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

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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 Inspiration

Is Comic-Con the New Jerusalem?

Please NOTE: The following is in no way meant to be disrespectful of those who consider Jerusalem to be a holy and sacred city worthy of honor and respect. Neither It is meant to be disrespectful toward Jews, Muslims or Christians!

While Israel and Palestine are busy warring over the Gaza Strip, and Christians join the battle (do not fool yourself into believing our so-called Christian nation does not have a vested interest in this war – if not the government itself, then certainly the corporate lobbyists who control our government), in deciding who ultimately gets the land and the oil, along with the right to call Jerusalem home, there is a new Jerusalem being born right underneath our noses. And that Jerusalem is happening as we speak in San Diego, California at the annual Comic-Con, International.  

Neji, by Heather Addis
Neji, by Chloe Hirshberg

 

This past weekend, 130,000 + men, women and children made their annual pilgrimage to the sacred temple of all comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, technology aficionados (aka geeks and nerds).  Comic-Con is an opportunity to gather in community in celebration of what gives life meaning, and for many, what gives life purpose.  Through Comic-Con, fans have an opportunity to meet and spend time with those who inspire them and to share their passion for the stories that reflect the universal human story of good vs. evil, most of which ultimately end in some sort of redemption (unless, your favorite stories are in the genre of dystopia, then like Shakespeare, we understand the value of a good old-fashioned tragedy).  If the experience one enjoys at Comic-Con is not religious, I don’t know what is.  Comic-Con, just might be the New Jerusalem for a post-modern generation.

One of the characteristics of the post-modern generation (Gen X, Gen Y and Millenials), is an ambivalence toward traditional religious structures.  Their rational minds cannot make sense of institutions that say, “do what I say but not as I do,” and these are the last folks to do what they are told, simply because they are told.  Post-moderns need their faith to be grounded in reason.  Additionally, post-moderns (esp. X’s, Y’s and Millenials) crave a “religion” that is universal – one that is not caught up in the trappings of us vs. them or truth that is the sole possession of one system of beliefs.  Instead, these folks are looking for an experience without borders, pluralistic in nature and one that brings people together instead of forcing them apart.  As such, most do not go to church, and if they do, they are “cafeteria” attendees – picking and choosing what works for them while disregarding the rest.

This is not to say, however, that the post-moderns are not driven by the same search for meaning and purpose, along with the desire for the inspiring story of salvation commonly found in most religious traditions.  Enter Comic-Con.  Comic-Con is the gathering place of all the sacred stories that have been created since the publication of the first comic book in 1933.  And Comic-Con does not limit itself to comic books, but includes all sci-fi, fantasy, horror (and then some) that has inspired the Western (and Eastern) audience.  Comic-Con provides a place for people to gather, to commune, to learn and to grow in their continual search for meaning and purpose in a way that is pluralistic  – bringing people together instead of forcing them apart.

Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan, if True Blood trips your trigger, or if you are married to DC or Marvel, it doesn’t matter, all are honored as sacred at Comic-Con.  Naruto, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Kim Possible, Death Note, Black Butler, No. 6, The Walking Dead, Teen Wolf, are all represented.  Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Flash, X-Men, Agents of Shield – Comic-Con is big enough for it all.  Sure, there is an occasional argument over whether Star Wars or Star Trek is better, or whether The Hobbit can hold a candle to LOTR, all is argued in the spirit of playfulness and respect.  Whereas some might accuse Comic-Con and all it represents of simply providing a means of escape (who wouldn’t want to escape the current world we live in?????), I contend that instead, it satisfies the spiritual and religious needs of a population whose needs are not, and will never, be met by traditional religion. Again, Comic-Con just might be the New Jerusalem for a post-modern generation, and I for one, am glad for it!

If you live in the Oshkosh area, please join us for our weekly Superhero Gatherings – a place where the REAL Superheroes meet!

To learn more go HERE. 

 

 

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Superheroes, Truth, world changes

Superheroes Among Us

Bad Buys, Victims and Superheroes

There are three kinds of people in the world:

  • Those who seek after power and control, manipulating through intimidation and fear.
  • Those who are manipulated and controlled, victimized by their fear.
  • Those who move through their fear, seeking and working for a world ruled by love.

In the world of comic books, the “bad guys” make up the first kind of people – your Lex Luthors, Penguins, Jokers, Green Goblins, Skeletors, Boris and Natashas, Shegos, Drakkens, Mojo Jojos, etc.  The towns people, people of Gotham City, Metropolis, etc. make up the second group – those victimized by the bad guys.  And it is the Superheroes – Wonder Woman, Kim Possible, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Teen Titans, etc. who save the day, restoring peace, harmony and justice to the world.

Kim-Possible-Episode-84--Chasing-Rufus

Real World Bad Guys and Superheroes

The real world, in many ways, is no different than the comic book world.  There are “bad guys” ruling the world through intimidation and fear, those who suffer under the power and control tactics of the “bad guys,” and those who want to do something about it in an effort to restore justice, peace and harmony to the world.  Superheroes are real and they are living and walking among us – many of them just trying to wake up to their gifts and their call. If you are reading this blog, it is likely that YOU are one of the Superheroes!

We Have Come to Save the Day!

If you are one of the Superheroes, on some level, YOU KNOW IT! And you know it in the following ways:

  • A frustration, impatience, angst, maybe even rage over the current state of the world.
  • Inside of you, you know of a better world – a world ruled by love, lived out in peace, harmony, justice, collaborative leadership, tolerance and acceptance.
  • There is something inside of you that YEARNS for the world you know in your heart, and you feel compelled to do something about it, though perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the task and alone in your vision.
  • You may have struggled to find a place of belonging in this world.  Between the “bad guys” and those paralyzed by fear and complacent within the status quo, you often wonder where you fit in.
  • The traditional models of education, government, medicine, religion, etc. don’t work for you.
  • Perhaps you have tried to share your vision and your gifts and been ridiculed, condemned, or maybe even punished for trying to speak your truth.
  • You may have struggled with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sensitivity issues (environmental, food, etc.) (which are all actually symptoms of your SOUL trying to wake you up to your Superpowers!)

If any of the above speaks to you, you are most likely a SUPERHERO and the time of your awakening is NOW!

kimpossible

Come join us!

If you are in the Oshkosh area, and you think you might be a Superhero, please join us on:

Monday, July 7th at 4:30 pm

for an initial gathering of the Superheroes.  From there we will map out a plan for how often and when we will gather for:

Support

Community

Learning

Empowerment

In our gatherings, we will:

  • Look at the unique gifts and call of the New Superheroes
  • Learn how to manage the anxiety, depression, panic and unique sensitivities that often accompany this call.
  • Utilize mindfulness and creativity tools for discovering, nurturing and cultivating your Superpowers.
  • Explore the ways in which you are called to use your unique gifts.

WonderWomanFor more information, click HERE, or call or email Lauri Lumby (aka Wonder Woman) at (920) 230-1313, lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, Gifts of Contemplation, Inspiration, Mystics

Mystics and Superheroes

Mystics (or contemplatives, whatever name you call them) are the real-life version of a superhero.  In today’s blog, we explore the innate superhero powers of mystics and how this makes them better than even Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman or Iron Man.

Superheroes

Mystics

For the past week or so, I’ve been exploring the gift, the call and the journey of the mystic (aka contemplative).  We’ve explored their loneliness, their longing, their mission, their commitment and their call.  Today, I want to explore the greatest strength of the mystic and why I consider them to be the honest-to-god/dess, real-life version of a Superhero.  Superheroes are walking among us and they are housed in the body, mind, spirit and work of the modern-day mystic.

Superheroes

We know who the superheroes are.  BatmanWonder Woman.  Bat Girl. Iron Man. Superman Spiderman.  The Hulk.  Captain America.  Catwoman (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen Dark Knight Rising!)  and one for the kids:  The Powerpuff Girls.  🙂  In the immortal words of Mighty Mouse, superheroes “have come to save the day.”  Superheroes have been gifted with magical powers and/or magical gadgets which allow them to save the world from evil.  Superheroes are cool.  Superheroes rock.  And they have really cool costumes!  But, without their costumes, gadgets and magical powers, superheroes are just ordinary people with names like Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince, Barbara Gordon, Tony Stark, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bruce (David) Banner, Steve Rogers and Selina Kyle.

Mystics vs. Superheroes

The difference between mystics and superheroes is that mystics don’t need costumes or gadgets, and their powers aren’t what one might call “magical.”  Mystics weren’t bitten by a radioactive spider, neither do they hail from the Isle of Amazon, and they certainly don’t have the magical crystal which births the Fortress of Solitude where they find guidance and direction from their deceased alien parents.  Instead, the mystic’s magic resides within the innate gifts that they were given at their birth, gifts that could be the possession of each and every human being, should they choose to use them.  But, like superheroes, the mystic’s innate gifts are given so that they might …save the day!

The Mystic’s secret weapon and super power

Mystic’s, while gifted in unique, individual and amazing ways to bring saving into the world, all have ONE GIFT in common.  It is this one gift that allows the mystic to be present to the human condition in such a way as to be a source of support, healing and inspiration for the world.  If I could choose one superhero movie to portray the mystic’s gift, I would choose the most recent Batman release – Dark Knight Rises.    But, it is not outfitted as Batman with all the padding and bionic supports that portrays the mystic’s gift, (warning spoiler alert) it is in the foreign prison where a very human Bruce Wayne, crippled and broken rebuilds his body and his mind, then works and works and works to escape “Hell on Earth,” the inescapable prison and succeeds through a literal leap of faith.  A very human Bruce Wayne used the most important super power of the mystic to accomplish his escape that that power is COURAGE and its sidekick, FAITH.

Courage and Faith

Courage and faith are the innate super powers born into every mystic because the mystic’s job is to dive deeply into the grit and grime of the human experience.  If one is to accomplish the mystic’s mission of saving the world, one needs to be willing to walk into the horrors and struggles of the human condition, one must be willing to experience one’s own pain and to be able to be present for others in their pain.  In this job of saving the day, the mystic has to walk into terrifying situations, to take dangerous leaps of faith and TRUST that all will be well.  And….as every mystic can attest….in the end, it always is.  And if the outcome of the path is likely to be death, the mystic also knows and proves that even in death, there is always new life.  (ahem….another Dark Knight Rises reference. 😉 )