June 2019 E-News
Millennial Transitions
"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood."
-- Helen Keller --

There are some changes in the air here at Lumunos in this first month of summer. Doug is taking a short vacation from his regular column in our e-newsletter to let me talk about the concerns of an “older millennial.”

Our mission and values are the foundation of everything we do at Lumunos and one of our values is the ability to be adaptive . That means we’re looking for ways to form new connections with younger folks. Over the past couple of years, we’ve had a number of people in their 30’s and 40’s on our retreats and they’ve really connected with our message and mission. As an evolving organization, our challenge is to connect with this age group on a much larger scale.

However, the questions around calling and career are a little different today than they were one or two generations ago. When my mom was in her late thirties, she had had both of her children and was fully immersed in her nursing career. At 37, my path is a lot less certain. I’m still trying to decide whether to have a second child. Also, my part-time job at Lumunos is perfect for me right now as I have the flexibility to be with my two and a half-year old daughter. But, will I want to go back to work full-time when my child(ren) is in school? If so, what will I do?

In the abridged version of the essay “ What Am I For?” (see below), Courtney Martin—an older millennial like myself—asks some of the essential questions of life. What am I for? What is my place in the world? What is my purpose? Our answers may change depending on our age or stage, but the questions are relevant no matter our age.

Our challenge to you, our Lumunos community, is to help us connect with a younger generation. Will you share our e-news on your Facebook page? Will you forward this email to your children, grandchildren, students, or younger friends? Will you send us your suggestions on how we can better connect with younger folks?

With gratitude,

Becca Perry-Hill
Becca Perry-Hill is the Outreach Manager for Lumunos. Her professional journey has included completing a Ph.D. in environmental sociology at Purdue University and managing an outdoor gear store in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. She recently co-led the Appalachian Women's Retreat with longtime Lumunos supporters, Angier Brock, Kathy Odvody, and Betsy Perry (Becca's mom). She lives with her husband, Skyler, and their daughter Maya on a mini-farm in Brevard, NC.
Reflection Question
How has your purpose and calling changed through the years?
What Am I For?

I spent much of my 20's on what most generously could be described as building a body of work, a professional identity,  a sense of my own place in the world . It was an ambitious, angst-y, tumultuous time, a time of knocking my head against a lot of walls and figuring out how to open doors and windows with great difficulty.

My 30's have evolved differently. I’ve been making and raising babies, so that has deeply shaped these years. I haven’t had a lot of cause to ask “What am I for?” I believe parenting, and especially mothering in the early days, is a force that gives us meaning. The meaning is  inescapable . It’s exhausting but, in many ways, a nice respite from some of the existential questions that otherwise inevitably plague an awakened soul.

But as my girls have been getting older (my eldest is three and a half, definitively and miraculously her own person), this question has started showing up in my subconscious more and more. It whispers sometimes. Shouts at others. This week, it’s shouting. What am I for?

Making decisions based on self-knowledge — my actual gifts, my “ deep gladness ” in the words of  Frederick Buechner , my “ optimal discomfort ” in the words of  Jean Piaget  — " lead me to feel astonished and grateful. I don’t even need to tell the story. I feel lucky to be of use, to be witnessed, to admire myself. I feel not that I have made something, but that something has made me."

In my late 30s, I don’t have time for pride. I feel painfully aware of how short life is. I birthed my children alongside an  excruciating and ever-present awareness of mortality . How could I possibly waste my time here chasing good cocktail party stories? How can I justify that static, no matter what the material rewards?
So what am I for? What is  the through line  to this incredibly beautiful, brutally finite life?

I don’t know. (I feel like I know almost nothing lately.) But I know this: being lost is productive. I’m probably far too sure of what I’m for most of the time, missing all kinds of wonderful twists and turns that would delight me and serve the world because I am too busy plowing straight ahead with my blinders on. For now, I’m going to tolerate the floating feeling that accompanies moments like this of not knowing, buoyed by a hope that there is something wiser beyond the horizon of my understanding.

Courtney E. Martin
Courtney E. Martin was a columnist for On Being. Her newest book,  The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream , explores how people are redefining the American dream. Courtney is the co-founder of the  Solutions Journalism Network  and a strategist for the TED Prize. Her work appears frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at  www.courtneyemartin.com .
Denver Area Women's Retreat
Unleashing your Inner Power:
Exploring Healing, Mysticism and Creativity

Retreat Leader: Marjory Bankson

Estes Park, CO
September 20th, 2019

For more information and to register: www.lumunos.org/dwr

Save the Date:
Boston Area Transitions Mini-Retreat
View change in your life through a spiritual lens
Norwell, MA
September 28, 2019

Online registration will open in July.
Contact Doug@lumunos.org for more information.
Save the Date:
Denver Area Men's Retreat
A chance to grow and deepen your spiritual life

Highlands Retreat Center
Allenspark, CO
October 4-6, 2019

Online registration will open in July.
Contact Doug@lumunos.org for more information.

Save the Date:
New England Women's Retreat
A chance to grow and deepen your spiritual life

Duxbury, MA
October 11-12, 2019

Online registration will open in July.
Contact Doug@lumunos.org for more information.
June Blog
Prayer For What We Cannot Promise

My almost 14-year old granddaughter has had her tonsils removed. She is terribly uncomfortable physically; swallowing anything, even pain meds, is murder. Equally agonizing is her uncertainty about the wellbeing of her voice, for musical theater...

Read more
Good News Corner
Young people inspiring kindness.
Teen Praised for Going 'Above and Beyond' to Help Little ...

An 18-year-old boy is being praised for going the extra mile for a customer who was having trouble consoling her daughter with autism. Jacob Tayler is an employee at the Clarks shoe store in Bicester, England. His encounter with the troubled...

Read more
Spring Appeal

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Raise enough money to make our expanded retreat mission sustainable.

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or contact dan@lumunos.org  about
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Your generosity keeps us going, sharing our message of spirituality and calling.

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Keep in Touch
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson   doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan   dan@lumunos.org  
Alice Barbera   alice@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org