I Write Banned Books

With TexASS and FloriDUH leading the charge, the United States is once again having to confront the reality of a very vocal minority seeking to control what information and knowledge children have access to in the public areas of libraries and schools. 

In a recent study, it was determined that TexASS has banned more than 800 books in 22 school districts, closely followed by FloriDUH at 566 books banned across 21 districts. As an advocate of our constitutional right to freedom of speech (which to me implies freedom to read what I want), and as one who believes the decision to monitor a child’s reading lies in the hands of the parents, I am vehemently against banning books.  Furthermore, history has shown us that banning books is a tool of fascism, albeit an ineffective means of control.

That being said, I am proud to be an author whose books have been banned!  WHY?  Because the first thing thinking adults do when we learn of a book that’s been banned, is to go out and buy, and then read it!  We want to know what the fuss is about, while also giving the finger to those who attempt to control our access to information.

To my knowledge, my books have not been banned by any school districts or libraries. Instead, they have been condemned and therefore banned by the Catholic Church!  Could there possibly be a better endorsement than to have one’s book banned by the great and powerful Catholic Church!?   As a recovering Catholic, I consider this to be the best of all possible endorsements.

The presiding bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, for example, once told a friend and colleague that all of my books and anything I have created is forbidden to be used in his diocese. I laughed when I learned of this.  Then I wept for my friend who had spent a year attempting to get permission to teach my Authentic Freedom curriculum at her local parish. The bishop strung her along for a year before dropping this bomb. Apparently, the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her parish priest as a child wasn’t enough of a trauma. The bishop decided to heap on a bit more. (IMO, there’s a special place in hell for men like this!)

If the Church is willing to ban Authentic Freedom (a phrase inspired by Pope John Paul II himself!) for challenging the concept of original sin and providing people with the tools (inspired by the Catholic Contemplative tradition) to be free of the fears and compulsions that keep them from knowing they are LOVE, then you can bet they have banned my novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.

Song of the Beloved shares the fictional (based in canonical and non-canonical scripture) story of Mary, called Magdalene, and places her in her rightful role as devoted student, companion, and partner to Jesus (yep – that Jesus!).  Mary, once healed of her childhood trauma, is depicted as an eager learner, and empowered leader in her own right, and the one Jesus ordained to continue his ministry. I may have also suggested that they might have been married and (ahem) had sex. Yeah….the Church would definitely ban this book if they’d read it.

Then there’s Only One – the Secret Teachings of Mary Magdalene, which among other things, proposes that Mary, called Magdalene may have had a hand in facilitating Jesus’ resurrection – as Jesus had done in raising Lazarus. Definitely blasphemy!   

Finally, there is Christouch. Christouch is my response to the United States Council of Catholic Bishop’s prohibition statement against Reiki. This prohibition was executed directly in response to my work (and other Catholic women like me) as a Reiki practitioner and inspired by the local diocese’s decision to lead the charge. In Christouch, I lay out the scriptural foundations of healing in the way that Jesus did, and the command he issued to his apostles to go out and heal. Christouch further provides a protocol for embracing that call to be a vessel of God’s healing and the foundational knowledge to further that calling. Christouch directly confronts the Catholic Church’s contention that only priests can be a vessel of healing through the laying on of hands. To this I say: READ YOUR SCRIPTURE!

In short, I believe we are gifted with a brain to reason and discern our own truth and to exercise that truth regardless of what institutional authorities might suggest otherwise. In my case, I say, “go ahead and ban my books, it just makes people want to read them.”

Lauri Ann Lumby

is a writer, author, educator, and mentor who has supported individuals in their journey toward self-actualization for over twenty-five years. Out of the Shadows is Lauri’s most recent and eleventh published work. 

You can reach Lauri directly at lauri@lauriannlumby.com.


Below is an excerpt from a recent post in my Whispers from the Cave interactive web series. Learn more about Whispers from the Cave below.

I woke up to twelve inches of snow this morning with likely another twelve coming. None of the roads have been plowed.  Why should they bother when the snow keeps on coming?

I don’t need a reason or an excuse to stay home in the comfort of my cave, but this weather eases the conditioned and not-yet healed guilt that sometimes surfaces in the face of just staying home.

We’re conditioned to believe we have to leave the comfort of our home to be a contributing member of society.  Work.  Family.  Friends. Social activities. All stand out as pressure to comply.  We’re accused of being lazy or anti-social for simply wanting to be home.

Being called to contemplative/monastic living presents another option – a counter-cultural option. A big part of embracing this calling is all the work we must do around unconditioning. Coming to understand it’s ok to simply be.  There’s nothing we have to do (except that which springs forth from our hearts) and there’s nowhere we have to be.

We find support for this unconditioning through community – through others embracing a similar calling.  Without the benefit of community, we must find this conditioning on our own.  Part of this unconditioning comes in simply choosing what’s right for ourselves. When the voices of guilt, shame, or self-doubt com in, however, that is when we must return AGAIN to our practice.  Through our practice, we turn inward toward ourselves where we can heal and transform those conditioned voices. 

How and where have you found support in unconditioning?

What spiritual practices have you found helpful in your journey of unconditioning?

Whispers from the Cave

Whispers from the Cave features limited edition, exclusive content examining the daily life and reflections of a modern monk living in a “cave” surrounded by ghosts.

 • 4+ episodes per month (written and recorded)

• Exclusive content (not available anywhere else)

• Interactive discussion (bring your burning questions)

• Educational and Informative

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• Special pricing for the first 100 subscribers

Grab your morning cup, your favorite blanket, and snuggle in as you prepare to meet:

The Monk.

The Cave.

The Ghosts.

and their stories.

Click on the image above to learn more and join!

Journey to the Holy Grail

Cross land and sea
Time and tide
To misty Avalon I fly.
Seeking what?
I do not know.
Unless it be a place called home.
Where kindred spirit join by chance,
Round the fire – the sacred dance.

Drawn through dreams of lifetimes past,
Seems ancients did this circle cast.
To Tor and Well and ancient spring.
The place I thought my Soul could sing.

Take care all those like me who’d go
For Avalon’s gifts cannot be foretold.
Where Michael and Mary ley lines greet
Ego and fear did meet defeat.

Gwyn Ap Nudd appeared as guide
For the hell I created could not be denied.
Following the labyrinth to the depths of my fears,
Often wondering, “Is insanity near?”

Attachment, rage, resentment and grief
Transformed in the fire while I prayed for relief.
My warrior’s heart tested in flame
Hoping here would be the gain.
When at last released me at the top of the Tor,
I collapsed in a heap – wanting no more.
Processing along the dragon’s back,
My Beloved Christ kept me on track.
He explained the attachment that stood in the way
Of knowing the peace and the love of each day.

To Chalice Well he bid me rest,
In the Mother’s arms I’d completed the test.
Finding her love hidden in stone.
In bud, leaf and wood, I remembered my home.
Then verse 12, Chapter 12 of Testament Old
The world of Joel that made me whole:
“Return to me with your whole heart
Don’t let fear keep us apart.”

An ocean of tears the floodgate released
As I was reminded of the true source of peace.
The love of Divine that resides in my heart.
Return to the Oneness from where we all start.
The Holy Grail now fully revealed.
I am this love and through it am healed.

The truth that Christ came to remind.
Is that when we seek we shall find.
That home is the love of the Divine deep within
This is our origin and where we begin.
It is ego that creates the false separation.
That caused us to fear Divine reparation.
In fact this love of Divine that is me,
Is the ground of my being and the place I am free.

Seeking for home in someplace external
Led me within to the love that’s eternal.
The Holy Grail is the truth of our being.
When we’re vessels of love for everyone’s seeing.
Allowing the love that’s in truth who we are.
To flow from our hearts to all near and far.
So Dorothy’s words take on a new meaning,
“There’s no place like home,”
Divine love – what we’re seeking.
My quest for the Holy Grail will go on
Knowing where spiral ends, we’ve only begun.

copyright Lauri Ann Lumby

Featured Course:

Lesson One – God under the Tor

Lesson Two – The Horned God

Lesson Three – Celestial Origins

Lesson Four – Gwyn’s Animal Totems

Lesson Five – Gwyn’s Labyrinth

Lesson Six – Carnal Knowledge

Lesson Seven – Chamber of Shadows

Lesson Eight – Gwyn’s Magic Book

Lesson Nine – Shamanic Initiation

The Search for Beloved Partnership

I cannot say exactly when my search began, but for as long as I can remember, I have felt (what I now know to be) the longing that fuels this search.  It was both a longing and a deep inner knowing of a “love” that was deep, abiding, honest, loyal, supportive, and uplifting. In hindsight, I experienced glimpses of this love during the times of silent prayer. But mostly, I was inclined to look outside of myself for that love – primarily in the search for “the one” with whom I would enjoy the fairytale “happily ever after.”

Happily Ever After eluded me, even in marriage to who I thought would be “the man of my dreams.” As my marriage was falling apart, dreams of this elusive love became more potent and urgent.  I began having dreams of “the one” and visions of “him” while in prayer.  This “one” took on the appearance of any number of Jesus-looking men and started showing up in movies, television, advertisements, etc. Along with “hot Jesus,” a woman cloaked in red began to make her appearance. She revealed herself as Mary, called Magdalene, who I somewhat already knew through my academic studies. 

All of this was happening as I was experiencing the most profound emotional and spiritual crisis of my life.  The Universe had pulled the rug out from under my feet, and I was in the throes of clinical depression and spiritual collapse.  Through the help of a therapist and my spiritual director, I was brought back to the practices I had learned in my ministry training and began a deep, soul-eviscerating dive into the wounded areas of my Soul and began stitching myself back together.

As I was stitching, my marriage came to an end, and I began the search for the “one” to take my now former husband’s place. I continued to believe in a “love out there” that would make me happy, whole, and complete. In this I turned to the romantic ideas of Jesus and Mary Magdalene as ones who have lived and modeled the external love I imagined.

The “one” I dreamed of never came.  Instead, what arose out of that search was the profound realization that the love I was seeking for “out there” could only be found within.  This is the love that Jesus described as the kingdom of God and which both he and Mary Magdalene embodied in what gnostic scripture refers to as anthropos. This is the love that I have been seeking, nurturing, and cultivating since 1999 when the foundation of my life began its collapse.

As demonstrated by both Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Beloved Partnership is Union with the Divine within.  In this Union, we come to know the Love that we are in Union with our Source.  In this we know that there is no separation between ourselves and Source.  Who and what we are, and our purpose in this life, is to be the full embodiment of the Divine who lives in and dwells through us – through our own unique giftedness and calling. 

At 58, I cannot claim to have fully realized Beloved Partnership within, but I am much closer than I ever have been.  With this I feel I have the experience and wisdom to share what I have learned of this journey while providing a map for those who have heard a similar calling. 

Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “You Complete Me” to Beloved Partnership presents a new model for intimate partnership along with the process for getting there. Happily Ever After recognizes that as long as we are looking outside of ourselves for completion, our relationships are doomed to fail.  Through personal narrative, informative dialogue, poetry, mindfulness practices, and creativity exercises; you will be invited to deconstruct existing and former patterns of co-dependency while building the foundation upon which you can find happiness and fulfillment within while preparing for the possibility of a mutually loving and supportive relationship with another. Interdependence, rather than co-dependency is the goal of this book and the outcome of this process.

The New Monasticism

Contemplative Living in the Modern World

As the Institutional Church continues its decline, and monastic communities along with it, we are invited to Re-Vision Church, while at the same time re-visioning monasticism. What does it mean to be contemplative, in community, and in service to the betterment of the world without taking vows of chastity and poverty?  What does it mean to be called to the contemplative life while living in the modern world?   In this week’s lesson, we are going to explore these questions. I invite you to join in this exploration with me!

Church, as we have known it, is dying.  Included in this death is the dramatic decline of women and men entering religious orders. In the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Episcopal traditions, these monastic orders have been the guardians of the contemplative traditions while dedicating their lives in service to the Divine and to the betterment of our world. These are the women and men who serve the needs of the poor, bring healing to the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and who are continually working for social justice and the rights of the vulnerable and oppressed.  These are the people who are “boots on the ground.”

In the modern age, however, the number of those who are “boots on the ground” has drastically declined. To put it simply, few are called to the vows of chastity or poverty that are required for in most monastic orders. Additionally people (in the first world anyway) are not looking toward religious life as an escape or as a means to an education. As our world becomes increasingly pluralistic (embracing the truths present within a multitude of belief systems) and institutional religion continues to decline, there are quite simply fewer to choose from as potential candidates for religious life.

This does not mean, however, that women and men are not looking for what monastic life has provided:

  • A life centered in contemplation, meditation and prayer.
  • Spiritual Formation and Empowerment.
  • A Community of like-minded women and men.
  • Meaningful and fulfilling work that is both personally enriching and which serves the betterment of the world.

How can women and men get these needs met outside of institutional religion, while embracing a multitude of beliefs? 

I have shared this quandary with many of my friends, students and clients.  There seems to be a deep hunger among people to connect – and to do so along a similar intention or goal.  One friend for example, has carries within him the long-standing vision of building a sustainable community – one whose focus is on agricultural sustainability and permaculture – living away from the distractions of the capitalistic world and providing for their own needs while providing for others.  He has seen this as a collaborative collective of like-minded people dedicated to building community, while caring for the earth with sustainable farming practices.  This is a vision that he has held for the six years (lifetimes) I have known him.  He has been slowly working toward this vision and only recently have the pieces fallen into place which are allowing him to fulfill this vision. 

A former student has held a similar vision, but for her the vision isn’t centered on agriculture, but is instead about providing a place for women to be safe (her focus is women who have been abused and their children), where they can heal and become empowered through a sisterhood of supportive women.  The focus of this community would be on ritual, healing practice, meditation and prayer.  Additionally, shamanic healing practices, counseling and empowerment would be offered to help these women create a new life for themselves – either within or outside of the community.

Another example of attempts that are being made to support women and men in receiving the benefits that monastic life used to provide is the way that many Catholic retreat centers have re-visioned themselves.  Many are housed within former convents or monasteries, providing a place of prayer, contemplation, formation, healing and stewardship.  The FSPA (Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration) sisters, for example, have several retreat centers that share a common mission – stewardship of the earth, sustainability, contemplation and prayer, outreach to the community. 

These are all examples of how women and men are finding creative answers to the deep calling within themselves that would have formerly been met within vowed religious life. The one thing that all of these examples have in common is PLACE.  They all require land and buildings – a place people have to go to be a part of these communities. While these examples meet the needs of some, what about the needs of those who are not called to “place”?

I am one of those people, and I suspect if you are part of this community, you might be too.  How do we live a monastic life outside the confines of place and within the rhythm of our everyday lives?  Most of the women and men in this community have “day jobs” and/or a family to care for.  We are called from a wide range of professions, vocational callings and life circumstances – all of which preclude living out a contemplative life defined by place.  Instead, we are called to create space within our everyday life for the benefits of monasticism:

  • A life centered in contemplation, meditation and prayer.
  • Spiritual Formation and Empowerment.
  • A Community of like-minded women and men.
  • Meaningful and fulfilling work that is both personally enriching and which serves the betterment of the world – work which we may or may not get paid for.

It isn’t easy, but it can be done. In order to fulfill this calling we will likely have to defy the rules and conditioning of our patriarchal world – rules that say our value is determined by what we do, how hard we work, how many people know us, how much money we make and by association, what we own.  Living a contemplative life in the modern world requires a shifting of priorities – creating space for the above mentioned items.  Carving out time for meditation and prayer. Making a commitment to our spiritual formation and to the calling which comes forth from that exploration and study.  Taking time to connect with those who are choosing to share in this journey.  Turning away from work, relationships, activities and expectations that no longer serve our Divine calling and turning toward that which fulfills and serves the betterment of the world.  All of this while ceasing from judging the paths and choices of those within our community, understanding that we are all on our own path – just trying to find our way home (to ourselves and our “God”).

I have been and continue to work on this for myself.  I can attest that it is a continued unfolding and a continued deepening.  Every day, it seems, I am called more and more fully into living out the contemplative life I have envisioned.  This alone is a practice.  In addition to my daily meditation and prayer, is the constant evaluation of the rhythm of my life and to what I am giving my energy.  Each day I am observing, witnessing, tweeking – what is life giving and what is not? What is an energy drain and what gives me life?  What makes me feel safe (peaceful, calm, content) and what is overstimulating, taxing, anxiety-producing?  It is an ongoing practice and my hope is that in doing this for myself, I can in turn, support you in doing the same – in the way that works for you!  (Not everyone is called to transmute the darkness of the world – you lucky souls! )

Join us for weekly reflections on monastic living.
Join us for our weekly spiritual service and twice monthly community sharing circle.

Suggested Spiritual Practice:

In the Christian tradition, Jesus provides the perfect example of the contemplative life. 

  • A life rooted in contemplation and prayer.
  • Ongoing spiritual formation.
  • Engagement with a like-minded community.
  • Meaningful work in service to the betterment of the world.

When his disciples asked Jesus how he did this, he answered was simple, PRAYER. He instructed them as such:

Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Divine Parent who is in secret; and your Divine Parent who sees in secret will reward you. MT 6:6

Jesus prayed (meditated) a lot!  He invited his disciples to do the same.  He did this because he knew:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God (within) and everything will be given unto you. MT 6:33

It is within this intimate connection with God that we find ourselves and in finding ourselves, we discover who we are, who we are called to be and how we are called to live our lives.  We also find this in the quiet discernment of our heart where we know what is “of God” and what is not. 

My invitation to all of this this week, is to enter into our quiet place and ask how we are individually and personally called to live out the contemplative life in our modern world?  As the pieces come through for you, please feel free to share them with our community, either in the discussion section below or if you are part of the social network, please share it there.

With love,


Guilt and Shame in Christianity

Exploring the role of guilt and shame in the formation of the Christian religion

Since the time of its inception, Christianity has been a religion rife with conflict.  One such conflict is the 2000 year old battle between the two sides of the Christian message – that which is based in fear and the other which is rooted in love.  Understanding the experiences out of which Christianity emerged, one has to wonder, is the religion of Christianity merely an expression of the unresolved guilt and shame experienced by the disciples who denied and abandoned Jesus at his greatest hour of need? When we look at the long dalliance between Christianity and guilt, one has to wonder.

What follows is a “fictional” account of what may have happened:

Once upon a time, there was a bunch of fishermen who met this dude named Jesus.  They thought this Jesus was pretty cool.  First he taught them a better way to fish, and then he showed them how to walk on water.  After the theatrics he taught them how to love. These fishermen thought Jesus was the next best thing after leavened bread – something that was a luxury for fishermen – because which one among them had time to wait for bread to rise?

Things were really cool with this Jesus guy.  They got to travel.  Meet new people.  Hear amazing stories.  They got invited into the homes of those they never thought they’d be able to dine with.  They saw amazing things happen and miracles performed.  The sick were healed.  The blind were able to see.  And Jesus spoke in a way that made their heart feel warm and their soul feel at peace.

But then one day, people started to become angry over Jesus’ words.  Angry words were exchanged and the next thing the fishermen knew, their buddy Jesus was hauled off to prison and brought before the Roman governor where he was tried for treason.  Treason?  (They also heard words like blasphemy….and other scary words).  Jesus was just trying to teach people how to love.  The fishermen were surprised, but mostly they were afraid.  If people came to know that Jesus was their friend, would they be imprisoned and tried too?  So they hid.

And they kept hiding.  They heard that Jesus’ trial didn’t go well and that he had been sentenced to death.  Now they were really afraid.  So they kept hiding.  They hid all the while the women knocked on their door saying, “Come out.  Come with us.  We need to support our friend.  We need to be with him.  We need to offer our love and support.”  But the women’s pleas could not break through the fishermen’s fears.  So they continued to hide. 

They hid after the women came and told them Jesus had been crucified and that he had died.  They hid after the women came to tell them Jesus had been buried.  And they continued to hide until three days later, on the morning after the Sabbath when Mary Magdalene (Jesus’ favorite) knocked on the door and proclaimed that Jesus lived.  But even then, they only opened the door a crack, and then swiftly slammed it in Mary’s face.  “She must have lost her mind.  Jesus cannot have survived a crucifixion.  And ‘he has risen?’  What does that even mean?”

But then, Jesus himself showed up.  He walked right through the closed and bolted door and showed them.  “See.  I have not died so as never to be seen or known again.  I am now with you, always, along with the Spirit who is with and in me.” Only then did the fishermen open the door to Mary Magdalene who stood there tapping her feet with her arms across her chest…saying with her eyes, “I told you so!” For a brief moment, the disciples hung their head in shame – first because they had not listened to the Magdalene, the one Jesus favored above them all; and secondly, because they had abandoned their friend at the time of his greatest need.  But just as quickly as the guilt and shame surfaced, they began to make their excuses.

Jesus listened to their bargaining and then began to remind them of all he had taught them about peace and love and how they could experience the kingdom of God right here in the midst of the human experience.  Jesus continued to teach them, empowering them with the light of his Spirit so they might go forth and share the good news he had proclaimed:  “Turn your gaze only toward the Divine within, for here is where you will find the kingdom of God.”  (While the disciples were being tutored for the umpteenth time, Mary Magdalene and the other women were already about their mission of teaching people how to love.) Then Jesus told the disciples, “I must ascend,” and took off for good.  Now the disciples were on their own, so they did what Jesus told them to do, “go out and preach the good news.” 

This would have been all fine and good except that the male disciples could not let go of that sense of guilt and shame over having abandoned their friend.  The wound of shame festered and soon, they could only remember Jesus’ message through the lens of their unhealed shame.  As a result, they went forth preaching “the good news,” but soon it took on a new flavor.  This message was not the pure message of love Jesus had proclaimed and which Mary and the other women continued to share in the world.  Instead, the message became tainted by shame.  Instead of the overwhelmingly uplifting message of unconditional love, the love of God became conditional and wrapped in fear.  God was no longer the prodigal father of which Jesus spoke; instead he became a wrathful God making impossible demands on his children with the overarching and overwhelming threat of eternal punishment in a place called hell.  The cause of Jesus’ death became the sin of humanity.  Judas was Jesus’ betrayer and it was the Jews who killed him.  Women and sexual intercourse became the cause of original sin.  As the wound of shame continued to fester, the message of love became eclipsed to the point where it no longer remained. 

But, while the disciples who retained the wound of shame preached a message tainted with fear, those who had no shame, because they had stood by the side of their beloved teacher and friend – Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Martha, the other Marys, the youngest disciple (and Jesus’ own brother) John, and a few others taught a message of love.  They went out into the world doing what Jesus taught them to do.  They began with showing people how to connect with the Divine within.  Then they supported them in coming to know that this connection – which felt like peace, love, contentment and joy – was their original nature and what Jesus called “the kingdom of God.”  Then they taught them how to connect with their own unique gifts and to hear the voice of the Divine which led them to their truth and to the purpose of their life path.  They gathered in community for meditation, contemplation and prayer.  They broke bread together and shared all things in common for the sake of the common good.  They went out into the world teaching, healing, supporting and empowering people – showing them how to be free by teaching them how to love.  In this expression, God was not to be feared but was instead, the source of unconditional and unmerited love. In this they came to know that there was indeed no separation – only love – and they lived in peace and walked softly upon the earth while diligently praying that their brothers and sisters might find healing and self-forgiveness for the guilt and shame they have been harboring for the past 2000 years.

What role have guilt or shame played in your own religious upbringing?

How do you find yourself STILL plagued by this shame-based conditioning?


Freedom from Shame

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

6:30 – 8:30 pm central time

Enrollment limited to 25. Register now to reserve your seat.

Conditioned by Shame

Shame is one of the forces of manipulation that we are currently unraveling from at this stage in our cultural/spiritual evolution.  Specifically – the shame we have been conditioned to feel by the patriarchal/hierarchical power structures who for the past 5000 years have ruled our world.  These power structures, which are rooted in fear, power and control, have fashioned “rules” from which they benefit while the rest of us suffer.  Shame is the tool they use to get us to comply with their rules. Let me offer a few examples:

  • If you anger, disappoint or turn away from “god” you will go to hell and here are the ways you will anger and disappoint “god.”
  • If you don’t dress a certain way, carry a certain purse, if your body isn’t a certain size, people won’t love you.
  • If you don’t succeed in school, you are a failure.
  • If you didn’t learn the lesson, or if you did learn it but can’t communicate it in the way we expect you to, you will get a bad grade.
  • If you don’t pay your bills on time, you will be punished.
  • If you don’t make a certain amount of money, you are a failure.
  • If you are sick and need medical care, but don’t have money to pay for it, you are lazy.
  • If you are a working mother and can’t get to work on time because you have to take your child to work, you will be fired.
  • If you got pregnant out of wedlock, you are a whore.
  • If you are having sex outside of marriage you are also a whore.
  • If you are raped, it’s your fault.

The list goes on and on and on.

These are the threats that have been doled out to us by the existing power structures to imprison us with fear and manipulate us with shame. 


It is time for us to unravel from this shame by:

  1. Refusing its power over us.
  2. Taking back our own power.
  3. Healing the wounds that have been implanted within us by this shame so that we are less likely to be vulnerable to shame’s manipulations.

Join us for our first Master class of 2023:

Freedom from Shame

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

6:30 – 8:30 pm central time


Enrollment limited to 25. Register now and reserve your seat.

Trusting First Thoughts

You know your truth and you know your path. You immediately know if you can trust a person or if caution must be exercised. You know if you are in danger.  You know if you are safe. You know when something is right for you and when it is not. At the deepest and most immediate levels you know this, but if you are like most human beings, this knowing has been conditioned or punished out of you.  Most often, this knowing has been sequestered into box called “can’t” “should” or “shan’t.”

You can’t possibly know that!

You shan’t be so judgmental.

You should give people and situations the benefit of the doubt.

You should give it a chance.

But why?  If you know, you know!  Remember that tiny hair on the back of your neck that stood up when you met that person who later of turned out to be a complete jerk?  How about that clenched feeling in your belly when you were left alone in the room with Uncle ____.  Or that tickle in your ear that said, “don’t take this road” but you took it anyway and rolled your car? How about that snap moment of panic just before you got rear-ended? Or the outside force that picked up your leg and moved it to slam on the brakes saving you from getting t-boned by the big green van running the red light?

Or more subtly: the sneaking feeling that a co-worker had it out for you? The lightning bolt that went up your arm when you shook the hand of a new acquaintance and you immediately knew they were a liar and a manipulator?  The feeling that something felt too good to be true – and it turned out to be!

You know!  You know your truth.  You know what’s right for you.  You know when you are to remain on your current path and when you are being called to change it.  You know what is life-giving for you.  You know what is soul-sucking. You know when you want to share your energy and time; how and with whom. You know when you simply want to be alone. You know who your allies are.  You know your enemies.

This knowledge is communicated in your very first thoughts. Trust them!

Lauri Ann Lumby supports you in trusting your first thoughts!

Lauri has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, facilitator, soul-tender, and guide. She has supported hundreds through her one-on-one guidance, books, workshops, retreats, over thirty online courses, and online community.

Imprisoned by Belonging

One of the greatest traps we experience as human beings is that of belonging. Belonging has rules. Belonging must be earned. Once earned, there is the constant threat of belonging being taken away. Belonging arises out of a self-created power structure that grooms us to seek after and maintain its approval, and when we break the rules of the power structure we are banished from that place of perceived belonging.

Conditioned belonging exists in every single aspect of our human experience – in our homes, churches, schools, workplaces, etc. The desire to belong reflects our woundedness. Groups of belonging take advantage of this woundedness by extending a promise of acceptance. But in nearly every single case, this acceptance proves to be conditional.

Belonging is a vicious trap that keeps us imprisoned in our woundedness and insecurity. The threat of belonging being taken away keeps us from being able to see the world’s truths, let alone our own. With belonging hanging over our heads, we are unable to name, claim, and live as our most authentic selves. It is for this reason, among others, that much of humanity is living a life of “quiet desperation” – unfulfilled, anxiety and shame-ridden.

Escaping the prison of belonging, is simple, yet likely the most difficult task we will ever undertake. When we know and understand our true nature as Love, we learn that the only one to which we truly belong is to ourselves. After this, no other belonging is necessary:

It takes more courage than most possess to truly see.

Seeing means losing that which

most tightly seals humanity’s prison –


Or rather, the threat that they

are nothing

and no one

if they don’t belong.

What is belonging if not the constant threat that

Love must be earned and

can even more easily be taken away.

All these threats keep them from seeing that the only belonging one ever needs

is belonging to themselves.

And in belonging to themselves,

they know that

they are Love.

How have you been groomed by belonging? Where did you find belonging conditional? How has the need to belong prevented you from living your most authentic truth? How are you working on remembering your true nature as Love?

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Soul School with Lauri Ann Lumby

supports you in remembering your true nature as Love through one-on-one mentoring, spiritual direction, online courses, training programs, books, and more. Start that journey of personal and spiritual mastery today!