Posted in About Lauri, teachers

Spiritual Teachers – Keepin’ it Real!

I often think one of the biggest obstacle to people getting the spiritual support and guidance they need is the illusion that spiritual teachers are perfect or that we are inhuman (untouchable, unreachable) in some way. As one who has been called a “spiritual teacher” and who has crafted a public presence around this work, I will be the first to tell you that this illusion could not be farther from the truth.  If someone presents the illusion of being perfect or acts as if they are, they are lying and not likely who you want as a teacher anyway.  Let’s keep it real, shall we!?   I am sharing and then inviting some of the other “public” teachers I know to share their own thoughts on who they are and how they spend their time when they are not being “teacher.”

I’m Lauri. Just Lauri.  When I’m not working with clients and students (and even … or maybe especially when I am…..) I am excruciatingly REAL!  Other than maintaining my commitment to my daily spiritual practice and feeding my own need for spiritual support, I don’t do any of those things lauded by certain “spiritual teachers.”

I don’t worry about thinking the “right” thoughts. First of all, to believe there are right or wrong thoughts is a form of judgment arising out of separation.  Thoughts are neutral, it is what we do with them that decides if they are “good” or “bad” FOR US.

I am no longer a vegetarian. I’m not a raw foodie.  I’m definitely not vegan.  I LOVE MEAT – especially rare, red meat – beef or lamb preferably.  I have tried other nutrition philosophies and I have found that my body needs meat to stay healthy…and my veggies need to be cooked.  I also don’t fast.  Again, I have learned that with my fragile constitution, fasting is BAD….for me.  I also take pharmaceuticals.  I’ve tried the herbal remedies for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and reflux….and none of them worked.  Zoloft it is!

I curse…..a lot. Some would say, “Like a sailor.”  Fuck is my favorite word and I soooo appreciate the Brits for reminding me of the appropriate use of the C-word and other “misogynistic insults.”  Whatever!  These words are only offensive if we choose to be offended by them.  I am offended by very little other than ignorance and stupidity…and even then, that’s my shit, not yours!

When I’m not sprinkling messages of love…..my tendency is to be a self-righteous, judgmental hag with wild raging anger. My friends and family have seen my rage/passion.  It usually comes out when I witness injustice!  I wonder how people can be so uncaring, ignorant and (on bad days) stupid!  Then I get on my soapbox and start ranting….to anyone who will listen.  But that’s just me.  I can be a self-righteous asshole and I own it.  I’m done judging myself for being REAL!

Sometimes my anxiety comes out sideways. Just yesterday I lost it on my daughter for no other reason than I was feeling anxious for some unknown reason (which was revealed later) and couldn’t find a parking spot for a local event (while ranting about our dumb city for not having enough public parking, thereby not really supporting downtown businesses.  J  )

Now….how do I spend my time you ask? That’s easy.  WATCHING NETFLIX!  There is nothing better than finding a show I love and immersing myself in its world. Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones (not yet on Netflix) are two of my favorites…..oh yeah…..and BBC’s Sherlock.  I love that “high functioning sociopath!!!”

Same with books. Sadly I haven’t found any good ones lately….I have a specific genre I lean toward, but my current guilty pleasure is anything by Maggie Stiefvater.  Raven Boys ROCKS!  And it’s not just silly frivolous “teen lit.”  Her shit is GOOD!

Music…..the heavier the better. Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson are a few of my favs – mixed in with a little Sarah McLachlan (when I’m feeling melancholy or mournful) and Bach (when I’m feeling sophisticated!  😉 )  And when I’m longing for “home” I crank up the Irish – Clannad, Altan, Mary Black.

Speaking of sophisticated – NOT!  You will never find me at the Country Club or a Debutante Ball (WHO DOES THAT!?).  I’ll be at the local coffee shop – the artsy one tossing back a dark roast – the darker the better….or the local tavern, savoring a Guinness.  I have NO designer clothes, purses, or shoes unless they came from Goodwill.  In fact, I cannot remember the last time I bought anything from a department store.  Socks and underwear maybe.  The only thing I splurge on is bras.  Nothing compares to a good bra that fits well and lasts!  Thank you Victoria’s Secret!

What else? I have OCD.  Only a mild form…..but there are a few things that either oog me out or which I obsess about (like leaving a preposition at the end of a sentence……I will likely lose sleep tonight over that one!).  Wet wood (wooden spoons, paper, etc ) totally creeps me out.  It makes my skin crawl.  I hate dirty kitchens and bathrooms and hair in the sink makes me CRAZY….which is really fun in a household with two long-haired women!  There’s more but you get the gist.

I’m a mom. More than anything in the whole wide world, I love my (now adult) children.  I love them fiercely!  I am their greatest fan – even when (especially when) they are being REALLY REAL.  They have their own gifts and challenges and I love them all the more for it – all of it.  When my son is being an asshole (usually in the face of injustice) I celebrate it.  When my daughter is doing nothing but watching Anime’ I know it is her way of decompressing from this too-loud and too-violent world…and then I join her!

So…..that’s me. Raging self-righteous, judgemental, cursing hag and all.  I’m about as real as they get which is ultimately why every single one of my clients and students love working with me.  If I’m excruciatingly real……it gives them permission to be the same.

Now, what’s your story?

 

Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring, and offers support through her online training programs.

 

 

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene, order of the magdalene, priestess training, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation

From Religious Cult to Spiritual Liberation – a Testimonial

I received this powerful testimonial from one of the women who recently completed the full Magdalene Priestess Training and in doing so, received her second ordination.  Thank you Carol K. for your beautiful words and most importantly, for sharing your beautiful Soul with all those who have journeyed through this process with you.  Love, Lauri

 

After escaping a religious cult (and navigating my way through a spiritual and emotional breakdown), I decided to re-enter the online spiritual community. I knew that my beliefs could best be described as “Gnostic” or “heretical” (still are). Lauri Lumby’s Magdalene mini-course was the first thing I stumbled upon, via Motherhouse of the Goddess.

I’d read books on Mary Magdalene and alternative gospels by Starhawk, Elaine Pagels, and Margaret Starbird and agreed there was much more to the story.

What I didn’t expect was the open honesty pouring out of the various students. Not to mention the gentle guidance and affirmations from Lauri herself. A far cry from my previous experience with that other group, where my visions and interpretations were all shot down as products of my own ego, rather than coming from Spirit.

I think I’ve taken just about every course taught by Lauri, except those in the Order of Melchizidek. I recently completed my second ordination within the Magdalene Priestesshood.

Lauri always encourages students to find their truth. No pressure. No dogma. Because of her, I am exploring avenues I never thought would be possible for me. I’m even exploring the possibility of teaching a course myself. I am seeing more options open themselves up to me as I become more empowered in .y gifts. Thank you so much, Lauri, for helping me find my true worth!

Carol K.

Magdalene Priestess Training Course
Learn more about the Magdalene Priestess Training here.
Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, shame, sin, spiritual awakening

Eve’s Serpent – the Voice of the Soul

When Eve appeared to me in the early hours of Saturday morning, she arrived with her companion. This companion, I was told, represented the tools of her trade.

If Eve’s true nature is that of Awakener,

then the tools of her trade are all the ways in which the Soul seeks to be known.

In scriptural literature, this companion was given the form of the serpent and has been cast into the role of demon for luring the original humans into disobedience, thereby causing the “original sin” which forever cast human beings into a life of suffering.

The story of humanity’s “fall” is a myth. Plain and simple, it is a story which attempts to explain the nature of the human condition, while also acknowledging a deep, ancient memory of something more. It is unfortunate that when forming its doctrine, the Christian church chose to use this story as a weapon against humanity – shaming us into believing there is something inherently disordered about us and that life was about seeking approval and forgiveness for “sins” that are not even our own.  Even Jesus, it seemed, could not undo the cause of this “original sin.”  Sigh!

Let’s return to the serpent. In yesterday’s lesson, I spoke of the true nature of Eve as a metaphor for the human calling to awaken – to awaken out of our fearful nature and into the truth of our Soul.  This is what Eve metaphorically did when she chose to eat of the tree of knowledge – her eyes were open and now she could see as the “gods” and was given the ability to reason, discern and exercise her truth.  But before she could awaken, Eve had to hear the voice of her Soul.  The serpent represents that voice.

As I have described in many lessons in both my local and online courses:

Soul is the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and the way in which you are called to find fulfillment in service to the betterment of the world. Soul is our true self – the part of us that knows our gift and our call, and is that which compels us to seek out, discover, cultivate and nurture these gifts and this call, empowering us to share our gifts in service to the world.

-Lauri Ann Lumby

 

It is the voice of the Soul that we are here to hear and abide. It is only in listening to the voice of our Soul that we are able to fulfill our purpose for being on this human plane.  It is through the Soul that we are able to discover our unique giftedness, nurture and cultivate these gifts and then find out how we are called to share these gifts – first for the sake of our own fulfillment and second in service to the betterment of the world.  This is why we are here and it is the gentle (and sometimes forceful) whisperings of the Soul that set us forth on that journey.

The Serpent is that voice. The ancients knew this and honored the serpent as the image of the human journey toward self-actualization.  The serpent was representative of knowledge and wisdom and called humanity into its fullness.  It was only the patriarchy who stripped the serpent of its rightful place as teacher and guide – because in order to rule, authority had to be placed outside of us and in the hands of the hierarchy.  With the serpent, authority resides within – as is attested by all the ancient traditions that use the serpent as the symbol of humanity’s journey of awakening to Soul and bringing that Soul into form – the Kabbalah, the Chakra system, the Kundalini of the Yoga traditions, the ancient alchemical symbol of the caduceus – and even Moses’ staff.

The serpent has long been a symbol for human awakening and a representation of the voice and force of the Soul. Isn’t it time we reclaim it as such?

 

For support in awakening to and fulfilling the path of your Soul, check out our Magdalene Priestess Training and the Authentic Freedom Leadership Training for Men.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Divine Masculine, men

Divine Masculine Course Bundle

Course Bundles are a terrific way to enjoy the courses you want at a discounted price. This bundle is specifically for the men in the crowd!  THREE powerful online courses for harnessing your Divinely ordained masculine strengths, while supporting you in naming, claiming and moving through any inner obstacles (fears or unhealed past wounds) that might be hindering your ability to live fully from your TRUE DIVINE giftedness.  When living from your Divine gifts, you will experience a life filled with meaning and purpose, fulfilling your own needs while being of service to the world.

Three online courses targeted to men for only

$279.00

(Over $100.00 in savings)

 

Course Bundle for Men includes:

 

The Hero’s Journey- Authentic Freedom for Men: Learn the seven core fears that prevent you from being your most powerful and fulfilled self, along with proven tools for moving through and conquering those fears.

Claiming Your Divine Masculine Power: The purpose of this course is to support you in claiming the Divine Masculine power that dwells within you. In this, we discard outmoded models of the masculine rooted in fear, power and control and wield the inherent masculine traits of compassionate and loving action, provision and protection that bring wholeness and balance to all.

Unleashing the Wild Divine Male with Gwyn ap Nudd: This course will be a guided vision-quest into the wilderness of shadow work. Through the archetype of Gwyn ap Nudd (Celtic Lord of the Underworld and God of the Hunt), you will be invited to identify and release all that stands in the way of your own Wild Divine masculinity – virile, potent, and a powerful activator of change.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Initiation, Magic

When Did You First Know?

Yesterday I had the profound gift of sitting with a dear friend who is healing after 6 months of INTENSIVE cancer treatment. We were talking about all the things you talk about when death is staring at you in the face.  In the midst of the conversation she asked me a question that will likely haunt me the rest of my life:

“Lauri, when did you first know?”

She was inquiring about the gift (which often feels like a curse) I have of seeing, hearing and feeling EVERYTHING that is happening in our world. Her question took my breath away, first, in revealing to me that she SAW and BELIEVED IN my gift.  Second, because I had never really thought to ask myself the same question.

When did I first know that I was seeing, hearing and feeling EVERYTHING?

When I sit with that question, the image that comes forth is me clinging to my mother’s pelvis as the doctors were ripping me by the foot from her womb. It seems I already knew what I would hear, see, feel and know and I wanted no part of it! (Interestingly, my daughter who shares this gift with me was also born breech.)

Seeing. Hearing.  Feeling. Knowing.  A gift as well as a curse.  But as my friend SAW and BELIEVED IN my gift, I felt the “cursed” part fall away and what was left was only the gift.  I felt this gift wash over me as a blessing….as a prayer….as a benediction.  I suddenly saw, heard, felt and knew the blessing this gift has been to me, and to those I serve.  Most obvious to me is the way this gift has supported me in seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing my children.  Knowing them in a way that has allowed me to avoid the temptation of crafting my children into something I think I want them to be.  Instead, I have supported them in being who they are.  I suspect for many of my students and clients I have done the same.

This gift has also allowed me to hold our world in love. I see, feel, hear and know the evil and pain in our world….and I feel it into the depth of my being.  It HURTS.  And yet, I know this is not who we are.  Beyond the hurt, the ignorance, the evil in the world, I see the pain and beyond the pain I see the love.  We are all on this planet trying to find our way home and the only way we can find our way home is through love.

Love has found its way to me through seeing, feeling, hearing and knowing EVERYTHING that is happening in our world. Love is finding its way to you through your own unique gifts. So I will ask you the same question asked of me by my friend:

When did you first know the gifts that you possess that are showing you the way to love?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, self-actualization

What is Authentic Freedom?

Authentic Freedom Academy supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents. As a center for experiential education, we support the transformation of human consciousness through the integration of Western psychology and Western Spirituality, equipping students to be agents of positive, non-violent change in the world.

We accomplish this mission through:

  • writing and publishing
  • one-on-one mentoring (spiritual counseling)
  • local and online courses
  • on-going service to the community

 

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Authentic Freedom™ is a trademarked protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

Authentic Freedom has applications in:

  • Personal Development
  • Parenting
  • Relationship Support
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Management

As a tool for professionals in the fields of:

  • Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Spiritual Guidance/Spiritual Direction
  • Life-Coaching
  • Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and any other hands-on healing protocols

 

Specific Tools used in Authentic Freedom™:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

 

HierarchyofPurpose

From Western Psychology, Authentic Freedom™ draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, Authentic Freedom™ has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of God (the God of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

jesusabstractshutterstock

 

Enjoy the benefits of Authentic Freedom through:

One-on-one mentoring with Lauri Ann Lumby.

The Authentic Freedom Online Course:

Read the book and the companion user’s manual:

Buy it now on Amazon

Buy it now on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Programs which include the Authentic Freedom Protocol:

Authentic Freedom Academy Leadership TrainingAuthentic Freedom Academyorder of melchizedek, Christian Magic, Catholic Magic, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

 

 

 

 

 

My Approach to Scripture: You will notice that scripture plays a predominant role in my writing and in most of my local and online courses. Please note that my approach to scripture is unlike any you have likely experienced before!  I do not approach scripture from a dogmatic or doctrinal perspective.  Neither do I use it as a way to instill fear or manipulate specific actions or behaviors.  Instead, I approach scripture as the ancients did – as a collection of stories which have the opportunity to reflect back to us aspects of ourselves.  In this way, scripture becomes a vehicle through which our highest self can speak to us – providing guidance, support, inspiration, nourishment and even healing.  When we pierce through the veil of other people’s interpretations and allow the Divine to speak to us personally and directly through these ancient texts, we discover the transformational power of The Word as it was originally intended – as a tool to guide and sustain us on the path of love.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how Authentic Freedom might be for you. lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com or (920) 230-1313.

Posted in self-actualization

My Favorite Books on Human Development

As a teacher of and guide for human development, I could not do this work without those who have gone before me. In my own journey of human development, I have come across teachers, guides and authors whose work has profoundly influenced my own journey, along with the work I do.  Below is a list of my favorite books on human development, those which have most supported me in my own journey toward self-actualization.  Thank you to all those who have gone before me!

Bridges, William (2004). Transitions – making sense of life’s changes. Cambridge, Perseus Books.

Kiersey, David & Bates, Marilyn (1984). Please Understand Me – character and temperament types. Del Mar, CA. Prometheus Nemesis Book Company.

Maslow, Abraham (1970). Motivation and Personality. New York, NY. Harper and Row.

Maslow, Abraham (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York, NY. Van NostrandReinhold Company.

Maitri, Sandra (2000). The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram. New York, NY.Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Maitri, Sandra (2005). The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues. New York, NY. Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Palmer, Parker (2004). A Hidden Wholeness – the journey toward an undivided life. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass.

Palmer, Parker (2000). Let Your Life Speak – listening for the voice of vocation. San Francisco, CA. Jossey – Bass

Plotkin, Bill (2003). Soulcraft – crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche. Novato, CA. New World Library.

Plotkin, Bill (2008). Nature and the Human Soul – cultivating wholeness and community in a fragmented world. Novato, CA. New World Library.

Riso, Don Richard & Hudson, Russ (1999). The Wisdom of the Enneagram. New York, NY. Bantam Books.

Riso, Don Richard & Hudson, Russ (2003). Discovering Your Personality Type. New York, NY. Houghton Mifflin Company.

Tallard Johnson, Julie (2010). Wheel of Initiation – practices for releasing your inner light. Rochester, VT. Inner Traditions.

In support of your own human development journey, check out our online Authentic Freedom Leadership Training.  (Click on the image below to learn more)

Authentic Freedom Leadership Training

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

Spiritual Initiation: Standing at the Crossroads

The journey toward self-actualization is in fact, one spiritual initiation after another. Spiritual initiation takes place every time we are faced with an opportunity to remain in the perceived safety and security of what we have known or take another step toward the fulfillment of our life purpose.  The spiritual initiation is successful when we move through the fears and ego attachments that seek to keep us imprisoned within our small selves and away from the expansion we are driven toward by our Soul.  Some of these initiations are small and some are so significantly huge that we soon become aware that we are facing a major crossroad in our life.  It is at these crossroad moments that our spiritual practice becomes even more critical, as does our diligent attention to these practices.

spiritual initiation, crossroads, discernment, soul's purpose, journey of the soul, spiritual practice

Stephanie Azaria in Monday’s post in her column “Cosmic Consciousness” had the following to say about the crossroads:

“…a crossroad is a series of four very specific paths that are all equally available to us when we approach them from the observer’s perspective. We can send our conscious awareness down all four roads at the same time until the heart begins to resonate fully with one (or more) of these paths.  At that time we can take action to follow that road knowing it may or may not be permanent…..such is the way of the new world.  Nothing is permanent.”

A crossroads occurs when the life we have known has come to an end and the new life has not yet revealed itself. It is a time of spiritual initiation ripe with opportunity and danger.  At the crossroads, possibilities seem endless and many opportunities (or twinklings of opportunities) may present themselves.  At this stage, none of these possibilities are yet fully formed, so a decision (or even a discernment) cannot yet be made.  Some of these possibilities will die on the vine.  Some are not in our highest good or reflective of our soul’s purpose and therefore should not be pursued.  And some are just beginning to grow roots so are not yet strong enough to support our unfolding.  For these reasons, pursuing or chasing after possible opportunities prematurely will only end badly.  We will know that the opportunity is not yet ripe if in its pursuit we find it either drawing away, or find ourselves coming up against a brick wall. Instead of requiring effort, opportunities that are ripe and good for the soul will fall into our laps in a miraculous and effortless kind of way.

While the crossroads is ripe with possibility, it is also rife with danger. This is true for it is at the crossroads where we make our deals with the devil.  At the end of what has been, we are vulnerable and afraid. We have left behind (or are being asked to leave behind) what has been so as to replace it with something that is not yet known.  It is in our human nature to crave surety and to long for “the same.”  When we have neither of these creature comforts, we grow anxious, worried, and fretful.  Often, our first response is to bargain for the old life to be returned.  “Please let me go back to…….(insert relationship, job, home, etc. here)….at least I knew what to expect there.”  But our Soul desires nothing if not growth.  As such, as much as we might want to, we cannot return to that which has already died…or which no longer supports our growth.  (Well….actually we can…..we just end up with a zombie like life along with the constant shame of knowing we are living an unlived life…mind numbing substances and behaviors come in handy here as we try to escape our true feelings about the unlived life we have chosen).

After bargaining, we must now face the possibilities that lay before us. Some will be known.  Some will only be twinkles.  And MANY will be the paths which lead us only into the “devil’s trap.”  These are the paths which are ruled by fear and/or which tempt us through our ego attachments.  Those paths ruled by fear are the possibilities that are based in our unhealed and unresolved fears:  fears over money, time, acceptance by others, belonging, etc. etc. etc.  When we choose a path that is ruled by fear (I’m afraid that the path of my Soul won’t make me any money, so I’m going to find a path that insures at least a regular paycheck…..whether or not it has anything to do with my gifts, my mission or my purpose in this life…..), this is the devil’s trap.  The result of choosing this path will only be more fear and a deepening sense of imprisonment.  Those paths ruled by the ego are those which tempt us through our desire for fame, power, control and material wealth…..in other words, “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” – another of the devil’s games.  While fame may be an outcome of pursuing our Soul’s path, this will not be true for all, and the path of our Soul is never driven by our desire for fame. In the quest for the Soul, we must always check our ego at the door.

When we find ourselves at the crossroads or spiritual initiation we are vulnerable. We feel insecure and afraid.  The possibilities might seem overwhelming and our fears are running rampant.  The crossroads is the devil’s playground, but it is also the domain of our Soul.  At the crossroads, the Soul is seeking after and longing for its natural movement toward growth and it will not rest until the appropriate path for its growth reveals itself.  Until that happens, the Soul is restless….making us even more vulnerable to the “devil’s trap.”  At the crossroads, our spiritual practices become even more critical, along with our resilience in the face of temptation and our diligence in tending to these practices.  While at the crossroads we must not act, pursue, chase after or be tempted to make something happen.  Neither should we make any decision based in fear or arising out of the ego.  Instead, there is only ONE THING we can do when standing at the crossroads….and that is WAIT. Wait and watch.  Observe and discern.  And when the waiting and inaction become excruciating (which they will)….we wait some more.  For it is at the crossroad where we endure the greatest of all tests in our spiritual initiation …the test of whether we can wait long enough for the path of our Soul to arrive and the next stage of our life to begin.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a trained spiritual director and spiritual counselor, transformational educator, ordained interfaith minister and published author. Lauri supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of humanity and does so through one-on-one mentoring, writing, online classes and workshops.  Contact Lauri at lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

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

Spiritual Development – Surviving a Freefall

I define spiritual development as: the process through which we uncover the answer to the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Whose am I? (Where do I find peace and belonging?)
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them for the sake of my own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world?

At the moment of our spiritual awakening, we are given the choice to pursue the path of our spiritual development. Some choose this path.  Many do not. For those who choose the path of spiritual development….with self-actualization being the ultimate outcome, they soon discover that the journey of spiritual development is as much about letting go as it is about discovery.  In order to become our most authentic selves, we have to let go of that which is not authentically ours.  As such, the journey toward self-actualization includes many tiny (and sometimes HUGE) deaths.

I have recently been met with another one of those deaths. In my own journey of self-development and self-discovery, I have grown accustomed to these many deaths, but familiarity doesn’t always make it any more tolerable.  In fact, in many ways, knowing that death is upon us is more frightening than death taking us by surprise. The current death (which in truth is just another in a long line of current dyings) I am facing is the end of what I have known as my local professional life.  On Tuesday I taught my last local class.  While this has not been a financially lucrative endeavor for quite some time, and I knew this death was coming, the reality hit me like a storm.  With nothing yet to take its place, I have nothing to look forward to, nothing to plan or plan for, nothing to DO but stare into the empty void of a new life that has not yet been revealed.  Two weeks ago I felt like I was staring into the abyss.  Having faced the end, I find I am no longer staring, I am in full-on FREE FALL.  In a free fall, there is literally NOTHING to hang on to, nothing to cling to and nowhere to find a hand or foot hold.  Instead, we are only falling….or floating….or FLYING!

spiritual development, self actualization, freefalling, freel falling, spiritual awakening, defining spiritual development,

Having done nothing but support spiritual development for the past 25 years, my own and that of others, I know what to do and how to survive a free fall.

LET GO

There is literally nothing else to do. We cannot fight it.  When falling through the abyss we cannot turn around and go back from whence we came.  Without a new world in sight, there is nothing to work toward or work for.  We cannot MAKE ourselves crawl up through the gaping void to some safe place above us.  All we can do is FALL.  But, there are ways in which we can support ourselves in the falling:

During the freefall, we grieve.

We mourn the life that we are being asked to leave behind. We deny.  We bargain.  We become depressed and paralyzed (THANK YOU Netflix for 13 seasons of Supernatural to keep me entertained when I am otherwise immobile).  We grow angry.  We gnash our teeth.  We scream and shout and wail.  We weep.  We allow our bodies to grieve what has been so that we can be healed and freed of that life and made ready for something new.

During the freefall we pray.

(or whatever your language is for that). For me, it is asking and begging for support, to know that I am not alone.  My prayer includes gratitude for all the past life has given me and the support in knowing that a letting go so enormous means something equally huge is coming to take its place.  I pray for peace.  I pray for hope.  I pray for any tiny glimpses that might help me continue on.  In addition to prayer, I double up on my daily spiritual practice.  I meditate.  I read and reflect on scripture.  I journal.  I chant (or listen to mantra).

During the freefall we sleep.

When a dying occurs, our bodies, minds, and spirits are being rewired. It requires an enormous amount of psychic energy to let go of something that has been (especially when it is somehow related to our identity….which mine is) and to be made ready for the new. Sleep supports the release of what has been and the energetic preparation for what has not yet come to be.

During the freefall we remember.

This is the place for our life review. We reflect on what has been.  Any unresolved fears/compulsion/demons from that life make an appearance so that we have one more opportunity to bring them healing and transformation ensuring we are ready to enter into the new life when it comes.

During the freefall we do nothing.

This may be the most difficult part of the freefall. There is literally NOTHING we can do to hasten the departure from what has been and the entry into something new.  All we can “do” is BE.  And in our culture, being is really hard to do (not to mention all the twisted stares we get from people when we tell them all we “did” today was watch Netflix).  Doing, however, during this stage in the freefall produces NOTHING.  It simply reminds us of how NOT life-giving our old life had become and how ready we are for something new.

How have you supported yourself during the many dyings that have happened along your path of spiritual development?

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS provides spiritual direction and counseling for those on their spiritual journey.  To schedule a private session with Lauri email  lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com.

Check out our online programs in support of your spiritual development HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, self-actualization, spiritual awakening

Authentic Freedom – Our Mission

Authentic Freedom Academy supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of change agents. As a center for experiential education, we support the transformation of human consciousness through the integration of Western psychology and Western Spirituality, equipping students to be agents of positive, non-violent change in the world.

We accomplish this mission through:

  • writing and publishing
  • one-on-one mentoring (spiritual counseling)
  • local and online courses
  • on-going service to the community

 

Outer change begins with inner change.

Inner change begins with self-knowledge.

Self- Knowledge leads to self-actualization.

Self-actualized individuals, are inherently non-violent, cooperative and collaborative, and are naturally motivated to use their unique gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

 

Authentic Freedom™ is a trademarked protocol developed by Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, founder and director of Authentic Freedom Academy. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which participants are supported in becoming self-actualized and are then empowered to share their unique giftedness in service to the betterment of the world.

Authentic Freedom has applications in:

  • Personal Development
  • Parenting
  • Relationship Support
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Management

As a tool for professionals in the fields of:

  • Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Spiritual Guidance/Spiritual Direction
  • Life-Coaching
  • Reiki, massage, acupuncture, and any other hands-on healing protocols

 

Specific Tools used in Authentic Freedom™:

  • Western, Eastern and Indigenous Mindfulness, Contemplation and Journey practices
  • The Spiritual Exercises and Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius
  • Creativity Practices
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
  • The Enneagram Temperament Tool
  • The Spiritual/Personal Gifts Inventory
  • The Authentic Freedom™ protocol

 

HierarchyofPurpose

From Western Psychology, Authentic Freedom™ draws from:

  • Carl Jung’s creative imagination, archetype and shadow work
  • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and theories of self-actualization
  • The humanistic theories and creativity practices of Carl and Natalie Rogers
  • The stages of spiritual development of James Fowler and John Westerhoff
  • Bill Plotkin’s development of the human Soul

From Western Spirituality, Authentic Freedom™ has its roots in the original teachings of Jesus* which were then formalized into the meditation, contemplation and service practices of Western Monasticism, specifically those favored in Benedictine, Franciscan, and Ignatian spirituality.

*The original teachings of Jesus are those rooted in the universal (and non-religious) call of love:

  • love of God (the God of your own understanding)
  • love of Self
  • love of Neighbor – recognizing that all of humanity is our neighbor

and then:

  • lived out through acts of compassion
  • working for justice

jesusabstractshutterstock

 

Enjoy the benefits of Authentic Freedom through:

One-on-one mentoring with Lauri Ann Lumby.

The Authentic Freedom Online Course:

Read the book and the companion user’s manual:

Buy it now on Amazon

Buy it now on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or take the complete Authentic Freedom Leadership Training:

My Approach to Scripture: You will notice that scripture plays a predominant role in my writing and in most of my local and online courses. Please note that my approach to scripture is unlike any you have likely experienced before!  I do not approach scripture from a dogmatic or doctrinal perspective.  Neither do I use it as a way to instill fear or manipulate specific actions or behaviors.  Instead, I approach scripture as the ancients did – as a collection of stories which have the opportunity to reflect back to us aspects of ourselves.  In this way, scripture becomes a vehicle through which our highest self can speak to us – providing guidance, support, inspiration, nourishment and even healing.  When we pierce through the veil of other people’s interpretations and allow the Divine to speak to us personally and directly through these ancient texts, we discover the transformational power of The Word as it was originally intended – as a tool to guide and sustain us on the path of love.

 

lauriprofilecolorwebshot2013Contact Lauri Lumby today to find out how Authentic Freedom might be for you. lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com or (920) 230-1313.