For many women menopause can be challenging and create havoc in all areas of their lives. Not only is their physical body changing but their mind can begin to spiral into anxiety as they begin to deal with the uncertainty that arises. There are strategies available to not only survive and thrive through menopause but also to celebrate life once again.
Menopause caught me off guard. I had spent my life working as a Senior Analyst for the government and reinvented myself mid-career to become a very successful holistic health practitioner, life coach, and teacher. I have taught at hospitals, colleges, and presented at national conferences always feeling confident, healthy, and happy. Then menopause arrived!
You would think that I was totally ready for this change of life. Not! I spent two years floundering with hot flashes as sweat poured out every cell of my body. I had unexplained anxiety, low energy, increasing weight, a foggy mind, mood swings, and the like. I finally was able to step back out of this confusing whirlwind and find solutions to the problems created by my fluctuating hormones. Life not only became manageable, but hope and confidence returned. Although I came up with many holistic solutions for the physical issues that plagued me, in this article I am sharing some of the fundamental keys that took me out of the survival mode into thriving and celebrating my life.
What created this amazing change was: acceptance, self love, healthy boundaries, and focusing on fun and nourishing activities.
- Acceptance is key. Accept what is occurring. We do not have to agree with it or like it, but acceptance takes us out of the energy of resistance and anger. These deplete our energy and makes us feel even worse. The more we resist, the more the problem persists and grows in our mind like a giant weed. Acceptance takes our mind out of the struggle and into a space of finding solutions.
- Self–Love. Menopause gets us thinking about what we do not love about ourselves. Cure this negativity by loving all of our parts. Look deeper getting in touch with your divine essence. Love yourself. Look at the gifts that you offer the world. Do a self love meditation every morning acknowledging that you are love and send love to every body part and to every area of your life. Self love is transforming.
- Healthy Boundariesare necessary. When we lack boundaries our energy levels plunder. Learn how to say NO. Instead of acting on auto pilot saying yes to everything or for pleasing others, assess if what is being offered or forced on you is what you really want to do. If not, say NO. Healthy boundaries offer us a return of energy and joy.
- FUN and Nourishing Activities. Find ways to have fun as well as take time for yourself. Life was not meant to be lived in a place of joylessness. What do you enjoy doing? Is there something new you want to try? DO IT! Get in touch with you inner creativity. Whatever is your idea of fun, expand those activities into your life. Nourish yourself on a regular basis. Get a massage, a facial, take a relaxing walk, meditate, or go on retreat. Women who are happy and take time for themselves live longer.
Working with these four fundamental keys, I aligned my mind, body, and emotions in a place that supported me as I moved forward once again in my life. I stopped struggling with not accepting what was happening in my body. I moved into acceptance and asked what are these changes asking of me and what solutions are available to me. Self-love moved my mind into a whole new arena of discovering my gifts and gave me great appreciation for my body, mind, and incredible spirit. I was able to sort out old modes of behavior that no longer supported me and create healthy boundaries. Sometimes I really had to stop in my tracks when invited do something, as my old answer was almost always yes. Now, I think about it, and determine if that is something I really want to do. I engage in fun and creative activities, such as silk painting and dyeing, beadwork, playing the native American flute, hiking, and making more time to socialize with friends. I make sure that I have something to look forward to on my calendar
It is time for women to come together to celebrate the menopausal years and to share their wisdom. When I was going through menopause, I thought it was unusual that no one had warned me about it or shared their insights on how they coped. When I finally brought up the subject with several of women friends, the conversations were so rich and heartfelt. Healing occurs when we can speak honestly about what is going on in our lives. It is so important for women to support each other with encouragement and sharing solutions to those annoying menopausal symptoms. In our sharing, we no longer feel alone and we find hope and wisdom from our peers.
Instead of menopause defeating and deflating, let it be a call to find solutions that inspire us to live our dreams feeling empowered and energized. Let it be the impetus that helps us to make the changes that make life more enjoyable. May the fire that burns inside us light the way for all women to come to the realization that at all ages and stages of life there resides a radiant beauty and incredible wisdom that is to be celebrated by all.
Dawn Fleming is the author of Heat Rising: Survive and Thrive through Menopause. She is a Speaker, Life Coach, Reiki Master, and Medical Intuitive helping women to release blocks and live their dreams. Her website is http://www.energytransformations.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org