Staring into the Face of the Unknown

Good Lord this has been a year!  For those with whom I am in close contact, including myself, 2021 has been the year of letting go, letting go, and then letting go some more.  I can’t speak for others, but at this point, I’m not sure there’s anything left for me to let go.

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Let me confirm that letting go does NOT bring on a sensation of peace. Instead, we are left with a great sense of unease. As we stare into what has become an empty vessel, we are struck with three things:

  1. Grief over what has passed away.
  2. An anxious desire to fill in those empty spaces.
  3. Sheer terror over the possibility that the emptiness might be the end of all things (or in my case that everything I have done has been for naught and that I will have to go out and find a “real job.” UGH!).

To grieve is appropriate.  As we gaze over what has passed out of our lives and what we have intentionally released, sorrow will come. As will every other face of grief.  Bargaining most of all as we reach for those things we’ve released, hoping to find security in returning them to the now empty vessel.  What we have let go of, however, cannot return.  Instead, we are invited to be present to the sorrow, secure in the hope that something new will come to take its place.

Anxiety is also appropriate. What was known provided a sense of security and surety in our lives.  If nothing else, it provided the illusion of security simply because it was known. As we release what is no longer life-giving, or it is torn from our clutching fingers, our first instinct is to call it back. When it cannot be called back, our second instinct is to find something to replace it – even if that something is of our own contriving and may have nothing to do with our highest good.  We just want to fill the empty space. The answer to this anxiety is simple:  DON’T DO IT!  Instead, become comfortable with the anxiety.  UGH!

Emptiness is a kind of death. What we have known has come to an end and the new has not yet come into form. Despite our attempts at seeking out or even forcing the new, the new will only arrive in the hands of Divine Timing. Terror comes when we are faced with this level of unknown.  With this there is literally nothing we can do but stare into the face of the unknown and FEEL its terror. 

This is where we find ourselves at the end of 2021 – staring in terror into the face of the unknown. It’s ok to feel anxiety and fear. Allowing ourselves to be with this terror is good medicine. The more we allow ourselves to be with the terror of the unknown and sit in its company, the more we discover there’s really nothing to fear. The purpose of terror is to remind us of the illusion of control – likely the final thing we cling to. When we let go of our need to control and the illusion that we ever had any in the first place, then, only then, will we find peace.

Lauri Ann Lumby is currently scheduling mentoring sessions starting the second week of January. Email lauri@lauriannlumby.com to schedule your session today.

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Living Outside the Matrix

In anticipation for the latest installment of the Matrix movie series, I have re-watched the first three films.  If you haven’t yet watched the original Matrix movie, WATCH IT NOW.  It has much to say about where we are as a species and the opportunity we have to choose life OUTSIDE THE MATRIX.

To understand life outside the Matrix, we must first define life within the Matrix.  As Morpheus so clearly stated: The Matrix was created for the purpose of control.

Identifying life inside the Matrix is simple:

The Matrix is everything we have been told to believe and everyway we have been conditioned to act or respond by an outside perceived authority.

Let me offer a few simple examples of life inside the Matrix from our Western patriarchal hierarchical capitalistic culture:

  • Measuring success by money, power, status, fame, possessions, accomplishments.
  • Being told our value is defined by how hard and how many hours we work.
  • The idea that hard work leads to “success” (as it is defined above).
  • Being conditioned to believe it’s our job to make other people happy.
  • Expected compliance.
  • Obedience (to the outside perceived authority).
  • Competition. Period.
  • The idea that rest/restoration/self-care = laziness.
  • Being “lazy” is bad.

The Matrix does not want what is best for us.  It wants what benefits them.

Exiting the Matrix begins with listening to our own inner guidance (the voice of self-love) instead of the outside perceived authority (which is entirely rooted in fear, power, oppression, and control). We must turn away from all those outside voices that want to dictate who we are and how we should live.  Should is the easiest way to identify if the voice we are listening to is of the Matrix.  Our highest/true self NEVER uses the word should! Instead, our true self guides us on the path of our truth – the path that is in our highest good and in alignment with LOVE.  Love of self.  Love of others. Love of all creation.

Living outside the Matrix looks a little bit like this:

  • Taking time each day to tune into our highest self (what some might call “God”). It is here we find clear direction, guidance, and knowledge of the path of our highest good.
  • Cultivating, practicing, and honing discernment – the process through which we can clearly distinguish the voice of our truth vs. the voice of the Matrix.
  • Saying yes to the guidance of our Soul. Saying NO to the shoulds of the Matrix.
  • Uncompromisingly adhering to the voice of our own inner guidance.
  • Refusing to be swayed by the outside voices of control (shoulds).
  • Turning off outside influences created by the Matrix (advertising, marketing, social media, “news” sources, etc.).
  • Become aware that all is not as it may seem.  Even your “enlightened” teacher and favorite conspiracy theorist could be constructions of the Matrix. (anything to which you give authority over your own inner truth).

Living outside the Matrix is as simple as choice.  In the movies, the choice is represented by the red and blue pill. The blue pill keeps you enslaved to the Matrix. The red pill frees you.  As Morpheus said: “I have shown you the door.  You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

What are you going to choose?

Lauri Ann Lumby supports you in
creating a life outside the Matrix.
Learn more HERE.

What are We Waiting for?

I am beginning to think the “wait” and “waiting” are two of the worst and least helpful words in the English language.  Even more problematic is the oft-understood connotation around this concept:

Waiting implies there is something/someone better for us…

OUT THERE!

  • Waiting for our beloved.
  • Waiting for a better job/better relationship/better house/better car/ better……everything.
  • Waiting for that one thing we think we want that we equally think we don’t have.
  • Waiting for our purpose and calling.
  • Waiting for success, fame, wealth, etc. etc. etc.
  • Waiting for societal change.
  • Waiting for the fall of the empire.
  • Waiting for the end of racism, sexism, genderism, nationalism, etc. etc. etc.
  • Waiting for “the Day of the Lord.”
  • Waiting for our savior.
  • Waiting for the second coming.

How much of our time do we spend hoping, dreaming, wishing, pondering, thinking, and waiting for “something better” to come into our lives and into our world. This is an especially potent question in the world of those who call themselves Christian as we are in the season of Advent – THE time of waiting. 

What are we waiting for that we don’t already have right here and right now!?  Jesus never promised us better days, better times, or a better humanity.  Instead, he said over and over and over again that what we seek can only be found within and in THIS PRESENT MOMENT. 

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst (within and among you).”

Luke 17: 20-21

The truth that Jesus spoke is the same truth echoed by every other great spiritual leader.  There is nothing outside of us worth waiting for.  Everything that we are seeking can be found within.  Instead of waiting, we need only turn within and there we will find exactly what we seek. 

What are you waiting for? Just do it!

Seeking within begins with a sound spiritual practice. If you don’t yet have one or your current practice needs a booster shot, check out this course:

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Reclaiming an Ancient Role

One upon a time, there were women who lived apart.  They lived quietly, gently, and humbly.  The women were content in their aloneness because they were introverted in temperament and had accomplished the deep work of self-actualization.  They knew themselves.  They knew their gifts.  They knew how they were called to use those gifts, not only for the sake of their own fulfillment, but in service to the world.  They had no need for another to complete them as they were complete unto themselves.

These Women Were Considered Wise

In the ancient of days, the people turned to these women for healing, counsel, and guidance.  Those people dared the perceived dangers of the wilds and the vast wildernesses of desert and mountain seeking out these wise women – with nothing but rumored directions to guide them.  When they found these wise women, they discovered a place where they felt not only welcome but celebrated.  The wise women invited them in with a warm embrace, something to quench their thirst and a place to rest their weary soul.

And then the real work began.

At the feet of the wise women, people poured out their grief, raged their frustrations, wailed over their experiences of loss, heartbreak, and betrayal.  The wise women listened without judgment, with eyes looking keenly, ears listening deeply and a heart open to receive all that the seekers needed to release. 

Once the releasing was done, the questions began.  “Who am I?  Why am I here?  Why can’t I find love, happiness, joy, fulfillment, etc. etc. etc.  Who and what is God?  Is there even a God?  Why does my heart ache when I see the suffering of humanity and how can I stave off the penetrating frustration over feeling helpless to do anything about it?”

The wise women listened and then with loving care, supported the seeker in finding the answers to all these questions. The wise woman knew that it was not she who had the answers, but that all the seekers sought was already within them.  The wise women simply helped them to find the key.

In ancient of days, these wise women could be found in the wild places.  They were also found in temples, cloisters, caves, and living in the hollow of giant trees.  Today, the wise women are found wherever you seek. 

This “wild wise woman” lives in a 150-year-old building of brick and stone in the heart of the city.  To find her, you need simply ask.  Those who know her know how to find her.

Lauri Ann Lumby

is a trained Spiritual Director with a master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology. Lauri has been mentoring individuals and groups in their journey of self-actualization for almost 30 years. Lauri’s mentoring is enhanced through her training and practice as a Reiki Master Practitioner.

Lauri lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, working primarily remotely through ZOOM or over the phone.

You can reach Lauri at lauri@lauriannlumby.com or (920) 230-1313.

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Getting Out of the Way

I have recently become aware of an interesting phenomenon.  Those with whom I am close and who I consider my spiritual family are finding themselves sequestering.  Either by choice, circumstance, or because it is being forced upon them by the universe,  they are finding themselves with a nearly or completely clear calendar from now through the end of the year.  I too am finding myself in this place.

For a long while, I’ve been hearing the universal call to let go, clear our plates, eliminate the unnecessary, discard that which is no longer life giving to clear the way for something new to take its place.  Recently I read another reminder to deepen/accelerate that clearing.  In my own life, I have literally nothing more to clear.  But then the Universe decided to explain to me the full extent of this clearing.  With nothing material remaining to clear, all that remained was TIME. 


Time….time…time….see what’s become of me……

Since I refused to hear this message on my own, the Universe did what the Universe does – it forced it upon me.  Struck down by the events of our world (read more about being an empath below), I found myself FLATTENED.  First I writhed in frustration.  Then I convulsed in pain. Finally I surrendered.  I cancelled my appointments. I took time to rest (I’m still resting).  And then when I looked at my calendar…..I GOT IT.  It is time to:

GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Sometimes after we have done everything we can do to be a source of Love and Support in our world through our own unique gifts, and the world continues to writhe in pain, we need to simply get out of the way and let the Universe take over.  Remember – WE ARE NOT IN CHARGE. As we allow ourselves to step aside, the Universe steps in and does what it needs to do – in this case, to (hopefully) hasten the dying while creating a place for our gifts to once again be of use.  In the meantime, we wait, we care for ourselves and our loved ones, we rest, we breathe, we pray.  And maybe, just maybe, we find that we finally have time and space to dance! 

Have a Blessed Holiday Weekend!


Being a Human Barometer is Hard

It seems no matter how much training and practice I have put in to being an objective observer of this world, remaining emotionally detached from the ongoing violence that plagues our world, my body has something else to say. When collective attention is directed at another of the many violent events of our world, I feel it. No amount of spiritual practice or discipline seems to change that.  I feel the violence in every cell of my physical body, and it hurts.  It hurts both physically and emotionally as the collective emotions around said-events creep into my being.  As my mind is saying, “another day another shooting” (how sad is it that for many of us it has come to this!) my body is collapsing in on itself – writhing in the collective pain of disappointment, fear, sorrow, and an increasing feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. 

Being a human barometer is hard.

Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of another so that we can understand their struggle, their suffering, and their pain.  Being an empath places us in those shoes whether we choose to be there or not.  Being an empath allows us to literally feel the physical sensations and emotions of another.  Being an empath is like having a body that is constantly testing the “pressure” of our world.  Like a barometer, we cannot turn ourselves “off.”  We are always “on” feeling what is happening in our world, or what is about to happen.   We might not know what it is we are feeling…but believe me

WE ARE FEELING IT!

As a Capricorn who has mastered the fine art of detachment, who is doggedly self-sufficient and (on good days) believes I can accomplish anything, I keep forgetting the debilitating reality of being an empath. When the barometer that I am reads “high pressure” I simply cannot function. My ego tries to push through it so I can do “the work” I have been programmed to believe I need to be doing to “survive” in this world and to be “a productive member of society.”  The harder I push against the high pressure reading, the sicker I become, reminding me of the Buddhist saying, “What we resist will persist.”  UGH! 

Being an empath is hard!

So what is one to do?  As the past week has reminded me, there is NOTHING I can do.  Instead, I am invited to surrender.  To just be. To sit in the yuck.  To feel it.  To dive deep into it.  To bring it into my prayers and to surround whatever it is I’m feeling with love.  I find I really have not other choice.  I can’t turn the barometer off and I cannot turn away from the pain of our world.  What I can do is remember that as I am allowing myself to be with the pain that the world may not be able to be with on its own, in some small way the pain is being healed and the path cleared for humanity to begin making a different choice – even if it kills me.

What are your experiences of being an empath?  How have you come to understand this gift and its calling? 

Has Humanity Lost Its Humanity?

The short answer is “yes” but not for what we think.

“It’s just another existential crisis Sunday…..”

This world is unwell and I feel unwell because of it. Too much conflict. Too much hatred. Too much division. Too much unnecessary……everything.

This world is too much.

Humanity has lost its humanity.

We are living on borrowed time and few seem to care.

I could scream it from the rooftops, but no one is listening.

It’s just too much.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

There are thousands – perhaps millions of us crying out for change – for healing to come to our broken world, but the ongoing conflict drowns us out, and the pointing fingers of mutual blame eclipses us from view.

“Keep the people distracted and they’ll never see the real truth.”

We are NOT each other’s enemy. The enemy is as it’s always been – gluttony, the lust for power, and greed.  The enemy pits us against each other so we will be too busy fighting each other to see they are stealing the world right before our eyes and from right beneath our feet.

Taking…..taking….taking…..until there is nothing left to life off of.

The irony being that as they take all we need to survive, they are also destroying themselves.  A vacuum left untended will eventually collapse into itself.

We have to get this right – or our species will perish.

No wonder billionaires are building rockets to escape the hell they’ve created.

What we’ve forgotten in all these distractions is that we have a choice. In fact – this is what the enemy has done – convincing us we have no choice.

BUT WE DO!

The first choice is to STOP seeing each other as the enemy.

The Language of My Soul

My entire life I have been a contemplative.  I just never had a word for it until Sr. Marie Schwann, one of the instructors in my ministry training, introduced us to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and other forms of Christian Contemplative Prayer.  The purest gift of Sr. Marie’s guidance was her universal approach.  Contemplation was not just for Catholics. In fact, contemplation and meditation are formal practices present within every spiritual tradition and religious belief or practice have absolutely nothing to do with one’s ability to be contemplative.  For many, contemplation is simply the language of their Soul.

I speak of contemplation as a language as it is through stillness and deep observation that I communicate with the world around me.  It is through stillness and observation that I hear the deepest whisperings of my Soul.  It is through contemplation that I have received guidance and answers to the questions of my heart. Contemplation is the first step of discernment. The deep observation (hearing and seeing) of contemplation allows me to test the actions and behaviors of myself and others to determine if we/they are on the path of our highest good – or not.  Contemplation has provided shelter in the midst of the storms of life along with the healing and comfort needed when life seems to have gone awry. In contemplation, I have found a direct line to Truth (what some might call God) and it is the compass which faithfully guides me home to my truest and most authentic self.

I remember as a little girl attending mass with my family.  It was here that I have my first memories of contemplation.  I cared nothing for the mass – its rituals, the words being said, the sermon being spoke.  Instead, all I cared about was tuning all that out so I could “be with God.”  Mass was the time I was given full permission to turn inward in prayer and commune in peace with that which I was taught to call “God.”  It was here I was the most happy and it was here I discovered the true language of my Soul – a language that has absolutely nothing to do with theology, religion or belief.  Contemplative is simply who I am and who I am called to be.

What is the language of your Soul?

Transformation vs. Modification

toward enduring recovery

Psycho/spiritual transformation: the process by which one identifies, heals, and is freed of the wounds, false-perceptions, traumas, and societal conditioning that prevent them from living a joyful and contented life.

Behavioral Modification: using effort to change one’s behavior, thoughts, or beliefs. Behavioral modification might include: therapeutic treatment, addiction and recovery programs, affirmations, and positive self-talk.

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

Whereas there is a value to and an appropriate time for employing behavioral modification for the eradication of non-loving behaviors towards oneself and others, unless these programs employ additional techniques for healing and eliminating the wounds that created these behaviors in the first place, recovery will always prove effortful.

Transformational practices, on the other hand, get at the core of our non-loving behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs by providing effective tools for identifying, healing, and transforming these wounds. Transformation creates the environment in which non-loving behaviors prove no longer necessary. With attention and over time, it is found that refraining from these non-loving behaviors no longer requires effort because through transformational practices, we have literally been changed from the inside out.

The transformational approach understands non-loving behaviors (what some might call sin) to be symptoms of something deeper out of alignment with our original nature. When we approach non-loving behaviors as symptoms rather judging them as wrong, sinful, or as a character flaw, our recovery hastens because we are no longer suffering the judgment (from self or others) that would otherwise impede our healing.  Like “gold that is tested in fire,” transformational work burns away that which is preventing us from being our most magnificent self – shining with joy, and content in the life we’ve created for ourselves.

Lauri Ann Lumby provides transformational support using her trademarked Authentic Freedom™ protocol through one-on-one mentoring, Reiki, and her Magdalene Priesthood and Order of Melchizedek training programs.