Posted in Discernment, Lessons, Superheroes, Uncategorized

The Power of Resistance

Superhero Academy: We are here to heal and change the world!

In this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings, the topic was RESISTANCE – all the inner forces that work toward keeping us from knowing and living our most authentic truth, from identifying and harnessing our Superpowers and from experiencing the life of meaning and purpose that was intended. Superman had kryptonite, we have resistance.

RESISTANCE

Resistance is a powerful force which comes up more and more strongly the closer we get to our life’s purpose. In recent weeks, the Superheroes accomplished a great deal of work around the quest for their Superpowers and the uniquely creative way in which they are gifted to find meaning and purpose in their lives and to contribute to the betterment of the world.  Not surprisingly, moving closer to the awareness and harnessing of these gifts has unleashed the (not so) ugly face of RESISTANCE.

Coyote Trickster
Coyote Trickster

Recognizing Resistance

As we discovered in this week’s Superhero Academy gatherings, resistance can be both direct and subtle in nature. An easy and direct one – you are printing off a story that has to go out in today’s mail for a writing contest and your printer runs out of ink.  RESISTANCE.  A subtle one- you do a meditation to access awareness of a dream you are being invited to pursue.  An image shows up and you push it away as “it can’t be that.”  RESISTANCE!  Or you are attempting to access guidance for your life and you hear the word beloved and you take it to mean God instead of the flesh and blood love that is trying to come into your life.  RESISTANCE!

Defining Resistance

Ultimately, resistance is anything that makes us question, doubt, deny, avoid, ignore, suppress, repress, our gifts and our call. Resistance is the ego/false-self trying to keep us from the path of freedom, expansiveness, joy, fulfillment, meaning, love, that we were meant to enjoy.  Inwardly, resistance shows up in anxiety, confusion, despair, depression, fear, worry, THE NEED TO KNOW.  Outwardly, it shows up in procrastination, avoidance, denial, bargaining (I will get to my gift AFTER I clean the house, pay the bills, feed the family, finish school, rake the yard, make enough money for retirement, feel safe and secure, retire from my paying job, qualify for social security, etc. etc. etc..)  Outwardly, resistance also shows up in external situations that really do block our path – equipment going down, running out of ink, losing our journal, a computer virus, etc. etc. etc.  All of these are subconscious ways in which we resist our gifts and our path.

Support during Resistance

This week the Superheroes focused on identifying resistance. Next week we will work on specific strategies for moving through resistance.  In the meantime, it is important to know that RESISTANCE IS NORMAL…..in fact, it is a GOOD thing because it means we are getting closer to the life of our dreams!  When resistance shows up, we have the opportunity to say:

“Hello resistance, the fact that you are here means

that something MAGNIFICENT is about to happen!”

 

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Mentoring

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.

Midlife and Menopause – One-on-One Mentoring

As a spiritual director with over twenty years of experience, I have accompanied hundreds of men and women in the birth of their Soul.  (See Testimonials HERE) The vast majority of this work has happened for people during the often treacherous time of the midlife transition and has included everything from grief counseling to job loss, divorce, medical diagnoses, empty nest and just plain feelings of discontent.  The typical indicators/symptoms of midlife are:

Restlessness

  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Longing
  • Discontent
  • Impatience
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Relationship Issues (including the Dark Night of the Relationship)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Physical Changes (including weight gain, illnesses and sexual dysfunction)
  • Grief
  • Sorrow

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there might be something medically going on, and if you are over 30 you might just as well be experiencing the midlife transition.  If you are looking for guidance and support through the midlife transition, call me at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to set up your own face-to-face, phone or Skype consultation.

Midlife Map

lauriprofilebwwebshot2013Lauri Ann Lumby is a writer, poet and published author with over twenty years of experience assisting men and women in the achievement of their greatest potential.  For more information, click HERE.

Posted in creativity, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

First of all….check out my latest YouTube posting Surviving Midlife-Confronting DeathNow, let’s get to the business of today’s post, why the midlife and menopause journey can be such a challenge…..and we only have our culture to blame for beating the creativity and curiosity out of us, starting at a very young age.

midlife-menopause-creativity-curiosity
midlife-menopause-creativity-curiosity

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause is to birth 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.  The BIGGEST part of the midlife journey…..and ultimately its purpose…..is to AWAKEN our CREATIVITY and REINVIGORATE our sense of CURIOSITY. The person God made us to be is creative, curious, generous, loving and kind.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that from a very early age, beats the curiosity and creativity out of us.  I was recently reminded of how insidiously our culture works against our original nature, making the midlife journey not only necessary, but a bit of a challenge. (I contend that if we raised our children differently, midlife would be more of a blip on the radar instead of the full out spiritual and emotional ass-kicking it tends to be.)

Case in point – How we destroy curiosity and creativity.

1) The first example involves my son.  My son is an average, 13 year old male who, in addition to being driven toward being active, is wicked smart, curious, independent, free-thinking and has a pretty mature emotional intelligence compared to most kids his age (and even some adults). So……..you can only imagine the challenges he has in school…..where they seem to want compliance above all else. Every time he demonstrates his gifts, his desire to be challenged, his curiosity and most of all, his creativity, he is punished and his father and I find ourselves saying, “Wil, just stay under the radar.”  No parent should have to say that to their creatively intelligent and curious child! And it’s not like he’s a criminal.  He is a good, responsible and caring 13 year old boy…he’s just “too smart for his own good.”   What saddens me is that as this continues, he has become more and more disillusioned and unhappy with school.  “I hate it,” is his common reply. And our son is not the only one who is being punished….curiosity, creativity and humor is slowly whittled away in our children….in the same way it was whittled away in each of us.  Show creativity.  Get punished.  Act in ways appropriate to our developmental stage.  Get punished.  Question self-appointed authority.  Get punished.  etc. etc. etc.   Here is another example.

2) Recently, I attended a funeral service held in a Catholic Church. In the time between the “viewing” and the beginning of Mass, a group of young children….obviously unfamiliar with the nature of Catholic ritual, etc. were roaming the chapel… curiously going from shrine, to statue, to prayer candles, to altar to podium, doing what children do….they were looking, touching, discussing, exploring and pretending…pretending they were saying the Mass or reading from the pulpit.  As the curious children were playing between the altar and podium, a church “official” came up and angrily shushed and shooed them away.  As I looked on….all I could think of was, “Instead of shaming these children for being naturally curious, I would use this as a teaching moment.  I would take them to each shrine, the prayer candles, the tabernacle, altar and podium and explain what each of those things were used for and what they represented.  Then I would let them touch, explore, pretend to their hearts’ content.  I thought this was a perfect opportunity to honor the curiosity and creativity of children, instead, they were taught that in our society, we are punished for being creative and curious.  SIGH!

Midlife and Menopause – Reclaiming Curiosity and Creativity

I’m sure you have a million and one examples from your own childhood where your curiosity, creativity, initiative, incentive, passions, drives, intuition, truth were punished….all because we live in a culture that wants us to conform and wants us to seek approval.  So….you can see why the Midlife journey is so dang hard.  Because in our childhood, our creativity and curiosity were stifled, midlife becomes about re- awakening our creativity and reclaiming our curiosity so that we can have the life of fulfillment, meaning and purpose that was intended.  But, in order to get this, we have to work against the conditioning of our past.  We have to overcome societal “shoulds.”  We might have to disturb the status quo and someone might not be happy about it.  Of course, we do have the option of ignoring the midlife call and remaining in the life that is familiar, if not fulfilling.  But then what are we left with, “a life of quiet desperation?”  NO THANK YOU.

For support in your own journey of reclaiming your curiosity and creativity, contact Lauri Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting our Shadow

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 worldOne of the tasks we must complete in the journey of midlife and menopause is to confront our shadow – all of the parts of ourselves we have rejected or kept hidden and bring them to the light.  Today’s blog is about confronting the shadow.

midlife-menopause-shadow

Disney’s Maleficent, coming in 2014.  (I can’t wait!!!!!)

Midlife and Menopause – Bats in the House

Last night, in the middle of a terrific phone conversation with one of my friends, I heard my children screaming.  Then I heard pounding footsteps on the stairs and my son burst into my room, interrupting my conversation with, “Mom….holy sh..t…..there is a bat in the house!!!!”  I offered my friend a quick goodbye and went to investigate.  I calmed down the screaming kids and then we went in search of the bat.  We found him…..HUGE, furry and black….flying back and forth across my sons bedroom.  Now we were all screaming.  🙂  I tried to be brave and found some butterfly nets and an album cover hoping to catch and release the bat, but its erratic flight and the fear of being bit overpowered my courage.  So….I cashed in one of my princess cards, called my neighbor and he calmly and valiantly caught and released the bat.  (Thank you Jason!)   This morning, as I meditated on the spiritual meaning of bats, I was reminded about the midlife journey through the shadow.

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting the Shadow

“The Shadow” has been defined in a variety of ways, depending on what school of psychology or philosophy one subscribes to.  I think of the shadow as all the parts of ourselves that we have not brought to the light.  Using this definition, shadow consists of all of the parts of ourselves we keep hidden away, the parts of ourselves we reject and the parts of ourselves we repress and are perhaps not even conscious of.  Shadow can also be made up of the counterparts to our gifts – underdeveloped skills that if cultivated might help to bring better balance into our lives.  Let me give you some examples.

1) As an Intuitive/Feeler (on the Myers-Briggs personality profile), the sensate/thinker could be considered as an aspect of my shadow – inviting me to balance intuition with facts, figures and evidence, feelings with logic and reason.

2) Anger and Rage make up part of my shadow – emotions I feared and rejected as a child and therefore rejected within myself….it wasn’t ok to be angry.  In midlife, I have had to make friends with anger and find an appropriate way to process it in my life.

3) Perfectionism – as a recovering perfectionist, imperfection is my shadow.  I reject the parts of myself that are imperfect – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, the part of me that harbors resentment, the part of me that wants vengeance, the part of me that is tempted to be bad.  In midlife, I have had to confront these perceived imperfections and again…make friends with them.

4) Other unsavory qualities…..during times of overwhelming stress, certain behaviors and hidden characteristics showed up in me and I was SHOCKED to see how I responded.  These were things I judged others as doing…but would “never do this” myself.  Well…..guess what?  I did.  More imperfections to make peace with.

5) The shadow can also be a bit fun…..like my secret obsession with tattoos, Kat Von D and Disney villains.  All of these show up as glimpses of parts of my soul that want to be more fully integrated in my everyday life.  I want to be a rockstar, wear leather and have my whole body tattooed…..but I don’t because it is only part of me….not all of who I am.  🙂

Midlife and Menopause – the Gift in the Shadow

The gift in uncovering and more fully integrating our shadow is that we become more whole, more fully integrated, we experience greater contentment with ourselves and we might be happier and have more fun.  By integrating our shadow, we also have more energy to do what we love because we have stopped using up all our psychic energy keeping our shadow at bay. Bringing the shadow into the light and allowing it room to roam frees us to explore and enjoy our creative gifts and be of better service to the world.

What does your shadow consist of?

Lauri Ann Lumby provides guidance and support for those traversing the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes.  For more information, contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Symptoms of Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

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. There are a whole slew of symptoms that arise to alert us to the fact that we are facing midlife, perimenopause and menopause – anxiety, depression, restlessness, impatience, discontent, sorrow, loneliness, relationship issues and rage.  In today’s blog, we explore rage as a symptom of midlife and how to deal with it.

midlife-menopause-rage
midlife-menopause-rage

Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

In the process of birthing ourselves during the midlife transition, a whole slew of symptoms emerge with three purposes:

1) To alert/WAKE US UP to the fact that we have entered the midlife stage of human development.

2) To let us know that our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives – is trying to be born.

3) To give us an opportunity to clear out all the old, unresolved and ungrieved issues from our past which might stand as an obstacle to the birthing of our Soul.

Rage, as a symptom of midlife, perimenopause and menopause, does all of these things.  Rage shows up to remind us of all the past betrayals, resentments, disappointments, losses and hurts that have not yet been processed, healed and released.  While rage shows up to clean our inner house, Rage also has a unique and special purpose.

Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Rage in a Cage

In the lifetime leading up to the midlife (perimenopause and menopause) transition, most of us have spent an enormous amount of time and energy keeping a lid on our truth.  Ignoring our needs.  Denying our passions.  Silencing our hopes and dreams.  Putting a gag over our truth. At midlife, our Soul screams, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”  This is where rage steps in.  Rage, during midlife, is more often than not, all of our bottled up truths, suppressed needs, repressed passions trying to find their way out.  For just a moment, imagine that you are a volcano and all of your needs, truths, secret desires, hidden gifts, passions, hopes and dreams are molten lava….bubbling and boiling and wanting to come forth out of the world, but you have placed 300 tons of stones and rocks on top of your boiling truths.  At midlife, the pressure of this boiling mass of creativity, dreams and passions can no longer be contained and will eventually EXPLODE out of you….often in a fit of rage….and if not in an explosion, it will come out sideways in impatience, frustration, seething resentments.  The remedy to Rage in midlife…..is to uncover your truths, name and claim your needs, set healthy boundaries for yourself and your loved ones, explore your passions, rediscover your childhood dreams…..and LET THEM SPEAK.  In allowing our truths to be known, our rage subsides and we find contentment, peace and joy.

Lauri Ann Lumby offers support for the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes.  To learn more, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey, Truth

Truth and Consequences

Today I’m taking a little break from the menopause, midlife and perimenopause discussion to talk about truth.  Today’s blog is inspired by a dear friend who has recently suffered the consequences of living their truth – judgment, condemnation, criticism, untrue accusations, etc.  Today’s blog is a reminder for those of us who dare to stand in our truth that there will always be those who misunderstand, unfairly judge and even hate us for doing what they are unable or unwilling to do for themselves. 

Living our Truth
Living our Truth

Our Truest Nature

Planted deep within each and every one of us are the seeds of our truest nature – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, fulfillment, purpose and connection in our lives.  When we take the time to uncover this gift, nurture and cultivate it and share this gift, the world becomes a better place and we are fulfilled in the good we are bringing to our world.  The unique gift we have been given is for ourselves, but more importantly, it is there to serve the world.  It is because of and for this gift that we are here and without the identification of and sharing of this gift, the world suffers…and so do we.  Until we uncover and share this gift, we live a life of quiet desperation – forever restless, impatient, unsettled and discontented and our discontent often comes out sideways in non-loving attitudes, behaviors, thoughts and actions.  Anxiety, depression, judgment, discrimination, arrogance, ignorance, etc. all come out of an inner sense of fear and guilt for not tending to the real person God/dess made us to be.

The Path of our Truth

The path to our truth is never an easy one!  It requires the release and healing of negative childhood experiences and messages, overcoming societal “shoulds” and “rules” and confronting the fears of judgment, rejection and condemnation.  In addition to overcoming all of these externals, we have to overcome the inner voice that tells us our gifts are worthless or unnecessary and we have to answer the question, “Who am I to do….”  Then, once we make it through the bramble choked forest of our inner fears and resistance and cultivate the courage to deal with the threat of external rejection, we are forced to acknowledge that no matter how much strength we cultivate or courage we muster, there will always be those who will judge, criticize, condemn, even hate us for daring to stand in our truth.

The Consequences and Responsibility of Living our Truth

Those who are approaching and living their truth serve as a mirror for the rest of the world – by living in our truth, we reflect back for others their own hidden truth.  For some, the triggering of their truth is welcome and they begin to awaken to their own unrealized truth.  For those who are unwilling or unable to acknowledge the hidden seeds of their truth…we are the enemy.   Because their truth is buried so deeply in their subconscious…or because they have worked so hard to ignore or deny it, all they feel in our presence is resistance, fear, even repulsion.  Because they are unable or unwilling to be present to the voice of their own truth and are uncomfortable in the anxiety that is triggered by their buried truth, they project this anxiety on to us….and we become the target of all the repressed anger, fear and guilt they unconsciously feel for ignoring their truth.  This is where the judgment, condemnation, criticism, rejection come in…..not because we did something wrong, but because we did something VERY RIGHT by living our truth.  The invitation as we continue to live in our truth is to understand the consequences of living that truth … the inner freedom and contentment we experience for living our truth, the opportunity to help others awaken to their truth and the very real negative reactions from those who are unable to live their truth.  And when we are done tending to our own hurt at being criticized, condemned and rejected, perhaps we can grow in compassion for those who continue to be imprisoned for not living their truth.

When have you been criticized, condemned, judged, rejected for living your truth?

Where have you experienced others awakening to their truth because of your ability to live your truth?

How does it help to understand that by living your truth, you are a mirror for those whose truth is still unlived?