Posted in shadow work

The Shadow Keepers

Shadow workers and Shadow keepers are those who have been given a deep and painful gift – the ability and calling to see, hear and FEEL the pain of the world. We are those who have no choice but to bear witness to the darkness, pain, hatred and fear in our world.  Not only are we called to be witness, however, we are also called to FEEEEEEEL it.  The purpose of this feeling (I continue to tell myself) is so that the darkness might be transformed and be brought into the light.  Sometimes we do this by pointing out the darkness so that others might see.  More often, however, it is accomplished through our being, so much so that often it brings us to our knees.  Yesterday was one of those days.

Teresa of Avila by Bernini

I did it to myself. I overworked myself for three straight days, culminating in an 18 hour day of frantic computer programming work that was largely out of my comfort zone, and as it turns out, not what I want for my business in the first place.  After 18 hours of work, I ended up taking it all down.  Then it hit me.  I woke up yesterday morning with the feeling of DEATH.  I felt chilled to the bone, nauseous, dizzy and my whole body hurt.  The sun hurt my eyes and any sound or movement made me feel like I might collapse.  I had no choice but to call in sick for the day and collapse on the couch where I intermittently slept and moaned, “I’m dying.”  Today I have the “hangover” from yesterday’s wrath.  UGH!

In the center of all of this I did the normal wondering, “What is wrong with me? Am I depressed?  How could I ever get a “real job” if I am struck down like this on a somewhat regular basis?”  Etc. etc.  Then I read these words of Ellias’ Lonsdale as they were quoted at www.thecosmicpath.com.:

The shadow vigil is not something we make up. It is not just our own gloominess and negativity. We are being shown the places others miss and we are being asked to stay tuned to these and to be aware, be alert, be in the spit for whatever might arise. And as we get into this stance, it may be too much to bear, but what we are being shown is vital to grasp, crucial to become a conduit for, even if we might become greatly darkened in the bargain.

So there it is. The calling of the shadow workers and the shadow keepers.  It is our task to BE IN the darkness.  To see it.  Hear it.  Feel it.  Often before it is even able to be seen.  (For example, I FELT the 800 troops and the “suspicious packages” even before they were announced).  We are called to be in it…..BUT……and here is the key for our own survival…….WE ARE NOT IT.  We are NOT the darkness.  We are not depressed.  There is nothing wrong with us.  What is wrong is the world when it strays from its original nature as love which we feel as “a disturbance in the force.”  Now….if there was only a way to get paid for the invaluable service we provide for the world in seeing, hearing, feeling and TRANSFORMING its darkness. 

Posted in shadow work

Confronting Our Shadow. Unleashing Our Light.

We will never truly be free until we confront our shadow. The shadow is all of the parts of ourselves that have not been fully integrated:

  • Everything we have denied.
  • Everything we suppress.
  • Everything we repress.
  • All the parts of ourselves we judge as negative so we hide them away from the world.
  • Our unacknowledged fears.
  • Our unhealed wounds.
  • The parts of our nature, personality or temperament that we reject.
  • The parts of ourselves we hide as they are judged as unworthy by our society.

shadow, shadow work, quiet desperation, confronting our shadow, healing our shadow, bringing forth our light

The challenge with the shadow is that (as the Buddhists say), “What we resist will persist.” Hiding, ignoring, denying, imprisoning, bargaining away these parts of ourselves actually does the opposite.  Instead of staying hidden, these parts of ourselves come out sideways – often in non-loving behaviors toward ourselves or others.

If we do not confront our shadow and do the difficult work of bringing it to the light so that it can be healed (if necessary), transformed and re-integrated, then we will never be free. Without doing our shadow work, we will be forever condemned to “a life of quiet desperation” and our lives will amount to nothing because until we are free we will never know peace.

But herein lays the challenge. Few are willing to stand toe to toe with their own inner demons and even fewer have the courage to keep standing there until all their wounds are healed and they are truly free.  Instead, they would rather avoid the shadow work while chasing after shiny objects – the illusion of achievement, success, money, power, and fame.  In the meantime, their shadow is coming out sideways, hurting themselves and all the people around them.  In the end, what they resist will be their demise.

If you are reading this post, then congratulations, you have made another choice. You are the few.  You are the humble. You are the brave. It takes great courage, persistence and discipline to do shadow work – to stand toe to toe with all your past woundings, your self-defense mechanisms, your hidden anxieties and pains – to call forth all the parts of yourself you have denied, pushed away, swept under the rug, or from which you simply turned away because it was something you just could not love about yourself. It takes great courage to do this work.  In doing this work you have learned a magnificent truth – it is only in facing our shadow that we can bring forth our true light.  Welcome sisters and brothers!  I am humbled and honored to be sharing this journey with you.

Love,

Lauri

 

Authentic Freedom Academy provides resources and tools to assist you in confronting your shadow so as to bring forth your light! For the greatest amount of support, check out our Authentic Freedom Leadership Training for Men and the Magdalene Priestess Training.  Lauri Ann Lumby also provides one-on-one support through personal mentoring.  Email lauri@authenticfreedom.love to schedule a session.

 

 

Posted in Lessons, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

The Dangers of Spiritual Bypass

Spiritual bypass can best be described as: “the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks”(Welwood, J. (2000) [1984]. “Between heaven and earth: principles of inner work”. Toward a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. Boston: Shambhala Publications. pp. 11–21.).

In spiritual bypass, we avoid, ignore, deny, suppress and repress the challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and suffering that are inherent within the human condition. Spiritual bypass also includes avoidance and denial of the shadow.  The shadow is made up of our unhealed wounds, unacknowledged fears and includes all the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected because we have deemed them unacceptable.

spiritual bypass, shadow work, denying the shadow, lightworkers, denial, darkness,

Spiritual bypass takes many forms, but in essence the action is the same – hoping, believing, acting as if we can simply meditate, pray, chant, or positively affirmation our struggles away. The universal outcome of spiritual bypass is always the same and is best articulated in the Buddhist saying, “What we resist will persist.”  Through spiritual bypass, we are not dealing with, confronting, healing or transforming anything; we are simply sweeping it under the rug. As is true of everything we avoid, deny, ignore, the rug can only hold so much.  The rug will eventually explode and everything we have shoved under it will come out to haunt us.  Even if we are successful in keeping it all under the rug, what we have resisted and ignored will find its way out sideways – usually in non-loving behaviors toward ourselves or others. Often these behaviors become compulsive (ie: addictions), are disproportionate or uncharacteristic of our true nature.

Some very clear examples of spiritual bypass and the negative consequence of this pattern of behavior includes: the clergy sex abuse crisis, narcissistic behaviors, abuse, co-dependency, homophobia, racism, sexism, violence against children, school shootings and other forms of terrorism. What we resist will persist and what we suppress will find its way out whether we want it to or not.  I would further suggest that we are currently living in a world seriously caught up in its own bypass – ignoring, denying, projecting away the darkness and pretending that it is all ok when in fact it is not!  Societal bypass is exhibited in our divisive culture where many refuse to see the truth that is staring them in the face because it makes them feel uncomfortable (triggering their own unacknowledged anxiety or unhealed fears), or who instead of acknowledging their role in the darkness that exists in our society, either ignore it or project the blame onto someone else.  The bottom line is that we cannot meditate, mantra, pray,“beam love,” think good thoughts, repeat positive affirmations, “La La Lightworker” the darkness away. Until we learn to face our darkness (individually and collectively) we are guilty of bypass and the darkness will not only persist, it will become worse.

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am not innocent as it relates to spiritual bypass.   I too have ventured down its path.  I will admit that it felt good there – for awhile – but eventually it kicked my ass! I have since learned that the only way out is through. If we want to be free of our inner fears, unhealed wounds, and perceived imperfections, we have to go deep into them, feel them, wallow in them, and THEN through our spiritual practices, find our way through them.  In this, we are not covering the darkness with the light; neither are we turning the darkness into the light.  Instead, we are finding the light that is already present within the darkness – if only we have the courage to go there.

The work of dealing with our shadow and confronting all that is broken within us is hard! It requires personal accountability, self-knowledge, courageous honesty, humility, vulnerability, and discipline.  It also requires the understanding and belief that in the overall scheme of things, what we are tempted to call “darkness” is in fact our light.  Within the struggle, suffering, struggles, challenges and all the things we want to deny or reject about our human experience is there to serve the light.  It is within these perceived challenges where we find our greatest gifts.

Authentic Freedom is a powerful transformational tool for identifying and moving through our unacknowledged fears and unhealed wounds. Learn more HERE.

Posted in Death, Divine Revelation, Inspiration, Lessons, Mystics

Pluto Rising – The Resurrection of Love

NASA’s  New Horizons spacecraft and its journey to Pluto, is an historical event that shouldn’t be missed. (Learn more here on the NASA site: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pluto-s-bright-mysterious-heart-is-rotating-into-view ) For the first time in our human history, we are getting an up-close and personal view of this dwarf planet and its surrounding moons (especially Charon). This is a monumental moment in our history as a scientific and technological accomplishment, but more importantly, bringing Pluto into view is ushering in a significant shift in the consciousness of humanity. This shift is nothing short of the resurrection of love.

Photo credits:  NASA-JHUAP-SWRI
Photo credits: NASA-JHUAP-SWRI

On her site, The Cosmic Path, Stephanie Azaria speaks of the astrological and consciousness significance of our meeting with Pluto. I want to share with you my own thoughts on this arrival from the perspective of my own personal experience working with the Pluto archetype, commonly known as The Lord of the Underworld.
In 2008, while on pilgrimage to Glastonbury, England, I had a profound mystical encounter with Gwynn Ap Nudd – Celtic (specifically Welsh) god of the underworld. I had no idea who Gwynn was and his “arrival” was startling to me and in truth, quite disarming. What did the Celtic god of the underworld (and by association Pluto) have to do with a Catholic-Christian devoted to Jesus? After getting over the shock, I voraciously researched Gwynn and his place within Celtic mythology, what he represents and what he is here to teach us. What I discovered was beyond amazing, especially the symbols associated with Gwynn that had for years spoken to the quiet places within my heart. In many ways, I felt as if I was meeting, for the first time, someone I had known for a very long time. In meeting Gwynn, I felt like I was coming home.

Gwynn
I quickly learned, however, that the arrival of an “underworld god” is not all wine and roses (or in this case, Guinness and Holy Thorn). What I learned is that the underworld god archetype is about coming home, but before we come home, first we have to “die.” The death that is called forth by the underworld gods is the death of the ego – but not through ascension or enlightenment as “upper world gods” would have us do. Instead, the underworld gods teach us how to transcend the ego by confronting our shadow and staring down our fears. While underworld gods have nothing to do with hell (pre-Christian traditions have no hell….they only have the underworld which is a place of restoration and renewal in preparation for the next life to be lived), they are here to accompany us through the hell we have created in our own minds through judgment – specifically of ourselves.

What the ancients knew, that we have forgotten, is that suffering on this plane is rooted in all the ways we have separated ourselves (or been separated from love through childhood conditioning) from the love that we are. Underworld gods (Gwynn Ap Nudd, Cernnunos, Hades, Pluto) are here to bring us through the thorn-covered hedge of our fears, our unhealed wounds, the places within ourselves we have rejected or judged as imperfect, all the while guiding us home to the place where we are able to love ourselves without condition and in loving ourselves, learning to love the world.

Pluto, then, is here to teach us how to love. And in case you missed it…..the very geography of his planet proves that this is what he is here to do.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
Posted in Empowerment, Enneagram, Freedom

Living in Freedom Class


It has been a LONG time coming…..I am excited to announce that I will be offering my Living in Freedom class starting May 19th! (see flier attached.) This is your personal invitation!
Many of you have heard me rave about the Enneagram, and what a powerful tool it is for self-discovery, personal growth and transformation. It is through the Enneagram that I learned of my compulsion of perfectionism and its underlying passion of anger. It has been working with the Enneagram that I have learned to identify the triggers which feed this inner dissatisfaction and resentment so that I might calm these triggers while cultivating a greater sense of contentment within. Working with the Enneagram has helped me to feel more whole, more content, more at peace and to find productive ways to channel the inherent giftedness (and dissatisfaction) of being a Reformer (Type 1 on the Enneagram). I have used the Enneagram with clients and students for the past 12 years with terrific results.

In this course, Living in Freedom, I use ancient wisdom literature to unfold the nine temperament types of the Enneagram. I then present mindfulness and creativity exercises as tools through which we are able to fully integrate the lessons of the Enneagram, while providing effective practices that you can use beyond this course to deepen your own inner journey toward self-actualization…..the place we are compelled to go in our search for meaning, purpose, contentment and joy!

I am giving you first “dibs” at the course as I will be limiting registration to 12 participants. Also….please do not let the “ancient wisdom literature” (Judeo-Christian scripture) dissuade you. As many of you know, my approach with scripture has NOTHING to do with dogma…..and everything to do with finding your own truth beyond the words. 🙂

LivinginFreedomFlier

 

Posted in End of the World Prophecies, Inspiration, Lessons, Mystics, world changes

The Time of Reckoning is at Hand

The Time of Reckoning is at Hand

 A profound thank you to Jared Dubin for sharing his poetry, his wisdom, his vision, and his art in today’s blog. Jared and I met at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, California, during the first day of our graduate school journey.   It was recognition and love at first sight. We knew the moment we looked into each other’s eyes that we had known each other for an eternity and had spent significant lifetimes together with a shared mission and purpose. Since that moment, Jared has been a source of love and support for me and I can only hope I have done the same for him. Jared, is wise beyond his years and like me, is a lover, a peacemaker and a shit-disturber. Jared is my soul brother and we share a special kind of love, a love greater than romance – what the Greeks would refer to as agape’.  Jared, I love you brother….and thank you for sharing your soul with those who might find this blog!  XXOOXXOOXXOOXXOO

mandalalalala

 

Light so bright it forgot itself

Lost track of the darkness within

+ started chasing it without
a thought to the destruction it would spread

by the time it burn itself out
half the planet would be

Dead.

We live in highly peculiar times. Something miraculous is happening, the world is going through changes on all levels. Evolution is happening, in ways not yet understood within the confines of our labs or textbooks. Humankind, and the face of the very planet, is transforming into something new.

So what the hell does that mean for all of us? Well, for starters, we ought to let go of the notion that we know much of anything at all. Once I believed the only thing anyone could truly know was their own intentions. To this day I think there is more truth in that idea than I presently understand.

There is magic in our intentions, and magic in our words. With every utterance we reinforce a reality, and this is a sword that cuts both ways.

The world is going through changes, and the longer we are in this period of change, the more unfamiliar things may become. It will be all too easy to see demons in the darkness before our eyes have time to adjust, and thus either run away or attack out of fear. The time for running and the time for violence has passed, and if we continue now to act out of fear, we do so at our own peril.

There is more going on here than we may presently understand. Though I believe we head now, for the first time in centuries (or perhaps millennia), towards a more harmonious relationship with ourselves and our world, I do not believe that this will look like an endless rainbow-sunshine festival all angels and smiles and love-beams filling the Earth to the brim with golden blinding light.

No, part of the reason we got to this point is because we drew a contrast, a line in the sand. On our side of the line we put love and truth and beauty and everything we perceived as good, and we said, “This is ours.” And on the other side of that line we threw destruction and falsehood and all of the ugly human emotions, and we said “That is the darkness, it is not us.”

Thus we lost sight of our own darkness, and it began to work outside of our awareness. We went around hunting for “demons” and did not notice the swath of destruction our own shadows left in our wake.

Consider at the macro level, a country claiming the right to police the world, occupying and destroying foreign lands in the name of peace and democracy, while its own interior, its people and infrastructure, slip increasingly into poverty and depression.

Or consider what goes on inside your own being, as you exult in your joy but disparage your own darkness, creating shadows out of those emotions and thoughts you deem undesirable, failing to own them because they do not fit your vision of an ideal world.

We have flown too close to the sun, and we were blinded by it, and did not even see as our wings melted right off our backs and we began to plummet inexorably into an underworld of our own creation. And all the way down, we pointed fingers at each other and the world, failing to take responsibility for all that we saw.

Because if we’re talking about God, or the Universe, or the Great Spirit, what have you, we are talking about something that transcends our cognitive understanding. And if we are talking about a Divine totality, then we are talking about something that contains all within. That means the shit comes along with the crystals. It’s all divine, it’s all life.

And if we are calling ourselves divine and magical beings, how could the darkness not also be our birthright? Inside of me is a tyrant, a looter, a rapist, a racist. There is a huge homophobe who in particular has been giving me trouble. As Walt Whitman wrote, I am large, I contain multitudes. It does no good to demonize those humans who have fallen prey to their own demons. We must now redeem, not destroy.

As we realize the reality of our being –that we are more than mere flesh and infinite in spirit, we must remember that all things falling within the confines of infinity are ours. In the creation of what is to come, we will do well to include our darkness in our reckoning, lest we once again lose sight of it, allowing it to run amuck under our negligence.

Both light and darkness are here to stay. And as we create a world that sustains every part of us, body, mind, and soul, we must understand and make room for the light and the dark. After all, are the two not simply relative points along an infinite spectrum? In every apparent light and shadow, there are infinite shades of each. We are no different.

jaredJared Dubin was raised in the suburbs of New York City, the capital of the world. As a child he spent many an hour whirling and flying about his backyard and beyond, fighting off monsters and dragons and other various foes. As he got older he had high hopes of helping the world -he would dream of becoming president, believing that the most help could be offered by the one with the most power. Older still, he became more and more keenly aware of the places where his true being was at odds with the world he wished to save. Eventually he had to let go of everything to become what he is now -he forsook the world, and his future in it, and instead clung to love, most of all for himself, with ever last breath of his being. Recently he has reemerged, centered in himself and once again foolish enough to try his hand at saving the world. Asker of many questions, taker of many adventures, and jester of many courts, he will do whatever it takes to fight in the name of freedom, beauty, truth, and of course, love

Posted in Being Human, Lessons, shame

Hate Hangover – getting to know our shadow

Today’s blog explores the relationship between our soul’s purpose and its direct opposite, our soul shadow.  In the human journey, the goal is to bring both into the light so that they may be fully integrated, bringing us into the realization of our greatest potential.

Soul’s Purpose

One day I asked God what my soul’s purpose was and this was God’s immediate answer:

Love

My job is to know the love that I am and to be this love in the world.  Additionally, my job is to be open to knowing the love that others are and to receive that love openly and humbly.  Since receiving this revelation, I have directed my work and my life toward being love and toward helping others remember the love that they are.  This “work” takes many forms from the professional work that I get “paid” to do, to simply being love in every encounter where love is possible.

Soul’s shadow

hatred

Now before you get all excited about “Oh yeah…..another story of some la-la lightworker who flits and floats around being love to everyone she meets…smiling and floating around on gossamer wings sprinkling love dust all over the world, perfect in every way, never experiencing the reality of humanness, never thinking bad thoughts or doing bad things, some holier-than thou airy-fairy-new age hippie leftover”  WRONG!  Wrong!  Wrong!  Because on the opposite side of all this love…..the love I’m trying to remember within myself and trying to help others remember is a HUGE BALL OF HATE!  This HATE is so huge that it startles me when it shows up and I am frightened by its power and the way it consumes me in spite of my efforts to love and to be the “perfect” loving and forgiving angel I want to be.  (ok, I admit, maybe I don’t really want to be so perfect….in fact since perfectionism is one of my demons, I’m pretty sure that striving for perfection is self-destructive rather than supportive of personal growth.)  I digress…..

The Soul’s Integration

The goal of the human journey, is NOT to be perfect.  As much as the strive toward perfect is my demon, it is yours and the rest of humanity with us.  In fact, the more we try to be “perfect” (ie:  always loving in every thing and every way), the more our shadow will try to get our attention.  And the harder we push our shadow away (in my case, hatred), the harder it will work to be known, and if we continue to ignore it, it will start coming out sideways in really unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors, or it will come out sideways in equally self-destructive self-numbing and self-medicating behaviors which might mask the shadow, but at the same time, it is masking the light aspects of our soul.

Darkness and Light are But One

Psalm 139 reminds us that “darkness and light are but one.”  What this saying is that in what we are tempted to judge as darkness or light are neither- instead, they are simply what is and that from the Divine perspective, there is no judgment.  In other words, even those things which we might judge as negative (hatred), can serve a benevolent purpose.  I know for myself, hatred has sometimes served to motivate me to set boundaries, to speak in situations where I might have been tempted to remain silent, to act where I might have chose to not act.  I also know that hatred has sometimes shown up as a way to affirm or validate something that I believed about another person or to remind me to uphold appropriate boundaries where I might have been tempted to relax the boundaries I set in a particular relationship.  I also know that hatred has often shown up in situations that are completely outside of my control which then gives me an opportunity to invite a deeper level of letting go and surrender.  Hatred, in a nutshell, keeps me humble and reminds me of how truly human I am and not to get tempted into believing I am all-love and all- that because in truth- I’m not.

Getting to know the shadow

We all know who our shadow is…..it is the part of ourselves we try to deny, try to hide from the world.  You know your shadow…..now create some space to let it speak to you.  What is it trying to communicate?  How are you trying to hide it?  How do you reject it?  How might it serve a benevolent rather than malevolent purpose?  How might your shadow actually be serving your highest good?

And just for fun…..here are a few videos to help you connect with your shadow (WARNING:  strong language and content!!!!!)

NIN  – The Hand that Feeds

Marilyn Manson – mObscene

Marilyn Manson – Fight Song

Disturbed – Voices

Lauri Lumby offers one-on-one mentoring, couples’ mentoring, courses and workshops which help you to identify and integrate your gifts as well as your shadow so that you can live more fully as your most authentic self, experiencing joy, contentment and fulfillment in a life which has meaning and purpose.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth to learn more.

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting our Shadow

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our worldOne of the tasks we must complete in the journey of midlife and menopause is to confront our shadow – all of the parts of ourselves we have rejected or kept hidden and bring them to the light.  Today’s blog is about confronting the shadow.

midlife-menopause-shadow

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

Midlife and Menopause – Bats in the House

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

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting the Shadow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midlife and Menopause – the Gift in the Shadow

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

What does your shadow consist of?

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

Posted in Empowerment, Inspiration

Awakening to our Greatness

Continuing the discussion of our shadow…..what are the gifts that we hide, suppress, repress because we are afraid of our own GREATNESS?????   Let’s see what Steven Tyler has to say.  🙂

 

 

Dream On!

Yesterday I introduced you to some of the many aspects of my own shadow.  When I introduced you to Stevie (my inner rock and roll diva wanna be), I forgot to tell you her name is also STEVEN – as in the ONE AND ONLY……Steven Tyler!!!!!   Well, Steven was not to be left in the dust as he showed up in my dreams last night with not just one….but many messages for me to ponder.  But in order to interpret Steven’s appearance….first I have to explore who and what he represents for me. 

Sweet Emotion

I know this is simply a matter of personal opinion and preference……BUT  Steven Tyler ranks #1 for me as the greatest Rock’n Roll front man OF ALL TIME!!!!!!   Robert Plant would win if we were voting on voice alone, Mick Jaggar for swagger, Axl Rose for creative diversity….and Maleficent wants to weigh in with her vote for David Draiman (Disturb’s frontman).  But, as the frontman for Aerosmith….Steven Tyler has it ALL in one magnificent package!  He has the voice.  He has the swagger.  He has more rock’n roll style than all of the above combined.  He is a creative genius, meticulous perfectionist, consumate performer and he is just plain HOT!!!!!   I want his clothes.  I want his voice.  I want his hair (ok, I kinda already do).  And, I want those amazing lips all over…..(oops, sorry, I got a little carried away!)  😉  Steven Tyler is the man!   And, apparently he felt a little left out yesterday as I only mentioned the feminine archetype for my inner diva. 

Big Ten Inch

So, because Steven decided to show up in my dreams, does it mean I’m supposed to pick up that 10 inch microphone (what did you think I was going to say?????) and resurrect my long-ago set aside dreams of being a rock star.  UMMMM….probably not.  While I did spend a fair amount of time as a youth singing in choirs, honing my vocal skills, etc. and at one time my voice was probably a little better than average…..at 46, and mostly unused vocal muscles, my voice is probably average at best and who wants to see a 46 year old mother of 2 belting it out on the stage?  Sorry….we’ll leave that one to the kids.  HOWEVER……there is something very important that it seems Steven wants me to do.

WALK THIS WAY….

The thing that I admire most about Steven Tyler is the drive that keeps him always in the spotlight.  He was born to be the front man, the voice, the face of rock n roll.  He is all about “The look.”  And, it sure seems (which is confirmed in his autobiography), that beyond all other motivation is the call to be up front.  And…he does it like no other.  He doesn’t shy away from stardom, attention (good or bad) or being perceived as a man of authority.  In fact, he seems to revel in it.  This is where Steven and I differ (among other things!).  While this may shock you, I really don’t like attention.  I get really squirmy and uncomfortable when the spotlight is on me and I’m not very good at waving the flag of my own accomplishments…..or my own greatness for that matter.  Yes, I have learned to be outgoing, but in truth, I am a HUGE introvert and would really prefer to hide out in my own home than be seen in public in any sort of situation where all eyes are on me (ahem…like a book release party) or where I have to be “on.”  Case in point….there are all these 11×17 posters hanging around Oshkosh with my big fat head on them advertising my upcoming book release party.  I knew these were the right images for marketing purposes…..but they make me feel SO CONSPICUOUS!!!!!   My introvert wants to hide her head and run whenever I have to walk past one of these posters (which are really hard to avoid if you frequent the 400 block of downtown Oshkosh!).  This is where Steven wants to give me a little help! 

Back in the Saddle Again

And here is Steven’s message for me in a nutshell:

  • Embrace your greatness
  • Be the frontman (or woman)
  • Don’t shy away from attention
  • Let your light shine for all to see
  • Shake your moneymaker! 
  • Belt it out!
  • Sing your song!
  • Strut your stuff

You get the picture!  Thanks Steven….YOU ARE MY IDOL!  (no pun intended)  

PS…..I wouldn’t want Joe (as in Perry) to feel left out.  I love you man!!!!  After Jimmys Page and Hendrix….you are the BEST rock’n roll guitarist of all time!   And you are hot as heck!  Love ya!

Where are you hiding your own greatness?

How are you being invited to STRUT YOUR STUFF???

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons, Ponderings

Only the Shadow Knows

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts.  Identifying, getting to know and integrating the shadow is an important part on the path of spiritual growth and enlightenment.  Do you know your shadow?

The Mask

I have another confession to make.  I am not the person I appear to be.  Aha….but then again, neither are you!  Each and every one of us has a face, an appearance, an image that we are comfortable sharing with the outside world.  In reality, this face is simply one aspect of a greater whole.  For some, this face is intentionally created and defined based on what they think is considered favorable to the outside world and in no way shape or form reflects their true nature.  For others, this face very closely reflects their true nature and arises naturally, effortlessly and authentically.  The vast majority of us fall somewhere between these two ends of the personality spectrum.  I sense that the person the outside world sees in me is a pretty close reflection of my true nature, but I am also acutely aware of the “other Lauri” that still lies hidden beneath the Lauri that is known to the outside world. 

Me and My Shadow

Regardless of how closely our outside appearance reflects our true nature, there is still the shadow aspect of our true self that lies hidden in the deeper recesses of our consciousness, waiting to be discovered, explored and somehow integrated into our outward self.  The shadow consists of the parts of ourselves that we have suppressed, repressed and kept separate from our conscious and lived self.  Jung speaks about the shadow exclusively in terms of weaknesses and shortcomings and as part of our instinctive nature.  I would expand on this by suggesting that the shadow also consists of all those parts of ourselves that we didn’t feel free to explore – the inner creative drive and passions that were not supported (or we didn’t think were supported) by our foundational environment – the repressed, suppressed, ignored parts of our inner nature…and we don’t really know if they are part of our truest nature until we try them on.  (This is part of the process of integration – seeking, exploring, trying it on, taking what is life-giving and getting rid of the rest.)

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

In exploring the shadow, at first, I thought there was only one.  Instead, I find there are several alternative Lauris camping out in here.  First there is the Lauri that makes up who I am today  – mother, lay minister, meditator, peacekeeper, healer, student of theology and all things spiritual, GOOD GIRL, NICE GIRL, POLITE, ACCOMODATING, KIND, THOUGHTFUL – you know, all those things we are supposed to be.  I think this Lauri pretty closely reflects who I am and who I want to be, AND  I am acutely aware that there is a whole lot more to me than the world generally sees.  Let’s meet the other Lauris:

Linda – Linda was identified by my friends in college.  She was my evil twin.  She parties like a rockstar, throws drinks at people (sorry John!)  and then remembers NOTHING the next morning.  Fortunately, Linda has NOT made an appearance in a VERY LONG while!  She is scary!

Stevie – This is my Stevie Nicks wanna be rockstar, singer.  She wears long flowing lacy things, looks like a gypsy and wants to be the star.  We have 8mm film of Stevie dancing on the fireplace hearth at the ripe young age of 2 1/2…singing, dancing and bowing to the audience.  She made and early appearance and spent her youth and teen years organizing LP sing-alongs.  Of course, she ALWAYS had to sing lead. 

Marian – Madame Librarian – This is my tied up tight good girl, National Honor Society, scholar, geek.  She wears coke-bottle glasses, has buck teeth and braces and spends all day at the library.  Marian is pretty well integrated within me and I’m not afraid to admit it.  In truth, I’m just a grown up geek who somehow blossomed late, but doesn’t yet know it.  I’m especially grateful for Marian when watching Scot Pilgrim, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and any Kevin Smith movie.

Maudlin – I wanted to call her Mordred, but that is a boy’s name.  Maudlin in my inner MARTYR!  BLECH!!!!   She is a simpering, whiny brat, the whole world is out to get her and she likes to cry, “O woe is me.”  She is co-dependent, a cling-on, obsessive and easily rejected…in fact….that is all she is….rejected.  I don’t really care for Maudlin all that much.  But she is great to be around when I want to throw a pity party.

Maleficent – Ok, she might just be my FAVORITE!  This is the person the good-girl, Catholic school girl, responsible Lauri never got to be.  I love Maleficent!  Unlike the me seen by the outside world who tends to be kind of conservative…Maleficent is everything but!  Maleficent dresses in all black, preferably leather.  She has her whole body tattooed and sports several piercings.  She carries a riding crop or bullwhip and wear black platform boots…even in the summer.  She rides a Harley in the summer and a ’63 split window Corvette in the winter (I know, not at all practical in Wisconsin – on snowy days she drives a black Jeep Wrangler).  She is part Kat Von-D and part Angelina Jolie. She listens exclusively to heavy metal music, smokes clove cigarettes (because is ticks other people off and because they are cool), drinks Absolut vodka straight up and she goes out to heavy metal clubs and dances all night.  I’m not sure if she has a job…but if she does, it is really unconventional…..heck, she might be a writer ;).  And she is very comfortable with her sexuality.  Maleficent is cool and I want to be her when I grow up. 

That’s all for now…now it’s your turn!

Who are your shadows?

How can you begin to get to know them?

How can you make them part of who you are inside AND outside?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com