Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Showing Others the Way

A friend recently shared something on Facebook about the 12 signs of the Zodiac and our purpose in 2020.  The message for my sign of Capricorn said something like this:

Accomplishing the mission of your Soul and showing others how to do the same.

BOOM!  As I find myself at the place of choosing and committing myself to embracing the calling of my Soul to live a monastic-styled life, this is exactly what I feel like I am doing.

I did it.  I got here.  After nearly 55 years, I feel like I am home.  I feel at home within myself and I feel at home within the rhythm and movement of my own style of monasticism.  I feel content and whole after shedding myself of the fears, false perceptions and societal conditioning that stood in the way of my own inner arrival. I doggedly, persistently and tenaciously followed the yearning of my Soul and in doing so, I have found my way home.

I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one who shares this longing.  It may in fact be the universal longing.  Yet few follow the promptings, let alone follow its pursuit.  Fewer still have the resources or tools for helping them get there.  This is where I come in. As I have discovered, the journey to our Soul’s fulfillment is really as simple as choice.  But choice, as we all know, is not so simple.  In order to choose we must:

  • Know what we want (actually, not what WE want, but what our Soul wants).
  • Identify and move through every single resistance to living that truth.
  • Heal the wounds and overcome the past conditioning that says we “can’t” live that truth.

And we must do this over and over and over and over again.

Piece by piece, step by step, we have to peel back the layers of resistance, fear, attachment, societal conditioning, etc. that stand in the way of us living our truth. Understanding what our Soul wants is a journey in an of itself.  But that is nothing compared to the number one reason people either choose not to or quit this journey:

Because of what they might have to GIVE UP!

I can’t tell you how many people enthusiastically enter this journey toward their truth only to run the other way at the first sign of having to give something up.  I can’t really blame them.  I know what I have given up on this journey and it hasn’t been easy:

  • A marriage.
  • My church.
  • The promises of fame.
  • A Steady income.
  • The home in which I was comfortable.
  • A Retirement fund.
  • The Western idea of success.

Embarking on the journey of our Soul is never an easy one and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with any pop culture “Secret,” “Law of Attraction,” or “The Color of Your Parachute.”  (Have you noticed how Eckhart Tolle is no longer one of Oprah’s gurus of the week……I wonder why?????  ? ? ?  ) The journey to our Soul does not guarantee riches, fame or the Western idea of success.  The purpose of our Soul is not necessarily something that can be commoditized, neither will we necessarily make a living doing it (GASP!!!!!).

The journey to our Soul has nothing to do with anything “out there” and everything to do with what is “In HERE.” For each person in each lifetime, the Soul has specific needs and wants and this varies from person to person.  For me it is quite specific and is reflective of my INFJ (Myers-Briggs) personality and Enneagram Type 1 temperament.  It is also related to my passion, my interests and reflective of my unique giftedness.  It is also reflective of my Catholic upbringing and my Irish ancestry and temperament.  Your Soul’s desires will be similarly unique to you and reflective of who you are an where you’ve been.  While you may not be drawn to an interior, introverted, quiet, private yet transparent monastic life, your Soul will (and already is) guiding you to the place within you that feels like home.

The good news is that you do not need to do this journey alone.  I am forever grateful for the resources that came to me in support of my own journey “Home.”  I have then taken these resources and put them into a format that others can use and apply in their own journey.  Additionally, I am available as a one-on-one guide should you need one.  And there is always our online community – a gathering of women and men who have made a similar commitment to their Soul’s calling and who are finding encouragement and support from their sisters and brothers on the journey.

If you are looking for support in the journey of your Soul, check out all the resources Authentic Freedom provides!  All are welcome here.   

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Mission Possible!

Our Mission:

Authentic Freedom Academy is a center for experiential education, supporting the transformation of human consciousness through the integration of Western psychology and Western Spirituality, equipping students to be agents of positive, non-violent change in the world.

We accomplish this mission through:

  • writing and publishing
  • one-on-one mentoring
  • local and online courses
  • on-going service to the community

 

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Authentic Freedom™ is a trademarked protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

 AuthenticFreedomcover

Specific Tools used in Authentic Freedom™:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

 

HierarchyofPurpose

From Western Psychology, Authentic Freedom™ draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, Authentic Freedom™ has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of God (the God of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

jesus

What Authentic Freedom is not:

  • Authentic Freedom is not counseling.  Whereas counseling focuses on treating “disease” and supporting behavior modification and recovery, the focus in Authentic Freedom is self-awareness and deep, enduring transformation. Authentic Freedom may include the healing of old wounds and unresolved trauma, but it is accomplished through supporting deep, inner change.  In Authentic Freedom, anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not pathologized but are acknowledged as symptoms of the Soul longing for its fulfillment, symptoms that subside on their own the closer we get to the purpose of our Soul.
  • Authentic Freedom is not life-coaching.  While encouragement and support are a big part of Authentic Freedom, the emphasis is on personal responsibility, accountability and empowerment.  The goal of Authentic Freedom is that one day you will no longer need our services because you will have all the tools you need to fly on your own.

NOTE:  If you are under the care of a licensed therapist or life coach, you will find that Authentic Freedom complements this work by providing you with additional tools in support of your overall goals of self-care.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how Authentic Freedom might be for you. lauri@authenticfreedom.love or (920) 230-1313.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

What is Authentic Freedom?

Authentic Freedom Academy, founded by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, provides empowerment training through:

  • Local, on-line and e-courses
  • Workshops and Retreats
  • One-on-one mentoring and consulting
  • Writing and Publishing

empowerhandspixabay

What is Empowerment Training?

  • Empowerment training arises out of the deepest longing of the human Soul to find meaning and purpose  in our lives through our own unique giftedness; acknowledging  that we are forever dissatisfied and restless until this longing is fulfilled.
  • Empowerment training provides the resources, tools and support we need to fulfill our purpose and satisfy this deep, inner longing.

Through empowerment training, you will:

  • Identify your unique giftedness (your magic!) and the passions that when engaged will give you a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfillment; and in doing so, helping to serve the betterment of our world.
  • Discover the deep, inner fears that are preventing you from nurturing and sharing your gifts.
  • Learn effective tools for moving through these fears so that you are more free to nurture and share your gifts.
  • Be empowered to experience the full use of your gifts and finding fulfillment in doing so, both for your own sake and for the betterment of the world.
  • Receive on-going support in the use and on-going expansion of your gifts and in moving through the resistance and fear of doing so.

Here is what empowerment training through Authentic Freedom Academy includes:

HierarchyofPurpose

 

What empowerment training is not:

  • Empowerment training is not counseling.  Whereas counseling focuses on treating “disease” and supporting behavior modification and recovery, the focus in empowerment training is self-awareness and deep, enduring transformation. Empowerment training may include the healing of old wounds and unresolved trauma, but it is accomplished through supporting deep, inner change.  In empowerment training, anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not pathologized but are acknowledged as symptoms of the Soul longing for its fulfillment, symptoms that subside on their own the closer we get to the purpose of our Soul.
  • Empowerment training is not life-coaching.  While encouragement and support are a big part of empowerment training, the emphasis is on personal responsibility, accountability and empowerment.  The goal of empowerment training is that one day you will no longer need our services because you will have all the tools you need to fly on your own.

NOTE:  If you are under the care of a licensed therapist or life coach, you will find that empowerment training complements this work by providing you with additional tools in support of your overall goals of self-care.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how empowerment training might be for you.  lauri@authenticfreedom.love

And check out our wide variety of online and local courses.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting our Shadow

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our worldOne of the tasks we must complete in the journey of midlife and menopause is to confront our shadow – all of the parts of ourselves we have rejected or kept hidden and bring them to the light.  Today’s blog is about confronting the shadow.

midlife-menopause-shadow

Disney’s Maleficent, coming in 2014.  (I can’t wait!!!!!)

Midlife and Menopause – Bats in the House

Last night, in the middle of a terrific phone conversation with one of my friends, I heard my children screaming.  Then I heard pounding footsteps on the stairs and my son burst into my room, interrupting my conversation with, “Mom….holy sh..t…..there is a bat in the house!!!!”  I offered my friend a quick goodbye and went to investigate.  I calmed down the screaming kids and then we went in search of the bat.  We found him…..HUGE, furry and black….flying back and forth across my sons bedroom.  Now we were all screaming.  🙂  I tried to be brave and found some butterfly nets and an album cover hoping to catch and release the bat, but its erratic flight and the fear of being bit overpowered my courage.  So….I cashed in one of my princess cards, called my neighbor and he calmly and valiantly caught and released the bat.  (Thank you Jason!)   This morning, as I meditated on the spiritual meaning of bats, I was reminded about the midlife journey through the shadow.

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting the Shadow

“The Shadow” has been defined in a variety of ways, depending on what school of psychology or philosophy one subscribes to.  I think of the shadow as all the parts of ourselves that we have not brought to the light.  Using this definition, shadow consists of all of the parts of ourselves we keep hidden away, the parts of ourselves we reject and the parts of ourselves we repress and are perhaps not even conscious of.  Shadow can also be made up of the counterparts to our gifts – underdeveloped skills that if cultivated might help to bring better balance into our lives.  Let me give you some examples.

1) As an Intuitive/Feeler (on the Myers-Briggs personality profile), the sensate/thinker could be considered as an aspect of my shadow – inviting me to balance intuition with facts, figures and evidence, feelings with logic and reason.

2) Anger and Rage make up part of my shadow – emotions I feared and rejected as a child and therefore rejected within myself….it wasn’t ok to be angry.  In midlife, I have had to make friends with anger and find an appropriate way to process it in my life.

3) Perfectionism – as a recovering perfectionist, imperfection is my shadow.  I reject the parts of myself that are imperfect – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, the part of me that harbors resentment, the part of me that wants vengeance, the part of me that is tempted to be bad.  In midlife, I have had to confront these perceived imperfections and again…make friends with them.

4) Other unsavory qualities…..during times of overwhelming stress, certain behaviors and hidden characteristics showed up in me and I was SHOCKED to see how I responded.  These were things I judged others as doing…but would “never do this” myself.  Well…..guess what?  I did.  More imperfections to make peace with.

5) The shadow can also be a bit fun…..like my secret obsession with tattoos, Kat Von D and Disney villains.  All of these show up as glimpses of parts of my soul that want to be more fully integrated in my everyday life.  I want to be a rockstar, wear leather and have my whole body tattooed…..but I don’t because it is only part of me….not all of who I am.  🙂

Midlife and Menopause – the Gift in the Shadow

The gift in uncovering and more fully integrating our shadow is that we become more whole, more fully integrated, we experience greater contentment with ourselves and we might be happier and have more fun.  By integrating our shadow, we also have more energy to do what we love because we have stopped using up all our psychic energy keeping our shadow at bay. Bringing the shadow into the light and allowing it room to roam frees us to explore and enjoy our creative gifts and be of better service to the world.

What does your shadow consist of?

Lauri Ann Lumby provides guidance and support for those traversing the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes.  For more information, contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Surrender

Radical Surrender

Today I explore the invitation while in the spiritual desert to embrace radical surrender – a challenging task for anyone, most especially those like me who revel in order and routine.

 


Thriving on Routine

I have a confession to make.  I am a “J”.  Now, let me explain what that means.  In the Jungian inspired personality profile, The Meyers-Briggs, there are sixteen basic personality types.  When I take the assessment, I score as an INFJ.  The “J” is the “judge” in the assessment and while I can certainly be judgmental and opinionated, the “judge” on the Meyers-Briggs has nothing to do with judgment.  Instead, it means that I thrive on and find comfort in routine, order and predictability.   Alternatively, spontaneity, lack of routine and disorder cause me anxiety and stress.  I am such a “J” in fact, that when I take the assessment, I answer EVERY question in this category appropriate to the “J”.

No Room for a “J” in the Desert

So, how do you think my “J” is faring during this time of spiritual desertness?  NOT VERY WELL!!!!!   Every single ounce of predictability, order, routine has been pulled out from under my feet.  AAARRRGGGHHHHH!  My inner “J” wants to run screaming in terror from this time of disorder.  Fortunately, through years of spiritual practice and working in environments where my “J” has been forced to relax a bit so that I could learn to embrace a little flexibility in my life, I’m not as anxious as I once might have been.  And it is a good thing because there is no room for a “J” in the spiritual desert.

Embracing Radical Surrender

Instead, I find that I am invited to embrace RADICAL SURRENDER.  OUCH!  Radical surrender means just that – no order, no routine, no predictability, thereby no safety and no security.  OUCH AGAIN!  Embracing radical surrender means that I have absolutely NO CHOICE but to live IN THE MOMENT.  I have to take each moment as it comes and deal with what is presented.  No planning.  No anticipating.  No organizing.  No strategizing.  And let me tell you, THIS IS A LEAP.  But, apparently in the time of spiritual desert, there is no other choice.  So, this is what I am trying to do. 

The Benefit of Radical Surrender

While my inner “J” recoils at the idea of surrender, I am finding there are benefits.  Strange, but true.  I am finding that as I relax into this time of radical surrender, there is a peacefulness that comes in not planning, not anticipating, not strategizing.  Strangely, radical surrender cuts way down on the worry factor…because in truth, there is nothing to worry about if you don’t know what is coming next.  Radical surrender also allows me to take things simply as they come without falling into judgment.  Surrender allows me to be more of an observer in my life rather than the judge and jury.  Surrender also allows me to see more clearly the gifts that present themselves when I allow myself to let go and let God.  So, perhaps there is something to be learned by my inner “J” as I move through this desert experience.  It does not mean, however, that I don’t look forward to the day that I might again have some sort of routine in my life.  AAAAHHHHH

Where have you been invited to embrace radical surrender?

What are the tools that have helped you move through that state?

What were the benefits?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com