Posted in Authentic Freedom, church

A New (Original) Way of Being Church

This past Sunday, I suddenly realized that I am DOING what I came here to do, and what I have KNOWN for a very long time was my mission and purpose on this planet – to bring forth a new/original paradigm for being Priest in a new/original paradigm for being Church. I sit in awe-filled wonder over the fact that I have arrived and that I am HERE doing what I have been trying for twenty years to do. Here it is, right in front of me. It’s been here all along, but now it seems it has wholly (holy) and completely arrived.

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What I thought was the final piece of the puzzle (the Sunday Service which is launching this Sunday, August 16th 8:00 am at Inner Sun Yoga Studio), was it, but it seems there was more. It’s not enough to simply show up on Sunday morning and facilitate a worship/prayer service, being Church and being Priest is about being a vessel of God’s love through the overall care and wellbeing of those in your community. Part of that care is to provide opportunities for your community’s psycho/spiritual nourishment, growth and development which I am already providing via Authentic Freedom Academy. Part of the responsibility of a priest is pastoral counseling and support which I provide as a Spiritual Director. Part of the job of a priest is to be a vehicle through which God’s healing is more fully present to individuals – which I provide through Reiki, Spiritual Direction, etc. Another task of a priest is sacrament – rites and rituals that bring people together in community and which help them to consciously connect with God’s grace. This I have had an opportunity to do through the weddings, ordinations and other rites of passage I have facilitated. This past Sunday, I had an opportunity to witness how the sacramental part of this task is even more present for me than I originally thought and how it is unfolding in a way that reflects the manifestation of a new/original paradigm of priesthood and a new/original paradigm of being church in the world.

This past Sunday, the sacramental part of being “priest” and being “church” presented itself in what would traditionally be called “anointing of the sick.” I was intuitively led to offer this service to a client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer and who is facing surgery this week (today as a matter of fact, please keep her and her family in your prayers). As I sat with my client and her family in a “make it up as we go along” service I realized that THIS is the new/original model of priesthood and church. There were no rubrics to follow, only the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit and the immediate needs of the family. We prayed. We shared in ritual. The family told stories, hugs and tears. We read from a sacred text chosen by my client. We sang a song that held great meaning for the family and that uplifted everyone with humor. The service ended with my client offering cake and coffee (if that isn’t communion, I don’t know what is!). It was perfect. It was sublime. It was AWE-some! As I sat in reflection of this experience, all I could do was feel humbled and in awe over whatever it was that allowed me to be witness to this sacred experience.

This is what it means to be priest. This is what it means to be church. No rubrics. No doctrine. No collar or special robes. No golden vessels or special laws. Only rapt attention to the immediate needs of those before us – their need for healing, comfort, nourishment and support in a way that honors their own unique beliefs and personal experiences of the Divine. I am humbled and in awe over twenty years of holding onto a vision, believing when everyone else (sometimes me included) thought I was insane, only to suddenly realize it is here – a new/original way of being priest and of being church in a world desperately in need of both.

If you live in the Oshkosh area, please join us this Sunday for our first Sunday Service. 8:00 am (doors open at 7:40) at Inner Sun Yoga Studio. Learn more HERE.

 

Posted in Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Lessons, Spiritual Practices

Guest Blogger – Author, Meagan McCrary

Today’s guest blogger is certified yoga instructor, journalist and author, Meagan McCrary.  Meagan’s most recent release, Pick Your Yoga Practice, provides an introduction into the history of yoga and an overview of the variety of yoga disciplines which have evolved in the last century, primarily in the West.  (Watch a future blog for my review of Meagan’s book.)  Today’s blog is an excerpt from her book.

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YOGA ON AND OFF THE MAT

An Excerpt from Pick Your Yoga Practice by Meagan McCrary

Very few students begin practicing yoga with overt spiritual ambitions. They simply want to feel and move better in their body. However, it doesn’t matter whether or not your initial intentions are purely physical. What’s important is that you’re in your body, consciously moving and breathing, establishing a stronger mind-body connection, and cultivating a little self-awareness. Intentionally or not, you begin a process of personal growth and transformation just by practicing yoga. You might even say that yoga is for the people who are open to change, and the ones who want to stay exactly the same don’t stay with yoga for very long. Your yoga practice will shift you in some way on some level, if not on all levels. In addition to helping the body gain strength and flexibility, a steady practice helps build concentration, create emotional balance, and cultivate positive qualities, such as compassion, patience, joy, and confidence.

During class you will experience profound moments of stillness, even if only for a few seconds at a time. The full yogic breathing helps quiet the analytical mind, which never seems to stop weighing options and considering consequences, finally allowing the intuitive mind to have a voice. The internal awareness and mental clarity cultivated in yoga help you realize certain things about yourself and your life. Over time you become skilled at recognizing that which no longer serves you — the relationships, default tendencies, reactions and other thought patterns, and roles that don’t contribute to your overall happiness.

In fact, your yoga practice will typically have an interesting way of creeping into your life off the mat as you become more aware of how you feel and increasingly conscious of the choices you make. Yoga doesn’t require you to change your lifestyle overnight or conform to any outside standards, but you naturally begin to gravitate toward feeling better, making better decisions and choices in your eating and lifestyle habits (and no, that doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian to practice yoga).

You may also notice that your yoga practice is a microcosm for your life. The way you are on your mat — how you respond to challenges, handle disappointment, and relate to yourself, how present you are, how willing you are to try new things — is the way you’ll be off your mat as well. In yoga, you get to “practice” being the way you want to be in a safe, contained environment. (After all, yoga practice is just that, practice.)

Therefore, when you are practicing, attitude is everything, as it is in life in general. To begin with, your overriding intention for practicing must be rooted in something more meaningful than external appearances or physical achievements, or your asana practice runs the risk of becoming just another outlet for ego gratification, and you’ve missed the bigger, overriding message of yoga. That means your intention for practicing doesn’t necessarily have to be god-consciousness or Self-realization (although that’s a good intention) but rather can and perhaps should be something personal, whether that is to feel better overall, learn more about yourself or foster self-acceptance, become a better mother or spouse, be more present or experience more joy, cultivate more peace, clarity, or ease in your life, whatever — something more meaningful than having a tight bum or being able to do the splits. Wanting to achieve an advanced posture isn’t wrong; in fact, the desire can increase your dedication and drive. However, it shouldn’t be your only reason for practicing. What if you never nail the pose? Then what? Without a higher intention, it’s easy to become defeated.

Yoga is in the business of self-acceptance and exploration, which by definition can have no expectations. Sometimes you’ll step onto the mat only to discover your body isn’t on board to practice at the level you were hoping it was. And that’s okay. In fact it’s better than okay; you get to practice listening to your body and doing what’s best for you in the moment. Yoga gives you permission to give yourself a break.

Of course, in a class setting it’s easy to become caught up in comparing (joy’s most brutal thief). As easy as it is to compare yourself to others and feel less than, it’s just as easy to compare yourself and feel more than, or somehow superior, when you can “outperform” the other students in class. As you advance in your asana practice, it’s crucial to remain humble with an open attitude and a beginner’s mind. With a beginner’s mind, you enter each yoga posture with the excitement and eagerness of a first-time practitioner, gently exploring new ways of aligning or moving your body in and out of the postures.

webMeaganheadshotMeagan McCrary is a Los Angeles based yoga teacher and the author of Pick Your Yoga Practice. She teaches for Equinox Sports Clubs, works one-on-one with some of the entertainment industries leading professionals, and holds workshops and retreats nationally and internationally.  Visit her online at http://www.meaganmccrary.com.   

Excerpted from the book Pick Your Yoga Practice © 2013 by Meagan McCrary. Printed with permission of New World Library www.newworldlibrary.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, world changes

Strange Days and a Vision of a New World

A message on the strange times we are in and on the hope of birthing a new world.  I dedicate this to my children and the other young people who will ultimately bear the consequences of this current transition.

authentic freedom and midlife
For the children!

Strange Days

These are strange times with all the conflicts going on in our world, most obviously the failure of the US government to do its job, thereby forcing a shutdown.  In addition to these outward signs, people have been sharing with me, personal feelings and experiences of disproportionate anxiety, depression, restlessness, impatience, anger, rage and the feeling as if their world is in a complete state of chaos and overwhelm.  I heard it described as if we are riding a rollercoaster of unexpected and unpleasant (for many) happenings. The people who might call themselves sensitives, or just plain “spiritual” seem to be feeling all of this even more acutely.   As spiritual people, we are compelled to wonder, “What does this all mean, what is the purpose in all of this and what can we learn?”

Death Throes

In a nutshell, what we are experiencing is the death throes of the hierarchical and patriarchal cultural and sociological paradigm in which we have been imprisoned for the past 5 – 10, 0000 years.  If any of you have ever witnessed a death, you know what that looks like – extreme anxiety, depression, restlessness, bursts of anger and impatience, physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual discomfort.  This is ultimately what we are experiencing both on an individual and collective level.  Hierarchy and Patriarchy, and every structure built upon these models of leadership are coming to an end. And, those invested in these kinds of power structures are desperately clinging to the life they have known and are resisting the release of what has, up until now, given them the false sense of power and control.  As the shields, which have carefully guarded government and corporate structures founded on corruption and greed, are falling away, the American people (and the world) is saying, “ENOUGH!”  Our job, in the midst of this, is to let the old order self-destruct (which it is doing at a rapidly increasing rate) and be ready to step in to re-create a world that is based in something more life giving.

How to Manage the Dismantling

As I see it, there are two levels to this dismantling: 1) One that is personal and 2) one that is collective.  Here is how we can support this dismantling, both within ourselves and within the world around us.

1)      Personally:  For each of us personally, the dismantling is about undoing the parts within us that are ruled and manipulated by fear.  It is about identifying the parts of ourselves which are feeling anxious, depressed, restless, angry, sorrowful and which might even be experiencing these sensations physically.  In short, our fearful/egoic self is dying, right along with the fearful/egoic parts of our culture.  A portion of this personal dismantling also includes a life-review of sorts.  All those unhealed wounds within us or things we have suppressed or ignored seem to be finding their way to the surface in order that they may be named, healed and released.  The simple formula for participating in this dismantling is to imagine your fearful/egoic self as a separate individual.  Visualize this part of you and HOLD IT in love and compassion.  Thank it for enduring the suffering of the human condition and project thoughts of healing and release to all it has carried for you so that it may ascend to a place of peace.

2)      Collectively:  For the world, the dismantling is the same – allowing the fearful/egoic parts of our human community to die.  And, the practice is the same.  HOLD the world in love.  THANK it for bearing the suffering it has born for the sake of our fear.  Project thoughts of healing and release to the broken, fearful, hurting and wounded parts of our world so that they too might ascend to a peaceful place.

Healers Unite

This part of my message is specific to those who have identified themselves as healers, lightworkers, lightwarriors, Indigos, Crystals, peacemakers, lovers, etc.  Whatever name you call yourself, you have been aware of a special call within you to be a vessel of love and healing in this world.  You have a special job.  Because of the gifts you have been given, you are especially skilled in transforming fear into love, ignorance into wisdom, confusion into insight, hatred into compassion.  You all have your own unique way of bringing love into the world, you are now called to step forward and do what you know you have been called to do.  Additionally, I have heard many rumblings about the healers coming together.  I’m not sure, exactly, what that means, but let that invitation ring in your heart and guide you toward what that might mean for you.

Way showers and Pioneers Get Ready

And, now is the time for the way showers and pioneers, the millenials, post-moderns, Gen-X’ers and Gen-y’ers to GET READY!  As the outgoing power-hungry hoards have accused you of being “slackers,” (which we all know has never been true!) this is YOUR TIME to shine!!!  You were born with the knowledge of what the new world needs to look like, and you were born with the vision, gifts and passions to make that happen.  Of course, the old regime first needs to fall away.  But GET READY….because the new world is YOUR world and will be crafted by your hands, your vision, your wisdom and most importantly, your compassion.  You are the most loving and compassionate generation yet to be born on this planet and as the old world falls, you will be the ones bringing the new world to life!  Get ready….your time is very, very near.

A Vision of the New World

Of course, no one can predict exactly what the new world will look like, especially since it will be the generations behind me (at 48) who will grow the roots of the new world.  For my generation, we are merely the seed planters and the bridge.  My sense is that the new world will look nothing like what we have previously known.  The new world, will not be ruled by fear or power over, but by love and cooperative collaboration.  Perceived separations will fall away and we will come to see how we are ONE, while honoring what is unique and special among us.  We will learn to be STEWARDS of our planet, not rapists.  We will honor the planet for the gifts it gives us and we will treat her with gentleness and kindness.  We will learn to grow crops organically and without harmful and deadly chemicals, and we will see that there is enough to feed every mouth on this planet when we emphasize the growth of living foods.  In a spirit of unity, we will ensure that every person is fed, housed, clothed, kept safe, provided with adequate medical care and a quality education.  We will honor cultural differences, while finding the love between us.  The world will be governed by peace, harmony, love and compassion.  We will learn that when we come together in love, there is enough, all of our needs are met in abundance, we will find our own unique gifts and discover meaning and purpose in sharing these gifts for the on-going betterment of the world, we will find support for who we are, we will know love, the value of honoring our own truth as well as the truth of others, we will find direction in wisdom instead of fear and we will discover that we are never alone.  Too big of an order?  I don’t think so.  In short, we will discover the kingdom of God among us and we will walk in peace.

My prayers and blessings to you as we witness the death of what has been, in anticipation of the birth of love.

 

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Freedom, Inspiration, Spiritual Practices, world changes

How to Change Ourselves So We Can Change the World Part II

Today’s blog concludes the discussion on the recent government shutdown. Examining our government’s (senators, congressmen and President Obama are all culpable in this mess!) complete failure at the job WE hired them to do, we acknowledge that if we want things to change, first we have to change ourselves.  Yesterday’s blog examined the beginning stages of HOW we might begin to change and today’s blog concludes that discussion with a process for healing the fears that keep us imprisoned within ourselves and therefore by the powerful and wealthy few.

changing the world
changing the world

Suspend Your Disbelief

As my friend, Ted Balser (watch Monday for his debut column on this site, Ted and His Friends – Midlife Advice for the Slow White Male) often observes, “In order to grow and change, we must first suspend our disbelief.”  This is especially true of the personal development process that helps us to transcend our fears so that we are no longer imprisoned within and no longer able to be manipulated and controlled by the underdeveloped, so-called powerful outside of us.  True power comes from within and it is in naming and claiming this power that we find true, authentic, freedom.  While we may not be able to find scientific proof to verify the truths that will secure our personal power, thereby allowing us to transcend our fears, thousands of years of spiritual teachings (across traditions) and indigeneous cultural practices uphold the validity of these truths.

Finding Our Power

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, I reveal, what I call, the seven core spiritual truths that we are invited to embrace in the process of ensuring our inner freedom and claiming our personal power, which when embraced, help us to transcend the seven core fears of the human condition (See yesterday’s blog for more on these fears).  If we had grown up in a culture where sound, personal development practices had been cultivated since childhood, we might already hold these beliefs.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture where human development only happens by accident…if at all, the result of which is collective arrested development (See Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin for more on this topic).  Sadly, most of American culture (especially those in positions of perceived power) has not development emotionally, mentally, psychologically or spiritually past the age of 12.  We do, however have the power to change this.

Transcending Fear through the Seven Spiritual Truths

Again, embracing these fears requires us to suspend our disbelief, thereby taking a leap of faith.  In short, these truths cannot be measured through empirical studies, because in truth, these are truths that lay deep within us and have nothing to do with the outward circumstances of our lives.  When we identify that a fear has arisen in us and then employ appropriate mindfulness based practices, the fear is transcended and we rest in the contentment of one of the following universal spiritual truths:

  • There is enough.  All of my need are being abundantly met.
  • I am uniquely and creatively gifted to assist in making the world a better, more peaceful and more loving place.
  • I can be my most authentic self and there is nothing outside of me that can prevent me from doing this.
  • I am not only loved, but am the very nature of love itself.
  • I am free to hear, listen and give expression to my truth.
  • I know my truth and the path of my highest good and I will discover this in a time that is perfectly aligned with my own highest good.
  • I am not alone.

When we rest in the knowledge of these truths, we experience love, contentment and joy and we are able to become our most authentic and inwardly powerful self.  In transcending our fears, we are changing ourselves which then empowers us to facilitate change in our world.

Lauri Ann Lumby works with people one-on-one in cultivating the practices of Authentic Freedom which empowers people to transcend their fears and to find a life of meaning, purpose and fulfillment through which they help to support the betterment of the world.  To explore Authentic Freedom mentoring for yourself, email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313. 

Posted in Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Mentoring

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world.

Midlife and Menopause – One-on-One Mentoring

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

Restlessness

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

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

Midlife Map

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

Posted in 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.

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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 Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting our Shadow

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

midlife-menopause-shadow

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

Midlife and Menopause – Bats in the House

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

Midlife and Menopause – Confronting the Shadow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midlife and Menopause – the Gift in the Shadow

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

What does your shadow consist of?

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

Posted in Midlife Journey

Symptoms of Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. There are a whole slew of symptoms that arise to alert us to the fact that we are facing midlife, perimenopause and menopause – anxiety, depression, restlessness, impatience, discontent, sorrow, loneliness, relationship issues and rage.  In today’s blog, we explore rage as a symptom of midlife and how to deal with it.

midlife-menopause-rage
midlife-menopause-rage

Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Dealing with Rage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Midlife Journey

Midlife, Menopause and Authentic Freedom

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. Ultimately, the midlife journey is about approaching, discovering, cultivating, embracing and living Authentic Freedom, a term I coined years ago to describe this process.

authentic freedom and midlife
The Joy of Authentic Freedom

Midlife, Menopause and Authentic Freedom

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

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

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

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

Posted in mental illness, Midlife Journey

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Anxiety

Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Anxiety

The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women.  In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. As is true of childbirth, birthing ourselves is no less painful.  In the coming blogs, we will explore some of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that come with midlife including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, changes in libido, physical changes, etc. Today, we explore anxiety.

midlife menopause anxiety
midlife-menopause-dealing with anxiety

 

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

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

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

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

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