Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Freedom, Spiritual Practices

Awaken Equip Empower

The greatest professional challenge I have faced is trying to explain to people what I do for a living.  When I offer titles like, Spiritual Director, Spiritual Counselor, Hands-on-Healer, Human Development Expert, Teacher, Interfaith Minister, I mostly get met with a blank stare.  When I boldly proclaim Author, people mostly cringe.  So…in today’s blog, I will try to explain what I, Lauri Ann Lumby, actually do for a living and WHY the services I provide might be of benefit to you! 

Midwife to your Soul

AWAKEN

This is the part of my job that is completely invisible, intangible, defies measurement or explanation, and yet, it is a gift I have that is intimately part of my call, and one I can no longer deny.  In my presence, people wake up.  They wake up to their own longing, the creative call within them, the desire to know peace, love, joy and the hunger to use their gifts in service to the betterment of the world.  Under my gaze and simply by being in my presence, people wake up.  Now….with that, there are one of two responses – they either stay and grow, or they run away screaming in fear.  The stay and grow part is really cool as I then have the opportunity to be witness to the excitement that happens in the other in the discovery of their gift and their call.  The running away in fear piece – that’s a weird one.  Fortunately, I no longer take it personally, but it is only a little unsettling when I suddenly become the “enemy” as a projection of their own unacknowledged fear.

EQUIP

Here’s the fun part.  When people awaken and they stay, they get to go on a treasure hunt, and I have the profound gift of being their guide.  I get to help them uncover their gifts, identify their passions and explore the call of their soul – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in the world and to find fulfillment in sharing this gift in service to the betterment of the world. How fun is that?  There are many tools I use to help people in this search – mindfulness and creativity practices, temperament and personality assessments, one-on-one counseling and mentoring.

EMPOWER

This is the stage where things get a little messy.  The closer we get to our gifts and our call, the harder the ego (our false self) tries to work against us.  The ego likes same, status quo, and the harnessing of our gifts almost always means SIGNIFICANT change.  So as we approach our gifts, the ego throws all kinds of obstacles in our path – fear, anxiety, past hurts, the unhealed and unrealized parts of ourselves, the inner critic, the negative messages we subconsciously or consciously took on from others, the parts of ourselves we have rejected, suppressed, repressed, etc.  The ego does this both from within us and from outside of us.  My job is to help my clients and students identify the false self at work and to offer sound practices for freeing themselves from these obstacles.  These practices include movement, mindfulness, meditation, shamanic soul retrieval practices, hands-on-healing, the Authentic Freedom protocol which I developed, and others.  The goal of the Empower stage of the process is to do just that – EMPOWER.  I firmly believe and have come to see that my job is to make TEACHERS, not enable followers.  As such, my greatest joy is when one of my clients or students is ready to leave the nest and fly on their own….it is in this moment that I know I have accomplished my task, and that they have fully and freely birthed their own soul.  This, indeed, is my greatest joy!

Lauri Ann Lumby is available to AWAKE, EQUIP and EMPOWER you.  To set up a one-on-one consultation, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

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.”

rush_logo_big

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 lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Freedom, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices, world changes

How to Change Ourselves So We Can Change the World Part II

Today’s blog concludes the discussion on the recent government shutdown. Examining our government’s (senators, congressmen and President Obama are all culpable in this mess!) complete failure at the job WE hired them to do, we acknowledge that if we want things to change, first we have to change ourselves.  Yesterday’s blog examined the beginning stages of HOW we might begin to change and today’s blog concludes that discussion with a process for healing the fears that keep us imprisoned within ourselves and therefore by the powerful and wealthy few.

changing the world
changing the world

Suspend Your Disbelief

As my friend, Ted Balser (watch Monday for his debut column on this site, Ted and His Friends – Midlife Advice for the Slow White Male) often observes, “In order to grow and change, we must first suspend our disbelief.”  This is especially true of the personal development process that helps us to transcend our fears so that we are no longer imprisoned within and no longer able to be manipulated and controlled by the underdeveloped, so-called powerful outside of us.  True power comes from within and it is in naming and claiming this power that we find true, authentic, freedom.  While we may not be able to find scientific proof to verify the truths that will secure our personal power, thereby allowing us to transcend our fears, thousands of years of spiritual teachings (across traditions) and indigeneous cultural practices uphold the validity of these truths.

Finding Our Power

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I reveal, what I call, the seven core spiritual truths that we are invited to embrace in the process of ensuring our inner freedom and claiming our personal power, which when embraced, help us to transcend the seven core fears of the human condition (See yesterday’s blog for more on these fears).  If we had grown up in a culture where sound, personal development practices had been cultivated since childhood, we might already hold these beliefs.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture where human development only happens by accident…if at all, the result of which is collective arrested development (See Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin for more on this topic).  Sadly, most of American culture (especially those in positions of perceived power) has not development emotionally, mentally, psychologically or spiritually past the age of 12.  We do, however have the power to change this.

Transcending Fear through the Seven Spiritual Truths

Again, embracing these fears requires us to suspend our disbelief, thereby taking a leap of faith.  In short, these truths cannot be measured through empirical studies, because in truth, these are truths that lay deep within us and have nothing to do with the outward circumstances of our lives.  When we identify that a fear has arisen in us and then employ appropriate mindfulness based practices, the fear is transcended and we rest in the contentment of one of the following universal spiritual truths:

  • There is enough.  All of my need are being abundantly met.
  • I am uniquely and creatively gifted to assist in making the world a better, more peaceful and more loving place.
  • I can be my most authentic self and there is nothing outside of me that can prevent me from doing this.
  • I am not only loved, but am the very nature of love itself.
  • I am free to hear, listen and give expression to my truth.
  • I know my truth and the path of my highest good and I will discover this in a time that is perfectly aligned with my own highest good.
  • I am not alone.

When we rest in the knowledge of these truths, we experience love, contentment and joy and we are able to become our most authentic and inwardly powerful self.  In transcending our fears, we are changing ourselves which then empowers us to facilitate change in our world.

Lauri Ann Lumby works with people one-on-one in cultivating the practices of Authentic Freedom which empowers people to transcend their fears and to find a life of meaning, purpose and fulfillment through which they help to support the betterment of the world.  To explore Authentic Freedom mentoring for yourself, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Inspiration, Mystics, Spiritual Practices, Uncategorized, world changes

How to Change Ourselves so WE Can Change the World!

Yesterday, I responded to the current political debacle (the government shutdown) and complete failure of our government to do what WE hired them to do, by issuing an invitation, “If we want the world to change, WE need to change ourselves.”  In today’s blog, I remind us of how we can change ourselves so that we can see real and enduring change in the world.

changing ourselves/changing the world
changing ourselves/changing the world

Not Just Some Pie in the Sky Idealism!

The tools for personal change that I will share with you today are NOT just some pie in the sky idealism preached by vagrant prophets from far-off lands.  While the following tools have been tried, tested and proven to be effective by thousands of years of yoga practitioners, mystics and ascetics, we NOW have the proof of science to verify what contemplative men and women have known all along, mindfulness based practices:

  • decrease anxiety, fear and stress
  • increase physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing
  • decrease violent behaviors
  • help us to cultivate empathy and compassion – the building blocks of healthy communication and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and communities.

(If you need the science to convince you, simply Google Richie Davidson, Andrew Newberg, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Thich Nat Hahn.)

STEP ONE – Seek out a mindfulness practice that works for you! 

There are as many forms of mindfulness based practices as there are fish in the sea!  A Zen-inspired sit works for some, but not for all.  Mantra or Kirtan brings some to a state of inner quiet…but it isn’t for everyone.  A rosary or string of meditation beads may help some to focus, but others will need something more engaging.  Take comfort in knowing that if you haven’t yet found your meditation style, keep looking, there is sure to be one out there perfect for you.  Maybe it is something as simple as gardening, cooking or being in nature.  Some find running and aerobic exercise mindful.  And please disregard the ridiculous Western notion that mindfulness has a goal and that if you don’t experience a complete state of bliss any or every time you failed.  Your job is to simply SHOW UP.  And, the key to cultivating and maintaining a mindfulness practice is to find one that WORKS FOR YOU!  (For a wide variety of mindfulness based exercises, check out my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joyWhile the context is Christian Contemplative Prayer, the exercises are universal.)

STEP TWO-Identify and root out your fears

In conjunction with cultivating peace and love within us through mindfulness practices, the greatest gift we can give to ourselves in our journey toward change is to OVERCOME OUR FEARS!  FEAR is the number one obstacle to peace, contentment, love and joy!  Fear creates all the perceived separations favored by our wounded world:  prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, nationalism, etc.  Fear is also the root of all of our non-loving and self-centered behaviors – gluttony, lust, wrath, envy, greed, sloth and pride.  Fear causes us to seek outside of us for its remedy and makes us believe that happiness will be found in things, money, power, fame, status, power, control, other people, etc. etc. etc.  Fear also keeps us silent and ignorant of the truth that seeks to be known within us and that seeks to be expressed in the world.

STEP 2.5

In my book, Authentic Freedom, I reveal what I have come to know as the seven core fears that plague humanity, along with their resulting compulsions:

FEAR:  “There is not enough”

Compulsion:  Gluttony

FEAR:  “I have nothing to contribute to the betterment of the world”

Compulsion:  Lust

FEAR:  “I can’t” (be my most authentic self)

Compulsion:  Wrath

FEAR:  “I am not loved”

Compulsion:  Envy

FEAR: “I am not able to express my truth”

Compulsion:  Greed

FEAR:  “I do not know” (my truth, my path)

Compulsion:  Sloth

FEAR:  “I am alone/have to do it alone”

Compulsion:  Pride

You can start your journey of overcoming fear by NAMING the fears that are currently at work in your mind.  I have found that naming the fear is 99% of the journey…..like they say in classic horror books and movies, “Once you name the demon, it no longer has power over you.”  😉  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will explore in more detail how we might move through the fears once they are named.

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com