Some days it feels to me like the whole world is shifting on its axis. And at times I’m both scrabbling to keep up, and very much content with doing things my way.
I mean, apart from the obvious global shifts that have happened in the last 12 months, my period cycle has changed. I noticed some uncomfortable self-consciousness creeping in a little, and the ways in which I settle myself is far removed from how things used to be.
My energy feels different just lately. Not good or bad, just different. I look at photos from barely five years ago and I’m genuinely shocked to see how much my face has changed.
But the windows still need to be cleaned. My parents still piss me off sometimes, and I still don’t know how to change the clock in my car. I often catch my thoughts, and it feels like I’ve never changed (do you ever stop feeling 23, on the inside?!)
And yet, I feel shifts within myself, on my axis, about who I am. And who I want to be. It’s deep and at times uncomfortable and yet I welcome it in, in so many ways. I have conversations about this with my mentors and I feel very grateful to have such beautiful people in my life to share it with.
I talk about it with clients and we find similarities in feelings, of deep desires resurfacing, of wanting more for ourselves. I encourage it because this is the real ‘deep work’ that your body is nudging you to do.
It’s no longer just about ‘loss and decline’ of hormones, it becomes all about what’s to gain from the process of turning inwards. Not in a ‘woe is me’ kind of way, but in a compassionate and supportive ‘what can I learn from this?’ kind of way.
I genuinely love it.
It’s so much more than hot flushes and wonky periods. It’s even more than the sugar binges, the tears, the rollercoaster of hormones.
I have skills and strategies to help you with those things, to gain practical knowledge to help yourself, but my true calling is in helping you nurture yourself, in a way that goes beyond the surface level.
It’s like a feeling of getting back to yourself, an unwavering acceptance and confidence, a way of nurturing what’s truly in your heart.
When we talk more about those deeper things, we also find that the hormones and emotions, the weight gain and tiredness, are naturally smoothed out too, because they’re all contained within a unique package… you.
I’d love to help you more with all this. When you’re ready, get in touch by using the contact details below
Not many women ask me about menopause directly, but they do ask me about;
-how to get rid of the uncomfortable weight around the middle,
-how to sleep through the night,
-how to have more energy,
-how to stop feeling such rage and irritation
So we could say, it’s not menopause itself that’s the problem, it’s the symptoms that are associated with it.
Especially when we really get talking about what’s really going on, namely:
-Not feeling attractive and worrying that your partner feels the same way
-Hating yourself and who you’re becoming (my client’s words, not mine)
-Fearful that it’s only going to get worse / not knowing when it’s going to improve
-A dwindling interest in the things that used to bring joy and pleasure
-Feeling lost within yourself
-Worrying about heart and brain health (that HRT is often said to solve)
As my client I can help you with all those things, and we also have conversations about these issues in the free Facebook community (menopause done naturally)
But there’s another problem. Because when we talk about symptoms, there’s a tendency to talk a lot about hormones, the decline, the changes, the deficiencies, the imbalances.
Which is fine, but the thing is – if I only focus on the hormones with a client, the symptoms will persist and she will NEVER feel the way she really wants to about herself.
How can this be true?
Allow me to introduce to you, the four most dangerous words….
“It’s. Not. That. Bad”
Why so dangerous?
Because those four little words keep you stuck in the concentric circles within yourself.
If you say those words to me, I already know I can’t help you with whatever we’re talking about, because you’ve decided (and I respect your choice) that you’re going to tolerate whatever problem you’ve got.
And that’s a real shame, because we both know, it won’t go away on its own.
I know it’s a coping mechanism, a way to get through the week, you’re just trying to live your life.
But at the end of the day, tolerating stuff, just keeps you stuck.
I can talk about this with clients in detail because I’ve had so much experience of it over the years – with myself!
I can also say; opening pandora’s bs box, admitting you need to do something about a problem, takes courage and then strategy, so that you don’t end up fuelling the fire of self-loathing.
So my advice to you right now, is to start noticing when you hear yourself saying something like ‘it’s not that bad’
It might also be disguised and show up as;
“I’m fine” (usually accompanied by an avoidance of eye contact, lol) “I’ve no real reason to feel like this” “I’ve been through worse”
These are all alarms and warning lights that come on when something is being ignored, missed, tolerated at the expense of your life experience!
Before you decide whether you’re going to change your mind on that, or not. Before you decide what you might be able to do about it, try to notice when it appears and ask yourself if it’s really true.
I’m here ready to help you with the rest.
Want to continue this conversation? You could join my free community, take my course or have a one to one conversation with me. Details at this link
Nurturing my adventurous spirit to increase resilience in menopause.
I feel it in my soul, even on the dull rainy days. It’s not just about ‘getting a bit of fresh air’. Not for me, and I doubt for you either.
Being in nature lifts me up in a different way than an afternoon on the sofa (which I also love to do at weekends). It speaks to my adventurous side, and cultivates a source of strength that I don’t think I’ve fully leveraged, yet.
Of course, there’s the practical element of ticking another job off the list. Like taking the dog for a walk. Posting a letter. Or just getting the steps in.
But there’s another layer to it, which I’m noticing as more and more essential to not only me but for every 40+ woman I speak with. Women who feel a bit lost, on the inside. Feeling the hormonal shifts and not always liking who they’re becoming.
I’ve been at that place too; not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Wanting to either go back, or press the fast-forward. Either way, not enjoying who I am. Never quite feeling content with myself, never really feeling enough. I still have to be careful even now, that I actively reject the compulsion for comparionitis.
When I look ahead now, towards my upcoming peri-menopausal years, I know there’s a part of me that’s been waiting in the wings, that I know will help me through. I’m making the effort to take on peri-menopause as an adventure, thinking of myself as an endurance athlete going all-in, for life. I’m not referring to myself as an athlete in terms of exercise – I mean, my approach to life is about taking on the long-game, not a sprint. Not a quick fix. I know it all sounds a bit whimsical but give me a minute and you might understand where I’m coming from. It might just help you, too.
Being outdoors gives me perspective, a different kind of outlook that helps me to make decisions – from what to have for lunch, to what I want the next 12 months of my life to be about. It’s not just about feeling the sun (or the rain!) on my face, it’s not always about slowing down and breathing deeper, either.
Sometimes I’ll find my mind racing with ideas when inspiration hits. Or I’ll step away from my desk in frustration, and surprise myself with a surge of confidence when I come to it later. Clarity comes to me with a backdrop of big skies. Decisions feel easier to make, and I’m somehow more willing to trust my own mind. Have you ever felt that?
I could talk to you about the hormonal benefits of being in nature; for managing stress hormones, improving my cortisol curve for better energy and sleep, encouraging calming progesterone to have it’s say. The benefits of oxytocin from the connection to myself and others. The ‘getting away from it all’ even just for a few minutes, as decompression from screen time and my dopamine filled brain.
Whilst I love all the science behind it, sometimes intuition and personal experience feels a stronger pull. Even if n=1, when you’re the ‘one’, then how you feel is every bit as valid as any science report. It’s more than simple common sense, being outdoors gives a deeper feeling of nourishing myself from the inside out.
Going further with this idea of adventure, and looking to my clients past and present… I see that every single one who came to me under a cloud of anxiety, low confidence, emotional outbursts at home and work… they all felt better, mental health symptoms lifted, physical problems were alleviated, by cultivating this feeling of adventure.
It isn’t always outdoors, but it is always about rediscovering and then exploiting your own boldness, my clients (and me!) often surprising themselves with it. Like trying out a new hobby, or joining a new fitness class. Saying no more often. And feeling more in control of what happens, when they say yes. It almost always snowballs and the results are often huge.
Trusting themselves more, small decisions create new experiences. The elusive mojo returns, there is renewed energy, a sense of purpose reinvigorated, more hope and faith. I often feel like I’m speaking to an entirely different woman from just a few weeks before.
For me, I’m encouraging my own adventures in a similar way (not all of them outdoors); to explore new friendships, grow my own herbs, learn a new piece on the piano, go back to a childhood hobby, weekday picnics, walk barefoot, wild swimming.
No matter how small, these new experiences feel exciting to me, they give me focus outside of my problems and struggles. Not in a way to distract myself from my worries, but to encourage more from myself, to inspire myself and to be inspired by others and things around me. It feels so warm and welcoming to recognise these glowing embers inside me.
Doing something adventurous, even if to someone else it sounds laughable, it feels to me like the antidote to anxious thoughts and middle of the night ruminations. It directs my thoughts, pushes at my own boundaries and reminds me that I’ve much more to give, much more to feel.
I want to continue feeding this part of me that feels so attuned to the natural world around me, it feels such an important observation of myself.
Have you ever stopped or slowed down, to think deeply about yourself like this?
What did you find?
If you’ve not yet joined my free facebook community – Menopause Done Naturally – then all you need to do is click the button below. It’s available to all women who are seeking some basic advice about how to navigate the menopause in a natural way.
1.) Forget the horror stories and what you remember your mum / aunt / sister, going through. It’s different for every woman, and you have much more control than you’re often led to believe.
2.) Start to put some time aside each week for fun, me-time and mini-adventure. This might be a walk with a podcast, a cup of tea on the beach / garden, prepping veg and dancing in the kitchen every Sunday, or something more daring. It doesn’t matter, as long as it feels like effortless fun to you and is FOR YOU.
3.) Upgrade your meals Vegetables are a priority now. Eating for your hormones doesn’t need to be complicated – and you don’t need to be vegan – but you do need to put more veg on your plate, than anything else.
4.) Detox (your head) like a mofo. When you notice your thoughts and internal / external conversations are less than helpful – do what you can to change them. Don’t buy into everything your head comes up with.
5.) Accept that you have a choice. You can do this on your own, or you can get some help (whatever that means to you). ‘Put up and get on with it’ is as dry and outdated for your health, as eating weetabix and low fat yoghurt.
6.) Start to get savvy on what hormones are really all about. I mean, beyond the horror stories, the symptoms and beyond the messy periods. You could even buy the Womanual, instead of trying to navigate the eleventy billion hits you get from Dr Google.
I’m giving you this advice, not just because I’m qualified to give it, not just because I’ve SEEN it help my clients, but also, because this first line above, describes ME.
I only ever give advice that I myself would be willing to follow, and advice that will actually make a difference.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, I was invited as a guest onto the amazing Author Your Life Podcast with David McCrea. In this podcast you will learn:
1: How to stop yourself catching “comparisonitis” 2: How to resolve an identity crisis 3: The importance of being part of a community when you are going through a transition period 4: Learning the importance of “good enough” during Coronavirus