Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Childhood Dreams

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. While aspects of the midlife journey seem unpleasant, parts of it are sheer joy, in particular, the opportunity to rediscover and reclaim our childhood dreams.  Today’s blog is about rediscovering our childhood dreams and how they hold a clue about what our Soul longs to be.

Midlife-Menopause-Childhood Dreams
Midlife-Menopause-Childhood Dreams

Midlife and Menopause – Childhood Dreams

While midlife can certainly be a challenging process, and no one relishes the idea of having to experience anxiety, depression, panic, frustration, rage or grief in midlife, the journey is not all about pain. In fact, the goal of the midlife journey is JOY, and let me assure you, there are some amazing moments of joy that show up for those truly open to embracing and indulging the midlife journey.  In particular, we discover in midlife that from the moment of our conception, our Soul left behind clues as to who it wants us to be.  At midlife, we get to go back through our past and rediscover all of these clues which when put together, present a picture as to what will give us meaning, fulfillment and purpose in our lives and how we are called to serve the betterment of the world.

Midlife and Menopause – Seeking the Treasure

Finding the clues that our Soul left behind as reminders of who it wants to be is as simple as going back to our childhood and examining how we spent our time and what in those experiences gave us joy, helped us feel content and whole and taught us how to love.  I will share a few examples from my own life to help get you started in your own exploration.

1) Bewitched – My favorite TV series of all time!  Samantha Stevens and her magical shenanigans revealed to me my inner belief in magic and mystery and grounded my own sense of tenacity and playfulness.  I admired Samantha’s spunk and her refusal to be tied down by somebody else’s rules.  She also demonstrated that no matter how hard we try, we cannot deny our true nature!

2) Mary Poppins – My favorite movie of all time!  Mary Poppins showed me my outer perfectionistic nature while revealing my ability to swoop in to empower others to achieve their greatest potential.  Mary also showed me my own depths of compassion and desire to help those in need….and that money and power are not how I want to measure my life.

3) Grandpa’s Cabin – We spent our summer weekends tucked into the wooded magic of Lake Lumby – my great-grandparent’s homestead of virgin forest, natural sand beach and glacier lake.  We were free to explore the woods and the water and here I felt safe.  It was here that I discovered fall as my favorite season and that the aroma of crunching fall leaves, fallen pine needles and bonfires as the scent of my Soul.

4) Music – Raised on 60’s folk, classic country, the Osmond Brothers and Partridge Family and trained in classical piano, I discovered music as the key to soothing my inner savage beast.  When I felt frustrated, angry, impatient, sad or constricted, I need only turn to the piano or retreat to my room to sing and dance and I was once again made whole.

5) Church – Yes, I am one of those weird children who actually liked church.  Church was the one time in the week when I could leave the rest of the world behind and simply be with God.  Here I found the peace and solitude that eluded me elsewhere.  It was also in church where I found my belief in hope, new life and the call of vocation.

6) Classic Horror Movies – On rainy Saturday afternoons, I found myself drawn to the old 1950’s black and white horror flicks they played on TV.  Here I found my shadow….the parts of myself I might otherwise keep hidden, but which would later surface as amazing gifts….the ability to be present to myself and others in their pain….the courage to face my inner demons….and the persistence to continue on the journey until all the monsters are vanquished so that the light may find its return.

What were the things of childhood which gave you joy, helped you feel content and whole? 

If you are looking for guidance and support in birthing your Soul, Lauri Ann Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to find out more.

Posted in creativity, Empowerment, teachers

Everyone Needs a Fairy Godmother

In the journey of birthing our Soul – the way in which we are uniquely, creatively and spiritually gifted to contribute to the betterment of the world and in doing so, finding meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment – we often get in our own way.  Hindered by our fears, insecurities, compulsions, addictions and false perceptions, we stumble and sometimes fall.  It is during these times of struggle that it is important to know that we need not accomplish this journey alone.  We all need guidance, help and support from those who have taken the journey before us.

Mary-Poppins-mv01

Fairy Godmothers, Good Fairies and Mary Poppins

Fairytales and children’s stories are rich in their ability to reveal to us deeper and higher truths.  Like every good myth, fairytales reveal the deeper truths of the human condition, specifically, the journey toward birthing our Soul.  Every fairytale is in some way a representation of the hero’s journey, as Joseph Campbell would call it.  One valuable truth often portrayed in fairytales is that we do not need to accomplish the journey toward our creative and spiritual potential alone.  Instead, there are helpers available to assist us, maybe even magically, in accomplishing  our goal.  Cinderella had her Fairy Godmother.  Pinocchio, the Blue Fairy.  Snow White, the seven dwarves.  Briar Rose (aka Princess Aurora) had the three fairies. Dorothy had the Good Witch of the North. And the Banks children had (my personal favorite) Mary Poppins.  What is common among these helpers is a sort of higher knowledge and wisdom, mixed in with a little bit of magic.

Spoons full of sugar and bibbity bobbity boo!

The gift in these magical helpers is their ability to see beyond the fears, illusions, addictions, compulsions and insecurities of those they are helping.  Glinda knew that Dorothy had within herself the ability to return.  The Blue Fairy saw the real boy hidden beneath the rigidity of Pinocchio’s fears.  Mary Poppins saw the love and compassion beneath the Banks’ attachment to work and the longing for attention beneath Jane and Michael’s mischief.  Magical helpers are there to see the truth beyond the illusion and to hear the truth beyond the words so that they can help us to identify what is really standing in the way of our creative and spiritual fulfillment.  Then, it is their job to provide for us the resources and tools which will shake us from our attachment to the status quo, help us through our fears and restore us to the path of our Soul.  To us, these resources and tools are no less magical than a spoon full of sugar and bibbity bobbity boo!

Today’s Magical Helpers

The Fairy Godmothers and Mary Poppins of the real world are those people who show up in our lives as a source of wisdom and support as we seek the remedy to our restlessness, longing, impatience and frustration.  Spiritual Directors, Therapists, Life Coaches, Creative Mentors, etc. are all there to help us find our way to our Soul, magical helpers who help us to identify the inner obstacles, unhealed wounds, unresolved fears, false perceptions and attachments that are keeping us from the creative fulfillment that God/dess intended for us to have, and who are then there to provide us with the tools and resources for releasing, healing and moving past those inner obstacles.  The greatest gift in working with these magical helpers is that if they are good, really good, we discover our own greatness and our own unique brand of magic which we are then called to share with others – thereby making us the next generation of Fairy Godmothers and Mary Poppins’.

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.  For support in this journey, call me at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Enneagram, Lessons

Embracing Temperance

Today’s blog continues the discussion on “Holding the Tension,” specifically, how to create balance in our lives and not being driven by the sometimes chaotic drive of our emotions while still allowing ourselves to feel.

Hidden in the Cards

Yesterday unexpectedly became a LAURI DAY for me. I completed the tasks I had planned for the day by 10am and then I had nothing to do and no kids in the house to please.  So, I embraced this as a time to read, reflect, rest, ritualize.  One of the choices I made that fell into the ritualize and reflect quadrant was to pull a card from my inspirational card deck.  The card I pulled was TEMPERANCE.  Traditionally, we think of temperance from a material perspective – not overindulging, taking only what we need and nothing more, sharing with others.  In the past two years, I have had NO CHOICE but to live from a place of temperance materially.  So, the meaning of this card had to be mental, emotional or spiritual.  It turns out that for me, the invitation to embrace temperance covered all three.

Emotional Intelligence

A little background:  As a recovering perfectionist, a Type 1 on the Enneagram, emotional intelligence is something that I have had to learn.  When rooted in my compulsion (as most of us are until we begin the journey of self-awareness), I had to be perfect.  Perfect meant being Mary Poppins – not showing emotion, being impeccably dressed in Talbot’s conservativism, collars buttoned up tight, shoes laced up to the knees.  To the world, I had to be put together and unflappable.  The only threat to this unflappable Lauri was the on-going tide and swirling current of chaotic emotions that were tumbling around beneath my stoic exterior.  The only way I knew how to survive the chaos within was to IGNORE IT.  The problem with ignoring emotions is that our Inner Spirit, our Inner Truth needs to be experienced, needs to be made known and when we ignore who we really are, when we ignore our truth, we feel RESENTMENT and ANGER.  As such, these were the only two feelings I really knew and as a perfectionist, the WORST thing you can feel or be is angry.  Now throw some shame and guilt on top of that messy pile of emotions and all you get it YUK!

Learning by Feeling

In perfect universal timing, the following showed up in my email box this morning as a reminder of the journey toward emotional intelligence for the Perfectionist/Reformer/Type 1:

The overall keynote of Ones is objectivity.
Ones attempt to be objective, rational, and fair-minded and to be unmoved by
personal desires or private passions that would interfere with their obligation
to meet their own standards. Notice today when you are being overly objective.
(Understanding the Enneagram, 132)

As these words remind, part of my growth journey (and the journey for many) has been to let go of these standards of rigidity and embrace the swirling chaos of emotions that flows beneath the icy surface of my temperament.  Since the birth of my children, the journey toward emotional intelligence has been my focus (not necessarily by choice, mind you!) –  learning to FEEL, ACCEPT, BE OK with what I was feeling, when I was feeling it.  I had to learn to feel joy, happiness, love.  I also had to learn how to feel the pain of loss, disappointment, grief, betrayal.  And I had to learn the source of all the resentment that was locked up in my body and I had to be ok with anger. In contemporary terms, I had to embrace my inner Kat Von D.  Not a journey for the faint of heart…..but necessary and valuable.  I would say I’m maybe 75% along the path of emotional intelligence (if we can even measure this) and at this point, I can say it has been totally worth it.  I don’t think I’d be able to do the work I do or write what I write if I wasn’t comfortable with the sea of emotions that flow through my consciousness….and that I suspect flows through yours as well.

The Catch 22 and Temperance

But, there is a Catch 22 to this discovery and acceptance of our emotions.  That is the temptation to get swept up, carried away and controlled by our emotions.  When we are too attentive to our emotions, especially those that might be rooted in fear, it is difficult not to react to them.  For me, this reacting to my emotions presents itself through compulsive behaviors:  spending time on meaningless, non-productive activities rather than doing the tasks that really need my attention, spending too much time on emails, Facebook, chat sites, worrying and fretting about things over which I have no control, seeking for “surety and security” in an unsafe world.  This is where my self-appointed Board of Directors’ wisdom comes in handy:  HOLD THE TENSION.  (for more on that, see Monday’s blog!).  Instead of reacting to my fearful, anxiety-ridden, worrisome emotions, I am invited to SIT WITH THEM….FEEL THEM….ACCEPT THEM…EMBRACE THEM.  Instead of running to compulsive behaviors as a way to fix, eradicate or solve an emotion….I am asked to BE WITH the emotion and ALLOW IT.  This, I believe, is the definition of TEMPERANCE and a great reminder for me today as I face a weekend of non-activity.  There is nothing I have to do….fix….or heal.  I can simply be……happiness, joy, contentment, anxiety, worry, fear and all and everything will be ok.

How comfortable are you with your emotions?

Where do you find yourself tempted to react to your fear-based emotions?

How might you practice Temperance today?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Inspiration

The Wisdom of Mary Poppins

Exploring the profound wisdom of Mary Poppins – lessons in parenting, social justice, compassion, play, spiritual beliefs, mystery and magic.  Mary Poppins continues to inform and inspire.


The Walt Disney Movie, Mary Poppins (based on the children’s book series by P.L. Travers) is my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE movie.  As a child, I simply found it fun with all the great music and a fantastical story about magic, mystery and wonder.  As an adult, I can still call this my all-time favorite movie and through older (and hopefully wiser) eyes, I can appreciate the timeless and ageless wisdom of this amazing tale.  In the movie as well as in the book, there are lessons aplenty about parenting, embracing enjoyment, creativity,  caring for others, surrendering to Divine timing, etc. etc. etc.   Today we will explore the lessons that Mary Poppins invites us to embrace:


1) When you neglect, ignore, forget to spend time with your children….THEY WILL BE NAUGHTY In one of the early scenes in the film, we get to see all the naughty deeds performed by the Banks children against their nanny(s), and learn the history of their bad behavior.  It is their shenanigans that compels their current nanny to leave and places the Banks in the position of having to hire a new nanny – here comes Mary Poppins!

2) When you ask for something from place of sincerity, deep within your heart, directed by your highest self – the universe provides. The Banks children argue with their father about what they want in a nanny and in one of the most poignant songs in the film, express their deepest heart desires of what they want (in a nanny, but even more so, in a parent).  Their father rips up their request and tosses it into the fire considering their requests frivolous and impractical.  Oh….will he be surprised! (HERE’S the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-cK-qyK38&p=CFBFD9367428D902&playnext=1&index=18 )

3) When you believe in magic and mystery, your needs are provided for in ABUNDANCE – Mary Poppins’ Magic Carpetbag – need I say more?  (PS Shout out to my friend Jen who has one of those amazing bottomless purses!)


4) A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. – In other words, find the joy in life, grab on to the sweetness, life can be hard and there are things we can embrace to lighten the load, help it taste a little sweeter, ease the burden.

5) Make time for play – In the movie we are invited to join Mary Poppins, Burt, Jane and Michael Banks on a day of playful imagination where chalk drawings come to life and where we can enter into a world of playful fantasy where merry go round horses can fly and race and where penguins dance and sing.  FUN FUN FUN  Imagination !


6) LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH – Remember Mary’s crazy uncle who loved to laugh and when they laughed they found themselves enjoying a tea party in the air?  How fun is that???  Never forget to make time for laughter!

7) Pay attention to those who have less than you and freely and openly share your resources – In a word:  Feed the Birds.  On a trip to their father’s office at the bank, Mary points out to the Banks children a woman who has less than they and yet gives from all that SHE has to those (the birds) who have even less than she.  In this encounter with the Birdwoman, the children learn compassion and generosity and are compelled to seek out ways to exercise this kind of generosity in their own lives.  And if you don’t cry when you hear this song….(I’m just saying) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4


8) Money and work to earn money are not the most important things in life. Michael Banks is encouraged (bullied might be a better word) to deposit his money into his father’s bank so that it can make him more money, instead, he runs away to give his money to the Birdwoman.  He learned from Mary Poppins that freely and openly sharing our resources is more rewarding than hoarding and withholding our resources.  He experiences the enjoyment of helping another….and still trusts that all he needs will still be provided for.  (a lesson we can all learn!)

9) Life is full of changes – and we are invited to surrender to them: When the direction of the wind changes, Mary Poppins must depart the Banks’ household for places unknown.  Rather than resisting the change, she unfurls her umbrella (the one with the talking parrot head) and simply lets the wind take her to her next destination.


10) In every death is the promise of new life (and would you go fly a kite already?) – The loss of Mary Poppins could have been a devastating moment for Jane and Michael (and they were sad), but it also created the opportunity for a new life to begin for the Banks family.  Thanks to Mary’s (and Burt’s) help, Jane and Michael’s parents realized the value of spending time as a family, that work and money are not the pathway to happiness and that play can be fulfilling, nurturing and life-giving.  The closing scene – the Banks family at the park flying a kite.


The invitation today is to examine the wisdom of Mary Poppins for the lessons that might be speaking to you and to explore ways in which you can embrace this wisdom in your everyday life.  For in every life we need to make time for laughter, play and imagination, we are invited to seek the sweetness in the struggles of the human experience, freely and openly share our gifts, help others, spend time with our parents and our children, fly kites, sing songs, dance, ride a merry go round, create, trust in abundance, magic, mystery and surrender to the changes of life.  And in the end, we are reminded that in every loss, change, transition, death is the promise of new life.  What is the new life you are being invited to embrace today?????


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

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