Posted in About Lauri, Being Human, God, introverts, Mystics, Oneness with God, Ponderings, Relationships, Spiritual Direction, Surrender

Only God

a personal reflection by Lauri Ann Lumby

This morning’s blog is coming from a deeply personal place and arising out of a place of fragmented vulnerability….so apologies ahead of time for momentary incoherence. 😉

image credit: www.checorreaphotography.com

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. The most exciting things have been my soul-discovering trip to Ireland and the “new” things that are beginning to be birthed in my world including a promising business partnership and a burgeoning Magdalene Priestess Training program!

Playing a much more central role in 2017, however, has been the ever deepening and every widening journey of LETTING GO! It seems everywhere I turn I am being invited to let go of that which I used to turn to as a source of familiarity, routine, surety, security and support.  It seems I can’t take a single step without being confronted with something asking for release.  This release has included the need to redefine relationships (the nature of, my expectations or hopes around, boundaries, etc.), to let go of certain hopes and dreams; and more materially, facing the need to find new housing and buy a new car.  The whispering threat under all of this letting go is, “And HOW are you going to pay for that?????”  UGH!

As it all came to a head this past weekend with the resurfacing of my deepest core wound and its source, I knew that the letting go was not about letting go, but was in fact about letting in. Specifically – letting God in.

In this realization, I must give credit and gratitude to my experience as a Spiritual Director (and a mystic). If I did not have the awareness of what the Divine call looks like, I would have been in much more despair than I have been (believe me, I’ve spent many hours on the couch wallowing in my grief, despair and perceived helplessness) and not known where to turn or how to make sense of every rug being pulled out from beneath my feet.  God isn’t an asshole (though sometimes it feels like “He” is.).  When we are being invited to let go….it is always for the purpose of letting in.

So, what does it mean when life is inviting us to release EVERYTHING upon which we have previously based our lives and EVERYTHING we formerly turned to as a source of hope and support? It means that life is supporting us in knowing that in the end, there is ONLY God.  Everything that we know of in our human experience is fleeting and temporary – relationships, jobs, homes, cars, money, belongings, our health and wellbeing, life itself.  It is all temporary and in the end, it all passes away.  When all has passed away….what is left is God.  Me and God.  God and me.  And when Lauri Ann Lumby is no longer, there is only God.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director, Leanore, who supported me yesterday in verbalizing my awareness and affirming the invitation. The purpose of all this letting go is so that I can let God in – to let God in on an even deeper level than I have ever done before.  To let God in so that I might know a deeper experience of God’s love.  To know God as my source of support.  To surrender into God’s hands knowing and trusting that God is carrying me to exactly where I need to be.  Most importantly of all….to do what I tell everyone of my students to do – to make God the number one priority of my life, to give all my energy and attention to God, to be open to receiving and being compelled and empowered by God’s love.  It is not about the temporary and fleeting things of this world, it is about God…..and only about God.

In closing, I want to share these words from Stephanie Azaria’s daily post (quoting one of her writers, Marie DesRoches at www.thecosmicpath.com.  If this isn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is:

In 3D I used to “think” of surrender as giving up my way and “doing” what God wanted.  In 5D I Align WITH the God That I Am and allow myself to BE all that I AM – expressing, moving, choosing, loving, breathing, WITH and IN that Presence.” 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Mystics, Oneness with God

Lessons on Loneliness

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I have had many conversations with fellow mystics on the topic of loneliness. As mystics we ARE different from the norm, usually pretty far-left of center. Many find it difficult to relate to or understand us. Others are hesitant to draw near because of the light we shine on the love they are, which they are perhaps not yet ready to be. We think, move, act, believe, see, differently and some find this disturbing. All this is reason enough to feel alone, set apart, even lonely. But there is an even greater source of our loneliness and it is God. More specifically, the call of the mystic, above all else, is to know God/dess, and it is through loneliness that God calls us home to ourselves and home to God. As I recent wrote to a student, fellow-mystic and spiritual sojourner:

Mystics always feel some sense of loneliness and isolation.  It is the other edge of this double-edged gift.  On one hand, we experience God more intimately and as One.  On the other hand, we long for more of this.  It is the “loneliness” that keeps us seeking God, seeking that experience of Oneness.  

Our human inclination is to believe there is something wrong with us for feeling the deep ache of this existential loneliness. We judge ourselves. We wish for this aching emptiness to go away. We seek after the remedy to this loneliness by looking for things outside of us (including other people) to fill the void. What we end up finding is simply more emptiness, for there is nothing “out there” that can fill this void. Instead, we are invited to go into the loneliness for it is here we shall find God/Self. Again, as I shared with my student:

Transformation comes when we realize that loneliness is the GIFT that compels us toward God and that it is GOD we are lonely for – nothing else (which keeps us from looking “out there” for something to fill our emptiness – and emptiness that can only be filled by God). Don’t despair of the loneliness.  Don’t chase after its remedy.  Welcome it and accept it as part of your gift.  

The loneliness and deep sense of isolation that plagues the mystic is in fact, our greatest gift. The loneliness that society tells us to judge and which we therefore are tempted to resist is actually God calling us into an ever-deepening intimacy. It is in entering into the loneliness, welcoming it, becoming comfortable with it that we find God and in finding God we find ourselves. And if more loneliness remains, we are called to remember that it is only God calling us even deeper into the love that we are and to dare to even go there. As there is no limit to the love of God and the love that we are in God, there is likely no end to the loneliness. When we accept this truth and cease from judging, resisting, or trying to rid ourselves of this loneliness, it is here that we find peace.

For support in the journey of knowing Self and knowing the Divine that dwells within, consider the Authentic Freedom Mastery Program. Enjoy the free preview course to see if it might be for you. Click on the image below to learn more and to register:

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Posted in Raised Catholic

Is Lauri Lumby Still Catholic?

Google Analytics cracks me up. Apparently two different people found my website this morning by typing in the very same question, “Is Lauri Lumby Still Catholic?”  My daughter and I shared a laugh over this.  Really? Who are the two people that felt the need to seek Google for an answer to this question?  I also want to know, is there someone besides me who has an answer to this question?

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The answer to this question is of course, multi-layered.

According to official Catholic teaching, of course I am still Catholic. I was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church, and according to the Church, once a Catholic, always a Catholic.  You can’t be un-Catholicized. (I believe there are exceptions to this rule, such as being accused of the sin of apostasy.  I have been accused of many things, but apostasy is not one – that I’m aware of anyway!)

My blood and my bones tell me I’m Catholic. As much as I have tried, I can’t get the imprint of Catholicism out of my soul.  There is a kind of sensibility that becomes part of your soul when raised Catholic – especially when you have loved the Church in the way that I have.  My life cycles follow the Church calendar.  My favorite architecture is gothic cathedrals.  Stained Glass Windows make my heart sing.  Incense feels like a hug.  And I am ritualistic by nature.  Step into my house and you might even feel like you are in a church….little altars everywhere.

More important than either of the above – Jesus is my teacher. But he is more than my teacher, he is my Beloved.  He is my Beloved in the way he was the Beloved of St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.  As a mystic who follows the Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius of Loyola, I am Catholic in every sense of the word….except the two that the Institution of the Catholic Church probably counts as valid.

In my eyes I am still Catholic. In the eyes of the Institutional Church, perhaps not.  Of course I cannot speak for the Church, but I do know about a HUGE file with my name on it in the office of a Catholic Bishop who shall not be named, likely reporting every perceived way in which I have broken with Catholic teaching and committed heresy, as reported by the self-appointed local inquisition.  Included in these reports would be:

  • My continued work with Reiki.
  • My mention of the possibility of Jesus having been married.
  • My insistence that Mary Magdalene had a WAY bigger role in Jesus’ life and ministry and in the continuation of his work than we have been led to believe.
  • My call to the priesthood and the ways in which I have found to live out that call, in spite of the Church’s insistence otherwise.
  • My insistence that the Church be held accountable for its sins, especially the long history of discrimination and violence against women, and most especially, the long history of sexual abuse of children, and that it remove the plank from its own eye before pointing out the splinter in our eyes.
  • My prayer, hopes and dreams that the Church return to its original mission of being a force of love, peace, justice and harmony in the world and that it begin by becoming this to its own people. (Thank you Pope Francis for leading this charge!!!!!)
  • My continued decision to fast from the Eucharist. (Read about this decision HERE).

So, while I still consider myself Catholic, perhaps the Church does not. But since inquiring minds want to know…..here is why I have never jumped ship even when there are a million other ways I could be living out my belief in Jesus and there are a million other denominations who would probably be happy to be the recipients of my gifts:

BECAUSE GOD WOULDN’T LET ME!

And not because I haven’t tried.  Three separate times with three separate denominations, I have discerned ordained priesthood, because I was invited to by leaders of said denominations to do so.  Every single time, saying yes to the call of the priesthood ( a call I authentically have), meant denying my Catholicism and officially breaking from the Church so I could become an official member of said denomination.  Every single time, God barred the way.  No matter how hard I tried to NOT be Catholic, through my discernment, I realized I could not.  I could not forsake the faith of my bones.  So while the Catholic Church is not a place in which I can share the fullness of the gifts and the call God has given me, there is no other church to which I can belong.

So, yes, I’m still Catholic – at least in my own eyes and apparently in the eyes of God.

This is good enough for me.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Healing, Inspiration, Mystics

The Mystic’s Conundrum

The Mystic’s Conundrum

Copyright Lauri Ann Lumby

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Once we have seen the face of God,

Everything by comparison pales.

The whole world lacks luster

Melancholy defining the human condition.

Longing replacing enjoyment

Ever yearning our heart’s return.

“Why can’t it be like that all the time?”

We achingly wonder,

Comparing earth to heaven

Forgetting that it is for earth that we are here,

And to heaven that we shall return,

Understanding why the ancients said,

“You cannot see the face of God and live.”

For life no longer feels like living.

But when we cease the comparison,

Understanding

That the glimpse of God was only a glimpse,

A gift that’s rarely given,

And one most will never know,

We begin

Remembering why we are here:

To love the human condition,

Accepting it for what it is – painful, despairing, filled with hatred, violence,

 suffering and loss.

Allowing ourselves to be with what we otherwise want to reject,

believing “this cannot be God.”

HERE is where we find God,

No longer distant, rare or separate,

But right here in the midst of the human condition

For HERE, there is nothing that is not God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlZ71ggvQ74

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, End of the World Prophecies, Mystics, Truth, world changes

Witness to the World’s Destruction

The world is on the path to its own destruction and there is nothing we can do but stand as witness, and hopefully when it is all said and done, be a source of support for those left standing.

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Yesterday morning, we were graced with the beauty of a late-winter snowfall.  At 7:30 am, I went outside to shovel the sidewalk and steps up to my house in preparation for my morning Authentic Freedom Mastery course.  As soon as I stepped outside, I was hit with a powerful blast of pressurized energy that set my heart pounding and my head spinning.  The vertigo was so intense it was I could do not to pass out as I finished shoveling the walk.  After I completed my task, I clawed my way back into the house and laid on the floor hoping to stop the spinning.  Then the migraine hit – one of those axe-to the head migraines that insists, “You’d better cancel your whole day because you won’t be able to get off the couch.”  So I did.  Then I spent the day raging and writhing, venting and weeping, generally feeling sorry for myself, for everything and for nothing.  When I woke up this morning with the migraine hang-over and still feeling shaky and disoriented, I thought to myself, “not again.  I’m really getting tired of this shit!”  Then I prayed.  What I saw in my prayer shook me to the bone and the body-wracking sobs that poured out of me helped me to understand that it was not my own pain I have been feeling with these recurring migraines.  Instead, it is the pain of the world – specifically, the pain of a world on the path of its own self-destruction.

There it is.  The prophet’s apocalyptic call that most will choose not to hear, or will simply call me out as crazy for seeing and speaking the truth.  But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see where we are headed as a species if we don’t QUICKLY and DRAMATICALLY change our course.  Yes, I (we) know exactly what the world needs to do to change its course, but I’ve (we’ve) been singing THAT song for 15 years now and the world continues to turn a deaf ear.  Every single minute of every single day, people are choosing fear over love and as a collective, we are reaping the fruits of that choice – the fruits being the dead and rotting corpses of the mindless zombies we have become, attracted to noise and driven by an endless hunger for flesh.  As it turns out, the flesh we are consuming is our own, and it doesn’t appear that this is going to be changing anytime soon.  (Where is Rick when we need him?)

Cue the music video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

So what are the prophets and a mystics to do when the world seems hell-bent on its own destruction?  There is really nothing more we can do but resolve ourselves to this fact, then stand by as witness as the world based in fear continues to choose fear, destroying itself in the process.  For those who will be lost in this fear, we grieve.  For what will be lost in this fear, we weep.  For the fear that is driving this destruction, we mourn.  And then we wait.  We wait in silent witness to the destruction and we wait in hope for those who will be awakened through this loss.  And when they awaken, we stand as teachers and guides, as sources of healing and support as together we work in building the new world that will seek to be born out of the ashes.

 

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Inspiration, Lessons, Mystics, Superheroes

Light Workers, Shadow Workers and Middle World Workers

Today’s blog – as an offering of the Superhero Academy – explores the difference between light workers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Healers of every sort populate our world and deserve to be honored for their uniquely special gifts.

Please note, after January 1, 2015, the Superhero Report, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service and Agape Meditation Newsletter will be available by subscription only.  For a very reasonable monthly fee, (about the price of your weekly cappuccino) you can receive all three.  Subscribe HERE or use the Paypal link below:

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It takes all kinds of Superheroes to heal and change the world.

In the twenty plus years that I have been involved with the world of complementary and ancient healing practices, I have learned that there are all kinds of Superheroes – men and women who are here to heal and change the world.  When it comes specifically to the people I know who are healers, they seem be of one of three varieties – lightworkers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Each of these varieties of healers bring their own unique gifts and talents to the fore and have their own audience to which they have been sent to minister.

Lightworkers

Galadriel-oLightworkers are easy to identify and are those who have been given the most attention as we have moved into the new age and ascension movements.  Lightworkers are just that – light.  They tend to speak the language of angels and fairies and draw our attention to things of sacred geometry, cellular healing, quantum layers, and mystical realms.  Not seeming to be “from here,” Lightworkers dress in ethereal almost mystical attire – a reflection of the light and love filled realms from whence they came.  Lightworkers are highly attuned to “the heavens” and are here to remind us of and re-attune us to our Divine, angelic and otherworldly nature.   You know when you are in the presence of a Lightworker because they are really nice and give you the impression they would not hurt a fly. The challenge for Lightworkers is just this – that they are sometimes too nice – not trusting their intuition about another’s deceit or lack of integrity.  Lightworkers can also be challenged when their quest for the light is at the expense of or privileged over the human experience – the reason all of us are ultimately here.

Shadow workers

gollum_fin2If we can think of healers existing along a continuum, Shadow workers exist on the opposite end of the spectrum from Lightworkers and as such, possess polar opposite gifts.  Shadow workers are fiery-warrior types and possess a darkness about them.  They live in the shadows and are comfortable in the darkness.  As such, they are extremely gifted in helping us to identify our shadows and bring them to the light.  Shadow workers help us dive deep into our fears, our past woundedness and traumas, our compulsions and all the parts of ourselves we have hidden from the world – and often from ourselves.  Shadow workers are relentless in their pursuit of darkness so that it can be integrated within us.  Shadow workers are masters as Recapitulation and Soul Retrieval and help people reassemble the lost parts of themselves into a harmonious, cohesive whole.  Since most people resist their shadows, Shadow workers often feel dangerous – at least at first glance.  Again, they have a darkness about them.  While this darkness can be a gift, it can also be the bane of the Shadow worker’s existence if not treated with respect.  Many shadow workers I know have struggled with addictions.  These addictions, I believe, arose because of the shadow worker’s fear of their own power – and perhaps for some – because in the past they have used their powers for their own benefit (and even to cause harm) and not for the common good.  Healing the past frees shadow workers to do what they came here to do – help people fully embrace the HUMAN that they came here to be.

Middle World Workers

Middle World Workers are those who exist somewhere between Lightworkers and Shadow Workers.  In other words, they are a little bit of both.  Middle Workers are drawn to the heavens, but are also comfortable in the shadows.  Middle Workers seek to bring light and love into the world, but also invite us to embrace and integrate the shadow.  Middle Workers understand that we are not here to avoid or transcend the human experience – instead, we are here to live it fully, while also remembering the fullness of our Divine nature.  Middle Workers invite us to remember the fullness of our Divinity while living the fullness of the human condition.  Middle Workers seek to assist people in bringing their Divine nature fully into the human experience while inviting the human experience to become Divine.  “As above, so below,” might be considered the mantra or mission statement of Middle World Workers.  You can recognize Middle World Workers in their approachability and in the way they are authentically real and how they seem to be of light and love while living the human experience.

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One ring to rule them all…

In this human experience – we need them all – Lightworkers, Shadow workers and Middle World workers.  We need those who remind us of our light, along with those who invite us to confront and integrate our shadow.  And, we need those who help us to find the glue that holds it all together.

What kind of worker are you?

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Posted in Empowerment, End of the World Prophecies, Inspiration, Mystics, Superheroes, world changes

CHANGEMAKERS WAKE UP. It’s time to make a new world!

(Psst……Song of the Beloved, the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is available NOW.  Check it out HERE.)  Now on to today’s blog!

Have you felt like you were here for a reason, but perhaps didn’t know what that reason was?  Do you feel like you are here to change the world, but you don’t know how?  Have you struggled to fit in, often feeling like you were very different from the people you know (and even your family)?  Have you felt somewhat alone with in these thoughts? If so….YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  In fact, you are in really good company, there are lots of other people like you, we are finding each other and we are getting ready to CREATE A NEW WORLD!

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Changemakers

Who are the changemakers?  If you are reading this blog, you are likely a changemaker (aka superhero, shitdisturber, rebel, discontent, mystic, starchild, starseed, starborne) and you are in really good company.  Changemakers are those who were born with the inherent gifts and a deep inner call to make the world a better place.  If you are a changemaker, you probably know it…..and WE NEED YOUR HELP because the world as we know it is coming to an end (THANK GOD!) and a new world is waiting to be born!

Politics and End times

If the most recent election is any sign of approaching end times, I don’t know what is.  Positions purchased by corporations.  The whole thing is rigged.  We no longer have a government by the people, for the people.  Instead, we have a government by greedy corporations for the sake of greedy corporations and we don’t need to look very far to see who benefits from this arrangement – healthcare corporations, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, Big oil, agricultural companies who are trying to make us sick (if not dead) through the alteration of our food stocks.  Big business benefits and the politicians who are in their pockets while the rest of the country is sick, unemployed and dying.  Something has to change!

Enter the Changemakers

We are a small voice, but we are getting louder.  No longer content to be obedient and do what we are told.  No longer content to live in a world of fear.  No longer content to watch our brothers and sisters toil away in crappy jobs for poverty wages.  No longer yearning after “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” or wanting what we see on MTV Cribs.  Tired of watching education, healthcare and government flushing themselves down the toilet as we get dumber, sicker and poorer.  Changemakers know it is TIME FOR A NEW WORLD!

The Key to Creating Change

The key to creating change, for making a new world is SELF KNOWLEDGE!  When we come to know ourselves – our TRUE SELVES – we know how we are uniquely gifted to not only find fulfillment in our own lives, but how we are called to contribute to the creation of the New World.  We grow in self- knowledge by being open to this search, and by finding the right kind of support.  This is where I come in.  During a recent gathering of the Superhero Academy,   I was reminded of my own unique giftedness and call – to Awaken, Equip and Empower CHANGEMAKERS (aka Superheroes).  I accomplish this task through writing (blogs, inspirational newsletters and books), one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops.  If you are interested in harnessing your desire to MAKE A NEW WORLD, and haven’t acted yet, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com today to start that journey.  We need your help in CREATING a new world!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Mystics, world changes

Support for the Changemakers

Yesterday I spoke with the 8 millionth person who spoke of their frustrations over:

  • Not fitting in
  • Not feeling understood
  • Being judged for being a troublemaker
  • Condemned for not “toeing the line” and for not being satisfied with status quo
  • Ridiculed for being different, strange, bizarre, for having crazy and wild ideas
  • Chastised for listening to the world and for listening to what the world really needs and God-forbid, for trying to do something about it!

Sound familiar?  If so, you might be a changemaker, a prophet, a pioneer, a madwoman, a madman, a mystic, or my favorite word, “Sh.t-disturber!”  WE (because I am all of these), are here for one reason, and one reason only….to make the world a better place!!!!  Whether you call it the Age of Aquarius, Ascension, The New Age, the Rapture, the End of the World (as we know it), it is upon us.  And, there are people in every field of specialization (mine just happens to be spirituality and human development), who have been specifically planted within their respective fields to disturb the sh.t.  Some of us are in education, others in medicine, others in government, some in the commercial sphere.

Looked upon with suspicion

If you are one of these changemakers, you know who you are.  Why….because everyone hates you…or at the very least, they look upon you with suspicion.  “What crazy idea is Lauri going to come up with today that is going to shake the foundations of what we currently know about the field in which we are currently operating?!!???”  More importantly, “What is Lauri going to suggest that will challenge us to change the way we currently operate in the world?”  More even than death, we as humans fear change. So anyone presumptuous enough to suggest that what is currently being done is less than ideal or might be in need of change is THE ENEMY!

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Why we are needed

But, the world is changing….or it least it had better, or it will die.  As a species, we cannot continue to operate under the current paradigm of power-over, rule through manipulation and fear, take take take, pollute pollute pollute, destroy destroy destroy.  If we continue on our current trajectory, we will destroy ourselves.  This is why we changemakers have been planted on this earth. We are the ones who have been made ready to help humanity into its next stage of existence.  In our respective fields of expertise, we know what needs to be done. We see how the world can be better and we have the vision, skills, knowledge and experience to implement the processes and structures that will be necessary for the creation of a peaceful, harmonious world.  In fact, we’ve already tested our visions and our ideas in the microcosm.  The next step is to bring them into the macrocosm.  The world is readying for our “big entrance.”  In the meantime, we are at the sidelines holding the vision of a more loving world and maybe even praying it into reality.

Support for the Changemakers

What do we do, in the meantime, to deal with the naysayers?  That answer is simple:

  • Stop looking for affirmation and validation from the existing structures and the people attached to these structures.  They will never accept you as long as you challenge the status quo – no matter how dysfunctional the status quo might be.
  • Trust what you know. Speak your truth, stand in your truth, stop apologizing for your truth, no matter how crazy others think your ideas might be.
  • Find others like you!  You are not alone!  There are a million+ changemakers waiting to be made known.  Get to know some.   Connect on my Authentic Freedom Facebook page.  Send a prayer out to the Universe that you find others like you…..if you do this you will find each other….I promise.

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Our Big Entrance

Our big entrance is coming.  The current paradigm is crumbling and every action it takes is only hastening its demise.  Meanwhile, a collective desire for change is gathering and about to hit critical mass.  And while I used to believe a complete collapse would be necessary before real change could happen, I no longer believe this to be true.  Enough changemakers have been holding the vision of a more peaceful loving world and we are ready.  We have what is needed to guide the world into its next stage of evolution and the world is crying out to us for help.  Our job right now is to hold tight, hold the vision, sent out positive thoughts and prayers and wait.  Our time is coming and it is almost here.  And when it finally arrives, there will be no mistaking its invitation and we will willing accept and step across the threshold into a beautiful new world.

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Posted in Gifts of Contemplation, Inspiration, Mystics, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices

Mystics and Contemplatives

In the past several days, I have used the words mystic and contemplative somewhat interchangeably.  While the two are similar and walk a common path with a common mission, I have learned there is a bit of a difference between the two.  After today’s blog, let me know if you are a contemplative or a mystic.

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The same, only different

There are common characteristics between contemplatives and mystics, most obviously is their intimate connection with the transcendent, or what I call God.  Mystics and contemplatives both possess a deep inner calling to connect with God and to maintain that connection, sometimes through meditation and prayer, often through life itself, nature, the body, relationship and creative expression.  Mystics and contemplatives both have an innate ability to see and be present to the world beyond this world and once encountered, mystics and contemplatives find ways to cultivate that connection through disciplined practice (again, sometimes in prayer, sometimes through other means).  While mystics and contemplatives are similar in this regard, there are a few things that set them apart.

Examples in the saints

The Catholic pantheon of saints provides the perfect exploration into the differences between mystics and contemplatives.  John of the Cross, Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating and Catherine of Siena are contemplatives.  St. Francis, Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc, Galileo and Teresa of Avila are mystics.  The former tend to stay in line with the Institution…..the latter tend to rock the boat.

Contemplatives vs. Mystics

Contemplatives (as compared to mystics) are well-behaved.  They are quiet and unobtrusive.  Contemplatives are content to sit and pray and trust and wait (for the most part).  Contemplatives gain the approval of the Institution.  They color inside the lines.  While speaking and living their truth, they don’t tend to rock the boat.  A contemplative would be more likely to earn an imprimatur and a nihil’obstat – the Vatican Good Housekeeping seals of approval.  Mystics, on the other hand, are a whole different story.  Mystics, by their very nature are sh..t-disturbers, they rock the boat, are not content with status quo and generally tick people off (those who find security in the status-quo anyway!).   Mystics also, tend to be a bit mad (aka crazy, insane, off their rocker…)….at least they appear that way to the general public and to those who maintain the current structure of power.  Mystics are not “normal.”   Mystics do not color inside the lines and they are certainly anything but quiet!  Mystics are loud.  Mystics make their presence known.  Mystics are unlikely to gain the approval of the Institution – in fact, they might seek to tick them off.  In fact, any mystic worth their salt has probably been called before the Inquisition to defend their crazy ideas….and some have been excommunicated or even killed for their truths, or at the very least, silenced.  (Galileo, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen for example).  Some have survived the scrutiny of the Inquisition (Teresa of Avila, St. Francis, Martin Luther, ahem…Jesus!) and through their survival, initiated great reform!

Mystics are Reformers

Herein lies the other difference between contemplatives and mystics.  Whereas contemplatives may be initiating reform through their quiet, prayerful presence, mystics are living their call to reform OUT LOUD.  Like John the Baptist, mystics are the voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”  Mystics are the prophets and visionaries who see our potential as human beings and work toward helping us achieve this potential, for this is the call of the mystic – to know God, to see God’s higher vision for humanity, and to invite (challenge) the world to become this vision.

So…..are you a contemplative or a mystic?

Posted in Faith, Gifts of Contemplation, Inspiration, Mystics

Mystics and Superheroes

Mystics (or contemplatives, whatever name you call them) are the real-life version of a superhero.  In today’s blog, we explore the innate superhero powers of mystics and how this makes them better than even Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman or Iron Man.

Superheroes

Mystics

For the past week or so, I’ve been exploring the gift, the call and the journey of the mystic (aka contemplative).  We’ve explored their loneliness, their longing, their mission, their commitment and their call.  Today, I want to explore the greatest strength of the mystic and why I consider them to be the honest-to-god/dess, real-life version of a Superhero.  Superheroes are walking among us and they are housed in the body, mind, spirit and work of the modern-day mystic.

Superheroes

We know who the superheroes are.  BatmanWonder Woman.  Bat Girl. Iron Man. Superman Spiderman.  The Hulk.  Captain America.  Catwoman (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen Dark Knight Rising!)  and one for the kids:  The Powerpuff Girls.  🙂  In the immortal words of Mighty Mouse, superheroes “have come to save the day.”  Superheroes have been gifted with magical powers and/or magical gadgets which allow them to save the world from evil.  Superheroes are cool.  Superheroes rock.  And they have really cool costumes!  But, without their costumes, gadgets and magical powers, superheroes are just ordinary people with names like Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince, Barbara Gordon, Tony Stark, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bruce (David) Banner, Steve Rogers and Selina Kyle.

Mystics vs. Superheroes

The difference between mystics and superheroes is that mystics don’t need costumes or gadgets, and their powers aren’t what one might call “magical.”  Mystics weren’t bitten by a radioactive spider, neither do they hail from the Isle of Amazon, and they certainly don’t have the magical crystal which births the Fortress of Solitude where they find guidance and direction from their deceased alien parents.  Instead, the mystic’s magic resides within the innate gifts that they were given at their birth, gifts that could be the possession of each and every human being, should they choose to use them.  But, like superheroes, the mystic’s innate gifts are given so that they might …save the day!

The Mystic’s secret weapon and super power

Mystic’s, while gifted in unique, individual and amazing ways to bring saving into the world, all have ONE GIFT in common.  It is this one gift that allows the mystic to be present to the human condition in such a way as to be a source of support, healing and inspiration for the world.  If I could choose one superhero movie to portray the mystic’s gift, I would choose the most recent Batman release – Dark Knight Rises.    But, it is not outfitted as Batman with all the padding and bionic supports that portrays the mystic’s gift, (warning spoiler alert) it is in the foreign prison where a very human Bruce Wayne, crippled and broken rebuilds his body and his mind, then works and works and works to escape “Hell on Earth,” the inescapable prison and succeeds through a literal leap of faith.  A very human Bruce Wayne used the most important super power of the mystic to accomplish his escape that that power is COURAGE and its sidekick, FAITH.

Courage and Faith

Courage and faith are the innate super powers born into every mystic because the mystic’s job is to dive deeply into the grit and grime of the human experience.  If one is to accomplish the mystic’s mission of saving the world, one needs to be willing to walk into the horrors and struggles of the human condition, one must be willing to experience one’s own pain and to be able to be present for others in their pain.  In this job of saving the day, the mystic has to walk into terrifying situations, to take dangerous leaps of faith and TRUST that all will be well.  And….as every mystic can attest….in the end, it always is.  And if the outcome of the path is likely to be death, the mystic also knows and proves that even in death, there is always new life.  (ahem….another Dark Knight Rises reference. 😉 )