Thursday, July 2, 2009
Menopause should more accurately be called menohalt, as reader Jackie M points out. I wonder sometimes about the scientists or health professionals that named it - were they overly optimistic? Confused? Clueless? Where actually is the PAUSE in menopause?
I think I may have figured it out. The Pause might be a pause for reflection. We can’t remember anything, can’t function as we used to, are clueless and confused ourselves. We reevaluate everything. We pause to ask ourselves who we are. We look back to who we’ve been up until the Big M. We look ahead to the woman we might become.
We pause to ask what WE want, rather than what does our family, our work, our world want from us. We cease going on automatic and examine our life from the sides, the bottom, the soft juicy core.
The Big M ushers in a host of other m’s, not the least of which is mortality. A pretty big M in its own right, mortality reminds us that this ride is not forever, so we had better choose our manner of conveyance and pay attention to the journey.
We pause to ponder what we might be when we grow up. We pause to consider what we might wish to leave behind when we shuffle off this mortal slinky. Mostly, we pause to appreciate, to savor flowers and love and blue sky and books and girlfriends.
I recently discovered Vibrant Nation, a website for women over fifty, when they posted an article about my book “The Big M”. I liked the site and its conversations. so I joined. When I filled out the personal info page with bio and the usual stats, I came to a box that asked me to send a postcard to my younger self.
I was delighted and intrigued. What would I say to her/me if I could? Besides love your body because it changes, don’t sweat the small stuff, clean less and play more, work and success are okay, but love and gratitude make for a meaningful life. Stuff like that.
In the end, I simply wrote this:
It's all worth it - it only gets better. I'll be (am) glad when you are here.
All my best,
What would YOU write to your younger self? Let me know and maybe we’ll be able to pass on our notes to our daughters and the young goddesses in training. Pause, reflect, and send that virtual postcard to the sweet, young you from the wiser, vibrant woman you’ve become. Let’s really put the PAUSE in menopause.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
There are definitely days that I’d like to take a break from The Big M. Even when I’m not particularly hot, sweaty, cranky, or weepy, most of the time it feels like Menopause has taken over my life.
Okay, okay, I know that the goddesses and I chose this path - we wanted to make sure that no other women had to suffer the uncertainty and panic we went through. If nothing else, we wanted our sister goddesses to travel the journeys through menopause, and more important, the second half of life with one another. And we love this job. But there comes a time when a goddess has just got to take a break.
In that spirit, I am declaring a menopause break for the solstice. On June 21, I’m going to forget about hormones, creams, night sweats, mood swings, and brain fog. I’m going to spend the day being young!
Of course, my laugh lines won’t disappear. My age spots and wattle will still be there. My low-flying tatas will still struggle mightily with gravity (and lose) But just for the day, I’m not going to notice them. (Or care if anyone else does.)
I’m a big fan of the best of second childhood; things like openness and wonder, celebration and play, romps and naps. I’m going to start my second childhood on my Menopause Break Day in earnest by doing whatever frivolous things catch my fancy.
I might plunge into Photoshop and play with my photos. I might sit on the porch and read a novel. I might just zone out and watch the points of light on the water. I will most certainly eat chocolate!
Join me! Let’s play hooky from the Big M and celebrate thinking, feeling, and believing young. Pick a day, doesn’t have to be the solstice (because Father’s Day may not be the easiest day to take off). Who knows, our Menopause Break might become a habit. Second childhood is just around the corner, let’s start practicing now!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
A couple days ago, I posted a too-funny Jack In The Box commercial about menopause. A male friend (thanks, Jed!) sent me the following Lay's potato chip vignette from their site dedicated to the feminine viewpoint called Only In A Woman's World. Enjoy!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Menopause goddess Theresa Venus turned me on to this hilarious Jack In The Box commercial. When consciousness about The Big M invades prime time, commercials, AND fast food? America is paying attention! Yep, we are finally going to be talking about it. And laughing, weeping, and bitching. Take a look.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Here is a reprint of our latest posting at our Mothership blog at Menopause Goddess Blog :
So many of you wrote thought-provoking, inspiring essays on fertility unrelated to childbearing that it was really hard to choose winners. Of course, we all win when we share our innermost thoughts and wisdom with other women. That’s when we truly know that we are not alone; we’re growing together.
And now, drum roll please, the winners of the Fertile Goddess contest.
First Place: Barb Sasaki
Second Place: Lynn Frank
Third Place: Anne Wheeler
So we don’t have to scroll through comments to find the winning writing, I’m publishing them in this post. More pearls can be found if you take the time to peruse the comments after the last two blog entries.
Barb Sasaki writes:
At age 48 I find myself wondering. Wondering if when I wake up sweating if it is just because winter is coming to an end or if it is my own body entering a new season. I know that my mind and body are both changing but I decided many years ago to celebrate the heck out of my birthdays because I had lost a dear friend at the young age of 32 to breast cancer.
As I age, one of the most wonderful things I am doing is to explore my passions. I have always been a passionate person, and I do not mean that to equate with sexuality. But true passion. I don't want to know what someone does for their JOB....but what do they LOVE to do? It is usually a very different answer...and much more interesting.
So I have been getting to know myself and ignore those voices from my past that said my sister was the artistic one, and the voice of my ex that boomed that I would never make it without him. If , after 18 years, he had only known me...truly known me, (*sigh*) he would have known that those words would only make me determined to not only survive but to thrive!
Today my life is more exciting than I ever remember it being. I have started my own business and have amazed myself with how well it is doing in this economy. For the first time in my life, that I recall, I have started allowing myself to dream, and dream BIG. Some days I even dare to say my dreams out loud! (gasp!) I find my mind is a fertile ground for ideas and designs.
The goddess I could relate to most is Sri Lakshmi. She shows how beauty comes from within and how through diligence we can rise through the mud of adversity to flourish like the lotus. She is also the patroness of lofty goals which surprised me a bit because I thought that was my job! ha!
I also love the fact that she is the goddess of prosperity and wisdom because I believe that when you do find and follow your passion, and work really hard, the rest will work itself out. There I go dreaming out loud again!
Lynn Frank shared:
Yes. A Menopause Goddess can be and is fertile, because one cannot exist and without change and growth. And growth cannot happen without being "planted" in something that nourishes you in some way. While entering the peri-menopause phase of my life this winter, I learned that I was grounded and fertile in ways that I had not known and could not anticipate. Facing my fears about, what appeared to be, the death of my libido, the inability of my body to regulate its own temperature, my loss of control maintaining a weight I was comfortable with and the simple assurance that I could get through each day looking professional (not flustered and drenched), made me realize this.
At first I was frightened. What was happening to me? I had always eaten well, exercised, been careful about what I put in my body! Then I was angry. How dare my body do this to me! How could I possibly work any harder at taking care of it? Why is what I'm doing no longer enough?
Then I accepted. That is when I first felt the fertile ground beneath my feet. And that is when the new growth began. I grew in the knowledge of other wise women who had been there, each stepping forward to calm me with assurances that I would not have to follow my mother's path to hormone replacement, breast cancer and disaster. Assurances, as one woman put it that: "I got through it. You will too." The quiet patience these women had with me, and themselves, spilled over to my soil and made it more fertile and able to nourish me then it had before.
I grew by celebrating what had been, accepting what is in this moment and realizing that this new phase signaled that something more was to come. The understanding that, what waits for me down the road is entirely up to me, was the largest part of this growth segment. Though I learned that I cannot always control all the small things in my life that I once thought were important, I was learning that there were other things that had more validity--that were more genuine--that I now valued and focused on. In these short months, peri-menopause has taught me that I am strong, capable of change, able to learn greatly from other women, have a depth of flexibility I didn't realize and that my relationships with those I love, those I can help and things I enjoy are deeper because of the fertile ground I now find beneath my feet.
The results have been a deeper, closer relationship with the man I love, a supportive affection for my daughter who is leaving the nest (the panic of losing her is gone,) a renewed calling to reach out to others with volunteer projects I have enjoyed in the past and a new dedication to my personal goals and dreams.
After a 20-year break, I am once again a long-distance runner and preparing for my first 5k race: the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" to be held on Mother's Day. This new fertile ground has led me back to a sport that allows me solitude, reflection and the excitement of achieving a goal. So yes, I am believe that Menopause Goddesses can be the most fertile seeds in the earth. I intend to see just how tall I can grow.
Anne Wheeler wrote:
I related to Benzaiten immediately, bec/ I have always been a fierce protector. I am the eldest of 10 children and this has always been my role. I am also a nurturer and took the greatest pleasure in being a mother, but the dragon slayer comes first. I grew up in the desert and so always felt an affinity w/ water, and ached for the ocean through my first 18 years. I now live in a wonderful area, 15 mi from the sea. I'm not always eloquent, except when I write. I still nurture people as a nurse practitioner, and I'm trying to become more like Quan Yin and Lakshmi, and Yoga is my favorite spiritual practice. But I can't change too much after 56 yrs. Thank you for helping me see myself as still fertile!!
Just because the contest is over doesn’t mean we don’t have more to share or ruminate on regarding our own fertility. I, for one, am going to keep this in the forefront of my mind and heart for those times when I feel non-creative, unmotivated, and “infertile”. Thanks to all the goddesses who responded and all who supported them.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Alright Goddesses. It’s time to put on your wise woman hat and place your fingers on the keyboard to share your thoughts and feelings about your “fertility”. You have less than a week to get your answer in to us. To reprise:
Menopause Goddess Blog and Fertile Goddess (a yoga and active wear company) are bringing you a chance to answer that very question AND win some very cool stuff.
Here’s the basic premise:
In nearly every culture of the world fertility means so much more than having children: abundance, wealth, new life and good fortune. Muse on how you are fertile now - then follow these 2 steps.
Step 1 - Visit www.fertilegoddess.com and choose the goddess that you most relate to at this time.
Step 2 - Visit our mothership blog at www.menopausegoddessblog.org and share with us how you are fertile now as well as your favorite goddess from fertile goddess.com. Just write it in the comments section.
Check out the cool prizes from Fertile Goddess (www.fertilegoddess.com )that you can win:
1st prize: Flow pants
2nd prize: 3/4 Sleeve Tee ( choice of goddess)
3rd prize: Tote bag (choice of goddess)
You have until May 3 to share your thoughts. So put your wise woman hat on and your fingers on the keyboard. Women sharing wisdom - that's how we ALL win.
By the way, you do not have to be perimenopausal or menopausal to enter - young goddesses in training are welcome to share their wisdom as well.
Read last week’s blog entry below for more details.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Menopause Goddess Blog (our mothership blog) and Fertile Goddess (a yoga and active wear company) are bringing you a chance to answer that very question AND win some very cool stuff. (See photo.) Here’s the basic premise:
Fertile Goddess believes in the inspirational connection between real women and the bountiful power and wisdom of ancient fertility goddesses. In nearly every culture of the world fertility means so much more: abundance, wealth, new life and good fortune. Fertility is the vibrant rose garden you created, the circle of do-anything-for-you friends, and the act of nurturing your "babies" -- whether they are children, pets or business ventures. With fertility, we are blessed with the endless capacity for patience, love and determination.
We celebrate women at the most fertile time in their lives: now! Tell us how you are a fertile goddess at this point in your life- then log onto www.fertilegoddess.com and tell us which goddess you most relate to for a chance to win one of three great prizes from Fertile Goddess:
1st prize: Flow pants
2nd prize: 3/4 Sleeve Tee ( choice of goddess)
3rd prize: Tote bag (choice of goddess)
Log onto www.fertilegoddess.com to see the prizes you could win!
As soon as I read the premise above, I was hooked. Actually, Fertile Goddess had me at “power and wisdom”, a perfect description of Menopause Goddesses everywhere.
Submit your answer either here in the comment section or in the comment section of our main blogsite Menopause Goddess Blog. You may also click the Contact Us button on the top right of our main blogsite if you don’t wish to share your answer right away. It can be as long or short as you want.
Don’t forget to choose the goddess that you most relate to on www.fertilegoddess.com. The contest runs until May 3, so you’ve got two weeks to ponder your own fertility. I’m musing on the question myself (even though I’m ineligible to win a prize; the answers I discover will be prize enough. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) We’ll post the answers of the winners - and don’t worry - we won’t share your name if you’re shy.
Okay goddesses, let’s see your fertile imaginations and thoughts! Women sharing wisdom - that’s how we all grow into the goddess we wish to become for the second half of life. Click the link below and get started. Fertile Goddess Yoga and Athletic Wear