Posted in About Lauri, teachers

Spiritual Teachers – Keepin’ it Real!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, what’s your story?

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in Being Human, God, Healing, Spiritual Practices

Hope in “God”

In today’s scripture, we are reminded that the source of comfort and strength is that which some call “God.”

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength,

they will soar as with eagles’ wings;

They will run and not grow weary,

walk and not grow faint.

Isaiah 40: 30-31

Life’s Challenges

The human condition is hard.   No matter who we are, we experience suffering, challenge, difficulties, loss, death, betrayal, loneliness, sorrow.  These are the pits and valleys of the human condition.  No one is exempt from the “negative” experiences of being human….regardless of our virtue or our good deeds.  Bad things happen to good people and bad things happen to “bad” people.  It is not because of some sort of Divine retribution or punishment for our “sins” or the “sins” of our parents that we suffer.  If we are going to be human, it is simply part of the deal.  As all of our greatest spiritual teachers (like Isaiah above) knew and taught, however, there is a comforting balm, a source of strength and inspiration in helping us deal with the challenges of being human.  This source of comfort, some would call “God.”

Turning to God

In today’s reading from the Hebrew scriptures, Isaiah reminds us that God is the source of comfort, healing and strength as we face the challenges of the human condition.  While God may not remove the challenge, turning to God in humble prayer helps us to find the strength to move through the challenge, the resources of human support we need to weather the storm and the inner peace and contentment we need to see beyond the struggle to the promise of new life.  Turning to God may also help us to see our challenges from a wider perspective – opening us to see the opportunities for growth, reconciliation, forgiveness, love, mercy, generosity, humility, etc. within that which we might perceive as a burden.  In this way, God lightens our load, eases our burden, heals our hearts.  And the best news is that WE don’t have to “do anything” to fix, remedy, change the struggle, for when we remember to turn to God, God is the one “doing” something about it.  We need simply rest in God’s loving arms and allow the Divine Source of love, comfort and peace carry us through what is sure to be a temporary blip in the roadmap of life.

An Invitation

So, next time you are facing the struggles of the human condition….Go to God.  Turn it over to God.  Engage your favorite form of meditation, prayer, contemplation and invite God to be present to you in that struggle.  And the most fantastic news is that God is already there, whether we know it or not.  Turning to prayer simply helps us to remember and in remembering, to allow God to be the source of comfort and support that has been waiting there all along.

What are your favorite spiritual practices during time of human struggle?

Where have you experienced God as a source of comfort and support during times of challenge?

How might you begin to embrace a daily spiritual practice that can build the foundation of you recollection of God’s love and support?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Freedom, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices

Love or Fear? The Choice is Yours

Today’s blog is inspired by a series of events and experiences that I have observed and confirmed by the following article on the coming of “the Age of Aquarius”  http://www.3ho.org/ecommunity/2011/09/the-aquarian-shift-what-will-be-different-about-our-world-after-november-11-2011/.  Whether you believe in the idea of a galactic shift or not, we are each given, in every moment of every day the opportunity to choose our life. Do we choose love and truth or fear?  The choice is ours….and the time to choose is NOW!

Mystic Crystal Revelations

Every single spiritual master that has graced this fair planet (Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, The Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, St. Francis, Osho, Swami Rama, Yogananda, etc. etc. etc. ) attained the same understanding:  “All we need is love.”  Then they went out to share this truth with the world.  These teachers acknowledged THE common longing among human beings….and that is the longing to know love and to know peace.  Fear, they knew was the obstacle to knowing peace and love, and they shared with their students (and the rest of the world with them) specific tools for healing and releasing fear so that all could know the joyful contentment they had come to know within themselves.

And the Minds True Liberation

The key to knowing the love and the peace known by these spiritual masters is CHOICE!  And it is a matter of CHOICE.  Because of the nature of the human condition, peace and love are not likely to show up on their own.  Yes, we have fleeting glimpses of the love and the peace that we are, without ever picking up a spiritual text or engaging in a spiritual practice.  If, however, we want peace and love that will endure and if we want to more forward in our human journey in spite of the reality of fear, then we have to CHOOSE peace and love.  It is in choosing love over fear, truth over ego, peace over anxiety, joy over despair that we are liberated from the bondage of the human condition.  We find freedom when we choose love.  We find expansiveness when we know joy.  We find contentment when we cultivate peace.

Then Peace Will Guide the Planets and Love Will Steer the Stars

According to those that follow the science of astrology, November 11, 2011 marks the beginning of “The Age of Aquarius.”  Whether or not we believe in the “prophecies” about the significance of this planetary line up, one message is clear and it is clear for all of eternity……the time to choose is NOW.  If you want love, peace, joy, harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehood or derision…..CHOOSE IT!  Stop allowing fear to run your life.  Choose love.  Choose peace.  Choose joy.  And support that choice through sound spiritual practice.  And if you need additional support, read my book 🙂  Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy!

Hippie Prophets

The song, “The Age of Aquarius” by the Fifth Dimension is the very first song I ever remember hearing as a child and THE song that touched me in a deeply impactful and significant way.  When I first heard the song….I believed it.  I knew this was where we were being led as human beings and I knew that we would see the words of that song manifest in our lifetimes.  For whatever reason, this song has become the guiding principle of my life and I truly believe that the Divine was speaking to me in some way through this song.  So….without further ado:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0G8XJNz4bY  Let the Sunshine in!

What are the fears that stand as obstacles to your own inner peace?

How can you begin to choose love, peace, joy, instead of fear?

What spiritual practices or inspirational texts help you to stay grounded in peace and love?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com