Posted in Monastic Living, self-actualization

Welcome to My Monastic Life

My whole life I have been restless – longing and searching for more.  Typically, that “more” meant something other than what I was currently experiencing.  My mom recently reminded me that I was always looking for that next opportunity, next goal, next degree, next job, next relationship.  I was rarely, if ever, satisfied with what was right in front of me, I was always looking for that “something new” that must be right around the corner.  This searching did not arise out of boredom with the status quo – in fact, as one who thrives on order and routine, status quo has always provided me with a sense of comfort.  But still, my heart was restless.  Where was that satisfaction that my Soul longed for and relentlessly searched after?

The good news is that my searching has not been in vain.  Everything I have explored, searched after, studied, discerned, discarded or applied has been food for the searching.  Every place I landed (albeit temporarily) showed me a part of my Soul and provided me with tools which have proven, not only helpful but life-giving in the great search.  What I had begun to suspect a few years back and which I have now come to understand fully, it was not anything outside of me for which I was searching.

This whole entire time I was only searching for one thing and that one thing is MYSELF.

Nimue – original art by Lauri Ann Lumby

Lauri Ann Lumby.  Thriving in order and routine.  An Introvert who likes people and who cherishes intimate friendships.  Creative yet also logical and reasoning.  Outwardly appearing aloof while harboring deep, deep, deep feelings. Highly, highly, highly intuitive (some might even suggest psychic). Hungry for knowledge – specifically of a spiritual nature.  Enjoys a quiet, gentle, ease-filled flow to life.  Repelled by conflict or competition.  Enforcing hard-core boundaries for the sake of self-care.  Recoils from entanglements and anything smelling of co-dependency or manipulation.  A vessel of kindness and support, insight and wisdom.  Yearning for a world where we can all just get along and where people can remember that we are all one.

This is me.  I have also learned (something I’ve actually known all along) that knowing myself isn’t enough.  What this search has also led me to understand is what MYSELF needs to thrive.  It is not and has never been what our culture keeps trying to sell us – work hard, get a job, make lots of money, buy lots of things, invest your money, save your money, buy cool things with your money, be famous.  You can imagine the inner conflict I’ve been feeling all these years with the world and my Soul constantly fighting for my attention.

No more.  Now I get it and I am living it.  I have set down my conditioned desire for wealth, power, fame and success (as it is defined in our capitalistic culture).  Instead, I am embracing what my Soul needs – a monastic kind of life. But what does that mean in 2019 for a 54 year old divorced mother of two?  The answer to this question has come from living INTO the question – asking my Soul what it needs from moment to moment and doing my best to deliver.

Yesterday, I had the perfect monastic kind of day – one that filled my Soul!  It looked like this:

  • 6 am wake up.
  • Meditation
  • Breakfast and coffee
  • Check emails and Facebook for messages.
  • Upload two additional lessons to my Order of Melchizedek Level 6 training.
  • Draw.
  • Make a healthy, nourishing lunch.
  • Get a massage.
  • Come home, do dishes and clean for my evening class.
  • Shower.
  • Draw some more while enjoying coffee and a few Fig cookies.
  • Eat a light dinner.
  • Prep my class.
  • Transfer money from my Paypal account (yay….I love getting paid to “do nothing”) into my checking.
  • Pay a couple bills.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes
  • Welcome my guests for a 6:30 class.
  • Watch Dark Crystal on Netflix while enjoying a glass of wine.
  • 9:00 bedtime.

 

Easy day.  Easy flow.  The perfect blend of being and doing and only “doing” that which came forth out of my being.  Hurray!

Today is much of the same.  The only difference will be grocery shopping, a stop at the bank and my job at the ballet studio (chop wood and carry water while also getting my necessary outside of my home people interaction).

In embracing my monastic spirit and making a commitment to it in my daily life, I am indeed finding “heaven on earth.”  Yes there will still be conflict.  Yes, there will still be anxiety and stress.  Yes, I am spending a fair amount of my time alone – which actually fits my temperament.  No, my life is not complicit with what a capitalistic culture requires of us.  No, I don’t have any of the things our culture says we must have.  I don’t own a home.  I don’t have any savings or investments.  I own the simple furnishings and artwork (much of it I have done myself) that are in my home.  Much of what I own came to me second-hand, including the clothes on my back.  It is a simple life.  It is counter cultural.  And it is founded on and established in one thing:

My relationship with MYSELF and my relationship with that which some call “God.” 

 

Everything else springs forth out of and revolves around this simple goal – to be One within Myself and therefore One with God and One with everything that is.

It is here that we find true contentment and peace.

 

If the monastic life speaks to your Soul’s yearning, follow my daily posts on Facebook and Instagram.  If you are looking for connection with others walking a similar path, consider becoming a member of our growing community. All are welcome.

Posted in Spiritual Practices, Surrender

Changes and Spiritual A.D.D.

There are three things that are certain in this life:

Death

Taxes and……

Change!

 

There is nothing in our lives that remains the same. Everything is moving and in constant flux – even the tiny atoms that are moving within the solid steel frames that make up our buildings and our roads.

Everything changes and our lives are in constant motion. Our life is a continual movement from birth to growth to death and back to birth again. There is not one moment in our life where we are not birthing, growing, and dying.  The amazing thing is that all of these – birthing, growing and dying are all happening at the same time.  We are always in the process of birthing something new.  We are always nurturing and growing that new life. And we are always tending to the death of that which no longer serves.

These are sobering thoughts; and they really put into perspective the conditioning that teaches us to cling to what we have known and to seek after security and surety.

 

Question:  is this conditioning or a function of our drive to survive? We have been told it is the latter, but I’m beginning to think it is more of the former.  The ancients seem to have had a much better grip on the reality of change and seemed to tap into and surrender to the movement of this change.  They also seemed to have found a way to survive and thrive without being attached to “the same.”  Hmmmmmm  perhaps another thing we can learn from those who have gone before us……

meditation, creative mind, active mind, meditation practices
Click in image to learn more and register.

I digress…

Change. Change.  Change.  Everything is changing.  The ancients knew this and found a way to harness the gifts of that knowledge.  The sages and teachers of old wrote about it.  Modern day people sing about it.  (Cue: David Bowie!) Everything is changing and nothing remains the same.

But, we are conditioned to want things to remain the same. We cling to what we have known.  We writhe and scream and cry when that which we cling to is being pried from our cold, dead fingers.  And we are terrified of the new because we don’t know what it is; we cannot control it; we cannot make it happen and we cannot force it.

Kind of like birthing a baby! I have birthed two and I can attest that the baby comes in its own damn time and only in the way that it wants to come into the world. Yes, modern medicine (and ancient medicine for that matter) have tools to help bring the baby into the world (especially if something is happening in the birthing process that would put the mother or child’s life at risk); but as any mother will attest – there is a cost to applying these interventions.

The same is true in life. New life comes in its own damn time and only in the way that the Soul intends.  We cannot force it.  We cannot make it happen.  We cannot hasten its arrival.  All we can do is create the space in which this new life can take root (like preparing the nursery for the arrival of your new child).  We can prepare the soil.  We can plant the seeds.  We can tend and water those seeds.  But no amount of efforting will make those seeds grow until they are darn ready to sprout and grow.

The same is true of death. That which needs to pass from our lives – outmoded ways of being, non-serving beliefs, behaviors that no longer serve, jobs that have outlived their usefulness, etc. – will pass from our lives no matter what we do to cling to them.  Oh yes, we can cling, we can hang on, we can grasp and bargain and plead, and that which needs to die might indeed remain (because of our clinging); but it will no longer be life-giving.  Instead, it will be like the shriveled up, half-dead, immobile and worthless part of Voldemort that remained after he and Harry killed each other.

We can cling to what we have known, or we can surrender to the natural movement of our lives toward change. Forever moving from that which one day served to the new life that beckons on the other side of surrender and death.

It is our spiritual practice that helps us in navigating the ever-churning waters of life’s journey. Developing, cultivating and nurturing our spiritual practice supports us in learning how to be with whatever stage of life’s movement we currently find ourselves in.  Our practice helps us to be ok with “what is.”  It also supports us in discerning this movement – when is it time to stay and when is it time to go (Cue: The Clash).  Our practice guides us to the voice of truth within along with our inner compass which helps us to recognize the signs of death along with the beckoning call of new life.  And our practice helps us to move gently and (somewhat) effortlessly through the constant movement and changes of life.  Through our practice we are able to surrender to the flow and find peace within us.

Learn more and register by clicking on the image above.

But….sometimes our practice fails us. Try as we might, we cannot find peace or contentment within that flow.  In spite of our efforts to tend to our spiritual practice and to harness its gifts for helping us surrender and find contentment within the movement of our life journey, we cannot find the fruits.  Sometimes we can’t even “do” our spiritual practice because even these efforts seem to be failing.

But they are not! Even though it feels like we might have Spiritual A.D.D., we are not failing.  Instead, we are in the stage of our Soul’s journey that is akin to the transition stage of labor.  There is this place when the babe is trying to be born that is called transition and I can attest that IT IS INSANE!  Transition feels as if someone has plugged you into a 220 outlet and you are ON FIRE.  Every cell of the body feels charged with electricity.  You feel restless, anxious and (for me anyway) like you will kill anyone that gets in your way.  You can’t sit still.  The mind is anxious.  You feel like you want to run. Nothing provides comfort.  What seems comfortable in one moment is not the next. It is like an energy has entered the body and is doing everything it can to bring forth this new life and you are possessed by this energy.

The same thing happens in death. Those who have tended to the dying call this the “death throes.”  Similar to transition in labor, the person who is dying is overcome with restlessness, frustration, discomfort, anxiousness.  Nothing will make them comfortable.  They writhe and thrash and (if they are able) pace as the energy that seeks to usher them into death prepares them for the transition from life into death.

When we are at this stage in our personal journey – when the old is trying to pass away to make way for the new while the new is simultaneously trying to come into being, it is ok to be restless, frustrated, anxious and uncomfortable. This is natural and expected.  When this stage shows up all we can do is surrender.  As it relates to spiritual practices, when it feels like we are suffering from Spiritual A.D.D., all we can do is surrender.  Walk away from the practice if you need to.  Or do what I do, return to the oldie moldie practices which at the very least give my mind a break.  When even this fails I “go with it.”  Instead of resisting the energies of transition, I engage in them.  I dance.  I take a walk in nature.  I cook.  I clean.  I find something to do with the restless energies in my body (kind of like all the pacing I did when I labor).  And then I let it be.

That which is passing out of our lives will leave in its own damn time. The same is true of the life that is trying to be born.  We can surrender to this truth or suffer the sure consequence of resisting.  The choice is ours.  What would you choose?

Full content reserved for Plus, Premium and Premium-Plus Members. Click here to learn more on how you can become a member and enjoy the tools that have helped me in my own journey.  Find an example of what is available in the full content HERE.

 

Posted in About Lauri, God, Oneness with God, Surrender

Only God – The Practice of Radical Self-Reliance

Today’s blog is a deeply personal sharing of a spiritual practice that I have been invited into. It is a practice that has been whispering in my ear for the past several months and only now am I able and willing to accept it.  (Of course I was only willing after being brought to my knees….but that is another story for another day.)

This is a practice of radical self-reliance where I am being invited to release my attachments to all those persons, places, things outside of me where I have sought after guidance, support and love.  In this, there is only one thing left, and that is God.

God and me. Me and God.

As I enter into this practice, I am astonished by all the causes of distraction in my life – all those things I have run to in an attempt to escape the deep pain of everything: loneliness, boredom, isolation, feelings of lack, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, resentment, wrath, lusting after control, the desire for recognition and fame, money, status, power, etc., etc., etc.,.  It’s all there.  And it’s present in everything.  In this practice, I am making a diligent attempt to turn away from each and every one of these distractions so that I can simply be with God.

God and me. Me and God.

In this, I have released every resource I have turned to for guidance. I have let go of everything that promises better days ahead and makes predictions about where we are and where we are headed.  I have let go of the black hole of Facebook except when necessary for personal or professional purposes.  I am continuing to stay away from the fear-based media.  I have ceased making plans, setting agenda, creating itineraries.  I have let go of the compulsive need to frequently check emails hoping for some nicer, brighter news.  In this, all that is left is Me and God In THIS MOMENT.  When I find myself tempted to indulge in these externals, I STOP and turn within to God.

Me and God. God and Me.

As Saints Paul and Augustine both observed, our hearts are ever restless until we rest in God……and rest in God alone. I guess you could say I am testing their theory.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, detachment, Faith, Freedom, Healing, Lessons

Authentic Freedom – Help for When the Bottom Falls Out

About a month ago, I received news that is a COMPLETE game changer. This news changes everything AND puts everything into question.  This news impacts literally EVERY aspect of my life and to say it has caused a mild state of shock would be an understatement.  It is during times like these that Authentic Freedom – the process I created which supports human transformation – comes most in handy and proves its effectiveness.

Each and every one of us has had these kinds of experiences – when the rug is pulled out from beneath us, when the ceiling caves in and when the universe, in one fell swoop, tosses us out of the nest of what we have known into what we cannot yet imagine.

The greatest temptation during these times of freefall is to make plans. Our mind, in search of something to hang on to, out of fear of the unknown, tries to make plans, or tries to become attached to potential and possible outcomes.  As many have learned, when we make plans (or try to make plans), God laughs.  I have witnessed the truth of this many times over in the past month as I have tried to plan my way out of and through this change.  A possibility shows up, a potential, a promise, and I get excited about it, imagining all the possible ways in which this will support myself and my family and then POW, the Universe throws a wrench in the deal and the whole things falls apart.  This is EXACTLY what happened this past Wednesday.  Two universes collided and everything that I had planned and waged my future on completely collapsed.

anxiety2

Understanding the importance of grieving our losses, I have allowed myself time to grieve – to cry the ugliest cry, to tantrum, to rant and rave and wail. I reached out to my most trusted advisors for support and perspective and allowed myself to move through and to feel deep support.  In this, I found my way through the debris to the place where I can be open to what truly needs to manifest, knowing that in every death is the promise of new life.  I just don’t yet know what that new life might be.

I then created time and space away from all that might distract me from what I truly need to be doing at this time: SURRENDER. And in this surrendering, turning to what I know will guide me and support me in ALLOWING what it is that the Universe has in store for me – not a plan of my making, but one that comes directly from God and which is sure to be in my highest good, using my gifts in a way that is both fulfilling for me and in service to the betterment of the world.  And what I know will guide and support me is the very process that I created for others, Authentic Freedom.

In this process, I maintain diligent attention to my spiritual practice and apply the principles of Authentic Freedom for identifying and moving through the fears that might otherwise prevent me from seeing and knowing God’s plan when it shows up. I will then use the process of Authentic Freedom to move me through any fears or inner resistance to God’s plan so that I can step into the freedom that God has in store for me (and for all of us when we are paying attention).

The irony is not lost on me that all of this has occurred in proximity to the Fourth of July – the time we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the journey that secured our liberty. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, let us be grateful for this external freedom while taking steps to secure the only freedom we will ever truly need – freedom from the inner fears, resistance and unhealed wounds that might otherwise stand in the way of a life of contentment and joy.

Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy available now on Amazon.  Buy it HERE.

AuthenticFreedomcover

 

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, church, Jesus, Spiritual Practices

Loving as Jesus Loved – Walking the Talk

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  The full newsletter (published weekly), along with the weekly Virtual Church Video Service is available by subscription.  Click on the Paypal icon below to subscribe: 

subscribe botton

 

Walking the Talk:

I will be the first to admit that loving as Jesus loved is perhaps the most difficult task in the human experience. Jesus, in fact, died doing it. At the same time, it is in truth, the ONLY point of the human experience. If we are not here to learn how to love – then what is the point? Right!?

Learning how to love as Jesus loved is a life-long process and one that we will likely never perfect. All we can do is show up….and do our best, knowing that God loves us without condition no matter where we are on the journey. Learning how to love as Jesus loved starts with showing up. One of the ways we show up is through our daily spiritual practice. This week, your meditation “assignment” is to just show up. I’m not offering any specific practices, other than the invitation to show up. If you are able, show up every day to whatever practice you feel called to that day.

  • Show up to silence.
  • Show up to mantra prayer.
  • Show up to reading and meditating with scripture.
  • Show up to the enjoyment of nature.
  • Show up to snuggling your children or cuddling with your beloved pet.
  • Show up to listening to a friend.
  • Show up to singing or dancing your gratitude.
  • Show up to making love to your beloved.
  • Show up to recognizing God’s love in your daily life.
  • Show up to creating something beautiful.
  • Show up to giving expression to your feelings through writing or art.

Show up. This is all we have to do and how we get started in the journey of learning love as Jesus loved.

How are you showing up?

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Christ Consciousness, Empowerment, Jesus, Oneness with God, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Love is all you need – Authentic Freedom Christmas message

Special Christmas Edition of the Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter, Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service:  In lieu of a Sunday service, this week, I am offering one in celebration of Christmas – the day LOVE was born into the world through the person of Jesus.  LOVE is the message of Christmas, thereby transcending religious, political, personal agendas.  How are we all called to follow Jesus’ example by knowing the love that we are and embodying it in our lives so that the world itself may be transformed?

 nativity

 

Scripture Readings:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Is 9: 1-6

 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 Lk 2: 1-14

 

Additional Readings:

 Ps 96: 1-3, 11-13

TI 2: 11-14

 

 

The People Who Walked in Darkness…

… Have Seen A Great Light!  

THIS is who Jesus is. Beyond any political, religious or even personal agendas one might have, Jesus came to know the light that shined within him and sought to reveal that light to others, thereby giving light to the world. The light that Jesus came to know was the light of his intimate connection with God that he experienced as Oneness. In this state of light, in this experience of Oneness, Jesus discovered the remedy to the perceived darkness of the human condition. Darkened by perceived separation and its resulting fear, humanity felt (and still feels), the human experience as if one is “dwelling in gloom.” Jesus learned another way and tried to teach this way to his disciples and all those who found themselves in his presence. And through his Spirit, Jesus continues in these attempts.

THIS is what we celebrate on Christmas – the birth of one who came to know the light and who is attempting to help us to also know this light. If we look at Jesus from this perspective, the celebration of Christmas transcends beliefs, dogma, doctrine and the perceived separation between religions. Jesus came to know the light and wanted all of humanity to also know this light so that we too might be free as he was free. Free to live in peace. Free to enjoy a life of meaning and fulfillment. And most importantly….FREE TO LOVE.

On the day that Jesus was born, which we commemorate on Christmas day, LOVE was born into the world. How are you, like Jesus, called to know this love and live it fully in your own life?

 

Spiritual Practices – Music Meditation

Christmas is either the busiest or the loneliest time of year – depending on our particular life circumstance. This Christmas, I invite us to transcend the busyness and the loneliness and set aside time to simply be with God – to celebrate the birth of Love into the world in the person of Jesus and in doing so, to give ourselves an opportunity to get a glimpse into this love. I can think of no better way to spend this time with God than through Handel’s Messiah. If listening to Handel’s Messiah doesn’t give us a glimpse into the love of God through Jesus, I can’t imagine what would! So…..for your Christmas meditation, I have provided two links…..a short link and a long link. The short link is a excerpt from Handel’s Messiah, the long link is the Messiah in its entirety. Set aside 15 minutes or two hours and 45 minutes to immerse yourself in God’s love as it was manifest in Jesus who some call The Christ.

 

Short Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS3vpAWW2Zc

Long Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r68P8TBWiIQ

 

Authentic Freedom

As we celebrate Christmas – the day we commemorate the birth of Love into the world through Jesus and the invitation to accept Jesus’ invitation for us too to birth love into the world – I have only one thing to say about Authentic Freedom and how it relates ——

At the end of the day Authentic Freedom is about one thing and one thing only – LOVE. The love of God that dwells within us. The love of God that Jesus (and others) came to remember within himself. The love of God that we are called to remember, fully embody and life in the world.

How are you called to know Love within yourself and to be that LOVE in the world?

 

And one final music meditation – all we need is love!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9_vhYpR9xo

Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).

subscribe botton

 

Posted in Lessons, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, temptation

You Want the Truth? You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Today’s blog is about meditation and the REAL reason we resist it.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

This past week, I had several conversations with fellow meditators and meditation teachers, all over the reasons people give for NOT meditating:

  • I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I don’t have time.
  • It’s too religious.
  • It’s not religious enough.
  • An empty mind is the devil’s playground.
  • It wasn’t explicitly handed down by the magisterium.
  • It will lead me away from God.
  • It is too much about God.
  • I’ve tried it and I’ve failed.
  • I can’t quiet my mind.
  • I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I don’t have time.

As one who has maintained a meditation discipline for twenty years, and who has enjoyed the fruits of this practice (increased peace, clarity, compassion, fulfillment, joy, and decreased symptoms of anxiety, depression and panic attack), I can attest that none of these excuses hold water.  As I teach my students, time is not an excuse because the time you give to your practice is returned to you a hundred-fold (I call this the meditation miracle).  Meditation is only as religious as you make it and EVERY SINGLE religious belief system has some form of meditation (aka prayer) that is part of their tradition and which is not only encouraged but supported.  Meditation can also be FREE from religion if that is your preference.  Trying and failing simply means you haven’t yet found the specific spiritual practice that works for you – and that you just need to keep looking.  Meditation can be as mundane as nursing a child, cutting vegetables, pulling weeds or knitting a scarf and as elaborate as the Catholic meditation of the Benediction of the Cross and Eucharistic Adoration.  Meditation is ultimately anything you do that connects you with peace, love, clarity, inner guidance and truth.  As such, none of the aforementioned excuses hold any weight and are simply ways of distracting ourselves from the REAL reason we avoid meditation – the TRUTH!

Nicholson

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

The real reason we avoid meditation and come up with a million and one excuses for not giving our time to it is because of TRUTH.  Truth is one of the primary fruits of diligent attention to a spiritual practice.  When we meditate, we create a safe place in which our TRUTH can begin to show itself – can begin to emerge.  All the things we have been denying about ourselves or our life circumstances, all the hopes, dreams, wishes, desires that we have put on the shelf, stuffed away, repressed or suppressed in our attempts at fitting in or pleasing other people, all the ways in which we have shoved, pushed, forced ourselves to be someone we aren’t will come forth to be made known.  And once we get a glimpse of our truth, we can’t unsee it.  It is there, whispering, pleading, begging us to let it be free so that the person we were made to be can be born freely into the world.  The problem is that we can’t handle our truth.  Truth = CHANGE and even more than death, we fear change.  What if  the truth that emerges is an abusive marriage, or an addiction, or a gender orientation that would require us to step outside the herd?  What if the truth draws us away from our “tribe” and out into the world in search of our real tribe?  What if the truth reveals a meaningless job and the desire for something more?  Yes, the truth is a dangerous thing and THIS is the real reason people avoid meditation.  What these folks are missing, however, is that on the other side of truth is FREEDOM.  When we muster up the courage to be present to our truth and move through the resistances to this truth (hopefully with the help of a good mentor or guide), we find a life of joy and contentment, filled with meaning and purpose and abundant in love.  It is sad that the primary obstacle to a life of freedom and the meditation tool that helps us get there is because we just can’t handle the truth.

004Lauri Lumby is available as a meditation instructor and guide and as a mentor as you work through the resistance to your truth.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to schedule an appointment.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Christ Consciousness, Freedom, Gifts of Contemplation, Grace, guilt, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, sin, Spiritual Practices, teachers, Virtual Church

Show Me the Way to Go Home

Through the metaphorical Adam, the human conditional was born, providing for us the (false) perception of separation and the sensation of having fallen from Grace. In birthing the human condition, we now know fear and suffering in contrast to the love and peace we knew “at home.”  Jesus (among other prophets) discovered the remedy to the human condition and through his teaching and example, shows us the way to go home. 

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter for Sunday, November 23, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 But first:  a little humor!  🙂 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWQ-rnXi_n4

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17

Psalm 23

Mt: 25: 31-46

 

Jesus Shows Us the Way

“Since death came through man,

The resurrection of the dead came also through man.”

When the metaphorical Adam chose power over obedience to God, the human condition was born. Instead of the peace, love and joy experienced in our original state of Oneness with God, humans now knew fear – fear that then led to a whole host of fears and their resulting compulsions. Inside of our beings, in this place of perceived separation from God, we felt as if we had fallen from Grace. As a loving parent, understanding our need to explore and to learn, God allowed us this choice, knowing that in this choice, we would suffer and experience the burden of guilt for turning away from God. God, however, did not leave us abandoned, neither did God leave us to our own devices, instead, God sent prophet after prophet after prophet to help remind us of our original nature and to help us find our way home. The greatest of these prophets (in the Christian tradition), was Jesus. Jesus, in his own longing and search for God, found the remedy to the suffering of the human condition (the remedy didn’t alleviate the suffering, but provided a means to transcend it), and generously shared what he learned with others. Thankfully, some of his disciples remembered bits and pieces of what Jesus taught and others wrote it down. Through scripture, specifically a prayerful reading and reflection on scripture, we find glimpses of what Jesus taught and sparks of what he remembered. What is even more remarkable is that like the gurus before him and since, Jesus’ very spirit is accessible as a teacher and a guide to those who seek out and cultivate a deeply intimate and personal relationship with Jesus as the Christ. In this way, Jesus, himself, becomes our teacher – helping us to see the deeper truths beyond the words of scripture, leading us to other resources including human teachers who can guide us. We even find that Jesus can come to us himself to teach and guide us.

The “sin” of Adam allowed us to experience the human condition. Jesus helps us to find our way home.

How have you cultivated a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Inviting Jesus to be our Teacher

jesus

 

Look at the created image of Jesus above. Let it sink into your consciousness.

Close your eyes.

Imagine Jesus, as you saw him in the picture above, standing before you.

Rest with that image of Jesus standing before you. Remain in this visualization for 15 – 20 minutes.

Know that as Jesus stands before you, he is gazing back at you with unconditional love and acceptance.

Allow yourself to receive that love.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, emotions that may arise as you imagine Jesus standing before you.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge Jesus as our teacher and as the example of one who learned authentic freedom and taught it to others. Every story, parable, lesson, example that Jesus taught, can somehow be brought back to the core wound and the resulting fears explored through Authentic Freedom. Jesus, while experiencing the fullness of the human condition, found his way to freedom – a freedom, he discovered, was found only in God. This is the freedom we are called to discover, cultivate and embrace through Authentic Freedom. God is the remedy to the suffering of the human condition. Jesus showed/shows us the way.

 

What is the suffering you currently want to transcend or have healed?

 

How might Jesus invite you to turn toward God as a source of healing and support?

Authentic Freedom is available for purchase on Amazon.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Jesus, Spiritual Practices, Truth, Virtual Church

The Consequence of Denying our Gifts and our Call

When we deny the gifts God has given us and the call to be a vessel of God’s love, peace, joy, healing, etc. in the world, we suffer – not because God is punishing us, but as a natural consequence of denying our gifts, our truth and our call.  In this week’s Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, find support for overcoming the fears that keep you from living your truth.

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

For Sunday, November 16, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

Scripture Reading:

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

MT 25: 14-30

 

Additional Readings:

PV 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31

PS 128: 1-5

1 Thess 5: 1-6

DSCF3137

The Consequence of Ignoring our Gifts

“For to everyone who has, more will be given … but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Once upon a time, there was a young woman from, Bingen, a town along the Rhine. She was given the gift of hearing and knowing the voice of God. Hildegard was her name. Frightened of this voice that asked her to write about God, about God’s healing gifts, about God’s kingdom and most importantly, about God’s love, she held this voice at bay. The voice continued to pursue her while she begged for its silence. The voice, however, would not be silenced. Refusing to act upon the voice’s request, Hildegard began to experience excruciating pain in her head along with blinding and flashing lights. The priests and doctors knew not how to alleviate her pain. She took to bed, and there she remained for months at a time. In her convalescence, the voices continued. Finally, she relented, asking for paper, quill and ink, and began to record what she heard and saw. Immediately, her pain and the blinding lights ceased. (To learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen, check out this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen).

St. Hildegard of Bingen provides the perfect example of what happens when we ignore or deny the gifts God has given us. Her illness was not punishment for denying her gifts and her call, but instead, are the natural consequence of ignoring the voice of God (in her case literally), within us.

Each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted by God and is uniquely called to be a vessel through which God’s love, peace, joy, healing, contentment, guidance and truth are to be revealed in the world. When we take the time to discover, cultivate and eventually share these gifts, we know peace, contentment, fulfillment and joy. When we ignore, suppress, repress, deny these gifts and their call, we experience anxiousness, discontent, frustration, anger, sorrow, and even mental and physical pain – again, not as punishment but as a natural consequence for denying the voice of God within us.

How have you taken time to discover, cultivate and share the gifts God has given you?

How have you suppressed, denied, ignored, repressed the gifts and the call God has given you? What have been the consequences of ignoring God’s voice?

Spiritual Practices – Connecting with Gift

In this week’s spiritual practice, we acknowledge the sacral chakra (the energy center located in the center of our lower abdomen) as the center of creativity. The awareness and call of our creative gifts are housed in this energy center. In this practice, you will engage the “laying on of hands” as a practice for creating a safe space in which your gifts may emerge so that you may begin (or continue) the work of nurturing and cultivating these gifts.

Sit in silence, or with meditative music playing in the background.

Rub your hands together vigorously to stimulate the flow of energy and to create warmth.

Rest your hands, palm down, on your lower abdomen.

Breathe as you keep your hands on your abdomen.

Maintain an intention of safety, openness and allowing as you continue to breathe while resting your hands on your abdomen.

Imagine that you are creating space for your gifts to reveal themselves to you.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, images, emotions that may arise as you continue to hold your hands on your abdomen.

Continue this practice for 20-30 minutes.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge fear as the obstacle to living as our most authentic self – the person that God made us to be in the fullness of our human potential. The second spiritual fear – I will not be able to bring forth life that will persist is the specific fear that prevents us from identifying, cultivating and eventually sharing our most authentic self. Through Authentic Freedom, we are reminded of the sacred truth – that each of us is uniquely and creatively gifted by God to be God’s love (peace, joy, guidance, healing, etc.) in the world and that when we discover, cultivate and share this giftedness (in service to the betterment of the world), we experience peace, contentment and fulfillment and the world, in turn, becomes a better place.

 

In short – what are you waiting for?

Lauri Ann Lumby provides support in helping you to awaken to your gifts and your call, and provides the tools through which you can nurture and be empowered in sharing these gifts.  Contact Lauri for a private session (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

 

Posted in codependency, Forgiveness, Healing, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes

The Fear of Rejection – Superhero Report

Superhero Report for the Week of October 26, 2014 

At this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings (Monday 6:30 – 8:30 and Tuesday 9-11 am), we discussed rejection – specifically, the fear of. In everyday life, and especially in claiming and engaging our Superhero gifts, we experience rejection.  In claiming our Superpowers, cultivating, and sharing them, we serve as a reflection to the rest of humanity of their unrealized potential.  This reflection serves to poke at their unrealized parts, which then initiates one of two reactions – the desire to stay and learn or the compulsion to run like hell. Second perhaps only to death, we fear our greatness.  Only the courageous and persistent and those willing to let go of the life they have known are able to realize their Superhero potential.  And when we do, it often ticks people off.  It is this fear of rejection that most often stands in the way of our ability to claim, cultivate and share our Superpowers. As a result, dealing with the fear of rejection is one of the final frontiers in the journey toward being a Superhero.

brokenopen

The fear of rejection ultimately arises out of the parts of ourselves that have forgotten we are love. In Authentic Freedom, I offer a formal process through which one is able to heal these areas of forgetfulness, returning us to our original wholeness.  I recently discovered there is a shortcut.  This shortcut is Ho-oponopono – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness.  At this week’s Superhero Academy, we learned and put this ritual in practice, specifically as a way of tending toward those places within us where we are resistant to our Superpowers.  Specifically related to the claiming and sharing of our Divine call and the use of our Superpowers (spiritual gifts), here is how it works:

  • Close your eyes and sit or rest in silence.
  • Bring to mind a gift, an invitation, a call that has revealed itself to you – perhaps it’s an idea or a dream you have always wanted to pursue but haven’t yet.
  • As you think about this gift, etc. become aware of any areas of constriction that arise in your body – feelings of tightness, tension.
  • Be aware of any emotions, thoughts, images that arise, or the voice of doubt, condemnation, judgment telling you all the reasons you should not or cannot pursue this dream.
  • Recognize that voice of resistance, doubt, etc. as a part of yourself that has forgotten it is love.
  • Silently or aloud, say/pray to that part of yourself the Ho’oponopono prayer formula:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

  • Continue this prayer until you feel the resistance in you change, relax or release.

 

In short, the Ho’oponopono prayer recognizes that we are doing harm to ourselves when we deny our Soul its call, its purpose. As such, saying I’m sorry, etc. is our highest self offering unconditional love and healing to the part of us that is afraid and feeling unloved.

In the coming week, try this formula in every situation where you feel resistant to your dreams and see what happens!