Are you ready to trust yourself?
Trusting the Menopause Journey
It's been a really long winter. I thought it was just me feeling that way, maybe because I feel I'm getting older or am in some inner process. But then almost everyone I talked to recently agreed...It's been a really long winter.
Time is slow and rushing by at the same time .. how I might also think about the menopause years
There is this edge, the 'right time or moment', not something external that happens, but an inner attitude, to cherish the preciousness of each moment even when perimenopausal symptoms challenge us.
So I welcome Spring. It's finally getting warmer, buds are appearing on trees and plants, and nature’s trust in the future, Spring is trust. I would say how do we honour the perimenopause years? By trusting.
Healing the fractured menopause mind
Recent research from Over the Bloddy Moon last year revealed the biggest impact of menopause is psychological with 67% of the sample saying menopause had a negative impact on their mood.
83% of women say menopause has had a negative impact on their self-esteem but 59% said that menopause had reduced their self-confidence. This mirrored within my own work over the last 8 years. Most of the women I speak with and work with are struggling with anxiety, exhaustion, low moods and a sense of not being sure of who they are and are becoming.
For 15% menopause is unbearable and they need extra support from psychologists and psychiatrists with training in both mental health and menopause, which is sadly a long way from being a reality.
For others healing our minds at this time is often done in a very linear, left-brain language even modern mindfulness. It has its place.
But we are learning today from teachers like Gabor Mate and before them Carl Jung and Marion Woodman that at other times we need to go within and allow the unconscious parts of ourselves to surface and process in their own time and in their own way.
I have listed out some of the ways I work with women who feel fractured and help them to initiate this healing process.
1) Being grounded and having a sense of belonging or ‘home’ within oneself is an important cornerstone of this work. This is one of the gifts of Qigong that it grounds us to the Yin energy of the earth along with spending time in nature.
2) Journaling and automatic writing are also ways the unconscious can come through to consciousness. Writing for ourselves and no one else is so freeing.
3) Plants and plant medicine can also lead us into the unconscious realms. I don’t believe we have to leap to psychedelics (unless that is your choice). Since time began healers have known that plants can help us release what has been causing a blockage. I use essential oils on vital acupuncture points to aid the release of emotional blockages as well as resurrecting my Bach Flower work. I can’t believe that it is 30 years since I took this certification, but it is time has come.
4) Animals also are amazing allies. From the wild animals that cross your path or enter your dreams with their totem messages to the domestic animals that share your life with you and mirror where you are on your own journey. I am still processing the meaning of my close encounter with the sea eagle - I mean one meter away at eye level as he flew across my balcony.
5) Dream work. Carl Jung and Marion Woodman both talk a lot about the importance of dreams. It’s good to write down your dreams so that you can work with them. Dreams give us access to parts of ourselves that are difficult to listen to or to see face on. By paying attention to dreams we start to create a communication channel between our unconscious and conscious selves.
6) Aroma. Aromas can be used daily as an accompaniment to the unconscious. We don’t just have to use essential oils. We can smell the world. There is no single right aroma for everyone. I mentioned Blue Tansy as a great oil in menopause - someone on Instagram said how she hated it because made her feel nauseous.
I love the way we are guided; we just have to remember to listen and let the process unfold.
In the news….
Alcohol and Menopause
A great piece from an earlier podcast guest of mine sobriety expert Sarah Rutsbach that appeared in Body and Soul in Australia. And a reminder of why alcohol and menopause don’t mix.
Get on Your Bike
An interesting survey from the UK from Women in Sport that 71% of women don’t feel safe biking. Living in a country where bikes are a common way to get around and having lived and worked near Rotterdam I view bikes differently ( young Dutch people can text and bike simultaneously as if they had been borne on a bike).
Cycling is good exercise and is worth giving a go and very relevant given that a third of UK women do less than the recommended 150 minutes of exercise and a fifth are not achieving even 30 minutes a week. Do you bike and if not what is stopping you?
Sex and Menopause
This week’s guest on Thriving Thru Menopause is the irrepressible Susan Bratton, an intimacy coach. At times my eyebrows were trying not to raise but some valuable messages about sensuality, sex toys and how to keep your vagina and vulva well as we age. This is definitely on the view on YouTube so you can see all the gadgets and a demonstration with a banana.
As always a huge welcome to all the new subscribers I am grateful to see this community grow.