September 2018 E-News
Belonging and Authenticity
“You are only free when you realize you belong no place -
you belong every place – no place at all.
The price is high. The reward is great."
Maya Angelou
Here at Lumunos, we are big on groups, community and relationship with others. At the same time we talk a lot about things like authenticity, honesty, and being your True Self. There is nothing better than when those two things come together well. It feels great when you are with others, being who you truly are.  

Bu t what about when it doesn’t go so well? What about when you can’t truly be yourself in your fam ily, school, or religious organization? Then you have a hard choice—hide some part of yourself, or speak honestly, and risk getting run out of town. (Theological aside: This is something Jesus knew something about. Check out Luke 4, or basically his whole story).  Whether you are Jesus or Jane, it is no fun being rejected at home.

So how do we put together authenticity and community?  How do we show up honestly, and provide enough space for people different from us to do the same? It is a timely topic in the days we find ourselves in. 
We are going to be exploring this tension through a few of our resources and programs in the upcoming months.  In preparation for this, our staff has been reading Brené Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone . You can get where she is going in the title of the last chapter --  “Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart.”  
If this is something you would like to talk more about, please join us on our monthly Zoom call . Click on the link below for more information on how to join the conversation.  

Reflection Question - We'd love to hear from you!
Each month we feature a question as an opportunity for our readers to reflect on their own lives. Reply to this email with your reflection and we just might feature it on social media or in next month's E-News.

When have you had to find the courage to stand alone? Did you risk feeling like you no longer belonged?
Here's last month's question and one reader's answer:

What can you do to tip the scales of your life in a more balanced direction?

Having planned ahead, my life the past four years is as balanced as well as it can be for an 82 year old woman. I have been in a remarkable Continuing Care Community. Lumunos sent me on my way in my faith journey years ago. Exercise, balanced meals, spiritual, cultural and educational nourishment are paramount. A balanced life for which I am grateful as I age each day. Thank God.
Emily Harkins Filer
A Painful Paradox
A few weeks ago I started reading the latest book by famed sociologist, Brené Brown: Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. It sounds like a paradox, right? If you’re standing alone, then aren’t you rejecting the norms and conventions of your tribe?

You know, I actually feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in figuring out my answer to this question. I am secure in my “tribe” now, and I live in a community where standing up for what you believe in is the norm. I have a strong marriage, loving and supportive family, and a few really meaningful friendships. If there’s a cause I feel called to support, then there’s probably a group or protest in my town that I can join. I am greatly privileged in this respect, but I worked d--n hard for it.

But when I started to read Brown’s book, I was immediately flung back into the lonely feelings of my youth when the paradox she describes defined my life. I never felt like I belonged at school or with my horse riding “friends”. I sensed that my parents were different from the parents of other kids. Compounding this was the fact that over time I became painfully shy. With each move my family made (four in all), I lost confidence in my ability to navigate social situations.

Meanwhile, my parents honored differences and they told stories of how they stood up for what they believed in throughout their careers. I was encouraged to think for myself, think critically, and be myself. And, I took these lessons to heart. I wanted to be as brave as they were. When kids were being ignorant bullies, I wanted to stand up to them (and occasionally I did). But more than anything, I wanted to get invited to the parties and be able to walk into the lunchroom knowing there would be a table where I was welcome. Looking back, the title of Brown’s book could be the title of the story of my youth.

My question now is how do I prepare my daughter for the “wilderness”? She will always find true belonging with us, but naturally she will search for it in the outside world. How do I encourage her to stand alone and follow her calling, while knowing that she risks not fitting in? Although she might feel painfully alone at times, will she know that we’re all in this thing together – actually connected by pain, love, compassion, and something greater?  

Becca Perry-Hill
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September Zoom Call

Here at Lumunos, we're big on groups, communities and relationship with others. At the same time, we talk a lot about things like authenticity, honesty, and being your True Self. There is nothing better than when those two things come together well.

Read more
6th Annual Bocce Fundraiser

Support our fall raffle and you could win $500 or more! Cost: $50 for a bundle of 5 raffle tickets The prize is 50% of the money taken in by the raffle ticket sales with a minimum 1 st place prize of $500 (generously guaranteed by an anonymous...

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2018 Denver Area Men's Retreat

Throughout the ages, river crossings have been important symbols of change, growth and transformation for men. While drawing from many traditions, this Lumunos Men's retreat will use the story of Jacob in the Old Testament as he encounters ...

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2018 New England
Women's Retreat
During the season of harvest, join us as we honor what we've been given by the everyday saints in our lives. What we've received, whether we appreciated it at the time or not...

"Higher Ground"
Stevie Wonder
Braving the Wilderness - Audio Excerpt
Brene` Brown

"And Still I Rise"
Maya Angelou
Brené Brown Shows You
How to 'Brave the Wilderness'
Brené Brown - Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart

Krista Tippett, host: Brené Brown says that our belonging to each other can't be lost, but it can be forgotten. Her research has reminded the world in recent years of the uncomfortable, life-giving link between vulnerability and courage.

Read more
September Blog
Prayer for How We Use the Name of Jesus

In June, I wrote about possibly having lunch with a woman from my church to talk over our political differences. I didn't have illusions about changing her mind, but I hoped I would come to understand a little about why we hold such divergent...

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

Doug Wysockey-Johnson     
Dan Quinlan  
Alice Barbera  
Rebecca Perry-Hill