Posted in About Lauri, Being Human, God, introverts, Mystics, Oneness with God, Ponderings, Relationships, Spiritual Direction, Surrender

Only God

a personal reflection by Lauri Ann Lumby

This morning’s blog is coming from a deeply personal place and arising out of a place of fragmented vulnerability….so apologies ahead of time for momentary incoherence. 😉

image credit:

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. The most exciting things have been my soul-discovering trip to Ireland and the “new” things that are beginning to be birthed in my world including a promising business partnership and a burgeoning Magdalene Priestess Training program!

Playing a much more central role in 2017, however, has been the ever deepening and every widening journey of LETTING GO! It seems everywhere I turn I am being invited to let go of that which I used to turn to as a source of familiarity, routine, surety, security and support.  It seems I can’t take a single step without being confronted with something asking for release.  This release has included the need to redefine relationships (the nature of, my expectations or hopes around, boundaries, etc.), to let go of certain hopes and dreams; and more materially, facing the need to find new housing and buy a new car.  The whispering threat under all of this letting go is, “And HOW are you going to pay for that?????”  UGH!

As it all came to a head this past weekend with the resurfacing of my deepest core wound and its source, I knew that the letting go was not about letting go, but was in fact about letting in. Specifically – letting God in.

In this realization, I must give credit and gratitude to my experience as a Spiritual Director (and a mystic). If I did not have the awareness of what the Divine call looks like, I would have been in much more despair than I have been (believe me, I’ve spent many hours on the couch wallowing in my grief, despair and perceived helplessness) and not known where to turn or how to make sense of every rug being pulled out from beneath my feet.  God isn’t an asshole (though sometimes it feels like “He” is.).  When we are being invited to let go….it is always for the purpose of letting in.

So, what does it mean when life is inviting us to release EVERYTHING upon which we have previously based our lives and EVERYTHING we formerly turned to as a source of hope and support? It means that life is supporting us in knowing that in the end, there is ONLY God.  Everything that we know of in our human experience is fleeting and temporary – relationships, jobs, homes, cars, money, belongings, our health and wellbeing, life itself.  It is all temporary and in the end, it all passes away.  When all has passed away….what is left is God.  Me and God.  God and me.  And when Lauri Ann Lumby is no longer, there is only God.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director, Leanore, who supported me yesterday in verbalizing my awareness and affirming the invitation. The purpose of all this letting go is so that I can let God in – to let God in on an even deeper level than I have ever done before.  To let God in so that I might know a deeper experience of God’s love.  To know God as my source of support.  To surrender into God’s hands knowing and trusting that God is carrying me to exactly where I need to be.  Most importantly of all….to do what I tell everyone of my students to do – to make God the number one priority of my life, to give all my energy and attention to God, to be open to receiving and being compelled and empowered by God’s love.  It is not about the temporary and fleeting things of this world, it is about God…..and only about God.

In closing, I want to share these words from Stephanie Azaria’s daily post (quoting one of her writers, Marie DesRoches at  If this isn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is:

In 3D I used to “think” of surrender as giving up my way and “doing” what God wanted.  In 5D I Align WITH the God That I Am and allow myself to BE all that I AM – expressing, moving, choosing, loving, breathing, WITH and IN that Presence.” 


Posted in Authentic Freedom, Inspiration, Lessons, Surrender

Radical Surrender Leading to Freedom


As we celebrate the first of July and the new moon in Capricorn that marks this day, I breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a day (weekend) of pause after a six-month intensive of radical surrender.  The past six months have been a DOOZIE!

As we entered the beginning of 2015, I heard quite clearly the Divine invitation to LET GO.  I KNEW with every fiber of my being that I was being cleared of everything that was not supportive of the purpose for which I was placed in this world.  I KNEW it would be a time of letting go and releasing.  I just had no idea what I was being asked to let go of….or for what I was letting it go.  There was no carrot at the end of the stick calling me forth – just SHEER BLIND FAITH that if I was being invited into such radical surrender that there must be something amazing at the end of the journey.

hands open

Letting go

And let me tell you, looking back on the past six months, the letting go was ENORMOUS and far greater than I ever thought possible.  I was invited to be willing to let go of EVERYTHING – and that meant EVERYTHING.  I knew the invitation didn’t necessarily mean I would have to let go of everything – but that I must be WILLING to do so.  Thankfully, the things most important to me (my children, my friends, my family) still remain, but the things I was asked to release – if you had asked me to do so a year ago, I might have (would have) said no.  At this point in my journey, however, I had grown weary of clinging, exhausted from the effort of trying and beyond frustrated with all the failed efforts.  I no longer cared what God wanted from me….I just wanted to serve in whatever way I was being called….even if that meant giving up everything I had come to believe about myself and my call in this life.  I placed myself and my life in God’s hands and said – “Here.  Take all of it.  Take what you need to take from me.  I give up.  I surrender.  It’s all yours.  And if somewhere along the line there is something I need to know…let me know.”

The amazing thing about radical surrender, is that yes, many, many, many things fall away; but as they are falling away (if we are willing) we are able to see how silly our attachment to those things has been.  We see how truly unnecessary these things are to our lives – especially when we see how they have hindered our ability to love.  And, as we are letting go, we are not left empty.  Instead, we are being cleared and emptied so that we can be filled – filled with what God wants for and of us – not what our tiny little minds think we want for ourselves.  For example, some of the things my mind thought would be good for me,  God thought better of it and invited me to let these things go:

  • My long-held desire to reform the Catholic Church (I let that one go a LONG time ago).
  • My desire to have my novel become a best-seller.
  • My wish to become a famous and best-selling author.
  • My attachment to the vision of myself as a writer, artist and rockstar.
  • My desire to reach a global audience and to become the next Marianne Williamson.
  • My desire for a specific annual income.
  • My desire to become an internet sensation and to launch a global academy.
  • My vision of traveling the world speaking to packed houses on topics of self-actualization and world change (the funny thing about panic attacks is that global travel no longer sounds like such a great idea!).

A Better Plan

Instead, God said, “Lauri, let these things go.  You are already exactly where you need to be.  Remember the medicine of mouse (my power animal) – small things making a big impact! Your audience is right here in your own backyard.  Stop seeking outside for what you already have here.  Plant yourself here.  Get more involved in the community and watch your efforts bear fruit.”


Who knew?  So I suddenly find myself seeing all the ways I can connect with the larger community.  I suddenly see all the people who already know me and are aware of what I do and the good it brings to the community.  Opportunities are suddenly falling into my lap that are reflective of my gifts and supportive of my needs.  Again…who knew?????

Radical surrender is not an easy task and I am grateful to have some breathing room as I rest after so much letting go.  But as I am learning, surrender is totally worth it when the reward is greater than what we ever could have imagined for ourselves!  (More on that later this week!)


Posted in Initiation, Inspiration, Surrender

Letting Go

For many, the past year has been a continual journey of release – of letting go that which no longer serves and letting go of what we thought served, but the Universe had something else in mind.  I first discovered the work of today’s blog contributor through my friend, poet and author, Jay Ramsay.  This poem spoke to my heart and I knew it would speak to the hearts of others.  So thank you to Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB for sharing her work with us.  Today’s poem, The Sacrament of Letting Go, comes from her book Seasons of Your Heart (Harper Collins).


Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

The Sacrament of Letting Go


She celebrated the sacrament of

Letting Go…

First she surrendered her Green

Then the Orange, yellow, and Red…

Finally she let go of her Brown…

Shedding her last leaf

She stood empty and silent, stripped bare

Leaning against the sky she began her vigil of trust…

Shedding her last leaf

She watched its journey to the ground…

She stood in silence,

Wearing the color of emptiness

Her branches wondering:

How do you give shade, with so much gone?

And then, the sacrament of waiting began

The sunrise and sunset watched with

Tenderness, clothing her with silhouettes

They kept her hope alive.

They helped her understand that

her vulnerability

her dependence and need

her emptiness

her readiness to receive

were giving her a new kind of beauty.

Every morning and every evening she stood in silence and celebrated

the sacrament of waiting.

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB is a Benedictine Sister from St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  She is well-known for her creative writing and retreat ministry.  Monastic spirituality has had a great influence in her writing and retreat ministry.

She has authored eight books: Seasons of Your Heart, A Tree Full of Angels,  The Song of the Seed, published by HarperCollins;  Seven Sacred Pauses: living mindfully through the hours, Gold in Your Memories,  Behold Your Life and The Circle of Life (co-authored with Joyce Rupp) published by Ave Maria Press.  Abide:  keeping vigil with the Word of God is her latest work, published by Liturgical Press.

Visit her blog:

Posted in Discernment, grief, Surrender, world changes

Black Holes and Super Novas

Are you feeling compressed, constricted, tight?  Do previously important things in your life seem to be falling away?  Have you been given recent opportunities to let go, shed, release certain aspects, relationships, jobs, etc. in your life?  If so, today’s blog is for you.  (including a special treat of musical accompaniment!  )

Living Dead Girl

As I mentioned in my blog of June 4th, Letting Go,  the past six months have been a time of departures.  Roles that I have claimed for the past 20 years, titles I have assigned to myself, jobs, my place in the world, a love relationship, perceived financial support, etc. etc. etc. have all been dropping like flies.  SIGH!  When in April this process brought me to my knees and I was feeling a little like a Living Dead Girl, I brought this to prayer and asked God, “What is this all about?”  The answer was loud and clear:  “Doors are closing so that new and better ones may be open: ones more reflective of who you are and and who I am calling you to be, ones more reflective of the love and the joy that you are now, ones more reflective of how I have uniquely made you to reveal my love, contentment and joy in the world, and ones that will bear greater fruit.”  Ok, doors are closing so that new ones can open.  Receiving these words gave me a measure of peace and have helped me to weather this constant releasing, releasing, releasing and the grief that comes with every opportunity for release.  But in truth, I’m starting to get a little tired from all this releasing and all this grieving.  Come on God, give a girl a break!

Supermassive Black Hole

Just when I think I have reached my limit of releasing and grieving, I asked God again, Can you throw me a line dude?  I’m gettin tired over here!  Again, God was happy to answer, this time with an image.  The image was of a black hole…..and the black hole is me.  I am being drawn more and more deeply into the deepest part of my inner self, compressed and squeezed, collapsing into myself.  As I am sucked deeper and deeper into the black hole, all that no longer serves, all that is no longer reflective of who I am and who I am called to be, all that is no longer life-giving or reflective of the love and joy that I now know within myself, all of these things are being squeezed out of me and released into the universe to be transformed.  And man o man can I feel the PRESSURE of this vacuum-packing!!!!!!!  I feel tight, constricted, barely able to breathe, sometimes too compressed to move or think.  It is the strangest and sometimes most maddening feeling.  Throw a little grief-inspired depression into the mix with all the releasing and you get a sense of the darkness that exists within this black hole.  The good news is that the black hole is not the end of the journey….as God reminded me, it is only the beginning!

New Universes, New Worlds and Super Novas

What God showed me next is that on the otherside of the black hole, actually deep, deep, deep within its core is the doorway into new worlds and a new universe.  After all the compressing, when the black hole has collapsed into itself, it turns inside out and a new doorway emerges.  Now, all the pressure that has built up from all the collapsing, compressing and constricting can no longer contain itself and explodes in the BIG BANG!!!!!!!   In a massive explosion, far beyond what any of us could possibly imagine, a SUPERNOVA erupts, exploding out in all directions, out into eternity in fact and in that massive explosion, a new star, a new solar system, a new universe is BORN.  As God showed me in these images, when the BIG BANG comes and the SUPERNOVA is born, I too will be catapulted out into a new life, a new universe, new and more refined roles, new love, new hope, new dreams, new fruitfulness and abundance.

We Share a Common Path – Shiny Happy People!

I share this story because I know that I am NOT the only one being sucked into the black hole in preparation for the BIG BANG and SUPERNOVAS.  It seems that everyone I encounter whether clients, students, companions, friends, loved-ones, fellow-bloggers, etc, etc, etc, EVERYONE seems to be going through some form of compression, release, letting go, shedding.  I also know that God doesn’t give me messages or images to keep them to myself because chances are, others are having similar experiences and are in need of similar re-assurances, support, a life-saver to keep them afloat on this crazy journey toward new worlds, new universes and a new life.  So brothers and sisters, HANG IN THERE……..God has also told me that the time of compressing is coming to an end and that the SUPERNOVAS are soon to erupt, ushering us all into a new life, new hopes and new dreams.  In the meantime, breathe, sleep, dream, NURTURE yourself and your needs, tend your creativity and find a little time for play.  And did I say, breathe?????   PS  A little Lamaze breathing might be appropriate here…..we are in the transition phase of labor and that new life is soon to emerge through the RING OF FIRE.  Here it comes.  Can you feel it?

What are you being invited to release?

How are you experiencing this black hole time?

What are the new things that might be trying to be born in your life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Being Human

Ode to Love

I dedicate today’s blog to the man who for the past 10 months generously shared his life and his love with me and now goes forth in search of that which makes his heart sing.  I release you in gratitude, blessing and love and know that you will always hold a sacred place in my heart. 

My Favorite Part

My favorite part

Was when you held me in your arms

Looked deep into my eyes

And spoke to my heart.


The Most Precious Part

The Love I know within myself

Is a wide, expansive, all-encompassing, limitless kind of love.

A love so large that it contains the world,

the entire universe, in fact.

And many have been the recipients of this love.

But to you, I give a secret and hidden part of my love.

The part of my love that is tender and vulnerable;

Silken and soft – like the petal of a rose.

Priceless and fragile like Venetian glass

The most precious part of my love

The portion of my love that reveals my very soul.


And I give this love to you – and only to you.

It is my gift to you for loving me








And for letting me love you in return.

The Ennui of Love

Nobody tells us that real love is boring.

After the anxiety of infatuation,

The panic in absence,

The ceaseless longing,

The star-crossed blindness…

Following the time when the scales fall away

And we can see our lover for who they are –

Human, imperfect, flawed…


Boredom comes.

Startling at first when chaos and drama is all we’ve known.

And we wonder, “when is that shoe going to drop?”

But when it doesn’t

And we pause to breathe,

We understand and appreciate the ennui of love

And we can sink into the comfort of a love that is




And kind

And we suddenly realize that we are home.

All poetry copyright Lauri Lumby

Posted in Spiritual Practices, Surrender

Nada Meditation – Practicing Ego-Release

Today’s blog presents a meditation practice with ego-release as its intention.  I am dubbing this practice, “Nada Meditation” which means “Nothing” and is not to be confused with the yogic practice of Nada Meditation which is defined as the “yoga of sound.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Due to a series of events, I have been given the opportunity (with much resistance on my part, I might add) to re-examine, re-address, re-assess EVERY aspect of my professional life.  Along with this opportunity, I was also given the gift of nearly two weeks to retreat, reflect, rest and re-direct.  I write this blog somewhere along the mid-point of this time of Universe-imposed retreat and will wholeheartedly admit that I have no idea what the outcome of this time of retreat might be….and even better, I don’t feel a need to know.  The greatest gift in this time of retreat was the chance to get out of Dodge and enjoy a time of true separation.  It was in the middle of this time out of Dodge that I was introduced to a very valuable and necessary meditation practice.  I am certain that someone else has already invented a practice such as this, but until I learn otherwise, I am dubbing this practice Nada Meditation ( not to be confused with the yogic meditation practice of the same name that is known as the yoga of sound.)


The invitation to enter into Nada Meditation presented itself when in the midst of my retreat, a dear friend, former colleague, mentor and teacher presented me with a career path idea.  As I examined this opportunity,  I unexpectedly found myself face to face with all the “roles” I have assumed in my past and current life and the shocking realization of all the egoic motivations that have driven these choices.  This realization  hit me upside the head and right between the eyes.  Enter the practice of Nada.

Nada:  Nothing.  Zilch.  No-Thing

Nada Meditation invites us to examine all the roles and titles that we have chosen in our lives and to root out the portions of said roles that may be driven by ego.  Ego is identified  by those choices that we make out of fear, competition, want or desire.  For example, one of the roles I have assumed in my  life is Angry, Impatient, Recovering Catholic bent on reforming the Church or at least proving that they are wrong.  The egoic motivation is obvious in this role.  The role of the ego in other roles we choose might be more subtle.  For myself, one of the subtle ego-attachments I have had to acknowledge is that in my decision to offer a Sunday evening gathering for prayer, I have in a sense thumbed my nose at the Church as said, “Ha ha….if you won’t do this, I will.”  It doesn’t mean there isn’t merit in offering a space for people to gather in contemplative prayer, but the egoic-motivation of revenge or to be the center of attention, or to assume I’m right and someone else is wrong might negatively skew the effects of said gathering.  The ego is tricky!

Practicing Nada

1) Practicing Nada Meditation begins by identifying all the roles you have assumed in your life.  For me, this was easy:

Teacher.  Leader.  Reformer.  Perfectionist.  Minister.  Healer.  Spiritual Director.  Mystic.  Catholic.  Recovering Catholic.  Wounded Catholic.  Victim.  Martyr.  Meditator.  Yogi.  Bhakta.  Contemplative.  Judge.  Jury.  Grude-holder.  Irish Grudge-holder.  Introvert.  Intuitive.  Planner.  Pastor.   Church Leader.  Priestess. Vessel of God.  etc. etc. etc.

2) The second step in Nada Meditation is to say “Not this and Not that” to each of these roles.

Not teacher.  Not healer.  Not leader, etc.

And as you are saying “Not this and not that” to each of these roles, visualize these roles floating away from you.  You could imagine these roles as ribbons or strings of attachment releasing from your spirit.  The goal of this step is to really be willing to LET GO of these roles….to become completely empty and free of all of the roles you have wrapped around yourself.  This can be a really scary step, but in the practice of Nada…we have to be willing to really LET GO. This doesn’t mean that some of these roles might not come back, but for now, we have to be willing to LET THEM GO!

3) After you have completed the “Not this, not that” step, examine yourself for what is left.  After you have released all your chosen roles….what is really left standing?  When I did this exercise, after I shed all the roles I had heaped upon myself, all that was left standing was LOVE.   This might be the same for you…or you might find that what is left is peace or joy or contentment.

4) The fourth – and on-going step of Nada is to allow what is left standing to be in the world.  For me, I guess that means I am to simply be love in the world.  (Not sure exactly what that means….but I’ll keep you posted.)  Then here is the really cool part….you just might find that many of the roles you have just released now come back to you….but in a new and purified form… from fear, desire, want, a need to be right, or better, etc. and now rooted in what is left.  So for me, I might still be called to write or to offer Spiritual Direction or even to teach, but it will now be more free from the fears, desires or wants that might have motivated these roles in the past.  HMMMMM….what might that look like?

What are the roles you have chosen in this life?

What part of these roles might have been driven by fear, want, desire?

How might the practice of Nada help you to purify these roles?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries


Posted in Forgiveness

Forgiveness Part Seventy Times Seven

Today’s blog continues the discussion on the spiritual practice of Forgiveness.  Specifically, in order to experience the grace of forgiveness, we have to be willing to go into the pain.  No wonder Forgiveness is so dang hard!

The Road to Forgiveness

Roughly 6 weeks ago, thanks to the urging of several spiritual teachers, I embarked upon a journey with Forgiveness as its intention.  It started with one individual, then unfolded to include others who I had perceived to have hurt me in some way.  Interestingly, I have learned many unexpected lessons along the way.  I have been reminded that forgiveness is a process and that the actual moment of release is a moment of grace and comes unbidden and is given without regard to merit (in other words, it doesn’t come because I finally said enough “Hail Mary’s or proclaimed enough Mea Culpas).  I learned (actually, remembered) specific spiritual practices that I have found to be helpful along the way.  And I discovered the miracles that begin to unfold when we give our intention and attention to the process of forgiveness.  I also discovered that what is said of physical fitness seems also to be true in forgiveness:  No Pain, No Gain.


Instictually, we are avoiders of pain.  If something hurts, we don’t do it again.  Avoidance of pain is an important attitude if we are to survive as a species.  Avoidance of pain, however, is not helpful if we are going to experience the depths of forgiveness.  If we really want to forgive others and ourselves and if we want to be open to forgiveness by others, we have to be willing to go into our pain.  This does not mean that we intentionally subject ourselves to someone else’s abuse, deceit or neglect, but it does mean that we have to be willing to recall those past moments of hurt, betrayal and loss and to actually go into those perceived negative feelings so that they can be transformed and released and so those constricted areas within our emotional bodies can be open to receiving love where the negative feelings used to be.  It goes something like this:

  • We hold an intention in our mind to forgive X person for some perceived hurt.
  • We allow ourselves to be open to remembering that hurt.
  • We allow ourselves to feel the emotions related to that hurt (anger, betrayal, hatred, thoughts of revenge)
  • Then we allow ourselves to feel SADNESS that is lying underneath these other emotions.
  • Then we grieve…..cry, moan, wail, feel the sadness.
  • Then, let it go.

As we allow ourselves to be present to the pain of the loss….the sadness of the hurt, and when we grieve this sadness, we are freed.  The part of the hurt that caused us sadness is released, and forgiveness and love can enter in to that space vacated by the loss.

Afraid of the Pain

It is ultimately the fear of these raw emotions….sadness, anger, depression, that stops our forgiveness process.  We push them aside, ignoring them, resisting them and in doing so, forgiveness is stalled and love is thwarted.  So if we really want to achieve forgiveness in our lives and thereby open more fully to love, we have to be courageous enough to be present to the pain.  And when we do so, our journey toward forgiveness and the fulfillment of love is accelerated and the greatest miracles begin to happen.  And who knows, we might even discover that we can love not only our enemies, but that we can love ourselves as well.

Where do you want to invite forgiveness into your life?

How does the fear of pain thwart your ability to be open to forgiveness?

What are the pains that are currently calling you to be present to them?

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

Posted in Healing, teachers

Honoring the Ancestors

In today’s blog, we explore the role that our ancestors have played in our spiritual journeys and the opportunities we have to redeem their unlived dreams, where appropriate.

Mildred Tends the Fire

Copyright 2011  Lauri Lumby

Mildred tends the fire built on past regrets

And gifts suppressed.

Alcohol ignites the embers of a lifetime of unmet needs.


She fans the flames with her unwritten words

A towering inferno for all to see –

Past, present and future.


See me!

Learn from me!

Choose another course:


Ignore not the fire that burns within

Carefully heed her call.

And feed her


And by her power

You will be nourished

And the ones you love sustained.

By her strength you are empowered

Her heat gives you courage.


Burn bright and strong dear ones – colorful and brilliant

The fire you tend is you.

Guard it well as it gives you life

And light to all around.


Mildred Baker (McMahon) Evans was my maternal grandmother.  Sadly, my childhood memories of her are mostly of the “scary witch who sat in the corner chair chain-smoking in one hand, a slightly dented beer can in the other with a dish of Brach’s star chocolates at her elbow.”  While she was scary to me as a child, as an I adult, I now know that Grandma Mitz was a victim of the McMahon curse.  Suffering with depression and anxiety disorder in a time where neither were acknowledged as disease and effective treatment not even considered let alone available, Grandma found relief in alcohol.  Sadly, relief turned to abuse which eventually led to addiction and permanent (or so we thought) brain damage.  By the time I knew her, she was mostly unable to care for herself and truly lived a life of “quiet desperation.”    The good news is that after the death of her husband and ten years in a nursing home (without alcohol), the real Mildred began to return.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet this Grandma until just days before she died of lung cancer.  While the timing was bad, I am so grateful to have gotten a glimpse into the woman my Grandma was supposed to have been.  The new/original Mildred I met was sharp, quick-witted, had a twisted sense of humor (like me), enjoyed writing and playing the piano and joked about her brothers and sisters.   She was delightful and this is the Grandma I wished I had gotten to know sooner.

The Role of Ancestors

Our ancestors play an important role in our spiritual journeys.  Whether we want to admit it or not, our family of origin, going back several generations, plays a significant role in making us the person we are today – good and bad!  Character traits, defense mechanisms, compulsions and addictions, inner gifts, physical appearance, etc. are all influenced in part by the genetic pool from which we originate.  From my McMahon ancestors, I got depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive thoughts (worry), grudge-holding, a tendency toward co-dependency and alcohol abuse.  The good news is that there are amazing gifts that have come from the McMahons as well – profound intuitive abilities, enormous creativity, a quick wit (sarcastic, cynical and twisted too!), a love of play, appreciate of family and hospitality, a gift in writing, musical talent and an appreciation of all of the arts. 

Redeeming the Ancestral Influences

The influence of our ancestors plays an important role as we meander along the path of spiritual growth.  Our gene pool is ours – for better or for worse.  We cannot undo these influences, but as we grow spiritually, we will be given opportunities to choose  whether we want to continue to live out of the wounded aspects of our ancestral line or if we want to work toward redeeming them.  The invitation is to take the time to recognize and acknowledge the origin of the compulsive behaviors that seem to have come from our family of origin and make a different choice.  At the same time, we are invited to acknowledge and give honor to that which is good and holy and magnificent about our ancestors and embrace those gifts.   In releasing that which is unhealthy and embracing that which is glorious, we are able to live more fully as our most authentic selves.  What is extra cool about this is that in choosing the magnificent, we not only redeem ourselves, but provide healing and release (redemption) for our ancestors, along with our own progeny.  The healing goes back in time and forward in time into infinity.  How cool is that?

Redeeming Mildred

I give thanks to my Grandma Mitz for showing me the curse along with the gift and I consciously choose to embrace the gift and trust that in doing so she too will experience healing.  So, I embrace my writer, my musician, my sick and twisted humor, my love of family, friends, the arts and play!  And as I hold up mug of dark-roast, freshly pressed, coffee (yep, here’s my addiction), I offer, “Cheers to you Grandma!”

Where are you able to recognize the wounded aspects of your ancestors and their influence in your own life?

What do you see at the gifts of your ancestors?

How are you being invited to heal the wounds and embrace the gifts?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom

Do You Own Your Magnificence?

Today’s blog is inspired by the Authentic Freedom retreat I had the opportunity to share this weekend at St. Anthony Retreat Center in Marathon, Wisconsin.  In this weekend’s retreat, we explored through the Authentic Freedom protocol, the deep and profound magnificence of who God has made us to be.  Do you know how truly magnificent you are?

We Are…

For each child that’s born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.
We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of God.

We are
Mothers of courage
Fathers of time
Daughters of dust
Sons of great vision.
We are
Sisters of mercy
Brothers of love
Lovers of life and
the builders of nations.
We are
Seekers of truth
Keepers of faith
Makers of peace and
the wisdom of ages.

We are our grandmothers’ prayers.
We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of God.

For each child that’s born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are.


(from lessons by Y.M. Barnwell (c)1993)


We Are Magnificent

At this weekend’s Authentic Freedom retreat, we used the song, We Are from the Sweet Honey in the Rock CD, Sacred Ground. (here is a link to the song: as the anchor of the retreat.  In this song, we are reminded of our true magnificence, and all the dreams that brought us into being.  The problem, as we discovered and explored this weekend, is that many (if not most) of us have forgotten this truth.  Instead, we suffer with the fears and false perceptions that keep us from knowing and living out this inherent, God-given magnificence.

Authentic Freedom

The Authentic Freedom protocol, which is described in detail in my upcoming book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy gives us the tools to name, claim and offer up for healing and release, all those fears that keep us from living this magnificence. These fears include:

  • There is not enough
  • I am insignificant and have nothing to contribute to the world
  • I can’t (be and live as my most authentic self)
  • I am unloved or unworthy of love
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know (the truth, my path, etc.)
  • I am alone

As you read through the lyrics above, do you believe it to be true for yourself?

What is standing in the way of you owning your magnificence?

How do the above listed fears stand in the way of your own magnificence?

How are you being invited to more freely accept the magnificence that you are?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries