I'm Working on a Memoir

Researching the connection between sexuality and spirituality was the last topic I would have imagined pursuing in my journey to secure a PhD. This memoir is a story about the unraveling of my life, the torture of knowing who I was leaving behind but not knowing who I was becoming, learning that the key to my transformation was exploring wounds I didn’t know I had, and coming to understand that my unique experience is one expression of what is emerging from the collective as a desire to reconcile what seem like opposing forces. 

The details of my story are personal, but the themes that run through it are universal. The insights I gained helped me make sense of my personal experience of being human, but those insights evolved into clues about what has been percolating underneath the surface of collective humanity. I hope to encourage people to challenge assumptions about what is natural, evolutionary, righteous, and true, especially when those assumptions benefit some and result in injustice for others.  

Short Stories:

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Intelligent & Fun 
"Sophia is such a modern heroine . . . probably too smart for most men. I found myself rooting for her and this man to reunite. Written with so much attention to innermost psychological desire, I was captivated and wanted to know what happens next." 

–Michele Tremblay

How life had changed for 55-year-old Sophia. The ending of a 24-year marriage, the pursuit of a PhD, getting her two children off to college. Even a soulmate relationship with a younger man – 17 years younger! – which ended just as dramatically as it had begun.   

 

Two months ago, Sophia had sold her house and everything in it, said goodbye to her adult children, and drove down to Florida to live in a beach town. No sooner had she started settling into her new life than memories of her brief encounter with another man – Jason – twelve months earlier erupted from her unconscious. Sigh. Timing is everything, and alas, it was not meant to be – at least not then, and not on Sophia’s terms. 

 

Now, Sophia began to see his likeness everywhere. The fantasy reunion tortured her. Then one evening: The familiar voice came from the man seated at the other end of the bar. “Stop!” Sophia told herself. She had been duped many times by her over-active imagination. “Is it him?” Sexual attraction is like a gift of grace with an agenda and timeline all its own. 

 

Brave
The open and raw vulnerability reveal courage and a deeply provocative honesty. I was captivated and intrigued, the author grabbed my attention from the first sentence. I felt happy to be included in the shared intimacy. 

–Rebecca Cook

A Single Moment 

 

I felt an unusual sense of alert presence as I walked through the entrance into the courtyard where yoga class was taking place. My body seemed to accept an invitation through this symbolic threshold to another realm.

 

“Is this the 7:30 class?” I asked the woman whose calm and stately presence suggested she was the yoga instructor.

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Unleashed 

 

Are you excited?!” DJ asked as he hung his jacket on the back of a barstool and ordered a beer. “It’s like you’re on an adventure.” 

 

I wanted so badly to say Yes! But I just couldn’t. I could no longer answer those questions in a way that seemed to serve no other purpose than to reassure the questioner. 

 

I had begun to experience the kind of coming out of the closet that other women who have reached midlife talk about. They begin to take off the armor of fitting into the wounded masculine culture, their new nakedness manifesting as the freedom to tell the truth, especially about themselves. 

What people say about this story

I LOVE it! What you have written so far, for me, reads SO powerful yet subtle, almost tragic yet celebratory, scary yet uplifting, and more! I really so love it.

Jim Henderson 

Research Papers

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Want to read some deep stuff? I love it when people want to read my research. I worked hard on it, and it's the basis for how I'm living my live and my purpose.

My research explores women’s experience of sexuality as a path to God through the lens of the Jungian theory of individuation. Secondarily, this study explores how film images may be reflecting something new emerging from the collective unconscious related to reconciling the archetypal energies of sexuality and spirituality.

 

A depth psychological hermeneutical approach is used to examine texts, the researcher’s lived experience, and films that place the researcher’s personal experience within a cultural context.

 

Insights emerged related to the reconciliation of pairs of opposites, which evolved from the masculine and feminine, sexuality and spirituality, and spirit and matter. The working out of personal complexes led to identifying generational wounds and considering how the researcher’s experience may reflect humanity’s evolving understanding of its relationship with God.

 

Reconciliation between sexuality and spirituality for the researcher required coming into relationship with the body, which required the capacity to be vulnerable and receptive in order to receive both sexually and spiritually. The wounded masculine within men and women appears to be an obstacle for the vulnerability required for deep connection, which research suggests is a hard-wired human need.

 

Given the surprising and unexpected nature of the researcher’s experience and insights, it makes sense that the interplay between the wounds of sexuality and spirituality can be the driving force of individuation.

My Take on the Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon

I had no idea why I felt called to study depth psychology. The logo for the expensive school in California jumped off the page at the back of the Yoga Journal magazine. It was a fiery mixture of orange, red, yellow. 

 

The calling was meant to unleash the creative urge buried deep inside me. Four years later, I felt compelled to draw an image - my womb, the place of ultimate creative energy, was on fire. Over the next week, the outline for my upcoming Alverno University workshop flooded out of me. 

By my second quarter of my masters program, I was swept up again, this time by the collective energy surrounding what I referred to as the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. My professor said my paper, which analyzed the film from three different angles, was worthy of publication. 

Getting my first rejection was exciting, but I was too busy to submit it again. Why not share it. The experience turned out to have great meaning during my midlife unraveling. 

Other Books:

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Basics Are Best! 

 

The Secret to Fundraising encapsulates the passions for helping others reach sustainability that is Deborah Lukovich. The contents of her book are not mere rhetoric or a "step by step" fundraising guide. The Secret To Fundraising does provide the "How To" but includes the soul to make it happen. 

 

When I was working as a Head of Schools in a system plagued by scarcity mentality, Deborah and her consultants helped change the culture to one of abundance. We knew the steps for success but lacked the mental model to create sustainable change. As I read The Secret To Fundraising, I re-lived the painful but necessary changes to the psyche of our organization that her leadership provided. 

 

If you are responsible for sustainability, Deborah's book is not a panacea. Rather, The Secret To Fundraising rekindles the passion that lead you to fundraising for a mission in the first place. That is why Deb is correct: It's NOT About Asking for Money.

Corey Navis, General Manager

Kurzweil Education

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