You’re going to do some serious house cleaning at menopause. No, not that one. I mean the cleaning up of the ‘house’ that is you. Although you might also indeed throw in some actual housecleaning or, more precisely decluttering, as part of this clean up campaign.
What you are releasing or letting go of is all the outmoded or unwanted aspects of your life that no longer serve you.
Menopause is not called The Change for nothing. While your body is going through a physical shift, your psyche is undergoing its own revolution. Think of yourself as leaving one country to find another. In this new land there are new rules and they are all laid down by you! Menopause is ultimately about you coming Home to yourself. Finally recognising fully who you are and what is most important to you. You are stepping into a consciousness that is more highly attuned to spiritual dimensions and to serving the World through your Calling – the uniqueness of who you are.
That’s quite a shift. And you have to be prepared. And so you find yourself examining everything you have ever done or failed to do, experiencing deep feelings – possibly grief, may be loneliness, probably anger if not rage. All indicate some inner business that needs to now be attended to. To make peace with. To relinquish. You don’t want to carry this baggage into your new life.
Unresolved trauma may also make a showing. Something from your childhood that you thought you had firmly laid to rest returns to be addressed. Do attend to it. You don’t want to carry this into your new land.
You may feel the need to let of a job, a relationship, habits, ways of living, where you live, even clothes that are clearly not you nor were ever you!
Your inner being speaks
Mary who had been on tranquilizers for many years for anxiety felt the need to come off them against all advice from her doctors, family and friends. It was very challenging. In her words “The experience…was terrifying because it felt I had totally lost control. I experienced all the classic withdrawal symptoms, hallucinations, panic, paranoia, anger outburst, depressions etc which led me to believe I really was going mad, but not one of the doctors told me that what I was experiencing was withdrawal symptoms…These symptoms went on for months. An article on tranquilliser withdrawal in a supermarket magazine saved me and re-assured me it was withdrawal. This reassurance gave me the incentive I needed to continue with what my body was telling me to do, to continue on this quest to find myself.” Only after the fact did she realise she was going through menopause at the time, she just implicitly knew against all the odds this had to happen. She did it and came out the other side finally feeling she had found herself at last.
Burn the house
The impulse to clear can be so fierce that you want to chuck everything, walking away from your current life FOREVER. I call this the ‘burn the house’ moment.The challenge is how to honour this impulse without leaving yourself with nothing.
For example, you wake up one morning and know that the job you have done for years, are highly competent and successful at, is over, is no longer you. So strong is that menopause imperative you could find yourself marching into work that day to hand in your notice. This is fine if you have contingency plans. And ideally you do. If you have been in touch with your deeper self over the years, and particularly if you have been practicing cycle awareness, you’re readied for this moment. However if you let yourself be seized by this urgency without due thought, you may be left exposed to the metaphorical and literal elements. You don’t want that.
Menopause is uncompromising. Your deep self is delivering a strong and clear message that you can no longer compromise who you are and what you do.
So time to get in gear with it and yourself!
Tips for menstruating women:
- Practice cycle awareness – it builds in you the knowing of what is required to go through menopause, it provides a template for the stages of the process (the 5 chambers of menstruation become the five stages of the menopause journey.)
- Pay attention to the messages you receive in the premenstruum (that’s the classic clean up time you get each menstrual month) and at menstruation (when you have a direct line to your Calling)
- Learn to meet your inner critic with grace, and grow from it – instructions in Wild Power
- Read Wild Power from cover to cover!
Tips for peri-menopause and women in the menopause
- Recover knowledge of the cycle’s process and powers by reading Wild Power even as your bleeding may now be erratic, periods coming less frequently or have stopped altogether, so you can’t chart any more.
- Take time to put your menstruating years into context.
- Learn about the archetypal powers of the inner autumn of the menstrual cycle, they are the same powers you will have in abundance as you come into your post menopause life.
- Give yourself time and space to listen to and feel what you are feeling and give it credence.
- Develop the habit of journal writing if that helps you to gather your thoughts and feelings and make meaning.
- Do not dismiss what might seem impossible or crazy thoughts, ideas or feelings. Write then in the journal, let them sit quietly on the back of burner of your soul and tend to them quietly.
- Have allies that understand the process of menopause as process of evolution