Posted in Reiki, Spiritual Direction

Grand Re-Opening

I am excited to announce that I am completely moved into my new office and will begin taking clients for Spiritual Counseling and Reiki on Monday, June 15, 2020!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Counseling supports you in:

  • Processing Grief
  • Managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma
  • Releasing symptoms of past trauma
  • Moving through life-transitions (job changes, divorce, moves, children, empty-nest)
  • Processing world changes
  • Finding meaning and purpose in your life
  • Fulfilling your dreams

 

Reiki:

  • Supports deep relaxation
  • Helps to calm anxiety and worry
  • Brings peace to the body, mind and spirit
  • Calms and balances the mind
  • Restores balance and harmony to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body
  • Supports the release of painful emotions and past trauma
  • Supports physical, emotional and mental wellbeing
  • Supports the body’s ability to heal itself

 

The following appointment times will be available:

 

Mondays and Tuesdays

3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm

 

Thursdays:

9:00 am, 10:30 am, noon

 

All appointments will run 60-90 minutes depending on your needs.

 

Appointment Fees:  Pay what you are able between $90.00 and $120.00.  Reduced fees are available for those suffering financial hardship.

 

Email lauri@authenticfreedom.love or call (920) 230-1313 to schedule your appointment.

 

My office is located at 711 Oregon St.  Oshkosh, WI  inside Essentials for Wellness and in the same building as Inner Sun Yoga Studio.

***During the Covid-19 event, I will provide you with the option of mask or no mask.  I am happy to wear a mask if you like.  I will leave this to your own discretion and discernment.  Hand sanitizer will also be made available.  

 

 

NOTE:  Phone, Skype and ZOOM sessions are also available.  Please email for availability.

 

 

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS has her master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology, is a trained Spiritual Director, Reiki Master, and ordained interfaith minister.  She has been providing both Spiritual Counseling and Reiki since 2001 and has supported hundreds of women and men in their journey to wholeness.  Lauri is also a highly regarded educator and published author.  She developed her own protocol, Authentic Freedom™ to support people in identifying and healing the fears that prevent them from experiencing peace and fulfillment in their lives. She incorporates this protocol in everything that she does.

Posted in building the new world

9/11 The Collective Trauma We Will Never Forget

On this 17th year anniversary of the September 11th ( 9/11 ) bombing of the Twin Towers, I am reposting my article “United States of Trauma.”  I for one will never forget standing in the lab in the basement of Affinity medical clinic watching the endless loop replaying of the bombing.  I will never forget the horror that suddenly fell upon me that night as my babies lay sleeping in their rooms and realizing that they would grow up in a world knowing they might never be safe.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  17 years later I look at the world our children have grown up in and I am sad for their loss of innocence, yet grateful for the wisdom that has come forth out of our youth in having grown up in the United States of Trauma.  Perhaps they were born into this trauma so that one day we all might be healed.  Here is the article:

United States of Trauma

On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered it greatest trauma, 2996 people were killed and another 6000 wounded. As the first act of such magnitude to be committed within the continental U.S., America lost its innocence along with any sense of domestic security.  As the deadliest terrorist act in world history, the world, but most especially the United States, has not yet recovered.  I’m not sure we ever will. Since the moment the planes flew into the Twin Towers, the U.S. has been at war – first against people of color in countries made of sand and now against each other.  For the past 17 years the United States has known nothing but war, and our current cultural climate suggests that as a nation we are collectively suffering the effects of trauma.

trauma, a nation in trauma, healing trauma, PTSD, September 11, 9/11, trauma coming out sideways.

The Effects of Trauma

In the simplest of terms, when we have an experience that our mind interprets as traumatic, we are instinctually driven toward one of three survival tactics: fight, flight or freeze. If the trauma is not resolved or if the traumatic response is not released from our emotional/physical bodies, the trauma remains. When this occurs, we might find ourselves in a permanent state of fight, flight or freeze.  In this state, we respond to anything that (even subconsciously) reminds us of the initial trauma as if it is happening again.  This is known as a triggering episode.  Unless the trauma is effectively treated, we will find ourselves in an endless loop of reactionary behaviors. Until someone points out to us that our behaviors might be the after effects of trauma, we think nothing of them, often to the point where they become normalized.  I contend that our current cultural climate – defined by fear and division – is in fact, trauma coming out sideways.

United States of Trauma

Whereas September 11th initially had a unifying effect, since the decision to go to war, we, as a nation, have become increasingly polarized.  Our increasing access to information (both true and untrue) has hastened this polarization, and it seems there are those who might actually be feeding this division because it benefits them in some way, or perhaps this is their own reaction to unresolved trauma.  Unresolved trauma comes out sideway in behaviors that are uncharacteristic, often irrational and fear-driven.  We obsess.  We worry.  We fret.  We become angry. We want to fight.  We become immobile. We ignore what is right in front of us. Instead of identifying the fear that is unhealed within us, we want to make someone or something outside of us the enemy – the cause of our concern.  In the current state of our culture, many “enemies” have been named:   Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Blacks, Whites, The Police, Muslims, Christians, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Screen time, (remember when TV and Rock Music were the “enemies?”) Men, Women, The Media, The NRA, those seeking gun control, Pro-Lifers, those who are Pro-choice, The Rich, The Poor, Corporate Greed, those taking advantage of the system, The Economy, Banks, Illegal Immigrants, those seeking refuge, the mentally ill, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.   The bottom line is that the fear and division that currently control our culture have absolutely NOTHING to do with all those things we want to point our fingers toward as being “the enemy.”  Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with unacknowledged and unresolved TRAUMA.

Healing from Trauma

We are a nation in trauma. We have been for a very long time (I’m still not sure we’ve recovered from the Civil War!), but even more so since 9/11.  In order to heal from the effects of this trauma (increasing fear and division), we have to name it as such, and then do the difficult work of healing from that trauma.  Healing from trauma happens when we are able to:

  1. Name the trauma. What is actually at the heart of our fearful thoughts, reactions, and behaviors? What is the true cause of the fear? Maybe it is 9/11, or maybe it stems from something even older – an experience of childhood abuse, bullying or rejection, a devastating loss or disappointment, a past failure or betrayal?
  2. Acknowledge that the fear has NOTHING to do with what you are currently perceiving outside of you (events in the news, the disagreement with your spouse, what you read on social media), but is instead related to something within you asking to be healed. Once you are able to identify the fear comes the hard part.
  3. Instead of following our instinct which is to “make the fear go away,” (by pointing the finger of blame at someone else, ignoring or denying it, numbing it, etc.) we SIT with the fear. Allow yourself to actually FEEL the fear. Identify where in your body you might be feeling it, breathe into that fear, and then breathe out love. Remain with this practice (which the Buddhists call Tonglen), until you feel the fear change. Maybe it moves. Maybe it is resolved and you find yourself coming to peace. Maybe it changes to anger or sorrow. Whatever you do, don’t respond or react to the fear, instead, allow it to be healed.
  4. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat. Each and every one of us is a bundle of unacknowledged and unresolved woundedness and fear. Until we are able to heal the trauma that dwells within us, we will never be able to heal the fears that have placed fear and division as the rulers of our country.

Healing from trauma is difficult and challenging work, but enormously rewarding. Freeing ourselves from the effects of trauma empowers us to see our world through a different lens, allowing us to come to the discussion table where we are able to effectively work together for justice, peace and reconciliation.  Until we can heal what is broken within us, we will never be able to heal what is broken in our nation or our world.

NOTE: The practices shared here are for the purpose of addressing normal, everyday fear.  If you find your symptoms persisting, please seek additional support through spiritual counseling, traditional counseling, self-development courses, or through any of the methods of intervention which have proven helpful in healing trauma:  EMDR and Brainspotting to name a few.

 

Posted in Spiritual Development, spiritual healing, Spiritual Practices

United States of Trauma

On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered it greatest trauma, 2996 people were killed and another 6000 wounded. As the first act of such magnitude to be committed within the continental U.S., America lost its innocence along with any sense of domestic security.  As the deadliest terrorist act in world history, the world, but most especially the United States, has not yet recovered.  I’m not sure we ever will. Since the moment the planes flew into the Twin Towers, the U.S. has been at war – first against people of color in countries made of sand and now against each other.  For the past 17 years the United States has known nothing but war, and our current cultural climate suggests that as a nation we are collectively suffering the effects of trauma.

trauma, a nation in trauma, healing trauma, PTSD, September 11, 9/11, trauma coming out sideways.

The Effects of Trauma

In the simplest of terms, when we have an experience that our mind interprets as traumatic, we are instinctually driven toward one of three survival tactics: fight, flight or freeze. If the trauma is not resolved or if the traumatic response is not released from our emotional/physical bodies, the trauma remains. When this occurs, we might find ourselves in a permanent state of fight, flight or freeze.  In this state, we respond to anything that (even subconsciously) reminds us of the initial trauma as if it is happening again.  This is known as a triggering episode.  Unless the trauma is effectively treated, we will find ourselves in an endless loop of reactionary behaviors. Until someone points out to us that our behaviors might be the after effects of trauma, we think nothing of them, often to the point where they become normalized.  I contend that our current cultural climate – defined by fear and division – is in fact, trauma coming out sideways.

United States of Trauma

Whereas September 11th initially had a unifying effect, since the decision to go to war, we, as a nation, have become increasingly polarized.  Our increasing access to information (both true and untrue) has hastened this polarization, and it seems there are those who might actually be feeding this division because it benefits them in some way, or perhaps this is their own reaction to unresolved trauma.  Unresolved trauma comes out sideway in behaviors that are uncharacteristic, often irrational and fear-driven.  We obsess.  We worry.  We fret.  We become angry. We want to fight.  We become immobile. We ignore what is right in front of us. Instead of identifying the fear that is unhealed within us, we want to make someone or something outside of us the enemy – the cause of our concern.  In the current state of our culture, many “enemies” have been named:   Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Blacks, Whites, The Police, Muslims, Christians, Millennials, Baby Boomers, Screen time, (remember when TV and Rock Music were the “enemies?”) Men, Women, The Media, The NRA, those seeking gun control, Pro-Lifers, those who are Pro-choice, The Rich, The Poor, Corporate Greed, those taking advantage of the system, The Economy, Banks, Illegal Immigrants, those seeking refuge, the mentally ill, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.   The bottom line is that the fear and division that currently control our culture have absolutely NOTHING to do with all those things we want to point our fingers toward as being “the enemy.”  Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with unacknowledged and unresolved TRAUMA.

Healing from Trauma

We are a nation in trauma. We have been for a very long time (I’m still not sure we’ve recovered from the Civil War!), but even more so since 9/11.  In order to heal from the effects of this trauma (increasing fear and division), we have to name it as such, and then do the difficult work of healing from that trauma.  Healing from trauma happens when we are able to:

  1. Name the trauma. What is actually at the heart of our fearful thoughts, reactions, and behaviors? What is the true cause of the fear? Maybe it is 9/11, or maybe it stems from something even older – an experience of childhood abuse, bullying or rejection, a devastating loss or disappointment, a past failure or betrayal?
  2. Acknowledge that the fear has NOTHING to do with what you are currently perceiving outside of you (events in the news, the disagreement with your spouse, what you read on social media), but is instead related to something within you asking to be healed. Once you are able to identify the fear comes the hard part.
  3. Instead of following our instinct which is to “make the fear go away,” (by pointing the finger of blame at someone else, ignoring or denying it, numbing it, etc.) we SIT with the fear. Allow yourself to actually FEEL the fear. Identify where in your body you might be feeling it, breathe into that fear, and then breathe out love. Remain with this practice (which the Buddhists call Tonglen), until you feel the fear change. Maybe it moves. Maybe it is resolved and you find yourself coming to peace. Maybe it changes to anger or sorrow. Whatever you do, don’t respond or react to the fear, instead, allow it to be healed.
  4. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat. Each and every one of us is a bundle of unacknowledged and unresolved woundedness and fear. Until we are able to heal the trauma that dwells within us, we will never be able to heal the fears that have placed fear and division as the rulers of our country.

Healing from trauma is difficult and challenging work, but enormously rewarding. Freeing ourselves from the effects of trauma empowers us to see our world through a different lens, allowing us to come to the discussion table where we are able to effectively work together for justice, peace and reconciliation.  Until we can heal what is broken within us, we will never be able to heal what is broken in our nation or our world.

NOTE: The practices shared here are for the purpose of addressing normal, everyday fear.  If you find your symptoms persisting, please seek additional support through spiritual counseling, traditional counseling, self-development courses, or through any of the methods of intervention which have proven helpful in healing trauma:  EMDR and Brainspotting to name a few.

non-violent social change, non-violence, social change, change agent, peaceworkers, peace makers, non-violent soclai change,If you are looking for a way to join with others in the efforts of healing our broken world, please check out the Love Warriors project.  Learn more HERE.

 

 

 

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Posted in Being Human, Discernment

Why I’m Choosing Prozac

 

Trauma

A creeping sensation crawling up the length of my spine,

Arriving at the base of my skull,

Gripping my head like a vice,

Wrapping its tentacles around my ears and jaw,

Pain creeping over the top of my head.

Eyes darting,

following the anxious thoughts in my mind

My consciousness on hyper-alert

Attentive to

Every

Subtle

Tiny

Thought

Movement

Change

Shift

Sensation

Emotion

Awareness

Breath.

Did I remember to breathe?

A flood of chemicals pouring through my entire being

Paralyzing my mind.

Gripping my sight

Fretfully seeking out the next possible threat.

Image: Pixabay.com
Image: Pixabay.com

Anxiety and panic attacks accompanied by migraine headaches and depression. It hasn’t always been like this, but for the past 12 years, since I had my first (known) panic attack in 2004, this has been the preoccupation of my waking (and sleeping) mind and the lived experience of anxiety as it floods my body.  And when anxiety isn’t flooding my body, all my energy has been directed toward trying to prevent its onslaught.

It didn’t used to be this way. In fact, I remember a time when I simply enjoyed life.  Yes, I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve and succeed, but I used to remember how to have fun…and how to play.  And driving used to be one of my most enjoyable tasks, relaxing even.  But when panic attacks happen while driving, driving becomes something you dread, equating driving with death, because when you are having a panic attack, it feels like you just might die.  And when you are driving a vehicle at 70mph as your vision is closing in and your heart is pounding, it just doesn’t feel very safe.

It didn’t used to be this way. But, couple the genetic predisposition to the Irish curse (depression and anxiety) with 25 years of on-going and relentless trauma, and panic is bound to happen….and anxiety….and migraine headaches…and depression.

At first I was in denial. “Oh, it’s just low blood sugar, an endocrine imbalance, the wine I had last night, the lack of sleep, blah blah blah.

Then I bargained. Yoga helps.  Meditation helps.  If I eat the right foods, get the right amount of sleep, learn to be present with my emotions, let my Soul’s purpose come forward, allow 30+ years of suppressed emotions to find their expression, engage my creativity, dance, move, run, drum, scream, chant, etc. etc. etc.

While all of this has helped, and given me relief from time to time, mostly I have spent the past 12 years trying not to have anxiety or a panic attack – scrutinizing every thought, feeling emotion, social situation as potential triggers, forcing myself to BE MY TRUE SELF….watching all the while as my world gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Avoiding social situations because I might feel anxious.  Choosing not to drive….or making excuses, so I won’t have a panic attack.  Then feeling guilty as hell for depriving myself and my children of a life that should be about enjoyment….not imprisonment.

It isn’t even the panic attacks that are the problem – because in truth, I’ve only had a few. It is the on-going fear and protective measures taken in the hopes of preventing a panic attack, measures which ironically are most likely an enormous part of the problem.

So what does one do? A few years back when panic attacks were waking me out of a dead sleep, I tried Lexapro.  Yes, it silenced the other voice in my head, the panic attacks stopped and I even began to feel some measure of joy.  But the entire time I was on it, I felt like shit.  I felt hung over and nauseous every day.  I was tired and I gained weight.  This was not how I wanted to live my life.  Then the Lexapro stopped working and I forgot to take it.  For a time I managed on my own, but was I really? I’m no longer sure.

Because now I see it plainly. This past weekend I took my son to the mall, which required driving on the highway I’m most afraid to travel.  I employed every tactic I could to “make” myself able to do it.  I breathed.  I drummed.  I took a flower essence.  I listened to a comedy CD to distract my anxious thoughts.  I did it.  But instead of feeling victorious, I felt like hell.  I felt sick, I felt exhausted, I felt worn out.  Then I examined what I had been feeling in preparation for the drive and how my body truly responded….and then wrote the poem above.

This is not a life. Making myself do things I am currently unable to do…and making myself sick in order to do them.

This is not a life. Using all my energy to “manage” symptoms I ultimately have no control over.  Anxiety.  Depression.  Migraines.  Panic Attacks…..all the after-effects of trauma.  You could almost say I earned these symptoms.

This is not a life. When all my energy is directed toward managing these symptoms, I have nothing left to give to the things I want to enjoy in my life – creating, nurturing, nourishing, enjoying, playing.  When every ounce of psychic energy is directed toward treating anxiety, depression, migraines and panic attacks, I have nothing left to give to anything else, and this is not how I want to spend my energy – especially when Western medicine has tools to help ease, and maybe even heal the trauma that caused these symptoms in the first place.  Because again, when all my energy is directed toward managing these symptoms, my body is not able to heal – and I want to heal because I am more than the trauma that I have experienced and more than the anxiety that has since defined my life.

This is why I am choosing Prozac (or whatever else my doctor might recommend in helping to treat the after, and ongoing effects of trauma).

Posted in Teenage Suicide

The Causes of Teenage Suicide

The topic of teenage suicide has been high on my list of concerns since the first of two suicides of girls my daughter’s age in the seventh grade. Six of my children’s peers have committed suicide in the same number of years.  When the national statistic for teenage suicide is 7 out of 100,000 students of the same age, the suicide rate in my daughter’s class alone is alarmingly high!  FIVE OUT OF 250!  As a parent, and a psychological and personal development professional, I am deeply concerned!  What is happening with our children and how can we help them?

Teenage suicide is an enormous topic and one that will not be solved through a single action (or blog in this case). But as a dear friend and respected colleague recently stated, our goal around the topic of teenage suicide should be ZERO TOLERANCE. None of our children should be left to believe that suicide is the only way out of whatever difficult situation is troubling them.  Preventing teen suicide and providing support for those who have lost a family member or friend to suicide requires the collaborative efforts of many people, social service, educational and government entities.  Before we can solve the problem of teenage suicide, however, we must first explore the underlying causes of suicide.

CausesofSuicideVisual

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives us a glimpse into many pieces of a complicated puzzle that when added up, might lead one to believe death is the only possible solution.

STRESS

Our teens are under an enormous amount of stress. Stress related to:

Relationships – peers, friends, family, cliques, boyfriends, girlfriends, breakups, heartbreak, unrequited love, divorce, etc.

Pressure to Achieve – school, pressure to do well in school, decisions about college and career, pressure from the media, friends, family, pressure to belong, pressure to conform, etc.

The World – as I mentioned in a previous blog, “Our Kids Are Not Alright!,” our world is a mess!  Our children have NEVER not known a world at war!  Our economic and political situations are the worst they’ve ever been.  The educational outlook (the reason for pursuing education post-high school) is grim.  Our children know that the promise of a “financially rewarding career” after college is a lie.  They are facing the very real possibility of not being able to afford college (tuition rates are at an all-time high), and that the only way to attend might be through student loans which will leave them forever indebted to the government and never able to buy their own home.  This is real folks!  And our children know it!

Stress untreated = more stress = apathy = anxiety = depression

 

GRIEF

Every death, change, disappointment, hurt feeling, divorce, physical move, school transfer, breakup, change in the status of friend relationships, etc. triggers grief. In our culture we don’t know how to do grief.  We don’t even know what grief is, let alone how to deal with it.  This is no different for our children.  They are grieving, they might not know they are grieving (or the symptoms of grief), and there are few there to help them (we can’t help them if we don’t know how to grieve ourselves!).

Grief untreated = anxiety and depression

ABUSE

Abuse is rampant in our society and many of our children are living in abusive situations – physical, emotional, mental, verbal, spiritual, sexual, being bullied or neglected. Whether they are being abused, or someone else in their home or close-knit circle of friends is, they suffer the effects of abuse.  On-going abuse can lead to PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other “diagnosable” mental illnesses.

Abuse untreated = anxiety = depression = PTSD = panic attacks

 

POVERTY

While teenage suicide is not unique to any specific socio-economic category, poverty adds another dimension of stress– poverty, hunger, homelessness, poor nutrition, access to quality healthcare (or any healthcare for that matter), transient families, etc. all contribute additional stressors in an already difficult situation that might lead to believing death is ones best option.

Poverty = anxiety = isolation = depression = helplessness = hopelessness

 

LEARNING DISABILITIES, PROCESSING and SENSITIVITY ISSUES

According to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), this category should fall under that of “mental illness.” I refuse to put learning and processing issues under this category as it would only reinforce the false perception that if we learn differently from what the Common Core says is the “norm” there is something “wrong” with us.  While some “learning disabilities” are readily identified and accommodations are able to be made (because this is mandated by the State or Federal government), most are not.  Dyslexia, for example, is one processing issue that often falls through the cracks.  This does not even begin to touch learning style differences and sensitivity issues.  HSP’s (highly sensitive people) are not identified in education, neither are accommodations made for them.  When our children learn by seeing or doing and teaching is not adapted to meet their needs, or accommodations are not offered to help them learn, they can’t learn.  And when they can’t learn, they cannot succeed in education.

Not learning=not achieving=not succeeding=feelings of failure=stress, depression, anxiety, etc.

 

MENTAL ILLNESS

See above! No wonder the number of children who are being treated for symptoms consistent with mental illness – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, etc. is at an all-time high.  Our children are suffering and much of this remains unrecognized, unacknowledged and therefore, untreated.  Throw in access to healthcare (or rather, the lack thereof) and a culture that is incapable of processing grief and you have a MESS!  Our children need our help!

Depression    Anxiety    Panic Attacks    PTSD

SuicideMindmap

Preventing teenage suicide begins by treating it at its cause. When we go directly to the cause we effectively eliminate the issues that would lead one to believing death is the only answer.  While this approach ultimately means widespread systemic change, the resources are already here, if we know where to look and if we can figure out how to work together toward this common goal.  While we might not save every life, our goal should be to make teenage suicide rare, instead of what has already happened in Oshkosh where teenage suicide has become expected and almost normal.  This is wrong….way wrong, and as parents and professionals, it is our responsibility to do something about it!

.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Being Human, Empowerment, Lessons, mental illness, teachers, temptation

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

Panic Attacks – the Devil Inside (Part I)

On Saturday, June 13th I had three full-blown panic attacks, the third so debilitating I was not able to drive myself and my son home from a shopping trip 30 miles from home.  As I mentioned in my blog on Monday, panic attacks suck…..or do they?  What if panic attacks are not here to harm or torture us, but are instead, here to teach us?  What if instead of judging them as harmful, rushing off to medicate them, or wanting to push them away, we welcomed them closer and allowed them to be our teacher?  What, you might ask, could a panic attack teach us other than, “life sucks and then you die?”  Let’s find out… 

panic

There is always more to the story…

As much as I hate having panic attacks, and they are terrifying while they are happening and every moment in between, for me, and I suspect many others who experience anxiety, depression and panic attacks (note:  the three are closely related), there is always more to the story.  Panic attacks don’t simply show up out of nowhere (though they sure seem like they do).  They always have deeper roots.  As I sat in the fog of the post-panic, post-Xanax hangover, I had ample opportunity to sort through all the potential precursors of panic (while trying not to get too much into old patterns of self-deprecation and negative self-judgment of thinking I did something wrong to bring on this panic and that there must be something wrong with me…).  In the search, I discovered there was a litany of potential “causes”:

Wine – ugh!  One tiny glass of wine the evening before (and as I noted had happened before every panic attack or near-panic I’ve had).  Wine=yeast=triggering my candida allergy.  Apparently there is a tie between candida and panic.  SIGH.  No more wine for me.

Keeping a lid on it!  Tending to a friend who received a medical treatment.  Helping another friend who received a cancer diagnosis.  Being present with a friend whose mother recently passed.  Lots of travel.  And just life in general.  Lots to carry.  Lots to hold.  Throw in some good old fashioned money fears…and….NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF in the midst of it all!  TONS of emotions were bottled up in me that needed to find a way out…..and boy did they!  (And let’s not forget the link between panic and past, unresolved trauma!)

STEPPING INTO MY GREATNESS!  The week leading up to the panic attack was a HUGE week for me.  I stepped into my new venture as Authentic Freedom Academy.  I put AFA out into the world.  I formed an affiliate program and sent out invites.  I completed the most recent Resurrecting the Magdalene course and ordained (yes, I said “ORDAINED!”) four women into The Order of the Magdalene/Christ. I received an important message about my beloved partner.  And finally…..through the support of some shamanic journey work, I rediscovered some very ancient methods of manifestation (ie: magic) and for bringing the new world into being.  Hint: “The Law of Attraction” is OUT (truth be told, it was never in for me anyway…more on that later).

Gethsemane

The link between panic and POWER

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there IS a link between panic and STANDING IN OUR POWER.  The way I understand it, the link between panic and power is two-fold:

Ignoring the voice of our Soul:

First, panic (and its precursor – anxiety) arises when we ignore, silence, suppress and repress our POWER, our truth, our gifts, our call, our purpose and our passions.  When we ignore the voice of our SOUL is will do everything in its power to get our attention.  The more we ignore the voice of the SOUL, the harder it works, sometimes having to resort to desperate measures to get our attention – even if it means panic.  This has definitely been the case for me.  When the truth is in my face again and again and again and I choose to ignore it, panic steps in.

Stepping into our power:

Panic attacks can also arise as a form of temptation.  The closer we get to our Soul’s purpose, God’s call for us in our life, the path of our highest Self, the harder the ego works to thwart us on our path.  Our Soul longs to be free – to have a life of fulfillment, expansiveness, meaning, peacefulness and love.  The ego wants SAME, status quo, what is old and familiar.  Think of Jesus in the desert and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In both instances, Jesus did battle with “Satan” over the path before him.  Heed the voice of fear and make himself equal to God (as was the discussion in the desert) or heed the voice of fear and recant his truth (that he was One with God but not necessarily equal)?  The ego does not want us to enjoy the path of our Soul or to embrace our gifts or our true power.  Instead, the ego wants us to remain small, in a place and situation that is familiar.  Toward that end, the ego will resort to all sorts of ministrations to keep us from our power – even panic attacks if it needs to.

Power and panic in proportion

I can think of two situations in particular (this weekend included) where a powerful moment of stepping into my power presented itself and panic stepped in.  In both situations, and army of support presented itself and I eventually figured out the true source of the panic – not in something I had done wrong, but in something I had done right!  Talk about empowering.  It is interesting to me to note that the degree to which we are stepping into our power is equal to the degree to which the ego fights to keep us from it.  From the degree of the panic attacks I experienced this weekend, I’m guessing I’m getting pretty dang close to the purpose of my soul and to the root of my true power.  How about you?

Stay tuned Panic Attacks, the Devil Inside Part II where we will learn how to embrace temptation (ie: panic attacks) as our teacher instead of our tormentor.

Authentic Freedom Academy provides resources and support for those wishing to heed the voice of their Soul – for those who know they are here for a reason, who want to know what that reason is, and who wish to contribute to the betterment of themselves and the world through their own unique giftedness.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@autheticfreedomacademy.com to learn more.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Empowerment, grief, Spiritual Direction

Before Psychotherapy

Today’s blog explores the ancient mentoring practices that preceded modern-day psychotherapy, still exist today and in many ways are more effective than traditional therapy.

Freud

Life before Freud

I know it is hard to believe, but psychology was not born with Sigmund Freud.  Neither did it only come to exist thanks in part to Greek philosophers.  I know this is what is what academia teaches as the roots of psychology, but there have been psychologists throughout human history – perhaps as far back as our human origins.  Before Freud, however, these remarkable women and men were not called psychologists, instead, they were called such things as spiritual director, teacher, abbott, abbess, priestess, priest, elder, medicine woman, medicine man, guru, oracle, and shaman.  Throughout human history there have been powerful women and men gifted and then trained to assist people in becoming their truest self and helping individuals to find healing and transformation from their inner ills.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worry, grief, loss, vocational discernment, even physical maladies were tended to through these wise and gifted teachers.  These women and men held places of honor within their communities and their needs were provided for by the community in exchange for the generous sharing of their gifts.

What Happened?

In a person – Descartes.  With his masterful separation of God from reason and matter, mystery was divorced from science – so much so that anything of mystery came to be set aside or disregarded as something only for the ignorant and foolish.  With near surgical precision, the transcendent was excised from the treatment of the human person and in the Western world, the spiritual director, shaman, medicine woman and man lost their place and psychotherapy stepped in.

It All Comes Back Around

Not anymore.  People have grown frustrated with the limitations of traditional psychotherapy – and the medical model in general.  People are tired of being reduced to something that must be “scientifically verifiable.”  Women and men are looking for depth, meaning, fulfillment and wholeness and this can only be accomplished by reconnecting with mystery. While there is still an important place in our world for traditional psychotherapy, many are searching for more.

Authentic Freedom Mentoring

This is where Authentic Freedom mentoring comes in.  As a trained spiritual director and Reiki master, I have honed the necessary skills for leading people through the mystery and for empowering them to become self-actualized.  In doing this work, many of the everyday issues of anxiety, depression, panic attack, the effects of trauma and grief, are healed and released so that the individual is free to be their original self – the person God made them to be.  As there is no talk of God or mystery in traditional psychotherapy, this might not be the path for all – but it is an effective path for many – even those who consider themselves to be atheist – for even in atheism – the mystery remains.

Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring over the phone, via Skype  and in person. To schedule a session call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Click HERE to learn about being trained as an Authentic Freedom Facilitator or Mentor.

 

 

Posted in addictions, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, guilt, Healing, shame, sin, The Seven Deadly Compulsions

Sex Addiction – Causes and Compassion

In yesterday’s blog, we explored the subject of sexual addiction and ways to identify this behavior in ourselves or our loved ones so that we might seek out help.  In today’s blog, we will examine some of the possible causes of sex addiction, specifically the deeper emotional and spiritual wounds what are ultimately seeking healing.

Causes of Sexual Addiction

As is the case with other addictions, there are no cut and dried formulas in their cause.  There are, however, some reported similarities between sex addicts which warrant examination:

  • Sex addicts often come from dysfunctional families
  • Many report a past history of having been physically, verbally or emotionally abused
  • 82% of sex addicts reported having been sexually abused as children
  • 80% reported substance abuse as present within their family of origin
  • Many report parents as distant, uncaring and rigid
  • It is theorized that abnormalities in brain chemistry may predispose a person to addictive behaviors, including sex addiction

(Source:  Herkov, M. (extracted 2013). What causes sexual addiction? www.psychcentral.com.)

Behavior modification

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, sex addiction is recognized in compulsive, uncontrollable behaviors most often driven by anxiety.  Addiction language speaks of this anxiety as the “emotional trigger.”    Learning effective methods for dealing with this anxiety or confronting the specific emotional trigger goes a long way in supporting recovery and healing in sex addicts and allows the addict to create new and healthier ways of responding to these triggers.  It has been my experience, however, that in many (if not most) cases, the addictive behavior ultimately has nothing to do with the behavior itself (ie: fantasizing, masturbation, use of pornography, etc.), and simple behavior modification, while necessary, is not enough to facilitate long-term recovery, and more importantly, does not help the addict learn how to cultivate and enjoy healthy, loving, intimacy. For as long as they are indulging their addiction, sex addicts are incapable of experiencing or participating in true intimacy.

Sex Addiction and Need

Instead, sex addiction has much more to do with deeper, unhealed spiritual and emotional wounds that are seeking to be made known so that they may be healed.  Sex addiction, contrary to the belief of many addicts (and their partners), is not about love or intimacy.  Sex addiction isn’t even really about sex.  Sex addiction is about seeking the remedy to a deep, inner, often unnamed pain.  As mentioned above, many sex addicts report having been emotionally, mentally, verbally, physically and even sexually abused as children.  For sex addicts, sexual behaviors (including fantasizing) allowed them to disassociate from the on-going trauma and provided temporary relief from the pain.  In order to facilitate enduring recovery, the addict needs to acknowledge this pain and identify the needs that were left unmet in their childhood.  Some of these needs might include:

  • The need to feel safe and that their needs for food, clothing, and shelter were being met
  • The need to feel of value and as if they had something significant to contribute
  • The need to feel supported in being and living as their most authentic self
  • The need to feel unconditionally loved
  • The need to feel free to express their needs and their truth
  • The need to know their truth and their path
  • The need to feel as if they were not alone

As the addict works on healing these deeper unmet needs and unacknowledged childhood wounds,  learns strategies for getting these needs met and tending to themselves in adulthood, while developing healthy interventions for managing anxiety, the addictive behaviors become less and less necessary.  Addressing these deeper wounds then provides the foundation upon which the addict can begin to cultivate what they have been missing all along – healthy, loving intimacy.

If you believe that you or your partner is suffering from sex addiction, please seek help and support through counseling, psychotherapy or 12-step recovery groups tailored to the needs of sex addicts.

To learn more about sex addiction, check out Out of the Shadowsby Patrick J. Carnes, PhD.

sexaddictioncarnes

Posted in Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Ignoring the Spiritual Hampers Recovery

Today’s blog explores how the spiritual is often overlooked, even shunned by some of the helping professions and why this hampers our road to healing and recovery.

cadeuceus

Faith-based vs. Spiritual

I was recently contacted by an organization looking for a presenter for a support group of individuals in various stages of recovery from trauma.  The concern was raised that my work is “faith based” and the organization is not allowed to discuss or implement any “faith based” materials.  Sadly, many in the helping professions are still operating with the misconception that faith and spirituality are the same.  As such, many people are prevented from receiving the healing and support they need when facing recovery from trauma, addictions, co-dependency, abuse, rape, incest, chronic illness, etc. etc. etc.  because the spiritual is never addressed.  While the physical might be addressed through medical treatment, lifestyle changes or medication and the emotional and mental might be dealt with through therapy or recovery programs, the spiritual often gets left on the shelf because using the “God” word might offend…or because the person receiving treatment has been so harmed by someone else’s use of the “God” word, that they cannot be open to anything that might resemble “God.”  The end result is that healing is hampered and full recovery thwarted.

God is Bigger than the Boogieman

In my world, God is way bigger than any lame human attempt to define.  As such, I do not have a problem with the “God” word.  Unfortunately, this is not true for all.  While in MY world, our spiritual self cannot be divorced from God (because I truly believe them to be one and the same)…..that does NOT mean that “God” (by someone else’s definition) HAS to be part of the spiritual approach to healing!  In fact, we would do well to come up with a new definition of SPIRITUAL that doesn’t use the GOD-word so that the spiritual no longer offends and so that people can get the help they really need to heal.

Toward a New Defintion of Spiritual

With the help of my self-appointed board of directors, I have come up with a new definition of the SPIRITUAL that speaks to the universal search….but doesn’t include the “God” word:

The spiritual is that which compels us to search for and obtain:

  • meaning
  • purpose
  • connection

And when accomplished, we are contented and fulfilled.

Spiritual Wounding

We are wounded spiritually by anything that threatens, hampers, harms, thwarts or causes us to doubt or question this search for meaning, purpose and connection and by anything that hinders our feelings of contentment or fulfillment.  Anytime we are made to feel unsafe, insecure, afraid or threatened, our spiritual self is wounded and retreats.  Anytime we are made to feel “less than”, a part of our spiritual self shrivels up.  When we feel betrayed or experience a disappointment or loss, the hope that is inherent in our spiritual self deflates.  When we are ill and unable to function at our normal capacity, our spiritual self grows restless and impatient and if not tended to, eventually grows tired and despairing. Anytime we experience a loss, a trauma, a diagnosis, a disappointment or a tragedy, it is perhaps our spiritual self which suffers the most….and yet, it is the part that is either last to get addressed or altogether forgotten.

The Greatest Irony

The greatest irony in our quest to ignore the spiritual is that if we could address the spiritual FIRST….we might not even need to address the emotional, mental or physical, because the deepest wounding lies at the spiritual. If we can do the work of allowing the spiritual to find healing, the emotional, mental and physical often take care of themselves.  What would happen, for example,  if instead of having surgery for back pain we acknowledged all the places in our life where we were punished for asking for our needs to be met and all the places we were told that our needs did not matter? And what would happen if we allowed ourselves to feel the frustration in the face of these obstacles to getting our needs met and then released these wounds through tears?   What would happen if instead of numbing our anxiety through anti-depressants, we recognized all the places in our lives where we were told we were unimportant or not of value or that someone else’s wants were more important than ours, and then grieved the pain we carry in our hearts over all these nonloving messages?  What would happen if instead of having knee surgery, we started to name and claim our own needs or became more open to movement and change in our lives?  What if instead of medicating our “fretful mind” we searched our lives for all the places we felt unsafe and began to recognize how we had turned to anticipatory thoughts to try to create a “safe” and “predicatable” world, then wrote a letter releasing all of the anger, fear, frustration, sorrow, we experienced in those places of danger, and then burned the letter in a ritual of release?

Reclaiming the Spiritual

I’m not saying that addressing the spiritual will cure all disease or unrest in our lives, but it goes a long way toward healing us where we really need to be healed – in our hearts.  As such, my challenge to those of us in the helping professions is to reclaim the spiritual and open the door through which profound and enduring healing can take place.  While we can separate the religious, we are never separate from the spiritual…it is an integral part of our journey toward wholeness and like our body, mind and emotions, it is part of our very nature and not something to be ignored.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Spiritual Direction

Summer Specials

Through compassionate listening and attentive presence, I partner with those longing to find meaning, purpose and connectedness in their lives.  – Mission Statement of Authentic Freedom Ministries

I am running a summer special on personal, one-on-one sessions in Spiritual Direction – a 33.3% discount off of normal fees.  To schedule your in-person, phone or Skype session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.  For more information on Spiritual Direction, click here. 

Through the month of August, Spiritual Direction sessions will only be $60.00 per hour.  For more information, click here. 

If you are looking for the remedy to your own inner restlessness, impatience, rage, anxiety, depression, rage, loneliness – all symptoms of the longing that is God, our truth, calling us home, call or email Lauri today to take advantage of this special offer:  (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.   

Spiritual Direction provides the compassionate listening and attentive presence that allows you to find the meaning, purpose and connectedness that you long for.  For more information on the ministry of Spiritual Direction, click here.

Often our outward behaviors are really just symptoms of our unrecognized longing or of spiritual and emotional wounds, fears and traumas that have not yet been resolved.  Do you struggle with:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine?
  • Naming and claiming your needs?
  • Feelings of being unfulfilled?
  • Burning resentment, anger, impatience or rage?
  • Feelings of unworthiness or of being unloved?
  • Expressing your needs, your creative talents, your truth?
  • Identifying your path, life direction, your own inner truth, your needs and desires?
  • Trusting what you think you know?
  • Belief in a loving God or Higher Power?
  • Unhappiness, loneliness, anxiety, worry, stress, depression, grief?

If any of these ring as true for you, call or email Lauri today to schedule an appointment (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Session Payments can be made through Paypal and sessions can be accomplished in person, over the phone or via Skype.