As women at midlife, we can finally take a deep breath and exhale. We have arrived at the gateway, that marvelous middle place where we are perfectly positioned, poised between where we have been and where we are going. We can look back from this unique vantage point and draw wisdom from all the experiences we’ve had, and we can also look forward, ahead of us, to the many exciting years to come. At this wonderful time in our lives we each have the power to choose what our menopause experience will look like. Our journey through menopause presents us with so many diverging paths, so many opportunities, that these years are potentially the richest of our lives.
Menopause is the time at midlife when we begin to ask the important questions: How can I make my life more meaningful? What should I be doing now? What am I meant to do? If my children have grown and left home, what is my role now? Do I still have the same value? How do I manage to deal with the changes in my body and in my life, and still keep a positive self-image as I get older? Is it all downhill from here? The questions we ask ourselves can really be distilled down to this: “Am I living the best life I can? Am I living true?”
How do we live our true life? What would it look like? Is it even possible to have a “true life” with all the day-to-day pressures we face? Well, it is possible. In fact, it has never been more possible. We are at the best time of our lives. Right here. Right now. It is up to us to determine what today will bring, and what the coming years will look like. Life at menopause is filled with transitions and challenges. There are so many ways we can go. That’s why it is so important to experience these years with a true and open heart.
We’ve never been in a better place, or at a better time, to choose for ourselves. We’ve never been in a better place to make positive changes in our lives. We’ve never been in a better place to use the wisdom we have gained over the years, and to make the choices that will allow us to embrace our menopause journey.
Yet, at midlife, some of us may feel defeated by the symptoms of menopause. The hot flashes and menopause induced lack of sleep. The depression and moodiness. We may have given up. We may not have the energy or the courage to know how to best help ourselves through this transition. We may have even tried menopause treatments but were disappointed with the results leaving you dispirited and worse, resigned to being miserable. When we resign we miss out on living our own greatness. Resignation is our death knell, whether we are thirty or eighty.
Don’t resign. Resist the voice that has made you give up any part of your life, the voice that justifies the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, the one that says it’s just too difficult or it won’t make a difference anyway. When we surrender to whatever we think binds us, we automatically contract. We see ourselves as victims.
Realize we are privileged to be at a different point in our lives than the generations that came before us. We have the opportunity to experience menopause differently from the way our mothers or grandmothers did. We know we are not quite the same as we were in our twenties, but for the most part, we are healthy, intellectually active, interested, and have a sense of adventure and spirit much younger than generations before us.
Having the courage to make the most of your life can begin at any age, but it’s important to realize that the sooner you make up your mind to take action, the faster you will see results. Menopause is the ultimate wake-up call, a chance to evaluate how we’ve been living up to this point. It is the culmination of years of lifestyle habits, both good and bad. But it’s never too late to change our habits – all it takes is desire and commitment to assume responsibility for your own health. Step by step, one day at a time, you can begin to build, or even rebuild a sound foundation for a comfortable menopause and quality longevity.
It is comforting to know that the classic symptoms of menopause – night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and mood swings – are not inevitable. There are many vitamins and herbs that can help to balance a changing body chemistry – without side effects. Taking control of your treatment for menopause now will start you on a journey to continued health, vitality and radiance.
Most of all, make this a special time of life for you. Take some quiet time for yourself on a daily basis. Meditation and deep breathing are excellent tools for calming the mind and smoothing out the ups and downs of day to day living. Reading uplifting affirmations and spiritual books can often take you outside of yourself and renew your perspective on life. Treat yourself well and listen to your body/mind signals. Menopause can be a wonderful time for taking inventory of all aspects of your life. Explore this time with joy and adventure, because, for many women, the best is still ahead. May your journey be blessed with happiness and wisdom as well.