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 Authentic Freedom, detachment, grief, Inspiration, Surrender

Saying Goodbye

A week ago Tuesday, I awoke to the voice of (I’m not sure who – Spirit, The Mother, God, My Higher Self) speaking these words to me:

Say Goodbye.

How appropriate these words are as I face the end of an era. The life as I have known it has drawn to a close and all that defined that life has come to an end.  Or rather, the purpose of that era has drawn to a close.  I am tempted to point to church stuff, changing the world, Mary Magdalene, etc. as being the purpose of the past nearly 20 years, but in truth, the deeper purpose seems to have been for one thing and one thing only –

My own healing.

While the externals that gave expression to the past 20 years has been about God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Church stuff, wanting to heal and change the world, creating a space in which people can find support in their own spiritual exploration and journey toward self-actualization……at the core of all of it has been my own healing. Every book I have written, every course that I have created came first out of my own personal experience of being open to the Universe giving me what I needed to find healing and in receiving this healing, discovering MYSELF. I then took what I found to be supportive and formed it into a structure that could be shared with others for the sake of their own journey of healing from their past so as to discover themselves. Looking at the lives of those I’ve supported, I have to say I think I’ve done a pretty good job (PS I’m pretty sure this piece is NOT coming to an end).

As this era comes to a close and is ritualized by a literal physical move (from the home we have enjoyed for the past 6 ½ years), I’m letting it all go. I’ve grieved through this transition.  I’ve said goodbye to cherished objects, personal labels, dreams of riches and fame, attachments to outcomes and even the hope of a specific kind of love and the dream of a regular life with a regular job.  I’ve grieved the loss of the home we have loved and in which not only myself, but my children have found healing.  I’ve grieved the loss of a routine that I’ve known.  And most importantly, I’ve grieved the loss of the familiar life in which I’ve lived which has been defined mostly by isolation, illness, depression, poverty and loss (bahbye!).

I do not know what is waiting for me on the other side of this transition, but I am grateful for what has been and open to the opportunities that will present themselves in this letting go. I figure if the Universe is inviting me into this depth of emptying, something ENORMOUS must be coming to fill its place.

To whatever that is I say “Hello.”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 6D, Inspiration, New World, world changes

Building the New World Part 2: Preparation

Building the New World Part 2 – Preparation

We are currently in the extreme phase of preparation for our missions of building the new world. In order to build the new world, much of what has been will be dismantled and be made new.  The same is true for us.  In order to be vessels through which the new world will be built, we must be dismantled and be made new.  This has been the process we have undergone for the past 13+ years and which is currently culminating in what for many feels like debilitating, physical illness.  Personally, I have been down for the past 7 days with a “virus” that resulted in an ear infection (I don’t remember EVER having an ear infection…if I did I was quite young), vertigo and eardrum rupture.  Everyone else I know is suffering similar strange maladies, and if it isn’t some sort of virus, they are facing bizarre cancers, deeply invasive surgeries, all manner of strange physical things.  And in the material world, people I know who have been working in the old paradigms, but carry within them the vision of the new, are losing their jobs!

We are definitely on the brink of CHANGE. The old world is quickly dying away and we are being REMOVED to a place of preparation so that we can be made ready to bring forth our part in building the new world that we have carried in our hearts for all the years we have walked this plane (and maybe earlier).  In this time of preparation, there is only ONE thing we can do.

SURRENDER

This is where we remember that it is our SOUL that is in charge and that our SOUL knows EXACTLY what it is S/He is doing. This is the time we let our ego rest and our Soul step in as it takes us EXACTLY where we need to be.  This morning while in meditation, I received a vision that was perfectly fitting for this time of preparation and surrender.  I saw a vision of myself dressed in a flowing white robe leaping off a cliff, floating gently and effortlessly to the safety of the new world below, landing safely on both feet.

feet-pixabay

I also came upon these words of St. Paul in this morning’s scripture which speaks directly to this critical time of preparation. I hope you find these as validating, supportive and encouraging as I have:

Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Romans 8: 18-25

 

Thank you for your part in helping to build a new world!

 

All my love,

Lauri

 

Authentic Freedom Academy provides empowerment training for those who want to change the world. Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@authenticfreedom.love to learn more.

Posted in grief

Education in Wisconsin – Budget Cuts, Grief and Anxiety

Today’s blog goes out to all those men and women who are educators in the state of Wisconsin, and specifically to all my friends who are on the faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Area School District. All of these talented and hard-working men and women are suffering under the effects of recent legislative decisions, including a $250 million cut to the UW system. (Read the details HERE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/13/gov-scott-walker-savages-wisconsin-public-education-in-new-budget/). Many will lose their jobs. Those who are chosen to remain will still have a job, but likely with a lower rate of pay, significantly reduced benefits and an ever-increasing workload. Schools will have to do more with a LOT less and everyone is afraid.

wisconsin-347435_1280

I’m writing on this topic because I have been a part of several major institutions that have experienced similar traumas and I have seen the effects these kinds of losses have on an institution, most importantly, on its employees. While the administration may be skilled at making the difficult decisions about which programs need to go, where expenses can be reduced and where benefits can be shaved, they typically have no experience in addressing the “soft” issues of grief, anxiety and fear. This was recently confirmed for me when I offered my services as a grief and transitions expert to a local institution and was told (in so many words), “Thanks, we got this!” Based on the conversations I have had with various faculty and staff who related to me the deep grief they are feeling, the chaos that is unfolding, and the fear and anxiety that have now become part of the academic culture; No, you don’t “got this.”  The administration does not “got this” because, as is common in our culture, they have no knowledge of, or experience in dealing with grief or anxiety. Instead, they take the typical attitude of “get over it and move on.” This is NOT a helpful response to grief and anxiety especially when you desire productivity and effectiveness in your employees.

grief3

The analogy I like to use when addressing budget cuts such as those currently facing Wisconsin schools is that these cuts are akin to receiving a cancer diagnosis. For those who will be impacted by these cuts (not likely to be the person in charge), the greatest and unspoken fear is that of death. In this case, that they will be without a job or that the salary for the job they retain will be greatly reduced forcing them into financial hardship. The second fear is that they will not be valued for the work they are doing. When professors have to fundraise for their own programs and research, or do the work of three professors, this greatly devalues their gifts, along with the experience and passion they once brought to the job. When these fears and their resulting grief are not acknowledged and tended to, the anxiety, fear and grief begin to come out sideways. Morale decreases. Apathy sets in. Productivity decreases and company loyalty is all-but eliminated. Soon the institution suffers a mass exodus of its greatest assets – its teaching staff.

angst-802639_1280

Perhaps this is what the academic institutions want – a mass exodus of their greatest assets so as to make their job easier. If people leave (in droves) of their own volition, the institution doesn’t have to make the difficult decisions of who or what to cut. I must believe, however, that this is not what our academic institutions want. I want to give educational institutions the benefit of the doubt in believing they do want to retain their quality staff and provide a supportive environment, in a difficult time, for those who choose to remain. If, this is true, then educational institutions need to be providing sound grief and transition support for their employees, faculty and staff; including training on how to manage the inherent anxiety of these kinds of transitions.

campus-820878_1280

Grief support provides effective tools for moving through the faces of grief including: denial, bargaining, depression/apathy, anger and sorrow and provides resources in helping the grieving manage their anxiety. Grief support gives individuals the tools for identifying grief when it shows up and effective means for dealing with that grief. Supporting the grieving process and giving people tools for managing anxiety clears the ground for the new life that is waiting to emerge on the other side of the loss. In the case of education the new life that will emerge will be more creative, efficient and cost-effective ways of providing a quality education for people of all ages. The question facing Wisconsin schools is, do they want to arrive at this new life the hard way by denying and ignoring the grief, anxiety and fear; or through the easier path by tending to their grief?  Only time will tell.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Spiritual Practices

School’s Out For Summer!

The last day of school is just one of the many transitions we face in our lives.  How do we negotiate the frequent changes in our lives without completely losing our minds? 

Bye Bye Elementary School

This morning I dropped my baby off for his last day of Elementary school.  Holy Cow!  How did that happen so fast?  Wil is still the little Buddha baby sitting content and satisfied in his baby swing.  And then there’s Maggie.  Today, in her final day of 7th grade, wanted to get all dressed up, have her hair done and put on makeup.  What happened to the little girl with the flowery dress dancing in the bubbles?  Transition….that’s what happened!  (and NO….it is not just me getting old….I’m still the Stevie Nicks wannabe in the black lace dress with platform boots wailing out “Edge of Seventeen!  I Swear!)

The Wheel Keeps on Turning

Other than death and taxes, there is one other certainty in life….and that is CHANGE!  Change, transition, movement is the one constant thing that we can expect out of life.  The problem is that we are not really comfortable with change.  Change means loss…it means the death of something….and this loss causes us anxiety, fear, worry.  We become used to something, to a certain routine, to certain relationships….then suddenly….THEY CHANGE!  Kids grow up.  Parents age.  We age.  Jobs end.  Relationships die and/or change.  Life is a constant flow of change, change, change.  The good news is that while these changes do cause us trepidation, there are graceful ways to move through life’s transitions and not completely lose our minds. 

To Everything Turn Turn Turn

Since change is one of the three certain things in our lives, it might be helpful to explore some tools that help us to find peace in the midst of change. 

1) Acknowledge the change….the loss…the death.  Look at it.  Observe it for what it is.  Admit that it is real.  My son is now 11 and leaving elementary school behind.  My daughter wants to look good for the last day of school. 

2) Take time to appreciate the good things of the past that led to this change.  For example, this morning I took time to reflect back on my children as babies, toddlers, young children and remembered all the great things that have led them to where they are today.

3)  Recognize change as a kind of death….a loss of sorts. 

4) Give yourself permission to grieve that loss.  Oh yes….I will be shedding some tears at Wil’s awards ceremony later this morning.

5) Take a DEEP BREATH.  Breathe some more.  And breathe again.

6) Be open to the new life that will come as a result of this transition.  For Wil, I look forward to his time in Middle school.   He has been emotionally ready for some time….now he will get a chance to shine on a whole new level.  Maggie…..well, it is Middle School….a time of “dangerous opportunities.”  For her….I will just BREATHE and hold a space for her to become who she needs to be.

Time Keeps on Tickin Tickin Tickin into the Future

What more can I say?  Life is change.  Period.  I’m just grateful for the spiritual tools and practices that I have learned along the way which help me (the recovering compulsive planner and control freak who craves safety, security, predictability and surety) to navigate the waters of what now seems to be a daily occurrance.  Change is here to stay…so I’d better get used to it!

How do you deal with transition?

What are some effective tools you have discovered that help provide support during times of transition?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com