Happy World Menopause Day. I couldn't let the day go past without saying something about it.
Over the last 10 years running Archeus, creating products and services to support women through the menopause transition I've spoken to a lot of women and a lot of health professionals about the menopause transition. Here are a few things that come to mind in a celebratory way of embracing world menopause day.
1: Don't be afraid to join the dots. If you are in perimenopause or thinking you might be in perimenopause, take note of all the different things you're feeling. Perimenopause and menopause is so much more than just periods stopping and getting hot flashes. It’s a whole bunch of often seemingly quite disparate symptoms. So a good thing to do is write down all the different things you're feeling, so that when you go and talk to a health professional, you can build a clear picture of what you are experiencing and this should help them figure out some good support to help you through menopause.
2: This too shall pass. I don’t mean to be Pollyanna and carry on like menopause is the best thing that ever happened because the truth is parts of it can be really, really crap. I know. I've been there, done it, got the t shirt. So I'm not diminishing the misery that come along with hormonal changes, but I am offering hope by saying, this too shall pass. This too shall pass.
3: Learn to love yourself. Try to see menopause as an opportunity to learn to love yourself. Use menopause as an opportunity, a liminal space to ditch the baggage and learn to love yourself more.
4: This is a time of endings and beginnings. Could that beginning be stepping into your power? Really digging deep to find out the things that make your soul sing and just going for it, writing that book, becoming that artist? Whatever the change is, use menopause to create a new and beautiful version of yourself.
5: Be a good role model. You're modeling a way of being that is going to be seen by women younger than you. What is the message that you want to hand on to them? What is the role model you're creating through your behaviors, your attitudes, your whole approach to this time of life?
6: Be the Wine: Changing hormones change our libido. Vaginal dryness can inhibit intimacy. For some women diminished libido can be hard to deal with, for others it may come as a relief. I think of women's sexuality as we age to be a bit like a fine wine. You know, there are sometimes those wines are best put in the cellar and given a little turn every so often. Some wines are kept there for a few years. And then, when you bring it out again and dust the cobwebs off, it'll be the best red wine you have ever, ever tasted.
Be the red wine.
Maybe you are the bottle of wine going into the cellar, given the occasional turn before the cobwebs are dusted off and a deeper, richer, more subtle, completely different sexual experience awaits.
So, these are some of my thoughts for World Menopause Day. Basically what I am trying to say is love yourself, be kind to yourself, you are the only you you've got, and you've made it this far, you can keep going. You're beautiful, you're wonderful. You're maturing like that gorgeous, fine wine, you're going to be okay.
Also a heads up because well, I’m a woman in my mid-50s doing too much, running this business solo and I got tired too. I know how it is. And I know how hard it can be to admit this. But in the extreme fatigue I’ve experienced over the past 12 months, I’ve learned some things about myself. I had to let some things drop off the ‘to do’ list which was hard, but ultimately good also. But in doing that I created a bit of room for me to complete some more studies, work on a book project, and in the last couple of weeks I've even got my paints and easel out again. I feel like I’ve been gently mellowing and maturing and stepping into my midlife power.
I am looking forward to 2024 as I will be offering coaching and courses and workshops for women just like you in menopause, midlife and beyond. There'll be offerings around how we show up for ourselves and for the people around us, and how we get exploring the things that make our soul sing, the legacy we want to create, the ceremonies that we can make, and the loving that we can be... all of these things, so many wonderful, wonderful things that can be brought to the fore in this time of life. I'll let you know about those, as waitlists and things start to open.
Now, I want to leave the last word to Clarissa Pinkola. Estes. She wrote Women Who Run with the Wolves. If you haven't read it, read it. It's still a classic. And I just love this quote from her. She sums it up completely when she says, "If you have yet to be called an incorrigible defiant woman. Don't worry. There is still time."
PS: If you're interested in the courses and coaching and workshops on that side of the work I do then please head on over to Georginalangdale.com.
Happy Menopause Day.