Posted in Authentic Freedom, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Empowerment, grief, Spiritual Direction

Before Psychotherapy

Today’s blog explores the ancient mentoring practices that preceded modern-day psychotherapy, still exist today and in many ways are more effective than traditional therapy.

Freud

Life before Freud

I know it is hard to believe, but psychology was not born with Sigmund Freud.  Neither did it only come to exist thanks in part to Greek philosophers.  I know this is what is what academia teaches as the roots of psychology, but there have been psychologists throughout human history – perhaps as far back as our human origins.  Before Freud, however, these remarkable women and men were not called psychologists, instead, they were called such things as spiritual director, teacher, abbott, abbess, priestess, priest, elder, medicine woman, medicine man, guru, oracle, and shaman.  Throughout human history there have been powerful women and men gifted and then trained to assist people in becoming their truest self and helping individuals to find healing and transformation from their inner ills.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worry, grief, loss, vocational discernment, even physical maladies were tended to through these wise and gifted teachers.  These women and men held places of honor within their communities and their needs were provided for by the community in exchange for the generous sharing of their gifts.

What Happened?

In a person – Descartes.  With his masterful separation of God from reason and matter, mystery was divorced from science – so much so that anything of mystery came to be set aside or disregarded as something only for the ignorant and foolish.  With near surgical precision, the transcendent was excised from the treatment of the human person and in the Western world, the spiritual director, shaman, medicine woman and man lost their place and psychotherapy stepped in.

It All Comes Back Around

Not anymore.  People have grown frustrated with the limitations of traditional psychotherapy – and the medical model in general.  People are tired of being reduced to something that must be “scientifically verifiable.”  Women and men are looking for depth, meaning, fulfillment and wholeness and this can only be accomplished by reconnecting with mystery. While there is still an important place in our world for traditional psychotherapy, many are searching for more.

Authentic Freedom Mentoring

This is where Authentic Freedom mentoring comes in.  As a trained spiritual director and Reiki master, I have honed the necessary skills for leading people through the mystery and for empowering them to become self-actualized.  In doing this work, many of the everyday issues of anxiety, depression, panic attack, the effects of trauma and grief, are healed and released so that the individual is free to be their original self – the person God made them to be.  As there is no talk of God or mystery in traditional psychotherapy, this might not be the path for all – but it is an effective path for many – even those who consider themselves to be atheist – for even in atheism – the mystery remains.

Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring over the phone, via Skype  and in person. To schedule a session call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Click HERE to learn about being trained as an Authentic Freedom Facilitator or Mentor.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Healing, mental illness, Spiritual Direction, Truth

Beyond Psychotherapy – Authentic Freedom Mentoring

Today’s blog explores the important question:  What in the world does Lauri Lumby do and why should I care?  Or another way to look at it: “How might Authentic Freedom Mentoring benefit you?”

dragonrider

Speaking with Dragons

Saturday evening I was working with a newly acquainted soul-sister on a creative project for my upcoming Fabulous Fifty.  She was inquiring about what exactly I do for a living.  As I muddled through the description, these words flew out of my mouth and gave her goosebumps from head to toe – confirmation of a truth being spoken.  Here is what I said:

If I had to boil it all down, the work I do is all about supporting individuals in becoming self-actualized. 

We then discussed how this is the work that people really need and is rarely offered…this is the deep stuff that goes beyond recovery programs, psycho-therapy, talk-therapy, behavioral counseling, life-coaching, or any of the traditional professional or self-help approaches.  This is also the kind of work that ENDURES.***  Getting to the root of our behavioral, attitudinal, mental, emotional, compulsive, addictive issues and healing them at their SOURCE.  Doing this work doesn’t provide just a temporary fix that will crumble at the appearance of our first trigger -no….it goes to the cause of the pattern and heals it, making the pattern no longer necessary.  As we heal the causes of our mental, behavioral and emotional (and even physical) distress, we draw closer and closer to the person God made us to be – happy, healthy, joyful, content and enjoying a life of meaning and fulfillment.  In the process, we are birthing our SOUL – or as Abraham Maslow called it – we are becoming self-actualized!

What is SOUL and why does it matter? 

SOUL is our true self.  SOUL is who we were born to be and who we came into the world being.  SOUL is the uniquely creative way in which we were born to find meaning and purpose in our lives and through which we find fulfillment within ourselves and  in service to the betterment of the world.  SOUL is what we are here for but somewhere along the line, life happened and interrupted our SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to identify those experiences outside of you and those feelings and beliefs inside of you that have blocked the knowledge and manifestation of your SOUL.  Authentic Freedom mentoring helps you to heal and transform the deep, inner spiritual wounds that arose out of these experiences and beliefs so that your SOUL is free to emerge.  Think of it like a sunflower seed – deep inside the seed, beneath the shell is the tender, vulnerable meat of the seed that will eventually emerge out of the seed and become the sunflower.  The shell is LIFE – the tough, outer crust that developed around the seed to protect it and which has to be shed in order for the seed to grow.  Authentic Freedom mentoring supports you in shedding that shell so that your true self can emerge and be nurtured in becoming the fullness of who you were meant to be.

Lauri Lumby is available for Authentic Freedom mentoring in person, over the phone and via Skype.  To schedule an appointment, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

***Note:  Authentic Freedom mentoring is not a replacement for psychiatric care where medical treatment is appropriate and necessary in treating specific diagnoses of mental illness.

Posted in Initiation, mental illness

Mental Health Week – Jay Ramsay

Today’s contribution to Mental Health week comes from poet, author, psychotherapist and healer, Jay Ramsay.  I first came to know Jay through his book, Crucible of Love, and later, Jay was kind enough to read and write a review for my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  You can learn more about Jay through his website:  http://www.jayramsay.co.uk/.  Thank you Jay for this beautiful piece of poetic prose and for being a dear friend and companion on this wild and crazy journey! 

Strange Days of the Soul

God must, in some way or other, make room for himself, hollowing us out and emptying us, if he is finally to penetrate into us. And in order to assimilate us in him, he must break the molecules of our being so as to re-cast and re-model us. The function of death is to provide entrance into our inmost selves. It will make us undergo the required dissociation. It will put us into the state organically needed if the divine fire is to descend upon us. And in that way its fatal power to decompose and dissolve will be harnessed to the, most sublime operations of life. What was by nature empty and void, a return to bits and pieces can, in any human existence, become fullness and unity in God. —Teilhard du Chardin, Le Milieu Divin (Collins, 1960) As the saying goes, ‘it is terrible to fall into the hands of the Living God’. In our terms, it is the sudden fate of the ego to find itself out of the driving seat, and plunged into another world of air that is the Self—the one we may find in us who is really there.

My spiritual emergency was a breakdown of seven months during 1989. The run-up to this period was fairly classic: over-exertion, and ego assertion, to the point of burn out. The year previous (my 30th) I’d had seven books of poetry published in a year, and had organized a South Bank launch for my anthology Transformation1. I’d been aware of needing to stop, needing a break, and had been invited down to Tuesley Manor by Viscountess Bronwen Astor, an inspired Christian whose philanthropy extended to making over part of her grounds and a house called The Quarry to retreatants of various kinds, lay and religious. Tuesley Valley, originally a pagan site named after the god Tue, is a potent pocket of land just south of Godalming: one of Nature’s healing places which, like Culbone near Porlock in North Somerset, has a primeval depth. I decided to come as I thought for a month. My plan was to have some space and catch up with my writing without some unwanted pressures, and the hassle of London traffic. One month became seven as my plan fell to pieces. I was basically exhausted but resisting the invitation to let go, not wanting to waste precious time in this unique location. However every attempt to write rose up only to fall flat, grey and lifeless. I felt as if I was sitting in a fog, or rather, something more subtle and insidious, a kind of obstruction in the air that prevented me from making any progress. Slowly, repeated failure became panic as something else, something far more potent, began to take place. This became located in the Christian experience leading up to Easter and then beyond, into the light of the summer. Essentially, this was crucifixion-the death of the ego, and resurrection-the birth of the transpersonal self. At the time it was like hell, a limbo without flames. Some of the intensity of what happened was also no doubt fanned by solitude, long hours alone under the eaves of a large country house where there was no escape. It was as if God was outside all the windows looking in; somehow I knew my number was up.

Perhaps this vaguely paranoid state indicates a kind of displaced self/’Self-’witnessing; certainly it was my ego’s fearful perspective of change, which I came to express in the poetry I did manage to write2. It was also a deeply physical experience as well as being emotional (depression and anxiety). A number of rebirthing sessions with Bronwen, who had trained with Leonard Orr, greatly aided and deepened the process (‘It is dark and the air breaks in freezing waves’); my body responded in a gestalt like way (‘As your hands rise, frozen, half-raised—fingers splayed’), and it was after one of these that I had one of several distinctly emergent experiences. An early evening experience of deepening depression had once again become panic. I withdrew upstairs and sat in an armchair in my room as the light faded outside, simultaneously anxious and furious at this suspension of faculties, willing some final breakthrough to happen. Nothing happened. At least for some minutes. Then I noticed I couldn’t move. My body became as if liquid, deliquescent. I went to lift up my arm and nothing happened. Then the sensation of heat began to appear on my forehead, like fingers gently pressing there— but very hot fingers. There was no avoiding them. The light deepened outside, the lit candle flickered. The heat on my forehead became like a disk of sustained warmth. Then slowly it began to fade; and my power of movement returned.

Because of my work with the theme of Apocalypse, I had been looking at the Book of Revelation. I found myself walking over it and opening it at random. The sentence stared out at me: And the servants of God shall be sealed in the foreheads. The rest is in the poem ‘surrender’, prior to and after this, one of several numinous happenings that became my path, both inside, and outside as I worked in the wild valley garden to clear the length of stream. How did I get through this—especially when it continued to seem so open-ended ? There was a fundamental paradox for me throughout between will (making an effort) and surrender (letting go, handing over). I realize now that in some way they were the polarities of the dynamic process I was in, but I couldn’t get my head around that at the time. Certainly, I learnt to surrender—hence the title of the poem. I learnt to become more Taoist about it, going with the flow. Also I was seriously trying to ‘read the signs’ so regarding as a creative process however (seemingly) impossible, was also very important.

Finally, and as mysteriously a third thing emerged beyond will and surrender and that was intuition, and choice. And in early September, unfinished as the sentence was, I decided: enough. Time to return to London, my patient partner, and the world—or at least my more hermit-like version of it. Somehow the time was right. And as I sat gazing out of the window of my attic room on that last morning at the woodpigeons flying in and out of the still full-leaved trees beyond the stream, wondering what it had all been about or for, a voice quite distinctly in my ears said ‘You had to fail in order to heal’. That was my final lesson, one I am still learning. But as I sat a month later in my little garden shed studio in Kew, working on a long poem, I had a sensation I’d never had before; of a well of strength beneath me and inside me, a well that has never run dry. For then on too, my relationship with poetry as an exclusive discipline changed, and I began to see my work was about people, not just my literary achievement. I began writing my 18 month correspondence course Chrysalis—the poet in you3 , and my one to one work with people began, entering into the journey of psychospiritual therapy4 and healing. ‘And all these things shall be added unto you’. Jay Ramsay

1 Transformation—the poetry of spiritual consciousness, with an Afterword by Sir George Trevelyan (Rivelin Grapheme Press, 1988). Some copies remaining from JR/Chrysalis.

2. Strange Days (Stride Publications as Taxus Press, 1989). Enquiries: RML@stridebooks. co.uk

3. for further details please see www.lotusfoundation.org.uk or call 01453-759436 4. psychosynthesis, The London Institute, Hendon, NW4: 0208-202-4525