Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Forgiveness

The Journey from Vengeance to Compassion

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Jeremiah 20: 10-13

 

I must humbly admit I sympathize with Jeremiah in his rant against his enemies and his desire to see vengeance meted upon them. In the many years I have had to deal with those who “hate me” I have gone from praying for their suffering and basking in satisfaction as I watch karma enacting its justice upon them to where I am today – still finding some satisfaction in karma (I’m still human!) but mostly having compassion for the suffering they continue to choose while I (mostly) live in peace. Not a peace born out of satisfaction for karmic retribution, but my own peace in knowing the Love that I am in God and doing my best to live from that Love.

The peace that I now know is the fruit of 25 years of diligent attention to my spiritual practice. This is a practice that goes beyond sitting in silence and includes unwavering accountability to everything within me that might otherwise infringe upon my ability to know Love. This unwavering accountability has nothing to do with freeing myself from “sin” out of a fear of Divine retribution. Instead, it is an acknowledgment that I have wounds from my past, social conditioning and fears that have kept me from knowing God’s love – not because God’s love is being withheld, but because these wounds, etc. prevented me from feeling and knowing the Love that has been here all along.

In knowing this Love, I feel whole and complete within myself. When I waver from this feeling of wholeness, I tend to the wound that is still asking for healing. Now, this is where I’m going to lean a bit in Jeremiah’s direction in describing in contrast the inner life of my “enemies.” For the record, I no longer consider these people my enemies, but I know that to them, I am the enemy. I am the enemy because I dare to question, challenge, and confront the doctrine they cling to – a doctrine they cling to mostly out of fear of God’s punishment.

These are those I have come to refer to as “the self-appointed inquisition” who for years harassed me, tried to sabotage my work, spread rumors against me, called the contemplative practices I teach “the work of the devil,” called my healing work “sorcery and witchcraft” and wrote letters of complaint to the local bishop so much that I understand the file on me is enormous and that I have been officially blackballed in the local diocese. To them, my work is “dangerous.” And, I guess it is. I invite people to use the brain God gave them to reason, discern and exercise their truth and to challenge anything cloaked in fear.

In the past, I was heartbroken by the action of these people – many of whom I thought were my friends. I was traumatized when a group of them came to one of my classes and turned it into an inquisition. I was further traumatized by the local chancellor who harassed me about a class I was teaching on the Aramaic Lord’s prayer. I was profoundly insulted and disappointed when the same chancellor promised to let me speak on behalf of Reiki – arrived 45 minutes late to our meeting and then issued the Reiki prohibition (which he always intended to issue) the very next day. I found myself writhing in anger, hatred and confusion of how these so-called Christians were treating me. I felt like a victim to their constant harassment.

Then the harassment stopped. Not because the self-appointed inquisition ceased their relentless inquiry and reporting on everything Lauri Lumby – but because I no longer care. Not caring is not a defense mechanism born out of fatigue. Instead, “not caring” is the detachment born out of Love. The more I have come to know the Love that I am, the less I am triggered by other people’s fear. The more I know God’s Love, the less I care about what other people think of me or my work. And in this I have peace – a peace my “enemies” will likely never know.

This is where my dreams of vengeance turn to compassion. Today when I see or hear from my “enemies” I no longer see their cruelty, I see their fear. I see a fear born out of shame – shame for who God made them (it’s not ok to be gay in the Catholic Church), shame for past actions for which they have never forgiven themselves, shame out of secrets that might destroy ones place in society, shame out of something so deeply suppressed that the only thing that can come through is prideful self-righteous. As it relates to the officials of the Church who have made me their enemy, I see fear, shame and in some an arrogant quest for power – using fear, deceit and manipulation to acquire that so-called power. For all of these I now bear compassion knowing that they will never know the peace I know in coming to know the Love that I am as God’s beloved daughter – the same love available to all of us if only we have the courage to heal the fears that keep us from knowing this Love.

Support yourself in healing the fears that keep you from knowing the Love that you are.  Discounted pricing through April 30, 2019.  Click on the image below to learn more and to register. 

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, building the new world, Choose Love Revolution, Empowerment, Freedom

Taking Back Our Power to Choose

Authentic Freedom

Taking Back Our Power to Choose

Register by clicking on the image above.

 

Online course created and facilitated by

 Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

 

Nine lessons

Done at your own pace

Done in your own time

Moderated by Course Creator

Secret Facebook Group for Participants

 

Introductory Rate: $145.00

(through April 22, 2019)

(not including required text)

Register HERE.

 

 

Taking Back Our Power to Choose

For the past 5000 years our world has been imprisoned by those who benefit from a people afraid. For 5000 years, we have been conditioned by institutions that manipulate and control us through fear, guilt and shame.  Religious institutions, governments, corporations, banks, advertising, social media, education, health care, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry (to name a few) are all guilty of benefiting from a people afraid.  As has always been true of feudal societies, only a few truly benefit from a culture rooted in fear.  The rest are made to suffer while those who are manipulating us are getting rich at our expense.

 

It is time that we say NO MORE by taking back our power to choose.

Fear is a choice. But in order to have the freedom to choose otherwise, we have to unravel ourselves from the conditioning that has made us afraid. The fears that tell us:

 

  • There is not enough.
  • We are insignificant and have nothing of value to offer the world.
  • We cannot live as our most authentic selves.
  • We are not loved (or that love has to be earned or can be taken away).
  • We are not free to express our truth.
  • We do not know the truth.
  • We are alone.

 

When we stop believing in these fears by healing the conditioning that caused these fears in the first place, we are no longer vulnerable to manipulation and are free to choose love instead of fear. In choosing love, we are able to experience the peace, freedom and union spoken of by the ancients and which has been taught by the highest expression of every spiritual tradition on this planet.

 

Authentic Freedom gives you that power to choose by supporting you in identifying and then healing the fears that have kept you imprisoned by your cultural conditioning.

 

Register Here.

 

SCRIPTURE (gasp!) Please note that with great intention I use Judeo-Christian scripture as part of this course.  I do so ON PURPOSE because for many in our culture, scripture has been used against them.  Christianity (especially certain expressions of Christianity) have twisted Jesus’ message of love into one of hatred and fear.  It is my hope that by presenting scripture in a different way – not as a vehicle of manipulation and control – but as a vehicle through which you can find and become empowered in LOVE- we can not only be healed of our societal fears, but also of those which have been heaped upon us by institutional religion.

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATSLauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS  supports you in becoming a fully awakened and self-actualized human being by giving you the freedom to choose love in a world conditioned by fear.    Lauri does this through her trademarked protocol – Authentic Freedom which harnesses the knowledge and wisdom of the ancients and applies it in the modern world.  Here you will find fulfillment for the deepest longing of your Soul – to know and to be known.  Lauri is the owner of Authentic Freedom Academy and founder of the Temple of the Magdalene. She lives in Oshkosh, WI. You can learn more about Lauri, her writings, programs and services at Authentic Freedom (dot) Love. 

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Direction

Conditioned by Shame

Shame is one of the forces of manipulation that we are currently unraveling from at this stage in our cultural/spiritual evolution. Specifically – the shame we have been conditioned to feel by the patriarchal/hierarchical power structures who for the past 5000 years have ruled our world.  These power structures, which are rooted in fear, power and control, have fashioned “rules” from which they benefit while the rest of us suffer.  Shame is the tool they use to get us to comply with their rules. Let me offer a few examples:

  • If you anger, disappoint or turn away from “god” you will go to hell and here are the ways you will anger and disappoint “god.”
  • If you don’t dress a certain way, carry a certain purse, if your body isn’t a certain size, people won’t love you.
  • If you don’t succeed in school, you are a failure.
  • If you didn’t learn the lesson, or if you did learn it but can’t communicate it in the way we expect you to, you will get a bad grade.
  • If you don’t pay your bills on time, you will be punished.
  • If you don’t make a certain amount of money, you are a failure.
  • If you are sick and need medical care, but don’t have money to pay for it, you are lazy.
  • If you are a working mother and can’t get to work on time because you have to take your child to work, you will be fired.
  • If you got pregnant out of wedlock, you are a whore.
  • If you are having sex outside of marriage you are also a whore.
  • If you are raped, it’s your fault.

 

The list goes on and on and on.

 

These are the threats that have been doled out to us by the existing power structures to imprison us with fear and manipulate us with shame.

 

NO MORE!

It is time for us to unravel from this shame by:

  1. Refusing its power over us.
  2. Taking back our own power.
  3. Healing the wounds that have been implanted within us by this shame so that we are less likely to be vulnerable to shame’s manipulations.

 

For further support in healing your own shame, especially if it relates to money, check out my new online “course” – part instruction, part self-reflection, part shamanic healing journey. Free yourself once and for all of the power structure’s means of keeping you in shame around money:

Click on image to learn more and register. Only $9.99!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in guilt, shame, Spiritual Direction

Christianity and Guilt

Exploring the role of guilt in the formation of the Christian religion

Since the time of its inception, Christianity has been a religion rife with conflict. One such conflict is the 2000 year old battle between the two sides of the Christian message – that which is based in fear and the other which is rooted in love.  Understanding the experiences out of which Christianity emerged, one has to wonder, is the religion of Christianity merely an expression of the unresolved guilt and shame experienced by the disciples who denied and abandoned Jesus at his greatest hour of need? When we look at the long dalliance between Christianity and guilt, one has to wonder.

Christianity and guilt, Christianity and shame, guilt, shame,

What follows is a “fictional” account of what may have happened:

Once upon a time, there was a bunch of fishermen who met this dude named Jesus. They thought this Jesus was pretty cool.  First he taught them a better way to fish, and then he showed them how to walk on water.  After the theatrics he taught them how to love. These fishermen thought Jesus was the next best thing after leavened bread – something that was a luxury for fishermen – because which one among them had time to wait for bread to rise?

Things were really cool with this Jesus guy. They got to travel.  Meet new people.  Hear amazing stories.  They got invited into the homes of those they never thought they’d be able to dine with.  They saw amazing things happen and miracles performed.  The sick were healed.  The blind were able to see.  And Jesus spoke in a way that made their heart feel warm and their soul feel at peace.

But then one day, people started to become angry over Jesus’ words. Angry words were exchanged and the next thing the fishermen knew, their buddy Jesus was hauled off to prison and brought before the Roman governor where he was tried for treason.  Treason?  (They also heard words like blasphemy….and other scary words).  Jesus was just trying to teach people how to love.  The fishermen were surprised, but mostly they were afraid.  If people came to know that Jesus was their friend, would they be imprisoned and tried too?  So they hid.

And they kept hiding. They heard that Jesus’ trial didn’t go well and that he had been sentenced to death.  Now they were really afraid.  So they kept hiding.  They hid all the while the women knocked on their door saying, “Come out.  Come with us.  We need to support our friend.  We need to be with him.  We need to offer our love and support.”  But the women’s pleas could not break through the fishermen’s fears.  So they continued to hide.

They hid after the women came and told them Jesus had been crucified and that he had died. They hid after the women came to tell them Jesus had been buried.  And they continued to hide until three days later, on the morning after the Sabbath when Mary Magdalene (Jesus’ favorite) knocked on the door and proclaimed that Jesus lived.  But even then, they only opened the door a crack, and then swiftly slammed it in Mary’s face.  “She must have lost her mind.  Jesus cannot have survived a crucifixion.  And ‘he has risen?’  What does that even mean?”

But then, Jesus himself showed up. He walked right through the closed and bolted door and showed them.  “See.  I have not died so as never to be seen or known again.  I am now with you, always, along with the Spirit who is with and in me.” Only then did the fishermen open the door to Mary Magdalene who stood there tapping her feet with her arms across her chest…saying with her eyes, “I told you so!” For a brief moment, the disciples hung their head in shame – first because they had not listened to the Magdalene, the one Jesus favored above them all; and secondly, because they had abandoned their friend at the time of his greatest need.  But just as quickly as the guilt and shame surfaced, they began to make their excuses.

Jesus listened to their bargaining and then began to remind them of all he had taught them about peace and love and how they could experience the kingdom of God right here in the midst of the human experience. Jesus continued to teach them, empowering them with the light of his Spirit so they might go forth and share the good news he had proclaimed:  “Turn your gaze only toward the Divine within, for here is where you will find the kingdom of God.”  (While the disciples were being tutored for the umpteenth time, Mary Magdalene and the other women were already about their mission of teaching people how to love.) Then Jesus told the disciples, “I must ascend,” and took off for good.  Now the disciples were on their own, so they did what Jesus told them to do, “go out and preach the good news.”

This would have been all fine and good except that the male disciples could not let go of that sense of guilt and shame over having abandoned their friend. The wound of shame festered and soon, they could only remember Jesus’ message through the lens of their unhealed shame.  As a result, they went forth preaching “the good news,” but soon it took on a new flavor.  This message was not the pure message of love Jesus had proclaimed and which Mary and the other women continued to share in the world.  Instead, the message became tainted by shame.  Instead of the overwhelmingly uplifting message of unconditional love, the love of God became conditional and wrapped in fear.  God was no longer the prodigal father of which Jesus spoke; instead he became a wrathful God making impossible demands on his children with the overarching and overwhelming threat of eternal punishment in a place called hell.  The cause of Jesus’ death became the sin of humanity.  Judas was Jesus’ betrayer and it was the Jews who killed him.  Women and sexual intercourse became the cause of original sin.  As the wound of shame continued to fester, the message of love became eclipsed to the point where it no longer remained.

But, while the disciples who retained the wound of shame preached a message tainted with fear, those who had no shame, because they had stood by the side of their beloved teacher and friend – Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Martha, the other Marys, the youngest disciple (and Jesus’ own brother) John, and a few others taught a message of love. They went out into the world doing what Jesus taught them to do.  They began with showing people how to connect with the Divine within.  Then they supported them in coming to know that this connection – which felt like peace, love, contentment and joy – was their original nature and what Jesus called “the kingdom of God.”  Then they taught them how to connect with their own unique gifts and to hear the voice of the Divine which led them to their truth and to the purpose of their life path.  They gathered in community for meditation, contemplation and prayer.  They broke bread together and shared all things in common for the sake of the common good.  They went out into the world teaching, healing, supporting and empowering people – showing them how to be free by teaching them how to love.  In this expression, God was not to be feared but was instead, the source of unconditional and unmerited love. In this they came to know that there was indeed no separation – only love – and they lived in peace and walked softly upon the earth while diligently praying that their brothers and sisters might find healing and self-forgiveness for the guilt and shame they have been harboring for the past 2000 years.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS provides support for your unhealed wounds of guilt and shame, including those experienced through institutional religion. She provides this support through one-on-one spiritual direction/counseling, her writing and online courses.  You may contact Lauri directly at lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Boundaries, codependency, Lessons, Relationships

Not My Fault

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

notmyfault

Natural Order

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

Fear Coming Out Sideways

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

Here’s Where it Gets Messy

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

It’s Not Our Fault

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

 

Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, world changes

Superheroes and our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

Superhero Report – July 28, 2014

Our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

DSCF3163

 

It is not something we like to admit, but the New Superheroes have often had trouble with mood-altering substances.  Whether it is caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, a whole host of illegal substances or ones that have been prescribed by our doctors for ADD, anxiety, stress, depression, or panic attack, certain ascetic meditation practices, television, video games, the internet – the New Superheroes are likely to have (or had) some sort of habitual relationship with one or several of the above.  There is a sound explanation for the attractiveness of these substances and to the way in which we are almost irresistibly drawn toward them and why they can so easily become addictive.  There are also some simple practices we can engage in which can render these substances unnecessary.  (Note: if you have an addiction, please seek out the support of your local 12-Step recovery program.)

 

The question of why we are drawn to mood-altering substances has a many-layered response:

 

1) We remember our true nature and our original home and we want to go home!

On an unconscious and often conscious level, Superheroes remember what “heaven” feels like. We also know our “true self” is not of this earth, but that we are pure, spiritual beings. Mood-altering substances stimulate the brow and crown chakras and give us an experience of being “home.”

2) We were given a vision of what the earth is supposed to be like, and this is not it.

Until we know how, we often resist this human form and are looking for ways to ESCAPE. The earth we are currently residing in is the not the vision of earth that was planted into our hearts and that we are here to make real. Again, mood-altering substances give us an experience similar to being home, thereby allowing us, at least temporarily, to escape the painful human condition.

3) The false belief that spiritual is better than human.

This is a biggie – especially among certain members of the New Age, Ascension, and Lightworker communities. We are NOT here to be spiritual, we are not here to ascend the limitations of our humanness, we are not here to sprinkle fairies and stardust upon the world singing songs of light and love and perfection, believing that if we think good thoughts all will be well and we will have everything we want. No, we are not here to do these things – not at the expense of being HUMAN anyway. WE ARE HERE TO BE HUMAN. PERIOD. We are ALREADY fully Divine. We came here to experience being human AND to bring our already perfect Divine nature fully into this experience. Rather than Ascension, the journey of the New Superhero (and the rest of the world with us), is actually INCARNATION – transcending the illusions of duality and becoming BOTH fully Divine AND fully Human. We already know the Divine part….let’s figure out how to be human! (ahem….I know a pretty cool dude who lived about 2000 years ago in and around Palestine/Israel who came here to do the same.)

4) Shame

As strangers in a strange land, we often have the experience of not fitting in, of being judged for being weird or strange. People don’t understand us, or the vision we carry in our hearts and the drive to make it real. When we feel rejected by those around us, and sometimes even by those we love, we take it personally. This rejection becomes internalized as shame. Mood-altering substances are a great way to numb the pain of this shame.

5) Loneliness

Just ask Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, being a Superhero is lonely business. Until they discovered each other and formed the Justice League, these Superheroes were out there on their own trying to make the world a better place and feeling very alone. The same is true of us. We often feel alone in the world with few who understand our unique temperaments, gifts and call. Mood altering substances help us to numb the pain of feeling alone and misunderstood.

Again, if our relationship with mood-altering substances has reached the level of addiction, then it is time to seek help.  12-Step recovery programs are a great way to get support in stopping the use of the substance and Authentic Freedom helps to identify and heal the inner fears/wounds which led us to the compulsive behavior in the first place.  If our relationship to mood-altering substances is less problematic but we still find ourselves drawn to them, the following practices may prove helpful.

 

1)Tonglen 

Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice which incorporates visualization and breathwork for the intention of transforming painful emotions. For the Superheroes, applying Tonglen to feelings of loneliness and shame can prove effective. Here is the practice in short:

  • Identify the feeling you want to work with (shame, loneliness)
  • Call that feeling up in your body.
  • Identify where in your body you feel it.
  • Breathe INTO that place in your body, while feeling the emotion (shame, loneliness).
  • While breathing into that place, follow your breath with your mind.
  • Now breathe out love, following the love with your breath as you imagine it flowing out of you from the place of the painful emotion.
  • Continue with this practice until you feel something change – perhaps the emotion shifts to something else, maybe you begin to weep.

2) Embodiment

Embodiment is a practice that I discovered while struggling with an overactive and fretful mind.  The intention of this practice is to REMEMBER that we are here to have a HUMAN experience – no matter what we remember about our “heaven home” or our true nature as spiritual beings.  Embodiment allows us to set aside the false belief that spiritual is better than human and gives us the tools for bringing our, already perfect, Divine selves FULLY into the human experience.  When our spirit is fully incarnate in our bodies, we feel safe and secure and are less likely to be tempted to FLEE.  It is not, however, until we INCARNATE that we feel safe in our human selves, so let’s get to incarnating, shall we???

 

  • Close your eyes and draw your awareness deep into your body.
  • See if you can identify the distinction between your spiritual and human self. (Note, the spiritual self, until we are incarnate, tends to hang out in the upper chakras, especially our head, or even somewhere outside and above us.)
  • Conscious of the distinction between your spiritual and human self, bring your consciousness deep into your body.
  • Imagine the Earth beneath you as hands reaching up to hold, support, protect, and nourish you.
  • Feel the sense of safety in resting in this supportive space.
  • Imagine your HUMAN self as supported by the Earth and receiving its nourishment from the Earth.
  • As you begin to feel the safety of humanness, imagine that your human self is like a chalice – an empty vessel waiting for your Spirit to be poured into it.
  • From this place of security, observe as your Spirit willingly pours itself into the safe home of your human chalice. You are not pushing, forcing or pulling it in, it willingly enters in the knowledge that the Human form is safe.
  • Returning to the awareness of your human form, FEEL the sensation of being fully human and safe in this experience, while completely filled by your Divine Spiritual nature. Feel the wholeness and completeness of this experience. As you sit in this feeling of safety, you become aware of all illusions of separation melting away. Your Spirit and your Human natures are now one – no longer separate or distinct from each other, but ONE.

 

Embodiment eliminates the temptation to FLEE because when we INCARNATE, we find that WE ARE HOME and that there is a home for us in the human condition and that with our embodiment, it looks a whole lot like the heaven we remember and the heaven we were sent to make real upon this earth. 🙂  In this experience, we know that HEAVEN IS REAL and it is right here, within and among us.

 

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,

Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed,

And no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘ look, there it is.’

For behold, the kingdom of God is within (and among) you.”

 

Luke 17: 20-21

 

Posted in addictions, codependency, guilt, shame, The Seven Deadly Compulsions

Partners of Sex Addicts Part II

Today’s blog is the final of a four-part series on sex addiction.  Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s blog focused on identifying sex addiction and understanding some of its possible causes.  Thursday’s began the discussion on how partners of sex addicts are effected by the addiction and today’s blog continues that discussion, exploring possible resources for assisting partners of sex addicts in their own journey of healing. 

Co-Addiction?

Many experts in the field of sex addiction refer to the relationship between a sex addict and their partner as co-addiction.  Drawing from 12-step recovery programs, the partner of a sex addict is held accountable for their role in enabling the addiction through denial, preoccupation, enabling or rescuing, taking excessive responsibility, and trying to (or wishing they could) control the addict’s behaviors.  In order for one to identify sexual addiction in their partner, they also have to acknowledge their own role in the cycle of addiction.  Denial is perhaps the greatest obstacle to the addict and their partner in stopping the cycle of addiction.  For the partner of the addict, excessive responsibility is perhaps the second obstacle.  Partners of addicts come to believe that the dissatisfaction, restlessness and irritability of the addict is somehow their fault and often work to try to “make the addict happy” by engaging in sexual activities that make them uncomfortable or looking the other way when the addict seeks to satisfy their need through pornography, excessive masturbation, sex-sites, other partners, etc.  For those who choose to remain in a relationship with a sex addict (who is still engaging in addictive behaviors), unraveling themselves from their role as enabler is critical.  In order to keep one’s self safe, the partner of a sex addict must stop taking responsibility, feeling guilty for the addict’s unhappiness and for excusing their sexual acting out.  If the addict remains in denial and refuses treatment for their addiction, the partner may eventually determine that the relationship is no longer viable and may decide to leave.  (For more on working together to recover from sex addiction, please read, Mending a Shattered Heart, edited by Stefanie Carnes, PhD.

codependencytriangle

For those who leave

For those who choose to leave a relationship with a sex addict, acknowledging their co-addictive behavior will be an important step in healing from the co-addictive relationship and for establishing a ground upon which healthy intimacy may one day be possible.  In the beginning stages of having left a sex addict, however, I believe that attention first needs to be given to grief * and shame**. First, the partner needs strategies, room and time to grieve the loss of the relationship they at one time hoped to have with the addict (before they knew of the addiction).  What also needs to be addressed is the deep well of shame experienced by a partner of a sex addict.  Shame from having been in the relationship in the first place.  Shame over their co-addictive behaviors (denial, bargaining, over responsibility, etc.).  Shame from all the ways in which they were told they failed the addict.  Then somewhere along the line, the partner of a sex addict needs to pick up all the shreds of their own desire and sexual self-confidence which were destroyed in the course of the relationship and put those back together.  In grieving the loss of the hoped-for relationship, healing the deep well of shame, reassembling one’s self-confidence and desire, and addressing any co-addictive behaviors provides the foundation upon which the former partner of a sex addict may enter into a meaningful, healthy and intimate love relationship – the kind that was, sadly, not possible with the addict.

* To learn more about the grieving process, click HERE. 

** To learn more about releasing shame, click HERE.

If you are a partner of a sex addict, please seek out help and support through counseling, psychotherapy or a local 12-Step group well versed in the subtleties of sex addiction. For additional support, check out Mending a Shattered Heart – a Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, edited by Stefanie Carnes, PhD.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Inspiration, Mystics, shame, world changes

For Those Not of This World – Releasing Shame

Today’s blog is targeted for those of you (us), who have often felt a misfit in this world.  Freaks, geeks, dweebs, artists, creative geniuses, rightbrain thinkers, lightworkers, healers, Indigo’s, Crystals, Rainbows, Starseeds, lightwarriors, children of light. Whatever name we have called ourselves, we have always felt as if we stand outside the norm, as if we do not fit in, and that no matter how hard we try, we cannot embrace the lifestyle, expectations, and values of the hierarchical, patriarchal, materialistic, consumeristic, Western world.  Instead, we find ourselves embracing what many would consider countercultural values and lifestyles and either working seventeen jobs or becoming (as one friend recently observed about me) “chronically self-employed,”  in order to live our truth and follow our dreams.  Some, familiar with the Matrix movies might suggest that we have taken “the red pill.”  Others, might just shake their head in disgust as we continue to rock the boat of “normal,” challenge perceived authority, and shake the foundations of status quo, even though the work that we do is ALWAYS geared toward making the world a more loving, harmonious, peaceful and beautiful place.  But, people don’t like change and they don’t appreciate different, so we are often cast out as weird or condemned as shit-disturbers.  If any of this sounds familiar to you, keep reading because I am about to offer you the ONE CURE for all your frustration and impatience over simply trying to be who God/dess made you to be and the ONE CURE for any obstacle you might be facing in living your truth freely and enjoying the abundant fruits of sharing your amazing gifts. 

Releasing Shame
Releasing Shame

THE ONE CAUSE

The ONE CURE came to me in my own struggle to live my truth and trying to find my place in the world.  I have to thank my friend who first called me “chronically self-employed,” and the completely disproportionate reaction I had to these words as it gave me an opportunity to identify THE ONE CAUSE of my history of paralysis, lack of confidence, immobility, perceived failure, financial lack, vocational and relational struggles.  The ONE CAUSE, I discovered, was shame.  “What is wrong with me that I cannot work in the real world and have a real job?” I moaned.  “What was wrong with me that I couldn’t be content in an unhappy marriage?”  (millions of other people find a way to be).  “Why doesn’t anybody get what I do or understand who I am?”  I realized at the root of all these questions was ONE emotion, and that emotion was SHAME.  I felt shame for being different and for seemingly not fitting in and for feeling driven to live a life outside the norm by naming, claiming, cultivating and living my gifts and my dreams.

THE ONE CURE

Once I was able to identify SHAME as the cause, I knew I had also found the cure.  If shame is what is keeping me small and stuck, then shame needed to be confronted, transformed and released.  Intellectually, I knew there was nothing wrong with me and there was no rational reason that I should remain stuck.  But shame, as an underlying inner state, trumped all I “knew” in my mind.  So, I applied one of my favorite spiritual practices to shame and allowed it to find its release.

Releasing Shame

If you find that shame is also at the root of your own tendency to remain small, or believing that you are different and in your difference, somehow wrong, then try this practice which I am borrowing from Tibetan Buddhism – Tonglen.

1) Connect with your feelings of being different or not fitting in.

2) Identify the emotion underlying these feelings – perhaps it is shame.

3) Become aware of where you are feeling this emotion in your body.

4) Allow yourself to be present to this emotion.  FEEL it, instead of pushing it away.

5) Breathe in this feeling.  Breathe it into your heart as you allow yourself to feel the feeling.

6) Breathe out love.

7) Breathe in the feeling and breathe out love until you feel something in you shift.  Maybe a new feeling surfaces, or you begin to cry, or you feel yourself growing stronger, more confident, more self-assured. Stay with this practice until you feel it is resolved.

Why This Practice Works

Once you have released the shame, you can no longer remain small or have feelings of being rejected or condemned, or experience failure, because, there is nothing left for these negative experiences to hook on to.  Before, shame acted like a cement block that we were tied to with thick, black straps of elastic.  Every time we tried to crawl out of our feelings around being different, and every time we tried to “think” ourselves to greatness, all it would take was one crossed eye, or shaking finger of criticism to pull us right back into the pit of our shame.  Once shame is released, there is nothing left for the hooks to hang on to…..so we are free.  The proof in this practice is that once we release the shame, every door that was previously closed to us miraculously opens because we can no longer be rejected, condemned, ostracized or banished because there is no more shame to hold us hostage within ourselves, and then we are free to be our weird, creative, countercultural, shit-disturbing selves and we are happier (and maybe even richer) for it.

Lauri Lumby provides one-on-one mentoring for those seeking to birth their Soul – the uniquely creative part of themselves through which they were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which they are called to contribute to the betterment of the world.  To learn more call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book

Poetry and Art Part III

Part III of the marriage between poetry and art, continuing the exploration of the amazing work of Catherine E. Case, here accompanied by selections from my upcoming book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself.

Self Portrait, by Catherine E. Case
Self Portrait, by Catherine E. Case

The voice of self-loathing chants:
Never Enough
Never Good Enough
Something Wrong with Me
It is surely my fault
Leaving behind a black, oozing, cavernous pit of want.
The oozing, dripping, eight-armed beast arises.
Tentacles
Craving
Searching
Reaching
Grasping
Love me
Desire me
Want me
Know me
Worship me
Praise me
Adore me
Longing to fill the void
Sighing, It’s not enough
And judging this too as wrong.

Catherine E. CaseCatherine Case holds an MFA, an MA and a BFA, with an emphasis in graphic design, drawing and illustration. In addition to the aforementioned, she has at multiple locations throughout the United States, served as Academic Department Chair, Exhibition Judge, Gallery Director, Guest Artist and Guest Speaker. A Professor of fine and graphic arts for over two decades, and Business Owner in the field of design for over thirty years, her awards, grants and publications are numerous.  Catherine exhibits her continuously evolving fine art in solo, group and juried exhibitions, in addition to having solid gallery representation.  Catherine can be reached at catherinecase@me.com

Posted in Empowerment, Forgiveness, guilt, Lessons, shame, Spiritual Practices

Punished for Speaking our Truth

Punished for speaking our truth and what to do with the resulting shame.

ARGH!

The past couple of weeks have provided me with a terrific reminder of how challenging it is to speak our truth and why many of us don’t.  When we finally have the courage to defend ourselves, to tell the family secret, the church secret, the institution secret, the rape secret, the abuse secret, to share our political views in a contentious world, etc. etc. etc. the response is most often NOT the liberation and the support that we are hoping for, instead, the response we get for speaking our truth is PUNISHMENT.  When someone else does not want to hear our truth, if our truth somehow shatters the illusion of the world they have created in their mind, or if God forbid,  our truth challenges another person to BE A GROWN UP the likely response is not just resistance, but defensive attack – either directly or indirectly through passive aggressive behaviors.

Punishment and Shame

The punishment that comes as a result of speaking our truth comes in many forms:

  • Defensive attack
  • Condescending verbal attack or behavior
  • Passive aggressive behavior (behind your back actions that somehow sabatoge, destroy  or say “f-you”)
  • Denial – the words that say “you’re crazy, you don’t know what you are talking about, so and so wouldn’t do that….”
  • Rejection, banishment, withholding of approval, love, etc.

Whatever the form of the punishment, the desired result is the same – to make us feel as if we have done something wrong and to make us feel ashamed.  For many of us, feeling this shame is unbearable and we are compelled to apologize, retract, back pedal, take back or repress our truth.  Taking back our truth might feel like the easiest response and the best way to restore the harmony that we all desire. In the long run, however, this pattern of repression and denial has devastating effects on our individual person and on society as a whole and on some level, we all know this to be true.

Choosing Another Response to Punishment and Shame

When we have spoken our truth and know that we have done so rightly, the invitation is to STAND IN OUR TRUTH.  When our truth is rejected by another and we are punished for sharing that truth through acts of aggression, witholding, finger pointing, etc. and we feel the resulting shame rise in us, and we are tempted to question, doubt, bargain, retract our truth….DON’T!  Put the shame back where it belongs, on the person trying to make you feel that way through their reaction to your truth and recognize the unhealed wound in them that prevents them from acknowledging your truth.  The challenge, however, is that even in standing in our truth and refusing to retract, the resulting shame from the rejection of our truth remains.  Thankfully, there is a powerful spiritual practice that transforms ANY icky, sticky, negative emotion that makes us feel bad.  I learned this practice from one of my teachers, Julie Tallard Johnson in her book, Wheel of Initiation.   This practice is called Tonglen.

Tonglen

Tonglen is a simple breathing and visualization practice that helps us to release powerful, negative feelings and emotions.  Instinctively, when we experience a negative feeling or emotion, we are compelled to push the feeling away.  Tonglen invites us to do the opposite – to bring the feeling in:

1) First, we FEEL the feeling. We allow ourselves to welcome it instead of pushing it away.

2) We breath in the feeling (here recognized as shame) and as we breathe it in, we imagine that we are drawing it into our hearts.

3) Then we breathe out love.

4) As we breathe out love, we imagine it going out into the world, maybe even to the person who has punished us for speaking our truth.

4) We continue this process of feeling the shame, breathing it into our heart and breathing out love until we either feel a shift, or simply run out of time.

5) If the shame hasn’t been fully released in our first Tonglen practice, return to the practice at another time.

Tonglen is the most powerful spiritual practice I have experienced for releasing these negative emotions.  More importantly, Tonglen has the power to transform….ourselves….our human relationships…..and our world.  You might be surprised to discover as you engage in this practice that forgiveness arises in you….and miraculous transformation taking place in the people around you….maybe even the one who initially punished you for speaking your truth in the first place.  Next time you speak your truth, you might discover that it is more openly received.

Lauri Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com