Posted in Midlife Journey

What to Expect in Midlife and Menopause – Shattering Illusions

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world.  Last week, we talked about the midlife crisis or awakening that heralds the midlife journey (which includes menopause), the process of revisiting our past and the map of midlife.  Today we continue the process of exploring the many aspects of midlife by examining the illusions and attachments that we will be invited to release. 

midlife, menopause shattering illusions
midlife, menopause shattering illusions

Dealing with Midlife and Menopause – when it all comes tumbling down

For many men and women facing the midlife and menopause transition, midlife becomes a time when all we had previously known about ourselves, everything that had previously given us a sense of security or comfort, every role we had embraced as a way of defining ourselves or as a way of being accepted by society, comes crashing down around our feet.  This is especially true of anything around which we may have formed an unhealthy or codependent relationship.  I call this aspect of the midlife journey “shattering of illusions” or “release from attachments.”  The things that we are invited to release touch all aspects of our life – our career, our relationships, our family dynamics, our social roles, our worship, our beliefs, our personal practices and habits.  For some, the shattering of illusions comes in a job that is suddenly no longer fulfilling (if it ever was.)  Others will have to face the truth of an unhealthy or unsatisfying love relationship and be forced to do something about it.  For some, the shattering of illusions might come through a crisis of faith or in the realization that the religion they put on a pedestal is just as imperfect as any other institution.  For many, the shattering of illusions will come in an opportunity to explore the possibility of a bigger God then they had previously allowed themselves and what this bigger God might mean for their membership within a particular denomination or congregation.  And for others, illusions will fall upon the realization of deeply suppressed truths about themselves including revelations from their past or the possibility of sexual yearnings different from the role they had previously cast for themselves.  The purpose of the shattering of illusions and attachments in midlife and menopause is to free us from all those things we have embraced which are no longer life-giving and which no longer support the person God/dess made us to be.  In releasing these attachments, we are making space for the “yet to be revealed” Soul of ourselves that seeks to be born through the midlife and menopause transition -the uniquely creative gift through which we are intended to find meaning, fulfillment, purpose and connection in our lives and through which we are called to serve the betterment of our world.

If you are facing the midlife-menopause transition and in need of guidance and support, Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes.  To learn more, contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

 

Posted in Discernment, Spiritual Direction

Why Spiritual Direction Matters

Today’s blog explores the value of a little-known ministry called Spiritual Direction. (Ahem….I am one of those who provide this little known service!  And, I’m dang good at it! )  🙂

Horror of Horrors

Yesterday I received an email inquiry about Reiki from a young man who was interested in learning more and who thought he might be called to learn and share this healing protocol.  He then told me that he was also in formation to become a Catholic priest.  I explained to him the Catholic Church’s current thoughts on Reiki (not favorable), and referred him to the articles I had already written on the topic.  I then invited him to bring these questions and discernment to his Spiritual Director to determine which call was greater – that to do Reiki or to become a Catholic priest, because in the end, he would have to make a choice between the two.  His response?  “I don’t have a Spiritual Director and there isn’t one available in our Church.”  My response?  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Not Surprised

In truth, I was not at all surprised by this young man’s response.  I know that this is not always the case, but it has been my observation that the ministry of Spiritual Direction is sadly lacking in priestly discernment and formation and I believe this is one of the reasons the priesthood is in such a mess.  And let’s take the priests off the hook for a moment……the lack of Spiritual Direction is not just a problem in the formation of Catholic priests……I believe it is sorely lacking in our world in general.  So, in the priests’ defense, they are not the only ones NOT GETTING support, assistance, help in discerning the voice of God in their lives from the voice of the ego (which comes to us out of our fears, unhealed wounds, attachments, etc.).

What the Heck is Spiritual Direction Anyway?

Spiritual Direction is the ministry that assists us in distinguishing the Presence and Voice of God in our lives vs. our false-self and ego.  With the help of a trained Spiritual Director (ie: me), we are able to unravel the confusing and distracting voice of the ego with its roots in our fears, our ego-attachments and our unhealed wounds so that we can get the the voice of God/our Highest Self that is buried deep within.  In my own personal journey working with the amazing men and women who have been my Spiritual Directors, these are some of the benefits I have experienced:

  • The ability to identify and give over for healing many of my unhealed wounds, unresolved fears
  • Learning and honing my skills in meditation and contemplation
  • Support in moving through and grieving the losses and disappointments in my life
  • Support in identifying God’s plan and direction for my life
  • Help in distinguishing the voice of my ego from the voice of God
  • An objective listener who isn’t trying to fix things, but who helps me to uncover my own hidden truths
  • Discovery of my creative gifts and support in nurturing, cultivating and sharing these gifts
  • A shoulder to cry on or an ear to rant to when I need it
  • The voice of wisdom – I can’t tell you how many “God-nuggets” have come forth out of the mouths of my Spiritual Directors, pieces of wisdom that I have gone on to live by such as:

1) Say Yes to what God gives you

2) The most loving thing you can do for those you love is to do what is most loving for yourself

3) You are here to have a human experience….not to be God!

4) What would happen if you received everything as love instead of as rejection?

5) God’s path is life-giving not life-sucking.

In short, a Spiritual Director’s job is not to tell us what to do or to teach us how to change our behaviors or overcome our addictions.  A Spiritual Director’s job is to be an objective and attentive listener and in doing so, to help us hear the voice of our own truth (ie. the voice of God) and who gives us the tools to unbind ourselves from the fears that keep us imprisoned in our falsehoods so that we can freely and generously live our truth in the world.

Back to the Seminarian

This brings me back to the seminarian.  With the support of a Spiritual Director, this young man would have the opportunity to determine if Reiki is indeed a Divine call for him and if so, how he is being called to live that out.  He would also be given the tools to determine if he is really called to the Catholic priesthood.  If it seemed the call to do Reiki as well as the call to priesthood were both authentically coming from God, then he would be given tools to explore how he could live out both of those calls with integrity……which might mean seeking ordination outside the Catholic Church in an institution that doesn’t label Reiki as witchcraft and sorcery (more on that topic another day!).  And this brings me to my final word on Spiritual Direction – the number one job of a Spiritual Director, more than anything else is unbiased objectivity – and that is not something that will likely be found in the vocations director of your local diocese – just sayin’!

Shameless Self-Promotion

If Spiritual Direction sounds like a service that might benefit you, I am available for both phone and Skype sessions.  You can reach me at lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or (920) 230-1313 to set up an appointment.  Please also note that my fees are on a sliding scale basis.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Surrender

Expect the Unexpected and Being Open to the New

As we move and grow along the spiritual path, one of the things we come to recognize is that there is a higher intelligence (even when we call it “Our Highest Self”) that knows what is best for us.  The challenge is being willing to let go of what we have known and to our own attachments so that we can be open to receiving something different, new and better. Today’s blog explores that process.

The “Sin” of Pride

Pride, as I discuss at length in Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, is the compulsion that arises out of our false sense of separation from ourselves, each other and that which we might call “God.”  Pride says,  “I am it.  I have to do it.  I can do it.  I know what is best for me.  I know what I want and I am the one that will make it happen.”  It is pride that causes us to become attached to certain life patterns (mostly unhealthy) and certain outcomes.  Pride causes us to seek “security” and what is “known” because it gives us the illusion of safety, security, predictability, etc.  Pride serves only one purpose….to keep us separated from what is truly in our highest good and our natural state as contented, loving, peaceful, joyful beings.  In a nutshell….Pride sucks!

The Sweet Pill of Humility

The antidote to the “sin” of pride is humility.  Humility is the quality that invites us to acknowledge that from our limited perception, we DO NOT know what is in our highest good.  Humility invites us to take the leap of believing that there is something deep within us or far beyond us or all of the above that DOES know what is in our highest good and WANTS us to know this too.  Humility invites us to acknowledge a power greater than ourselves and invites us to engage with that power with the intention of accessing our highest, deepest, most authentic truth and allowing that truest self to emerge from within us, thereby freeing us from the fears, false-perceptions and attachments that keep us imprisoned in the wheel of human suffering.  Humility allows us to set aside our ego-driven plans, attachments, unhealthy patterns and to be open to something new, better, more freeing and expansive.  Humility allows the breath of the Divine to carry us to the place of our highest good where we will know contentment, peace, joy and love.  Now, who wouldn’t want that?

We are the Obstacle

Who wouldn’t want peace, love, joy?  Right?  Guess what….most of us.  This is the sad truth.  The greatest obstacle to attaining contented joy and love in our lives is ourselves.  Instead of allowing the Divine to breath new life into us, we cling to what we know and remain attached to our own wants and desires.  And we do this for one simple reason – because we are human.  In our humanness, we cling to what we know and have known, even if it is harmful to us, because it gives us the illusion of surety and control.  We don’t leave our abusive relationships, unhealthy patterns of behavior, unhappy job situations, because we know it.  It is familiar.  We can predict the pattern and the outcome, and this predictability gives us some weird illusion of safety….however twisted that “safety” might actually be.

Letting Go and Being Open to the New

If we ever hope to enjoy the fullness of joy in this human experience, however, it is this very clinging that we need to release.  In order to receive that which is in our highest good, enjoy the life of compassion and contentment, freedom and expansiveness that we all desire, we have to LET GO….let go of what we know, what we think is best for ourselves and be open to the surprising, unexpected ways in which our Highest Self wants to be known in the world.  And in this, we can expect the unexpected.  The path of our highest good is FAR more AMAZING than we could EVER possibly imagine.  The path of contentment and joy is far more EXPANSIVE than we would ever allow ourselves in our little human minds.  So what are we waiting for?  Get out of the Way.  Let go of what is known and familiar.  Surrender to the leading and guiding principles of the universe and enjoy the ride of your life.  I promise, when you least expect it……expect it!

And here’s my favorite song for this part of the journey:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_97UoGngJBQ&feature=fvst

What are the known patterns of behavior, etc. that are no longer life-giving to you?

How are you being invited to give these patterns their release?

What is the magnificent amazing fulfilling life that is waiting to be experienced through you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Freedom, Gifts of Contemplation

Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes…

As we grow spiritually we come to rely more and more on our higher power (God) for guidance and direction.  As we allow ourselves to set aside our ego and be open to Divine guidance, doors open and the path is made smooth….that does not mean, however that the path will not involve change (in fact, it probably will).  Today’s blog explores the Divine path, change and our reaction to it.



As I sit down to write today’s blog, I have David Bowie’s song, Changes, running through my head. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl3vxEudif8&feature=related The past few months of my own spiritual journey has included a mountain of changes…..some of which you are witnessing here today – namely the launch of a new website with a new URL, new marketing strategy, etc.  All of these are changes that I probably could not have made even a year ago, but gratefully, I have learned to let go of certain attachments that would have prevented this change.  I have also learned to accept help in a way that I never could have before that became the ultimate catalyst for these changes.  Being open to receiving help and letting go of attachments are both gifts that we receive when we diligently attend to our spiritual journey.


So, here is what brought me to these changes………

1) Daily meditation and prayer.

2) An out of the blue contact from a potential client from overseas.

3) The step into the modern age by going live through video capability via internet and Skype for international calls.

4) The sudden awareness that perhaps I would have more opportunities to reach people if I were available for Spiritual Counseling via phone and internet.

5) The realization that if I am going to target a global audience, I would need help.

6) The awareness that I deserve to invest in a professional marketing consultant to help me grow my business, but more importantly, reach those people who are looking for help along their spiritual path.


So, what you see here today is the culmination of several months of research, consultation and HUGE leaps off of the technology platform (mind you….computers TERRIFY ME!!!!).  I can attribute this part of my journey to God and to God alone, and to my willingness to set aside my own personal fears and ego attachments that previously prevented me from stepping into this strange and foreign territory….the territory of self-promotion, accepting professional guidance (and in some cases, correction), and doing so without going into my normal place of rejection.

Previously, I would not have felt myself worthy of the financial investment in a professional marketing consultant.  Previously, I would not have been able to accept this guidance and possible critique.  Previously, I would not have been able to set aside my own attachment to the beautiful website I had created on my own in my favorite color of red.  Previously, I would not have been able to accept that at least for today, my current website will not be “perfect”, that there might still be a couple bugs to work out and the fonts might not yet be exactly what I want.  All this is because I have really tried hard to let go and let God so that I could surrender to God’s plan – rather than clinging to my own.


In our spiritual journey, this ability to let go and let God is the fruit of diligent practice.  As we focus our attention to our Divine Source and allow the Divine to be our guide and the light of illumination, all the doors to our highest good are open wide, and we need only step through them.  We find that this process of growth becomes somewhat effortless and that if it does become a struggle, it is only due to our own clinging to attachments.  We are invited to let go of that which is no longer life-giving or supportive of our highest good, to grieve the losses of these former attachments and step fully into the Divine plan which is that of freedom, expansiveness and growth.  So, in this process, I welcome these changes that the Divine has offered as growth opportunities for me and anxiously await to bear witness to their results.


What changes are you being invited to make as you step more fully into your highest truth?

What are you being invited to leave behind?


Lauri Lumby

Your Spiritual Truth – Where your truth shall set you free.

http://yourspiritualtruth.com