FREE Virtual Church – Healing the Wound of Separation

This week, as a special treat, I am making the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service available to all.  The theme this week is “Healing the Wound of Separation.” If you enjoy this service and wish to subscribe, click on the Paypal link below (when subscribing, you also receive the weekly Agape’ Meditation Newsletter  – supplement to the weekly video service) :

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Readings HERE

Watch on YouTube HERE:  https://youtu.be/dnMKqZTpdeU

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Resurrecting the Magdalene

 

This week I had a gathering in my home of Magdalenes – women that I know in whom I recognize the gifts and the call of the Magdalene.  I can’t describe exactly what that means except when I see them, I know them, and recognize them as a Magdalene.  Many invitations were sent, and five came who confessed to having had an affinity with Mary Magdalene for as long as they could remember and of knowing certain truths about her (she wasn’t a prostitute or adulterous woman), in spite of what they had been taught by the Church.  Without having embarked on twenty years of scholarly research on the topic, additionally each had come to the same conclusion – Mary was most likely Jesus’ wife and ministered beside him as his equal.  (I too “knew” this, but I needed twenty years of research to be able to “own” it.)  To say that a powerful energy was present within the room because of this gathering would be an understatement!

MaryMagdalene

Mary Magdalene, as scholars now agree, was NOT the sinful woman she was proclaimed to be by Pope Gregory VI.  Neither was she the adulterous woman the Church still lets us believe she was.  Instead, she was foremost among Jesus’ disciples – the one who GOT his message – which was verified by the metaphoric description of the complete initiation and transformation she accomplished under Jesus’ guidance – “healed of seven demons.”  The accomplishment of this level of wholeness was not attributed to ANY of Jesus’ other followers – not even Peter.

Not only did Mary grasp the full understanding of Jesus’ message, her knowledge of the love that Jesus proclaimed and her love of him, allowed her to remain with him during his suffering and death and stand beside him at the cross – a task none of the other disciples (except maybe John) could bring themselves to do.  It was because of Mary’s devotion to Jesus that she was the first one to stand outside the tomb on that third day, and the first to witness the resurrected Christ.  It might be said that it was only because of the level of wholeness that she had attained that she could be witness to such a miraculous event.  One might wonder if it was because of Mary’s love that Jesus could be resurrected in the first place.   Mary was then THE ONE sent by Jesus to tell the other apostles about the risen Christ.  Of course, they did not believe her and had to see for themselves – which they eventually did (or at least that is what we are told).

Mary’s story doesn’t end here, however.  While canonical scripture never mentions her again, many of the books that didn’t fit the political agenda of Constantine mention Mary and the ministry that she continued after the resurrection.  The Gospel of Mary, in particular, singles Mary out as privy to continued encounters with Christ during which secret teachings are imparted upon her – teachings only she was able to receive.  When she tried to share these teachings with the other disciples, they told her she was crazy and wondered why Jesus would share these teachings with her (a woman!) and not with them – perhaps because they had not yet achieved the Oneness in Love that Jesus had come to teach them.  Mary, indeed, had.

What happened to Mary in the unfolding creation of Christianity is what has happened to all women:

  • Like Mary, we have been silenced.
  • Like Mary, our gifts and knowledge written off as the ravings of emotional women.
  • Like Mary, we have been condemned as the source of original sin and abhorred as evil temptresses, prostitutes and whores.  (ie: it is somehow our fault if we suffer rape.)
  • Like Mary, our power has been suppressed and we have been forced into positions of subservience beneath patriarchal fear-based domination.
  • Like Mary, our sensitivities and emotional natures judged as “weak,” maligning the natural expressions of healthy femininity.
Sofia Christine Icon Jewelry

Sofia Christine Icon Jewelry

It is not only women who have suffered under the burdens placed upon the Magdalene, however.  When we reject the Divine Feminine (which Mary represents and embodies), we reject half of the potential beauty and magnificence of our human nature.

  • When we suppress the natural sensuality and passionate sexuality of the Divine Feminine, a corrupted version of sexuality emerges (such as that which preys upon innocent children or looks to experience pleasure through domination and control).
  • When we reject the inherent courage and strength of the Divine Feminine (think of the energy required in childbirth!), we become weak and helpless (think damsel in distress or milquetoast men).
  • When the creative drive inherent in the Divine Feminine is repressed, it comes out sideways in depression, anxiety and panic attacks (the typical symptoms of perimenopause and the male midlife crisis).

When we reject the Divine Feminine, we reject half of who we are.  We then have one of two choices – to take on the qualities of the Unholy Feminine (weak, helpless, empty-headed, mindless) or to claim the qualities of the Unholy Masculine (power, dominance, force, control).  When we take on either of these qualities, we reject our original Divine nature and instead of living out of love, we live in fear.

Love is ultimately the reward in resurrecting the Magdalene and the Divine Feminine that she represents.  When we restore Mary to her rightful place as co-equal beside her teacher and beloved, we reclaim the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine with it.  Once the Divine qualities that are our original nature are restored to their rightful place and are fully integrated within us, our fear falls away and we are restored in LOVE.  We can’t do this without Mary’s magnificent gifts, and this is why the Magdalene has inserted herself into our history – making her presence known and leading scholars and lay people alike to seek the truth that has been buried these 2000 years.

As Jesus came to heal the separation between ourselves and God, Mary comes to heal the separation within and between ourselves. 

Isn’t it time we allow Mary Magdalene to step forth from her tomb and like Jesus, to be raised from the dead so that humanity may also be raised from the death in which we have been living?

Magdalene Card by Robert Place

Magdalene Card by Robert Place

 

 

 

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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! 

WildWomenBookCover

 

 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 JudyReevesWriter.com.

 

 

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Befriending our Fears

I have a fear of bats.  Not the bats that fly at a safe distant munching on ‘squitos at dusk or silhouetted against a full moon.  No, I’m afraid of the bats that show up in my dreams, and then find their way into my home threatening myself and my children with their rabid bites.

At a distance, bats are romantic and seductive, luring unwary women into vampire fantasies and superheroes in black cowl and cape, saving Gotham with Robin at his side.  There is something irresistible about the tall, dark, potentially dangerous stranger who will sweep us off to their cave and ravage us through forbidden pleasures.  But fantasy and reality collide when a girl in the neighboring town is bit by a rabid bat and suffers the horrors of treatment and escapes within an inch of her life, but is stricken by irreversible damage because of a vagrant “flying fox.”

batman

My intimate relationship and growing unease around bats started seventeen years ago after a misdirected bat found its way into our home while my infant daughter blissfully dozed unaware.  Between my husband (at the time) and myself, there was screaming, and scrambling about while I ducked under the covers and the bat performed acrobatic maneuvers over my head.  I came up with the butterfly net and album cover plan and the bat was safely extradited from our home.  The hole through which it came was securely nailed shut, but the pattern had been set.

From that point on, bats haunted my dreams.  They came more frequently and more ominously as a dying marriage approached its death throes and accompanied me almost monthly as I found my way through the labyrinth of life after divorce.  Then, two years ago, bats found their way into the new home I had made with my children, one in which I had previously felt safe.  Not anymore.  There was not an evening that I wasn’t checking window trim, behind mirrors and headboards, along the tops of doorways for a glimpse of their tell-tale dragon-wings and claws.  I searched every flat surface for traces of guano.  But even after thorough inspection, I would be awakened in the middle of the night by the crash, thud and screeching wail of bats in peril – trapped in a home that was not their own.    I eventually learned these were migratory bats and to expect them at first thaw and first frost as they were respectively departing and returning to the hibernation colony they had established somewhere in the walls of our home.  To say we soon became experts at catch and release (again, album covers and butterfly nets) would be an understatement.  SIGH!

After the seventh bat in three seasons, I’d had enough.  A generous and resourceful neighbor determined where they were likely coming in and sealed up the hole.  We haven’t seen a bat since.  I never go to bed, however, without first checking for evidence of their return and bats continue to haunt my dreams.  The most recent was of a bat fluttering on the window trim beside my bed and thousands of bats crowding the space between window and storm trying to find their way in.  YIKES!

“Enough is enough,” I said, and decided it was time for me to face down this fear and make friends with the bat.  Now, this would not be the first conversation I have had with bat.  In fact, this would be one among many.  In the past two years, I have come to understand the spiritual significance of the bat and that its presence (according to Native American and Mayan mythology) heralds a shamanic call.  I have accepted this to be true for myself and for two clients whose visits were preceded respectively by a bat appearance then a bat dream.  I wasn’t sure what else the bat might have to say to me.  Well, the bat, in fact, had a LOT to say.  Mostly about the value of befriending our fears because hidden within our deepest and darkest fears lies our greatest power.

Batgirl

In conversing with bat, I turned to my friend Ted Andrews and his book Animal Speak – a must have for those serious about self-discovery and the journey of self-actualization.  I had turned to Ted before when exploring bat’s significance in my life and the message it might have for me.  I read through the qualities of “bat medicine” for the umpteenth time and it suddenly hit me…….

 

Bat is showing up with its medicine because this is MY medicine. The only reason I’m afraid of bat is because I am afraid of my own power!

 

So here are the powers of bat medicine that bat has been trying for 17 years to get me to understand are my powers and to willingly embrace them:

  • An intimate connection with the process of initiation as embodied in the 7-step process.
  • The knowledge that in every death resides the promise of new life.
  • The ability to face and move through fear.
  • The willingness and courage to release what is no longer life-giving to make room for the new.
  • Willingness to embrace change.
  • The ability to use my own inner resources to move through challenges, fears and change.
  • Hope in the promise of new life.
  • Trusting my own inner promptings and guidance system.
  • Learning empowerment comes through facing fear.
  • The ability to fly – rising above challenge and conflict, seeing life through a broader perspective.
  • The acquisition of higher wisdom gained from a wider perspective.
  • Openness to new truths and the willingness to let go of outmoded “truths”.
  • Great auditory perception – the ability to hear the truth beyond the words.
  • Great visual perception – the ability to see the truth beyond the veil.
  • Perfect navigation system.
  • Being a channel through which others are awakened to their own unhealed wounds and fears.

And as I’ve already mentioned – the presence of a shamanic call.

All this time, what I feared was not the bat itself, but my own powers that bat was reflecting back to me.  And in support of befriending my fear and embracing the powers that bat has been reflecting back to me, I found the cutest, most cuddly picture of a bat I could find and I now have it hanging in front of my laptop and on the desk beside me so that I will learn to love bat and the powers that it came to help me acknowledge and embrace.  Thank you Bat!  I’m not (entirely) afraid of you anymore…..but for the record….you can stay outside ok!?

batcute

 

Copyright 2015  Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Discernment, Divine Revelation, Empowerment, Freedom, Inspiration, Lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

A letter I sent to Pope Francis in yesterday’s mail.  I hope he reads it. 

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April 13, 2015

His Holiness Pope Francis

Apostolic Palace

00120 Vatican City

 

Most Holy Father,

I am writing to you with profound gratitude for the work you are doing to return the Church to its original foundation in Jesus’ message of compassion, mercy and love.  Your presence and your actions give me hope for the future of our Church.

I write this because I am included in the second-largest religious denomination in the United States – a denomination made up of 42.7 million non-practicing Catholics (PEW Research).  While I still call myself Catholic and honor with profound gratitude my Catholic upbringing and the many things I love about the Catholic Church, eight years ago I made the decision to “fast from the Eucharist.”  I have enclosed an essay (HERE) which explains the whys and the hows of this decision.  This decision was made after many years of careful discernment and a decision I believe was guided by God, so that I could be obedient to the fullness of God’s call for me.

I share this essay with you because I know that I am not alone in my experience of feeling no longer welcome or at home in the Catholic Church.  I believe my essay reflects the many reasons others have left.  I find that my ministry has been to these women and men. Above all else, these people are longing to be healed of the false perception of separation between themselves and God (love). My work, firmly rooted in scripture and Ignatian Spirituality, meets this need, and I am both humbled and grateful to have been given the gifts along with the call to meet these needs. I believe this is the work Jesus did and the work he calls us all to do.

Most Holy Father, I am grateful for the way in which you have turned your ears and your heart toward those crying out for God’s unconditional love and mercy.  I believe this was the focus of Jesus’ ministry, the call he imparted upon his disciples, and the call he extends to us all.  I am happy to see the Church returning to its foundation in compassion and it is my hope that all those who once felt separated may once again find the Church to be an unconditionally loving and safe place to be the person God is calling them to be.

Yours in Christ,

 

Lauri Ann Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

www.yourspiritualtruth.com

lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

(920) 230-1313

 

 

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The Greatest Blessing Ever!

 

On Saturday morning, I received the greatest blessing I could ever have asked for from a teacher and a friend.  Here was his prayer for me:

May you always be a beautiful instrument of your Lord, Jesus, is all that I will always bless you with!

These are profound words to my heart because this is also my greatest desire and hope for myself – that every moment of every day, every breath, thought, and action be in service to and an outpouring of my love for Jesus and my love of God through the example of Jesus.

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This is my wish because the Jesus I have come to know is all about love – unconditional love – and healing through the deep remembrance of our Oneness with God in this love.

Jesus = LOVE

God = LOVE

You = LOVE

I = Love

Us + God = LOVE

And……you + me is supposed to = LOVE.

What I have also learned from Jesus is that when You or Me do not equal love it is because we have forgotten the LOVE that we are in our Oneness with God, most likely because we have forgotten God’s love.  When you + me does not equal LOVE, it is because we have definitely forgotten and instead of LOVE have turned toward fear.

If I could do ONE thing in my life, it would be to help people understand that Jesus REALLY came here to teach us (and you don’t have to be Christian to believe this!) – LOVE and to help people to know, understand, experience and most importantly EMBODY this LOVE so we could ALL experience the realization of Jesus’ own wish for us:

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

I gratefully and wholeheartedly accept my friend’s blessing and in this blessing offer myself as the instrument as he so describes so that we may all know the love that Jesus taught and that is our original nature and knowing this love so that we may have peace.  It really is that simple!

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You Might Be Missing Something!

Today’s blog is a recap of all things amazing and wonderful at Authentic Freedom Ministries……just in case you are missing out!

Email Newsletters –

Here’s where you get info on all classes, services, workshops, retreats and books offered by Lauri Lumby.  If you aren’t getting the email newsletter (from Constant Contact), sign up HERE. 

Virtual Church

This is a biggie….targeted for those raised Christian (esp. Catholic) who still think Jesus might be a cool dude and have something important to say…..but who haven’t found a home in the institutional Church…..or if Church on Sunday just isn’t your thing…..or if you are looking for a more progressive, universal, non-dual, expression of the Christian message.

For one small monthly fee, you will receive the weekly Agape’ Meditation Newsletter with a reflection on scripture and a recommended meditation practice, access to the weekly Virtual Church video service and as a bonus, access to the Superhero Reports when they are published.

Click HERE to learn more.

Subscribe HERE.   

See sample copies of the Agape’ Meditation Newsletter HERE. 

Watch sample Virtual Service videos HERE. 

Books, Books, Books!

Here is the meat, the bread and butter, the chocolate gateau with raspberry sauce!  If you haven’t read Song of the Beloved or Authentic Freedom yet, you might want to check them out..along with the other offerings.  Learn more about Books HERE! 

FREE Stuff!

Lots of Free Educational, Inspirational and Nourishing BLOG POSTS! Choose a topic of interest from the Blog topic list, or type a topic in the search bar.  Chances are, I’ve blogged on it.  Everything from Jesus to Mary Magdalene to mental illness, emotional and sexual abuse, grief, creativity, Catholicism, rage, resentment, shame, healing, celebration, divorce, manifestation, magic and miracles…..and a whole lot more!

004Thanks for subscribing!

 

All love,

Lauri Ann Lumby

 

 

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