Luann Robinson Hull
I was born in Decatur, a central Illinois farm-factory town, where I lived until after I graduated from the local college, Milliken University, with a degree in Elementary Ed. That little industrial mecca was a reasonably decent place despite the intolerable weather. I had some challenges as a kid (of course, all of us do if we are living and breathing on this planet). Living in a chaotic household laced with perpetual conflict, I spent the duration of my developmental years attempting to cope with various combinations of anxiety and depression.
In my efforts to reach for some relief, I turned my focus to boys in hopes that the fairytale-make-believe-stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty would manifest in my own life. I dressed-up for those boys, lived and breathed for them (completely under-functioning in school and elsewhere), and thought of little else. Of course, I was repeatedly disappointed—mostly in myself. When I was 16, my mother and I moved to the Decatur Holiday Inn (a real doozy of a place) and later stayed with friends when she finally had the courage to leave my dad after enduring 25 years of an abusive marriage. Following my parent’s divorce, I amped up my mission to find ‘the right guy,’ until I eventually realized (only not until much later in life) that what I really needed was to find myself.
Following my own divorce, I had a wake-up call. I was a single mom of two little boys, who were looking to me to be their main mentor and support. Unless I got it together—we were all headed for a nose-dive. I had never pursued a career, instead, choosing to “stand by my man,” who in turn, provided me with home n hearth. Now, there would be no “Prince” to save me. Yikes.
Once I made the decision to take charge of my life, I resurrected the previously buried inner ‘God-seed’ or “Life-Urge” (the latter term coined by the late psychiatrist, Carl Jung) which strengthened my mission and courage. After commuting from Wichita to Lawrence (2 and ½ hours one way) for three years, I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Masters in Clinical Social Work—having been repeatedly fortified by my sons, mother, cousin-Annie, and that “Life Urge” for the duration of that experience. Miraculously, I passed the two licensing exams necessary for me to secure my first job in a psychiatric hospital/clinic, immediately after which my depression and anxiety finally caught up to me. Being on the other side of that treatment-team-door as a patient in the hospital (the one behind which I’d participated in those teams—helping to determine patient-care), I saw just how badly the world of psychopathology needed to expand to include additional modalities, alternative interventions to psychotropic drugs, and a more positive spin on things—focusing on mental health instead of illness. Once I got back to work, I launched a ‘campaign’ for torch-bearing those changes. When doing so didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for—once again invigorated by that “Life Urge,” I got up out of my psychotherapy chair and applied for a post-graduate program—this time in a Doctor of Ministry platform, where I was mentored for six years by cutting edge spiritual leaders to “re-invent” my work.
My first book, a two-time award winner, was a product of that program. Happily Ever After…Right Now is about creating a new love story on planet earth by supporting women in taking responsibility for their lives (rather than expecting men to do it for them), their choices, and the relationships that result from those choices. The book shows readers how to empty the cask of their longing—particularly during those “dark nights of the soul,” fill the cask back up with Divine love, and then watch in wonder as more and more love effortlessly shows up in a variety of forms—without them ever having to go looking for it.
Book #2, The Science and Soul of Self-Belonging, due to be published by Top Reads Publishing along-side the second edition of Happily in late spring/2019, is an–educational memoir which dives into the subject of optimizing human potential through the combined lens of scientific exploration and spiritual inquiry. I share some of my twenty-five-year odyssey of research on human behavior—which includes an extensive focus on how science and spirituality can merge to support the ultimate human ‘thriving range,’ as well as how having a fierce dedication/devotion to ‘inner work’ can be the fast-track to that thriving. It represents my personal journey of looking to God, neuroscience, and some treasured mentors (who also look to God and neuroscience) in an effort to resolve the riddles and ravages of the human mind, which impacts our most treasured resource—intimate relationships. The book chronicles my pilgrimage to emancipate from the shame/blame game—that kept me ping-ponging back and forth between feeling like a ‘low-life’ or blaming ‘the guy’ for my troubles. I show readers that once they are liberated from the habits of the mind that have kept them stuck (while offering tools to help them learn how to unshackle themselves), they are positioned to move into their optimal destiny where they will connect with the authentic self and actualize their full potential.
I live in the mountains of Colorado where I hike year-round—often in a state of curiosity on how we can merge with the ‘Indwelling God’ while pondering the wonders of the natural world. I am repeatedly inspired by my favorite philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, who once said, “Oh that we could be more like nature and not be thrown off by every nutshell and mosquito wing!” I eat mostly healthy foods, though, admittedly, I love coffee, croissants, and Mexican Coca-Cola. I do not drink alcohol (it gives me a headache), or do recreational drugs (they make me feel weird), even though marijuana is legal in my home state, which I celebrate for everyone else who does like to do recreational drugs. I adore spending time with my children, grandchildren, extended family, loved ones, and close friends, and lead mostly a quiet, simple life. Join me on the journey!