Have you heard? Menopause is a spiritual transition.
It is a grand and sacred occurrence that demands deep self-nurturing from within. During this phase of life, women, and the men around them, are asked to journey into unknown inner terrain and embrace feminine energies in an unusual way. At the very least they are guided to find a balance of both masculine and feminine energies inside themselves.
On the surface, menopause is still often defined as a sort of temporary state of being based on a hormonal shift. And in concert with its superficial design, not in deference, it is time to remember the deeper mysteries of the body as they reflect the constant flux and re-balancing of humanity and spirit, yin and yang.
Unlike its centuries-old predecessors, or even its pre-1990's representatives, menopause no longer inspires visions of old gray crones on rickety limbs, old maids or even granny-hood and retirement. Youthful, vibrant and wise women are instead the ambassadors of this passage. In Goddess circles, there is a new term for those in this particular cycle of life: they are Queens!
Pretty much all women in any stage of menopause will tell you--whether it be pre, peri or post--this is a time of incredible growth and multidimensional change, especially if it is navigated naturally. One physical symptom can encourage a thought or an emotional response, which if given the least bit of attention can lead to moments of great inspiration and epiphany. In reverse, acknowledgement of that same creativity and connection can be traced back to an uplifting sense of physical warmth and well-being, and an aggravating hot flash, depending on the person or the moment.
Whether a conscious voyage or not, menopause will almost always call on the deepest forms of inner strength and stamina, self-worth, inherent confidence and capacity for sometimes excruciating inner expansion, even when hormone replacement therapy is the preferred method of management.
There's only so much a false floor can hold.
Certainly an appropriate word when applied to any attempt to control menopause (as with HRT or even herbal support), management can potentially make the ride a bit smoother for a while. Yet, there is another option. Mastery, an essential practice of curiosity, self-compassion, positive outlook, intriguing emotional balancing acts and deft juggling, physical health, as well as a focus on spiritual connections, or devotion.
Truthfully, we all eventually realize there is no controlling much of anything in life, much less this wondrous cycle in spite of its many unmarked capillaries to denial. The creative power of menopause is unfathomable, and that is no exaggeration. Women may as well look upon this as a transcendent event because it will take them into the shadows of the unknown whether they are ready or not. Mastery--skill, understanding and virtuosity among other definitions--is proportionally a much more accommodating vein through which the grander energy currents can move and flow.
Unfortunately, menopause is not really seen by the outer, non-menopausal world as anything beyond some sort of middle-aged, physical event or, strangely, a day marking the end of menstruation. It's different now. Consider this: 11 years ago, out of approximately 281.5 million people, there were 32 million women in the US between the ages of 35-49. That's over 11 percent of the total US population.
Today those same women are now between 46-60 years old, in some part of the menopausal cycle. Along with that incredibly large and influential portion of the populace, we can thank Dr. Christiane Northrop for its current state of visibility. Since the publication of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" in 1994, many interesting and informative books have been published about menopause, its physical, emotional and even spiritual aspects. They are filled with personal stories, information about how to alleviate symptoms and the management of life during menopause.
No one yet, has written a book about truly the mastering energy of the female body during menopause. There are several key sections & chapters in a book about mastering the energy of menopause:
Meanwhile, here are some questions to ponder in present time or for future reference:
-How do women take practical command of their own spiritual journey during menopause?
-How do they find mastery here, and then help to guide the next generation through this incredibly demanding and magical time in life?
-What if some day down the road access to herbs and supplements, not to mention pharmaceuticals, were denied to the average person?
-What if there were no more candles or bathtubs filled with sea salt, CD's and ipods, chamomile tea?
-What if there were no more external substances and outside remedies to ingest?
-What if we were asked to find a way to communicate with the true God and Goddess of our hearts, as opposed to some fluffy ideal that makes us feel good...temporarily?
-What if, humanity was one day fully blessed with remembrance and guided toward a gateway into the deepest most inherent part of our beingness?
-Would we know the way? Would we have the courage to step through the gate, to embrace the truth of our inner sanctuary and essence?
-Would we be willing to nurture ourselves enough to find that gate and to sustain that once beyond it?