Posted in Midlife Journey

Surviving Midlife Online Course

Surviving Midlife – guidance and support for women through the sometimes treacherous journey from childbirth to birthing themselves. 

Somewhere between the ages of 35 and 45, (and which continues until our death) women begin the process of the midlife journey – a process through which they move beyond childbearing to birthing themselves. For many, the advent of this transition comes in the form of a rude awakening, personal crisis or tragedy and continues through volatile physical and emotional changes which seem at once to be disconcerting and confusing. The purpose of the midlife journey is to knock women out of the comfort of status quo and into the passion, meaning and purpose that will define their lives beyond motherhood. Like childbirth, the midlife journey can be dangerous and fraught with pain, but like the birth of a child, can produce a gift beyond measure and miraculous to behold.

Click on the image to learn more and register for this online course.

Common signs that you might be in the midst of the midlife transition: 

Experiences of:

  • Restlessness
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Longing
  • Discontent
  • Impatience, anger, rage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Physical and emotional changes
  • Grief
  • Sadness

The purpose and goal of the midlife transition is to clear out all the inner and outer obstacles and make way for the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our life and to contribute to the betterment of the world, then it is time to put on our big girl and big boy panties! Only the truly brave and courageous will succeed in their goal. The rest, will be doomed to a life of quiet desperation, – just sayin! (not that there is anything wrong with making that choice).

Click HERE to read some additional articles on midlife.

The purpose of this course, Surviving Midlife,  is to support you in your midlife journey.  This course supports you through the midlife awakening and on the labyrinthine journey through the twists and turns of unraveling from the past toward returning to and reclaiming your Soul.  Here you will discover you Soul’s purpose for the second half of life, a purpose that is meaningful, fulfilling, joyful and content.

12 self-paced, online lessons. 

Lesson One: Awakening

Lesson Two: Confronting Fears

Lesson Three: Unraveling the Past

Lesson Four: Finding Support

Lesson Five: Illusions Shattered

Lesson Six:  Seeking the Voice of Truth

Lesson Seven: Dark Night of the Relationship

Lesson Eight: Befriending Our Bodies

Lesson Nine: Hiding in the Shadows

Lesson Ten:  Childhood Dreams

Lesson Eleven: Birthing our Soul

Lesson Twelve: Returning

Learn more and register HERE.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Midlife Journey, women

Surviving Midlife – New online course!

Surviving Midlife – guidance and support for women through the sometimes treacherous journey from childbirth to birthing themselves.

12 self-paced online lessons with instructor guidance and support.

Only $66.00!!!!

Click on image to learn more and register
Click on image to learn more and register

Somewhere between the ages of 35 and 45, (and which continues until our death) women begin the process of the midlife journey – a process through which they move beyond childbearing to birthing themselves.  For many, the advent of this transition comes in the form of a rude awakening, personal crisis or tragedy and continues through volatile physical and emotional changes which seem at once to be disconcerting and confusing.  The purpose of the midlife journey is to knock women out of the comfort of status quo and into the passion, meaning and purpose that will define their lives beyond motherhood.  Like childbirth, the midlife journey can be dangerous and fraught with pain, but like the birth of a child, can produce a gift beyond measure and miraculous to behold.

Common signs that you might be in the midst of the midlife transition:

Experiences of:

  • Restlessness
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Longing
  • Discontent
  • Impatience, anger,  rage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Physical and emotional changes
  • Grief
  • Sadness

The purpose and goal of the midlife transition is to clear out all the inner and outer obstacles and make way for the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our life and to contribute to the betterment of the world, then it is time to put on our big girl and big boy panties!  Only the truly brave and courageous will succeed in their goal.  The rest, will be doomed to a life of quiet desperation,  – just sayin! (not that there is anything wrong with making that choice).

mapofmidlifeimageonly

The purpose of this course is to support you in your midlife journey. This course supports you through the midlife awakening and on the labyrinthine journey through the twists and turns of unraveling from the past toward returning to and reclaiming your Soul. Here you will discover you Soul’s purpose for the second half of life, a purpose that is meaningful, fulfilling, joyful and content.

Lesson One: Awakening

Lesson Two: Confronting Fears

Lesson Three: Unraveling the Past

Lesson Four: Finding Support

Lesson Five: Illusions Shattered

Lesson Six: Seeking the Voice of Truth

Lesson Seven: Dark Night of the Relationship

Lesson Eight: Befriending Our Bodies

Lesson Nine: Hiding in the Shadows

Lesson Ten: Childhood Dreams

Lesson Eleven: Birthing our Soul

Lesson Twelve: Returning

Click on image to learn more and register
Click on image to learn more and register

Posted in Midlife Journey, women

A Balm for My Soul – the Poetry of Wendy E. Slater

I love how chance (or perhaps it is fate) brings us exactly what we need exactly when we need it.  This is how I came upon the heart-rendering poetry of Wendy E. Slater, in her latest release, Into the Hearth.  “Heart-rendering” is exactly what happens when one feeds upon the words out of which I imagine Wendy’s own heart was reborn and made whole.  At least that was my experience when feasting upon her words.  Part confession, part soul-retrieval, one is laid bare through the gentle nuances of Wendy’s willingness to be naked, vulnerable and uncompromisingly honest about the midlife journey of “Everywoman” – born out of the pain of loss and out of the labor of the Soul’s excavation, exhuming the corpses of what has been to discover what will be.  Thank you Wendy for baring your own Soul so that other women, like you, might be free in the true liberation that midlife brings.

IntotheHearthcover

 

1429

I get it. Totally.

In entirety

Like the full moon beaming

From my head,

I have failed as

A non-smoking, yoga, retreatee,

Vegetarian diet

With practicality

Crippling colored waters

Of herbs

That do me no good.

I know I belong with a beer,

An occasional smoke,

Freedom to choose

Who I love and what I love

When for me, I love

To leave and will in 5 days,

First class if I have to

As a celebration of my

Success of knowing

Where I belong and who I am.

 

1431

If I dove up and

Through the arched and veined

Dome of ivy trellised

Over the crown

Would I reach through to you

And would I find

Myself at home

In the stars, of the ocean

And in the forest

Of love

Clasped as 2 hands

In a voyage

Of the unknown

And trust in the

Celebration of

Surrendering all the feminine

Into your masculine

Dowry of treasures unfolding

As sacred nectar

Cultivates and ripens

To flower in the always,

Wisdom to be

Held

As we disrobe

Into nothingness?

Poems copyright 2015 Wendy E. Slater.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Wendy E.SlaterWendy E. Slater lives in Vermont.  After a 20 year hiatus from writing poetry, 20 volumes of spiritual poetry were written starting during a trip to Scotland in 2001.  You can learn more about Wendy, her poetry and services at www.traduka.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Surviving Midlife – A Map

Back by popular demand, this fall I will be facilitating my Surviving Midlife class.  Somewhere between the ages of 33 and 40, women begin the (often treacherous) journey from childbirth to birthing themselves.  Surviving Midlife provides support in understanding the many stages of transition on undertakes during midlife and offers tools to help women through that process.  If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming Surviving Midlife class, click HERE.  And, see the image below which will give you an idea of some of the topics we will be covering.

MapofMidlifeimageonly

To learn more or to register for the class, contact Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@ntd.net

Posted in Midlife Journey

The Midlife Transition – I haven’t forgotten!

Somewhere between the ages of 35 and 45, (and which continues until our death) women begin the process of the midlife journey – a process through which they move beyond childbearing to birthing themselves.  For many, the advent of this transition comes in the form of a rude awakening, personal crisis or tragedy and continues through volatile physical and emotional changes which seem at once to be disconcerting and confusing.  The purpose of the midlife journey is to knock women out of the comfort of status quo and into the passion, meaning and purpose that will define their lives beyond motherhood.  Like childbirth, the midlife journey can be dangerous and fraught with pain, but like the birth of a child, can produce a gift beyond measure and miraculous to behold.

The Joy of Midlife
The Joy of Midlife

Common signs that you might be in the midst of the midlife transition:

Experiences of:

  • Restlessness
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Longing
  • Discontent
  • Impatience, anger,  rage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Physical and emotional changes
  • Grief
  • Sadness

If you are looking for guidance or support through the midlife transitions, contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

 

Let’s Not Forget the Men!

Admittedly, most of my midlife experience has been with women.  Men, however, are not immune to the sometimes treacherous journey of midlife.  Like women, men’s midlife journey is about seeking a greater level of creative fulfillment beyond what they have known in their career, in parenting or in their intimate relationships.  The destination for men and women is ultimately the same – a fuller expression of SOUL – the uniquely creative way in which they were gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection, fulfillment and through which they are called to contribute to the betterment of the world.

 

Posted in Divine Revelation, Empowerment, Initiation, Inspiration, Jesus, Midlife Journey, Mystics, Raised Catholic, world changes

Catholic Woman Shamanic Priest?

Why Are We Here?

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you found yourself here because you are searching for meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in your life. Additionally, you most likely find yourself haunted with a desire to do something to contribute to the betterment of our world.  In short, you were born a Changemaker and the Divine in you is urging you to do something about it.  I’m here because I’m a lot like you and because the Divine in me continues to urge me to speak to the process that brings us into the fullness of our Divine mission, quite often through my own journey of realization and self-actualization.

What Does This Have to Do with Lent?

As I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week – the time on the Christian calendar when we journey with Jesus through the final days and hours of his life.  I know it’s no longer fashionable to call ourselves Christian, and this is especially true for those that were raised Catholic (or any other Christian denomination) and who currently find themselves either on the fringe our outside the Church all together.  It’s way cooler to be Buddhist or some sort of Western version of neo-Hinduism, or even better, agnostic or atheist. But, in my journey of being raised Catholic, becoming disillusioned with Institutional religion and eventually realizing I no longer felt welcome in the Church where I had been worshipping, Jesus NEVER came into question.  In fact, my relationship with Jesus only deepened and my faith in God became stronger.  Why?  Because the Jesus I have come to know is one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth, and from a Western, rational, pragmatic, logical and reasonable perspective, he is the perfect model for the rest of us on how to become fully human and to realize the fullness of our Divine call.  I look to Jesus during Lent, not as the sacrificial lamb, but as the perfect example of how to transcend the fears that prevent us from realizing our greatest potential.

Women and Shamans and Priests?  Oh My!

Here’s the my journey helping you with your journey part.  🙂  I have already written much about my journey toward embracing my call to be priest and have accepted that call (in part) through the launch of the Virtual Church.  I naively thought that with this revelation, I was done….in my truth….living the fullness of my call.  HA! HA!  God,  apparently has something else up her sleeve!  I’m still in midst of allowing all the pieces to come together but suffice it to say that apparently it isn’t weird enough to be a woman, raised Catholic, with a call to the priesthood.  Just to make things even more strange, God has included some sort of shamanistic call into the mix.  Thanks to my PhD studies at the university I have come to affectionately refer to as “Hogwarts,” I have learned that for YEARS I have been undertaking shamanic journeys and I didn’t even know it!  Specific experiences I have had, usually accompanied by certain types of music, are apparently shamanistic in nature and not simply a product of my imagination or the fruits of contemplative prayer.   Instead, as I learn the traditional hallmarks of a shamanistic call, I find that I fit every one:

  • Able to achieve alternate states of consciousness at will.
  • Called to make a lifetime commitment of service to the community.
  • A mediator between the sacred and the secular.
  • Emerge where and when there is a need and called forth by the community.

Then there is the final proof of a shamanistic call, that when someone looks into the eyes of a shaman, they either choose to stay and grow, or they run away in fear.  I can tell you, this particular quality makes for some really interesting human encounters.

Bipolar Disorder-Windows to the Soul

 

What Does it Mean Jelly Bean?

In truth, I don’t really know what it all means.  As a species, we are in the midst of a significant period of evolution and change (which some might call ascension), and I think that all Changemakers are experiencing an enormous amount of flux – being hurled into the unknown, clutching a trail of clues in our hands, but having no idea what they mean or how we are being called to use them.  For myself personally, I am aware of the clues – pieces that have to do with Jesus, being raised Catholic, priesthood, some sort of shamanistic call, something that has to do with my Irish ancestry, gifts of counsel, discernment, writing, teaching, healing and leadership, all rooted in my unique reformer/recovering perfectionist/introverted/thriving on order and routine/intuitive/empathic temperament, but I have no idea what it will all look like.  So, again, in the spirit of Lent and Jesus’ journey toward the cross, I take up my own cross of HAVING NO FLIPPING IDEA, facing the fears of all the unknowns, and turning it all over to God.  My mantra for the past 6 months has been,”Let it be done to me according to your word.”  In the spirit of Lent, I change that to:

“Into your hands I commend my Spirit!”

++++++++

What is the unknown you currently find yourself facing?

What are the clues that might be part of your Divine call?

What are the fears that surface in connection with that call?

How can Jesus be a model for you of how to move through your fears and enjoy the fullness of you Divine call?

 

Posted in Being Human, God, Midlife Journey, Relationships, Spiritual Practices

Love – the Unanswerable Question

As a facilitator of programs which help to support self-actualization in individuals, I teach a wide variety of practices and techniques for transcending fear, managing anxiety, discerning, cultivating and embracing truth.  Soul is what I hope to help people birth – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their lives and through which they are called to serve the betterment of the world.    With all of these programs, practices and techniques, however, I am unable to respond to one of the deepest longings of the human heart- the longing for loving, intimate, partnership.  When challenged with the question, “What good is it doing all this work if I cannot satisfy the deepest longing of my heart, which is for partnership?”  I find I have no response.  When I look into the faces of the amazing women and men I know who are healthy, whole, magnificent and complete within themselves, intimately connected with the God (of their understanding), experiencing meaning, purpose and fulfillment through their unique giftedness: and see that behind that fulfillment remains the unfulfilled longing for love, I have no answer. These programs should help us be content no matter what our relationship status – right?  Apparently NOT!  Why is it that healthy, inwardly fulfilled, amazingly gifted men and women still find themselves alone and wanting because of it?

Millions of books have been written that promise the perfect formula for finding your one true love, your soulmate, your twinflame….” Professional matchmakers hang their shingle to the tune of $5000.00 with the promise of finding your true love.  Are these amazing men and women alone because they haven’t perfected the magic formula or paid someone enough money to find love for them?  I have a hard time believing any of this to be the cause.  I cannot believe that these men and women are alone because they haven’t taken action by following the guidelines of all the world’s “dating experts.”  Neither is it because they have been thinking the wrong thoughts or because they have failed to “call in the one.”  I don’t believe there is some magical formula for finding love, neither do I believe there is some dark magic that holds love at bay.  It just makes no sense to me – amazingly beautiful (inside and out), eligible men and women who have been unable to find an equally amazing partner to share their life with, but even more troubling is the longing that remains, in spite of the person’s contentment and wholeness within themselves. What is the cause and purpose of this longing?

yearningandreaching

Is it simply the biological drive for partnership that causes this longing?  Is it really about our longing for God?  Is the journey to self-actualization not yet complete because this longing remains?  Are these people alone  because of their decision to embrace their inner growth?  Have they simply outgrown the potential field of prospects?  Abraham Maslow suggested that only 1% of the population is self-actualized.  Is it then a simple matter of statistics?  (for the record, I believe that more than 1% of the population is self-actualized and that this figure is growing as we continue to evolve). Or is it something else?  Again, the most difficult aspect to this quandary is the longing that remains.  Even in the healthiest, most self-actualized people, the longing for love remains.  And those who are alone can protest all they want, “I’m fine living alone.  I’m content being single.  Apparently God wants me to be celibate for now,” the truth is that we protesteth too much and the higher self knows otherwise.  I think I’ve come to understand that the human longing for love is part of who we are and a force that cannot be contained.  And until that longing is fulfilled, the longing remains.

As I further ponder this question about love and longing, two distinctly different spiritual voices emerge:

1) The Voice from the Zen Den:  This voice says something like, “Longing is about wishing for something other than what one has right now.  Longing leads to suffering, therefore, one must detach from one’s longing by returning to one’s mindfulness practice, bringing one’s self back to the present moment, the only place where we find peace.”

2) The Voice of the Artist:  “Longing is my muse.  It is in longing that I find my inspiration.  Longing compels me to create and through my creativity to inspire others.”

DSCF3254

As I sit with these voices, I realize that both of them speak truth.  Longing can certainly distract us from our peace and plunge us headfirst down the road of anticipatory thoughts.  As such, at times, we may find the remedy to our longing by returning to our mindfulness practice.  At the same time, I have also come to recognize longing as the creative voice of the Divine trying to find its expression through us.  Longing causes us to seek, to explore, to discover and to grow.  Longing provides fuel for our creative endeavors.  The Vikings would never have discovered America if they hadn’t had a longing to know more of the world.  Alexander Graham Bell would not have invented the telephone without longing for the sound of a human voice.  And with respect to love, how would God’s love ever be known in the world if it were not for the longing that compels us to seek this love?  So perhaps the answer to this quandary resides within the tension of these seemingly opposite poles.  Perhaps there are times when we might retreat to our inner room in search of the quiet that will still our longing, and perhaps there are times when we need to be with our longing and let it speak to us, telling us where we need to look and how we are called to give it expression in our lives.

Ultimately, I believe that this insatiable longing that we feel (even after we’ve found our “happily ever after lover”) is God trying to find expression in our world – through our own uniquely creative giftedness and in the many ways we are called to be love for one another.

Posted in About Lauri, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, creativity, Healing, Inspiration, Midlife Journey, Spiritual Practices

Almost 50!

Lauriattwo

Happy Birthday to me!

As I celebrate my 50-1 birthday (may as well get used to saying it!), I thought I would pause for a moment and share a few thoughts on approaching 50 and the many things which cause me to welcome 50 instead of shunning it or trying to hide it by lying about my age.  So….to set the record straight….today I am turning 49 years old….one year away from the big milestone of 50…..and I’m not afraid to say it!  🙂  No, I’m not a fan of some of the physical consequences of aging, but I am happier, more content, more comfortable in my own skin than any of the previous 49 years.  I figure I’m just going to keep getting better….so 50, bring it on!

Loving Middle Age!

What I love about being this age is that I don’t ever have to go back to the challenges of adolescence, the pain of puberty and the difficult lessons we all have to learn (mostly through trial and error) in our twenties.  Yes, during those years, there was fun to be had, but since I came out of the womb as an adult,  those were trying times. I didn’t understand the meanness of teenage girls (and I still don’t….neither do I understand those that never outgrow it) and let’s face it, teenage boys are not so interested in smart, courageous, strong young women.  Those were tough years.  College was better, but there were other difficult lessons to be learned there.

With Age Comes Wisdom

What I also love about being almost fifty is that with age has come wisdom.  I’ve been through the life and death of a marriage and the resulting fallout.  I’ve successfully parented two amazing children into their teenage years (we still have a way to go!).  I’ve come to know who I am – my gifts as well as my challenges.  I’ve become well-acquainted with my shadow and have come to accept the parts of myself I used to loathe and detest.  While it’s not perfect……it’s a long way from where I used to be.

Healthy, Intimate Relationships

One of the things for which I am most grateful at almost fifty is that I am learning how to cultivate healthy intimacy and through this learning, have developed some really deep, meaningful friendships.  I am so grateful for the men and women I love who love me in return – mostly without condition (we’re all human after all).  I am more able to name and claim my needs and to allow space for them to do the same.  I feel more comfortable addressing conflict and working with another in finding a way through it.  These are tools I did not possess even in my 30’s when the more common response would be to “cut and run,” while holding an eternal grudge.

What Got Me Here?

What is it that got me to this place of gratitude instead of despair over being almost 50?  Carl Rogers, the father of Humanist Psychology suggests that each of us has within us an inherent drive toward our greatest potential, and that when given a safe space, and the proper tools, this potential finds its realization naturally.  I agree with these sentiments and have found this to be true for myself.  The safe place began in my childhood where I was loved by two parents and where all my needs were provided for.  I’m not saying my childhood was perfect – whose is?  But, we always knew we were loved, that we would have a roof over our head, food on our table and shoes on our feet and that we had a safe place to land. As children, we were given a lot of freedom to explore and more freedom than many to be who God made us to be.  Our parents supported our hopes and our dreams and encouraged our pursuit of them.  In my adulthood, I continued this exploration and actively sought out (actually was COMPELLED to seek out) support toward this end.  In this search, there are a few things I give credit for being instrumental in helping me to feel at ease with being almost fifty:

  • Discovering, cultivating and maintaining a daily spiritual practice.
  • Discovering, cultivating and maintaining a creativity practice (which for me is mostly writing but takes many forms).
  • Meeting regularly with both a Spiritual Director and Psychotherapist.
  • Discovering and embracing wellness practices which nourish, support and rebalance me (reiki, massage, healthy food choices, yoga).
  • The cultivation and maintenance of healthy intimate friendships.
  • Discovering and cultivating meaningful work which gives me a sense of purpose while serving the betterment of the world.
  • On-going learning opportunities.
  • The discovery of Authentic Freedom

Confronting and Overcoming Fear

I can take absolutely no credit for the creation of Authentic Freedom as a protocol for self-actualization, except that I was open to receiving this tool and agreed to sharing it with others.  Through the process of having Authentic Freedom revealed to me, I found a profound tool for healing myself and for helping others find healing.  Authentic Freedom, more than anything else, gave me one rule by which I try to live my life:

Never make a decision based in fear!

Fear, I learned, is what keeps us small and holds us prisoner within the ego, our past hurts and our false perceptions.  If we desire peace, love and joy in our lives, and if we want a life which has meaning and purpose and which gives us a sense of fulfillment – then we have to stop letting fear rule our lives.  Authentic Freedom gave me the tools to identify the fears which were holding me prisoner and gave me effective tools for transcending and in some cases, even releasing, these fears.  When I realized the power in this tool, I could not help but want to share it with others….which is exactly what I have been doing for the past 10+ years.

Next Year 50?  Bring it on!

So, in conclusion – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.  The past 49 years have given me an opportunity to enjoy the fullness of the human condition and through this I have found knowledge, wisdom and growth.  I trust the next 50 years will only provide more of the same!

Posted in Being Human, Boundaries, Inspiration, men, Midlife Journey, Relationships, women

Calling the Good Men!

Today’s blog was supposed to be Part II of a rant…..but I’m not feeling very ranty.  Instead, I’m feeling a deep love and appreciation for the men of our world and instead of calling them out for the sin of White Male Privilege, I am using this forum to invite the GOOD MEN to don their Superhero capes, or sport their swords and shields and STAND UP in defense of those who are suffering under the current cultural paradigm which hurts them as much as it hurts us!  

Goodmen

For the Love of Men

I absolutely adore men. I am one of those girls who always felt at home in the company of boys and later men. I (mostly) get men.  I appreciate their interests and sense of humor.  I love the unique gifts they bring to the world.  Many of my closest friends are male, not to mention the three most important men in my life – my father, my brother, and my son.  MOST men that I know are generous, kind, loving, thoughtful, supportive, providers for their loved ones and families and not only value, but honor women for their uniqueness and as their equals.  That being said, even the men I love most have benefitted from white male privilege and while they might not be actively participating in it, they are being affected by it and in a very sad sense, they are somewhat responsible if they are doing nothing to change the face of male privilege, especially the practices which make women and people of color victims of this privilege.  Today’s blog, specifically addresses some of the ways in which women suffer under this paradigm.  And as much as we (as women) fight, kick, scream and cry for things to change, sadly, nothing about this is going to shift until those in privilege – THE MEN, stand up and do something about it.

White Male Privilege

White Male Privilege is the current cultural paradigm which values male over female, white over any other race, masculine ways of doing things over feminine, masculine structures, logical thought processes and ways of doing over feminine systems, feeling creative processes and ways of being, hierarchy over cooperation.  etc.  White Male Privilege…or as my business partner, work-husband, and personal Boy-Wonder, Ted would say, “The Plight of the Slow White Male,”  keeps us in a system where women are still only earning $0.73 for every dollar earned by a man and where there is a complete lack of recognition, honor or pay for women who are tending the home, raising the children, preparing the meals, etc. etc. etc.   White Male Privilege is most acutely obvious in Institutional structures – churches, corporations, academia, etc. where the highest levels of leadership are owned by men and if not by men, by women who had to be like men to get there.  Women suffer under this paradigm, but so do men.  White Male Privilege puts an awful lot of pressure on men (and women who have had to become like men) to perform, achieve, and conquer, often at the expense of their deeper needs for nurturing, intimacy and time to simply be. For the purpose of today’s blog, however, I am inviting us all to recognize that if we are unhappy with the effects of White Male Privilege, it is the GOOD MEN who will have to STAND UP, SPEAK UP and do something about it.  So, Good Men, as you are donning your superhero capes, here are a few of my hot-button issues (now here comes the rant!  🙂 ).  And if you would like to know where else you might help, ask your wife, your girlfriend and your sisters, they might have some ideas.  🙂

  • “Blurred Lines”  Really?????  Here’s the deal……NO MEANS NO, and a drugged, drunk woman who does not have the capacity to argue is still saying no.  As a survivor of rape, I feel as if the only just punishment due a man who rapes a woman (or a child, or another man) is castration….but I’ll let the courts decide that one.  But instead of working to stop rape,  old white men are busy making laws that are further blurring the lines around what is defined as rape and how rape is tried and punished.  Unless the woman has fully consented, is willingly participating and enjoying the action….then it is rape….period.

Good Men, we need your help in changing the culture of rape and the policies that that blur the lines around what we define as rape and how rape is punished.

  • Birth Control – again….old white men making decisions about our bodies, our decisions to become mothers and how we want to do this.  Shouldn’t this be the woman’s decision or at least made within the privacy of an intimate, committed relationship?

Good men, we need your help with this!  Your female partners need access to medical services and medications that keep unplanned pregnancies rare and sex safe.  I’m thinking you have an interest in this as well!  🙂

  • Abstinence Education?  Are you frickin kidding me??????  Old, white men again.  Keep your legs crossed kids, and don’t have sex.  But if you do….it is the girl who is to blame, because boys are just sowing their wild oats.  I call FOUL!  Kids are having sex.  And some of them are children (under the age of 13).  The sooner we ADMIT this, the sooner we will work our tails off to provide education about contraception and prevention of STD’s.  There is a reason that Amsterdam has the lowest infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rate in THE WORLD!  It is because they acknowledge that their kids are having sex and they are giving them what they need to keep sex safe and prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Good men, we need your help with this.  I’m not saying we should condone sexual activity among our youth….I’m just saying let’s be real about it!  Keep our kids safe and unplanned pregnancies rare!!!!

  • Periods are gross – again, old white men in the guise of pharmaceutical companies providing pills that “stop your period.”  Ahem……women, we were meant to bleed.  It is natural and healthy.  Artificially preventing our natural cycle could have devastating and lasting effects.  Don’t trust what you see on TV or read in the magazine!  Belly up to the “Feminine Hygiene” isle and OWN your Red Tent time.

Good men, we need your help.  Support your female partners, daughters and friends in being comfortable with their bodies and all the functions thereof.  Speak out against campaigns that encourage women to stop these necessary biological functions.  Your voice matters here.

  • Menopause is a disease and something that requires medical (and psychological) attention and medication: Again, old white men deciding that the aging process is BAD (because is somehow negatively impacts their ability to be in control or to have great sex, or God forbid….learn to be open to emotional intimacy and vulnerability!!!!!).  The hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause serve the benevolent purpose of birthing the uniquely creative life of a woman beyond that of motherhood.  It is through perimenopause and menopause that women really come into their true power and when embraced….we are a force to be reckoned with.  This is not the time to seek out estrogen replacement or bio-identical hormones to calm our mood swings, ease our tempers, erase our wrinkles or so we can remain “juicy” down there….it is the time to ROAR, SHOUT, SCREAM, all the gifts we have been suppressing so that the people around us would be “happy.”

Good men, if you are supportive, loving, understanding and encouraging of your female partners  through this process….I promise that you will have your reward – a happier, healthier, more fulfilled partner who might just want to rock your world.  🙂

The Bigger Truth Here

Now, everyone take a breath.  There is a profound lesson to remember here and on which will save all of us – women and men were BOTH created in the image and likeness of God and are at once equal and unique.  If we want a better world, we are going to have to learn how to uphold our equality while honoring the unique gifts that we bring to the table – the feminine ability to be generous, to allow and receive, to work toward harmony, to encourage collaboration, consensus and peace; and the masculine traits of working toward goals, striving for accomplishment and making things happen….and that these gifts are not entirely defined by gender!!!!!  And if you think we have a long way to go in our country…think about other parts of the world where women can’t even get an education, learn to read and write, hold a job, vote, etc. etc. etc.  Our work has just begun baby!

And to the Good Men:  THANK YOU.  Thank you for having the courage to acknowledge white male privilege and to see where it hurts not only those you love, but yourself as well.  And THANK YOU for doing your part to help change this paradigm so that we can work together in creating a world rooted in love, honor and respect for all and where peace and harmony reign!

Lauri Lumby, known as Wonder Woman to some, is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, hoping to make the world a more loving, peaceful place.  Thank you for adding your voice to the cause of love. 🙂

Posted in Midlife Journey, Relationships

Midlife Crisis and Affairs?

Midlife crisis and affairs????  I’m NOT touching that one with a ten-foot pole!  😉  All we need to know is that affairs are a symptom and not the cause.  If you or your partner is/has had an emotional or sexual affair, there are deeper issues afoot.  If you think the relationship has to end because of an affair – you are wrong.  Yes, there is betrayal and grief.  (For support with forgiveness practices, click HERE and follow the respective links.) And yes, you need to grieve and work toward releasing the betrayal….but the affair is not the cause of your relationship issues, the issues that led to the affair are the cause.  Confront these issues first, then see if the marriage needs to dissolve.

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For some couples, the affair becomes the catalyst that forces them to confront the unresolved issues in their relationship – communication issues, temperament differences, unmet needs, ungrieved losses and disappointments, etc.  Once these issues are resolved, some couples rediscover their love for each other and come together to negotiate a new and healthier relationship and both parties are better for the journey.

Of course, some couples are unable to resolve these issues and it becomes apparent that divorce is in the highest good for all involved.  Other couples discover that perhaps they never should have gotten married in the first place and are happy to part ways.  The moral of the story is that affairs (emotional, imaginal or sexual) sometimes happen.  Sometimes they end up facilitating healthy and positive change in a relationship.  Sometimes they are the harbinger of doom.  Either way…find out the root of the affair first, then decide what you want to do about it.