If you’ve experienced menopause you’ll probably recognise your journey here, if you have not yet experienced it this blog will hopefully provide you insight which will help you on your journey. Menopause is such a unique experience, some people sail through it, and other people seem to find it never-ending, for some it is just another step in the dreaded years of women’s problems, for others it’s a release from the whole reproduction, gyneology etc, bringing a sense of freedom. However you view it, it’s part of a women’s life & health that can’t be gotten around.
Some of the symptoms:
- Hot flushes
- Sleepless nights
- Brain fog
- Mood changes; low mood, anxiety, mood swings, low self-esteem
- Headaches & migraines
- Muscle aches & joint pain
- Weight gain & a changed body shape
- Skin changes; dry & itchy skin
- Reduced libido
- Vaginal dryness, pain, itching & discomfort during sex
- Repeated urinary tract infections
- Hair loss
Men also have a menopause, often referred to by the cliche of ‘mid-life crisis’ and everything that goes with it. Their mid-life crisis is as much about their ageing process, sexuality & worth as ours is, they just don’t get hot flushes & brain fog to go with it!
Male Menopause – Yep, It’s A Thing!
Male menopause is often harder to detect or diagnose as the hormone changes aren’t so dramatic. Here are some symptoms that are associated with male menopause:
- Reduced sexual desire and activity
- Decreased spontaneous erections or erectile dysfunction
- Breast discomfort or swelling
- Height loss, low trauma fracture or low bone mineral density
- Hot flushes or sweats
Other possible symptoms include decreased energy, motivation and confidence, depressed mood, and poor concentration. It’s also possible to experience increased sleepiness, sleep disturbances, mild unexplained anaemia, reduced muscle bulk and strength, as well as increased body fat.
So why do some people fly through menopause & others go through hell? There are a few factors that contribute:
If you hear yourself making general statements like ‘every woman I know had a terrible menopause’ or ‘all the women in my family had awful menopause symptoms’ or similar statements, then your subconscious will hear this & it will bring you what you expect to have, you are placing your order! Because you’re saying ‘everyone’, it will include you in that statement, you may not be thinking you’re including yourself, but your subconscious does.
What does menopause mean to you? You may have some conscious thoughts on this such as ‘Great, no more periods’ or you may be thinking things like ‘That’s it, no more babies’ or ‘Pants, that means I’m getting old’, however, what if, you’ve seen advertising, watched TV or films with menopausal women as the main character, turning ever so slightly irrational & nuts or you’re watching ladies being interviewed talking about how awful it was. These will all create beliefs or thoughts in your unconscious mind that you most likely are not aware of, they’ll sit there creating problems, this is known as cognitive dissonance. Imagine you look in the mirror and think you look great for your age, that you don’t dress like a middle-aged person and actually think of yourself as young. If your belief is that menopause only happens to old people, this would create conflict within you, your body wants to express that conflict, in the meantime, you may well be oblivious to this conflict, apart from your menopause raging!
Whilst it’s a natural process, the degree of intensity you experience will be affected by other factors.
Here are some beliefs, sit and mull them over, see which ones resonate or create a ‘reaction’ for you & which ones are a blank:
You seem to have a fear of ageing, of being undesirable or no longer needed. You often feel resentful to men as you no longer feel desirable. You believe that after reaching menopause, there is no turning back ‘I am getting old, my fun days are over’. Your value & purpose in life feel challenged by this condition. Many women express their value through their fertility, & once this has stopped, they feel they’ve no purpose. Even though you may not have had children, knowing that you had the power to bear a child is empowering. If you were unable to have children, menopause can be the final tiny ray of hope being extinguished, all the time we have even a tiny ray of hope, we have something to hold onto. It could feel like an ending of your purpose & value in life. You may be resenting your body, feeling betrayed by it.
- Remember to love your body. How does this phase make you feel?
- Explore any trauma that made you feel isolated or alone
- Explore trauma related to feeling like an outcast
- You feel empty, adding to an already existing trauma that is related to loneliness
- You may feel that your life is spiralling out of control, going in a mindless direction. How does that make you feel?
- You may feel let down by your body, robbed of your feminine beauty. Explore further possibilities here
- Explore resentment about being female, and having all these problems. You may feel like broken goods
- Explore the trauma of feeling inadequate in life. Who made you feel this way?
- Resentment & anger related to men. Why? How did men in your life make you feel? Explore this
- You are attractive, & sexy, it’s safe to be attractive. What can you do to feel like a goddess again? Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with age!
You may need to journal about each point that resonates for you, take your time, there’s no rush here. If you’d like my free guide to journaling, you can get it here.
When I’m working with a client needing to heal this situation, it will generally take more than one session, this allows us to work through how they see themselves (identity), what they think/feel about themselves, life & this situation (beliefs), then we look at what the body is trying to tell them (your body speaks your mind), once we know all this, we can pull it together & empower them, creating a more positive view of themselves, their identity, beliefs & purpose in life.
Spiritual Reasons For Menopause; Soul Contracts
Remember we’re spiritual beings having a human existence, so we have to also take onboard that menopause & the associated experiences can be a mechanism for our soul’s growth, let me explain:
- Self-Acceptance and Self-Love: Menopause can bring about various physical and hormonal changes that may challenge a woman’s sense of identity and body image. Through this transition, one may be prompted to cultivate self-acceptance and self-love, embracing oneself fully and unconditionally.
- Emotional Healing: Menopause often stirs up deep emotions, including unresolved issues from the past. It can serve as an opportunity to address and heal emotional wounds, releasing old patterns, and finding emotional balance and stability.
- Surrender and Letting Go: Menopause represents the end of a woman’s reproductive phase and can symbolize a broader theme of surrender and letting go. It may invite the release of attachments, expectations, and societal roles, allowing for greater spiritual freedom and expansion.
- Connection with the Divine Feminine: Menopause can be an invitation to explore and reconnect with the archetype of the Divine Feminine. This includes embracing qualities such as intuition, nurturing, wisdom, and creativity, leading to a deeper understanding and embodiment of these aspects within oneself.
- Awakening of Inner Strength: The challenges of menopause can ignite a woman’s inner strength and resilience. This phase may inspire the discovery and development of inner resources, empowering her to navigate not only menopause but also other life challenges with grace and courage.
- Reevaluating Life’s Priorities: Menopause often prompts introspection and a reassessment of life’s purpose and priorities. It may encourage a shift in focus towards personal growth, spirituality, and the pursuit of one’s passions and desires.
- Deepening of Spirituality: Menopause can initiate or deepen a woman’s spiritual journey. The physical and emotional changes experienced during this phase may serve as catalysts for seeking spiritual meaning, connection with higher realms, and a sense of purpose beyond the physical realm.
Remember, these are just potential aspects of soul contracts and soul growth associated with menopause. Each individual’s journey is unique, and personal experiences will differ, aim not to compare & contrast your experience with that of others unless it is a tool for you to recognise you need assistance to change your experience into something more positive or to recognise that there may be a better, different way for you to experience menopause. It’s important to honour and trust your own inner wisdom and guidance as you navigate this transformative phase of life.
Tips For Healing
So you know you’ve got menopause going on, what can you do about it? Well, old thinking would be more along the lines of just needing to live with it, whereas my thinking is let’s work on the subconscious behaviour and its drivers so we can minimise the impact of your menopause, it really doesn’t need to be awful. Let’s look at some tools you can employ to change your experience:
Meditation – The reason everywhere you turn you’re hearing about the benefits of meditation, is because it really is a multi-purpose tool. It’s great for preventative measures as well as helping to heal when we’re not well, this is because, during meditation, we shift into theta brain waves, this is where the body finds the right state to repair and heal. It’s really not complicated, I promise you. It may not be instant but once you crack it, you will be able to tap into the benefits for the rest of your life. It’s free too!
Belief Changing – this may be a bit harder as it isn’t always easy to be objective with ourselves, however, give it a go, sit and think about how you view menopause, whether that’s your view of your own experience or that of others. Then question those beliefs, what evidence is there to support your view and what evidence is there to the contrary? Once you’re able to see what supporting evidence there is for a particular view you’ll be able to change the existing one. Your subconscious ones may be in need of help from someone who can help elicit them from you, then you can repeat the process above to break them down and find empowering ones.
Thoughts – Where are your thoughts around menopause? If you’ve not had yours yet, it may be that you are only basing your thoughts on the experiences of others. It’s a bit like having babies, if you focus on the horror stories, you’ll dread getting pregnant and having the baby, the fear will make it harder. Fear also drives behaviours that may not benefit you, you don’t know that your experience will be horrific, you may sail through it, but if you dwell on the stories of others that are making you fearful, you will manifest that experience.
Gratitude – Are you one of those people who’ve had enough children and will be relieved it can’t happen any more? Are you one of those people who did not want children & this will end that phase of your life, hopefully meaning everyone will stop asking you when you plan to have your family. Gratitude is a huge part of life, even being grateful that you’ve had yours and are ready to move on is good. Gratitude is about raising our vibration, again, we put ourselves in a theta state where the body can heal, so make sure you’re finding new things to be grateful for every day. Do this consistently but make a real effort when things are feeling bad, it’s harder to find the things to be grateful for, but it’s when you need it most.
Diet/Exercise/Movement – Just move! You don’t have to suddenly become a marathon runner or an endurance runner, you don’t even need to join the gym, just move! Dance in your kitchen, and walk rather than driving or taking the bus. Find some form of movement that you like & just do it.
Our body is designed to move, it does not enjoy being folded into a chair for 12 hours per day. If you left your car on the drive without moving it or starting it for a year, the engine might seize, the battery might go flat etc, when we move our body dumps the toxins from our food, environment & lifestyle that it needs to eliminate, these do not do us any good if they sit in our lymph system, stagnating. Also, our body releases hormones when we move, the hormone depends on what exercise we are doing so running, T’ai Chi & dancing may release different hormones but they all have a job to do such as lifting our mood, making us happy, relaxing us etc.
Visualisation – Focus on who you want to be, and the experience you wish to have; see it, feel it, hear it, and love it! That may sound weird, however, it’s been proven that the mind can’t understand the difference between real & imagined, it reacts the same way to both, by visualising the version you wish to live, your body & mind will deliver that version. If you see yourself having an awful time of it, guess what you’ll get? This is also important for another reason – epigenetics. Epigenetics is all about your genes, the gene that will determine if you have a hassle-free menopause or an awful one will be determined by your thoughts, your mind has the power to switch the button on or off, so even if all the women in your family had a horrid time with their menopause, you’re not necessarily destined to have the same experience, unless you keep believing that’s your only option!
Create The Future You – Don’t Let Your Past Dictate To You
We have so much worth as a person, we have so much potential too. Look at women who are post-menopause & rocking it – Emma Thompson, Madonna, Judi Dench, Kate Bush, Melinda Gates (ex-wife of Bill Gates), Hillary Clinton, Priscilla Presley, Sharon Osborne, Kylie Minogue, Sue Barker, your mother, your aunt, your Gran or HRH Queen Elizabeth and so many more. Our life does not end with menopause, instead, it’s a chance to focus on other projects that are not about having babies or all about our sexuality, instead, it’s an opportunity to focus on outward things such as helping the generations behind us, shifting our focus from family to ourselves. We can also take the time to heal our past so the future is even better.
The thing to focus on is that our health is in our hands to a large extent, we have to work on the health of our mind, body & spirit to ensure good health.
Healing Menopause – The Story of Zoe
When women come to me with menopause issues, we work in a very individual way, the tools may be the same but the way I use them is different every time, they don’t always have the whole suite of menopause symptoms, it may only be one or two.
Zoe was having hot flushes which were awful for her, especially when at work, you can’t just walk out of meetings and presentations! Zoe was also having what we named ‘the dreads’ which was basically anxiety but hers was very much focused on thinking that everything would go wrong, this would start as soon as she opened her eyes in the morning, she’d then lie in bed worrying about the day ahead & that she needed to plan contingencies before it did go wrong, that’s really not a great way to start a positive day now is it?
We used various NLP techniques such as Procedural Positioning which simply involves putting the menopause in a chair and having a chat with it, this allows the brain to work intuitively not logically & allows beliefs to come to the surface. In Zoe’s case, she’d picked up beliefs from her grandma, her mother & a close aunt that once menopause comes along it’s time to dress appropriately which in their minds translated as frumpy grandmother-type clothing. The typical ‘mutton shouldn’t be dressed as lamb scenario. It is a generational thing and although the glamourous granny is far more the norm these days, we do fall into patterns that our family has. This wasn’t serving Zoe so of course the ‘conflict’ in her brain between being who she wanted to be, and dressing how she wanted to dress was at odds with the deep-seated subconcious beliefs of dressing your age and acting your age.
We also did some Timeline Therapy, which you may have heard me mention before, I do use this technique a lot! During this part of the session, Zoe found a buried memory, she’d been in her bedroom and as it had been a hot day she had her window open, her mother, aunt & grandma were in the garden chatting & their conversation was drifting in through the bedroom window. The conversation was around a friend of her grandma who had been widowed and was seeing a gentleman friend, the friend had alluded to the fact that she planned on some bedroom activity with her gentleman friend. Grandma was retelling the gossip and made it quite clear from the tone of her voice she disapproved, her words were ‘For godsakes, the women’s no longer able to have children, she’s been through the change, it’s a disgrace her acting this way’, this did not really make much sense to teenage Zoe, she wasn’t even sure what ‘the change’ was. This memory had stayed with Zoe in her subconscious & as an adult going through ‘the change’ herself, it was causing her conflict because being in a happy relationship she still wanted an active sex life with her husband, but this old conversation was telling her she couldn’t have it!
Resolving The Conflict
We used another technique called ‘reframing’ which really just means changing how we perceive something, in this case, we got Zoe 2021 to chat to her younger self about the conversation she’d overheard and reframe/change what it meant to her & how she felt about it and even if it was a thing, which Zoe 2021 knew it wasn’t, it was just a generation belief. I don’t know about you but as a teenager, my mother told me I could only use tampons if I wasn’t a virgin!!!!! It’s this kind of thing that Zoe was experiencing, I’m sure you have plenty of things that you laugh at now, but did not know any better back in the day.
Once the younger Zoe understood the true situation, she could dismiss it as irrelevant and the Zoe in 2021 could erase the conflict, able to now simply hold the belief that she could have sex, she could wear what she liked & she did not need to feel she was acting out of accordance with her family traditions, beliefs & behaviour. She could now be who she truly was, living in a way that aligned to her beliefs not those of others.
Does that make sense to you?
Creating Your Reality
We all have the ability to create our reality, however, some people find it more beneficial to work in conjunction with a coach that can help them achieve their goals, if this is you & you’d like to speak to me about working with me, let’s sit down & chat, you’ll find my online diary here.
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