Posted in Authentic Freedom, Midlife Journey

Midlife, Menopause and Authentic Freedom

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. Ultimately, the midlife journey is about approaching, discovering, cultivating, embracing and living Authentic Freedom, a term I coined years ago to describe this process.

authentic freedom and midlife
The Joy of Authentic Freedom

Midlife, Menopause and Authentic Freedom

Apparently, the word is out.  Everyday, on my Google stats, people are finding me by typing in the keywords Authentic Freedom.  This is the title of my first book and the curriculum for personal and spiritual development that I created.  I cannot take full credit for the creation of this term, authentic freedom, as it is apparently something Pope John Paul II used to describe the very thing I presume to teach.  So…..what is authentic freedom?  Allow me to quote from my book:

Authentic Freedom is a way of life characterized by the consistent experience of inner peace, out of which we are free to openly share the gifts that God has given each of us.  Authentic Freedom is our divine inheritance and the way that God intends us to live.  (p. 1)

In my book, I then go on to describe all the things that prevent us from living the life God intended us to live and which keeps us from the contentment, joy, expansiveness, love and fulfillment that is inherent is both our Divine and human call.  Until we achieve this end for which we were made, we are doomed to a life of quiet desperation, restlessly searching and longing for that which cannot be named.  That which cannot be named is no less than our SOUL, our TRUE SELF, the person we were made to be.  The midlife journey and all the rough patches that go along with that is directing us toward the birth of our Soul, toward the authentic freedom that we were made to experience.  If you have not yet accepted this invitation and set your foot upon the path…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  Love, compassion, joy, peace, fulfillment and healthy intimate connections are waiting for you if you would only say yes.  Again…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????

Lauri Ann Lumby has mentored hundreds of men and women on their midlife journey toward a life of authentic freedom.  To meet with Lauri in persons, over the phone or via Skype, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in mental illness, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Anxiety

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Anxiety

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.  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. As is true of childbirth, birthing ourselves is no less painful.  In the coming blogs, we will explore some of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that come with midlife including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, changes in libido, physical changes, etc. Today, we explore anxiety.

midlife menopause anxiety
midlife-menopause-dealing with anxiety

 

Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – when anxiety tries to wake us up

Anxiety is one of those perceived troublesome symptoms of midlife, perimenopause and menopause.  Sometimes, anxiety is simply caused by an imbalance in hormones, an overactive or underactive thyroid, anemia or possible heart trouble.  Anxiety is not something to be dismissed if its cause is medical and can be treated as such.  Anxiety does not always have a verifiable medical cause, however, and is often more about our Soul – our truest self – trying to wake us up than a symptom that can be effectively treated through medication.  For much of our life, leading up to midlife, we have worked really hard to ignore, forget, suppress, repress the call of our Soul.  We have intentionally ignored the pleadings of our heart to heal the wounds of our past.  We have silenced the voice of our inner truth which longs to find its expression. We have ignored the voice in our head which questions authority, the status quo and who longs to know our passion, our gifts and the path to fulfillment.  And, we are not the only ones silencing our Soul.  For most of our lifetimes, outside perceived (and often self-appointed) authorities, have been telling us to: sit down, shut up, speak only when spoken to, do what I tell you, don’t rock the boat, be content with status quo and don’t you dare tell the family secret.  Somewhere in the journey of midlife, the Soul says ENOUGH and tries to wake us up out of status quo, out of the silenced and stilted lives of quiet desperation we have been leading and into a life of peace, joy, love and fulfillment.  Anxiety is sometimes the mechanism used by the Soul to alert us to the silent longing of our heart, the voice of our truth and the inner authority which will lead us to the path of fulfillment.  Instead of condemning our midlife anxiety as “bad” or something that has to be eradicated through SSRI’s and antidepressants, sometimes the most effective way of dealing with our anxiety is to be present to it, allow it to be and take time to listen to what it might be trying to tell us.  During the journey of midlife, perimenopause and menopause, anxiety is sometimes the key to the door of our passion and the path to fulfillment.

How has anxiety been a part of your own midlife journey? 

What secret, inner truths is your anxiety trying to get you to embrace?

If you are looking for support in navigating the midlife journey, Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to schedule your in-person, phone or Skype session.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Midlife Journey

Dealing with Midlife and Menopause….The Map

Midlife Crisis, Menopause, Perimenopause, whatever name you call it – the purpose is the same.  The purpose of midlife, menopause and perimenopause (if we are paying attention) is to assist us in the birth of our Soul.  Soul is the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and through which we are called to serve the betterment of our world.  The midlife journey consists of a complex, twisted, path which is everything but linear and once we think we have accomplished a certain task, healed a particular wound, it comes back again for another layer of healing.  In preparation for my upcoming course, Surviving Midlife, I have created a visual which demonstrates the labyrinthine journey of midlife (menopause and perimenopause).  In the spirit of Harry Potter, I call it the Marauding Midlife Map….because we often feel like thieves in the night as we sneak around trying to find our way through the midlife challenges (and opportunities).  The good news is that the more we surrender to the process of midlife, the more we can proudly proclaim, (again in Harry Potter Style)  “Mischief Managed!”

PS:  I provide support for men and women in the birth of their Soul.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to find out more! 

Midlife Map

Posted in Midlife Journey

What to Expect in Midlife and Menopause Part 1

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.  Yesterday, we talked about the midlife crisis or awakening that heralds the midlife journey (which includes menopause).  Today we will begin the process of exploring the many aspects of midlife by revisiting the past.

midlife menopause
midlife, menopause, making peace with the past

What to Expect in Midlife and Menopause – Revisiting the past

After the midlife crisis, the awakening that heralds the midlife journey (including perimenopause and menopause), our past comes back to haunt us.  In order to make room for the new life that seeks to be born through midlife, we have to make peace with our past.  Specifically, we are invited to find healing and release for any unhealed wounds from childhood, ungrieved losses, failures and disappointments, unacknowledged hurts and childhood fears.  We are also invited to let go of any resentments, betrayals, deceits that we are still clinging to and find room in our hearts for forgiveness and therefore release.  During the midlife transition, we are also forced to take a good hard look in the mirror and examine all the places where we may have intentionally or unintentionally hurt another human being.  We are invited to examine all the places in our lives where we have acted in less than loving ways, where we have lied to or cheated another.  Where we have hurt another through our angry outbursts or prideful self-righteousness.  Embarking on the midlife journey is kind of like dying and spending a few years in purgatory, examining all the ways in which we have been wounded and all the ways in which we have been the one to cause harm, and then we are invited to find healing and release from all this debris.  Once we have burned through the pain and the sorrow there is more room within us for humility and compassion – the soil in which the seeds of our new life will be planted, take root and grow.  But first, we have to be willing to confront and make peace with our past.

Lauri Lumby provides education and support for the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops.  You can reach Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com for more information or to set up an appointment.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Losing our Life in Midlife

“Whomever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whomever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  MT: 16 25

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Losing our Life in Midlife

Whether we are moving through the transitions of perimenopause and menopause or simply suffering a midlife crisis, the midlife journey is about losing our lives.  In order to birth our soul – the uniquely creative way in which we were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which we are called to serve the betterment of our world – something has to die.  Typically, that something is the life that we have known.  The treacherous path of midlife causes us to confront all those things in our life that are no longer life-giving (if they ever were), to examine the person we made ourselves to be for the sake of other people’s approval, and to challenge our perceived comfort in the status quo.  All of this confronting, challenging and examining is to serve one purpose and that is to make room for our true self to emerge, our gifts and our passions to step in and to free us to live our dreams.  In order to be the person God made us to be, we have to let our old lives die.

What is it that you are being invited to examine, confront, challenge and ultimately let die so that your new life can begin?

Posted in Midlife Journey, Returning book, Uncategorized

Surviving Midlife – the Map Part 2

Midlife is the sometimes treacherous journey from childbearing to birthing ourselves.  Specifically, the goal of midlife is the birth of our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we were gifted to find fulfillment, meaning and purpose and to contribute to the betterment of the world.  For women, midlife is associated with menopause and perimenopause and for men, the journey is not so affectionately (and not necessarily accurately) referred to as a “midlife crisis.”  What can we expect to happen as the midlife journey unfolds?  Today’s blog is part two of an attempt at beginning to answer that question.  (For Part One of this blog, click HERE.)

Man's hand pointing on street map

A Recap

In yesterday’s blog, we began the exploration of midlife and identified the following as points on the map along the journey of midlife:

Awakening, Birthing, Grieving ungrieved losses, shattering of illusions and attachments, and learning to hear the voice of our truth.  Today, we cover items 6-11. 

6) Support

During the midlife journey, we quickly learn that we cannot, nor should we, attempt this journey alone.  We find support in the company of professionals (therapists, counselors, spiritual directors), dear friends, family and the world of the unseens.  Midlife is also a time of sorting – finding out who our true friends are and releasing relationships that are not supportive of who we are or who we are called to be.  We might leave old friends behind, we might discover new friends, we might deepen long-standing relationships.  At midlife, we may find our circle of support grows smaller, but it will be more intimate, healthier and more loving.  We also find in midlife a new relationship with the unseens.  Whether we call it “God” or form relationships with angels, saints or spirit guides, we learn that invisible help is there if we look for it and we find value in seeking support from the world beyond.

7) Relationship Issues

This is a BIGGIE!  Our committed, intimate relationships cannot maintain status quo as we are going through the changes of midlife….and this is equally true for men as it is for women.  It is not a coincidence that it is often in midlife that couples go through the dark night of the relationship.  At the dark night, we realize that the relationship we entered into in our youth is no longer life-giving and is in need of healing, growth and transformation. If the relationship hopes to continue with any sense of fulfillment and happiness, both parties must be willing to grow in self-awareness, independence and self-sufficiency and they must be willing to renegotiate a new relationship post-midlife.  This is of course assuming both parties are even interested in staying together.  Some will discover through midlife that the people they are birthing are no longer compatible. Midlife is a treacherous time for relationships.

8) Redefining Love

Hand-in-hand with relationship issues is an evolving definition of love.  What is love?  What does love look like?  How do we show love and how do we need to be shown love (What is our love language)?  What do we want in a relationship?  These are all questions that we are invited to ask during the midlife journey and answers we are invited to bring to the table in renegotiating our intimate relationships.  We also learn in midlife (if we are doing our work), how to love more freely and more generously and above all….we learn how to forgive.

9) Befriending Self – Childhood Dreams

A huge part of midlife (if not the primary goal) is to befriend ourselves.  During midlife, we are invited to let go of the “shoulds” and set aside the person we made ourselves to be so that we could gain other people’s approval.  Instead, we are challenged to get to know who we really are, the person God made us to be.  We are compelled to seek out our true self and to find ways to embrace him/her and live it.  No longer will we apologize for who we are or change who we are to make someone else happy.  Part of discovering who we are is rediscovering our childhood dreams.  Hidden within our childhood passions, hopes and dreams are the clues to our truest self.  If we can remember who we were at age 7, we have a pretty good start at knowing who we were really made to be.

10) Befriending Self – making peace with our bodies

During midlife, our bodies are changing…..and are doing so in spite of our efforts to make it behave and act like it did when we were 20.  The physical changes of midlife, I think, are God’s reminder that we are not in charge!  Yes, we need to tend to our health, exercise and eat healthy foods, but our body will continue to do what it wants within those parameters.  Our job is to make peace with these changes and to surrender to that over which we have no control.  Wisdom in midlife comes when we make peace with our bodies and stop apologizing for it or for trying to make it behave.  Peace comes in midlife when we embrace the juicy, sensuous curves (PS  Susun Weed says that women who carry an extra 10 pounds during midlife have fewer “side effects” from menopause….hmmmm) that midlife throws us and enjoy the passion that wants to be made known through our freer bodies and even freer minds.

11) Befriending Self – the shadow

Finally, befriending self means making peace with all the parts of ourselves that we might be tempted to reject, condemn or ignore.  During midlife, wisdom and peace comes when we learn to be ok with our perceived imperfections and can acknowledge and even embrace our humanness.  We are meant to love ourselves….warts and all….and midlife is the perfect time to learn how to do this.   When we make peace with our demons, they no longer have power over us.  So…befriend your anger, resentment, vengeful nature, self-doubt, insecurities, webbed feet and crows feet…..it is all part of who you are and it is magnificent!

The good news is that all these tasks of midlife, as difficult as many of them are, are not in vain.  The journey of midlife has a purpose and a destination – a return to yourself, your gifts and your passion.  The midlife journey, when actively engaged, leads you to a life of purpose in service to yourself and to the world and one in which you find fulfillment, peace and joy!  Who wouldn’t want that?

For more on the midlife journey for women, read my book, Returning, or register for my upcoming course, “Surviving Midlife.” 

Posted in Being Human, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, creativity, Inspiration, Midlife Journey, Spiritual Formation

The Discomfort of Change

The human journey is a continual process of changing and growing – a cyclical process of dying and birthing – letting go of that which no longer serves us and making room for the new life that wants to be made known through us.  These life changes are often accompanied by feelings of discontent, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, depression and even despair.  How do we know our life is ready for the next cycle of change and what do we do about it?

babyUltrasound

The Constant Process of Birthing Ourselves

Life is a continual process of birthing ourselves.  Beginning with the moment our father’s sperm meets our mother’s egg,  life consists of a constant process of evolution, growth and change.  And change does not cease once we reach our full height sometime during adolescence or because we achieved certain milestones like graduating high school or college.  In fact, I sometimes think that once we reach “adulthood,” our growth accelerates – especially at significant times such as marriage, childbirth, midlife and elderhood – we just do a really good job of resisting or altogether ignoring the continual unfoldment necessary for Soul.

Soul

Soul is the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our lives and the way in which we are gifted to contribute to the betterment of the world.  As we move through the journey of life, Soul desires to reveal itself in deeper, more meaningful and more expansive ways.  Soul is never done revealing itself…..if we let it.  Unfortunately, we tend to spend more time resisting or ignoring Soul than allowing it to be born.  Fortunately, the desire of the Soul is greater than any resistance we could throw at it and it will persist in trying to be born…or die trying.   Yes, we can ignore and even deny the continual revelation of our Soul…even to the point of the Soul’s “death” (the Soul never really dies it will just feel that way) but the harder we resist the more uncomfortable things will become.

Heralding the Soul

While the birthing of the Soul is a deeply spiritual and mysterious process, its effects will be felt on both an emotional and physical level.  Soul, when it is ready to be done with a current phase of our life and is preparing to move to the next more expansive, more fulfilling state, starts to get restless, and we along with it.  Restlessness, discontent, boredom, are all feelings there to alert us to the Soul preparing for its next stage of unfoldment.  As the restlessness sets in, anxiety is sure to follow as our very human fear of change begins to resist the Soul….knowing that if Soul is ready to be born anew, that something will have to die or be set aside.  Like the plant that must die in order that it can reseed and be born anew, part of what we have known our life to be will need to pass away in order to make room for something new.  If we acknowledge this anxiety for what it is, identify what it is that is calling for release, grieve the loss and let it go, then we can gently surrender to the new opportunities Soul is promising for us.  If, however, we resist the call of the Soul and continue to resist it, then all hell breaks loose.  Resistance to Soul is known by feelings of profound anxiety, panic, debilitating despair and depression.  And if we further resist the birth of Soul, sensations move beyond our emotions and take root in our body through physical pain and even disease.  Chronic pain, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, panic attacks, auto-immune disease, are all thought to be related to resistance to Soul.  (Birthing the Soul also means naming, claiming, standing up for all of our truths….especially the ones we’d rather forget or keep hidden).  The harder we work to resist our Soul (and our truths), the more drastic measures Soul/Truth will engage to try to get our attention.

Surrender to Soul

To alleviate the discomfort associated with the transitions of Soul, we only need to do one thing.  LET OUR SOUL BE BORN!  When we GET OUT OF THE WAY and SURRENDER to the Soul as it is trying to be born, we are relieved of the pain that accompanies the Soul’s transition.  Like labor, the birth of the Soul is never pain free, but when we surrender to the process, accept loving support from family, friends and professionals, we are able to move through the transition in a smoother and easier way.  When we acknowledge that which needs to be released in order to make room for the new and grieve that loss, when we employ effective tools for moving through our own fear and resistance to the new life that is not yet known, then we find grace and ease in the process of the Soul’s birthing.  And, like the birth of a child, when we allow Soul to be born, we are rewarded in greater and more miraculous ways than we ever could have imagined before.

For assistance and support in the transitions of birthing your Soul, contact Lauri Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, creativity

Conquering Fear

Soul is the uniquely creative part of ourselves that when engaged, gives us a sense of fulfillment, peace and joy.  Soul gives us meaning and is our unique purpose in this life and the way we assist in creating a better, more loving, more joyful, more peaceful world.  Soul is who we were born to be and who we are compelled to become.  Birthing the Soul is as much of a spiritual as it is psychological journey and there is just one thing that stands in the way of living our Soul’s purpose….and that is fear.  Today’s blog explores that fear.

excalibur

Getting a Glimpse of Soul

Soul is the uniquely creative part of us that we were born to become.  Soul is our original nature and the person God/dess made us to be.  Living from Soul, we find meaning and purpose in our life, it leads us to fulfilling work and healthy intimate connections.  Living from Soul, we offer our own unique gift for the betterment of humanity and our world.  Soul is not something that only shows up after we have done enough work, said enough prayers or beat enough bushes.  Soul is with us all along, calling to us, beckoning us, guiding us and sometimes kicking out butts.  We can recognize Soul in the moments in our life where we are on-fire with enthusiasm, excitement and joy.  Soul is found in the activities, books, movies, relationships, life encounters that make our hearts sing.  Soul is speaking through us when we hear words of wisdom, insight, comfort, support and guidance fly out of our lips and we wonder, “Where did THAT come from?”  Soul is in the moments of tender intimacy, heart breaking grief and bold righteousness.  Soul is in our passion, our grief, our joy and our activism.

Soul in Retrospect

Soul is also available in the 20/20 vision of hindsight.  When I look back on my own life, I can see Soul glimpsing at me behind Fr. Otto’s robes, in the rolling mists of Avalon, in Obi Wan Kenobi’s brown hooded robe, in Wonder Woman’s golden lasso of truth, in the gleaming blade of Excalibur, in the wiggle of Samantha Steven’s nose and in the haunting strains of Moire Brennan’s voice and the platformed heels of Stevie Nicks’ boots.  Soul guides us in glimpses and flashes of inspiration and in dreams of things yet to come.  Soul is always there in everything, calling us home to ourselves, to the person God/dess made us to be.

Being Human = Having Fear

If Soul is there all along, calling, cajoling, beckoning us on, the birthing of the Soul should be easy, right?  Yeah….I wish.  Birthing Soul would be easy if it weren’t for one thing…..FEAR.  In the moment that we agreed to participate in this human experiment, Fear decided to come along for a ride.  In fact, if it weren’t for fear, we wouldn’t be human…instead, we’d be sitting up on the clouds with the Cherubim and Seraphim, not being human, but singing songs of glory to our God.  But we aren’t here to be angels, neither are we here to be gods.  We are here to be human. In being human, fear has an important role to play.  I keeps us alive and allows us to survive.  Without a healthy dose of fear, we’d all be jumping off of bridges and leaping from cliffs to our death, eating poisonous plants and burning ourselves with fire.  Beyond the necessary fears for survival, however, fear is simply an obstacle that keeps us from living from Soul and from being the joyful, loving, creative, fulfilled, peaceful person God/dess made us to be.

Confronting Fear

One of the things I have learned about confronting fear is that if we can name the demon, it no longer has power over us.  99% of the work of moving beyond fear to Soul is actually naming the fear.  Today, I’m going to help you with that task.  In my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joy, I have identified the seven core spiritual fears that are THE obstacles to us living from Soul and being the person we were made to be.  Your assignment in the coming week is to look for the presence of these fears in your life, identify them and call them out.  While there is more to releasing fears than simply naming them…..naming is a good place to start.  So here are the fears that have been keeping you from the life of contentment, fulfillment and joy that you long for:

  • There is not enough (time, money, power, things, love, support, time, money)
  • I am not uniquely gifted (ie: I have nothing to offer, no gifts to speak of, nothing to contribute)
  • I can’t
  • I am not loved (or will be rejected)
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know my truth (or my path, or my gift, or my Soul)
  • I am alone

In the coming week, reflect on how these fears are present in your life and how they are an obstacle to you living your Soul!

Posted in Being Human, creativity, Empowerment, temptation

Creativity, Soul and Resistance

Today’s blog explores all the ways we resist our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment.  Resistance includes all the inner and seemingly exterior obstacles the keep us from our spiritual and creative path and the path of our greatness…and it sometimes feels like nothing short of war.

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Game On!

There is a reason Joseph Campbell calls the journey to the Soul, the hero’s journey, and it is a good reasonIn my experience, it is only the brave and truly courageous who have the moxie to endure, persist and survive the spiritual journey toward embracing and living SOUL.  Soul is the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection in our lives.  The purpose of Soul is to help us find fulfillment and in turn to help others find the same, thereby making our world a more peaceful, loving and harmonious place.  The challenge is that in the journey toward Soul, we will encounter every possible reason, excuse, obstacle, fear, insecurity, worry, criticism for NOT following this path that the journey toward Soul sometimes feels like nothing short of war.

The War of Art

Author, Steven Pressfield, acknowledges the truth of the battle toward Soul in the title of his book, The War of Art.  The journey to Soul often feels like a battle as we come face to face with every inner and seemingly outer obstacle to our enjoyment of our unique creative gift, drive and passion.  First of all, we create every excuse for NOT tending to our Soul/art/gifts/passions including, “I don’t have enough time, money, education, support, resources, space, room, blah blah blah.”  We also create all kinds of ridiculous stories in our heads like, “I’ll tend to my art when my husband, children, mother, father, sisters, the world, can fend for themselves and no longer need my attention and care,” or “I’m too old/young, it’s too late, I don’t have the right teachers, blah blah blah.”  Or the most damaging and potentially threatening words to our art, “What if no one likes it?????”   While we are entertaining all the voices in our head that tell us all the reasons we can’t or should not pursue our creative and spiritual dreams, somehow the universe gets in on the conversation and begins throwing challenges in our path.  Let me tell you a little story to give you an idea of how this works….

The subtlety of resistance

Last night, I was given an opportunity to step into my Soul by facilitating my first workshop on creativity.  The workshop was planned, I knew what and how I was going to present.  As such, I had nothing to do during the day but the normal everyday things of bathing, cooking, cleaning, feeding my children, etc.  Well, everything that could possibly go wrong with the simple everyday things of life did, and in the process, every one of my deepest insecurities and worries were triggered….all completely unrelated to this workshop (or so it would seem).  The end result was me in a fit of rage, losing my temper with my kids and melting down in a flood of tears at the dining room table.

Get behind me Satan!

Author, Julie Tallard Johnson, in her book, Wheel of Initiation, refers to this seemingly exterior form of resistance as The Trickster and relates the trickster to the coyote (as an animal totem).  Joseph Campbell refers to this exterior obstacle as the supernatural helper.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this adversary is known as Satan.  (Read more about the exterior obstacle click HERE.)  This exterior form of resistance is made up of all the things that seem to be outside of us that give us the opportunity to question, doubt, even cease the journey toward Soul.  As my day seemed to be going to hell, I was confronted with every fear, worry, doubt about the path of Soul that I had been taking.  As the sh..t was hitting the fan, I wondered, “should I throw it all in and get a ‘real’ job?”  I doubted the current course of my path and wondered if I was good enough, capable enough or if I was once again barking up the wrong tree.”  (for the record….I don’t really believe there is a wrong tree, but the trickster makes us think in that way!)  The trickster showed up and I was caught up in the whirlwind of chaos it seeks to create.

The Irony of Resistance

The irony in all of this drama is that I didn’t realize it was the trickster of resistance until after the workshop – hindsight really is 20/20.  After the meltdown at the kitchen table, I packed my kids off for their dad’s, headed off toward the workshop and facilitated one of the most well-attended and successful single evening workshops of my career.  In attendance was an enthusiastic and open group of women, excited to awaken their latent creativity and open the door to their Soul which they did through poetry, prose and proclamation.  It was an exciting and rewarding evening which also happened to benefit the local shelter for victims of domestic abuse.  As Julie Tallard Johnsons reminds in The Wheel of Initiation, when the trickster shows up, it is there because something really amazing is about to happen.  Last night was the perfect example of this truth and another reminder of the battle of arriving at Soul and the courage and tenacity needed for staying on the path.

How does resistance show up in your life?

How do you deal with resistance when it appears?

How do you move through the challenges of resistance?

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL. To schedule one-on-one mentoring, classes, workshops or retreats, call Lauri Ann Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, creativity, Inspiration, Midlife Journey, sin, teachers, temptation

Satan’s Redemption

Satan: gateway to hell or guide to heaven?  The benevolent role of temptation leading us to the goal of our spiritual journey – the birth of our Soul and the discovery of our uniquely creative gifts.

TimCurrySatan

The Hero’s Journey

In Joseph Campbell’s immortal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he demonstrates within mythology and sacred text the universal story.  This story illustrates the process through which we are called to our destiny and the journey of getting there.  Our destiny is no less than the birth of our Soul – the way in which we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, fulfillment and connection in our life and through which we are called to serve the betterment of the world.  This path is referred to as the hero’s journey because in order to accept the call, persist, endure and succeed, one must be courageous and brave – the hero with the shining blade. 

The Road of Trials

For the hero brave enough to accept the call, the second stage in the journey toward the birth of their creative and spiritual destiny, is initiation. Campbell refers to the first stage of initiation as the road of trials.  It is during this stage in the initiatory journey that the hero encounters the supernatural helper.  Much to the chagrin of the one who journeys, however, the supernatural helper is not there to take our hand and lead us through the field of daisies to our destiny, instead, the role of the helper is to lead us through the labyrinth of our fears,  illusions, false perceptions, ego attachments, addictions, compulsions and excuses.  The helper is there to give us an opportunity to confront everything within us that stands in the way of naming, claiming, nurturing, cultivating and ultimately living our destiny and that includes everything that tempts from our path and tempts us from being the person God made us to be.   The helper leads us into the shadows so that we can return to the light.

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  To schedule a workshop or retreat or set up a one-on-one mentoring session, contact Lauri Ann Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Satan

In the Hebrew tradition, this is the role that Satan plays.

Satan is a heavenly angel who was created for the purpose of tempting man, who must in turn exercise his free will to overcome the temptation.  . . . temptation exists so that people can demonstrate and increase their moral strength, thereby turning potential evil into good.  Accordingly, the Sages comment that the expression, “God saw that all He had created was very good,” refers also to the creation of the evil inclination, for its ultimate goal, too, serves man’s attainment of perfection.”   – Rabbi Michael L. Munk, The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet.

In the Christian scripture, this is also the role that Satan plays in providing Jesus with the opportunities to confront his own inner obstacles.  Satan appears at pivotal points in Jesus’ journey – once after his baptism by John and Jesus’ subsequent temptation in the desert, through Peter in his attempts to dissuade Jesus from his path or in his desire to name Jesus King, and finally, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

the passion of the christ devil satan in crowd passion164

The Horned God, Pan, Herne, Cernunnos, Gwynn ap Nudd

In the pagan traditions of Western Europe, there is a rich history of supernatural helpers in the guise of nature gods.  Pan, Herne, Cernunnos, Gwynn ap Nudd, Hades are just a few of the names given to the god of the underworld, the one who guards the world of rest and repose between lives, the shadow world (of our fears, illusions, etc.) and fertility.  He is a warm, moist, salty God (to borrow the words of Edwinna Gately), sexual, erotic, dark, mysterious and alluring.  In the journey toward our destiny, the god of the underworld, is the supernatural helper who gives us the opportunity to confront our inner demons – the obstacles to our creative and spiritual fulfillment.  While his arrival strikes fear in the hearts of even the bravest women and men, his intention and purpose is benevolent and in service to our greatest good.

Cernunnos

Get Behind Me Satan

The Catholic tradition in which I was raised  taught us to fear temptation and to do everything we can to avoid it, to push it away, to bury it, ignore it, confess it, feel shame and guilt for it.  This fear was then further compounded by the threat of eternal damnation, or worse, demonic possession.  Jesus, however, demonstrated another path.  Jesus did not run from temptation, he did not ignore it or bury it.  He never felt shame or guilt (as far as we know) when tempted, and did not confess or apologize for being human.  Instead, Jesus looked Satan square in the face, listened to what Satan had to say, moved through his own fears, confronted his inner obstacles and found the way to his destiny.  When temptation, the supernatural helper shows up on our path, our job it to stay put, maybe even welcome it, for it is only in confronting our own inner fears, illusions, obstacles that we can ever hope to arrive at the place of our Soul – where we find fulfillment in our spiritual and creative purpose in service to the betterment of the world.  And it is in welcoming the supernatural helper that Satan shall be redeemed.

mists of avalon masks

SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole.  My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL.  To schedule a workshop or retreat or set up a one-on-one mentoring session, contact Lauri Ann Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com