Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons

It’s Not That They Don’t Love Me – It’s That They Don’t Love Themselves

There is nothing more healing than the startling realization that a deeply imbedded emotional wound has always and forever been based in a lie. Here the wound was the fear that I am not/was not loved.  The realization is that in every situation where I was treated in less than loving ways, where I felt rejected or unloved, it was not because I am not loved…..it is because those who were doing the “rejecting,” don’t love themselves.  Here’s how it happened:

For the past several months, I’ve been working with a trauma specialist, hoping to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic attack, due, in part, to past traumas. The specific treatment protocol we have been using is Brainspotting.  (Please check out the Brainspotting website to learn more.  If you are in the Oshkosh area and are interested in exploring treatment for healing trauma, I have been working with Kristin Gage, and I recommend her highly!).

In this week’s Brainspotting session, what surfaced was a life-review of sorts. In this life review, I was shown every single situation in my life where I felt rejected, criticized, condemned, or falsely accused.  The life-review began with Mrs. Plager, my kindergarten teacher taping my mouth shut and locking me in the closet for the simple reason that I was a happy, gregarious, creative, 5 year old.  I was punished simply for being me.  The life review then continued through every conflictual relationship – my third grade music teacher who pounded my head against my desk for humming the wrong notes, the “mean girls” of middle school and high school, every boy who wouldn’t love me, teachers who hated me, Fr. Doyle who gave me a “C” in high school religion class for challenging his contention that he got to go to heaven first simply by nature of his ordination, my college nemesis, the self-appointed inquisition, the priest who became the final straw and our local bishop.  I saw every situation in my life where I felt rejected and unloved ….  Quite frankly, for simply being me.

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After the life-review, I was then shown a different viewpoint. I saw every single one of these “rejections” not from my own vantage point, but from the inner experience of those who were doing the “rejecting.”  What I saw BLEW ME AWAY.

It was not that they didn’t love me. It was that they didn’t love themselves.

Here is how it worked. Unless pushed to act otherwise, I have never, in my whole entire life, wanted to be anything but loving toward another.  Yes, I have reacted in anger to feeling hurt or rejected.  Yes, I did the normal sibling things of fighting, arguing, bickering, etc.  Yes, I have been human and liked some people more than others.  And there have been some people I have stayed away from because, quite frankly, they scare me.  But in all of this….I still want to treat everyone with love.

What I have learned is that not everyone wants to be loved. Not everyone can stand in the light of love.  When love comes toward them, it triggers their own unhealed wounds around love, specifically all the ways in which they do not feel loved within themselves.  Once this wound is triggered, (and believe me, my own woundedness around love is triggered from time to time), we do one of two things:

  • We recognize that our wound has been triggered and we do some self-care to help support the healing of that wound.
  • We project that wound back onto the person who triggered it, making them the enemy.

The latter is what happened in each and every one of those cases where I felt unloved by a teacher, “friend,” stranger, etc. It is not that they did not love me, it was that my presence somehow triggered their own unhealed wounds around love and they either did not have the awareness, the courage or the tools to do something about it.  So instead of treating their own wound, they turned it back on me, making me the enemy.

So again, it was never that they did not love me, it was that they did not love themselves. How freeing and empowering is that?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons, mental illness, teachers, temptation

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

On Saturday, June 13th I had three full-blown panic attacks, the third so debilitating I was not able to drive myself and my son home from a shopping trip 30 miles from home.  As I mentioned in my blog on Monday, panic attacks suck…..or do they?  What if panic attacks are not here to harm or torture us, but are instead, here to teach us?  What if instead of judging them as harmful, rushing off to medicate them, or wanting to push them away, we welcomed them closer and allowed them to be our teacher?  What, you might ask, could a panic attack teach us other than, “life sucks and then you die?”  Let’s find out… 

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There is always more to the story…

As much as I hate having panic attacks, and they are terrifying while they are happening and every moment in between, for me, and I suspect many others who experience anxiety, depression and panic attacks (note:  the three are closely related), there is always more to the story.  Panic attacks don’t simply show up out of nowhere (though they sure seem like they do).  They always have deeper roots.  As I sat in the fog of the post-panic, post-Xanax hangover, I had ample opportunity to sort through all the potential precursors of panic (while trying not to get too much into old patterns of self-deprecation and negative self-judgment of thinking I did something wrong to bring on this panic and that there must be something wrong with me…).  In the search, I discovered there was a litany of potential “causes”:

Wine – ugh!  One tiny glass of wine the evening before (and as I noted had happened before every panic attack or near-panic I’ve had).  Wine=yeast=triggering my candida allergy.  Apparently there is a tie between candida and panic.  SIGH.  No more wine for me.

Keeping a lid on it!  Tending to a friend who received a medical treatment.  Helping another friend who received a cancer diagnosis.  Being present with a friend whose mother recently passed.  Lots of travel.  And just life in general.  Lots to carry.  Lots to hold.  Throw in some good old fashioned money fears…and….NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF in the midst of it all!  TONS of emotions were bottled up in me that needed to find a way out…..and boy did they!  (And let’s not forget the link between panic and past, unresolved trauma!)

STEPPING INTO MY GREATNESS!  The week leading up to the panic attack was a HUGE week for me.  I stepped into my new venture as Authentic Freedom Academy.  I put AFA out into the world.  I formed an affiliate program and sent out invites.  I completed the most recent Resurrecting the Magdalene course and ordained (yes, I said “ORDAINED!”) four women into The Order of the Magdalene/Christ. I received an important message about my beloved partner.  And finally…..through the support of some shamanic journey work, I rediscovered some very ancient methods of manifestation (ie: magic) and for bringing the new world into being.  Hint: “The Law of Attraction” is OUT (truth be told, it was never in for me anyway…more on that later).

Gethsemane

The link between panic and POWER

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there IS a link between panic and STANDING IN OUR POWER.  The way I understand it, the link between panic and power is two-fold:

Ignoring the voice of our Soul:

First, panic (and its precursor – anxiety) arises when we ignore, silence, suppress and repress our POWER, our truth, our gifts, our call, our purpose and our passions.  When we ignore the voice of our SOUL is will do everything in its power to get our attention.  The more we ignore the voice of the SOUL, the harder it works, sometimes having to resort to desperate measures to get our attention – even if it means panic.  This has definitely been the case for me.  When the truth is in my face again and again and again and I choose to ignore it, panic steps in.

Stepping into our power:

Panic attacks can also arise as a form of temptation.  The closer we get to our Soul’s purpose, God’s call for us in our life, the path of our highest Self, the harder the ego works to thwart us on our path.  Our Soul longs to be free – to have a life of fulfillment, expansiveness, meaning, peacefulness and love.  The ego wants SAME, status quo, what is old and familiar.  Think of Jesus in the desert and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In both instances, Jesus did battle with “Satan” over the path before him.  Heed the voice of fear and make himself equal to God (as was the discussion in the desert) or heed the voice of fear and recant his truth (that he was One with God but not necessarily equal)?  The ego does not want us to enjoy the path of our Soul or to embrace our gifts or our true power.  Instead, the ego wants us to remain small, in a place and situation that is familiar.  Toward that end, the ego will resort to all sorts of ministrations to keep us from our power – even panic attacks if it needs to.

Power and panic in proportion

I can think of two situations in particular (this weekend included) where a powerful moment of stepping into my power presented itself and panic stepped in.  In both situations, and army of support presented itself and I eventually figured out the true source of the panic – not in something I had done wrong, but in something I had done right!  Talk about empowering.  It is interesting to me to note that the degree to which we are stepping into our power is equal to the degree to which the ego fights to keep us from it.  From the degree of the panic attacks I experienced this weekend, I’m guessing I’m getting pretty dang close to the purpose of my soul and to the root of my true power.  How about you?

Stay tuned Panic Attacks, the Devil Inside Part II where we will learn how to embrace temptation (ie: panic attacks) as our teacher instead of our tormentor.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides resources and support for those wishing to heed the voice of their Soul – for those who know they are here for a reason, who want to know what that reason is, and who wish to contribute to the betterment of themselves and the world through their own unique giftedness.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@autheticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in Being Human, mental illness

Panic Attacks Suck! – A lesson in receiving

I am one of the (probably) millions who suffer with panic attack disorder.  And even though many might put me into this category, I’m not going to join with all the “think the right thoughts,” “La-La-Lightworker,” “New Age” people who will try to paint panic attacks in any other way……when you are having one, before you have one, after you have one and every moment in between there is one very stark and real truth….PANIC ATTACKS SUCK!  They suck. They suck.  They suck.  And they especially suck when you have one (or three….as was my case this past Saturday) while driving, most especially when you have one of your children in the car with you while you are having one.  And they REALLY suck when you have one when driving and are then unable to get yourself home and have to pray like hell that your sister-in-law is home and has nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than drive 60 miles round trip to get my stranded (and at this point completely undone) ass and my son and my car home in one piece.  (Thank you dear sister in law and brother in law BTW!!!!).

panic

For those that don’t have panic attacks….try to imagine that you are dying….because that is exactly what panic attacks feel like.   For me anyway, it starts with a weird feeling in my belly….a stirring and a twirling that feel uncomfortable and disconcerting.  This is often accompanied by a burning pain in the middle of my lower back.  This stirring then starts rising up, first to my heart which then starts to pound, then my body starts to tremble, and then perhaps the worst part of it all, my vision starts to close in.  It is like someone is taking my field of vision and drawing the curtain inward toward the center of my forehead while at the same time the top of my head is opening.  As the panic rises, my field of vision closes and I’m sure that in just a moment I won’t be able to see and then I might pass out.  In a way, it feels like how one might feel when their soul is leaving their body and in a sense that is the very fear one experiences during a panic attack.  We are sure we are going to die.  It is the most terrifying feeling that in spite of all our efforts to control (through breathwork, visualization, talking ourselves down, etc.), it has control over us.  Once the panic attack is in motion….it will have its way with us…not the other way around.  There are no “thinking the right thoughts” when it comes to panic.  In the past, I have been able to head off a full-blown panic attack through the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen (breathing in the fear and breathing out love).  If I could get to the point of tears, the panic would usually subside.  Not this weekend however….nothing worked…not matter how hard I tried.  Instead, I was forced to surrender to the very real truth that I was not in control, that I could not get myself home (safely anyway) and that I had to pull over, let the panic take me, ASK FOR HELP and then allow myself to receive it – without shame.  Hah…good talk!

Surrender.     Not in Control.   Ask for Help.   Receive it.     Without shame!

As I write these words, I realize the lesson I had an opportunity to practice with this Saturday’s panic attacks.  For a type-A, overachiever, introverted, perfectionist…..these are the hardest pills to swallow:

I have to surrender to the fact that:

I am not in control.

I cannot do it by myself.

I sometimes have to ask for help.

Then be willing to receive it.

And…..be willing to receive it without shame.

 

The last of these might be the hardest.  As a spiritual director, I KNOW there is no shame in panic attacks.  But as a recovering perfectionist, I believe panic means that I am not perfect and that I have failed in some way.  As a spiritual director I KNOW that none of us should have to do it alone and that we thrive when we work as a team and support each other in our challenges.  As a perfectionist, I am sure I have to do it alone and that I can do it alone.  I’m great at offering help to others, but when it comes to asking for help….not so much.  And challenges?  Well….perfectionists have to be just that – perfect, which means there is no room for challenges and that challenges equal failure.  Finally there is the receiving part.  Asking for help and receiving it are two separate matters.  It’s one thing to be brought to ones knees such that asking for help is the only option.  It is another thing entirely to be able to receive that help without apologizing and/or getting into the self-flagellation game.  “Bad Dobby…Bad Dobby” is what it mostly looks like for me.  I would be more than happy to help another when asked and there are never any negative thoughts or feelings of being put out by another in distress…so why do such harm to myself when I ask for help?  Why can’t I be as loving to myself as I am to everyone else I know and come in contact with?  Why?

As I continue to recover from being brought to my knees by Saturday’s full-throttle panic attacks (recovery is usually a several day process for me), this is the invitation I am offering to myself:

Can I be as loving toward myself as I would be toward anyone else?

I’ll try this on, see what it looks like, and let you know.

Lauri Ann Lumby is the Founder and Director of Authentic Freedom Academy.  Lauri can be reached at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@authenticfreedom.love.

 

 

Posted in world changes

LOVE ACTIVATIONS!

Something amazing, intense and at least initially scary is happening in the Universe.  Starting the three days prior to the FULL MOON and continuing this week, a series of LOVE ACTIVATIONS are taking place.  For many, these love activations will feel like anxiety, hyper-sensitivity to sound, touch, smells, people, places, the outside, sunlight, etc.. (sadly, for some, the intensity of these activations and the anxiety they are producing will be projected out into the world through violence).  It will also feel INTENSE, like our bodies are filling up with energy and are about ready to EXPLODE.  For myself, I have felt all of the above, culminating in vertigo, panic attacks (and all the symptoms that accompany them), and migraine headaches.

Coping with these activations is not easy.  In fact, as mentioned above, for some, their reaction will be violence.  If we are aware, and paying attention, however, we have another choice in how to respond to this foreign energy…..because it is foreign while at the same time being VERY FAMILIAR.  LOVE is our original nature, but we have been so wrapped up in our egos, our false-self, our sense of separation and fear that we have forgotten what REAL LOVE feels like.  Additionally, our egos will fight tooth and nail to maintain their place of prominence within us and it knows that the arrival of LOVE means its ultimate demise.

HeldinLove

SO…….while I certainly don’t have all the answers, I am happy to share with you what seems to be working for me.

1) Hold an awareness that the energy we are feeling is LOVE trying to be embodied within us.

2) Intend to be open to not only receiving, but embodying this love.

3) Take time out of the chaos to hold that intention to receive and visualize your awareness moving from your head (where the panic starts) into your heart.

4) Hold your awareness in your heart space and allow the LOVE to fill it up….allowing it to EXPAND within you and BEYOND you out into the world.

5) If the love feels like too much to handle …. allow the love that you are receiving to flow through you into the world reaching out into all the places of fear and constriction.

6) And by all means…..BREATHE!

7) Once the Love is more fully embodied you might find that you have an excess of energy in your body……now is the time to MOVE.  Dance.  Do yoga.  SING. Tai Chi. etc. etc. etc.

 

Love to you as you enjoy the love activations!!!!

 

Posted in End of the World Prophecies, world changes

Surviving Today’s Full Moon

full-moon-237523Over the past week, I have felt the energy building as we have been approaching today’s full moon, but in that I had no idea how truly INTENSE today’s moon would be.  I’m personally feeling the INTENSITY of this moon as pressure behind my sternum and in the middle of my back between my shoulder blades.  Additionally, I feel an energy in my body like I am about to EXPLODE.  If you too are feeling the intensity – physically or perhaps emotionally in the heavy feeling like you need to cry, intense anxiety, even the feeling of a pending panic attack….read on.

 

Today’s Moon’s Purpose

The energy of today’s full moon is all about LOVE.  In short, the Universe (God, whatever you want to call it) is trying to fill us up with LOVE and re-attune our consciousness from a mind full of fear to  a heart full of  Divine Love.  This LOVE that is attempting to fill us up is the LOVE of our true selves, our original selves and our true home.  This heart-centered LOVE is how we were meant to function – not the mind-based fear that we have lived out of for the past 10,000 years.

Receiving this Love

Today’s full moon is INTENSE, and might at first feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.  What I have come to understand is that the degree of discomfort is proportionate to our attachment to mind-based functioning and resistance to LOVE.  In order to experience the true nature of this LOVE which is soothing, comforting, nourishing and sustaining, we need to move out of our head and into our hearts.  In order to receive the fullness of the gift intended by this LOVE, the answer is the same – to get out of our heads and into our hearts.

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Rx for Today’s Full Moon

If you are experiencing today’s moon as discomfort, anxiety, pain, or fear, here is a simple exercise to help you receive the LOVE and more importantly, BE that LOVE:

As you feel the discomfort, become aware of your attention to your head or mind.  Purposefully draw the energy you feel there from your head and allow it to sink into your heart.  Then imagine your heart like the bud of a rose and envision your heart opening wide to receive the LOVE.  Now, FEEL that love as it fills you up, giving you a sense of buoyancy, peace, contentment and even joy.  KNOW that this love is your true nature and is the energy of home.  Now, intend to BE that love in the world.

Receive the Love.

Feel the Love.

KNOW the love.

Be the Love.

Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, world changes

Superheroes and our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

Superhero Report – July 28, 2014

Our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

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It is not something we like to admit, but the New Superheroes have often had trouble with mood-altering substances.  Whether it is caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, a whole host of illegal substances or ones that have been prescribed by our doctors for ADD, anxiety, stress, depression, or panic attack, certain ascetic meditation practices, television, video games, the internet – the New Superheroes are likely to have (or had) some sort of habitual relationship with one or several of the above.  There is a sound explanation for the attractiveness of these substances and to the way in which we are almost irresistibly drawn toward them and why they can so easily become addictive.  There are also some simple practices we can engage in which can render these substances unnecessary.  (Note: if you have an addiction, please seek out the support of your local 12-Step recovery program.)

 

The question of why we are drawn to mood-altering substances has a many-layered response:

 

1) We remember our true nature and our original home and we want to go home!

On an unconscious and often conscious level, Superheroes remember what “heaven” feels like. We also know our “true self” is not of this earth, but that we are pure, spiritual beings. Mood-altering substances stimulate the brow and crown chakras and give us an experience of being “home.”

2) We were given a vision of what the earth is supposed to be like, and this is not it.

Until we know how, we often resist this human form and are looking for ways to ESCAPE. The earth we are currently residing in is the not the vision of earth that was planted into our hearts and that we are here to make real. Again, mood-altering substances give us an experience similar to being home, thereby allowing us, at least temporarily, to escape the painful human condition.

3) The false belief that spiritual is better than human.

This is a biggie – especially among certain members of the New Age, Ascension, and Lightworker communities. We are NOT here to be spiritual, we are not here to ascend the limitations of our humanness, we are not here to sprinkle fairies and stardust upon the world singing songs of light and love and perfection, believing that if we think good thoughts all will be well and we will have everything we want. No, we are not here to do these things – not at the expense of being HUMAN anyway. WE ARE HERE TO BE HUMAN. PERIOD. We are ALREADY fully Divine. We came here to experience being human AND to bring our already perfect Divine nature fully into this experience. Rather than Ascension, the journey of the New Superhero (and the rest of the world with us), is actually INCARNATION – transcending the illusions of duality and becoming BOTH fully Divine AND fully Human. We already know the Divine part….let’s figure out how to be human! (ahem….I know a pretty cool dude who lived about 2000 years ago in and around Palestine/Israel who came here to do the same.)

4) Shame

As strangers in a strange land, we often have the experience of not fitting in, of being judged for being weird or strange. People don’t understand us, or the vision we carry in our hearts and the drive to make it real. When we feel rejected by those around us, and sometimes even by those we love, we take it personally. This rejection becomes internalized as shame. Mood-altering substances are a great way to numb the pain of this shame.

5) Loneliness

Just ask Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, being a Superhero is lonely business. Until they discovered each other and formed the Justice League, these Superheroes were out there on their own trying to make the world a better place and feeling very alone. The same is true of us. We often feel alone in the world with few who understand our unique temperaments, gifts and call. Mood altering substances help us to numb the pain of feeling alone and misunderstood.

Again, if our relationship with mood-altering substances has reached the level of addiction, then it is time to seek help.  12-Step recovery programs are a great way to get support in stopping the use of the substance and Authentic Freedom helps to identify and heal the inner fears/wounds which led us to the compulsive behavior in the first place.  If our relationship to mood-altering substances is less problematic but we still find ourselves drawn to them, the following practices may prove helpful.

 

1)Tonglen 

Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice which incorporates visualization and breathwork for the intention of transforming painful emotions. For the Superheroes, applying Tonglen to feelings of loneliness and shame can prove effective. Here is the practice in short:

  • Identify the feeling you want to work with (shame, loneliness)
  • Call that feeling up in your body.
  • Identify where in your body you feel it.
  • Breathe INTO that place in your body, while feeling the emotion (shame, loneliness).
  • While breathing into that place, follow your breath with your mind.
  • Now breathe out love, following the love with your breath as you imagine it flowing out of you from the place of the painful emotion.
  • Continue with this practice until you feel something change – perhaps the emotion shifts to something else, maybe you begin to weep.

2) Embodiment

Embodiment is a practice that I discovered while struggling with an overactive and fretful mind.  The intention of this practice is to REMEMBER that we are here to have a HUMAN experience – no matter what we remember about our “heaven home” or our true nature as spiritual beings.  Embodiment allows us to set aside the false belief that spiritual is better than human and gives us the tools for bringing our, already perfect, Divine selves FULLY into the human experience.  When our spirit is fully incarnate in our bodies, we feel safe and secure and are less likely to be tempted to FLEE.  It is not, however, until we INCARNATE that we feel safe in our human selves, so let’s get to incarnating, shall we???

 

  • Close your eyes and draw your awareness deep into your body.
  • See if you can identify the distinction between your spiritual and human self. (Note, the spiritual self, until we are incarnate, tends to hang out in the upper chakras, especially our head, or even somewhere outside and above us.)
  • Conscious of the distinction between your spiritual and human self, bring your consciousness deep into your body.
  • Imagine the Earth beneath you as hands reaching up to hold, support, protect, and nourish you.
  • Feel the sense of safety in resting in this supportive space.
  • Imagine your HUMAN self as supported by the Earth and receiving its nourishment from the Earth.
  • As you begin to feel the safety of humanness, imagine that your human self is like a chalice – an empty vessel waiting for your Spirit to be poured into it.
  • From this place of security, observe as your Spirit willingly pours itself into the safe home of your human chalice. You are not pushing, forcing or pulling it in, it willingly enters in the knowledge that the Human form is safe.
  • Returning to the awareness of your human form, FEEL the sensation of being fully human and safe in this experience, while completely filled by your Divine Spiritual nature. Feel the wholeness and completeness of this experience. As you sit in this feeling of safety, you become aware of all illusions of separation melting away. Your Spirit and your Human natures are now one – no longer separate or distinct from each other, but ONE.

 

Embodiment eliminates the temptation to FLEE because when we INCARNATE, we find that WE ARE HOME and that there is a home for us in the human condition and that with our embodiment, it looks a whole lot like the heaven we remember and the heaven we were sent to make real upon this earth. 🙂  In this experience, we know that HEAVEN IS REAL and it is right here, within and among us.

 

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,

Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed,

And no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘ look, there it is.’

For behold, the kingdom of God is within (and among) you.”

 

Luke 17: 20-21

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Initiation, world changes

Are You One of the New Superheroes?

There is a new breed of humans who are currently walking the planet.  This new breed of humans were born to be Superheroes.  They are our future.  They are here to heal and change the world.  No, they won’t be faster than the speed of light (but with the internet…who knows!). They won’t be able to bend steel with their hands.  They will not be able to leap over capital T in a single bound.  They will not be able to stop bullets with their golden bracelets or coerce truth out of liars with a magical lasso.  The impact of the new Superheroes, however, will be just as great – if not greater.

JusticeLeague

Who are the new Superheroes?

Here is just a short list of qualities that might help you identify yourself, or someone you know as a new Superhero.  The New Superheroes are:

  • Born with a deep sense that they are here for a reason, that there is something they are here to do.
  • Born with a profound inner knowing of what the world is supposed to be like and dramatically and negatively affected when they witness or experience a world other than what they know is supposed to be.
  • Extremely sensitive to their environment, picking up the feelings and emotions of others, feeling like it is their job to fix things.  Also sensitive to world events – weather, natural disasters, human disasters, war, etc.
  • Struggling with anxiety, depression, panic attack, sleeplessness, insomnia.
  • Creatively driven with an active mind.
  • Often drawn to nature. Feel more grounded and whole after spending time in nature.
  • Not interested in the current Western paradigm of materialism and consumerism.
  • Dumbfounded that others don’t understand and expect the world to be as they know it should be and that no one seems to be doing anything about it.
  • Struggling with authority—feeling it has to be earned, not assumed.
  • Fiercely independent, don’t fit in with old systems of education, government, religion, etc., knowing a better way to do these things.

The Superhero’s Challenge

Again, the new  Superheroes are our future.  They are here to heal and change the world.  The problem is that the majority of the world is not quite ready for the Superheroes.  The world isn’t ready because many are too tightly attached to the world they have come to know and many are benefitting from current paradigm which is primarily rooted in separation and fear.  The new Superheroes are preaching about love….and as is usually the case, the world isn’t quite ready for love.  As a result, the new Superheroes:

  • Question themselves because of the contrast between what they know and what others seem to know and believe.  This questioning creates in them a great deal of anxiety, stress and they often lose sleep over this.
  • Experience a great amount of angst—over the state of the world, the environment, politics, and all of the above mentioned, and often feel helpless (even hopeless) about it.
  • Are restlessly discontent over all of the above – a discontent that is not satisfied until they are working toward the creation of the world they know in their hearts, their minds and their beings.
  • Are growing cynical over all of the above.

Teen_Titans___Neo_by_Gilarin

Help is on the Way

As a Superhero myself, I feel called to provide help and support for the New Superheroes!  Help for the Superhero in:

  • Learning to manage anxiety along with the depression and panic attacks that often accompany the Superhero’s awakening.
  • Discovering and cultivating their own unique Superhero powers.  (Many have been gifted with empathy and are unwittingly making themselves sick with other people’s emotions, illnesses and dramas. My job is to help them learn how to use this power and not get sickened by it.)
  • Protecting themselves from the kryptonite-effect of a world living in separation and fear.
  • Finding community – creating our own Justice League of Superheroes working together to heal and change the world. “Truth, Justice and Pizza”

WonderWomanIf you are a Superhero and looking for support, please join us on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 4:30 for our first gathering.  For more information, please click HERE, or call or email Lauri Lumby (aka Wonder Woman) (920) 230-1313, lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.  The world is waiting for you!  You are the change you wish to see in the world! 

Posted in Body/Mind/Spirit connection, mental illness

Are Panic Attacks Our Soul Trying to Wake Us Up?

It seems that panic attacks have become epidemic in our society.  Having experienced them myself and having worked with others in successfully reducing, if not eliminating, incidents of panic attack, I have come to believe that many, if not all panic attacks are our Soul trying to WAKE US UP!

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Soul

I define Soul as the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives.  The Soul is there for our own fulfillment, specifically when engaged in service to the betterment of the world.  The Soul is God’s way of living in and through us and it is through the Soul that we participate in God’s on-going plan of creation – specifically, it is through the Soul that we become the people God made us to be and it is through the Soul that we assist God in making the world a loving, peaceful, harmonious, healthy and safe place where the needs of all species are met in abundance.  Since the Soul comes from God and is indeed, the Presence of God within us, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Soul Drive

The Soul’s desire is for one thing only – that we become the fullest expression of the unique person God made us to be.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where we all see our life experience through the false perception of separation.  As a result, we live in fear.  Fear thwarts our ability to hear, see, and know the Truth of our Soul.  Our own fears are then compounded by the fears of others who might attempt to suppress, ignore, criticize, or condemn our Soul.  We all experienced direct experiences of being shamed or punished for trying to express or live our truth.  As a result of these experiences, we hide our Soul away.

Soul Shouting

As we work toward locking our Soul away, the Soul fights back.  And the ways in which the Soul fights back are not pleasant.  As I mentioned before, the Soul is a force to be reckoned with.  She might start her fight quietly through withdrawal, mild depression, a series of mild illnesses.  But the harder we try to silence the voice of the Soul, the louder she becomes.  Chronic pain, unexplainable illnesses, ulcers, digestive disorders, auto-immune disease, anxiety, high blood pressure, clinical depression, panic attack.  People have even died in their attempts to silence their Soul.

Soul Waking

Many of these symptoms, panic attack most especially, is the Soul trying to wake us up.  Even for those whose panic attacks come as a result of trauma (PTSD), I would suggest that the panic is there as a way of encouraging you to get help in releasing and healing the trauma so that your Soul can lead you to the life you were meant to live.

Soul Truth

One thing I have learned about the Soul is that it never lies.  In fact, the Soul is all about the Truth and is impeccable with Truth.  Truth, more than anything, is what the Soul wants us to know.  As such, in the birth of the Soul, Truth is what the Soul is trying to help us see – the Truth of our pasts, the Truth we’ve covered with deceit, the truths we’ve rejected or suppressed, the Truth of who we are and who we were meant to be and in coming to know our own Truth, we come to know the Truth of others.

Panic Attacks

So, if you are experiencing panic attacks, or know someone who is, you might consider the possibility that the panic attacks are a result of your Soul trying to get you to know your Truth, and then seek support in getting to know your Truth.  Some truths may be difficult to see and to know (like past experiences of abuse or trauma), but it is only in naming and claiming ALL your truths that your Soul can find its place in the world.  You were made to know joy, to experience love, to know peace, to feel safe, and to find fulfillment through your own uniquely creative gifts through which you find meaning and purpose in serving the betterment of the world.

Lauri Ann Lumby assists men and women in the birth of their Soul through one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops.  Starting July 7, 2014,  Lauri will be offering a Soul-Support class specifically for “The New Grown-ups” (also referred to as Millennials, Indigos, Crystals, New Kids, etc.).  To learn more, click HERE. 

Posted in Being Human, codependency, Empowerment, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Practices

Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks

 

I am one who has experienced and suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.  Compared to many, I would say that my panic attacks and even depression have been mild.  Anxiety, however, seems to have become my constant companion.  In the thirteen years of actively seeking healing, support, tools for dealing with and managing depression, anxiety and panic attacks, I have come to an interesting theory which I pose here as a question:

Are my anxiety, depression and panic attacks a result of suppressing and withholding my magic?

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I often think it is.  Another way I have described it when working with clients is that in many cases, anxiety, depression and anxiety seem to surface as a result of suppressing (not expressing) our truth.

The only thing I have to support my theory about the link between our magic/our truth and depression, anxiety and panic attacks is my own personal journey of healing along with the healing experienced by many of my clients as we have done the work of accessing their truth and empowering their ability to give voice to their truth.  Not willing to infringe on client confidentiality, I will use myself as an example.

Somewhere around 14 years ago, the universe fell in on me and a few years later, it fell in on me again.  Depression, anxiety and panic attacks surfaced in response to these events.  In the aftermath, I have worked diligently in search of the remedy to the subsequent symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic.  While I did resort to medication (for a duration of 18 months) after my panic attacks became a nightly event, the most profound and enduring remedy to anxiety, panic and depression has been doing the work of identifying my truth, my needs, my magic and finding ways to express them.  The work of identifying my truth, my needs and my magic has included:

  • unraveling from deeply held patterns of co-dependency
  • learning how to identify and work toward getting my needs met
  • grieving unhealed losses, identifying and transforming unhealthy behaviors and defense mechanisms
  • learning to discern the voice of truth from the voice of my fearful self and then acting on it
  • incorporating mindfulness based practices for managing anxiety as it arises
  • exploring my gifts, nurturing, cultivating and sharing them
  • making the decision to leave an unhealthy marriage (not without first trying to make it healthy)
  • learning how to set healthy boundaries
  • coming to know myself – warts and all and learning how to find the gift in all of it

As I learned to take care of myself, my own needs, my gifts, talents and passions and became more comfortable in sharing these with others, my symptoms of depression significantly decreased, anxiety became manageable and panic attacks were all but eliminated.

Along with these measures, I have taken a preventative approach by cultivating a daily spiritual practice and making dietary, exercise and wellness decisions which help to support physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing, all of which help decrease the incidence of anxiety, depression and panic.

I’m not saying these approaches are the be-all, end-all, cure-all, but coming to know our magic and sharing it freely in the world goes a long way in reducing incidences of anxiety, depression and panic.  If nothing else, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Posted in mental illness, Midlife Journey

Mental Illness Awareness Week and Midlife

October 7th began the recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week.  In honor of this very important drive for awareness and advocacy in the field of mental health, I want to address some of the mental health issues that tend to show up during the midlife and menopause transition.  Join me in building awareness of mental health issues and the valuable resources that are out there to support those who struggle with mental health concerns.

mental illness awareness week

It Might Not Be PTSD

I recently had a conversation with a friend in which they shared their recent journey through their father’s death. This friend expressed feelings of being “wrecked” and suspicions that the symptoms they were experiencing might be a form of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  As a Spiritual Director and Midlife Mentor, I have witnessed many who have experienced similar symptoms – anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, mood swings, obsessive thoughts, even panic attacks which have mysteriously surfaced during similarly significant losses.  While I am not able to diagnose the existence of lack thereof of PTSD, what I suspect about my friend, and what I have witnessed in both myself, and others I have accompanied through the transitions of midlife, is that more likely than not, what we are experiencing is ultimately our truth trying to find its way out, and that the harder we resist our truth, the more persistent and painful are the symptoms that present themselves.

Mental Health Issues

Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, mood swings and sleeplessness all fall under the category of mental health issues and depending on the degree to which we suffer from these complaints, may qualify as mental illness.  It is NOT a bad thing to experience mental illness.  In fact, the benefit of having a diagnosis is that we can then find effective treatment, support and medication where necessary and appropriate.  It is imperative, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, to SEEK SUPPORT and then, to become your own advocate in the way of education, treatment and insurance coverage (where available).  Mental illness is treatable and many experience satisfactory and enduring results which greatly improve their quality of life.

A Complement to Mental Health Treatment Options

As a complement to traditional interventions for symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attack, sleeplessness, obsessive thoughts, mood swings; and the oft-experienced physical symptoms of acid reflux, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, auto-immune disease relapses that often show up in conjunction with midlife, it may be helpful to begin to explore your own inner truth.

  • What are the past losses/changes/transitions that are in need of identification, grieving, healing and release?
  • What are the heretofore ignored or suppressed dreams that might be trying to find their way into the light?
  • Have there been past experiences of sexual, emotional, mental, physical, verbal or spiritual abuse that are calling to be revisited and healed at a deeper level?
  • Are there sexual orientation issues that are seeking to be known and lived freely in the world?
  • Are you being invited to realign your life choices and direction with your own desires instead of those of some outside perceived authority?
  • Are you being invited to identify and claim your own needs?
  • Are you being invited to take responsibility for your own life instead of being the hapless victim of some outside malevolent force which seems to be out to get you?

Midlife, unparalleled with other periods of transition, seems to unleash within us all the hidden and unspoken truths that we have silently hidden in the darkness.  If we have to COURAGE to go into those places of darkness and EXHUME our unrecognized truths, in seemingly miraculous fashion, we are often freed of the previously judged as unpleasant symptoms.

If you are looking for healing and support of mental health related issues, contact your local NAMI chapter, ask your physician for assistance, find a mental health professional in the form of a psychotherapist, behavioral counselor or therapist, and if you suspect your symptoms may be related to truths unexpressed, contact Lauri Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or find a spiritual director/life coach/personal mentor/ anam cara near you.