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Menopause Happens For Us Not To Us

Menopause Happens For Us

Midlife Musings: Debra Johnstone

Menopause can be a confusing and often difficult time.

I would say most of us are not prepared for it or even understand what we’re experiencing.

Personally, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue at exactly the time that I had my final menstruation. I’d had a number of years with extremely irregular and frustratingly intermittent bleeds. Yet I had no idea that I’d been in perimenopause.

This was probably due to the fact that my mother passed away at the age of 51, so there had been no conversation around this transition. Living over the other side of the world from my grandmother too, a single mum and surrounded by boys, I guess my naivety can be understood. However, I meet so many women with different circumstance that experience exactly the same.

“This natural transition seems to be a thing that happens to us.”

Adrenal fatigue has very similar symptoms to those associated with menopause, so it was difficult to know which was troubling me the most. It’s only in the last few years interviewing menopause educators that I’ve really grasped what was happening.

Menopause Happens For Us:

Menopause doesn’t happen to us it happens for us. This natural transition seems to be a thing that happens to us. An upheaval we have no control over and sends our life into a spin. But what if it happens for us?

My menopause journey and what occurred in the years after led me to adjust the way I work with women. Interestingly, this also led me to gain my real life education in the menopausal transition. It was also the catalyst of getting to know myself more completely. It has led me to living my life according to what I truly want and what is important to me – leaning with more purpose into my own wellbeing

So menopause has in fact been a gift for me and for many women I have worked with. It always is when we have awareness and the right knowledge, tools and support.

A Powerful Rite Of Passage:

This wonderful rite of passage is the doorway into the most powerful phase of our life. But the problem is that women try to continue with what wise woman, Jane Hardwick Collings refers to as “business as usual”.

“Our body never lies and will let us know in a multitude of ways.”

What she means by this is that our life needs to change the way it’s meant to. And if we rely on just one remedy to keep life the same eventually we come unstuck. Our body never lies and will let us know in a multitude of ways. I think last count there were about 50 symptoms associated with menopause.

This means if you’re heading to the doctor to get HRT (hormone replacement therapy) so you can still continue working a 50 hour week – juggling multiple responsibilities, not having time to eat well, self care or have adequate rest, something will give.

Menopause Requires A Holistic Change:

HRT can be a wonderful treatment for many women, but if that’s the only adjustment that’s being made, it’s not enough.

Yes, menopause requires changes for the physical body. That might mean changing the way we eat, cutting things from our diet and adding essential whole foods and nutrients. It can also include changing the type of exercise we do or bringing more variety into how we move. But it also highlights adjustments that need to be made in the way we think and live our life.

If you don’t enjoy your work anymore, there’s a reason for this. Possibly it’s time to change your career. If you feel like you don’t know yourself anymore, then it’s time to explore. If life feels a bit empty then probably you need to start doing new things that you’re interested in. Moreover, if you’re suffering with anxiety or excess stress, maybe it’s time to cut back a bit and find some peace through meditation.

“The worst thing we can do at this point in our transition is to ignore the changes we are being called to make.”

Heed The Wise Woman Call:

The worst thing we can do at this point in our transition is to ignore the changes we are being called to make. Menopause eventually makes it impossible to continue with business as usual. If you’re not sure what changes need to be made, grab a journal and explore through writing your innermost thoughts. Do some research through reliable sources too. Or work with a practitioner or coach that can support you holistically.

Menopause is the transition that happens for us. It’s our path to the wise woman. It’s a very empowering time when we heed the call. Making those health and lifestyle changes is part of the process so we can live our best life. Continuing to thrive and contributing through sharing our wisdom as we age. Heed the call and enjoy.

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Debra Johnstone

About the Author:

Deb Johnstone is a Transformational Mindset Coach and a Midlife Transition Mentor. Experiencing midlife transition herself, she wanted work with more meaning and started her coaching practice in 2012. After the death of her father in 2019 and processing her grief, Deb experienced a deep loss of self where her identity felt challenged. It was through this that she felt the calling to work with women in this phase of life. It is now her mission to support women to transition midlife and beyond feeling confident, empowered and free to be your true self and live the life you want and deserve. You can connect with Deb on Facebook through The Empowered MidLife Woman where she posts insights daily, or connect with her through her website.

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