Menopause: a Time to Dread or Celebrate?
How do you feel about The Menopause? Is it a time to dread or celebrate?
One thing I’ve noticed is many women are resistant to the word, despite menopause being a natural rite of passage for all women who get to a certain age. It’s as though all the hushed conversations over hundreds of years have led to this being a topic of confusion, uncertainly, and something no one is looking forward to.
When I was younger I too was resistant as I didn’t want to acknowledge I was getting older. I used to believe that life goes downhill after forty rather than seeing it as a privilege so many women sadly never reach.
Menopause is more than a year
The average age of natural menopause in the UK is 51, although many women start to experience perimenopause symptoms from their early forties.
While the clinical definition for being post-menopause applies once it’s been a year since your last period, it’s common to continue to have symptoms for several more years–particularly if you’ve not changed your lifestyle or found solutions to balance your hormones, either naturally or with HRT.
Trust yourself and embrace the journey
I remember the first time feeling my body had taken over my life in ways I’d never experienced before (in my early forties). A friend suggested it could be perimenopause which I’d never heard of at the time.
That started me off on a journey of self-discovery as the support through my GP has consistently been shocking. I’ll never forget a male GP saying to me when I was forty-eight: “We don’t know why women get so tired. You’re too young for menopause. Go home and get some rest and come back and see me in a couple of weeks if you’re still tired!”
Unfortunately, I know many other women who have also had terrible menopause support from their GPs.
What I’ve discovered is that many doctors only receive an hour or two of menopause training and many won’t have updated their knowledge in years. My suggestion is to educate yourself on the many options available (see below if you want to hear more from me) and do whatever you can to get the support you need.
You can reclaim your health
For years I wondered how long it would go on.
Now at 53, I am post-menopause and although I still need to manage symptoms occasionally, I am hopeful I’ve left the hellish years of extreme fatigue, muscle aches, sore joints, migraines, and weight gain behind. Symptoms I put down to other reasons yet now I realise were exacerbated by my lifestyle and menopause.
Every woman’s experience of menopause is different. Whatever you are feeling you are not alone!
Over the years I’ve learned so much about coping with and embracing this natural life transition. It’s been a huge revelation, particularly the contrasting Western clinical and Eastern approaches to menopause and the role of aging women in society.
I’ve been shocked but not surprised to discover almost every woman I speak to about this is curious to know more. Many like me have found themselves in a position it was impossible to continue to work full-time or participate in life in the way we used to.
As women, we want to know more. We deserve better care.
It’s time the male patriarchal system we live in woke up to the needs of half the population. I’m sure if men went through menopause, they would have demanded more understanding, better support, and effective solutions a long time ago! Not put in place guidelines and rules that prevent women from getting access to the resources they desperately need.
Emerging from the slumber
Despite menopause confirming I’ll never have my own children, it also felt like time to release that pain. I now see menopause as a wonderful opportunity to retreat within, let go of what no longer serves us, and reinvent ourselves for the wonders of our second spring.
I feel I’ve connected to a wiser, more passionate, confident, and vocal version of myself than I was when I was younger. I no longer care what others think. It’s liberating!
I’d also like to think I’m more sensitive to the needs of people suffering all kinds of long-term health challenges.
A beautiful transformation?
Just as finding meaning can often be a bumpy road, so can navigating our way through our menopause years, as our bodies adjust to change hormone levels in our bodies. But as butterflies show us, it can be an enlightening, beautiful, and rewarding transformation too.
That’s why I’ve recently trained as a Menopause Yoga Teacher–so I can help educate, empower and encourage other women to reclaim their health and embrace The Menopause.
The stories we tell ourselves about our past, present, and future influence how we feel each day and the life we experience every day. What stories are you telling yourself about your menopause?
Your invitation to turn your menopause into a special time for you
Want help navigating your way through The Menopause?
I’ll be sharing more tips and resources on this going forward.
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Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to improve the lives of 100,000 people–by making it easier for women over forty to feel good, do good and make the most of life.
Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. She loves helping others, fundraising, and enjoying a quiet life by the beach in Scotland.
Alisoun is has written the following free resources:
- Ebook: 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, and Impact Over 40 (click here)
- Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
- Ebook: 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
Connect with Alisoun here:
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