Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Lessons, Magic, Mystics, self-actualization

Reflections on Being a Shadow Worker

The journey toward self-actualization is about coming to know ourselves….all of ourselves, and learning to love it all…especially the things that sometimes cause us pain. One of the things I have come to know about myself is that I am a Shadow Worker.  This gift has often caused me pain, especially when the reaction to my gift is often (perceived) rejection. Last night, while in meditation with the students in my “What is Your Magic” class, I received some further insights about the gift of being a Shadow Worker:


A true Shadow Worker embodies love – a love that does not cringe in the face of darkness, but instead stands confidently in the presence of darkness, knowing that darkness and light are but one. The love that IS the Shadow Worker shines a light on all that has forgotten its true nature as love so that which covers the love can rise to the surface to be seen – so that it may then be healed and released.  The Shadow Worker can’t help this…it is its very nature and simply what happens in their presence. Some receive this love as the gift that it is and are healed and transformed.  Others reject this gift as they have rejected themselves.  Unwilling to see their own self-rejection, they project this rejection on the Shadow Worker, making them the enemy.  The Shadow Worker (once they know and understand their gift) receives this rejection and sends it back as love.

What sets the Shadow Worker apart is that they can stand in the darkness, withstand the darkness, endure the darkness. They do not run and hide, instead, the stand in the darkness, holding it, loving it, allowing it to be dark until it chooses otherwise.

The Shadow Worker comes in all shapes and sizes, and are endowed with a variety of gifts – some are healers, teachers, counselors, artisans, writers, leaders, prophets, etc. All are known by their love and the edge of darkness that upholds them.

Some famous Shadow Workers throughout history: Joan of Arc, Barack and Michelle Obama, Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Siena.

To identify your own unique giftedness, check out my online course What’s Your Magic?  Learn more HERE. 


Posted in Authentic Freedom, church, Forgiveness, Healing, Jesus, Lessons, Mary Magdalene, Raised Catholic, Spiritual Practices, teachers

When Old Wounds Come Back to Haunt Us

After Monday’s global message about Building the New World, and yesterday’s call to resurrect the Magdalene and feminine principle with her, I’m turning to a more personal experience, and yet one to which I suspect you can relate and from which we can all learn.

The VOID MOON sucks! After the glow of love that filled our Soul’s at the Blood Moon eclipse, equinox gateway, the intensity of this week’s new moon and the fallout of a moon gone void have been INTENSE.  With the new moon, I had such intense energy within me I thought I might explode, only to meet the following day with DEPRESSION, GRIEF and overwhelming fear….all thanks to old wounds and deeply rooted fears that all decided to pay me a visit.  On the highest level, I know these fears are here to teach me and are only showing up now because they are ready to be healed.  This awareness, however, does not make the fears any less uncomfortable.

Interestingly, these wounds are intimately related to the topics I taught this week in my Authentic Freedom and Mary Magdalene courses, lending support to the idea that the world really is of our own making and for the purpose of our own, personal, evolution. So, here is what decided to show up this week asking for another layer of healing:

MONEY. OMFG! Not even going there!  I’ve been down this road so many times I see the demon and say, “YOU AGAIN!?  Aren’t we done with this dance yet?”  Then I turn to my spiritual practices, say my prayers, borrow from Peter to pay Paul if necessary and then move on.  Then I do the really DEEP work of finding out what is REALLY in the way because, as I keep discovering, it is rarely about MONEY.  Instead, it is about some other wound asking for healing….in the most recent case – the wound over not feeling supported, believing I have to do this all alone, the thought of which then makes me DAMN TIRED. What I really want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for a week, but instead, I see the wound and do my best to care for it, along with the pain in my lower back that always seems to accompany this fear.  If what has happened in the past proves to repeat itself, after tending to the wound and finding relief from this fear, money will once again start flowing toward me….not just away from me!


REJECTION. Blech.  Yesterday is showed up LOUD AND PROUD in my old wounds over the Church.  Hearing firsthand what I have known for many years – people I know and once (and still) cared for saying all kinds of evil against me – evil that has reached all the way into the hierarchy of the Church where there is apparently a growing file with my name on it.  (Based on what I’ve heard, the file must be enormous!).  Part of me wants to ask, “Don’t you people have anything better to do with your time?”  The other part of me just sighs in resignation over the very real truth that both Jesus and Mary Magdalene were treated in the very same way by the institutions and people around them.  So, who am I to mourn over uninformed and hateful comments made against me “in Jesus’ name?”  Another part of me knows that the things being said against me are simply a reflection of the unhealed wound of rejection in those rejecting me and the extent to which I feel rejected by them is the degree to which they fear being rejected by God.

I weep for their fear and pray for their healing….but still it makes me sad.  Sad to know that there are those “out there” speaking evil against me and against the work I am doing in the world.  So I grieve.  I grieve the relationship with the Church I once enjoyed.  I grieve the loss of the dream.  I grieve the hole in my heart where these “friends” once lived.  I grieve for those who don’t even know me and who hold some sort of personal vendetta against me for the sake of their own self-righteousness.  I grieve for a hierarchy who doesn’t know me except through the lens of someone else’s fear.  I grieve for a Church who has lost another valuable resource and all other lost possibilities because of the wholesale exclusion of anything associated with my name.  And I grieve for myself – for the little girl who found her connection with God in the silent experience of the mass, the woman who found her calling through the words of her pastor, who found her formation in the arms of the Church and who wants nothing but to serve God through Jesus by helping the world to know what she has come to know through Jesus’ message of love – that we are all ONE and that we are ONE with each other through LOVE/God.

Mastery Work: Then, when I am done with my grieving, the true mastery work steps in. I see this all for what it really is – AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAL MY OWN FEAR OF REJECTION!  It is not a coincidence that the “haters” are showing up now as I am about to step into something magnificent.  As I’m being given an opportunity to step even more fully into my Soul’s purpose, here are those rejecting me and me reacting to their rejection by feeling rejected.  The “mastery” work reminds me that everything showing up in our lives is here for our own evolution.  So those who are showing up reflecting back to me the fear of rejection are here as teachers, giving me an opportunity to see the wound that is not yet healed within me so that I can do the work of healing it so that I can take the next BOLD step toward the purpose of my Soul.  Thank you haters!  And here is the prayer that I will be employing to assist myself in healing the fear of rejection and in doing so, helping them find healing for theirs as well:


I’m sorry (to the part of my soul that is feeling rejected)

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.



Lauri Ann Lumby offers empowerment training for those who want to change their world. To learn more call (920) 230-1313 or email

Posted in codependency, Forgiveness, Healing, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes

The Fear of Rejection – Superhero Report

Superhero Report for the Week of October 26, 2014 

At this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings (Monday 6:30 – 8:30 and Tuesday 9-11 am), we discussed rejection – specifically, the fear of. In everyday life, and especially in claiming and engaging our Superhero gifts, we experience rejection.  In claiming our Superpowers, cultivating, and sharing them, we serve as a reflection to the rest of humanity of their unrealized potential.  This reflection serves to poke at their unrealized parts, which then initiates one of two reactions – the desire to stay and learn or the compulsion to run like hell. Second perhaps only to death, we fear our greatness.  Only the courageous and persistent and those willing to let go of the life they have known are able to realize their Superhero potential.  And when we do, it often ticks people off.  It is this fear of rejection that most often stands in the way of our ability to claim, cultivate and share our Superpowers. As a result, dealing with the fear of rejection is one of the final frontiers in the journey toward being a Superhero.


The fear of rejection ultimately arises out of the parts of ourselves that have forgotten we are love. In Authentic Freedom, I offer a formal process through which one is able to heal these areas of forgetfulness, returning us to our original wholeness.  I recently discovered there is a shortcut.  This shortcut is Ho-oponopono – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness.  At this week’s Superhero Academy, we learned and put this ritual in practice, specifically as a way of tending toward those places within us where we are resistant to our Superpowers.  Specifically related to the claiming and sharing of our Divine call and the use of our Superpowers (spiritual gifts), here is how it works:

  • Close your eyes and sit or rest in silence.
  • Bring to mind a gift, an invitation, a call that has revealed itself to you – perhaps it’s an idea or a dream you have always wanted to pursue but haven’t yet.
  • As you think about this gift, etc. become aware of any areas of constriction that arise in your body – feelings of tightness, tension.
  • Be aware of any emotions, thoughts, images that arise, or the voice of doubt, condemnation, judgment telling you all the reasons you should not or cannot pursue this dream.
  • Recognize that voice of resistance, doubt, etc. as a part of yourself that has forgotten it is love.
  • Silently or aloud, say/pray to that part of yourself the Ho’oponopono prayer formula:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

  • Continue this prayer until you feel the resistance in you change, relax or release.


In short, the Ho’oponopono prayer recognizes that we are doing harm to ourselves when we deny our Soul its call, its purpose. As such, saying I’m sorry, etc. is our highest self offering unconditional love and healing to the part of us that is afraid and feeling unloved.

In the coming week, try this formula in every situation where you feel resistant to your dreams and see what happens!



Posted in Boundaries, codependency, Lessons, Relationships

Not My Fault

At the end of the day, all we really want as human beings is to know that we are love(d).  We will go to any lengths to insure that we are love(d) – including taking on the fears and unhealed wounds of another.  Today’s blog is about releasing ourselves from the burden of other people’s fear.


Natural Order

Contrary to the way our conflict and war-torn world might make us believe, human beings are naturally inclined to seek out harmony.   In fact, we are hardwired with a biological alert system which signals when we are involved in interactions that are not in support of harmony.  Human beings are also naturally inclined toward loving and peaceful actions.  It is only when we are afraid that these natural inclinations toward loving and peaceful actions in support of harmonious and loving human relations are thwarted.  The challenge is that until we learn how, we are mostly unaware of our fears.  When unaware of our own inner anxiety and fear, and without the tools to identify the source of these fears and strategies for coping with them, or even transcending them, our fears tend to come out sideways.

Fear Coming Out Sideways

In most cases, fear that is unacknowledged and unmanaged comes out sideways, typically in the form of blame.  We experience a state of unease and unaware of how to handle anxiety, we determine that it must be someone else’s fault.  I’m feeling anxious about a work deadline, but instead of identifying and working with my anxiety, I decide the unease is my boss’ fault for being such a hard-ass. Finances are a little tight and I feel anxious about this, but instead of identifying and managing my own anxiety, I lose my temper with my child when they show me they have outgrown all their clothes.  I feel burdened and stressed out by the tasks needed to get ready for my daughter’s graduation party.  My husband gets called in to work and I bite his head off.  It’s my boss’ fault, it is my child’s fault, it’s my husband’s fault.  Nope….it is nobody’s fault.  We simply feel anxious and we don’t know what to do with it.

Here’s Where it Gets Messy

It would be one thing if all we had to do was manage our own anxiety, but we are pack animals and live and work in proximity with other human beings.  Here is where things get messy.  Until OTHERS know better, they are just as likely to put their fears on us.  And until we are secure in the love that we are, we are likely to accept the blame for their fears in an effort to win their love.  We know when we are the one who is being blamed for someone else’s fear, because that biological alert system goes off and (until we know better), we feel shame, which we often quickly cover up with defensive anger.  This feeling of shame then triggers our fear of rejection. Somehow, somewhere, by some strange act of nature (or conditioning), we are SURE we are at fault – their anger, sadness, distress, etc. etc. etc. must somehow be our responsibility.  THEN we do everything we can do to please the other person in an attempt to earn back the love we are sure has now been denied us, including picking up their fear, etc. and carry it around, doing grave danger to ourselves either through self-punishing thoughts and behaviors or defensive rage.  The trick is, it is really not our fault, and the other person does not have the power to deny us of the love that is the very nature of our being.

It’s Not Our Fault

Unfortunately, the “it is not our fault” piece can’t happen until we get a handle on our own anxiety.  We can’t point out the splinter in our brother’s eye until we remove the plank from our own.  Once we understand how to identify and work with our own anxiety, then we can address the projected blame of others.  When another tries to make us responsible for their own anxiety, the first step is to do an inventory – did we actually do something wrong?  Did we make a mistake?  Did we inadvertently cause harm?  If so….immediately take responsibility for it, apologize if necessary, forgive ourselves, them move on.  If we have not done anything wrong, then the next step is to purge ourselves of the shame ignited by the other person’s fear and the resulting fear of rejection.  If we did nothing wrong….then it is not our fault, and it is not our job to carry around shame, neither is it our job to chase the other person around trying to make them happy.  Their anxiety, is their responsibility and their responsibility alone and love has nothing to do with it.  We may choose to be a source of support in helping them learn to manage their anxiety (when appropriate), but it is not our job to make them happy.  We need to be very clear on this piece.  In spite of the natural human inclination toward harmony and the resulting desire to be love(d), it is not our job to make other people happy, neither is it helpful for us to accept responsibility for their fears and other unhealed wounds.  In fact, this dynamic of projected blame and accepting this blame is a distortion of humanity’s natural desire for harmony and our natural propensity to love.  In truth, authentic harmony is not arrived at until we each take responsibility for our own fears, learn how to manage or heal them, and stop projecting them on to others.  Imagine what the world would be like if we all learned to manage our own fears, including the fear of rejection, and stopped taking on the burden of other people’s fears.


Posted in Authentic Freedom, Healing, Spiritual Formation

Healing our Spiritual Wounds

Today’s blog explores the process through which we find healing and release of our deepest spiritual wounds and fears and how through God’s Grace, the ultimate healing takes place.

Identifying Spiritual Wounds

When I say the words spiritual wounds, do you nod your head in understanding or stand there with mouth agape wondering what the heck I’m talking about?  If you are like most of us, it is the latter.  Rarely, if ever, do we hear talk about spiritual wounds.  We hear about physical, emotional and maybe even mental wounds, but the spiritual part seems for most to be a mystery or even a non-topic.  Here is where I come in.  🙂  Through the integration of Spiritual Direction and Reiki, I have come to understand seven primary spiritual wounds that are universal to all of humanity.  In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I give these wounds/fears specific names and explain them in detail.  For the purpose of this blog, I will summarize the seven spiritual wounds as:

  • Lack
  • Shame
  • Resentment
  • Rejection
  • Silenced
  • Unknowing
  • Abandonment

In order to find healing of these deep spiritual wounds, we need first to be able to identify them as active in our lives.  Because of their deeply embedded nature, identifying the activity of these wounds is easier said than done!  Again, here is where I come in.


The good news is that while we might not be able to see the ways in which we entertain rejection, resentment, shame, etc. or the ways in which they present an obstacle in our lives, we can identify the symptoms of these wounds. On the surface of our lives, usually present for all to see, are the compulsive behaviors, thought patterns, negative beliefs, obsessions that are in fact caused by our underlying spiritual wounds.  If we want to stop the behavoirs, we need to heal the wound, but we need the behaviors to help us identify the wound in the first place so that we know what we are trying to heal.  Here is a little story from my own life to help you understand the process and how I recently identified the spiritual wound of rejection and how I found healing for another layer of this stubborn demon:

Breakups and Heartache

On the evening of Sunday, June 3rd, the love relationship that I had enjoyed for the past ten months came to an unexpected end.  I was heartbroken, devastated, shocked, confused, etc. etc. etc.  Knowing the best thing I could do for myself was to grieve….I did.  I cried, I wailed, I keened, I raged, I bargained and I bargained some more.  As a recovering perfectionist, I also had to spend some time trying to figure out “What did I do wrong?  Were there signs along the way?  How could I have allowed this to happen?  What can I do better next time?”  Of course, I also had to spend some time in blame….”What did he do wrong?”  Now, there is nothing wrong with trying to learn from past relationships, and growing from the experience, but after a month of grieving and processing, I found I was still OBSESSING.  I couldn’t get the relationship and all the details of it and all my ideas of how to fix it or fix me or fix him out of my head.  I was spending WAY TOO much time thinking about this and NOT ENOUGH time tending to my own life, family, business, etc.  The control freak in me had to have all the answers and had to be able to make me perfect so that I would never suffer heartache again.  GOOD LUCK with that!  So, this past Sunday evening, while facilitating a meditation gathering, I found myself once again caught up in the whirlwind of obsessive thoughts.  Then I remembered the book I wrote and the classes I teach:  OBSESSIVE THOUGHTS are only the SYMPTOM.  What is the wound?????   So I drew the obsessive thoughts into my heart and BREATHED.  I drew them closer and closer, open to the revelation of the wound that these obsessive thoughts were trying to protect.  And then I felt it…….like a knife to my heart, the acute, sharp, spirit destroying wound of REJECTION.   ARGH!   I had been rejected.  And that HURT.  And I wept. Then I saw all the ways in which this wound of rejection had been negatively impacting my life and how it had become an obstacle to forward movement, happiness, peace and success.  In the face of this wound of rejection, I felt powerless….How am I going to heal this deep and maleficent wound?  This is where God comes in.

My Grace is Sufficient Unto Thee

In finding healing of our spiritual wounds, it is our job to identify our compulsive behaviors that are trying to protect us from the pain of our wounds and it is our job to identify the wound within us.  Then, it is our job to ASK FOR HEALING, sometimes to plead and beg for healing, to admit our powerlessness over this wound and to surrender our will to a Higher Power/God.  The actual healing of the wound is then accomplished through God and through God alone.  And the accomplishment of that healing comes unbidden – not because we finally prayed hard enough, said enough rosaries, offered enough mea culpas, or paid enough indulgences.  The gift of God’s grace is what heals the wound and how and when that happens is a mystery, but it cannot come if we don’t know we need to be healed.  That is again, where the Authentic Freedom process comes in – giving us the tools to identify the wounds beneath our compulsions so that we can invite God to heal us.

Grace Healing Rejection

So this is what happened to me.  After my meditation on Sunday, I realized how powerless I was over that darn demon of rejection and I went to bed and cried, pleaded, begged God to relieve me of this burden.  I didn’t want to spend any more time obsessing about something I had no control over and feeling like crap because a relationship didn’t work out and I was tired of all the ways that the wound of rejection had been negatively impacting my life.  I surrendered it all to God, having no idea what the outcome might be.  The next morning, I woke up…..completely free.  No more obsessive thoughts.  No more daggers of hurt.  No more need to manipulate or control the situation.  I was at peace, content, happy.  And I knew that I did not do that…..God did.  And for that I offer a profound prayer of thanks!

What are the obsessive/compulsive behaviors in your life that might be masking a deeper spiritual wound?

How can you be open to identifying the deeper spiritual wound?

How might you ask God for help in healing that wound?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Gifts of Contemplation, Spiritual Practices

Shifting Perspective – Fear as a Gift?

Today’s blog is a follow up to yesterday’s blog about depression and the muse, specifically, the fear of rejection and how it reared its ugly head….but more importantly, how we are sometimes asked to shift our perspectives and see those things we are tempted to judge through another lens.

God has a sick sense of humor

Yesterday after posting the blog “Depression and the Muse”, two crazy things happened that reminded me of how truly sick God’s sense of humor is!  Just when I think I know what the heck is going on or when I dare to believe I have grasped a new level of understanding, God quickly turns the table on me.  When that happens, I am simply forced to laugh at my own arrogance and to be grateful that God is the one running the show and not me.

Point #1 – Walking on Eggshells

Yesterday I mentioned a poem that came out of my meditation class on Wednesday night.  Here is the text of the poem:

Walking on Eggshells


Pounding on the door of my heart


Desperate in its wanting

To enfold you in all I have to give.


Free flowing

Without limit






I walk on eggshells


That you’ll say no.

 When I saw these words flying out of my pen, I was sure I knew what they were pertaining to.  I thought I had it all figured out.  Piece of cake.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  HA!   Then God showed me more.  After penning yesterday’s blog about rejection it suddenly dawned on me, this poem has NOTHING to do with what I thought it did (ok, maybe a little)…..rather, it had EVERYTHING to do with MY WHOLE DARN LIFE!   Walking on Eggshells in my work, my writing, in my relationships, in my play, in my recreation, in my social interactions…..WHY??????   Because I’m afraid they will say “NO”….no to me, no to my work, blah blah blah.  That darn fear of rejection suddenly became WAY BIGGER than I ever acknowledged it as being and it encompassed EVERY aspect of my life.  Dag nabbit!  Now what I am going to do?  Apparently I’m afraid of everything and everybody that might reject me and in response, I withold all the love that I am from the world and hold back in the free and generous sharing of my gifts and my talents.  What is wrong with me?????  The good news is that before I was tempted to know too much about this fear and how wretched a human being I am for being so dang afraid, God dropped the other F-bomb.

Point #2 – Fear as a Gift?????

Shortly after coming to the above realization, I was facilitating another meditation group and participating in the prescribed meditation activity.  I was using the following scripture passage as a mantra when God dropped the F-Bomb:

I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

As I was repeating the above phrase in my mind and allowing God to speak to me through these words, here are the words that God gave back to me:


Has it ever occurred to you that I have given you the fear of rejection as a gift?  I gifted you with your own unique way of perceiving your life experience and it is through the lens of rejection.  I gave this unique gift to you so that you would find ways to move through that fear and in moving through that fear, drawing closer to me, closer to yourself and closer to others.  And in doing so, you would experience healing and growth.  I then gave you the gift of transparency so that you would share these experiences with others so that they too could find the way through their own experiences of perceived rejection, draw closer to me, closer to themselves and closer to others.  Your fear of rejection is a gift, not the curse that you often perceive it to be and certainly not something to judge or condemn. 

Ok then, I guess in that I will let God have the final word.

NOTE:  If you find these blog posts to be helpful, consider subscribing to the Agape’ Meditation Newsletter.  With your monthly donation of $10.00, you will receive the weekly Agape newsletter which provides you:

  • A scripture reading (or two)
  • Some background on the scripture (historical and sociological context, literary genre, author, audience, etc.)
  • A brief reflection on the scripture
  • Suggested meditation/contemplation/prayer activities
  • Questions for personal reflection

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Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Inspiration

Author Tour: Julie Tallard Johnson

I first met Julie Tallard Johnson through her class, Unleashing the Manuscript.  For two months, I journeyed with Julie and eleven other students in the creation of the manuscript proposal that eventually became my first published book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  It is only because of Julie’s guidance that this book ever came to print.  I have since attended several of Julie’s workshops and have worked with her one-on-one in consultation on other book projects.  Additionally, I had read and journeyed through Julie’s most recent book, The Wheel of Initiation.  I have found in Julie a terrific mentor and teacher and am humbled to now call her colleague and friend.  She is a woman well-grounded in her truth and one who stands firmly in integrity and it is for these reasons that I enthusiastically recommend her to other writers and to individuals looking for the unique kind of counseling that only Julie can offer!   


The Antidote to Abandonment

Our life is strewn with rejections and abandonments. Rejections show up as early as birth for some (no bonding from parents), and for most rejections are woven into the tapestry of life along side missed opportunities, late starts, regrets, disappointments and losses. It seems that rejection and abandonment happens to us, when in most cases, we tend to abandon our selves.

Too many times we lay the egg only to then abandon the nest. Our clutter surrounds us as the reminders of abandoned promises. Dreams and commitments in the shape of files, outfits, unread books, notes, unfinished art projects, tools, magazines, recipe books, diet guides, exercise equipment, saved emails, supplies, unopened boxes, and the like are scattered about our outer landscape as abandoned roosts. Abandoned nests also come within the context of our relationships and social commitments.

I witness many abandoned nests in both the creative and spiritual life. For too many of us the enthusiasm comes only in the early commitment, the moment of making a promise, the making of the nest and the laying of the egg. Then we get drawn away to another creative idea or spiritual practice and leave that nest.

Lasting satisfaction comes from our breaking negative patterns that keep us in the loop of our pain story. If rejection or abandonment is a central theme to your pain story, you will tend to abandon your self at critical times. In the writer’s life this happens when we jump around from idea to idea but never quite complete that one idea. The egg remains dormant. In the spiritual life we get seduced by the latest spiritual fad rather than develop our own spiritual practice. We then lack insights that endure over time.

The antidote to rejection or abandonment is to keep going, open up even further, take the idea or project as far as you can. Finish what you started. Follow through on your commitments instead of jumping around starting new projects, joining a new group or over-committing yourself to some one else’s project. Keep to your spiritual practice. Instead of starting something new, begin again with the original commitment. Bring enthusiasm to what you already said yes to. Then, even in situations where others reject you, you won’t abandon your self or the egg you laid.

So, the antidote to abandonment: Don’t abandon your self.

Our rejections don’t have to cause us to give up on ourselves. Choose the eggs you will bring to life. Make room for this commitment by emptying out the old abandoned nests. Be ready to say no to other obligations. Take the next step close in to making this commitment happen, and then the next. The next step close in is the one nearest to you, often the one that takes the most courage. We tend to send our commitments too far ahead of ourselves by wanting to do the third or fourth thing. What’s the next step close in you can take to fulfill your promise?

Spiritual & Writing Prompts on and Off the Page —

  1. This is a wonderful time to remove the clutter and abandoned nests from your environments. Don’t continue to deceive yourself and say, “I will get to it.” You probably won’t. Let it go, make room for the YES in your life by getting rid of what you have actually said No to.
  2. Write about a time you were abandoned. Then rewrite it as an experience of acceptance and rejoicing.
  3. Write a rejection letter to some belief you’ve held but not longer accept.
  4. There are always deal breakers in a spiritual pilgrimage or a creative commitment – what arises as a deal breaker for you? (See Wheel of Initiation for more on deal breakers).
  5. Make a large circle on a page in your journal. Draw a line down the middle. On the left name all your commitments, projects, promises, possibilities, agreements, nests. Give this some time, look around your home (and closets) and into your relationships and calendar. Include it all. Then on the right side name the eggs you will bring to term. What that remains on the left side is clutter?
  6. Share your creative or spiritual commitment with others whom you trust. Accountability helps keep us enthused.
  7. Write on abandoned nests using the following words: early migration, arrival, devotion, leafy twigs, kernel, liberate, sea foam.

Join me and others on a spiritual or creative pilgrimage that will help you fulfill your promises.

Tuesday March 28th is the end of Writing Tuesdays at the Driftless Depot in Spring Green Wisconsin. Come celebrate the completion of this cycle & the first written draft of my novel. (8:00 am till Noon). Write with us, and then celebrate. Breakfast & mimosas are on me.

Julie Tallard Johnson MSW, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist who maintains a private counseling and consultation service, Healing Services On the River, established in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, in 1995. Here she offers the year-long Initiation Course based on her book, Wheel of Initiation, her popular spiritual journaling classes, Bindu Breathwork, writing consultations and one-on-one transpersonal counseling.  Julie can be reached through her website:

Posted in Being Human, Healing, Lessons

Transformation through Pain

Today’s blog explores the spiritual practice of presence – specifically how the simple act of being present to our pain can bring profound healing, growth and transformation.  In this case, “No pain, no gain” is a true statement.


Avoid the Pain

I recently had a really interesting experience where I found myself simply being observer to my journey, instead of my normal role of victim.  It was a situation where something very innocent was said to me  – something that in and of itself was harmless enough, but of course, my inner victim wanted to make it a threat, a source of danger, another incident where I got to be the victim and someone else the enemy.  It was so strange to watch, like a slow motion replay, how my inner self responded to this “innocent something.”  As the words left the other person’s lips, I clearly saw a daggar coming through the air and stabbing me in the heart.  I felt my being recoil in pain and then sink into the pit of martyrdom and depression.  I withdrew.  I became silent.  I shut down.  This chosen response remained until later in that same day when I suddenly decided that the “other” had to be the enemy.  I quickly made up in my mind all kinds of scenarios where I was convinced this person was bad, didn’t like me, was rejecting me and how I would decide to not like them in return.  Then I went into fear.  I went into that place in my mind where I make up stories about what my future needs to look like, might look like, is supposed to look like.  And then again, depression, rejection, anger and pain.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted from being battered about by my inner thought demons.  My typical response to this kind of reaction is to push away the pain, the hurt, the perceived rejection and I usually do this by harboring resentment, anger, rage.  I was surprised, however, to find that something else all together began to unfold.

Pull the Plank from your own eye…sister!

Instead of gathering around myself the cloak of protective anger and resentment, I found myself simply being present.  I let myself feel the hurt of perceived rejection.  I allowed myself to be present to the impatience and frustration of not having “my plans fulfilled.”  Instead, I simply sat with the question – what does this mean?  And when I allowed myself to be present to this question, several answers began to be revealed.  First I saw the “innocent words” and had to admit that I had entertained these thoughts myself on some level and that all they were doing were reflecting my own fears around the particular subject.  Then I saw the way that I cling to perceived surety, concrete plans, a “secure” and “predictable” future…..of my own making, of course.  Following the clinging, I saw my intuitive knowledge around this subject and the sudden fear, “What if I was wrong?”  Then I was acutely aware of two pretty big fears that I have struggled with for as long as I could remember:  ok….actually it was three fears:

  • The fear of rejection (of not being loved, accepted, understood, etc.)
  • The fear of not being right
  • The fear of not knowing my future (ie: the need for security, surety, concrete plans)

When I identified these three fears, something amazing began to happen.  Instead of running from these fears, pushing them away, ignoring them or bargaining with them, I decided to sit with these fears and see what happened.

Making Friends with our Fears

After turning the finger of blame that I was waving toward the innocent “other” back toward myself, I was able to identify the fears that caused me to hear a simply innocent comment as something potentially hurtful.  Instead of stomping away in anger or retreating into the dark coccoon of depression, I decided to sit with my fears.  Instead of pushing them away, bargaining with them or denying them, I allowed myself to be present.  I allowed myself to FEEL the fear of rejection.  I allowed myself to EXPERIENCE the fear of being wrong.  I sat with the little girl inside of me that wants everything to be safe, predictable, planned out and HER WAY.  And then, I breathed!  I breathed these fears into myself and allowed myself to be present to them.  Then here was the miracle…….they all went away.  I saw the fear of rejection evaporate into thin air.  I heard the voice of my truth reminding me of what I know to be true  for now.  And the little girl stopped clinging to the illusion of perceived surety while she sank into the arms of God and let God carry her to where she needed to be….trusting that all would be well.

How might you become more aware of your own defensive reactions to perceived hurts, etc.?

How do you run from or avoid the pain of loss, disappointment, not being in control, etc?

How might you be present to the pain and allow the possibility of healing and transformation?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom Book, codependency, Spiritual Practices

Fighting Rejection Demons and Opening to Love

One of the greatest fears we face in our human interactions is the fear of rejection.  Today’s blog explores this fear, its roots and some simple practices to help us stay clear of the rejection demons so that we can be open to the love that we are!



The Fear

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, we explore the seven core spiritual fears that prevent us from living within our truest nature which is one of contentment, love and joy.  The fourth fear, related to our energetic heart center (the heart chakra) is the fear, “I am not loved.”  This fear shows up as the voice in our head that criticizes and condemns us for our perceived weakness, failures and imperfections, as well as the outward projection of this voice in the fear that another person will or has the power to reject us – to withhold love or to take it away all together.


The Very Real Human Need for Love

This fear, “I am not loved,” has arisen as a distortion of the very real human need to know love.  We all know the research – children who are shown love and are treated lovingly fare better in our world.  They develop a healthy self-esteem and a capacity to demonstrate loving and compassionate behavior in the world.  Love Love Love Love Love Love does make the world go ’round.  The problem is that not one human being has experienced the perfection of love within the context of their human relationships and every one of us has known the pain of perceived rejection  at the hands of another.  Because of our very human experiences of rejection and loss, we falsely believe that love is a commodity to be bargained, that we have to earn and can ultimately be denied us.  This is the big lie.


The True Nature of Love

Love, as I explain in Authentic Freedom, is not something outside of us and as much as we want to believe it, love is NOT something that we can give to or receive from another human being.  Rather, LOVE is WHO WE ARE.  Love is our very nature, it cannot be denied, neither can it be earned.  Love just is.  The problem is that we have forgotten this truth and lost touch with the infinite well of love that is our very being.  The rejection demons arise when we have forgotten the love that we are.


The Longing and the Remedy

The good news is that our Divine parent has planted within us a longing for the recollection of that love.  At first, this longing compels us to seek outside of ourselves for love, but when we awaken to our conscious self, we discover that the longing is actually pointing us inward.  The remedy to that longing to know love is to come to know the love that dwells within us in our very being.  The good news is that there are a myriad of spiritual practices that can assist us in the recollection of the love that we are.


Mirror Mirror

As we allow ourselves to be open to discovering and embracing the love that is within us, we find ourselves less bothered by the inner critic or the demon of rejection and more able to simply move through life content and joyful in the love that we are.  We find ourselves less frantic about finding the love outside of us that will “complete us” and more able to simply rest in the love that we are.  And here is the great thing…it does NOT mean that we no longer need the love of another.  As a species, we are relational beings and are programmed to live in community with one another.  When we come to know the love that we are, we find that the intimate relationships in our lives are changed and transformed.  Like a mirror, those relationships that no longer reflect the love that we know within ourselves may fall away, and the new relationships will come into our lives that are reflective of the deep well of love we know within ourselves.  In this way, we can freely and openly share the love that we are while joyfully experiencing the free and open sharing of the love that the other persons know that they are.  Win.   Win.

The Divine Question

As I recently found myself struggling with my own fears of rejection, I brought this struggle into my spiritual practice and received a powerful message from the Divine that I believe may be helpful to you in your own search.  Here were the words that God gifted to me and I now share with you:

Can you be open to receiving all the love that the universe (God)  wants you to have?   

My question to you:  Can YOU be open to remembering the love that you are and can you be open to allowing this infinite and abundant love to be reflected in your intimate human relationships?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Healing, Lessons

“I Receive Everything as Love” – Revisiting the Wheel

In her book, The Wheel of Initiation, Julie Tallard Johnson invites the reader to get in touch with their “pain story,” the agreements that we have embraced in support of this pain story and work toward naming and claiming and embodying the intention that will help to facilitate healing and release of that pain story, and assist us in our path of spiritual growth.  Today’s blog explores and opportunity to revisit the Wheel and the gifts that it provides.




As I have shared in the past, I have been working through the Wheel of Initiation as outlined in Julie Tallard Johnson’s book of the same name.  The pain story that revealed itself to me as the one in search of healing is “rejection.”  I learned through this process that rejection has been the lens through which I frequently view my life.  Integrating the practices presented in Julie’s book with the practices of Authentic Freedom, I have come a long way in recognizing when this story rears its ugly head and have done much work toward allowing this pain story to be healed and released.  Apparently I’m not done yet.


Sparing You the Details

I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that the old, familiar pain story recently made its appearance…not once…but three times.  UM….probably time to pay attention.  Three significant situations that could easily have been viewed as some form of rejection, and three situations that opened up the door for my inner victim to feel wounded, betrayed, hurt, deceived, rejected.  The good news is that I am still human and have allowed space for my victim to be sad, to feel alone, to lick her wounds, to scream and to cry (all important parts of the grieving process).  The even better news is that because of the work I have done on the pain story and my fear of rejection (Chapter 6 of  Authentic Freedom), my inner victim did not have to retreat into days, weeks, and/or months of cultivated self-loathing.  Instead, I have tools I can turn to that allow the rejection to be transformed into love.


The Trick and the Question

The intention that I have been invited to embrace as a tool for healing the pain story of rejection is “I receive everything as love.”  What I have learned about employing this intention is that it is a bit of a trick.  It is about shifting my perspective and asking a question.  The question is, “Where is the love in this?”  Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that I discovered through this work that the three situations were really not about rejection at all…but it was only my perception that made it about rejection.  They were ALL THREE really and truly situations of someone saying “no” to me….I was not welcomed, I was not wanted, I was turned down and set aside.  It is how I internalize these three situations that determines if “I am rejected” or if I can instead receive these “rejections” as love.  That is the trick!  Do I allow the “rejection” to reach deep into me and destroy me (as I would have done in the past) or do I look at the situations from a different vantage point and see that what I might perceive as rejection is really and truly about love.  HHHMMM   It does require a bit of spiritual gymnastics….but this tactic really does work. 


Receiving and Believing in the Love

So, when I look at these situations from the vantage point of love, a whole new picture begins to emerge.  It is no longer about personal rejection, instead doors are open to seeing all kinds of hidden truths: another person’s pain story, validation of my own intuitive knowings, a reflection of what no longer supports the love I know myself to be, an invitation to leave behind what is no longer life-giving and supportive and permission to move toward something that is more in harmony with who I know myself to be today.  The love, I found, is hidden behind the mask that I would initially perceive as rejection.  Then here is the really cool part, when approached in this way, the “rejection” is transformed and becomes an affirming, nurturing, supportive gift that says, “See how far you have come….here is the way to love and thank you to persons X, Y and Z that showed you the path to more and more fully embracing your truth and more and more freely embracing the love and healthy intimacy you know to be true in your own heart”.  Now that is one cool trick!

What is your relationship with rejection?

How might you begin to perceive rejection in another way?

What are the gifts that past “rejection” have given you?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries