Posted in Being Human, Boundaries, Inspiration, women

Strong Intelligent Independent Successful Woman Syndrome

Today’s post is addressing the plight of strong, intelligent, independent, successful women.  Because we are all these things, we often feel very alone and getting others to understand we still need help and support can be a challenge.

 

wonderwomanshield

A New Diagnosis for the DSM

I am proposing a new diagnosis for the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual).  That new diagnosis is “Strong Intelligent, Independent, Successful Woman Syndrome.”  The symptoms of this syndrome include:

  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Spontaneous sadness
  • Headaches
  • Neck, shoulder and lower back pain
  • Creaky knees
  • Difficulty getting others to understand you need help

SIISWS is common among women who have worked hard to be successful in a man’s world (in case you are in denial, white, male privilege still reigns supreme in our society), and/or who have crawled out of adversity to make a life for themselves.  These are women who possess inner strength, tenacity, perseverance, courage, intelligence and who have a vision of what they want and who they are called to be and who have worked their butt off to get there.  You know these women.  You might be one of these women.  These women are a force to be reckoned with because they have moved through the challenges life has handed them and have moved through the inner fears, anxieties, and self-doubts that might have paralyzed others.  “We shall overcome,” might be thought of as their common mantra.  These women are strong, independent, intelligent and successful because of their own hard work and because of the inner and outer resources they have found along the way. It isn’t easy being one of these women, however, and this is the cause of the syndrome.

Strong Intelligent Independent Successful Woman Syndrome

SIISW’s are tired.  Tired from always having to be strong.  Tired from the burden of always having to overcome – fears, anxiety, self-doubt, societal structures, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions that stand as obstacles to their empowerment.  SIISW’s are sore.  Sore from carrying the burden of the tasks they have chosen, from climbing over obstacles, up hills, over and through mountains to accomplish their goals.  Sore from sometimes being the only one in the room up for the challenge.  Sore from carrying what others are not able to carry.  And SIISW’s are lonely.  Lonely because they appear to be confident, self-assured, autonomous and capable.  “You got this,” is what others believe of the SIISW.  SIISW’s are also lonely because, in truth, others are intimidated by them – women who are afraid to harness their own inner strength and men who are threatened by the strength and power of successful women.

Seeking for a Cause

The cause of Strong Intelligent Independent Successful Woman Syndrome is the weaponry that women have to take on in order to become SIISW’s.  SIISW’s need both a sword and a shield.  A sword to cut through fears, inner and outer obstacles, and self-doubt in order to accomplish their tasks.  A shield to protect themselves from the adversities of their past, the criticism and condemnation of others and the volley of sticks and stones hurled toward them as they fight their way to achievement, and the relationships lost because others are either unable to keep up, or become jealous and turn away.  In picking up these weapons, SIISW’s sometimes forget to lay them down, and forgetting to lay them down, neglect the deep vulnerability that drove their quest in the first place.  That is, however, until the vulnerability begins to wake up, seeking to remind the SIISW that they are still human and in need of human companionship, comfort and support.

The Way to a Cure

The cure for Strong Intelligent Independent Successful Woman Syndrome lies both within the woman and her closest friends and companions, but it starts with her.  SIISW’s need to remember they are human.  SIISW’s need to create space in their lives where they can be present to and become comfortable with their vulnerability. They need to acknowledge their fears, their insecurities, the defense mechanisms they’ve developed in order to become a successful woman in a man’s world.  They need to acknowledge their longing, their disappointments, losses and failures and grieve them.  They need to make a home for their loneliness.  They need to acknowledge their needs – especially those they cannot fulfill on their own, or that they just don’t want to accomplish on their own (I use my princess card for these….changing tires, snow blowing my driveway, bagging groceries, etc.)?  And once the SIISW has become comfortable with the vulnerability within, they need to be even more vulnerable and begin to ask others for help.  They need to ask their friends for help, invite their loved ones in as sources of support, seek professional support when these services are needed.  And…..they have to keep asking because quite frankly, those around them don’t really believe they need help, “You got this,” is most likely their first response.

How You Can Help

If you have a SIISW in your life, you can help them overcome Strong Intelligent Independent Successful Woman Syndrome.  First, by recognizing the symptoms and second by offering support.  Step in, even if they have not asked, and offer support.  BE the shoulder they can cry on.  Offer to take one of the burdens off their hands.  And when they say, “no, I got this,” take it off their hands anyway.  Reach out and invite them to join you for something fun.  SIISW’s are really bad at making room for fun…..be the one who helps them let go of the “work” and simply enjoy life.  Listen to their needs and offer to help them get their needs met.  Rub their overburdened shoulders, knees and feet.  Take the shield and sword from their hands, pulling it from their dead fingers if you need to, and then simply hold them – because after all the work of holding up themselves and the rest of the world, what SIISW’s need most of all…..is to be held.

 

 

Posted in addictions, Authentic Freedom, shame, Spiritual Practices, Superheroes, world changes

Superheroes and our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

Superhero Report – July 28, 2014

Our Relationship with Mood-Altering Substances

DSCF3163

 

It is not something we like to admit, but the New Superheroes have often had trouble with mood-altering substances.  Whether it is caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, a whole host of illegal substances or ones that have been prescribed by our doctors for ADD, anxiety, stress, depression, or panic attack, certain ascetic meditation practices, television, video games, the internet – the New Superheroes are likely to have (or had) some sort of habitual relationship with one or several of the above.  There is a sound explanation for the attractiveness of these substances and to the way in which we are almost irresistibly drawn toward them and why they can so easily become addictive.  There are also some simple practices we can engage in which can render these substances unnecessary.  (Note: if you have an addiction, please seek out the support of your local 12-Step recovery program.)

 

The question of why we are drawn to mood-altering substances has a many-layered response:

 

1) We remember our true nature and our original home and we want to go home!

On an unconscious and often conscious level, Superheroes remember what “heaven” feels like. We also know our “true self” is not of this earth, but that we are pure, spiritual beings. Mood-altering substances stimulate the brow and crown chakras and give us an experience of being “home.”

2) We were given a vision of what the earth is supposed to be like, and this is not it.

Until we know how, we often resist this human form and are looking for ways to ESCAPE. The earth we are currently residing in is the not the vision of earth that was planted into our hearts and that we are here to make real. Again, mood-altering substances give us an experience similar to being home, thereby allowing us, at least temporarily, to escape the painful human condition.

3) The false belief that spiritual is better than human.

This is a biggie – especially among certain members of the New Age, Ascension, and Lightworker communities. We are NOT here to be spiritual, we are not here to ascend the limitations of our humanness, we are not here to sprinkle fairies and stardust upon the world singing songs of light and love and perfection, believing that if we think good thoughts all will be well and we will have everything we want. No, we are not here to do these things – not at the expense of being HUMAN anyway. WE ARE HERE TO BE HUMAN. PERIOD. We are ALREADY fully Divine. We came here to experience being human AND to bring our already perfect Divine nature fully into this experience. Rather than Ascension, the journey of the New Superhero (and the rest of the world with us), is actually INCARNATION – transcending the illusions of duality and becoming BOTH fully Divine AND fully Human. We already know the Divine part….let’s figure out how to be human! (ahem….I know a pretty cool dude who lived about 2000 years ago in and around Palestine/Israel who came here to do the same.)

4) Shame

As strangers in a strange land, we often have the experience of not fitting in, of being judged for being weird or strange. People don’t understand us, or the vision we carry in our hearts and the drive to make it real. When we feel rejected by those around us, and sometimes even by those we love, we take it personally. This rejection becomes internalized as shame. Mood-altering substances are a great way to numb the pain of this shame.

5) Loneliness

Just ask Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, being a Superhero is lonely business. Until they discovered each other and formed the Justice League, these Superheroes were out there on their own trying to make the world a better place and feeling very alone. The same is true of us. We often feel alone in the world with few who understand our unique temperaments, gifts and call. Mood altering substances help us to numb the pain of feeling alone and misunderstood.

Again, if our relationship with mood-altering substances has reached the level of addiction, then it is time to seek help.  12-Step recovery programs are a great way to get support in stopping the use of the substance and Authentic Freedom helps to identify and heal the inner fears/wounds which led us to the compulsive behavior in the first place.  If our relationship to mood-altering substances is less problematic but we still find ourselves drawn to them, the following practices may prove helpful.

 

1)Tonglen 

Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice which incorporates visualization and breathwork for the intention of transforming painful emotions. For the Superheroes, applying Tonglen to feelings of loneliness and shame can prove effective. Here is the practice in short:

  • Identify the feeling you want to work with (shame, loneliness)
  • Call that feeling up in your body.
  • Identify where in your body you feel it.
  • Breathe INTO that place in your body, while feeling the emotion (shame, loneliness).
  • While breathing into that place, follow your breath with your mind.
  • Now breathe out love, following the love with your breath as you imagine it flowing out of you from the place of the painful emotion.
  • Continue with this practice until you feel something change – perhaps the emotion shifts to something else, maybe you begin to weep.

2) Embodiment

Embodiment is a practice that I discovered while struggling with an overactive and fretful mind.  The intention of this practice is to REMEMBER that we are here to have a HUMAN experience – no matter what we remember about our “heaven home” or our true nature as spiritual beings.  Embodiment allows us to set aside the false belief that spiritual is better than human and gives us the tools for bringing our, already perfect, Divine selves FULLY into the human experience.  When our spirit is fully incarnate in our bodies, we feel safe and secure and are less likely to be tempted to FLEE.  It is not, however, until we INCARNATE that we feel safe in our human selves, so let’s get to incarnating, shall we???

 

  • Close your eyes and draw your awareness deep into your body.
  • See if you can identify the distinction between your spiritual and human self. (Note, the spiritual self, until we are incarnate, tends to hang out in the upper chakras, especially our head, or even somewhere outside and above us.)
  • Conscious of the distinction between your spiritual and human self, bring your consciousness deep into your body.
  • Imagine the Earth beneath you as hands reaching up to hold, support, protect, and nourish you.
  • Feel the sense of safety in resting in this supportive space.
  • Imagine your HUMAN self as supported by the Earth and receiving its nourishment from the Earth.
  • As you begin to feel the safety of humanness, imagine that your human self is like a chalice – an empty vessel waiting for your Spirit to be poured into it.
  • From this place of security, observe as your Spirit willingly pours itself into the safe home of your human chalice. You are not pushing, forcing or pulling it in, it willingly enters in the knowledge that the Human form is safe.
  • Returning to the awareness of your human form, FEEL the sensation of being fully human and safe in this experience, while completely filled by your Divine Spiritual nature. Feel the wholeness and completeness of this experience. As you sit in this feeling of safety, you become aware of all illusions of separation melting away. Your Spirit and your Human natures are now one – no longer separate or distinct from each other, but ONE.

 

Embodiment eliminates the temptation to FLEE because when we INCARNATE, we find that WE ARE HOME and that there is a home for us in the human condition and that with our embodiment, it looks a whole lot like the heaven we remember and the heaven we were sent to make real upon this earth. 🙂  In this experience, we know that HEAVEN IS REAL and it is right here, within and among us.

 

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,

Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed,

And no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘ look, there it is.’

For behold, the kingdom of God is within (and among) you.”

 

Luke 17: 20-21

 

Posted in Inspiration

Is Comic-Con the New Jerusalem?

Please NOTE: The following is in no way meant to be disrespectful of those who consider Jerusalem to be a holy and sacred city worthy of honor and respect. Neither It is meant to be disrespectful toward Jews, Muslims or Christians!

While Israel and Palestine are busy warring over the Gaza Strip, and Christians join the battle (do not fool yourself into believing our so-called Christian nation does not have a vested interest in this war – if not the government itself, then certainly the corporate lobbyists who control our government), in deciding who ultimately gets the land and the oil, along with the right to call Jerusalem home, there is a new Jerusalem being born right underneath our noses. And that Jerusalem is happening as we speak in San Diego, California at the annual Comic-Con, International.  

Neji, by Heather Addis
Neji, by Chloe Hirshberg

 

This past weekend, 130,000 + men, women and children made their annual pilgrimage to the sacred temple of all comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, technology aficionados (aka geeks and nerds).  Comic-Con is an opportunity to gather in community in celebration of what gives life meaning, and for many, what gives life purpose.  Through Comic-Con, fans have an opportunity to meet and spend time with those who inspire them and to share their passion for the stories that reflect the universal human story of good vs. evil, most of which ultimately end in some sort of redemption (unless, your favorite stories are in the genre of dystopia, then like Shakespeare, we understand the value of a good old-fashioned tragedy).  If the experience one enjoys at Comic-Con is not religious, I don’t know what is.  Comic-Con, just might be the New Jerusalem for a post-modern generation.

One of the characteristics of the post-modern generation (Gen X, Gen Y and Millenials), is an ambivalence toward traditional religious structures.  Their rational minds cannot make sense of institutions that say, “do what I say but not as I do,” and these are the last folks to do what they are told, simply because they are told.  Post-moderns need their faith to be grounded in reason.  Additionally, post-moderns (esp. X’s, Y’s and Millenials) crave a “religion” that is universal – one that is not caught up in the trappings of us vs. them or truth that is the sole possession of one system of beliefs.  Instead, these folks are looking for an experience without borders, pluralistic in nature and one that brings people together instead of forcing them apart.  As such, most do not go to church, and if they do, they are “cafeteria” attendees – picking and choosing what works for them while disregarding the rest.

This is not to say, however, that the post-moderns are not driven by the same search for meaning and purpose, along with the desire for the inspiring story of salvation commonly found in most religious traditions.  Enter Comic-Con.  Comic-Con is the gathering place of all the sacred stories that have been created since the publication of the first comic book in 1933.  And Comic-Con does not limit itself to comic books, but includes all sci-fi, fantasy, horror (and then some) that has inspired the Western (and Eastern) audience.  Comic-Con provides a place for people to gather, to commune, to learn and to grow in their continual search for meaning and purpose in a way that is pluralistic  – bringing people together instead of forcing them apart.

Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan, if True Blood trips your trigger, or if you are married to DC or Marvel, it doesn’t matter, all are honored as sacred at Comic-Con.  Naruto, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Kim Possible, Death Note, Black Butler, No. 6, The Walking Dead, Teen Wolf, are all represented.  Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Flash, X-Men, Agents of Shield – Comic-Con is big enough for it all.  Sure, there is an occasional argument over whether Star Wars or Star Trek is better, or whether The Hobbit can hold a candle to LOTR, all is argued in the spirit of playfulness and respect.  Whereas some might accuse Comic-Con and all it represents of simply providing a means of escape (who wouldn’t want to escape the current world we live in?????), I contend that instead, it satisfies the spiritual and religious needs of a population whose needs are not, and will never, be met by traditional religion. Again, Comic-Con just might be the New Jerusalem for a post-modern generation, and I for one, am glad for it!

If you live in the Oshkosh area, please join us for our weekly Superhero Gatherings – a place where the REAL Superheroes meet!

To learn more go HERE. 

 

 

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Superheroes, Truth, world changes

Superheroes Among Us

Bad Buys, Victims and Superheroes

There are three kinds of people in the world:

  • Those who seek after power and control, manipulating through intimidation and fear.
  • Those who are manipulated and controlled, victimized by their fear.
  • Those who move through their fear, seeking and working for a world ruled by love.

In the world of comic books, the “bad guys” make up the first kind of people – your Lex Luthors, Penguins, Jokers, Green Goblins, Skeletors, Boris and Natashas, Shegos, Drakkens, Mojo Jojos, etc.  The towns people, people of Gotham City, Metropolis, etc. make up the second group – those victimized by the bad guys.  And it is the Superheroes – Wonder Woman, Kim Possible, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Teen Titans, etc. who save the day, restoring peace, harmony and justice to the world.

Kim-Possible-Episode-84--Chasing-Rufus

Real World Bad Guys and Superheroes

The real world, in many ways, is no different than the comic book world.  There are “bad guys” ruling the world through intimidation and fear, those who suffer under the power and control tactics of the “bad guys,” and those who want to do something about it in an effort to restore justice, peace and harmony to the world.  Superheroes are real and they are living and walking among us – many of them just trying to wake up to their gifts and their call. If you are reading this blog, it is likely that YOU are one of the Superheroes!

We Have Come to Save the Day!

If you are one of the Superheroes, on some level, YOU KNOW IT! And you know it in the following ways:

  • A frustration, impatience, angst, maybe even rage over the current state of the world.
  • Inside of you, you know of a better world – a world ruled by love, lived out in peace, harmony, justice, collaborative leadership, tolerance and acceptance.
  • There is something inside of you that YEARNS for the world you know in your heart, and you feel compelled to do something about it, though perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the task and alone in your vision.
  • You may have struggled to find a place of belonging in this world.  Between the “bad guys” and those paralyzed by fear and complacent within the status quo, you often wonder where you fit in.
  • The traditional models of education, government, medicine, religion, etc. don’t work for you.
  • Perhaps you have tried to share your vision and your gifts and been ridiculed, condemned, or maybe even punished for trying to speak your truth.
  • You may have struggled with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sensitivity issues (environmental, food, etc.) (which are all actually symptoms of your SOUL trying to wake you up to your Superpowers!)

If any of the above speaks to you, you are most likely a SUPERHERO and the time of your awakening is NOW!

kimpossible

Come join us!

If you are in the Oshkosh area, and you think you might be a Superhero, please join us on:

Monday, July 7th at 4:30 pm

for an initial gathering of the Superheroes.  From there we will map out a plan for how often and when we will gather for:

Support

Community

Learning

Empowerment

In our gatherings, we will:

  • Look at the unique gifts and call of the New Superheroes
  • Learn how to manage the anxiety, depression, panic and unique sensitivities that often accompany this call.
  • Utilize mindfulness and creativity tools for discovering, nurturing and cultivating your Superpowers.
  • Explore the ways in which you are called to use your unique gifts.

WonderWomanFor more information, click HERE, or call or email Lauri Lumby (aka Wonder Woman) at (920) 230-1313, lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Initiation, world changes

Are You One of the New Superheroes?

There is a new breed of humans who are currently walking the planet.  This new breed of humans were born to be Superheroes.  They are our future.  They are here to heal and change the world.  No, they won’t be faster than the speed of light (but with the internet…who knows!). They won’t be able to bend steel with their hands.  They will not be able to leap over capital T in a single bound.  They will not be able to stop bullets with their golden bracelets or coerce truth out of liars with a magical lasso.  The impact of the new Superheroes, however, will be just as great – if not greater.

JusticeLeague

Who are the new Superheroes?

Here is just a short list of qualities that might help you identify yourself, or someone you know as a new Superhero.  The New Superheroes are:

  • Born with a deep sense that they are here for a reason, that there is something they are here to do.
  • Born with a profound inner knowing of what the world is supposed to be like and dramatically and negatively affected when they witness or experience a world other than what they know is supposed to be.
  • Extremely sensitive to their environment, picking up the feelings and emotions of others, feeling like it is their job to fix things.  Also sensitive to world events – weather, natural disasters, human disasters, war, etc.
  • Struggling with anxiety, depression, panic attack, sleeplessness, insomnia.
  • Creatively driven with an active mind.
  • Often drawn to nature. Feel more grounded and whole after spending time in nature.
  • Not interested in the current Western paradigm of materialism and consumerism.
  • Dumbfounded that others don’t understand and expect the world to be as they know it should be and that no one seems to be doing anything about it.
  • Struggling with authority—feeling it has to be earned, not assumed.
  • Fiercely independent, don’t fit in with old systems of education, government, religion, etc., knowing a better way to do these things.

The Superhero’s Challenge

Again, the new  Superheroes are our future.  They are here to heal and change the world.  The problem is that the majority of the world is not quite ready for the Superheroes.  The world isn’t ready because many are too tightly attached to the world they have come to know and many are benefitting from current paradigm which is primarily rooted in separation and fear.  The new Superheroes are preaching about love….and as is usually the case, the world isn’t quite ready for love.  As a result, the new Superheroes:

  • Question themselves because of the contrast between what they know and what others seem to know and believe.  This questioning creates in them a great deal of anxiety, stress and they often lose sleep over this.
  • Experience a great amount of angst—over the state of the world, the environment, politics, and all of the above mentioned, and often feel helpless (even hopeless) about it.
  • Are restlessly discontent over all of the above – a discontent that is not satisfied until they are working toward the creation of the world they know in their hearts, their minds and their beings.
  • Are growing cynical over all of the above.

Teen_Titans___Neo_by_Gilarin

Help is on the Way

As a Superhero myself, I feel called to provide help and support for the New Superheroes!  Help for the Superhero in:

  • Learning to manage anxiety along with the depression and panic attacks that often accompany the Superhero’s awakening.
  • Discovering and cultivating their own unique Superhero powers.  (Many have been gifted with empathy and are unwittingly making themselves sick with other people’s emotions, illnesses and dramas. My job is to help them learn how to use this power and not get sickened by it.)
  • Protecting themselves from the kryptonite-effect of a world living in separation and fear.
  • Finding community – creating our own Justice League of Superheroes working together to heal and change the world. “Truth, Justice and Pizza”

WonderWomanIf you are a Superhero and looking for support, please join us on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 4:30 for our first gathering.  For more information, please click HERE, or call or email Lauri Lumby (aka Wonder Woman) (920) 230-1313, lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.  The world is waiting for you!  You are the change you wish to see in the world! 

Posted in Being Human, Boundaries, Inspiration, men, Midlife Journey, Relationships, women

Calling the Good Men!

Today’s blog was supposed to be Part II of a rant…..but I’m not feeling very ranty.  Instead, I’m feeling a deep love and appreciation for the men of our world and instead of calling them out for the sin of White Male Privilege, I am using this forum to invite the GOOD MEN to don their Superhero capes, or sport their swords and shields and STAND UP in defense of those who are suffering under the current cultural paradigm which hurts them as much as it hurts us!  

Goodmen

For the Love of Men

I absolutely adore men. I am one of those girls who always felt at home in the company of boys and later men. I (mostly) get men.  I appreciate their interests and sense of humor.  I love the unique gifts they bring to the world.  Many of my closest friends are male, not to mention the three most important men in my life – my father, my brother, and my son.  MOST men that I know are generous, kind, loving, thoughtful, supportive, providers for their loved ones and families and not only value, but honor women for their uniqueness and as their equals.  That being said, even the men I love most have benefitted from white male privilege and while they might not be actively participating in it, they are being affected by it and in a very sad sense, they are somewhat responsible if they are doing nothing to change the face of male privilege, especially the practices which make women and people of color victims of this privilege.  Today’s blog, specifically addresses some of the ways in which women suffer under this paradigm.  And as much as we (as women) fight, kick, scream and cry for things to change, sadly, nothing about this is going to shift until those in privilege – THE MEN, stand up and do something about it.

White Male Privilege

White Male Privilege is the current cultural paradigm which values male over female, white over any other race, masculine ways of doing things over feminine, masculine structures, logical thought processes and ways of doing over feminine systems, feeling creative processes and ways of being, hierarchy over cooperation.  etc.  White Male Privilege…or as my business partner, work-husband, and personal Boy-Wonder, Ted would say, “The Plight of the Slow White Male,”  keeps us in a system where women are still only earning $0.73 for every dollar earned by a man and where there is a complete lack of recognition, honor or pay for women who are tending the home, raising the children, preparing the meals, etc. etc. etc.   White Male Privilege is most acutely obvious in Institutional structures – churches, corporations, academia, etc. where the highest levels of leadership are owned by men and if not by men, by women who had to be like men to get there.  Women suffer under this paradigm, but so do men.  White Male Privilege puts an awful lot of pressure on men (and women who have had to become like men) to perform, achieve, and conquer, often at the expense of their deeper needs for nurturing, intimacy and time to simply be. For the purpose of today’s blog, however, I am inviting us all to recognize that if we are unhappy with the effects of White Male Privilege, it is the GOOD MEN who will have to STAND UP, SPEAK UP and do something about it.  So, Good Men, as you are donning your superhero capes, here are a few of my hot-button issues (now here comes the rant!  🙂 ).  And if you would like to know where else you might help, ask your wife, your girlfriend and your sisters, they might have some ideas.  🙂

  • “Blurred Lines”  Really?????  Here’s the deal……NO MEANS NO, and a drugged, drunk woman who does not have the capacity to argue is still saying no.  As a survivor of rape, I feel as if the only just punishment due a man who rapes a woman (or a child, or another man) is castration….but I’ll let the courts decide that one.  But instead of working to stop rape,  old white men are busy making laws that are further blurring the lines around what is defined as rape and how rape is tried and punished.  Unless the woman has fully consented, is willingly participating and enjoying the action….then it is rape….period.

Good Men, we need your help in changing the culture of rape and the policies that that blur the lines around what we define as rape and how rape is punished.

  • Birth Control – again….old white men making decisions about our bodies, our decisions to become mothers and how we want to do this.  Shouldn’t this be the woman’s decision or at least made within the privacy of an intimate, committed relationship?

Good men, we need your help with this!  Your female partners need access to medical services and medications that keep unplanned pregnancies rare and sex safe.  I’m thinking you have an interest in this as well!  🙂

  • Abstinence Education?  Are you frickin kidding me??????  Old, white men again.  Keep your legs crossed kids, and don’t have sex.  But if you do….it is the girl who is to blame, because boys are just sowing their wild oats.  I call FOUL!  Kids are having sex.  And some of them are children (under the age of 13).  The sooner we ADMIT this, the sooner we will work our tails off to provide education about contraception and prevention of STD’s.  There is a reason that Amsterdam has the lowest infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rate in THE WORLD!  It is because they acknowledge that their kids are having sex and they are giving them what they need to keep sex safe and prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Good men, we need your help with this.  I’m not saying we should condone sexual activity among our youth….I’m just saying let’s be real about it!  Keep our kids safe and unplanned pregnancies rare!!!!

  • Periods are gross – again, old white men in the guise of pharmaceutical companies providing pills that “stop your period.”  Ahem……women, we were meant to bleed.  It is natural and healthy.  Artificially preventing our natural cycle could have devastating and lasting effects.  Don’t trust what you see on TV or read in the magazine!  Belly up to the “Feminine Hygiene” isle and OWN your Red Tent time.

Good men, we need your help.  Support your female partners, daughters and friends in being comfortable with their bodies and all the functions thereof.  Speak out against campaigns that encourage women to stop these necessary biological functions.  Your voice matters here.

  • Menopause is a disease and something that requires medical (and psychological) attention and medication: Again, old white men deciding that the aging process is BAD (because is somehow negatively impacts their ability to be in control or to have great sex, or God forbid….learn to be open to emotional intimacy and vulnerability!!!!!).  The hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause serve the benevolent purpose of birthing the uniquely creative life of a woman beyond that of motherhood.  It is through perimenopause and menopause that women really come into their true power and when embraced….we are a force to be reckoned with.  This is not the time to seek out estrogen replacement or bio-identical hormones to calm our mood swings, ease our tempers, erase our wrinkles or so we can remain “juicy” down there….it is the time to ROAR, SHOUT, SCREAM, all the gifts we have been suppressing so that the people around us would be “happy.”

Good men, if you are supportive, loving, understanding and encouraging of your female partners  through this process….I promise that you will have your reward – a happier, healthier, more fulfilled partner who might just want to rock your world.  🙂

The Bigger Truth Here

Now, everyone take a breath.  There is a profound lesson to remember here and on which will save all of us – women and men were BOTH created in the image and likeness of God and are at once equal and unique.  If we want a better world, we are going to have to learn how to uphold our equality while honoring the unique gifts that we bring to the table – the feminine ability to be generous, to allow and receive, to work toward harmony, to encourage collaboration, consensus and peace; and the masculine traits of working toward goals, striving for accomplishment and making things happen….and that these gifts are not entirely defined by gender!!!!!  And if you think we have a long way to go in our country…think about other parts of the world where women can’t even get an education, learn to read and write, hold a job, vote, etc. etc. etc.  Our work has just begun baby!

And to the Good Men:  THANK YOU.  Thank you for having the courage to acknowledge white male privilege and to see where it hurts not only those you love, but yourself as well.  And THANK YOU for doing your part to help change this paradigm so that we can work together in creating a world rooted in love, honor and respect for all and where peace and harmony reign!

Lauri Lumby, known as Wonder Woman to some, is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, hoping to make the world a more loving, peaceful place.  Thank you for adding your voice to the cause of love. 🙂

Posted in Faith, Gifts of Contemplation, Inspiration, Mystics

Mystics and Superheroes

Mystics (or contemplatives, whatever name you call them) are the real-life version of a superhero.  In today’s blog, we explore the innate superhero powers of mystics and how this makes them better than even Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman or Iron Man.

Superheroes

Mystics

For the past week or so, I’ve been exploring the gift, the call and the journey of the mystic (aka contemplative).  We’ve explored their loneliness, their longing, their mission, their commitment and their call.  Today, I want to explore the greatest strength of the mystic and why I consider them to be the honest-to-god/dess, real-life version of a Superhero.  Superheroes are walking among us and they are housed in the body, mind, spirit and work of the modern-day mystic.

Superheroes

We know who the superheroes are.  BatmanWonder Woman.  Bat Girl. Iron Man. Superman Spiderman.  The Hulk.  Captain America.  Catwoman (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen Dark Knight Rising!)  and one for the kids:  The Powerpuff Girls.  🙂  In the immortal words of Mighty Mouse, superheroes “have come to save the day.”  Superheroes have been gifted with magical powers and/or magical gadgets which allow them to save the world from evil.  Superheroes are cool.  Superheroes rock.  And they have really cool costumes!  But, without their costumes, gadgets and magical powers, superheroes are just ordinary people with names like Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince, Barbara Gordon, Tony Stark, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bruce (David) Banner, Steve Rogers and Selina Kyle.

Mystics vs. Superheroes

The difference between mystics and superheroes is that mystics don’t need costumes or gadgets, and their powers aren’t what one might call “magical.”  Mystics weren’t bitten by a radioactive spider, neither do they hail from the Isle of Amazon, and they certainly don’t have the magical crystal which births the Fortress of Solitude where they find guidance and direction from their deceased alien parents.  Instead, the mystic’s magic resides within the innate gifts that they were given at their birth, gifts that could be the possession of each and every human being, should they choose to use them.  But, like superheroes, the mystic’s innate gifts are given so that they might …save the day!

The Mystic’s secret weapon and super power

Mystic’s, while gifted in unique, individual and amazing ways to bring saving into the world, all have ONE GIFT in common.  It is this one gift that allows the mystic to be present to the human condition in such a way as to be a source of support, healing and inspiration for the world.  If I could choose one superhero movie to portray the mystic’s gift, I would choose the most recent Batman release – Dark Knight Rises.    But, it is not outfitted as Batman with all the padding and bionic supports that portrays the mystic’s gift, (warning spoiler alert) it is in the foreign prison where a very human Bruce Wayne, crippled and broken rebuilds his body and his mind, then works and works and works to escape “Hell on Earth,” the inescapable prison and succeeds through a literal leap of faith.  A very human Bruce Wayne used the most important super power of the mystic to accomplish his escape that that power is COURAGE and its sidekick, FAITH.

Courage and Faith

Courage and faith are the innate super powers born into every mystic because the mystic’s job is to dive deeply into the grit and grime of the human experience.  If one is to accomplish the mystic’s mission of saving the world, one needs to be willing to walk into the horrors and struggles of the human condition, one must be willing to experience one’s own pain and to be able to be present for others in their pain.  In this job of saving the day, the mystic has to walk into terrifying situations, to take dangerous leaps of faith and TRUST that all will be well.  And….as every mystic can attest….in the end, it always is.  And if the outcome of the path is likely to be death, the mystic also knows and proves that even in death, there is always new life.  (ahem….another Dark Knight Rises reference. 😉 )

Posted in church, Discernment, Raised Catholic

The Reformer’s Curse

Each of us are gifted at birth with a certain lens through which we are programmed to view the world and our life experiences.  Sadly, this lens is at once a gift and a curse.  Today’s blog explores the lens of the reformer/perfectionist…one I know all too well!

I Have Come to Save the Day – The Messiah and Superhero Complex

As much as I wish it were otherwise, I am not Jesus, or the Buddha or even Wonder Woman or Almighty Isis for that matter.  I am just little ole Lauri plagued with the lens of the reformer/perfectionist.  (For more on the reformer/perfectionist or the other eight temperments on the Enneagram scale, go to:  http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ )  As such, I have grown up with the kind of eyes that see all the places in the world where “it could be better,” “certainly there is another way,” “I could do it better than they…”  The place where has been most obvious and most painful (except my mother would probably argue this) is in regards to my relationship with the Catholic Church.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog…..I love my Catholic faith and it is because of this love that I want to see it get better….be better…do better.  But as a friend recently pointed out….Who am I fooling?  The Catholic Church has done just fine without me for 2000+ years and it certainly isn’t going to change just because little Lauri Lumby thinks it should.  But……that is not to say that I haven’t spent a fair amount of time beating my head against the wall hoping for change.  Around 4 years ago I finally recognized the futility of those hopes, dreams, compulsions…….and released my personal mission to “save the Catholic Church.”   Yes, I still like to get up on my soapbox and pontificate on all the “sins” of the Institution, but in truth, I know they are not going to change and I get that.   But….that doesn’t mean that I don’t keep working for reform in the tiny little universe over which I have any kind of control or influence (and even that is arguable)……and that is within MYSELF!

Reforming the church in my own tiny universe!

So, instead of beating my head against the doors of the Institution, I am creating “reform” right here in my own backyard.  Tired of waiting for the Church to do what I want it to do (ha ha), I offer the things I had hoped the Church would one day incorporate into its ministries, but has not.  The funny thing is that all the things I offer are things that the US Catholic Bishops have called for, but most parishes have not implemented – ie: Spiritual Formation for adults leading them toward Stewardship (see:  The Bishops’ documents on Stewardship, “Sons and Daughters of Light,” “Our Hearts Were Burning within Us.”  All documents which outline and call for these plans. ).  Now, in defense of the Institution, many parishes are offering religious formation (ie: doctrine) for adults….but is mostly stops there.  I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule…..and I am humble enough (on some days) to acknowledge this.  What sets me apart from anything being done on an institutional level, however, is that the tools and formation I provide specifically give people tools through which they are empowered to reason, discern and exercise truth…..their own truth as revealed to them personally and intimately in their connection with God.  I figure the only way to have effective stewardship is to empower spiritual maturity which only comes AFTER a period of questioning, challenging, seeking, discerning.  I’m comfortable holding space for that time of seeking and questioning.

The Larger Vision

Of course, as a “Reformer,” my visions don’t stop in my living room.  In fact, I see a larger, longer range vision where someday the work I am doing will be enfolded in a larger, more compassionate, more expansive expression of my Catholic/Christian faith…..but I doubt if that will happen in my lifetime.  So, I am content in letting the Catholic Church keep doing what it is doing (but not without a fair bit of poking and prodding on my part!) and I will continue doing what I am doing – with my lasso of truth in hand, and my bullet-proof bracelets ready (to defend the bullets of the self-appointed inquisition) I do the best job I can of discerning God’s call for me and authentically standing in that truth….whatever that might be.

What tools do you use for discerning truth?

Where do you find yourself caught up in the reformers curse?

How do you find acceptance of “what is” while still standing in your truth?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Discernment, Ponderings

Trying on Different Parts of Ourselves. Who Are You?

In today’s blog I will explore the human journey of self-discovery and the many things we try on and work toward integrating as we come to embrace more fully our most authentic self.


As a member of the Facebook community, I have recently had great fun discovering, posting and changing my  profile picture.  A friend recently inquired as to why I am posting pictures of Amy Grant, Kiera Knightly (as a sword-yielding warrior), Jami Gertz (as a vampire-in-training), Sandra Bullock (as a “witch”) and Wonder Woman instead of posting pictures of myself.   My friend wondered why I would want to be anybody other than Lauri Lumby.  While I’ve just been having fun with pictures, my friend’s question has caused me to pause and reflect on the possible deeper meaning behind this version of Facebook fun.  Of course, there is a deeper reason, and I think it is a reason that we can all relate to as we are compelled to seek, explore, discover and eventually embrace our highest and most true self.

Part of our journey of self-discovery includes trying on, experimenting and exploring different roles.  Who am I?  What are my passions?  What are my fears?  What are the parts of myself I’m comfortable sharing with the world?  What parts do I keep hidden?  In this experimenting and exploration, we find the parts that resonate with our truth (highest self) and are able to discard the parts that do not.  The goal of this journey of self-discovery, if we can really say there is a goal, is to find the parts of ourselves that are true and learn to embrace them and integrate them fully into our truest, highest self.  In the shamanic tradition,  this process if referred to as recapitulation.  In this process, we find all the parts of who we are and allow ourselves to be open to these parts  – warts and all!  Recapitulation includes the integration of our gifts, our strengths, our passions, our longings, our desires and our fears.  As a fully-integrated being, we are able to be present to all that we are and are able to stand securely within all that we are.  It is this journey of recapitulation that I realize I have been sharing with the Facebook world.

As I look specifically at the images I have chosen on Facebook to represent myself, I realize that each of these images portray a part of myself, along with a part of myself that I want to more fully embrace.  Amy Grant represents the part of me that is moved by music and song and wants to sing my praises to the Divine.  I am moved by her music, I love her voice and she’s beautiful inside and out.  I guess that is something I hope to be.  Kiera Knightly, plays the lode-tattooed, Celtic warrior princess, Gueneviere, in the movie King Arthur (which sucks, by the way…so don’t rent it!).  In this role, she plays the part of me that wants to wield a sword against injustice and against the inner and (perceived) outer obstacles that keep showing up on my path to embracing my highest self.  When I feel like I need to fight off my fears, compulsions, addictions, etc.  it is fun to imagine myself donning battle armor and face paint and taking up my sword of truth!   Jami Gertz, from the movie, Lost Boys, absolutely represents the part of me drawn to the seemingly darker side of the human journey – vampires, rockstars, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Alice Cooper…..all these reflect the parts of me that are hidden, dark, moody, brooding and somewhat neurotic.  Wonder Woman?  Come on….who doesn’t dream of being a superhero?  Beside, Wonder Woman is kick-ass cool and really hot!  Don’t all women aspire to don the leotard, red go-go boots, golden bracelets and golden lariat!?  Then there is Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic – one of my all-time favorite movies!!!!!  In this film, she represents the parts of me that are drawn to magic and mystery and the part of me that wants to learn how to embrace this as part of my everyday life.  Admittely, she also represents the parts of myself resistant to yet longing to be loved.  She represents the parts of me I feel are sometimes misunderstood and perceived as unconventional.  Of all the above-mentioned characters, Sandra Bullock as Sally perhaps most closely reflects my own journey of self-discovery.

Speaking of Practical Magic….one of the things I love about this movie is the way that it represents this human journey of self-discovery.  Beyond the magic and the mystery is a magnificent story of discovering, resisting, rediscovering, then learning how to embrace our gifts and our highest self.  In this movie, Sally (Sandra Bullock) embarks upon this journey of self-discovery as she is forced to acknowledge, explore and ultimately embrace the gifts that she has denied for most of her life.  In this journey of self-discovery, she breaks a family curse, saves her sister’s life, frees her children to fully embrace their own gifts, finds self-acceptance and love.  If this is what the journey of self-discovery brings and if it means trying on a few roles, ….then I say, BRING IT ON!

So for today, I invite you to reflect on your own journey of self-discovery.  Who do you want to be?  Who have you tried on?  What characters (fictional or otherwise) are you drawn to as you explore the world for the missing or not yet integrated parts of yourself?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.wordpress.com