I’ve been having tons of hot flashes lately, haven’t slept a full night in months, and my thinking’s gettin’ foggy. Sound familiar? Yup, it’s menopause, and it’s legit! Not for sissies! Leave it to women to do all the badass s#*t! I’m perfectly fine one moment, minding my own business, not hurting anyone, and then whoosh I’m on fire, pouring sweat, ripping off layers; then mere moments later, I’m cold and on go all the clothes again. I honestly can’t figure out how to dress anymore, and living in the fickle temperature mood swings of a Rocky Mountain Spring isn’t helping my cause. Is it summer? Yes, yay! No, It’s snowing! Wait, it’s summer again. This is what it feels like inside my body right now.
As a holistic health coach, I immediately feel like I should have this all figured out and totally dialed in. So, I do what we all do, dive head first into the physical: food, diet, supplements, and lifestyle. What am I eating, not eating, taking, not taking, should be taking? But, then I remember I’m a “holistic” health practitioner, and I realize that I’ve just abandoned the other two vital legs of my health stool. I’ll be on my rear end quickly if I put all my weight on this lopsided stool. Like ALL body challenges, menopausal symptoms are trying to get our attention – demanding she is – but not just on the physical level. Every health issue is a combination of the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Healing lies in looking at all three areas, not just tunnel visioning into the physical. At the end of the day it’s never just about food. And, there never is a magic pill (natural or pharmaceutical) to fix everything. We’ve got to do the work we’re being called to do. Follow, embrace, and learn the soul lesson. That’s the true path to healing ourselves… Every. Single. Time!
Diet, food, supplements, and lifestyle choices can help or hurt us for sure, but they aren’t the be all end all.
I discovered this recently after a Kentucky Derby party where I blissfully ate cake and cookies and more cake. I figured I’ll let the reins go a bit (pun intended) in honor of the horse race. Boy, did I pay the price for the rest of the night. I had the most intense hot flashes I’ve experienced to date, sweating right through and soaking my pajamas, and I was crazy dizzy for hours. Sugar hammers you if you’re not used to eating it! But, it still isn’t about eating or not eating sugar (aka, the physical). I learned that sugar makes my flashes much, much worse, but it wasn’t like eating no sugar kept me from having hot flashes in the first place.
So, what’s menopause teaching us? It’s going to have different flavors for each of us, but overall it’s a spiritual journey to our Souls. We’re transitioning into wise women, so we’re going through an initiation into that stratosphere of personal knowledge. We’re going through a deeply internal voyage, where we’ll come out the other side with profound wisdom and awareness to share. Menopause has got a purpose! Yay! Embrace that and the journey not only gets easier, but filled with power. Trust yourself and trust your body. You’ve both got this!
Much of the menopause disinformation coming at us is about our bodies failing us, flunking the transition, hormonal barrenness, dried up, youth’s over, throw in the towel.
This includes all the info about trying to fix what’s going wrong, like we’re broken. WE’RE NOT BROKEN! Our bodies aren’t failing us. Yes, we may need to look at our lifestyle and take heed of some changes that are probably long overdue, but “the change” isn’t about going out to pasture and giving up because our ovaries are abandoning us. Menopause isn’t about hormone imbalances or a better diet. It’s so much more than that. It’s about our spirits reaching out to us to grow and be better for ourselves. It’s about going inward, taking time, and loving and prioritizing ourselves to go inside and explore. Once you get that and go within, the journey becomes a lot more enjoyable. I’m not saying it won’t have challenges or be really hard sometimes, but that’s all part of the learning and the expansion.
Part of why I like essential oils so much is that they heal us on all three holistic levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Not many things work on all three levels. They also are adaptogens, meaning they help your body balance out (whether your high or low in hormones), while at the same time they increase your awareness both emotionally and spiritually. That’s impressive stuff! There’s all kinds of essences you can use for menopause, like Clary Sage, Geranium, or Hyssop. Peppermint is a hot flash life saver. My current favorite combo is Sage True and Anise Raven. Those two have calmed the hot flashes and increased my sleeping over the past couple weeks, but have also brought to my awareness a couple of cool things. I have noticed that the second before the hot flash, I get negative in my head. I feel my brain chemistry drop and I go from happy thoughts to a negative thought. I’m playing around with shifting that vibration in the moment and have staved off several hot flashes this way! I also have seen how much the hot flashes require my focus to be in the present moment, so I stop and focus on what needs my attention right now. That’s a gift all on its own. Being in the now is where all the good stuff is happening! This is what I mean by the teaching and growing into wise women: stop being negative and live in present time – that’s guru stuff when you actually live it.
Lastly, menopause is about letting go of the past.
It’s not about doing and living the exact same lifestyle that we’ve always lived either. Going inward and healing takes time and energy and can be totally uncomfortable at times. You may not have the same amount of energy to run up mountains, or be able to drink two glasses of wine, or eat bread and cheese every day. You’re going to have to allocate some – if not most – of your resources to this journey. Let go of the past and be here now because menopause in the now requires all of your concentration. Go ahead gain a little weight, relax on the pressure to stay looking like you’re 20, soften and move into this next awesome phase gracefully without fighting it. Let the current take you and ride the beautiful wave taking you more into you! Plus, when you stop having to run up mountains, or bike to the Bells AND Ashcroft, you get a bunch more time back and way less stress in your life! It’s a win-win!
I’m reading this awesome book on menopause called, The Seven Sacred Rites of Menopause: The Spiritual Journey to the Wise-Woman Years by Kristi Meisenback Boylan, where she writes about the sign her endocrinologist has on the wall that says, “I’m not having a hot flash, I’m having a power surge!” Love it! That’s exactly what we’re doing surging and charging up our internal, spiritual, soul power! Wahoo! I’m all in for that journey!