Discover more from Heart of Menopause
Cutting the ties that bind
and why menopause is the time to separate out what is true and what no longer serves
We are currently in the Earth season of the Chinese calendar, transitioning from Summer to Autumn. In August, I like to reflect on the change in energy. This month has three of the five elements of TCM: Fire, Earth, and Metal. This week's post explores how we can work with these elements as we shift from summer to late summer and into autumn.
HEALTH AND HEALING
As we journey through perimenopause and menopause we can feel called by the psyche to let go of old familiar ways of seeing and understanding things, like peeling off a bandaid, in a fundamental way. The change is within us and we are being changed. We are not removed, not looking from above, we are in the middle of the process emotionally.
The menopausal journey is the time for you to feel and experience the darkest aspects of yourself and your experience, to face your own demons and deepest, darkest secrets and be able to look them in the eye, own them and finally love them.
One of my favourite practices for letting go and freeing up a lot of blocked energy, which is hugely strengthening and liberating once it’s released, comes from Phyllis Krystal's "Cutting the Ties that Bind".
I was introduced to this practice 35 years ago but didn't recognize its power. Recently, I have been doing it several times a day for the last two weeks, cutting ties with people from my past and present. It has been challenging, but also liberating.
I have summarised my practice here for you should you wish to go on your own journey to cut ties that are painful or holding you back from become who you truly are.
Take two pieces of paper and draw a circle on each with a yellow or golden felt tip pen or marker that symbolizes light.
Put your name in one circle and the name of the other person in the second circle. Tune into the soul of the person you are doing the exercise with and let them know that you are doing this in order to benefit your relationship and so that you can take responsibility for your own shadow rather than making them carry it. You're doing this for the benefit of all involved.
If you are doing this regarding a parent, you can tune into the soul of the parent and let them know that you can no longer carry what is not yours and you are doing this exercise in order to put things back in their rightful place.
Put the two pieces of paper on an altar space or somewhere where they can stay and not be disturbed for up to a couple of weeks (e.g. an altar area).
The two pieces of paper can touch on one side at the beginning. Every time you think about this as you are going through your day, you visualize yourself and the other person in their own circle with light defining it.
As you visualize this you say, “What belongs to you, you keep, what belongs to me I keep.” You will repeat this multiple times per day. At the end of every day move the circle slightly further apart.
If the other person tries to get into your circle, firmly visualize them back in their own circle. You can even imagine cutting ropes or tentacles between you and the other person.
After some days, it can be up to two weeks or more, you will feel at some point that the work has been done. When you are sure about this, tune into the circles and move them away from each other for the last time.
You can then compost or burn the circles separately. (Don't mix even the ashes.)
Yarrow essential oil can be used to support this practice as it is excellent for healing boundaries, including psychic boundaries. Anoint yourself with yarrow at least 2x a day to protect yourself, and strengthen your energetic boundaries.
I also work with the Phoenix movements from Radiant Lotus Qigong that help us to build boundaries without rigidity. I will be sharing more of this on my emerging YouTube channel (my project for the autumn and winter).
It's easy to forget gratitude even after years of practising Chinese medicine. However, there are numerous things we can be grateful for every day. Consider regularly saying "I'm grateful" before meals, walks or after phone calls with friends.
Engaging with and expressing emotions promotes spiritual growth and qi flow. Gratitude humbles the ego and improves mental health by altering brain chemistry.
UK’s first menopause education programme being launched by UCL
Be sure to take a look at the impressive team of experts involved in my colleague Professor Joyce Harper's groundbreaking initiative to educate and support women through menopause.https://www.globalwomenconnected.com/2023/08/menopause-education/
Thriving Thru Menopause
The podcast will be moving to Substack in the autumn! I love this platform and the community here so it feels natural when a contract ends to bring my podcast here.
This week, I had the pleasure of hosting Dr Jessica Weiser-McCarthy, who takes a fully holistic approach to menopause management in her newly launched clinic in NYC.
We discussed the significance of diet and stress management, HRT, and the need for more women's health research. Dr Weiser-McCarthy also provided valuable advice on advocating for our own health. I am inspired by the next generation of allopathic practitioners who are embracing functional integrative medicine. Feel free to visit my YouTube channel to listen to the full conversation.
Hello and welcome to all my new subscribers! I'm thrilled that you found us and I can't wait to hear your feedback and read your comments.