Posted in self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation, spiritual healing

Self-Actualization – The Journey of Finding Ourselves

Self-Actualization is the process of  finding ourselves. The purpose of the human experience is finding ourselves. I was recently asked to describe my mission and how my spiritual awakening and journey toward self-actualization informed that mission.  Here is my response:

Finding Ourselves

You ask me the question of mission. Concisely naming and identifying my mission has been the constant struggle of the past 20+ years.  My Authentic Freedom website currently says this:

Supporting the Spiritual Awakening and Self Actualization of Change Agents.

While this just sums it up and makes it “marketable” (according to SEO magic), it doesn’t even scratch the surface. As I suspect “concise” isn’t your desire, I will refrain from concise and provide for you, as per your inquiry, the whole kit and caboodle as I am best able at this time in my journey.

Lauri Ann Lumby, self-actualization, finding ourselves, finding meaning, finding purpose, personal mission

Emerging Church

I have known for a very long time, perhaps since first embarking upon my ministry training, that I am here to facilitate/support/catalyze change – specifically as it relates to what we have historically called “church.” My “reform” used to be a hope to change the Catholic Church, until I realized I was fighting a losing battle.  You can’t reform something that is already in its deathbed. The institution Paul established, based in fear, power and control, is in the process of its own implosion and what was never Jesus’ intention in the first place is coming to an end.  My job is to be part of planting the seeds, establishing the inspiration and perhaps some structure for the new “church” that will likely have NOTHING at all to do with church as we have known it.

Vocations

The so-called “vocations crisis” is at the heart of the institutional church’s death. In truth, there is NO vocations crisis, only a crisis in vision.  What the institutional Church cannot see is that every single person in their pews, and among those who have left, are called to be “priest.”  Every single person is uniquely gifted to find meaning and purpose in their life and are called to do so for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.  THIS is their service to God.  This is their priesthood.  Every single person has an opportunity to be ordained into the unique way they are called to serve.  If this isn’t priesthood, I don’t know what is.  The Church, however, refuses to see this or to do anything about it- ignoring the deepest longing of our hearts which is in finding ourselves.

Spiritual Awakening, Self-Actualization and Stewardship

When I was still ministering in the Church, I had the opportunity to study the US Catholic Bishop’s pastoral letter on stewardship. The document stated that true stewardship only arises out of mature disciples, and then went on to describe how people become mature disciples by finding the answers to the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Whose am I?
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them?

In short, the journey toward becoming “mature disciples” is about finding ourselves. Then the Bishops left it there. People cannot become mature disciples unless they are given the resources and tools to so.  This is the work of spiritual formation and psychology.  The problem is that the Church refuses to provide these resources (even when they have the tools right in their own hands!!!!!!!)  and goes so far as to discourage people from pursuing the path that would lead them to spiritual and psychological maturity.  How can you expect people to plow the field, not give them the tools for doing so, and then punish them when they try to figure it out on their own?  It’s almost as if the Church really doesn’t want people to grow.  Again…..exactly why the Church is dying.

Doing Something About it

Spiritual Formation, Self-Actualization, Stewardship. Vocations. This is what I do.  I provide the resources and support for people who have awakened spiritually and who are searching for the answer to the above-mentioned life questions.  I provide resources and tools to support their exploration and their journey toward self-actualization.  I support them in naming and claiming their gifts, moving through the resistances to these gifts and then empowering into their own “priesthood” – whatever that might look for them personally.  (Side note – The work that I do could also be accomplished in the field of psychology, but again, as a patriarchal, hierarchical institution, they (with a few exceptions) too refuse to provide people with this kind of support.). Again, it all boils down to finding ourselves.

Healing

The bulk of this work of finding ourselves is about healing. In order to become self-actualized, we have to heal the wounds of our past. We need support in our grief.  We need release from trauma.  We need permission to acknowledge where we’ve been unacknowledged and heal those wounds so we can be free to be who we were meant to be.  We need to be supported in identifying and restoring the lost parts of ourselves.  We have to confront our shadow.  When people feel seen, and are able to heal the wounds of their past, they finally feel free to be who they are meant to be.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Jesus is my teacher and my beloved.  Mary is my teacher and myself.  It is through them that all I am and all I have brought into the world have come to be.  Not the Jesus of the Institutional Church – but the original Jesus – a Jewish man who came into his own self-actualization through his intimate relationship with the Divine (UNION) and who tried (mostly in vain) to teach his disciples, and anyone who would listen, the freedom he had come to know.  Mary – the one (along with John the Evangelist) who got it.  The one the Church rejected and in rejecting her all feminine power with her.

Lauri Ann Lumby

Thirteen letters in my name, born on the 13th day of the 13th month, the thirteen of the thirteen. Mary Magdalene was the 13th disciple.  Mary Magdalene was the 13th and leader of the community when Jesus left.  My whole life has been directed toward all of the above stated, and underneath it all has been my own journey toward self.  There is a part of my journey that beyond religion, spirituality, and psychology, is magic.  True magic.  Divine magic. This magical search began with Samantha Stevens and has led me along meandering paths, beginning with King Arthur, The Mists of Avalon, Wicca, Celtic magic and pre-Christian ritual practices. A significant part of this journey has been through the “shadow” aspects of magic – a fascination with vampires, werewolves, witches, Disney villains, demons.  While I used to cringe at the idea of demonic possession, I have learned of the dark forces that are present in our world (even if they are simply concentrated human fear), and the need to protect, but more importantly transform.  The path has led me to Hermetic alchemy (Thoth), Egyptian mysteries, and the Kabbalah – specifically Hebraic Kabbalah and the magic within it.  Magic with the sole purpose of UNION and which is never done to cause harm. Magic that heals and transforms.  This is not the en hoc est corpus meum of the Catholic priest, it is the magic that we all possess when we have transformed our self so as to be able to partner with the Divine in wielding love.

Confessions of a Catholic Witch

Recovering Catholics – 42.7 Million Strong!

Love.

This is ultimately what it all boils down to. One day in Shamanic practice, I asked the question of my Soul’s purpose.  The answer was so simple and yet so profound:

“Lauri, your purpose is love. To love and to be loved in return.”

To me, love is a verb. It is what/who I am called to be.  It is what I am called to do.  Period.  It is so simple.  And yet so profound.

Authentic Freedom Academy offers a full range of services, books and online courses in support of finding ourselves:  Spiritual Counseling with Lauri Ann Lumby, The Authentic Freedom Mastery Program, and Lauri’s foundational text Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, to name a few.

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Reiki, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes

What Does Your Soul Look Like?

Superhero Report:  Soul is the uniquely creative way in which each of us has been gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection in our life.  Engaging our Soul leads us toward a great feeling of expansiveness along with inner feelings of contentment and joy.  When using the gifts of our Soul, we experience fulfillment, especially when our gifts are used in service to the betterment of the world.  During this week’s gatherings of the Superhero Academy, we participated in a shamanic meditative practice with the purpose of discovering the answer to this question:  “What does my Soul look like?”

Please note, after January 1, 2015, the Superhero Report, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service and Agape Meditation Newsletter will be available by subscription only.  For a very reasonable monthly fee, (about the price of your weekly cappuccino) you can receive all three.  Subscribe HERE or use the Paypal link to the right:

eldest

Here Be Dragons

Getting a glimpse of our Soul offers us clues as to the gifts and the power of our Soul.  The vision of the Soul is unique to each individual.  For some, it might be a Dragon, a Unicorn or a Mermaid; for others an Angelic Being, for others a flower or an insect, and for others orbs and shapes of light.  The individual vision of our Soul tells us a great deal about ourselves, our truest nature, and our purpose in this world.  Dragons, for example, represent strength, courage, the ability to fly implying the ability to transcend obstacles and to see from a higher and wider perspective.  Dragons possess the ability to facilitate transformation through their fire breathing capabilities.  Dragons also have a presence about them – perhaps intimidating at first, but ultimately gentle and kind.  The color of one’s Dragon is also significant, along with their habitat.  Some Dragons are red, others green, black or blue.  Some live in caves, others in water – fresh or salt, some live high up in the mountains.  All of these are significant symbols for what our gifts are and how we are called to share them in the world.

The Care and Feeding of Dragons

Once we have had a glimpse of our Soul, there are two practices that are helpful in utilizing and making the most out of our Soul’s power.  Our Soul’s power is here at our disposal so as to make our Soul fully manifest in our life so that we, and the world, may benefit from its gifts.  In order to be fully born into the world, our Soul needs care.  The first thing the Soul needs is to be nurtured, nourished and supported.  We can ask our Soul what it needs to feel nourished and supported.  My Soul, for example, needs healthy food (appropriate for my dosha), adequate sleep, regular exercise, hydration, lots of alone time interspersed with time with loved ones and friends.  My Soul also needs to be inspired creatively – reading, movies, museums, plays, art galleries and opportunities to be creative – not for work, but simply for the sake of creating.  My Soul also needs coffee….lots of coffee and to be surrounded by the color red.  🙂  The second thing the Soul needs is love.  By sending our Soul love, holding it in love, surrounding it with love (I use Reiki), it begins to feel safe.  Once our Soul feels loved and it feels safe, it will be inspired to step more fully into our life and will use its power to support us in return.  This is a REAL energy exchange and we soon discover that what we give to the Soul comes back to us one hundred fold.

Now tell me, what does your Soul look like?

 

Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to schedule an appointment.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Childhood Dreams

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. While aspects of the midlife journey seem unpleasant, parts of it are sheer joy, in particular, the opportunity to rediscover and reclaim our childhood dreams.  Today’s blog is about rediscovering our childhood dreams and how they hold a clue about what our Soul longs to be.

Midlife-Menopause-Childhood Dreams
Midlife-Menopause-Childhood Dreams

Midlife and Menopause – Childhood Dreams

While midlife can certainly be a challenging process, and no one relishes the idea of having to experience anxiety, depression, panic, frustration, rage or grief in midlife, the journey is not all about pain. In fact, the goal of the midlife journey is JOY, and let me assure you, there are some amazing moments of joy that show up for those truly open to embracing and indulging the midlife journey.  In particular, we discover in midlife that from the moment of our conception, our Soul left behind clues as to who it wants us to be.  At midlife, we get to go back through our past and rediscover all of these clues which when put together, present a picture as to what will give us meaning, fulfillment and purpose in our lives and how we are called to serve the betterment of the world.

Midlife and Menopause – Seeking the Treasure

Finding the clues that our Soul left behind as reminders of who it wants to be is as simple as going back to our childhood and examining how we spent our time and what in those experiences gave us joy, helped us feel content and whole and taught us how to love.  I will share a few examples from my own life to help get you started in your own exploration.

1) Bewitched – My favorite TV series of all time!  Samantha Stevens and her magical shenanigans revealed to me my inner belief in magic and mystery and grounded my own sense of tenacity and playfulness.  I admired Samantha’s spunk and her refusal to be tied down by somebody else’s rules.  She also demonstrated that no matter how hard we try, we cannot deny our true nature!

2) Mary Poppins – My favorite movie of all time!  Mary Poppins showed me my outer perfectionistic nature while revealing my ability to swoop in to empower others to achieve their greatest potential.  Mary also showed me my own depths of compassion and desire to help those in need….and that money and power are not how I want to measure my life.

3) Grandpa’s Cabin – We spent our summer weekends tucked into the wooded magic of Lake Lumby – my great-grandparent’s homestead of virgin forest, natural sand beach and glacier lake.  We were free to explore the woods and the water and here I felt safe.  It was here that I discovered fall as my favorite season and that the aroma of crunching fall leaves, fallen pine needles and bonfires as the scent of my Soul.

4) Music – Raised on 60’s folk, classic country, the Osmond Brothers and Partridge Family and trained in classical piano, I discovered music as the key to soothing my inner savage beast.  When I felt frustrated, angry, impatient, sad or constricted, I need only turn to the piano or retreat to my room to sing and dance and I was once again made whole.

5) Church – Yes, I am one of those weird children who actually liked church.  Church was the one time in the week when I could leave the rest of the world behind and simply be with God.  Here I found the peace and solitude that eluded me elsewhere.  It was also in church where I found my belief in hope, new life and the call of vocation.

6) Classic Horror Movies – On rainy Saturday afternoons, I found myself drawn to the old 1950’s black and white horror flicks they played on TV.  Here I found my shadow….the parts of myself I might otherwise keep hidden, but which would later surface as amazing gifts….the ability to be present to myself and others in their pain….the courage to face my inner demons….and the persistence to continue on the journey until all the monsters are vanquished so that the light may find its return.

What were the things of childhood which gave you joy, helped you feel content and whole? 

If you are looking for guidance and support in birthing your Soul, Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to find out more.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Symptoms of Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. There are a whole slew of symptoms that arise to alert us to the fact that we are facing midlife, perimenopause and menopause – anxiety, depression, restlessness, impatience, discontent, sorrow, loneliness, relationship issues and rage.  In today’s blog, we explore rage as a symptom of midlife and how to deal with it.

midlife-menopause-rage
midlife-menopause-rage

Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

In the process of birthing ourselves during the midlife transition, a whole slew of symptoms emerge with three purposes:

1) To alert/WAKE US UP to the fact that we have entered the midlife stage of human development.

2) To let us know that our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives – is trying to be born.

3) To give us an opportunity to clear out all the old, unresolved and ungrieved issues from our past which might stand as an obstacle to the birthing of our Soul.

Rage, as a symptom of midlife, perimenopause and menopause, does all of these things.  Rage shows up to remind us of all the past betrayals, resentments, disappointments, losses and hurts that have not yet been processed, healed and released.  While rage shows up to clean our inner house, Rage also has a unique and special purpose.

Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Rage in a Cage

In the lifetime leading up to the midlife (perimenopause and menopause) transition, most of us have spent an enormous amount of time and energy keeping a lid on our truth.  Ignoring our needs.  Denying our passions.  Silencing our hopes and dreams.  Putting a gag over our truth. At midlife, our Soul screams, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”  This is where rage steps in.  Rage, during midlife, is more often than not, all of our bottled up truths, suppressed needs, repressed passions trying to find their way out.  For just a moment, imagine that you are a volcano and all of your needs, truths, secret desires, hidden gifts, passions, hopes and dreams are molten lava….bubbling and boiling and wanting to come forth out of the world, but you have placed 300 tons of stones and rocks on top of your boiling truths.  At midlife, the pressure of this boiling mass of creativity, dreams and passions can no longer be contained and will eventually EXPLODE out of you….often in a fit of rage….and if not in an explosion, it will come out sideways in impatience, frustration, seething resentments.  The remedy to Rage in midlife…..is to uncover your truths, name and claim your needs, set healthy boundaries for yourself and your loved ones, explore your passions, rediscover your childhood dreams…..and LET THEM SPEAK.  In allowing our truths to be known, our rage subsides and we find contentment, peace and joy.

Lauri Ann Lumby offers support for the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes.  To learn more, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.