By Angela Counsel
Here are two vastly different opinions on what menopause is -
“The joy of menopause is the world’s best kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter the ancient temple, in order to claim that joy a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard it’s gate…as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, it is the most exciting passage a woman ever makes” (L Kenton, Passage to Power)
“[Menopause] is not a natural condition; it is an endocrine disorder and should be treated medically with the same seriousness we treat other endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid disease” (M Mucclough, Hope or Hype? Philadelphia Enquirer 1996)
The above two statements to describe menopause could not be more different and it is because of these differences that many women are confused and sometimes even scared of the menopause stage of life. Some women are excited about menopause and can’t wait for it to occur and others feel that their lives will be turned upside down or the symptoms will make their lives unbearable. The reality is that menopause will happen to every woman who lives long enough, and it is not the beginning of the end, in fact it can be a time of re-birth and finding yourself.
Medically the definition of menopause is the cessation of the monthly period but this definition fails to recognise the transition or metamorphosis that can take up to 10 years to occur. Like when you got your first period at puberty, this single event did not make you a woman. It was the start of your transition from girlhood into womanhood. Menopause is a similar transition from the reproductive years into your years of being a Maga Woman (Maga means Wise Woman in Sicilian).
Many women (and society) see menopause as a time of loss when in fact this is the time when many woman start to regain their lives and start to focus more on their own needs. Maga Women are not so worried about what other people think of them and often can be quite vocal when they see injustices happening around them. Menopause is a time of celebrating who you really are, we almost need a ‘coming of age’ party when we reach menopause.
But what about the symptoms like hot flushing? I hear you ask, that doesn’t sound so great. The thing is that yes, many women do experience different symptoms as they transition through this stage of life but many women don’t. So, what is the difference between these women? There are many factors that influence how you will experience menopause in your life, these factors include your diet and lifestyle in the 10-15 years prior to your menopause transition, your stress levels and definitely your mindset.
If you have a belief that menopause will be a terrible time for you, that you will experience the worst symptoms and that this is the beginning of the end, then it is likely that you will experience menopause in this way. On the other hand, if you believe that menopause is an exciting time, a time for you to enjoy your life then it is likely that you will move through this stage of life easily. Your mindset and belief systems play a very big role in how you will experience menopause.
The symptoms such as hot flushing, night sweats etc are not symptoms of menopause they are symptoms of your hormones being out of balance. It is natural that your hormones shift as you age, as your ovaries no longer produce any eggs, but it is your lifestyle choices that means your body cannot produce the correct level of hormones to stop these symptoms occurring. In the previous issue of this magazine I shared some natural remedies that can help you if you are experiencing some of the symptoms as a result of your change in hormones.
Let’s reframe menopause and rather than seeing it as a time of ending and of loss. Let’s not see it as a time where we need medical intervention for a natural transition. It is time to welcome the changes that are occurring in your body and your life and embrace the new life that you are creating.
Just like the caterpillar who turns into a butterfly, whilst the transformation might feel tough the outcome is beautiful. Embrace your inner wisdom, trust in the magic of who you are and step into your new role as a Maga Woman.
Find out more
Link for free Thrive in Menopause video series - bit.ly/Thrive_Register