Menopause is a time of metamorphosis. Our bodies require a break, a time to reflect, to weigh in; it’s a time to transition from nurturing others to taking ownership of ourselves. At mid-life more of our life energy becomes available to us. Life is looking to partner with us. Its organic energy is seeking to co-create with us. However, we must unravel the unconscious beliefs that have blocked us from embracing our full power. It is truly a time of discovery, transformation, and joy.
Try these ten tools for partnering with this masterful energy:
- Upgrade your diet. Fresh, lovingly prepared, organic food is best. Eat small and frequent meals, consisting of protein and carbohydrates, they stabilize your blood sugar. Menopause super foods are: soy milk, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, flaxseeds, and foods containing omega-3 fats (salmon, bluefish, mackerel, sardines, anchovies). Reduce refined carbohydrates – bread, muffins, cookies, pasta, packaged cereals. Eliminate processed foods, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and smoking.
- Relish your body. Especially when you’re feeling out of sorts. Exercise increases brain endorphins, blood flow and oxygen in the cells – you’ll feel better. What ways of moving your body are enjoyable to you? Engage in those! It could be walking in the park or along the beach, hiking, swimming, dancing or yoga. Find something that you enjoy and do it for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Treat yourself to body work – reflexology, massage, aromatherapy, steam baths – luxuriate and enjoy your body.
- Make peace with your discomfort. We attract precisely the illness or problem that best facilitates access to our inner wisdom. Learn to dialogue with your symptoms and determine what is ‘best’ for you – homeopathy, acupuncture, chinese herbs, foods, essential oils – and then lovingly ride the wave of your transformation. Sometimes it’s more about the resistance to hot flashes than the hot flashes. Ride the flow. Key menopausal herbs are: dong quai, chaste berry, black cohosh and licorice root. Try Chinese herbs such as : joyful change, yunnan bai yao, tian wang bu xin wang and chai hu long gu muli wang. Susan Weed, herbalist and wise woman, recommends: red clover, hops, yarrow, wild yam, pomegranate, and rose hips. Supportive essential oils are: angelica, basil, bergamot, cardamom, clary sage, cypress, jasmine, lavender, nutmeg.
- Examine your relationships and environment. According to Dr Christiane Northrup our “brains are hardwired for relationships.” The neural pathways that enable us to relate to other human beings are laid down in our brains in early childhood. Whether our needs were met or not during this time, are crucial to how we determine our worthiness. The feelings we develop about ourselves and others as children become etched in our circuitry, where they continue to affect our relationship choices throughout our life. Your ability to live successfully is in part determined on how you relate to other people. This is a time to examine which relationships are working or not. It is a time to examine, expose and re-wire the perceptions that have created your current relationships. If your relationships are not serving you, it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff.
- Set aside time for inner reflection. Focus on your own journey, release the leashes of caretaking and focus your energy on your needs and wants. Find what works best for contacting your inner wisdom – it may be an early morning walk, writing in your journal over a cup of tea or sitting serenely as you watch the waves roll onto the shore. Honor your need for navigating the chaos and change within you.
- Master the emotional roller coaster. Moodiness, irritability and rage. Yes, they can be due to hormonal fluctuations and lack of sleep. They can also be about repressed thoughts and feelings. Feelings are intensified during this transition. If you haven’t learned how to interpret the language of emotion your body will take it up a notch. Pay attention, question your feelings and see what they are trying to communicate. Take a breath and a break – pause and focus on your breathing, it may take a few to stabilize you, then ask yourself “What is really going on here?”
- Channel your urge to create. You’re no longer ‘birthing babies’ so where are you going to pour your creative juice? What are your inner most dreams and soul yearnings? Think back to when you were a child, what did you want to be or do when you grew up? Those visions are still within you and are seeking to be born. Now is a time when your energy is fully accessible and powerful. Dare to bring to life your inner passion and heart longings.
- Explore ‘Who Am I.’ Your world mirrors your beliefs through your relationships, your work, and your environment. Do you like what you see? If not, be willing to take full responsibility for it. How long have you been down regulating your personal truth in order to make yourself acceptable to others? You must master the art of ‘letting go’, embrace the adventure of your heart and have the courage to leap into the unknown. Redefine yourself according to your own standards, not those dictated by society.
- Play with your programming. We live in a culture in which youth is revered and age is feared. Examine your beliefs about menopause. Is it something to be dreaded or feared? Do you think you will be ‘less’ of a woman? Do you wonder who that woman will be? How did your mom handle it? Be willing to asses your beliefs, toss the ones that don’t work and create new ones that support you now.
- Start a sacred circle. Gather with like minded women who are willing to step to the edge of this mystery. The power of shared intention will create a web of support and nourishment for you and others.