Posted in Empowerment, Healing, Spiritual Practices

Taking Back the Missing Parts

Today’s blog explores the topic of soul retrieval – reclaiming and taking back the parts of ourselves that we “gave away” or “lost” to another person or through life circumstances.



Missing Parts

Do you ever have the feeling like parts of yourself are missing – like you are having a hard time or you are unable to be the person you know yourself to be?  This is something that I have been acutely aware of within myself of late.  I feel like there are certain qualities that I do possess, beliefs and traits that are certainly part of who I am, but for some reason, I feel unable to be those parts of who I am.  For example:  courageous, prosperous, confident, self-assured, creative, artistic, joyful, motivated, energized, strong, intelligent, etc.  I know these are all qualities that I possess, or used to possess….so where did they go?

Enter the Victim and Martyr

The first, and sometimes easiest place to go when entertaining these questions is outside of us – to our intimate relationships and life circumstances.  The easiest place for me to go when seeking the parts of my soul that seem to be missing are to “those” who I want to think have the power to take these parts away from me or to whom in my mind I gave that power. He/She/they took my confidence, my sense of value, my joy, my belief in myself and my truth.   For a few moments, I found it helpful to entertain my inner victim/martyr and the value of doing so might open our eyes to individuals or circumstances that may be inviting new boundaries.  However, as I entertained these victim thoughts, all I could hear was my teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson reminding me that “no one can take your power away from you without you agreeing to it.”  Ha……Somewhere in this I need to accept the role that I played and the agreements I made that allowed me to set aside, ignore, bargain away these parts of my soul.

The Agreements we Make

If we want to step outside of the role of victim, we need to acknowledge our own role in giving away parts of our soul.  And the great news is that when we do this, we are then able to reclaim and retrieve the “lost” parts of ourself…because in truth, they’ve never been lost, just forgotten.  Julie Tallard Johnson, in her book, Wheel of Initiation, offers a formal process through which we are empowered to acknowledge the agreements we made that allowed us to forget certain parts of our soul along with certain tools through which we can release these agreements and reclaim the “missing” parts of our soul.  She calls this work, recapitulation.  As I found myself reflecting on the “missing” parts of me, I decided to revisit Julie’s book and entered into the process of naming the agreements that led me to forgetting parts of myself.  These are some of the agreements that I uncovered:

  • It’s my fault
  • I have no right to ask for my needs to be met
  • My needs, wants and desires are of no value
  • The work I do is not of value
  • I can’t make it on my own
  • The work I do is not a “real” job
  • Writers, spiritual directors, ministers live in poverty
  • My writing is not of value
  • My poetry is unworthy of acceptance
  • I have to remain small, insignificant
  • I can’t be seen or draw attention to myself
  • I’m weak, afraid, depressed, sick
  • I’m lazy and unmotivated
  • I’m selfish
  • I do not know my truth
  • I doubt my truth

Each and every one of us, at some point in our life, for various and asundry reasons, make these kinds of agreements.  We bargain away parts of who we know ourselves to be for the sake of “keeping the peace,” not “rocking the boat,” “keeping others happy,” or just because in the moment we don’t know any better.  The good news is that we get to reframe these agreements, make another choice and RECLAIM the parts of ourselves that we have lost somewhere along the way.  So today…….

I ‘m taking ME back!

And I invite you to begin the work of doing the same for yourself!!!!!!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Empowerment, Healing, Spiritual Practices

Recapitulation – Calling Back the Lost Parts of Ourselves

Yesterday I mentioned the spiritual practice of Recapitulation. In today’s blog, I will explore this practice and how we might all be able to apply this to our own journeys of spiritual growth and spiritual healing.

Not an Expert

I want to state right off the bat, the idea and practice of recapitulation is new to me, so I am in no way an expert in this process.  I wish merely to share with you my own personal experience with this process and point you toward resources that may be helpful to you if you feel called to incorporate this process into your own spiritual journey.  (Wheel of Initiation by Julie Tallard Johnson is one such resource!)

What is Recapitulation

Recapitulation is a spiritual practice through which we name and reclaim the lost parts of ourselves.  Specifically, it is about calling back the energy that we have lost to specific emotional dynamics or agreements.   Recapitulation as a spiritual practice comes to us through the Toltec traditions of Mesoamerica.  Through the recapitulation process we intentionally, consciously, meditatively and ritually name all the places our emotional energy has been taken away and we invite that energy to return to us so that it can be redirected toward positive, life-giving intentions and activities.  Recapitulation acts as a vehicle through which we are able to be more fully restored to our highest and most original nature and be empowered to live more authentically and enjoy greater inner freedom.

My Recapitulation

The opportunity for recapitulation came for me on the heels of the atomic explosion I mentioned in yesterday’s blog.  I experienced a HUGE conflict and had to face my part in the devastation.  After the dust settled, I named and took responsibility for my role in the drama.  After doing so, it struck me that some recapitulation may be in order…I just didn’t know what was being recapitulated (reclaimed).  Well, yesterday it showed up.  It became apparent to me that the place where I lost my emotional energy in the atomic explosion was around the idea of punishment. Specifically, I realized that I had been punished for expressing my truth.  Once I was able to identify this energy sucker, an entire parade presented itself before me of all the times in my life where I had been punished for speaking my truth.  Here are just a few:

  • When I challenged Fr. Doyle for his belief that priests got to go to heaven before “the rest of us” simply because of their ordination.  He changed my A+ to a C for challenging him.
  • When I dared to sponsor a class on Christian Zen meditation in a building owned by the Church.
  • When 7 people came to a class I was teaching on the Lord’s Prayer with the intent to attack me personally and sabotage the class.
  • When I tried to share Reiki as part of my ministry in the Catholic Church.

These are just a few examples from my professional life, and there are many more like them from my personal life as well.

The Process

Now that I had identified the energy sucker, I could begin the process of recapitulation.  The cornerstone of the process is the intention itself.  What is the intention I wanted to set for my recapitulation?  Here is what I came up with:

“I am getting my energy back from all the times I was punished for speaking my truth”

Then through a process of visualization, connecting with Source and intentional breathing, (yogic breathing works here), I was invited to imagine all the places (or at least the ones I could remember) where I had been punished for speaking my truth.  Then I was to invite the energy lost to those punishing experiences back into my own body.  After calling the energy back, I was then invited to state a purpose for all of this reclaimed energy.  This was the purpose I established:

I redirect this reclaimed energy to fuel my creative gifts and projects.


For you see, this is what recapitulation is all about in the first place.  When we lose our energy to emotional dynamics or agreements, we are deprived of the energy that we need to support our highest self and our purpose for being here.  When we reclaim that lost energy, we get it back to fuel the things that are life-giving and supportive to our higher purpose.  How cool is that!!!!!?????


To what emotional dynamics and agreements have you lost energy?

How are you being invited to call that back?

How might you explore a formal process of recapitulation (see Julie’s book!) to support you in your own journey of spiritual empowerment?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Being Human, Lessons, Spiritual Practices

Back to the Wheel

As I continue my journey through The Wheel of Initiation by Julie Tallard Johnson, I am more and more in awe over what a powerful tool this is for spiritual growth, healing and transformation.  Today I am humbled to share with you the most recent revelations on the wheel.

The Pain Story and Related Agreements

As I have previously shared, the pain story that I am currently working through with the Wheel is I feel rejected. Along with this pain story are a wide assortment of agreements that I have embraced to support this perceived rejection that are calling for healing and release.  Just to name a few:

  • I have to be right and therefore others have to be wrong
  • If I am perfect, I will be loved
  • Everyone has to love me, if they don’t then I have to hate them

I know, messed up, right?

In My Face!

Recently, my pain story was served up to me in the form of an atomic explosion.  I won’t bore you with the details, but after the dust settled, the universe showed me my part of the explosion and has invited me to face my own inner demons and take responsibility for them.  UGH!  Here is what I had to own:

  • When I feel as if my needs are not being met, and someone else is the perceived obstacle to me getting my needs met, I cultivate and harbor resentment toward that person.
  • When I feel as if another has rejected me, I cultivate and harbor hatred toward that person.
  • Because I don’t want to be alone in my pain and because I have agreed that I have to be right….I often find my inner victim sharing with others “how I’ve been wronged, slighted, insulted, rejected, etc.”  That way, I get to be right and the person who I perceive to have hurt me gets to be wrong.

Dang.  I hate it when I’m standing there in righteous indignation, valiantly waving my flag of victory (more like victimhood!) and the universe taps me on the shoulder and then holds up the mirror.  So after the fallout of the nuclear explosion, I find myself humbled and admittedly, a little shamed.  I could probably handle it if the only person I hurt were myself when I go to these defense mechanisms and agreements, but in truth, it is through these actions that many other people have been hurt.  In fact, there might be a trail of carnage behind me if I am totally honest with the role resentment, hatred and maligning has played in my 46 years on this big ball of mud.  That sucks!

What to Do?

So, now that the universe has made me look into the mirror of truth, what do I do about it?

  • I own the truth of what the mirror has shown me – the way in which I have used resentment, hatred and slander to protect myself from perceived rejection.
  • Acknowledge the agreements I have made around this pain story.
  • Make amends with the people I have hurt through these defense mechanisms.
  • Return to my intention:  I receive everything as love and explore how I can apply this intention to the most recent conflict.
  • I sense there might be a place for some recapitulation in this experience as well.  (See Julie’s book for a detailed discussion of this spiritual practice.)
  • Work on forgiving myself, lest I fall again into my pain story!  (Cultivating shame is simply another way I get to stay in my pain story).


So, I stand here humbled by these recent happenings, AND, I am grateful for the benevolent universe that DOES NOT let me rest for long in self-righteousness.  I am also grateful, again, for the process outlined in the Wheel of Initiation for helping me to name, claim and be open to healing my pain story and any other unhealed wounds around it.

What is your pain story?

Where have you recently come face to face with it?

What are the tools you have used to heal and give release to your pain story and its resulting agreements?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Discernment, Ponderings

Trying on Different Parts of Ourselves. Who Are You?

In today’s blog I will explore the human journey of self-discovery and the many things we try on and work toward integrating as we come to embrace more fully our most authentic self.

As a member of the Facebook community, I have recently had great fun discovering, posting and changing my  profile picture.  A friend recently inquired as to why I am posting pictures of Amy Grant, Kiera Knightly (as a sword-yielding warrior), Jami Gertz (as a vampire-in-training), Sandra Bullock (as a “witch”) and Wonder Woman instead of posting pictures of myself.   My friend wondered why I would want to be anybody other than Lauri Lumby.  While I’ve just been having fun with pictures, my friend’s question has caused me to pause and reflect on the possible deeper meaning behind this version of Facebook fun.  Of course, there is a deeper reason, and I think it is a reason that we can all relate to as we are compelled to seek, explore, discover and eventually embrace our highest and most true self.

Part of our journey of self-discovery includes trying on, experimenting and exploring different roles.  Who am I?  What are my passions?  What are my fears?  What are the parts of myself I’m comfortable sharing with the world?  What parts do I keep hidden?  In this experimenting and exploration, we find the parts that resonate with our truth (highest self) and are able to discard the parts that do not.  The goal of this journey of self-discovery, if we can really say there is a goal, is to find the parts of ourselves that are true and learn to embrace them and integrate them fully into our truest, highest self.  In the shamanic tradition,  this process if referred to as recapitulation.  In this process, we find all the parts of who we are and allow ourselves to be open to these parts  – warts and all!  Recapitulation includes the integration of our gifts, our strengths, our passions, our longings, our desires and our fears.  As a fully-integrated being, we are able to be present to all that we are and are able to stand securely within all that we are.  It is this journey of recapitulation that I realize I have been sharing with the Facebook world.

As I look specifically at the images I have chosen on Facebook to represent myself, I realize that each of these images portray a part of myself, along with a part of myself that I want to more fully embrace.  Amy Grant represents the part of me that is moved by music and song and wants to sing my praises to the Divine.  I am moved by her music, I love her voice and she’s beautiful inside and out.  I guess that is something I hope to be.  Kiera Knightly, plays the lode-tattooed, Celtic warrior princess, Gueneviere, in the movie King Arthur (which sucks, by the way…so don’t rent it!).  In this role, she plays the part of me that wants to wield a sword against injustice and against the inner and (perceived) outer obstacles that keep showing up on my path to embracing my highest self.  When I feel like I need to fight off my fears, compulsions, addictions, etc.  it is fun to imagine myself donning battle armor and face paint and taking up my sword of truth!   Jami Gertz, from the movie, Lost Boys, absolutely represents the part of me drawn to the seemingly darker side of the human journey – vampires, rockstars, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Alice Cooper…..all these reflect the parts of me that are hidden, dark, moody, brooding and somewhat neurotic.  Wonder Woman?  Come on….who doesn’t dream of being a superhero?  Beside, Wonder Woman is kick-ass cool and really hot!  Don’t all women aspire to don the leotard, red go-go boots, golden bracelets and golden lariat!?  Then there is Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic – one of my all-time favorite movies!!!!!  In this film, she represents the parts of me that are drawn to magic and mystery and the part of me that wants to learn how to embrace this as part of my everyday life.  Admittely, she also represents the parts of myself resistant to yet longing to be loved.  She represents the parts of me I feel are sometimes misunderstood and perceived as unconventional.  Of all the above-mentioned characters, Sandra Bullock as Sally perhaps most closely reflects my own journey of self-discovery.

Speaking of Practical Magic….one of the things I love about this movie is the way that it represents this human journey of self-discovery.  Beyond the magic and the mystery is a magnificent story of discovering, resisting, rediscovering, then learning how to embrace our gifts and our highest self.  In this movie, Sally (Sandra Bullock) embarks upon this journey of self-discovery as she is forced to acknowledge, explore and ultimately embrace the gifts that she has denied for most of her life.  In this journey of self-discovery, she breaks a family curse, saves her sister’s life, frees her children to fully embrace their own gifts, finds self-acceptance and love.  If this is what the journey of self-discovery brings and if it means trying on a few roles, ….then I say, BRING IT ON!

So for today, I invite you to reflect on your own journey of self-discovery.  Who do you want to be?  Who have you tried on?  What characters (fictional or otherwise) are you drawn to as you explore the world for the missing or not yet integrated parts of yourself?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth