“I’m getting old”, “I’m drying up”, and “I’m giving up”. These are comments I regularly hear from women who are approaching menopause.
Of course, you may be one of those women who are happy with yourself and have positive thoughts and feelings about getting older.
Whichever camp you fall in, you can learn to change your perspective, or take your positivity to the next level and even feel excited about this new chapter in your life.
“The most creative force in the world is the post-menopausal woman with zest.” Margaret Mead
Menopause: the facts
- Perimenopause means ‘around menopause’ and refers to the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition to menopause.
- Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice signs such as menstrual irregularity in your 40s or even earlier.
- The level of your oestrogen – the main female hormone – rises and falls unevenly during this time. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten. You may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flushes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness.
- Once you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you’ve officially reached menopause.
Menopause from a spiritual perspective
In the ancient tripartite divisions, it is said that there are three stages of life for women: Maiden, Mother and Crone. Each stage represents a gateway in life.
Menopause is in the Crone (or Wise Woman) stage, when a woman’s ‘wise blood’ remains inside her to give her wisdom.
In Neolithic times, Crone women were the tribal matriarchs. Their heightened awareness of human nature yielded great insight and they were the source of wise counsel for important decisions.
So this time of life is the Mastery phase. The Wise Woman teaches knowledge gained from her skills and life experience. It is a time of reaching into her depths, of using her powers of intuition and finding meaning in her life.
It is a time of giving back to society the cumulative wisdom of the years. Many women have an urge to speak out, to lead, to take action. They may feel the urge to teach others and to cultivate their passions.
So what does it mean for you?
The hormonal shifts that occur at the time of menopause can bring about powerful changes in your life.
It can be a message from your body saying that you are coming to the end of your caretaking duties and your physical symptoms are asking you to consider your own needs first.
I know from experience that this is extremely challenging for many women as we are literally wired up to nurture and look after others.
There may also be a period of grieving as you have the choice to let go of certain aspects from your past. All the regrets and things you wished you had said and done.
For those of us that have children, we may see them grow up and leave the nest.
But most of all, it is also the most wonderful opportunity to start a new chapter. Some good things to think about at this time are:
- What’s really important to me and my life now?
- Who do I want in my life?
- What do I need to let go of?
- What would I like to achieve in the coming years?
- How can I nurture and look after myself more?
Many women do find it hard to become so self aware suddenly but there’s so much we can do to identify which areas of your health and life you can improve as you approach menopause. It’s not all doom and gloom, there’s lots to look forward to and lots you can do.