Posted in self-actualization

Emptying Some More

There are many times throughout our journey home to ourselves (self-actualization) where our lives are completely re-aligned.  This re-alignment begins on the day we are born in the moment we are expelled from the comfort of our mother’s womb into the cold, often cruel, world.  No longer are all our needs continually met unbidden, we have to make people aware of our needs with no words to express them.  As we find our way through infancy and childhood, every moment is a re-alignment – a constant exploration and learning of how to be and who to be in this world.  The re-alignments continue as we graduate childhood and become students, when we move from the routine of grade school into the hormone infested chaos of middle school, and from there into the segmented atmosphere of high school – defined by social groups and activities.  From there we move to the job world or college, to love and marriage, parenthood, etc. etc. etc.  At certain steps along the journey a complete overhaul is required.

Finding our way home to ourselves is no different. The past several years for me has been one letting go and emptying after another.  Just as I think I have emptied enough, the Universe presents another opportunity/invitation/command.  (It’s really more of a command.  I have discovered in this journey toward Self that we really don’t have a choice.  If we are serious about our commitment to Self/Soul, freewill isn’t really an option.  It’s more of a do or die.)  I find that I am facing another one of these commands.

When I proclaimed to the world my commitment to my monastic self, I thought (how silly of me) “Ok we’re good.”  I figured it was simply a matter of living into the monastic-ish lifestyle that has been beckoning me.  Hah!  Just as we think we have things figured out, God/Goddess laughs.  Instead, I find that not only am I living into the question of what a monastic life looks like to me, I am also witnessing the further falling away of everything I thought myself to be and every role/offering I thought I had to share with the world.   For the past several months, my students have been falling away left and right. I have few clients to speak of.  The membership options I launched on my site are not thriving in the way I hoped they would.  Etc. etc. etc.

To add insult to injury, as a normally prolific writer and creator, my creative inspiration seems to be dried up.  I have four creative projects staring me in the face – one with somewhat of a deadline.  They are all standing there looking at me waiting for some movement but I got nothin.  Zilch.  Nadda.  Nothin.  Not one spark of inspiration to get these things done and bring them into fruition.  Nothin.

Old Lauri would have worried and fretted about the “looming deadlines” and the (seemingly) ever-decreasing income stream.  Even more, I would have worried about having nothing “to do.”  Instead, I know this is simply more of the movement toward Self.  As Jesus modeled for us and the ancient mystics further demonstrated, the intent and purpose of the spiritual journey is to be made empty so that we might be filled by God.  The journey home to ourselves, is ultimately about returning to Source – God, Love, Truth, Ain-Sof (No-thing), the Void, Allah, Brahma, Sophia, Shekinah, Abba, Amma,  – whatever name/image/form/formlessness you want to give it.  The human journey is all about Source calling us home to our true nature which can only be accomplished in an emptying of ourselves.

At this point in my journey I know better than to resist the call of the Soul.  Those things that are falling away are doing so to create space for something even more amazing, life-giving and fulfilling.  I have absolutely no idea what that might be, but I am open to receive and getting out of my own way so the Divine can make its home in me.

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Practices

Back in the Saddle – Remembering Love

Today’s blog invites us back into the primary focus of this blog, to provide tools and support to help us:  “Remember the Love That We Are!”

Mission

As quoted on the front page of this website, the mission of Authentic Freedom Ministries and Authentic Freedom Press is as follows:  Through our inspirational blog, weekly meditation practices newsletter, books, classes and professional services, we provide the resources that will assist you in your journey to Remember the Love that You Are. As such, today’s blog returns to the business at hand, providing you with the resources, inspiration and tools you need to REMEMBER LOVE.  And just because I’m a total dork and a child of my generation, here’s a little classic Aerosmith to get us rolling:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPS4LyveJs.

Scriptural Support

Scripture is one of the foundational tools that I have used in my teaching, writing and personal spiritual practice.  I use scripture as an example of wisdom literature and as a way to demonstrate one of the many ways that God can speak to us directly, intimately and in person.  In other words, no dogma here…..only an invitation to see how God is speaking to you TODAY!  As I was meditating with this morning’s scripture, I discovered two passages that reminded me of the value of scripture as a tool to help us to REMEMBER this LOVE:

Do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves.

Mark 10

Amen I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age.

Mark 10

Both of these passages point us to the ONE thing that supports our REMEMBRANCE of Love….and that is SPIRITUAL PRACTICE.

Spiritual Practice

In my humble opinion, there is only ONE thing that is guaranteed to help us remember love in our lives and that will support us in the fulfillment of peace, contentment and joy.  And that ONE THING is Spiritual Practice.  As much as we want to believe we are able to find peace, joy, love and fulfillment from another human being, money, objects, power, status, fame, etc. etc. etc., the truth is that we cannot.  All of these things are fleeting, temporary and as human beings, we are fickle.  The only way that we can find true fulfillment in this human experience is by connecting with our Source – that which I call God.  It is through Spiritual Practice that we make this connection, rather, it is through spiritual practice that we REMEMBER this SOURCE because in truth, we are NEVER separate from God, we just think we are.  But, what is Spiritual Practice, you might ask.  My answer is that spiritual practice is ANY activity that helps us to remember peace, love and joy and any activity that leads us toward the knowledge of our gifts and toward ways in which we are empowered to use those gifts in service to humanity for the betterment of our world.  In other words, spiritual practice is defined (or maybe revealed) to you.  Depending on your unique temperment and personality, spiritual practice might include:

  • silent meditation
  • reflecting on sacred readings (scripture)
  • writing
  • singing
  • mantra (repeating a sacred phrase)
  • being in nature
  • painting, drawing, throwing a pot, building, creating, etc. etc. etc.
  • gardening
  • cooking
  • nurturing your loved ones
  • volunteer service
  • activism
  • physical activities
  • meditative movement (yoga, tai chi, etc.)

The list is ENDLESS.  The trick is to find what works for you, set aside time in your day and JUST DO IT!  Swoosh!

Benefits of Spiritual Practice

As the scripture passages above alude to, regular and dedicated spiritual practice provide us with proven benefits IN THIS LIFE.  The return on an investment of spiritua practice is “a hundredfold” and include:

  • increased peace
  • a deeper sense of security and safety
  • reduction in fear, anxieties, worries, etc.
  • increase in joy
  • discovery of our gifts and the desire to cultivate, nurture and share them
  • inner fulfillment
  • the remembrance of love
  • the healing and release of our formerly compulsive behaviors
  • discovery and acceptance of behaviors that support our newfound love, joy, peace and the discovery of our gifts
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

Support for your practice

The purpose of Authentic Freedom Ministries and all that I do is to provide you with the support you need to start and/or continue your spiritual practice so that you can REMEMBER LOVE, experience peace and live in joy.  Through this blog, my classes and services, the books I’ve written and most especially through the Agape’ newsletter, I do just that – provide you with easy to access tools and resources along with words of encouragement and support to help you to be successful in finding and maintaining inner fulfillment in your life.  So, thank you for allowing me to share these gifts with you and if I can be of further service, do not hesitate to ask!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com