My Red Sea Road Day

 

Today (May 27, 2019) is the Celebration of my Red Sea Road – Exodus day. My liberation day. My get the hell out of there day.

To know me is to know that milestones and anniversaries are a pretty big deal to me. This is one of those days.

I began putting miles between myself and my manipulating spiritual, emotional abuser.
Literally packed up a uhaul with the help my yoga teacher and some of their friends.

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A city that I loved, unfortunately, was too much of a reminder that I couldn’t be there any longer.

I had long run out of reasons to stay. The air I was breathing had become toxic ever since the day I arrived. Maybe the nerves I felt arriving were an early indicator that something was not right. Maybe the tears I cried every time we had a conversation were an indicator that something was not right. Maybe the tension and confusion that built up in my body because “do I listen to God or the pastor?” was making me sick.

Oh, but don’t worry they just wanted me to repent and recant for calling out spiritual abuse. The ugliest, most awful email I’ve ever read and received, was full of the very manipulation they were denying.

My physical symptoms were undeniable. The wear on my psyche, my heart, my soul, and my mind and body.

Just do what you’re told. Just be the good little church girl, your voice isn’t valued here. Your gifts as a worship leader aren’t needed, your skills, your training, and your church music degree. It was like I didn’t even exist.

You will be condescendingly criticized, belittled, betrayed, manipulated and gaslit.

So yeah, I know what it feels like to leave, and I know what it feels like to be excommunicated. Only, I never understood why they felt like they had to have the last word…

A Brief Timeline:

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*I moved to Chicago in the Summer of 2012
*I found yoga in April 2014 – yoga saved my life.

*Visited my sister on Memorial Day Weekend 2015 – This was beginning of the end of the spell I was under. I was criticized and warned against visiting my pregnant sister by my abuser. On my own long weekend, which I paid for. I mentioned this particular time further in this post.

short video clip of Apollo Chorus & Northwester students rehearsing Mahler for our Northwestern University performance, followed by a performance in Downtown Chicago on Sunday.

*I left Chicago on Memorial Day 2016, just like a Red Sea parted, God made a way for me to get out. The day after performing with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, a dream come true, and the best way to leave on a high note.  Pictured, my view from the stage, my Backstage pass wristband, and after the performance with a couple of my favorite kiddos, with the stage behind us.  The same stage where I saw Andrew Belle, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and Idina Menzel the previous fall. mahler choir.jpg

THAT WAS THEN, NOW I’m FREE

AND NOW, 3 years after leaving

I am free.
I am whole.
I am fully alive.
I am healing.

I am a vocal advocate against spiritual abuse.
I help women reconnect with their bodies.
I sing regularly and am a valued part of my worship team.
I am writing songs, and finding my sound. I hope to have some coffee shop gigs later this summer or early fall. I hope to one day record music for television and get paid for it. I want to compose a choral piece for my women’s choir to sing. I want to write an orchestral symphony or suite.

I celebrate and savor life, delighting in the beauty found in each new day, and practicing gratitude. I practice nonjudgment and self-compassion on hard days and allow myself to feel, and go at my own unique pace. I journal and reach out to friends. I am connecting with old friends and new and building new relationships that are rooted in wholeness, being fully myself.

I am creating art, words, music, and resources for healing, spiritual agency, and wholeness.

I am a yoga teacher, integrated soul mentor, songwriter, and auntie.

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Harmonizing and drawing from my background studying art, music, worship, theology, and yoga, I teach gentle yoga classes and empower women to love their bodies in the present tense.

Interwoven with my passion for social justice, peacemaking, and spiritual agency, preventing spiritual abuse and speaking truth to power, paired with my personal story of awakening, departure from, healing and recovery of spiritual trauma by employing spiritual and personal agency.

Synthesizing contemplative Christian practices to help you live an integrated faith & embodied spirituality, rooted in love, free of religious platitudes, spiritual bypass, or legalism.

I believe deeply that we are not powerless. My desire is that you would feel less broken, more empowered, and discover your own inner wholeness. Loving our bodies is a vital element of a healthy, integrated soul.

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I am just getting started. I have risen from the ashes, and will not be silent.

My sacred calling is to create, nurture, and heal. Making space for other women to embody and integrate their faith, find healing, and embrace the sacredness that is within.

Will you celebrate with me? 

Befriending My Body: A 5-Day Series

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Loving my body is healing for my soul.

Befriending My Body is a FREE 5-day email series of affirmations, simple embodiment practices, creative assignment, printable journaling pages, and breath meditation. Designed to bring heal the rift between body & soul and help you befriend your body.

Sign up today to get day one. Emails will be sent over 5 consecutive days following that.

You can sign up for the 5-day series here:

 

What people are saying:

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Virtual Vision Board Workshop

How Do You Want to Feel in 2019?

Envision 2019 and Embody How You Want to Feel. Unearth goals with soul as you give voice to your dreams and desires for the coming year.

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Join my Free Group on Facebook where I’ll walk you through the process throughout the month of December, in just a few sessions. If this is a busy month for you, this will reprise again at the end of December and the beginning of January, so please go ahead and sign up!

Join Today: Virtual Vision Board Workshop

Doors are now open. Stay tuned for the date and time of the first Live Session & Meditation. Jump in now to make sure you don’t miss anything. 

Join me as I walk you step by step through a Vision Board process that will help you curate an intentional, deeply meaningful, motivating, tangible creation to revisit throughout your year. Together, we’ll talk about what brings meaning to our lives, any directional shifts we want or hope to make, tapping into our desires, and paying attention to how we feel, find new affirmations that resonate, and get inspired and excited about the new year. This will be a month long process, done in a group setting, to share, bounce ideas, make connections and you are invited to jump in when you have a few minutes.

 You can follow along in the group as you have time, and enjoy these three sessions:

Session One: EMPOWERED to Dream: Full Permission to Dream.

Bonus Meditation on Desire: Desire is not a dirty word.

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Session Two: ENVISION & EXPLORE: It’s All About the Process

Reflecting to unearth and rediscover, explore and uncover.  

Join Today: Virtual Vision Board Workshop

 

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Session Three: EXPRESSEMBODY: Make it Happen, Live it out, Feel Alive.

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Join Today: Virtual Vision Board Workshop

 

What’s included in the Free Facebook Group?

  • 7 Live Facebook Videos: Practical Tutorials, Meditations, and Reflections
  • A Resource list
  • A short Materials list (make use of what you already have: things like cork or poster board, glue, scissors, any magazines, markers or paints, photos, quotes, cards *not exhaustive)
  • A 17-page Full-Color Printable Workbook see below for workbook contents
  • A special Live Interview on Vision Casting with my guest, and very dear friend, Rachel V. from Order Your Lifestyle, a Time Balance Coach.


Here is a snippet from Rachel:

View this post on Instagram

Vision is EVERYTHING! It's that time of the year where we began to look back and evaluate our progress. It's also that time of the year where we begin to look forward in anticipation. Personally I look forward to taking off the last two weeks of the year and focusing just on Vision Casting. Technically speaking, I believe having awesome vision is an ongoing, daily practice, however, I also believe that it is important to take a big pause, a big step INWARD and allow for the creation of quality vision in all areas of life. It's easy for me as a mompreneur to see vision for the business, but setting, maintaining and balancing goals for multiple areas of life takes practice and time. As 2019 quickly approaches, #whatcanyousee ? #yearend #lastquarter #itstime #twentynineteen #time #balance #coach #mompreneur #entrepreneur #wahm #wahmlife #lifestyle #stressless #planner #blogger #vlogger #leaders #vision #passion #family #thankful #business #priorities #orderyourlifestyle #purpose #success #christmas #newyear #organize

A post shared by Order Your Lifestyle (@orderyourlifestyle) on


Workbook

Journal Prompts and Reflection Questions to guide you as you prepare.
  • Workbook: Full-Color 17-page print it out or view digitally as PDF
    • Journaling Prompts & Reflections
    • Desire Meditation and Further Reflections
    • the difference between intentions & goals

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If you have any trouble accessing the Facebook Group, go to my page FB / @lorijoanneyoga / Click on the Groups tab, and you’ll see it there: Virtual Vision Board Workshop. If you’re unable to access it from your mobile device, please try accessing it from a computer, just to log in the first time. 

I look forward to Envisioning & Dreaming alongside you ❤ Lori

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*Just to be clear, I do not currently sell oils, just because they’re pictured, but I do LOVE to SMELL them. 😉 No hidden agendas here. I may ask for a small donation/tip if you enjoy the workshop, but that’s it! (and fully optional, no pressure)

Integrated Soul Podcast Ep. 2 & 3 Shownotes

“What Happened” & “The Beginning of the End” Shownotes

In Parts 2 & 3, I continue my story about what happened.  I’m using my own voice to tell my story with the hopes that it will empower someone else to be free from the toxic, shame-based counterfeit religion and indoctrination that’s out there. (It can happen anywhere, not just in certain denominations. Anywhere there are people in power, there can be abuse of power.)

LISTEN HERE: anchor.fm/integratedsoulpod 

You can listen via the web app at that link or download the app to your smartphone to listen. If you use the Anchor app, you can even send messages or record a voice message for me that I can use in a future episode. I’m planning to keep it here in one place at the moment, though I am open to requests to distribute to iTunes. Leave a comment and let me know you’re listening! 🙂 If you have any technical difficulties let me know, I’m happy to help.


Quotes referenced on the show:

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances,
but only by lack of meaning and purpose.

-Victor Frankl


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In the book, What’s The Big Deal About Spiritual Abuse, Dale Fincher, President of Soulation defines spiritual abuse as (mis)using God’s name in vain:

“Misusing God’s name means claiming the intentions and character of God are behind the thing that men and women are wrongly doing. This is spiritual abuse. Whenever anyone is dehumanized, it is abuse. Whenever anyone is dehumanized in the name of God, it is spiritual abuse.”

The life-saving course on Spiritual Health that I referenced is by Soulation, with Dale & Jonalyn Fincher and is available, be sure to check out their books and their work as it is supremely valuable. (linked to Soulation.org)

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In Brian Zahnd’s most recent message The End is the Beginning from Dark Nights and New Dawns he describes deconstructing as a House Remodel/Renovation. Instagram: @brianzanhd Podcast: iTunes link Twitter: @BrianZahnd


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Healing Spiritual Abuse and Religious Addiction by the Linns

On Scripture & Spiritual Abuse:

Scripture is still often interpreted in ways that are abusive to women.

For example, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me”, “he must deny himself’ is a prideful refusal to surrender ourselves. However, […], for a woman sin is not pride, the exaltation of self, but a refusal to claim the self God has given.

Developmentally, if a woman or man has not yet been affirmed in her right to claim and assert herself, she should not be pressured to deny the self she does not yet possess. In our culture women are taught to be codependent. i.e. to deny their reality and their needs and scripture has often been used to reinforce this.

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Danielle Shroyer, on dignity in her book Original Blessing says:

“Targeting self-esteem is an easy way to get power over someone.”

“God never asks us to reject our human dignity. God calls us to live into it.”


Kathy Escobar on dignity & voice in her video Holding onto Power (it’s only 5 minutes, highly recommend watching.)

“the kind of power that Jesus was talking about is a path of humility but is also stepping into our dignity and our voice. Systems aren’t the greatest at helping people doing that. If people’s creativity and gifts and passions and all those things are set free, lookout! It will breakout, it is unleashed. Spirit unleashed, power unleashed.”


In the book, Healing Spiritual Abuse and Religious Addiction by the Linns,

“St. Ignatius understood that it is abusive to try to control another person’s spiritual journey.

“St. Ignatius understood that it is abusive to try to control another person’s spiritual journey. Unlike Ignatius, abusive parents or religious leaders use children or followers to meet their own needs for control and self esteem, rather than nurturing the spiritual development of those who look up to them.”

“Jesus never meant for us to use him or any other religious thing as an escape from the truth of our lives.”

“Christianity was not meant first of all to teach us doctrines, but rather how to process life.”


a healthy soul is an integrated soul.”

quote by Dallas Willard, in Soul Keeping by John Ortberg


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“The depth of the healing has to be equal to the depth of the wound.” by Jo Ann Bauer (Graphic from Stephanie Moors @stephaniemmoors)

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Bearing witness to the truth is rarely easy, especially when we’re alone in the wilderness. Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness

(Brene’s acronym BRAVING of which Vault is one of them, referenced at the beginning of episode 2 are also from this important book)

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“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed.
Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”

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words and graphic by Morgan Harper Nichols


Music: Sung by Lori

  • My Tribute by Andrae Crouch
  • Liability by Lorde
  • Someday (original tune) by Lori Joanne Quick

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Links & Where to find me:

Thank you so much for listening, it means a lot to me! If you’d like you can leave a voice message or contact me if you’re interested in having a conversation on the podcast sometime!

LISTEN HERE: anchor.fm/integratedsoulpod 

The Integrated Soul Podcast Episode 1 Shownotes

“Something Is Not Right” Show Notes

In the first couple of episodes, I begin to share my story of taking my voice back after spiritual trauma and how that led me here. I’m using my own voice to tell my story with the hopes that it will empower someone else to be free from the toxic, shame-based religion and indoctrination that’s out there.

fleshing out what it means to have a healthy soul

Some of us find freedom and find new ways to connect to our faith and spirituality. This is my story.

LISTEN HERE: anchor.fm/integratedsoulpod 

You can listen via the web app at that link or download the app to your smartphone to listen. If you use the Anchor app, you can even send messages or record a voice message for me that I can use on a future episode. I’m planning to keep it here in one place at the moment, though I am open to requests to distribute to iTunes. Leave a comment and let me know you’re listening! 🙂 If you have any technical difficulties let me know, I’m happy to help.

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You’ll hear as I mention some of the symptoms I was experiencing that were caused by spiritual abuse and trauma.


Quotes referenced on the show:

re-examine all you have been told
at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul

~Walt Whitman

Version 2

(artist, unknown; poem by Walt Whitman)

He brought me out to a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

~Psalm 18:19


Music Appreciation

Excerpts from Brooke Fraser’s song, Therapy, helping me sound kinda cool. Here’s her official lyric video: Therapy.

Links & Where to find me:

Thank you so much for listening, it means a lot to me! If you’d like you can leave a voice message or contact me if you’re interested in having a conversation on the podcast sometime!

LISTEN HERE: anchor.fm/integratedsoulpod 

Loved Back to Life: Redemption

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I studied music with a calling to lead worship. I was honored to have space to do this for several years. But I was restless. I attempted to get work at churches unsuccessfully for a countless number of years. Countless number of resumes and interviews, just to get my foot in the door. I was willing to settle for anything at that point.

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Seeking, I spent a year long process applying and joined cru in 2011. While I loved our training, I crashed and burned and still felt out of place as far as gifts and interests went. Support raising was impossible. Broken and hungry for purpose and new direction I moved to chicago on a “mission.”

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My voice was taken away from me. (And I don’t mean my vocal chords). I lost all meaning and purpose in my life. For months I described my state as feeling like an empty carcass. Yeah. I felt like shit. Eventually, my body began speaking to me through anxiety. As we learned this week at retreat, “listen to your body for it knows before you do!” This has been so true in my experience.

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I found refuge in Greatly Gracious in Chicago. Experiential worship through movement and prayer in stillness and listening. I was loved back to life as I attended weekly classes with Sarah at Greatly Gracious.

I believe the reason God led me to Chicago was to find my way to Sarah’s class that first night and to be rescued. I came back every single week, for two years. That was three years ago. The same year I attended HY Touch training with Jonnie and a month later attended the Soul Care retreat in St Louis with Jill, Laura, and Whitney. That was just the beginning.
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Every single encounter, every person I have met in this Yoga family has spoken LIFE to me.

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LOVED BACK TO LIFE.
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Redemption. Are you ready for this?

I have found myself in a worship ministry. A ministry of healing and soul care and holistic ministry. I will speak LIFE and hold space for others.

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How’s that for redemption?

I’m still amazed. I can’t wait for the rest. As I dream and step into this next season in great anticipation and HOPE.

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Pictured here with some of my LIFEgroup gals who have been just that: LIFE for the past 4 months.