why… but these are the ones showing up for me today.

1) If you have found yourself called to embark upon and embrace the spiritual path….to the rest of the world, you look pretty insane.  Embracing the spiritual path is counter-cultural, threatens the perception of surety to those around us and makes you only a little weird.  If you see God in the sky and the trees, the experiences of your life, your intimate relationships and even in the struggles and challenges….you are just plain strange (to the rest of the world, that is.)  In this situation….a Spiritual Director plays the crucial role of helping you to know that YOU ARE NOT INSANE!  That there are other people who have embraced the spiritual path and who have done so successfully (ie: without completely losing their minds).  Your Spiritual Director can help affirm your experiences and give you validation. Frequently, your Spiritual Director is the first person with whom you find some sense of community, support, knowledge that you are not alone!

2)  A good Spiritual Director is above-all a LISTENER!  Their job is to listen and observe your spiritual journey.  But, beyond simple listening and observation, your Spiritual Director (should be) gifted to hear the truth beyond the words and see the path beyond the experience.  It is their job to help us see the hidden (mystical, esoteric) happenings beyond the surface.  Like the other day when my Spiritual Director asked me if I was able to be present to God in the nothing….these are the kinds of gems only a good Spiritual Director can provide.

3) A good Spiritual Director keeps us humble and honest.  WE ARE NEVER completely objective with our own spiritual journeys.  As good as we might be (even those who are trained Spiritual Directors themselves  ahem!), we can never see our path without it being tainted by our own perceptions.  A Spiritual Director sees our path through other eyes….and if Spiritual Direction is indeed one of their charisms (spiritual gifts), then God helps them to see our path through the eyes of God….not through our eyes, or even through their own eyes, but through God’s eyes.  This provides us with a much needed clear vision of who we are and where we are going.

4) Spiritual Directors give us tools.  We all need tools through which we can negotiate the spiritual path – meditation and prayer practices, discernment tools, community, an ego check.  A good Spiritual Director can help us discover, learn and put these tools into practice.  In a word…they can hold us accountable.

5) Spiritual Directors DO NOT GIVE US ANSWERS!  Spiritual Directors ARE NOT psychics.  Spiritual Directors ARE NOT life-coaches.  Spiritual Directors ARE NOT counselors.  While there may be overlap and grey area between the role of a Spiritual Director and the other professions listed, a good Spiritual Director will let you know if and when they are changing roles….and most importantly….a good Spiritual Director will NEVER try to give you answers.  Their only job is to listen and reflect back so that you can connect with your own truth on your own.  If you find your Spiritual Director continually telling you what to do, giving you answers to your life questions, directing your journey…RUN AWAY!  The job of a Spiritual Director is to provide objective listening and reflection so that you can discover and discern your truth on your own.  The bottom line…..a Spiritual Director is meant to EMPOWER you on your journey, NOT create a relationship of dependency!

Ok… that is a good start.  (and my son and his sleepover friends are screaming for pancakes….go, I gotta go!)

Have you made a commitment to your own spiritual growth?

Have you connected with a Spiritual Director as a source of support on this path?

How has that been of benefit to you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

If you are interested in exploring Spiritual Direction as a source of support in your own journey, Lauri provides Spiritual Direction face-to-face, over the phone and via Skype.  Check out my website for details.  http://yourspiritualtruth.com


Posted in Discernment, Divine Revelation

God is a Smarty-Pants!

Taking time to listen and being open to hearing AND believing the voice of God in our life.  Is God really talking to us, or are we just insane?

 

As I pen today’s blog, I realize that I have to come out of the closet to my readers.  Yes….the closet I am coming out of is this:  God talks to me.  And the funny thing is that God talks to you too….when you take the time to listen and are open to hearing and BELIEVING the voice of God in your own life.  And the reason I feel called to come out of the talking with God closet is because I was reminded again today that God is a big fat smarty-pants!  (I would normally use more colorful language to describe this smart-A nature of God….but I want to keep this blog G-rated!) 

Yes, God is a big fat smarty pants!  And here is how I know this.  In the past several months, I have had several significant situations when I asked God for a specific answer to a specific question….and the answers I got were quite frankly – hilarious.  So here were the questions:

1)  As I am moving through this current life transition of divorce and being faced with having to support a new home, our children, etc.  I asked God how in the heck I was going to pay for the new life that I am being invited to embrace.  And do you want to know how God answered?  (and I kid you not.)   This was God’s answer: 

“It is none of your damn business.”  (oops, sorry, God went a little PG there!) 

Ok, that just made me laugh and of course I knew this answer was authentically from God because who else would give me this kind of answer, knowing that in asking the question, all I was doing was showing God that I doubted the plan that God had presented for me as in my highest good?  Of course it is none of my damn business….BECAUSE….God is taking care of it.  Who am I to worry, to doubt, to question?  Silly me!  Upon receiving God’s response, I was humbled….and overwhelmed with gratitude in the knowledge that it really was none of my damn business.  Now I could stop worrying and get on with my (ahem…God’s ) plan! 

Ah…but of course being able to surrender to God’s plan in God’s timing is a heck of a lot easier said than done….so again, I find myself wondering, “How am I going to afford this new life?????”   And…I didn’t even have to ask this question aloud…..because God knows the doubts and fears in our hearts.  So here is how the answer to the unvoiced question surfaced:

2) So, I’m receiving a Reiki treatment today, seemingly minding my own business when the Reiki practitioner pipes up, “I’m supposed to tell you that you will see it with your own eyes.”  What the heck?????  Now God is talking to me through my Reiki practitioner????  (Yep, God can talk to us through other people too.)  I hadn’t even voiced this question, neither had I shared it with my Reiki practitioner….but alas, I admittedly had been wondering how this whole divorce thing was going to turn out, new house, etc. etc. etc.   I just had to laugh, God heard the silent questions of my heart and broke through the peaceful tranquility of a Reiki treatment to give me the answer to my unnamed question.  Again…God is a big fat smarty pants! 

So what is my point in sharing all of this (besides risking being labeled as COMPLETELY INSANE!!!!????)?  I share this because I know that I AM NOT the only person to whom God speaks!  In fact, I know that God speaks to each and everyone of us each and every day.   The question is…..Do we take the time to listen?  Are we open to hearing God’s voice?  Do we have the tools to distinguish the voice of God from the voice of the ego?  Do we have the courage to BELIEVE?  And guess what…..you do not need to be Moses or Ezekiel or Samuel or even Jesus to hear the voice of God.  God is speaking to you RIGHT NOW in the depths of your heart.  Are you open to listening and hearing God’s voice?  And in the spirit of God the big fat smarty pants….I DARE YOU, in fact I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to listen….God just might have something to say! 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com