Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, world changes

Shut up! Wake up! and Grow up! – Part One

Perhaps I can blame it on being so sick I couldn’t leave the bed, couch or house for the past 6 days, or on all the appointments I had to cancel, or all the “work” I was unable to accomplish, or all the things I thought I needed that I couldn’t get…all of which were completely out of my control.  But at this moment….I’m filled with a fury that might result in a bit (or maybe a lot) of ranting about the current state of our world and the DRAMATIC need for change.  So, apologizing ahead of time….here is Lauri on her soapbox presenting her post-2013/pre-2014 rant…..SHUT UP!  WAKE UP and GROW UP!

Bellatrix angry

1) Dr. Oz!

God Bless Dr. Oz and Oprah and all they do to help support the wellbeing of our society.  BUT….if I see one more “lose weight fast with Dr. Oz’s latest miracle cure” ad on Facebook…..I’m going to McDonald’s and order myself up a Big Mac, Large Fries and Chocolate Shake, eat it all, feel like crap and enjoy the hell out of it!

Grow up Rant Number ONE:  There is no such thing as a weight loss miracle.  There are no get-skinny quick formulas.  And there are no get rich quick schemes that work.   Life is hard.  The fulfillment of our desires takes HARD WORK, time, dedication and commitment.  And even with all those things in place, sometimes we fail.  Why….because in addition to being hard, life is not fair.  This is part of the human condition.  Get used to it.  Of course, we all have free will and if you want to give all your time, talent and money to the next greatest weight-loss, money-making, healing cure, then go for it.  While the purveyor of the promise gets rich, you are losing money, probably gaining weight and not getting any healthier.  If you want to make a lifestyle change that will support the return of a healthy natural weight and if you want to become healthier… right, exercise, take care of your mental, spiritual and emotional bodies, and find a support system to help you do this over the long-haul.  And if you are still in the pursuit of riches….you might want to give that a second thought….

2) Money = Happiness

Big fat news alert:  CAPITALISM has failed!!!!!   Oh yeah, the less than 1% has benefitted from this model of economics, and unfortunately, it is the less than 1% that gets glamorized in the media.  Other than Jersey Shore, I contend that the worst program ever to grace our airwaves is MTV Cribs (recognize a theme???)…..stories of nobodies who became “famous” and built a house to conspicuously display their wealth, making the rest of America envious of our humble abodes.  Really…..who needs a gold inlay of your face in your foyer floor AND in the floor of your swimming pool?????  And who wants to buy a house from the one-hit wonder rapper who goes bankrupt that has a gold inlay of said-rapper’s visage???  As the rich get richer the poor have gotten poorer and the middle class has all but disappeared.  And many of the rich, it seems, are getting rich at our expense – poisoning our food, depriving us of sustainable energy, destroying our environment, blocking access to quality healthcare and education. Something is VERY WRONG with this picture. Rich does not equal happy.   Money, fame and possessions,  are not the measure of success and do nothing to ensure the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of humankind.  Ask your child for a moment, what would they rather have?  Your time with them or your time at work trying to earn more money to buy them more things?  There is a reason the majority of the world hates us….and it is because of capitalism….what it has done to us and what it is doing to them.

GROW UP rant #2 – QUIT chasing after wealth and pursue the only authentic path to happiness – that which comes from within.

3) False Prophets

As I told my friend Kate yesterday, “I calls ’em as I sees ’em,” so here goes: the whole pop-cultural phenomenon of prosperity/abundance theology makes me want to puke! Just think…..if you could only think the right thoughts (ahem….an impossibility for those of us who struggle with anxiety and depression!!!!), you would have everything you ever hoped or wished for.  And…God loves you so much that you deserve to have everything you hope and dream for.  And it is a measure of how much you believe in God’s love for you to plop a big fat wad of cash in this collection plate, or for this program, or for this seminar, so that you can hear the latest, greatest, get-rich scheme cloaked in spirituality.  Friends, I am here to tell you….this is all bullshit!  Getting rich has nothing to do with God.  Receiving what is in our highest good has nothing to do with thinking the right thoughts.  Achieving our soul’s purpose has nothing to do with how much we are willing to pay someone to demonstrate our sincerity.  So if I ever ask you to pay more than you are able for the programs and services I offer, then you have my permission to call me out! (I offer everything on a sliding scale….and I offer many things for free!!!! Please ask for assistance if needed and everything is up for negotiation.  I don’t know you need assistance unless you ask however, so please ask!)   I could name names here…..but for the sake of avoiding charges of slander, just think of anything that promises wealth cloaked in the guise of God or asks you to invest more than you are comfortable investing.  And at the risk of facing the Inquisition (again!!!!)…..tithing doesn’t necessarily mean giving 10% of your money to your church.  God’s love does not have to be earned.  It is unconditional.  Tithing does not help buy our way into God’s good graces or into heaven.  So if you don’t have it, or you don’t feel tithing to be life-giving, don’t do it.  Better yet….give your money (if you have it) to a worthwhile cause….and the cause might be your church if they are working for the poor, for the sake of justice and in the Spirit of love, or it might not.  Or even better….give of your time and talents.  YOU have been uniquely gifted to serve the betterment of the world….find out what your gifts are and share them!

WAKE UP call #1! God promised LOVE (God’s love!!!!) as the pathway to happiness NOT money or possessions!

To be continued…..

Posted in Inspiration

Poet Laureate – Bruce Dethlefsen

Today’s Guest Blogger is Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2011-2012) Bruce Dethlefsen.  Bruce  has two chapbooks, A Decent Reed and Something Near the Dance Floor, and his full-length book, Breather, published by Fireweed Press, won an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association.  His new book, Unexpected Shiny Things, is published by Cowfeather Press.

Bruce’s poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and Your Daily Poem.  A retired educator and public library director, he lives in Westfield, Wisconsin.

Bruce, thank you for your contribution, Wealthy – a terrific reminder of true value in our lives!  You can learn more about Bruce at his website:

Bruce Dethlefsen - Wisconsin Poet Laureate
Bruce Dethlefsen – Wisconsin Poet Laureate



after my reading

a very serious sixth grade girl

asked me if I was wealthy

well I said I have twenty-two

dollars in my wallet right now

my purple truck has two hundred

and thirty-five thousand miles on it

I’m wearing clean and mended clothes

I’ll sleep in a warm bed tonight

I’ve got my health my hands my eyes

my family and friends who love me

and I can come here to sennett middle school

to read poetry to you guys for free

so yes I’m very wealthy

wealthy indeed

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, teachers

What We Have Is To Be Shared

Today’s blog examines the idea that if we want to receive, we have to give. 

Conversations with God

Yesterday I was listening to a talk given by author Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God fame.  I have been a fan of Neale’s work since his first book was released.  I love his writing, the philosophy that emerges out of him and his humble and gentle nature.  Neale said something in yesterday’s talk that hit me right between the eyes.  He said that if we want to receive something in our life, we first need to give that same something to another.  In other words, if we want hospitality, welcome, friendship, compassion, love, humility, acceptance, understanding, tolerance; we need to be hospitable, welcoming, friendly, etc. to another.  Then he extrapolated on this idea to the field of money…an issue around which I have recently been struggling…..and my brain exploded.  My attitude about money, prosperity, abundance, wealth was all wrong.  Actually, my attitude isn’t really wrong, I was just thinking about it the wrong way.  Of course, I don’t want money for my own sake…..I want the freedom that prosperity gives us to support others.  I don’t want money for myself, I want money to give it away – exactly the attitude Neale says we need in order that we may receive.  I am now thinking about money in a different way……who do I want to and who can I help?  I think of the amazing editor who has journeyed with me through three books and who I want to provide with a living wage.  I think of the graphic designer who charges me WAY TOO LITTLE for the cover art she has provided me for my books.  I think of the graphic designer who is doing the interior of my next two books in trade for classes.  I think of the orthodontist who will be equipping my son with braces, the heating and electric company who provides comfort for my home, the farmers who grew my food, the physicians who help to keep us well, the men and women who work on the oil rigs providing fuel for my car.  Every penny I make is to help support the life and well-being of a whole slew of people.  And….I’m glad to play a role in the care and feeding of others.  And in the spirit of this little tweek in my personal intention around prosperity, abundance and money…..this is the Psalm that I wrote while sharing my gifts with the small group of people that gather for contemplative prayer and discussion every Sunday night:

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Abundant are God’s gifts and I am grateful.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

I see before me all who hunger and thirst for God.

I offer what God has given me that all may be fed.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

As the smallest seed produces abundant yield,

So shall the word of God that goes forth from my lips.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Though I am too young and slow of speech,

A cracked pot and a broken vessel,

The Lord can work the good in me.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

Full of wonder and awe in the Lord

I take not for myself, but so others may live.

R:  All the Lord gives me is gift to be shared.

What are you being invited to give so that you may receive?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

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