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 Inspiration, world changes

The Universe in Chaos

Rantings of a Professional Blogger

Apologies to my readers….I just spent the last hour writing today’s blog, a continuation of “Voices in Your Head”.  I just finished the blog, signed it, clicked “save” and WordPress freaked out.  I was booted off the system, had to log back in and my whole entire blog…all 800 words WAS LOST!   ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (If this was my other blog…I would be adding a few colorful words here.)   So, apparently we are NOT writing about truth today.  Instead, I’m being asked to make a few observations about what seems to be going on in the universe this week.  Not my normal venue….but here goes.

It All Started with Tattoos

Ok, not really, but it was the confirmation of things strange and unusual.  I do regular business with one of the local tattoo shops and have come to be friends with the owners and artists there.  Last night ALL of them posted (on Facebook) about strange happenings at the shop.  They called it a “Crackhead” day.  Strange people.  Strange requests.  Bizarre expectations and behaviors.  Not a normal day at Oshkosh Tattoo.  I wouldn’t normally throw this into the category of  “a universe in chaos” except that I have been experiencing strange feelings, emotions, observations, encounters in my own life of late.  And it seems I’m not alone.  Everyone I know is reporting overall weirdness. 

Observed Symptoms

Here is what is being reported:  Overwhelming grief.  Unnamed Rage.  Inexplicable anxiety.  Uncharacteristic restlessness.  All of these feelings would normally be explainable if we took the time to look within.  The reports I am hearing is that people are taking the time to look within and there is nothing there.  No reason for the grief.  Nothing to really be angry about.  No reason to be anxious.  It just seems to be showing up.  And if there is something there- the outward response seems to be disproportionate to the underlying cause.  To a person that is aware and who is taking the time to look within, to incorporate tools of self-healing and comfort, this is a strange time, but one they can certainly be present to.  To someone who is not aware or has never taken time to go within, these experiences will tend to come out sideways in strange, irrational, erratic, perhaps even violent behavior.  Hence, “Crackhead Day.”

What is it?

Quite frankly, I have no idea what this seeming universal chaos is all about.  But I can’t help but look at the Casey Anthony verdict as an other example of complete strangeness.  I don’t get it.  I don’t know what is up with the universe.  But this case sure seems to reflect this overall weirdness.  Strange. Bizarre. Inexplicable. The universe just isn’t right and we are all feeling the effects.

What to do?

The good news is that as the universe seems to be having some sort of temper tantrum or explosive purging, there are things we can do the ride the waves of the bizarre. 

  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Breathe
  • Be out in nature
  • Take care of ourselves through healthy foods, exercise, creative activities
  • Jealously guard our boundaries – only spend time with those who are loving and supportive of who we are
  • Cleanse – take a bath, drink lots of water, smudge our homes and offices

While we might not be able to avoid “Crackhead Day” or the experiences of a universe in chaos, we can ride the waves and know that this too shall pass. 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com