So thankfully, we are slowly talking about menopause, a stage in life that nature intended. Sadly this natural decade, or so, is automatically associated with negativity, ill health, invisibility, unsexyness and reaching the top of some wretched hill that the only way is down. I want to know why there are such limiting beliefs, shame and negativity attached to this tremendous milestone that should be regarded with respect, sensitivity, curiosity and celebration. I believe what we need to do is make menopause a name that is connected with transformation and change, rather than a word that is connected to peaking at the top of this hill which personally, I’ve had no intention of sliding down. At 58 I still have a lot to learn and a lot of growth with in me, my life is a trajectory path that is getting more fruitful and exciting with every step on my yellow brick road, I choose to believe that with my hormone change I have changed and transformed into this brave,beautiful, butterfly that is now ready to explore, learn and develop I am ready for adventure and all that comes my way.
I see the 10 years peri-menopause like the apprentice going into life going forward. In life there seem to be very clear stages, in your 20’s you are finishing your education and finding out what is right and wrong with your life. 30’s and 40’s is about raising a family or building a career or both. 50’s is about feeling settled and secure with life, partners and with the hormonal changes that are happening and then at the end of the 50’s you can prepare yourself for what you want out of life for this Third Act.
In Japan at the age of 60 they have a celebration called KANREKI. This is because of the traditional 60 year calendar cycle and it mean you’ve completed one cycle through the zodiac and reaching 60 is a chance to be born again and start afresh… oh my god… how I love this. (btw its called Hwangap in Korea and Jiazi in China). So why is it in western cultures we are obsessed with life ending with menopause? why is this thought of as being a depressing time that has some sort of shame attached, how is it that being 60 is at the top of the hill, the end of the end when in the East its the beginning of the rest, It is a milestone where achievements are celebrated and lifetimes troubles are forgotten. This is this stage of life that you enter with all the joy and possibilities of a new born. Kareki is viewed as the moment we are reborn the time to reflect on the last six decades but more importantly that about the future as we start anew. We need to be prepared for Kanreki we need to know who we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there.
Jane Fonda has always suggested writing a life review in mid-life to see what’s lying dormant within. I have always felt that the morning pages was a great tool to use to unearth underlying issues. But also with meditation and finding the stillness of your body, mind and breath you will be able to listen to your soul and let your intuition speak to you.
I wish, we in the west, could rebrand Menopause and Middle age to be a wonderful transition into Kanreki or the Third Act. It is, after all, the last 30% of your life and we should absolutely commit to make all our dreams come true. It is never to late to be the person you wanted to be. Do not hold yourself hostage to who you once were.