Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy, Mary Magdalene, women

Coming This Fall at Authentic Freedom Academy!

This past Sunday, we launched the first of our weekly Sunday Services!  But, this is not all that is going on at Authentic Freedom Academy.  There is much to look forward to in the coming here.  Here is a glimpse into what is coming….starting in September!!!!!

Authentic Freedom Mastery Course!

AuthenticFreedomcoverBack by popular demand, the three-course curriculum that empowers participants to learn how to identify and transcend the inner obstacles to contentment, joy, meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their lives.  In the fall, we will complete the Authentic Freedom course (on which my book is based).  In 2016 we will journey through Deepening Freedom (the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer) and Living in Freedom (The Enneagram).

You have two options to choose from:

Mondays 6:30 – 8:30 or Tuesdays 9-11 am starting Sept. 21.

Click on the link above to learn more!

Mary Magdalene Study Group

Sofia Christine Icon Jewelry
Sofia Christine Icon Jewelry

Second Tuesdays of the month starting September 8th.

This is for anyone interested in learning more about Mary Magdalene and her “hidden” history.  The process will begin with an in-depth study of the gospel attributed to her, “The Gospel of Mary.”  We will be using the text and translation by Jean Yves-LeLoup.  A copy of the book is required….so get your copy today if interested in attending!

Click on the link above to learn more!

Resurrecting the Magdalene

For those who are home during the day!

A six-week course October 8 – November 12, 2015, from 12:30 – 2:30 pm.

Get to know the Mary Magdalene of scripture and learn the true importance of her role in Jesus’ life and in the continuation of his teachings.  In resurrecting the “real” Mary, we also reclaim the Divine Feminine that was set aside in Western culture.  This course concludes with your own activation into the Order of the Magdalene/Christ through which you are empowered to live your own call to be a vessel of healing and love in the world more freely!

Click on the link above to learn more!

Other things in the works!

Other programs in the works:

Monthly Goddess Gatherings – For the ladies:  Learn how to reclaim and honor the goddess that you are with self-care and self-nurturing practices.

The Write Spot – inspired by the huge success of the “Art Spot” gatherings in Oshkosh, this is one for writers.  Come and be inspired, supported, catalyzed and remember the writing isn’t just work and can be fun.  For writers of all kinds!!!!

Potpourri Nights – gathering for a host of topics including:  conscious parenting, dark night of the relationship, meditation 101, balancing your body mind and spirit through Ayurveda, confronting cancer, self-Reiki and SEVA stress relief, and much more.  Stay tuned!

Thank you for your on-going support of Authentic Freedom Academy.  We are humbled and honored to be your source of support for your journey of self-actualization!  We are here to empower you to the greatness that you already are!  See you this fall!




Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS





Posted in creativity, Uncategorized

Not Just for Writers – Wild Women, Wild Voices Book Review

As a writer, I am always looking for great resources for priming my creative pump.  Wild Women, Wild Voices – Writing from Your Authentic Wildness, by Judy Reeves is such a book.  This book is not just for writers, however.  Wild Women, Wild Voices is for anyone (including men) who have experienced life and are searching for tools through which they can process and give their life experience expression.  This book provides so much more than what it promises by helping to support not only our creative expression, but the self-actualization that is accomplished when we take time to grow through what life has to offer.  Well done Judy! 



 From the publisher:

Unlike other books exploring the concept of the wild woman, Wild Women, Wild Voices goes on to offer practical ways to reclaim and use the wildness and one’s own “wild” voice. It offers assignments such as daily journaling or writing with prompts and topics related to the subject of the book; suggested activities to further experience the “wild women within” and give her freedom; and quizzes, references, and inspiring quotations to reinforce the ideas and concepts.

Focusing consecutively on the cycles that make up a woman’s life, Reeves covers:

  • Claiming the Wild Woman — rediscovering the deep connections with ourselves and others
  • Mother/Sister/Daughter and family connections
  • Loves and Lovers
  • Friendship — The Wild Woman in Community with Other Women
  • Artist/Creator — The Authentic Work of Wild Woman
  • Life Journeys — Quests and Pilgrimages
  • Death and Legacies — The Unveiling of the Wise Woman

Judy Reeves has proven through her successful writing books, including A Writer’s Book of Days, that she understands how to help writers achieve their goals. Now, she takes that expertise and turns it into something specifically aimed at freeing a more innate and truer voice within women. There is no doubt that Wild Women, Wild Voices provides an opportunity for women to claim their wild woman and make a joyful noise with their individual, authentic wild voice.


JudyReeves3_cJudy Reeves is a writer, teacher, and writing practice provocateur who has written four books on writing, including the award-winning A Writer’s Book of Days. In addition to leading private writing groups, Judy teaches at UC San Diego Extension and at San Diego Writers, Ink, a nonprofit literary organization she cofounded. More information at



Posted in creativity, Mystics, Returning book

Guest Poet – Samantha Smith

In anticipation of the upcoming release party for my latest book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, I am sharing a poem written by Samantha Smith.  Samantha Smith graduated from Lawrence University with a major in Gender Studies and minors in History and English. She is going on to pursue a degree in Public History from Loyola University Chicago this fall, and after that will attend Dominican University for a degree in Library and Information Science. Aside from her career interests in archival science, she enjoys sharing food and conversation with friends, writing poetry and prose, and creating visual art piecesThank you Sam for sharing your beautiful poetry and even more beautiful self with my readers!

Samantha Smith
Samantha Smith

The Line

I collect pictures with pinchers,

Waiting on sentiment, a lonely friend.

Skulls emerge,

Together brittle limbs carry weighted tragedy.

Sprains, inflammation, torn muscles ensue,

I try so hard to constantly carry you.

Your body dead and under,

I resurrect it in your dust-lined graves,

Sprinkled around the house, in every memory.

Forgiveness looms in the background,

I know a body’s there but I dare not turn around.

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  To schedule a one-on-one session or to learn more about how you might host a class, workshop or retreat, please contact me, Lauri Ann Lumby, at (920) 230-1313 or

Posted in Being Human, Returning book

Katherine T. Owen Reviews “Returning”

A heart-felt thank you to Katherine T. Owen, author of Be Loved Beloved, for her beautiful review of Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself.  You can learn more about Katherine through her website and through her bio (below.). 


In Returning, A Woman’s Midlife Journey To Herself, Lauri Ann Lumby shares her journey of self-love and spiritual exploration, with startling honesty.

Lumby refers to the poems as unedited, saying “the last thing we need when writing to find ourselves is someone telling us our poetry is crap”. The poems are nonetheless fluid and flowing. Sometimes rhyming, sometimes not, they are always accessible and revealing– the outpouring of feelings and observations of a woman who is allowing herself to know how she feels about herself and her life.

Subjects include the progression of a love affair from first love till separation, and the writer’s relationship with her body– years of trying to starve herself through to being happy with being a larger clothes’ size. At times I felt both the joy and discomfort of eavesdropping on personal thoughts.

If you are fed up of self help authors who give the impression that having found self-love or God, their life is now endlessly easy, you will be glad of this very honest account of a woman who shares her journey and invites us to make our own.

If you run any kind of writing group in which women are willing to explore how they truly feel about themselves and their lives, the writing exercises– many for each of the seven chapters–will be useful tools in sparking the creative expression of your group. The book would be relevant to those teaching therapeutic writing for well being.

Read it for its honesty. You will know yourself better through reference to the open sharing of another.

Katherine T Owen
– Every problem is an invitation to reconnect with Love.

Katherine T Owen spent fourteen years of her life bedbound with CFS/ME with little movement and little speech. Now she walks and talks again.

Katherine’s primary spiritual practices are those of love and forgiveness. Through these, she remembers and celebrates our Oneness with God and with each other. She is author of It’s OK to Believe– A Journey with Faith and Reason. Spiritual poems and prose take the reader on a thought-provoking journey to reconcile the questioning mind with belief in a God of love.

Also, the collection Be Loved Beloved. Katherine is a student of A Course In Miracles and a Christian mystic. Find out more about her journey at

Posted in Returning book, women

Returning – AVAILABLE NOW!!!!!

Drumroll please…………Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself is LIVE and available for purchase NOW.  Buy it HERE!   More than a confession, Returning provides inspiration, support and comfort for women navigating the dangerous waters of midlife.  For women between the ages of 30 and 70, who are looking for practical and FUN tools for inspiring your creativity as you are busy BIRTHING YOURSELF!!!!!   It is a spiritual journey, an emotional journey and a physical journey.  Poetry.  Essays.  Writing prompts.  Creativity prompts.  Bring your crayolas, an empty journal and a writing utensil.  But more importantly….make room for YOURSELF!  Forget menopause, perimenopause, this is time for your SACRED PAUSE!

Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book

Returning – ONLINE CLASS!!!!!

I am so excited that thanks to modern technology, I am now able to offer my TRANSFORMATIONAL courses to you through on OnLine format and I am starting with my groundbreaking class for women in midlife:  RETURNING!  This will give you the opportunity to do the course at your own pace while still benefitting from personal guidance and attention.  Additionally, for those enrolled in the class, I will be offering one-on-one mentoring sessions at a discounted rate.  See below for details and email or call me with your questions and interest:  (920) 230-1313.  (please note…I will not be able to return calls until March 25th as I am currently out of the state!)


Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book

Returning: “leaves no stone unturned.”

Today’s review of my soon to be released book, Returning- a woman’s midlife journey to herself, is from poet, creator, lover and overall beauty maker, Ann Hartenbach.  We have the great fortune of having Ann living in our own backyard near Oshkosh, Wisconsin where she daily creates and inspires others to do the same.  Ann is passionate about women’s issues, specifically, a woman’s journey to her own freedom and passion.  I heart Ann and her work and am honored for her kind and beautiful words!!!!  Thank you Ann!

Returning - A Woman's Midlife Journey to Herself
Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself


AnnHartenbachLauri Lumby Schmidt really delivers with Returning–A woman’s midlife journey to herself.  She is fearless in laying out her own transformation and gives us a much needed guide from a woman’s perspective on how to navigate our own. Her refreshing approach with poetry and prose is deeply honest and you will find yourself following along gladly for a deeper understanding of yourself. Returning is intimate, rich and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to women in midlife. It couldn’t be better for anyone wanting to unravel the very best of who they are.

-Ann A. Hartenbach,

Ann is the author of:

–Where Blue Birds Fly-Poetry for Ascension (2005 Creative Heart Publications)

–Christmas Coffee, poem published 2007 by The International Library of Poetry in Forever Spoken 

Posted in Inspiration, Spiritual Practices

When the Heart Speaks

Today’s blog explores journaling as a spiritual practice and what can happen when we let our body speak.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

When people ask me when I knew I was a writer, I have to scratch my head in confusion.  When was I never NOT a writer would perhaps be a better question.  I don’t think I have never NOT been a writer, and my writing passion and gift began to emerge more and more fully the more I gave myself over to the spiritual practice of journaling.  I was first invited to practice journaling in a high school Theology class ( I attended Catholic schools) and when in the Pastoral Ministry training program, journaling was one of the requirments of supervision.  I came to discover that God spoke to me most loudly and most plainly through my pen….and so I wrote, I wrote and I wrote:  scripture reflections, ponderings, etc.  I did the majority of my personal, inner processing through my pen and when things were really bad, poetry bled forth onto my page in shades of deep indigo (I ONLY write in blue ink….specifically Papermate medium point).  I have discovered guidance, comfort, healing and insight through my pen.  As such, journaling is an important part of my daily spiritual practice.   (For more on journaling as a spiritual practice, check out Spiritual Journaling by Julie Tallard Johnson.)

Writing Prompts

Yesterday, in search of some spiritual and creative inspiration, I turned to The I-Ching for Writers by Sarah Jane Sloane.  I flipped through the pages to find my “reading” for the day and received this writing prompt:  Write a one-page monologue as spoken to you by the part of your body that hurts. I asked my body, “Ok, who wants to speak today?”  My heart quickly stepped forward, “I am hurting and I would like to speak.”  “Darn it!” I thought.  “I am sick to death of hearing from my mangled and beaten heart.”  I sighed in resignation and handed over my pen….and boy am I glad I did.  Yesterday, this is what my heart had to say:

When the Heart Speaks:

Yes Lauri, I am hurting and bruised; but I am not broken.  I’m really more resilient than you give me credit for.  Do you think I’m really going to be shattered beyond repair for the reasons you think I might be?  Not hardly!  In truth, it is your ego that is hurting, not your heart.  I am strong beyond imagining…..which means you are strong beyond imagining.  Keep in mind that “heart” is the root of your word, “courage” and you my dear, are courageous beyond compare BECAUSE you are strong of heart.  This is how God made you because God foresaw the life that would unfold before you and the courage you would need to persevere.  It requires great courage to move through the challenges that have been placed before you and to lead the charge toward mental, emotional and spiritual freedom.  It takes enormous courage to leave behind what one knows, to turn the finger of blame into self-awareness and accountability and to name and claim not only woundedness and fear but to identify ones gifts and boldly share them in the world.  But more than all of this, it takes enourmous courage to love – and this you have done well.  You have loved generously, freely, without condition while still maintaining appropriate boundaries and remaining true to yourself.    I am not broken, weakened or blocked.  I will not fail you or betray you for in you I am strong and with every courageous act, I become stronger.  Too strong to be brought down by disappointment.  Too strong to be destroyed by misplaced blame.  Too strong to be intimidated by another’s unclaimed and projected fears.  I am strong in you because you are strong and in this there is nothing to fear.

How might journaling be a helpful practice in your own spiritual journey?

What part of you is hurting and might like to speak through your pen?

What would your heart have to say to you today?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Spiritual Practices

Word Play/Word Pray

Today’s blog explores the way in which individual words can serve as a source of insight, wisdom, healing, comfort and support and offers a specific meditation/prayer practice using words as the tool.

Word Play

The other day as I was looking for an answer to a specific life-path quandary, I turned to a deck of inspirational cards that I own that focuses on specific words.  The cards are intended to provide a source of focus, reflection and meditation and for me, the word that “showed up” was a surprise.  The word was tending.  Tending?  What the heck does that mean?  Since I didn’t receive an answer right away, I decided to apply a writer’s tool to this word.  I put my pen to paper, and just starting writing about “tending.”  I was shocked and amazed at what came through and it definitely provided for me a greater sense of direction – the thing I had been looking for.  Below, you will find the results of my writing exercise.  But before I bore you with my own drivel, I will invite you to enter into your own Word Play/Word Pray

Word Pray

1) Choose an Action Word.  (Here’s a list to get you started):  Standing  Holding  Energizing  Co-Creating Nurturing Inhabiting Changing Connecting Creating Engaging Focusing Keeping Learning Loving Listening Opening Optimizing Playing Reflecting Releasing Seeing Serving Sharing Tending Waiting Opening Allowing

2) Write to or about the word. Put your pen to paper and just start writing.  Don’t stop writing.  Don’t censor.  Just write write write about the word until there is nothing left to write.

3) Read and Reflect Read what you wrote.  What new insights might have surfaced?  What is this word now saying to you?  How are you being invited to respond?

Now for the drivel:


Tending my soul.  Tending myself.  Attentive focus on ME!  BE HERE NOW.  What do I need?  What does my heart want?  Are my feet planted firmly on the ground?  Can I feel the earth beneath my feet?

Tending.  Tending me.  Preparing the soil.  What do I need to feel safe and secure?  What is it that allows me to breathe?  Some sunshine and water.  Something for nourishment.  Seeds planted. taking root, germinating, growing.  bearing fruit.  A fence to keep out the weeds and the pests.

Tending me with music, melodies, vibrations and sounds that grab my heart.  Songs of praise.  Chants of devotion.  Compositions that confront, challenge, wring us dry, leave us breathless, inspire movement and change.  Arias that make me weep.

Tending me.  Paper and pen.  Lots of paper, bound in leather.  Indigo ink ONLY.  Soul friends with which to share my life, my hopes, dreams, tragedies and triumphs.  And to share theirs in return.

Tending me.  To teach.  To share.  To encourage.  To support.  To love with understanding and compassion.  To allow. To forgive.  Honoring when “yes means yes” and “no means no.”  Allowing myself to be loved, to be held, to be comforted, to be listened to and to be heard.  To be supported.  To be treated with kindness and honored with fidelity.  To be adored and respected and understood.  To be loved for WHO I AM.

Tending me.  Quiet.  Quiet so I can hear.  Quiet so I can see.  Quiet so I can take the time to feel.  Quiet to make sense of it all.  Quiet so I can breathe.

Tending.  Tend.  Tender.  Tenderness.  Tenderly.  Tendency. Attend.  Attending.  Attendance.  Attentive.  Attentiveness.  Attention.  Intention.  Intentional.  Intend.  Intending.  Intended.

Now it’s your turn!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Spiritual Practices

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

Today’s blog explores writing as a spiritual practice.  And, offers resources in support of this practice. 

My Journey with Writing

Writing has been part of my personal spiritual practice for nearly 20 years, if not longer.  I remember first being encouraged to write as part of my prayer in a high school theology class (I attended parochial schools).  My writing practice at that time consisted of writing my prayer requests to God and writing what might be construed as psalms – poems of praise and worship.  My writing practice took a back seat during my fun-filled college years and my early foray into corporate America.  Writing re-surfaced as a spiritual practice through one of the required classes of the Ministerial Formation program I attended through the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The class, Integrative Spirituality, was taught by Sr. Marie Schwan and focused on Ignatian spirituality.  We learned various Christian spiritual practices including Imagination/Contemplation, Mantra Prayer, Lectio-Divina, and Centering Prayer.  We were encouraged to make writing part of our daily spiritual practice, and to keep a spiritual journal.  Keeping a journal later became a requirement of the program itself and a pre-requisite to graduation.  Not yet realizing I was born to be a writer, I was surprised to find that the writing part of the spiritual practice eventually became one of my most helpful and supportive tools.

The Gifts of a Writing Practice

What I discovered through spiritual writing and journalling, was that it was often through my pen that God would speak.  Somehow, writing allowed me to get out of my own head and simply allow a higher wisdom and source of creative expression to speak through me (I call that higher wisdom “God”).  Through writing I found answers to difficult questions, insights into higher laws, creative inspiration, spiritual comfort and healing, direction along life’s path, release of pain and woundedness and a place to write my deepest, darkest, most vulnerable feelings and thoughts….things I would be reluctant to share with anyone.  Today, I rarely enter into my spiritual practice without my journal by my side and pen ready.  Writing has become an integral part of my spiritual practice and has become the roadmap of my life.  As a professional Spiritual Director, I often invite my clients to add writing to their existing spiritual practice and for those that have said yes, they have experienced amazing results.

Starting a Spiritual Writing Practice

If you have not yet integrated writing into your spiritual practice, I highly recommend it.  And, there are several great resources out there for beginning that practice.  One of my favorite is Spiritual Journaling – Writing Your Way to Independence by writer and teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson.  In this book Julie provides tools for beginning a spiritual practice centered in writing, writing prompts and exercises and all the support you need along the way.  It is a terrific book for beginners as well as well-seasoned writers and I highly recommend it.  And……just so you know, the book has just been released in Kindle format and from January 22 – February 4, will be available for just 99 cents!!!!!   So, check out the book, get your copy today and START WRITING!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries