Posted in Midlife Journey

Surviving Midlife Online Course

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

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

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

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

Experiences of:

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

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

Click HERE to read some additional articles on midlife.

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

12 self-paced, online lessons. 

Lesson One: Awakening

Lesson Two: Confronting Fears

Lesson Three: Unraveling the Past

Lesson Four: Finding Support

Lesson Five: Illusions Shattered

Lesson Six:  Seeking the Voice of Truth

Lesson Seven: Dark Night of the Relationship

Lesson Eight: Befriending Our Bodies

Lesson Nine: Hiding in the Shadows

Lesson Ten:  Childhood Dreams

Lesson Eleven: Birthing our Soul

Lesson Twelve: Returning

Learn more and register HERE.

Posted in Midlife Journey

The Midlife Transition – I haven’t forgotten!

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

The Joy of Midlife
The Joy of Midlife

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

Experiences of:

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

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

 

Let’s Not Forget the Men!

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

 

Posted in Midlife Journey, Relationships

Midlife Crisis and Affairs?

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

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

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

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

Help for the Male Midlife Crisis

Today’s blog is fourth in a series on men and the unique way in which they experience the midlife crisis.  In yesterday’s blog, we explored the ONE CAUSE and ONE CURE for the male midlife crisis.  Today, we explore specific tools to help men in their journey through the midlife transition.  Ironically, these tools are similar to those which are helpful for women.  When the midlife crisis is navigated in the ways presented here, the outcome is the birth of the Soul – the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life and through which you are called to contribute to the betterment of the world.

male midlife crisis

Fear

The NUMBER ONE obstacle to successfully navigating the midlife journey is FEAR.  This is true for men as well as women, but for men, this is especially problematic because of the patriarchal, hierarchical paradigm which tells them that they cannot be afraid and if they are, they had better not show it to anyone.  This is especially true of the fears that arise in midlife because many of these fears are connected to men’s fear of being vulnerable.  Whereas fear is shunned in the patriarchal paradigm, vulnerability is condemned.  Men are NOT allowed to be vulnerable.  The successful navigation of the male midlife journey includes learning how to identify, confront and transcend fear – especially the fears that are shielding your deepest, most intimate truths – and learning how to acknowledge vulnerability and then, God-forbid, ask for help.

Vulnerability

In a culture where men are supposed to be strong, confident, in-charge, have it all together, be successful, virile, athletic, etc. etc. etc., vulnerability is a “no-no.”  In this paradigm, vulnerability is either buried under a mountain of denial, or out-right rejected and demonized as something that needs to be eradicated.  As such, men often develop an antagonistic relationship with vulnerability, the reaction to which is often violence and rage which then gets projected outward.  The voice of the subconscious sounds something like this, “This does not feel good to me and makes me feel weak.  I cannot be weak, and I cannot be vulnerable, therefore this feeling must be someone else’s fault.”  Out of this silent voice then often comes raging, attempts at controlling the situation, temper tantrums, or the opposite, withdrawal and punishment by silence.   None of this does anything to address the underlying vulnerability, which then begins to fester, eventually leading to another outburst.  (Please note, women are equally guilty of this.)

The Only Way Out is Through

The only way out of the painful symptoms of midlife is through.  In order to successfully navigate this transition and enjoy its promised gifts, you have to learn how to listen for and hear the voice of your truth, and then have the courage to be vulnerable enough to be present to these truths – many of which might be painful.  Then, you have to find tools to help you heal from the buried truths of past hurts, disappointments, losses, abuse, failures, etc. Once you have begun to move through the wounds of your past, the voice of your Soul will begin to speak.  Through the whispered voice of your Soul, you will discover the uniquely creative way in which you were gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life – and how your Soul is calling you to enjoy the next stage of your life.  Then you are invited to seek tools through which you can transcend the fears that will now begin to arise in response to your Soul.  Your Soul wants you to be your most magnificent and authentic self.  Your ego, your false-self, however, wants you to remain in a place that is familiar and does not want you to disturb the status quo with dreams of magnificence and freedom.  As such, the ego will start the battle of your lifetime by throwing up every possible fearful excuse for why you can’t possibly have the dreams of your Soul.

Authentic Freedom

This is where Authentic Freedom comes in handy.  Authentic Freedom is a process that I have developed to help men and women identify the fears which are serving as obstacles to the birth of their Soul.  Through the process of Authentic Freedom, you are provided with effective tools for identifying and transcending these fears.  Stay tuned for the next blog which will outline the philosophy and practices of Authentic Freedom, thereby setting you on the road to living the life of your Soul – meaningful, fulfilled, abundant, contented, joyful and free.

Lauri Lumby mentors men and women through the midlife transition.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth to set up an in-person, Skype or phone session. 

Posted in Being Human, Inspiration, Midlife Journey, Relationships

Solving the Male Midlife Crisis

Today’s blog is part three in a series on men and the midlife crisis.  You can read Part I here, and Part II here.  In today’s blog, I present my theory on the cause and cure for the male midlife crisis, which ironically, is the same cause and cure as solving the female midlife crisis.  🙂

male midlife crisis

The Cause

The cause of the male midlife crisis is ONE THING – the silenced voice of truth trying to be made known Ironically, this is the same cause for the female midlife crisis, but today, we’re giving men the stage.  It is also important to point out that the extent to which the midlife transition is painful, is the extent to which you have suppressed, ignored, repressed or silenced your truth. 

Contributing Factors

The reason the male truth has been silenced is two-fold:

1) Family Conditioning:  If you grew up in an environment where truth was not modeled or where your truth was silenced, ignored, criticized, condemned, or simply not allowed, then you develop coping mechanisms which continue to silence your truth.  You learned that truth was either a lie or unsafe, and you learned to ignore or suppress it.

2) The Patriarchical/hierarchical culture: While this cultural paradigm can benefit men this provides a double-edged sword.  There are certain expectations of men that arise out of this cultural paradigm (see PART II of this series for more on this) which disallow the wider expression of truth available to men.  Certain truths are either not allowed or are at the very least held as suspect within the patriarchal paradigm.  Additionally, the very roles that are held up as “male” within this paradigm disallow certain truths from even being acknowledged, let alone lived.  Most commonly, this arises in relation to work and relationship.

a) work:  The work challenge usually goes like this.  The man feels trapped in a job that he doesn’t love, possibly never really liked, but this is the job that provides for the needs of his family. The cultural paradigm tells him, “It is your job to provide for your family….and it doesn’t matter if you like it.” As a result, he feels trapped, imprisoned and probably secretly resentful (because remember, in a patriarchal culture, men are told not to feel).

b) relationship: The relationship piece looks like this.  While women have their common complaints against their male partners, men have their own list of complaints:

  • She doesn’t appreciate me
  • She doesn’t need me
  • She never wants to have sex
  • She’s always trying to control me
  • She’s always telling me what to do
  • She is always telling me how to do what I already know how to do
  • I work all day and then she wants me to help with the housework, kids, homework, etc. there is never time for me.
  • I hate my job but I can’t tell her this because we need the money
  • I feel stuck, trapped, stifled
  • I never get to do what I want to do
  • I feel like I have to beg to spend time with my friends, and then I feel punished when I do
  • She’s never satisfied, she’s always wanting more from me
  • When I get home from work, I just want to chill, and she always wants to talk, then she gets mad when I just want to be quiet

Sound familiar?  Now, before everyone gets their undies in a bundle, I will remind readers of this one VERY IMPORTANT TRUTH:

The extent to which another is unable to hear, understand, be present, open up to, spend time, be compassionate to YOU, is the extent to which they are unable to do these things for themselves. 

And this goes both ways!  If you are having trouble in your relationship – BOTH parties are to blame.  Both parties are responsible for disharmony, lack of communication, needs not being acknowledged and met, intimacy issues, inequitable distribution of labor, etc. etc. etc.  And both parties are responsible for unhappiness and dissatisfaction in your relationship.  If you want this to change, BOTH parties need to do something about it!

The Cure

The cure for the male (and female) midlife crisis is ONE THING – to be open to hearing the voice of your truth and doing something about it.  This is easier said than done, and sometimes dangerous.  Hearing the voice of your truth means first, that you have to take time (and the risk) to listen.  Secondly, it means that you need to have the courage to face what your truth has to say. Before you can get to the truth of our SOUL – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives, you have to move through a whole lot of painful truths:

  • Unhealed wounds, including past traumas which may include sexual abuse (1 in 6 men have reported being sexually abused before the age of 18…this does not account for the abuse that has gone unreported!)
  • Ungrieved disappointments and losses
  • Unacknowledged shame
  • Unmet needs

You also have to take responsibility for all the situations in your life where you have intentionally or unintentionally harmed another human being.  In addition, in order to get at your truth, you have to silence the voice of judgment ( including the voice that is attacking you for the physical changes that accompany midlife), condemnation, criticism, blame, as well as the voice of societal “shoulds.”  In a nutshell, in order to not only survive but thrive in the midlife crisis, you have to learn how to be vulnerable.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog in which you will have an opportunity to learn some tools to assist you through the midlife transition – specifically, the tools which will help you move through fears which might prevent you from listening to and heeding the voice of your truth.

Lauri Lumby mentors men and women in their movement through the midlife transition.  To set up a face-to-face, Skype or phone session, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Being Human, Midlife Journey, Relationships

In Defense of Men – but not letting them off the hook

In yesterday’s blog, I celebrated the gifts of men and the unique way in which they are possessing of these gifts for their own enjoyment, but more importantly, for the benefit of all.  Today I continue to focus on the midlife discussion on men and the unique way in which they experience this life transition and the ways in which their partners can be supportive of this process, while at the same time, holding men accountable for doing something to support themselves through this transition (other than having an affair or buying a sports car).

DikseeBelleDameSansMerci

The Complaints of Women

In the past twenty years of mentoring women (mostly) and men through their journey of birthing their Soul, I have heard an enormous amount of complaining from women about their frustrations with their (mostly male) partners.  While this discussion is not limited to men (lesbian partners are equally guilty of this), it will be the complaints against men that I will share here.  Here’s is what their female partners are saying:  “He doesn’t hear me.  He won’t spend time with me.  He’s too busy with work to care about what is going on at home.  He doesn’t understand me.  I want him to open up to me.  He doesn’t understand that when I say no to sex, it isn’t about him, I’m just so damn tired.”  Sound familiar?  For all the guys out there….before you throw your hands up in frustration and stomp off, refusing to read the rest of this blog….hang on….I’m about to cut you a break.

In Defense of Men

Ladies, here is something you need to know about your partners:

The extent to which they are unable to hear, understand, be present, open up to, spend time, be compassionate to YOU, is the extent to which they are unable to do these things for themselves. 

Most men are not jerks, and most men DO want to be able to be and do these things.  The problem is that we live in a culture that does not give men permission or teach them how to do these things for themselves let alone how to do them for another.  Of course many men are really good at all these things, but based on the complaints I hear from women, it sounds like many are not.  The good news is that this is in the process of changing, but we still have a long way to go.

The Male Dilemma

I believe that there is a deep longing in every man’s heart to be able to be vulnerable enough to open up to another person and to enjoy the same depth of intimacy that women often enjoy with each other and want from their men.  Unfortunately, the patriarchal, hierarchical cultural paradigm puts men between a rock and a hard place.  Instead of empowering men to hear the quiet whispering voice of their truth (which includes the voice of their REAL needs, their hidden hurts, their past wounds, and their unacknowledged shame), they are taught to listen to the patriarchal voices which say:

  • It’s your job to work.
  • It’s your job to protect and provide for your family.
  • It’s your job to make money.
  • It’s your job to compete.
  • It doesn’t matter if you like what you are doing, because what matters in the money and the work.
  • It’s your job to be in charge, the boss, to have power over those around you.
  • It’s your job to know it all.
  • It’s your job to know how to do everything.
  • Don’t ask for help.  Don’t show vulnerability. Don’t feel.  If bad things happen, get over it and move on.
  • It’s your job to be the best and in anything less than this, you have failed.
  • It’s your job to be a “manly” man.
  • It’s not ok to be afraid and even if you are, DO NOT admit it.
  • It’s your job to be strong in the midst of EVERYTHING.

Nowhere in this patriarchal formula is there room for the man’s TRUTH, how he really feels, what he really wants out of life, how he really wants to spend his time.  There is no room for the deep longing to know oneself and to be known.  There is no room for loss, disappointment, grief, failure, fear or pain.  And if a man dare to question his truth or say what he really needs, there is the every-imposing risk of losing his man-card.  And ladies, we are not helping!  Every time we step in and question the way our partner is doing something that is in his area of expertise, we just kicked him where it counts.  When we scold him in front of others for a mistake or failure, we have castrated him.  When we fail to appreciate him for the work he is doing to provide for and protect our families, we have insulted him.  When we mock his need for competition, achievement and to just plain be silly, we are emasculating him. We need to let our men be men, and get the heck out of their way.  That doesn’t mean, however, that as women we can’t model compassion, empathy, vulnerability, naming and claiming our needs, setting healthy boundaries and encourage our partners to do the same.  But, all our whining, complaining, scolding and chastising is not going to wake him up to the person he really wants to and is capable of being.  No, men typically have to find this on their own.

Men, you are not off the hook!

Before holding men accountable to their truth, I want to offer an enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS to those who have learned to silence the voice of the imprisoning, patriarchal culture and have learned how to listen and heed their own voice.  Way to go for listening to your deeper needs and learning how to ask for them to be met.  High-five for coming to know your deepest vulnerabilities and another high five if you have found someone with whom you can freely share your vulnerability and for the support you have discovered in doing so.  The difficult truth, however, is that many of you had to have the rug pulled out from under your feet, or the ceiling fall in before you were willing and able to do this.  Maybe you lost the job of your dreams.  Perhaps you were diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness.  Maybe your wife left you.  Perhaps you had a devastating injury which changed the course of your life.  Maybe you lost everything and had to start anew.  Now, what would happen if instead of waiting for the bottom to fall out, you learned another way of being – one that transcends the patriarchal, hierarchical paradigm without undermining your inherent gifts as men?  Ultimately, I believe it is this call that is the cause of what we often refer to as the male midlife crisis, and the topic of which will be covered in my next blog.  Stay tuned for more…..

Posted in Being Human, Midlife Journey, Relationships

In Celebration of Men – and the midlife journey

Surviving Midlife is not just a concern for women, it is one for men as well.  As a white, heterosexual, female, I have hesitated to speak to the male journey as I am admittedly not one of them.  Instead, I have focused my blog on the issues women face during midlife.  But….women are not the only ones who suffer.  So….begging your forgiveness from the beginning….I am going to attempt to share what I have seen as important in the male journey through midlife.  All you male readers out there….PLEASE FEEL FREE to share your own comments and experience, because I’m just a girl who only sees it from the outside looking in.  🙂  In today’s blog, I want to celebrate the unique gifts of men.  Tomorrow, I will tend to some of the specific challenges men may face during midlife.

tristan-and-isolde-1912-john-duncan-1866-1945-scottish-symbolist-painter-tuttart-9

Patriarchal/Hierarchical Enculturation

To begin, I believe that one of the greatest disservices that has been done to human beings…..including men….is the enculturation of our patriarchal, hierarchical society.  While there are benefits for men in this current cultural paradigm, it provides a double-edged sword.  In a patriarchal, hierarchical society, certain expectations are put forth for men – to be providers, protectors, in charge, strong, manly, virile, sexually potent, to have all the answers, to be the best at whatever they do and to be more successful than those around them.  In a patriarchal, hierarchical society, men are told they cannot be sensitive, appreciate the arts, be sad, grieve, or feel.  If a man shows emotion he is often considered weak and if he shows sensitivity, it is assumed he is gay.  These are unfair assumptions to make regarding the male species who in fact need to have the freedom to be all these things in order to be happy, healthy and whole.

Women’s Lib and the Gifts of Men

The other thing that has happened, is that women’s lib, while doing amazing things for the rights and empowerment of women, have left men wondering about their role in the world.  Ultimately, I believe that we are in the midst of a HUGE societal shift in our definitions of gender roles and are moving beyond patriarchy and hierarchy into something that has yet to be revealed.  As such, we are currently living in the tension between what we have known and what we do not yet know.  As such, men (and women) currently spend much of their time being confused.   Who are we and how are we supposed to relate to each other?  One of the things we as “liberated” women are invited to do in this time of transition is to stop demonizing men and begin to recognize the inherent gifts and drives of men and how these gifts can serve as a source of support, not imprisonment.  Watching my 11 year younger brother grow up, reading the work of Dr, Ali Binazir, raising a son, and having the fantastic gift of close male friendships, have given me some insights into the unique and special gifts of men that I think we, as women, sometimes tend to forget.  These gifts include, but are not limited to:

  • The drive to be provider and protector.  To keep the people they love safe and to provide for their wellbeing
  • The need for competition
  • A deep sensitivity and warmth
  • A great curiosity and sense of adventure – always wanting to explore and try new things
  • The need for accomplishment
  • The need to be silly and ridiculous
  • The need to be able to do it – to confront a challenge and successfully conquer it
  • The need to be needed
  • The need to be recognized for what they are accomplishing
  • The powerful drive and need for sexual expression  – which for many is the only way they are safely (in our culture) able to experience intimacy, tenderness, and vulnerability

While women may certainly possess some of these gifts, it has been my experience that men possess these gifts in a unique and special way.  I have also observed, that when we, as women, set down our shields and put away our medieval flails, these unique gifts of men are here, not only for their enjoyment, but also for our benefit.  For example, there is nothing more enjoyable to me than to watch my son giggle and laugh at the latest, greatest, most ridiculous, gross-out video he discovered on YouTube.  There is nothing more satisfying than watching a man accomplish a task that I am either unable or unwilling to do for myself (like changing a tire or catching a bat that found its way into my house.).  Yes, I could certainly do these things for myself if I wanted, but I don’t.  And, by asking for help, I have the opportunity to allow myself to be vulnerable, and I get to observe the satisfaction a man experiences in helping another person. And finally, And there is nothing better than pure and simple chivalry – an open door, helping us on with our coat, assisting with carrying in the groceries.  Chivalry, by the way, was invented by men….not women.  Let’s not forget that!

Men are not the enemy

At the end of the day, men are not the enemy.  Instead, men have the potential to be terrific friends, generous and giving lovers, nurturing and supportive partners, fantastic providers and protectors and they have the ability to help us maintain our own sense of curiosity and adventure.  As women, if our male partners are not living up to these ideals, they are not always the ones to blame (more on that tomorrow), and it would serve our so-called battle of the sexes to exercise a little empathy and compassion as we all move through this treacherous time of gender role transition.  If we can pause for a bit and set down our weapons, we might just find that we all end up with happier, healthier, more loving and mutually supportive relationships.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Resentment

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 worldDuring the midlife journey, we are invited to confront the obstacles to our Soul’s birth, those things that stand in the way of our ability to find meaning, peace and fulfillment.  Today, we explore the RESENTMENT as an obstacle to our path.

midlife-menopause-resentment
midlife-menopause-resentment

 

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Resentment

John M. Gottman, in his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, calls resentment one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  Resentment, he points out, is the great relationship destroyer and at the heart of most relationship conflicts.  I would argue that this is true not only in our marriages or intimate partnerships, but that resentment is the great destroyer of all human relationships.  Like Gollum with his “Precious,” we grab resentment, harbor and cultivate it until the darkness overtakes us and everything around us.  Resentment is toxic, it poisons us, it keeps us from the noble qualities of compassion and forgiveness, it steels us against opportunities for love and it obscures the loving and peaceful truth of who we are and who God/dess calls us to be.  In the midlife journey, harboring resentment keeps us trapped in our past and imprisons us in our fears and compulsions, thereby blocking the way to the freedom of knowing and sharing our gifts and the meaning and purpose that our gifts offer, not only to us, but to the world.

Resentment – what is it really?

In order to move forward in our midlife journey, we have to confront our relationship with resentment.  The challenge is that few of us have been taught about the true nature of resentment and its purpose in our lives.  Instead, we feel it, we harbor it and it imprisons us.  I had the great fortune of a teacher who taught me the meaning and purpose of resentment and I wish to share it with you here today in the hopes of helping along your own midlife path. Resentment, I was taught, is simply a bio-chemical response to our needs not being met.  That is it.  Resentment, is simply an alarm, a flashing light, a billboard, trying to alert us that one of our needs is not being met.  When we understand resentment in this way, we can now choose a different response.  Instead of feeling resentment and then harboring it, we can feel resentment and simply take notice:

I’m feeling resentment, so there must be a need here that is not being met. 

Then, we might ask ourselves a question:

What is the need here that is not being met?

Once we identify what that need might be, then we have the opportunity to name and claim that need:

Honey, when you said this, I experienced resentment arising in me, which means that I have a need that is not being met here.  I have stopped to ask myself what that need might be and this is it………….  Now, I’m identifying this need and inviting us to work together toward getting this need met. 

Now we’re having a conversation and not getting stonewalled behind the prison of resentment.  In midlife, we are invited to learn how to deal with resentment and to work toward naming and claiming the needs that resentment helps us to know are not being met.  I know, easier said than done…..but if we want to know peace in the second half of our lives, we have to start somewhere.  🙂

What role has resentment played in your life?

How has resentment been an obstacle to inner peace?

How has resentment been harmful to your intimate relationships?

For help and support in the midlife transition, I offer one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops.  To learn more, call me at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Healing, mental illness, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Depression

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Depression

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 depression.

midlife-menopause-depression
midlife-menopause-depression

 

Midlife and Menopause – dealing with depression

Bill Plotkin, in his book, Nature and the Human Soul defines depression as “stagnant, unassimilated emotion.”  Bill’s definition is not meant to demean or diminish the experience of those suffering with clinical depression, but it does shine a light on our society’s over-pathologizing of the symptoms of depression which often accompany midlife, perimenopause and menopause. During the midlife transition, as our Soul is trying to be born, we are invited to confront all those things we have kept on the shelf or locked within the deeper and darker recesses of our psyches. We are invited to explore all the losses we have not grieved, all the painful emotions we kept at arms-lengths, all the betrayals and heartbreaks we have held at bay.  We are also invited, during midlife and menopause, to confront all the places in our lives where we were not heard, where our needs were not being met, and where we were silenced or punished for trying to speak our truth.  For every emotion that we did not feel or chose to ignore, or kept locked on the shelf, a brick tumbles into the depression bucket.  During midlife, perimenopause and menopause, we are invited to empty that bucket brick by brick by painful brick.  We are invited to identify, confront and FEEL every one of these losses, humiliations, betrayals and heartaches so that they can be healed and release and so that are emptying bucket can be refilled with the joy that is waiting for us at our Soul’s birth.  The crucial thing to know is that we do not have to do this part of the journey alone.  When confronting the stagnant, unassimilated emotions of our past, we are invited to seek support, assistance and guidance from those who have gone before – who have emptied their own depression bucket and who can help us to learn to be present and safe in the face of our pain and to find healing and release from it.

 How has depression been a part of your own midlife awakening?

How have you found support in emptying your stagnant and unassimilated emotions bucket?

Lauri Ann Lumby provides support and guidance for those moving through the symptoms of midlife through one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops.  To set up a one-on-one session, call Lauri at (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.