Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, self-actualization

What is Authentic Freedom?

Authentic Freedom Academy supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents. As a center for experiential education, we support 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 (spiritual counseling)
  • 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.

Authentic Freedom has applications in:

  • Personal Development
  • Parenting
  • Relationship Support
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Management

As a tool for professionals in the fields of:

  • Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Spiritual Guidance/Spiritual Direction
  • Life-Coaching
  • Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and any other hands-on healing protocols

 

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

jesusabstractshutterstock

 

Enjoy the benefits of Authentic Freedom through:

One-on-one mentoring with Lauri Ann Lumby.

The Authentic Freedom Online Course:

Read the book and the companion user’s manual:

Buy it now on Amazon

Buy it now on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Programs which include the Authentic Freedom Protocol:

Authentic Freedom Academy Leadership TrainingAuthentic Freedom Academyorder of melchizedek, Christian Magic, Catholic Magic, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

 

 

 

 

 

My Approach to Scripture: You will notice that scripture plays a predominant role in my writing and in most of my local and online courses. Please note that my approach to scripture is unlike any you have likely experienced before!  I do not approach scripture from a dogmatic or doctrinal perspective.  Neither do I use it as a way to instill fear or manipulate specific actions or behaviors.  Instead, I approach scripture as the ancients did – as a collection of stories which have the opportunity to reflect back to us aspects of ourselves.  In this way, scripture becomes a vehicle through which our highest self can speak to us – providing guidance, support, inspiration, nourishment and even healing.  When we pierce through the veil of other people’s interpretations and allow the Divine to speak to us personally and directly through these ancient texts, we discover the transformational power of The Word as it was originally intended – as a tool to guide and sustain us on the path of love.

 

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, self-actualization, spiritual awakening

Authentic Freedom – Our Mission

Authentic Freedom Academy supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents. As a center for experiential education, we support 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 (spiritual counseling)
  • 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.

Authentic Freedom has applications in:

  • Personal Development
  • Parenting
  • Relationship Support
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Management

As a tool for professionals in the fields of:

  • Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Spiritual Guidance/Spiritual Direction
  • Life-Coaching
  • Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and any other hands-on healing protocols

 

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

jesusabstractshutterstock

 

Enjoy the benefits of Authentic Freedom through:

One-on-one mentoring with Lauri Ann Lumby.

The Authentic Freedom Online Course:

Read the book and the companion user’s manual:

Buy it now on Amazon

Buy it now on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or take the complete Authentic Freedom Leadership Training:

My Approach to Scripture: You will notice that scripture plays a predominant role in my writing and in most of my local and online courses. Please note that my approach to scripture is unlike any you have likely experienced before!  I do not approach scripture from a dogmatic or doctrinal perspective.  Neither do I use it as a way to instill fear or manipulate specific actions or behaviors.  Instead, I approach scripture as the ancients did – as a collection of stories which have the opportunity to reflect back to us aspects of ourselves.  In this way, scripture becomes a vehicle through which our highest self can speak to us – providing guidance, support, inspiration, nourishment and even healing.  When we pierce through the veil of other people’s interpretations and allow the Divine to speak to us personally and directly through these ancient texts, we discover the transformational power of The Word as it was originally intended – as a tool to guide and sustain us on the path of love.

 

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

Posted in Jesus, self-actualization

Jesus as a Model for Self-Actualization

Jesus became self-actualized and sought to teach others how to achieve self-actualization. Today’s blog explores Jesus and his teachings as a model of psychological and spiritual development through which we are empowered to become self-actualized and through which we are able to be freed of the obstacles which prevent us from reaching our full potential as human beings.

Has Jesus Become Irrelevant?

It saddens me that in our quest for intellectualism and individuation, Jesus and his teachings seem to have become irrelevant. When we pierce through the veil of dogma, however, what we see is that Jesus provides a model for psychological and spiritual development which supports the self-actualization of those following his example. What Jesus taught rivals the currently popular paths toward enlightenment and might even be more befitting those who were raised in the Christian tradition. While I acknowledge all these paths as holy and sacred and as valid means through which we can develop and grow as human beings, I contend that we are missing a HUGE opportunity by ignoring or worse yet, demonizing, Jesus and the gifts that he brings to the journey of self-actualization.

Jesus as the model

When we read scripture without the threads of dogma obscuring our view, what we see in Jesus is a man who came to understand the fullness of his human potential and who lived that out as freely as was possible. Examining Jesus’ life through the lens of psychological and spiritual development, we see:

  • A man committed to his spiritual practice.
  • Who came to develop a deeply intimate and personal relationship with that which he called “Abwoon” (God).
  • Who found healing, comfort, restoration, inspiration and guidance through this connection with his higher self.
  • Who, through a process of formation and discernment came to understand his unique giftedness and how he was called to live that out.
  • Who overcame the inner obstacles, temptations and fears which might prevent him from living this path with humility
  • Who learned and practiced the gift of spiritual obedience.
  • Who learned to surrender to and trust the Source that was guiding him.
  • Who was able to stand freely and without compromise in his truth, even to the point of death.
  • Who was a force for change and a voice for justice – ministering to and speaking out on behalf of those who had been ostracized by society.
  • Who challenged the laws that provided privilege to some while infringing on the rights of others.

Jesus as the teacher

Jesus did not go up on a mountain, become self- actualized, and then stay there. Instead, Jesus lived his self-actualization in the midst of the human race and taught others how to reach the fullness of their own potential.  Jesus accomplished this through his example, and also through his teachings. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those writers who attempted to capture Jesus’ model and message in the scriptures that have been handed down to us, as well as those that did not quite make the cut (many for obvious political reasons!).  Again, looking past the Institution’s attempt to doctrinize Jesus’ model of psychological and spiritual formation, these are some of the tools Jesus left behind to help us in our own journey toward self-actualization:

  • practices of meditation and prayer which help us to quiet our minds so that we can be open to the higher intelligence that speaks to us in the silence, that guides us, moves us, inspires us, comforts us, heals us.
  • stories which teach us about the call to justice, that speak to us of the importance of compassion and forgiveness, that heal us from our own fears and woundedness, that remind us of our own unique giftedness and the call to share those gifts in the world.
  • The beatitudes – pithy statements that demonstrate for us the natural results of our potential – as we grow toward our human potential, we are naturally poor in spirit, merciful, working for justice, etc.
  • Stories that remind us that first and foremost….we are loved….more than that….we ARE love and that the purpose of the human journey is to remember that love.

Reclaiming Jesus’ path to self-actualization

In honor of the upcoming Holy Week and Easter season, I am extending this challenge:  I am inviting us to set aside the wounds we may have experienced at the hands of religious institutions, to look beyond the veil of dogma and to restore Jesus to his rightful place as psychologist, spiritual director, healer, teacher and guru.  As we celebrate the miracle of Easter, the day that Jesus was first raised form the dead, let us allow for ourselves the Second Coming of Christ and give ourselves permission to know Jesus anew and to look at his example and teachings through new eyes.  And my prayer is that through the light of Christ, we might see the truth beyond the words and in Jesus find our own path to self-actualization.

The Authentic Freedom Mastery Program and Magdalene Priest/Priestess Training provide a structured process for supporting your own journey of self-actualization incorporating a non-doctrinal exploration of and approach to Jesus’ teachings. Enjoy a FREE preview HERE.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Education Reform, mental illness, self-actualization

Self-Actualization: Where education, psychology and religion have failed

We stand at an important crossroads in our evolution as a species where everything we formerly looked to as keeping us safe; and supporting our health, development, and wellbeing; has failed.  Education.  Government.  Medicine (here including psychology). Capitalism.  Religion.  All have failed.  As it relates to Authentic Freedom Academy, I will focus on the three related to our mission of providing transformational education and empowerment:  education, religion and psychology.

Education, religion and psychology have failed.  Perhaps not from the perspective of some inside these institutions, but from the perspective of human development, they have failed.  Psychology is treating pathology only, and everything is pathology (anxiety, depression, panic attack for example which are just as often signals of our Soul’s desire to awaken!).  Religion teaches doctrine while ignoring the deepest need of the human heart which is to know ourselves and to know that we are loved.  Education remains primarily within the 19th century paradigm of creating obedient factory workers. While religion, education and psychology all insist their desire is to support human development, none in fact, are doing so.  Instead, they are, more often than not, working to keep people small, contained, frustrated and unhealthy.

Authentic Freedom Academy hopes to change this fact by being a resource through which people of all ages can be supported in their human development, the ultimate goal being self-actualization.

Self-Actualization is the term that Abraham Maslow used to describe the ultimate goal of the human journey – to become the fullest expression of our greatest self while harnessing our individual and unique giftedness, not only for our own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  Other pioneers in the field of psychology have used such terms as individuation, self-fulfillment, whole self, etc. to describe the deepest desire of the human animal to find inner fulfillment and satisfaction.  All agree that this satisfaction comes not from what is outside of us (money, power, wealth, material possessions), but is an inner quality experienced when our Soul comes to its own realization.  The Soul’s realization is called self-actualization.  The inner state of contentment and fulfillment I call authentic freedom.

AuthenticFreedomcover

Self-Actualization/Authentic Freedom is the mission of Authentic Freedom Academy.  Toward this end, we provide you with the tools and support you need to achieve your own self-actualization. We provide these tools (one-on-one mentoring, classes and publishing) because we believe that self-actualization is the answer to what ails our world.  Self-actualized individuals are more peaceful and content, problem-centered instead of ego-centered, live more simply, have a deep sympathy for the human race and a desire to serve their fellow human beings, are naturally democratic, collaborative and cooperative, enjoy an inner state of harmony and seek to create that in their world.  Self-actualized people are content within themselves and are no longer looking for something outside of them to make them happy so they are less likely to take from others and are more likely to give.  Self-actualized individuals know themselves and have come in contact with their own unique gifts and have taken time to cultivate these gifts.  After doing so, they are motivated to share these gifts not only for their own fulfillment but for the sake of the betterment of the world.  While detached and self-contained, self-actualized individuals can’t help but support the betterment of our world – sometimes just by being present.

Authentic Freedom Academy has made it our goal to support people of all ages in their journey of self-actualization, empowering them to experience authentic freedom in their lives.

If you are interested in enjoying the benefits of becoming self-actualized, consider scheduling a one-on-one session with Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Posted in codependency, Relationships

10 Characteristics of Healthy Love

10 Characteristics of Healthy Love

Leave it to Abraham Maslow to be generations ahead of the curve!  In his groundbreaking work, Toward a Psychology of Being, he perfectly articulates the difference between co-dependent love (what he refers to as “deficit love”) and interdependent love (what he calls “B-love”).  The latter, is what I believe we are evolving toward as a species and which I have been working to support in myself, my clients and students through Authentic Freedom Academy.  Co-dependent love seeks after the other to fill an emptiness one feels within.  Interdependent love arises out of two healthy and already whole individuals and by its very nature supports the fullest development of both.  As Maslow asks, “It is a real question whether the full development of the human being is possible without it” (Maslow, 1968, p. 43).

couple-690765_1280

This is how you can know if you are operating out of interdependent and healthy love:

1) Love is non-possessive: Your attitude in your love relationship is admiring rather than needy.

2) Your love grows greater over time: Love is the end rather than the means and is enjoyable by its nature.

3) Possessing qualities of a peak experience: The love you engage in is uplifting, ecstatic, unitive, pleasurable….and this is not just about sex.

4) Possessing therapeutic (healing) effects: Healthy love heals – producing hormones which stimulates physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.

5) More valuable, enriching, expansive than most other love relationships you witness.

6) Not directed toward gratification: Not being a need-based love, healthy love does not seek after gratification.

7) Absence of anxiety and/or hostility: While anxiety for the other may be present, there is a marked absence of anxiety (looking for needs to be met) or hostility (resentment over not getting needs met) within the relationship.

8) Interdependence: In Maslow’s exact words,

“Lovers are more independent of each other, more autonomous, less jealous or threatened, less needful, more individual, more disinterested, but also simultaneously more eager to help the other toward self-actualization, more proud of his triumphs, more altruistic, generous and fostering.” (Maslow, 1968, Toward a Psychology of Being, p. 43, New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company)

10) Allows the other to be created: This kind of love relationship supports each partner in becoming their truest, most authentic, most fully developed self.  It supports our positive and healthy development.

 

If this is the kind of love that you seek and do not yet possess, call Lauri Ann Lumby to schedule a private session to begin working on developing the traits within yourself to support this kind of love. (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: The Hero’s Journey

As a lifelong student of religion, spirituality and psychology, I have long been a fan of Joseph Campbell.  Passionate about the process through which human beings become self-actualized, I have found enormous value in “The Hero’s Journey,” the archetypal roadmap that emerged out of Campbell’s lifelong fascination with and study of myth.  In acquiring this roadmap, Campbell demonstrated to the world the universal longing to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment, what to expect when attempting to satisfy this longing, and the way in which every culture has communicated this process through their respective stories.  In providing the map for individuation, Campbell brings us together through the revelation of our common story.

Click on image to order
Click on image to order

 

In The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, (New World Library, 2014) I had an opportunity, for the first time, to see beyond Joseph Campbell, the mythologist and the legend, to Joseph Campbell, the man.  In this delightful collection of archival interviews, Joseph Campbell’s life is presented within the framework of his own creation – “The Hero’s Journey.”  In his own words, Campbell reveals the story of his life and demonstrates his own journey toward self-actualization, proving that self-actualization is possible and what, indeed, it looks like.  In this collection, the reader will find in Campbell, an inquiring youth, a passionate student, a competitive athlete, a “man’s man,” a consummate scholar and researcher, a voracious reader, an enthusiastic teacher, a loving and adoring husband, a wise observer of humanity, a man driven by his curiosity, and an endearing and generous self-fulfilled human being.   Campbell’s life proves that the journey toward self-actualization unfolds on its own and is facilitated by our ability to observe and accept the subtle “call to adventure” and that self-actualization is defined by the gift that you bring to humanity, not how much money, power or status you have acquired along the way.

 

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

 

Posted in Empowerment, Freedom, Midlife Journey, Spiritual Practices, teachers

“Mischief Managed” – Book Review for Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin

I’ve recently been enjoying the books of Bill Plotkin, psychologist, author, wilderness guide and cultural visionary.  I just completed his latest book, Wild Mind, and I LOVE IT!  Wild Mind provides a map for the journey of birthing our Soul, offering tools for spiritual and psychological healing and growth.  I love this book! 

wildmindcover_zps4eac4464

Assuming the guise of modern-day wizard, Bill Plotkin is his latest release, Wild Mind, presents readers with a gift akin to the Marauder’s Map of Harry Potter fame.  The Marauder’s Map is gifted to only the bravest of wizards and can solely be opened by those clever enough to uncover the incantation for its opening, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”  Upon opening the map, the wizard discovers insight into the potential obstacles and dangers along the path of their quest.  The Map of the Human Psyche serves this very purpose in the human quest for the Soul – defined by Plotkin as “a person’s unique purpose or identity.”

With Plotkin’s guidance, readers are invited to plunge into the depths of their psyche so that they may uncover and then transform all of the ego-constructs, defense mechanisms, and inner obstacles to living their Soul’s purpose.  With a breadth and depth akin to the Enneagram, Plotkin presents a comprehensive approach to spiritual and psychological growth that speaks in images and symbols that are universal and fully grounded in our indigenous spirit.  In his nature-based map of the psyche, Plotkin gives readers the tools and support they need to face all that they have hidden in the darkness so that they might bring them to the light in service to their unique identity and purpose.  In freeing their imprisoned Souls and enjoying the contentment, fulfillment and joy that this brings, readers can then confidently close the map, tapping it with their wand while proudly proclaiming, “Mischief Managed.”

Wild Mind is perfect for psychologist, therapists, counselors, ministers, and spiritual directors; for self-directed seekers of spiritual and psychological growth and would be well suited for an intentional group gathered around this same intention.

billPlotkinBill Plotkin, PhD, describes himself as a “psychologist gone wild.”  A cultural visionary, author and wilderness guide, he’s been blazing new trails for decades.  His ecocentric re-visioning of psychology invites us into a conscious and embodied relationship with soul and with the natural world.  His previous books are Soulcraft and Nature and the Human Soul.  He lives in southwestern Colorado.  You can learn more about Bill, his programs and services at http://www.animas.org.

Posted in Authentic Freedom

Authentic Freedom – a new psychology

Today’s blog answers the question, “What is Authentic Freedom” and acknowledges it as a helpful tool in the fields of psychology, spirituality, religion, human development and human evolution.  In fact, I might be so bold as to hail it as a new psychology, inspired by the work of those who have gone before, but going about it in a whole new way. 

lauriprofilebwwebshot2013Authentic Freedom and Psychology:  If we agree with the American Psychological Association’s definitions: Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental health care services, “the understanding of behavior” is the enterprise of psychologists, then I am a psychologist.  While I don’t yet have the alphabet soup behind my name to authenticate this title within the Western hierarchical and dualistic paradigm (I’m working on it), I have spent the last 48 years of my life observing, exploring and investigating human behavior and the motivations behind it.

My path:  In the tradition of the ancients (Moses, The Buddha, Patanjali, Jesus, Ignatius or Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Yogananda, etc.) my path  began in my religious (Catholic) upbringing and expanded into contemplative practices and mystical experiences which provided insights into the human experience and our response to it.  Combining my own personal experiences with both ancient and modern knowledge of human consciousness and the material world, led to the development of my own approach to helping people to understand their behaviors and motivations, especially those thought patterns and behaviors that have become an obstacle to finding meaning, purpose and healthy connections in their lives.  I call this approach Authentic Freedom.

Authentic Freedom is an interdisciplinary approach to the psychological and spiritual wellbeing and formation of adults.  Authentic Freedom provides tools through which you are able to identify and move through the inner obstacles to the peace, joy and fulfillment you long for and are driven to obtain. In addition to providing symptomatic relief,  Authentic Freedom provides a framework upon which you are empowered to cultivate a deep and abiding peace and a fulfilling life.  The Authentic Freedom tool kit includes:

  • Accessible meditation and contemplation practices
  • Cognitive learning
  • Creative expression
  • Confidential engagement
  • Movement practices
  • Guided imagery
  • Archetypal tools including:  The Myers-Briggs personality profile, The Enneagram
  • Dreamwork
  • Soundwork (mantra, chant, music)
  • Energy work
  • Ritual

Authentic Freedom is accomplished one-on-one through Spiritual Direction/Mentoring and in group settings through classes, retreats and workshops.

Become an Authentic Freedom Facilitator

If you are a therapist, counselor, medical doctor, massage therapist, Reiki practitioner, holistic wellness practitioner, yoga instructor, minister, life-coach, or just plain passionate about human evolution and our longing for transformation, Authentic Freedom would be a powerful tool to have at your disposal.  As an Authentic Freedom facilitator, you have the flexibility of sharing this resource with clients and students one-on-one, in a classroom setting, through workshops and retreats and even through online forums.  To learn more about becoming an Authentic Freedom Facilitator, click HERE.

Posted in Empowerment, Inspiration

You’re the Superhero you’ve been looking for.

Today’s blog is about Superheros – our love of them, our desire for them and the invitation, in our journey of spiritual and psychological development, is to recognize that WE ARE THE SUPERHEROS we’ve been looking for.

Me in my Superhero garb!
Me in my Superhero garb!

Superheros

Superheros are awesome.  They protect and save us from bad guys.  They work to keep the world safe.  Most of them are hot, therefore someone upon which we can project our unfulfilled desire for love.  (Who doesn’t want to make out with Aragorn, Superman or for the guys….Wonder Woman or Batgirl!?)  And, they all possess strengths, abilities and powers that we wish we had.  (Come on, admit that you would really like superhuman speed or the ability to see through walls!)  Whether we realize it or not, many of us spend our lives looking for that magical one outside of us who will rescue us from whatever secret, inner pain we harbor.  I was recently reminded that the search outside of myself for the Superhero who will save me from that which cannot be named (ahem….myself!), is in vain . . . not because this person doesn’t exist . . . but because I AM THE SUPERHERO I’ve been looking for!  AND YOU ARE TOO!!!!!!!!

Magical Accessories

One thing really cool about Superheros is that they all have magical gadgets that wield their power.  For Wonder Woman, it is her golden lasso, bullet proof bracelets and invisible airplane.  For Superman….it must be the cape because I can’t think of any other items he totes around.  Batman has all his cool cars, his tool belt, the Batcave, Albert, etc. etc. etc.  Ninja Turtles have throwing stars and numchuks (sp?).  In the Universe’s quest to help me understand my own Superpowers, a messenger was sent in the form of a new friend who enlightened me as to the powers of my own magical gadget,  “Lauri, I have to tell you, I really like your glasses.  They are really cool and they suit you.” (Thank you….I just gave up suffering with the discomfort of contacts and have switched fulltime to glasses….thereby embracing my inner nerd!).  He then went on to say, “And….I don’t know if you realize this, but your glasses are all part of your Superhero mystique.  You know, kinda like Clark Kent!  Your magical powers are in your glasses!”  (who knew!!!????)  I reflected on his observations and realized of course, it is through my glasses that two of my magical powers are reflected:  The power to see the truth beyond the veil and the power to read and retain a ridiculous amount of knowledge.  So beware….with these magical accessories….I see you for who you are – your gifts and your joys, but I also see your sorrows, your hidden pain, your resistance to your truth and your path.  Through my ability to see you for who you are, I help you to see yourself so that you too can embrace your inner Superhero!  🙂  And with the ridiculous amount of knowledge in my brain, I can gather the tools that you need to become your superhero and show you how to use them.  🙂

Super Powers

Along with the ability to see the truth beyond the veil and to retain ridiculous amounts of knowledge, I have also learned more about the Superhero that I am.  In a gathering that I recently facilitated, I invited everyone to draw a picture of their own Superhero.  What came through my crayon colored drawing reminded me of the other powers that I possess:

  • The power to hear the truth beyond the words (See paragraph above!)
  • The power of the pen
  • The power of an open, compassionate and generous heart
  • The hidden support of my “God Squad”
  • Courage – as much as I often feel afraid and vulnerable, I KEEP ON WALKING – and now I have boots strong enough to carry me along that path! (Doc Martens, ya’ll!)
  • And finally…..my invisible companion….a German Shepherd named Gus who has walked by my side first in this world and now in the invisible world, protecting me, always at my side, lovingly and without condition.

Your Superhero

We are each guilty of gazing longingly at Superheros, coveting their powers, their gadgets, their pizzazz.  My invitation to you today is to get to know your own inner Superhero.  What are YOUR magical powers, gadgets of strength, council of support?  We are all Superheros in our own right and this journey is about finding them and being them!  So in parting, I share the incantation of Almighty Isis, “Oh Zephyr winds which blow on high….lift me know so I can fly!”  😉 

Posted in Christ Consciousness, church, Jesus, Raised Catholic

Jesus the Psychologist..Keeping Jesus Relevant

Today’s blog explores Jesus and his teachings as a mode of psychological and spiritual development through which we are empowered to become self-actualized and through which we are able to be freed of the obstacles which prevent us from reaching our full potential as human beings. (isn’t this the goal of psychology afterall?)

divine-mercy

We’ve killed Jesus a second time.

It saddens me that in our quest for intellectualism and individuation, Christianity has somehow become irrelevant and Jesus seems to have been thrown out with the bath water.  Because, when we look past the sins of the Institutions (sexual abuse, sexism, discrimination, power and control) and pierce through the veil of dogma, what lies behind it all is an example, as well as a model for psychological and spiritual development that can be beneficial to every man, woman and child.  Instead, Jesus lays dead at our feet while Buddhism, Yoga, Kabbalah and Paganism become the fashionable and intelligent paths to enlightenment.  While I acknowledge all these paths as holy and sacred and as valid means through which we can develop and grow as human beings, I contend that we are missing a HUGE opportunity by ignoring or worse yet, demonizing, Jesus and the gifts that he brings.

Jesus as the model

When we read scripture without the threads of dogma obscuring our view, what we see in Jesus is a man who came to understand the fullness of his human potential and who lived that out as freely as was possible.  In fact, he lived his actualized self so well that he got killed for it.  Examining Jesus’ life through the lens of psychological and spiritual development, what we see is:

  • a man committed to his spiritual practice.
  • who came to develop a deeply intimate and personal relationship with that which he called “Abwoon” (God).
  • who found healing, comfort, restoration, inspiration and guidance through this connection with his higher self.
  • who, through a process of formation and discernment came to understand his unique giftedness and how he was called to live that out.
  • who overcame the inner obstacles, temptations and fears which might either prevent him from living this path with humility
  • who learned and practiced the gift of spiritual obedience.
  • who learned to surrender to and trust the Source that was guiding him.
  • who was able to stand freely and without compromise in his truth, even to the point of death.
  • who was a force for change and a voice for justice – ministering to and speaking out on behalf of those who had been ostracized by society.
  • who challenged the laws that provided priviledge to some while infringing on the rights of others.

From the psychological model, Jesus was a man who became self-actualized, who reached the fullness of his human potential and who left behind a collection of example, stories and teachings which show us how to do the same.

Jesus as the teacher

Jesus did not go up on a mountain, become fully actualized, then stay there in silence communing with God and playing with invisibility and levitation. Instead, Jesus lived his potential in the midst of the human race and taught others how to reach the fullness of their own potential.  Jesus accomplished this through his example, and also through his teachings. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those writers who attempted to capture Jesus’ model and message in the scriptures that have been handed down to us, as well as those that did not quite make the cut (many for obvious political reasons!).  Again, looking past the Insitutitons’ attempt to doctrinize Jesus’ model of psychological and spiritual formation, these are some of the tools Jesus left behind to help us in our own journey toward self-actualization:

  • practices of meditation and prayer which help us to quiet our minds so that we can be open to the higher intelligence that speaks to us in the silence, that guides us, moves us, inspires us, comforts us, heals us.
  • stories which teach us about the call to justice, that speak to us of the importance of compassion and forgiveness, that heal us from our own fears and woundedness, that remind us of our own unique giftedness and the call to share those gifts in the world.
  • The beatitudes – pithy statements that demonstrate for us the natural results of our potential – as we grow toward our human potential, we are naturally poor in spirit, merciful, working for justice, etc.
  • stories that remind us that first and foremost….we are loved….more than that….we ARE love and that the purpose of the human journey is to remember that love.

Raising Jesus from the dead.

In honor of Holy Week, I am extending a challenge.  I am inviting us to set aside the wounds we may have experienced at the hands of religious institutions (special emphasis for my Recovering Catholic brothers and sisters.), to look beyond the veil of dogma and to restore Jesus to his rightful place as psychologist, spiritual director, healer, teacher and guru.  As we celebrate the miracle of Easter, the day that Jesus was first raised form the dead, let us allow for ourselves the Second Coming of Christ and give ourselves permission to know Jesus anew and to look at his example and teachings through new eyes.  And my prayer is that through the light of  Christ, we might see the truth beyond the words.

Lauri Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com