Monthly Archives: September 2016

41. Leaving Yesterday Behind

ruminationRalph Waldo Emerson said, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Reliving Yesterday

I woke up this morning thinking about a well-meaning comment I had made to a friend. What was meant with love and encouragement, may have very likely come off as pompous, lacking in understanding, and coming from a far different place in my heart than intended! It’s easy for that to happen in today’s world of e-communication. When speaking directly to someone, the tone of voice, inflection, and facial expressions silently speak volumes and give added meaning and context to the spoken word. These nuances are often lost in the world of text messaging. I wrestled with it for a while, wondering should I say more to clarify, or just let it go? Then I ran across Ralph’s quote above. My answer was clear.

Ditch The Need To Explain

It’s funny how our minds reframe things in a more palatable fashion. We have a way of making it about the discomfort of another, rather than recognizing it as our own. Though it’s true, I was greatly concerned I had triggered some emotional uneasiness in my friend, I was also finding myself in a place of defensiveness. The need to explain, to make sure another understands exactly where we’re coming from, is a defense mechanism I’m dismantling more each day. That’s not about their discomfort, it’s about mine. Rumination is the first key we’re existing in this over-protective, demoralizing state. The  incessant need to replay situations over and over again is a highly destructive process that robs us of self worth and confidence. It also places a great deal of time and emphasis on behavior that decimates our frequency and contributes to our own negative thought re-patterning! These are shackles I choose to be free from, so I’m once again cutting the chains.

Taking Responsibility For The Emotions Of Others

The more of my own internal work I do, the more I realize I am fully responsible for everything I say and I’m charged to do so in a loving, truthful manner. Those are the pieces I need to carefully craft, being sensitive to the receiver. However, as an empath and one who is overly-sensitive to the emotions of others, it’s easy to continually rehash situations and question if things were understood as intended.  That begins the all too precarious dance of taking responsibility for the emotions of others, something I am no longer interested in entertaining and a highly unhealthy practice.

Discomfort Is A Necessary Part Of Our Growth

We are not responsible for how another chooses to interpret incoming information, which is filtered through their lens of experience,  emotions, and applied accordingly.  It’s not my place to police the world and make sure everyone’s feelings are intact. It’s simply my role to do my very best to deliver each message in the most compassionate way I know how. As a healer, that’s a hard line to take, as easing the pain of others is my passion. Yet, I’m becoming highly aware that often these interchanges are necessary parts of our growth, and stand as a mirror to highlight sensitive areas that have yet to be healed. If every bit of discomfort in our lives was smoothed over by another, we would never be challenged to grow and expand. By taking on the roll of easing the often necessary discomfort of others, in some sense, we can become enablers. It’s a fine line and I choose to walk it very consciously and with great discernment.

What Is It I have To Learn From This Experience?

The most important question I’m learning to ask myself on a pretty continual basis is why am I feeling so uncomfortable and what is it I have to learn from this experience? The unpleasantness that another may be feeling is never about me, it’s always about their lens, perspective, and internal issues. Likewise, the disquiet I’m feeling is all about my own stuff, and has nothing to do with others. We simply act as catalysts in the lives of one another, instigating introspection and bringing to the light those things which have been held in darkness for far too long. In hindsight, I am eternally grateful for the role others have played in revealing my hidden thorns. Though I may have been irritated or frustrated at the time, I clearly see those often distressing situations were necessary springboards in my forward advancement. Recognizing this helps me to no longer trigger as quickly, and I can more easily pull back and assess from outside the confines of emotional reactivity. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I never feel uncomfortable, it just means I can more easily put it in perspective and look at the bigger picture. Having said that, there are still some times I fail miserably on that front, but I’m improving every day!

Staying Focused On The Present, Leaving Yesterday Behind

Today, I’m choosing to set aside rumination, worry, and responsibility for how others are feeling about my actions or statements. I trust that if another needs clarity from me, they are fully capable of asking for such. Otherwise, my attention needs to be laser focused on the present. I have much to accomplish and this time and energy can be far more productive invested in what positive differences I can make in this world!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

40. Our Lives Are Never Just One Story

storiesThough we often tell ourselves otherwise, our lives are never just one story. We often become so engrained in our own narratives that we lose sight of any other possible changes in the plot. There are many stories meandering throughout our timeline. Stories of past, stories of present, and even the stories we tell ourselves of the potential future. There are always opportunities for new stories to begin. The only limitations are the ones we craft ourselves from fear. I’m learning to set aside both my old stories and my limitations, trusting that I have many amazing chapters yet to be written. I alone hold the pen, though I’m simply the writer. The Author is continually whispering beautiful adjectives, sentences, and paragraphs in my ear, all of which translate into my hopes, my dreams, and my potential biography, should I choose to listen. My ink well is full, I’m well stocked with new, unblemished paper, and a gilded binding sits closely by, waiting for new pages to be woven in. I’m listening… what shall I write?

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

39. The Benefits Of Periodic Discomfort

discomfortA Common Misconception

Throughout my encounters with individuals over these last few years, I’ve identified a common misconception. There seems to be a belief that if one has done an adequate amount of internal emotional work, they can be totally vulnerable, yet won’t encounter fear or uncomfortable emotions. As if doing the work in some way exempts us from being triggered or provides immunity to discomfort. This is not the case. Doing the necessary internal work doesn’t eliminate future triggering, it changes how we process and react to those encounters, which in turn can provide the foundation for deep, meaningful relationships and life.

The False Narrative Of Society

Everything we encounter in life is viewed through the lens of our prior experience. The more trauma and wounding, the easier we are to trigger. Society has created a false narrative, a numbing of emotion and denial of feelings that has left the masses in a rather shallow, robotic state. This has rendered many unable to experience depth of emotions, both good and bad. We’ve been taught that being emotional is a liability, a weakness, and something to be overcome. In truth, that viewpoint is nothing more than a protection mechanism, masquerading as brute force of will. This is not strength, it’s fear, and it’s greatly changing how we relate to one another and our environment, and not for the better. To further complicate matters, there has been an onslaught of psychotropic pharmaceutical medications added to the equation. These have the sole purpose of keeping us from feeling, rather than teaching us how to process through and release those emotions in healthy ways that don’t leave us numb.

Universal Viewpoints Limit Willing Vulnerability

There is no doubt we have become an over-fearful society. Just look at the news! Very few are willing to speak their mind in open vulnerability for fear of repercussion or loss of acceptance. Instead, what abounds are universal viewpoints that are postulated as the central belief systems of the masses. Interestingly, if you pull enough people aside in private discourse, you find very few agree with these central beliefs, yet silence abounds and the status quo goes unchallenged. This often leaves individuals feeling as if they are the lone, outside opinion, when more often than not, that’s not the case. What that does to erode individual confidence levels and self esteem is astounding. Most become unwilling to step out in authenticity and vulnerability. I was among those silent masses for far too long. No more.

Perceptions Need To Be Challenged

What the inside work has taught me is that I don’t want to be numb. I have no desire to conform to the central belief system. It is because I am different that I bring skills, tools, and information to the table that may not be otherwise represented. My opinions, beliefs, and feelings are not only valid, but incredibly valuable. Yet it’s also important to point out that my perceptions have been molded by my environment and past, and those perceptions often need to be challenged. We learn and expand in this existence by sharing with one another. If no one is willing to share or challenge ideas, we become stagnant and stifled. If no one is willing to be vulnerable enough to speak their mind, we remain prisoners of our old ways, with no hope of forward progress. This is true in both the business world and within the internal landscape of our personal lives. We have become discontent dwellers, rather than explorers. Somewhere along the line, we’ve been sold a bill of goods that has stunted growth and left us fearful and resigned with mediocrity, rather than reaching for excellence, depth, truth, and meaning, by stepping outside our comfort zones.

The Laying Aside Of Fear

There’s an old saying that basically asserts we become willing to change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. I have reached that point, and am encouraging others to abandon the ship of mass mentality as well! This world is crying out for authenticity, depth, emotional vulnerability, and a laying aside of fear, that keeps these traits in shackles. We often believe we are the only ones in danger of experiencing pain if we become vulnerable. The truth is, everyone shares equally in that experience. We just don’t discuss our thoughts and fears with others any longer, so we think we are alone. Depth of sharing has become taboo, looked upon with disdain, which in reality is just another mask covering fear. After all, if someone shares in a vulnerable way, perhaps they will expect the same in response from me? Heaven forbid! I can already hear the sounding of the alarms, batten the hatches, prepare for emergency evasive, protective maneuvers! What is it we are so afraid of? I for one am not only willing, I am determined to ask and confront those questions. I want to grow and move beyond the paralysis of fear, yet that requires navigating through some potentially murky waters to get there. Rather than avoiding fear and discomfort, I’m stepping headlong into it, knowing what I will embrace on the other side, far outweighs any negative I may encounter along the way.

The Astounding Benefits Of Periodic Discomfort

Back to the original paragraph… There’s this false belief that if we’ve done the tough, inner work, we won’t experience these fears and discomforts any longer. The truth of the matter is, doing the work means we are often coming face to face with these fears, discomforts, and questions. The difference is we aren’t running, hiding, ignoring, sabotaging, blaming, or bypassing the unpleasantness any longer. We are allowing ourselves to fully experience it and be uncomfortable, while working through the questions that lead us to healing and resolution. How can we possibly appreciate light if we’ve never experienced darkness? There can be no recognition of joy without the contrast of pain. Yes, it can be very difficult at times, but let’s not forget the tremendous benefit that comes from us exploring these often tumultuous depths. We drink deeply from the difficulty of painful self exploration, yet that very depth allows us to feel love, appreciation, joy, and fulfillment in ways we could not otherwise comprehend. I choose depth in all areas and I’m willing to pay the price of periodic discomfort to gain the astounding benefits that far outweigh it. Are you?

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

38. Journey From Chaos To Clarity

chaos

We are so much more than the sum
of what we appear to be and what we hope to become.
There is plan and purpose far beyond
what our finite understanding can fathom
we know our failures also have a part in that process.
We are intimately aware of who we’ve been in the past,
yet we choose to believe and blindly strive for so much more.
We grasp for purpose, not just within our own life,
but one impacting and touching the lives of others.
We search for depth and meaning
to understand all the seemingly futile actions we see.
Learning to transform them into catalysts for change,
that catapult lives into forward, positive motion.
It’s the journey from chaos to clarity that changes a life.
It’s recognizing and acting upon necessary course corrections
to shift our rudders towards new destinations.
It’s then learning to stay the course,
and not be moved by fear or the desire to return to things of old.
It’s a difficult journey, requiring passion, persistence, humility,
stamina, accountability, and the will to get up when fallen.
Yet it becomes easier with experience and each passing day.
A habit, if you will, that as it is practiced more,
becomes effortless and a part of who we have become.
The rewards are self-evident, fulfilling, all-encompassing,
and evolving not only in our own life, but those around us.
It’s a learned behavior to move from the negative to the positive,
and with it comes the attraction of more positive into our life.
This journey starts only by choosing to take the first step,
and then the next after.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

37. Is Consciousness In Conflict With Christianity?

love-is-my-religion-emily-michaudFar too many associate the word “unconsciousness” with new age jargon and immediately throw it out the window as an affront to Christianity. We’ve been taught to build walls with certain “idealogical buzz words”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To be “conscious and awakened” is living and viewing things through the lense of our Creator. It’s being fully aware of and engaged in our present. It’s about discerning, seeking truth, expanding and growing (physically, emotionally, spiritually, & energetically), as well as  evolving (learning new things, then changing our life accordingly). As Christians, we should be ever conscious, awakened to what it is He has for us to learn and engage in today. All while evolving in the sense we are moving away from the old and embracing the new as we learn and grow.

Most of our society today (sadly including many of our churches) is quite comfortable in a state of unawareness,  asleep at the wheel. So busy with the duties of daily life (work, home, family, church, & policing where others are out of line), that we have precious little (if any) time to do our own personal, deep, intensive soul work. That work is where we spend the internal quiet time actually looking at the areas of false beliefs, pain, trauma, and emotional debris within us. These create the impenetrable walls we have erected around our hearts. These separate us not only from deep meaningful relationships with others, but from God as well. So yes, true wisdom does come from God, but many who are yet still alseep, though convinced they are not, will often not recognize it as such.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no conflict. Oh sure, there are fringe populations within any group that take literal meanings to a further destination than they ought,

36. Wonderfully Made

mirrorWhat Is Beauty?

When you hear someone described as beautiful, what’s the first thought that crosses your mind? Do you think of their outward beauty, or the condition of their soul? In today’s society, beauty is often skin deep. There is such tremendous emphasis placed on external beauty alone, without taking into account the value of the entire being. Some of the most beautiful souls are easily dismissed because their exterior wasn’t considered runway material. What a great loss for those who seek the external alone. Their lives could be forever changed by encountering such a beautiful soul.

Why Do We Seek What We Do?

We have become a superficial society, in so many aspects of the word. We often spend much of our lives chasing after those things that are temporal. Wealth, external beauty, & fame are all perfect examples of things that bring temporary joy, yet can quickly fade. There’s nothing wrong with having any of these. Yet, when we really do the deep, internal questioning as to WHY we seek what we do, there’s a great deal to be discovered. Most choose not to ask those questions.

Peeling Away The Fleeting.

These last few years, I’ve been on a journey of self discovery. I’ve learned my true worth and value. The lessons experienced have stripped me bare, to the very core of my soul. Anything fleeting has been peeled away. I’ve been led to the place of recognizing my intrinsic value, which is established by myself and God alone. The opinions of others have no say in that appraisal. It took temporarily losing many of my external qualities, traits I had depended on for many years, to bring me to a place that focused solely on my internal being. Though it’s been one of the most challenging legs of my journey thus far, it’s also been the most rewarding and life-altering as well.

Why Do We Believe What We Do?

There’s much to be said about truly learning to love ourselves… unconditionally. It’s a strong statement, and the depth is far beyond what most are willing to pass through. Why? It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes downright painful to honestly look at ourselves in such vulnerable and revealing ways. It requires intense levels of deep introspection and questioning. We must strip back the layers of what we’ve been taught, and truly understand why we believe what we do about ourselves, whether or not those beliefs are actually true, and come face to face with those “what if” questions we are so desperately afraid of. We all have them, but it’s much easier to focus on the external and exert our energy in places that are far more comfortable to control.

Our Gifts Are Unique And Greatly Needed!

We’ve become chameleons or sorts. Society has taught us to morph to our environment, to fight for acceptance, and to only bare that which is common and well received within our circle. The truth of the matter is this… we are far more than we can possibly conceive and what we have to offer this world is unique and greatly needed. We are as individual as our fingerprint! There are no two the same, try as we might, so there is no comparison. The statement that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is completely true. Yet those that look deeply, beyond the veil of superficiality, not only find much greater beauty and meaning in this lifetime, they are also more profoundly impacted by it. In learning what I have about myself, it’s opened a far wider door to recognize the value within others. Not as they project, not as others might like to see them, but the value of their being and what gifts and talents they have brought to bestow on this amazing world. I don’t take that lightly.

Seek To Identify Beautiful In Others.

My challenge to each of us today is to look deeply beyond the exterior and into the core of the being of another. Excluding anything external, what do you see that is beautiful about them? Take the time to not only investigate it, but encourage them by sharing your findings. If we were more reassured by others, perhaps we might be more willing to step out and into our calling and soul purposes. Sadly, those gifts often get buried when we do. Let’s make an effort to not only encourage, but celebrate the uniqueness of those we encounter today.

This is a poem I wrote many years ago, but it holds a much deeper meaning for me today. Enjoy!

Wonderfully Made

I’m made wonderfully and perfectly
Skilled by His mighty hand
Not a detail did my God forget
My hair He formed each strand
He made me individual
Yes no one else like me
Therefore there is no comparison
With others that I see
Though some say I’m not as pretty
Looking through a partial eye
Tell me who has set the standard
That we judge each other by
Rather I believe a Sovereign God
Did form me with a plan
And in His eyes I’m pleased to know
He loves me as I am

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby