Super-thriving the menopause

A woman's life was never meant to be a linear progression from cradle to grave...she is uniquely designed to undergo complete METAMORPHOSIS in the middle. When we overlook that long-buried fact, things can get horrendously muddled in a woman's life and, above all, her health. From just surviving menopause to THRIVING through menopause; how to generate the necessary inner fire and make the transition conscious and graceful instead of precariously accidental and fraught with challenges.

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Crowning glory

If you are a mature woman, perhaps especally if you have (or are going through) health challenges, what is your relationship with your hair? Women who have been through serious trials and tribulations...such as a trauma that turns hair suddenly white, stress-induced hair loss and cancer...can use a renewed relationship with their hair to reclaim themselves most powerfully in the aftermath; like saying "look at me, I'm altered inside and out but its all good, I embrace and offer forth the new me". An assumption that making the most of our hair so we can take on our lives means having to make ourselves look younger than we really are feels like making a declaration of power and intention which lacks heart and substance, like we are putting on a brave front...which stops abruptly where the roots meet the ground. If this happened in Nature, the tree would fall down. When we allow our deeply embedded roots to grow up from our core and to show themselves as they are...including if they are grey or white... declaring (not hiding) the story of all our lives, we claim the source-power that we are already generating from lifetimes worth of experience; and we bring that up and outwards to help fuel whatever projects we happen to be taking on now and going forwards, facing the world as our most authentic selves. This feels like an often un-tapped source of power for the mature woman (that is, being who you really are, the whole amalgam of your life's experiences to date, and being prepared to show that to the world, operating from that place of grounded strength) and it heartens me every time I hear about yet another woman tapping into that by revealing her most natural self. This may only be hair we are talking about...but are we, really? From experience, it feels like there is so much more to it than that.

How do you see yourself?

How long does it take to reinvent our cells? Well, in my experience, the body renews itself in a way that feels noticable in around 6months (our bone cells in around 3 months, red blood cells every 4 months, DNA in 2 months and we turn over new brain cells in up to a year) so it takes about that long to make some serious difference - something I’ve used to my advantage many times when visualising the healthier summer ahead. The area where things have become grayer, for me, are where I’ve allowed the perception of others - even when well-intended - to undermine my own inner work. Even when its considered "harmless" or for fun, even as family jest, whether delivered by our well-meaning children or our unrealising spouse, we should take note of areas where we are being painted to ourselves in terms other than those that we would choose to paint the best-possible picture of ourselves. Being habitually depicted as small or frail (or fat, stupid, forgetful, “getting old”….the list goes on) is not at all helpful in such a game plan yet its something I’ve noticed people, especially women, succumb to as they get older; especially within the so-called "benign" family setting where anything goes. Yet when we take stock of how much time we spend with our families and anyone else who might play with us in this carefree way, that's a lot of time spent succumbing to these viewpoints. With habitual repetition, we take on these flippant characatures of ourselves, surrendering ourselves to a comic moment even when that doesn't serve how we feel on the inside. These comedic outlines of who we are, “drawn” in haste as an in-joke between well-meaning people, can become the very bones and organs of our future self. Women, in particular, tend to have the kind of visual-creative approach to physicality that shapes their cells according to how they see themselves in their imagination; which can be such a culturally or circumstantially dictated thing, their self-image distorted by so-called "harmless" throw away critiques dressed-up as desplays of affection. Even if this is way too abstract to explain to your family, its enough that it matters to you and is a first step in reclaiming your own body to take such a step. While other people might not "get" why its so important that you get to drive the way that you interpret what is going on with your body, in YOUR terms, all you need to do is ask that they respect that and let you lead your own way in what is, primarily, your own domain. For my own part, I intend to have that family chat to lay down some lines of my own and insist that they remain uncrossed since its up to me to take responsibility for the future version of myself that is currently in production in my mind's eye; and the same goes for all of us - its a matter of survival. Its also made me think a lot more about how I speak to other people and is no bad thing for my daughter to learn about as she steps into young womanhood and the onslaught of so many cultural opinions about what she should and shouldn't look like!

Locking onto your blueprint

When I made windows of recovery that were like giant leaps forwards, I started to notice how the way I was using yoga and my own thought processes to access my original blueprint was quantum mechanics in action. You can imagine, can't you, how powerful it would be to have easy access to such a blueprint on a daily basis. This is the realm of spontaneous healing; its where we get to realise our optimal selves with ease, not the long, arduous three-dimensional route within all the confines of linear time and space. Conventional healing is like being a car mechanic as compared to being the one who first designed the car and who can build another from scratch at a moment's notice, using the original design. It was never intended that we would live our lives as though our bodies were a finished product, making do with rudimentary repairs until the "car" breaks down. Inbuilt within us is the facility to rebuild the body over and over again yet, for the large part, we have forgotten that, through our consciousness, we are the skilled creators and that our lives are really like soft clay in our capable hands...(read more).

The oestrogen effect

By virtue of its key role - preparing for an egg - oestrogen has come to stand for and embody a protective urge. It dominates the process by which we prepare for and protect that egg before its release into the world; it safeguards the hoped-for pregnancy yet only travels as far as the threshold of that potential being realised, stepping no further forward with it, like a mother stood waving at the door. It knows only "hold" and "protect" as its inner mantra - and this is oestrogen in a nutshell, without frills and, yes, generalised down to its very essence as we all know that not every egg leads to the realisation of a new beginning, nor do we want it do. Yet there is a very real truism in this stereotype of oestrogen as the egg-holder, the homemaker, coddling her creation tightly to her bosom because, when a women is in her oestrogen phase, this is what a woman tends to do and there is very real evidence that she becomes single-minded, withdrawn and less independent during that phase. To quote Leslie Kenton (Passage to Power: Natural Menopause revolution) "She is more willing to adjust herself to the needs of others. When oestrogens are running, women like to attract a mate not so much to draw him into her body as to comfort, admire and care for her. Her ovaries seem to be smiling - 'whatever you want, I'm happy to give' they seem to say". She continues: "A few women who by nature are high oestrogen producers feel quite dependent on others for approval, and for the definition of their being". Any wonder that so many doctors, even some husbands, have been so keen on advocating oestrogen hormone replacement in order to maintain this personality type in favour of its alternative, the independent, outward-thinking woman...