I was praying for menopause

I was praying for menopause

By Caitlin Grace

Menopause is a word that often stirs fear in a woman’s heart. Fear of aging. Fear of becoming obsolete and invisible. Fear of drying up in all aspects of life. A general and pervasive sense of fear of the unknown in this youth obsessed culture.

The trick is there is no clear time when you can say “I’m menopausal”. I lost count of the times I went to the doctors and listed all my symptoms only them to run tests and say. “You are nowhere near menopause”. Seriously, wtf was that all about? Hormone blood tests are a very blunt instrument for showing when you are moving into that transition phase of life, while saliva tests are far more accurate but you won’t get that at your local GP.

I suffered with heavy bleeding from the moment I had my tubes tied at 30 and anemia was a constant issue. At one stage my GP said, “I don’t know how you even get out of bed in the morning”. To be honest I don’t know how I did it either. By this stage I was in my mid-forties and praying for menopause to just make it all stop already. No such luck.

Eventually I got a Mirena fitted and my periods just stopped. Bliss! My iron levels went back up and I finally realised how much low iron had impacted my life. We have a 300metre driveway and walking down that would leave me feeling exhausted and ready for a nap, not to mention gasping for air. I thought I was just fat and unfit. Nope, low iron means low oxygen so you literally don’t have enough air in your body. After my iron levels returned to normal I could (and still do!) walk it with ease – no naps required.

Somewhere into my eighteen months with the Mirena I was told it had fallen out. I went for a scan and they couldn’t see it anywhere, so they said “Not to worry. It’s just fallen out” I still had no periods and thought that I must have passed through into menopause while I had the Mirena in. Wrong again. In fact the Mirena was still in which I only discovered when I had a week long period and went to get it checked out as bleeding after menopause is a danger sign. It turns out the Mirena was still in there and now they wanted to take it out to see why I had bled.

This is when all my troubles really began.

My doctor told me, again, that I was still nowhere near menopausal and my uterus was in fact , “quite fluffy”. By this stage I was close to fifty and had no other symptoms of menopause just (she laughs) heavy bleeding. Any woman who has experienced heavy bleeding knows how debilitating and limiting it can be. Their solution, oft repeated, was to do a hysterectomy as “You are past child bearing so you don’t need it anymore”. To be clear this was a healthy uterus – no fibroids, no tumours, no cysts, nothing – she just liked to bleed… a lot.

I am stubborn. I am also deeply attached to my body parts and I wasn’t about to discard this powerhouse from my body because she liked to bleed. Instead I went on a journey to find out what I could do to heal myself. Christiane Northrup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause” was a godsend. She says heavy bleeding is leaking life force energy. She asks the question “Where are you giving away your creativity?” This was a lightbulb moment and I decided to finally finish writing and self-publish my own book “The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love and Life”.

It was around this time (2012) that I started using a yoni egg and I believe this, along with other measures, was instrumental in getting my heavy bleeding under control. I ditched gluten and sugar (mostly) and added in more fermented foods including fermented cod liver oil (yes, it tastes disgusting but totally worth it for the vitamin a, d and k all of which are crucial to help with heavy bleeding).
I believe the yoni egg has meant that my emotional equilibrium has remained stable, I have had minimal hot flushes, no night sweats and minimal insomnia and what I have had has been easily solved with magnesium oil. My periods finally ended late last year and I feel the transition has been relatively smoothly. Menopause is one stage of life that we need to really look at all the ways we can nurture and support our body and I would love it if doctors offered more than just the “Let’s just take it out” approach when it comes to the uterus and heavy bleeding. We have much to learn in about the wisdom of the womb.

About Caitlin

Caitlin Grace is the author of “The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love and Life” a yoni egg coach and a self-love coach. She has been married, divorced and is now married to the love of her life for the past 25 years.

Caitlin’s mission is to help women better understand the importance of their pelvic floor and why it matters. As a yoni egg coach Caitlin helps women understand there is more to the yoni egg practice than maintaining the pelvic floor. It is also a practice in tuning in, becoming more deeply connected to your body and mindful of the way you interact with yourself. Caitlin can be found via her website

This article first appeared in Issue #8 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read other articles like this one click HERE to subscribe

Courage to Bloom

Courage to Bloom

By Brenda Tsiaousis 

“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.” – John C. Maxwell 

We all go through periods off transition. Whether it’s changing a career, starting a new business, becoming an entrepreneur, immigrating to a new country, adjusting to a new life as an empty nester or overcoming trauma.  

No-one tells you what to expect as you transition from one point in life to another. There is no hand book with 10 steps to… insert whatever it is you are currently working through. There isn’t a one size fits all “what works for me will work for you” methodology to transition gracefully through change and there are definitely no two experiences that are the same.  

Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible loss of identity I encountered after immigrating from South Africa to Australia or the confidence crisis I found myself in a few years after starting my business, nor the amount of courage it would take to peel back the layers of years of conditioning as I worked through the questions of;  

Who was I now? More importantly… What do I even want?  

It had been years since I had even reflected on what I truly wanted, not only for myself but also to contribute to the world.  

It takes courage to be totally honest with yourself, to unravel the layers of who you are and to connect with the truest version of yourself. Every woman has a story. A story worth sharing with those who come after us.  

There are parts of our stories that we find easy to tell and parts that are not so easy to share. Freedom lies beyond the hard bits we’re so afraid to share.  

What I have learned during my faith based entrepreneurial journey is that whenever transition and reinvention are involved, it takes courage, commitment and allowing the process to unfold to reveal a new more beautiful you as you step into a brand new and often unknown season. 

One of the myths I would like to bust is the concept of courage being overtly over the top, loud, extra brave… the kind of bungee jumping courageous or kite surfing brave.  

I don’t deny the fact that it takes loud courage to do all of these things but let’s consider the quiet kind of courage for a moment. The courage that whispers quietly to your soul.  

The small voice that say’s – “you’ve got this” “you can”, “just one small step”, “keep going.”  

The quiet prompting to pick up the phone, to call someone who hurt you and to say sorry, the inner prickle of doing something that may result in rejection but doing it anyway.  

For a person to fully embrace who they are becoming, I have found the courage to bloom is often preceded by the courage to surrender. 

All that no longer serves, any pre-conceived ideas of who we are meant to be, the hurts, past failures and any unhealthy beliefs we may be holding on to that could derail us from; becoming the very best version of ourselves, starting a new business, traveling to foreign countries or speaking on stages. 

There are four steps that I believe aid us in having the courage to bloom.  

These are;   

Clarity  ~ around your vision, what you really want for your life and for those around you. We often know exactly what it is that we do not want but not as much what we do want. Now is the perfect opportunity to dream out loud, to scribble your way through a note pad noting all the things you dreamt of doing but haven’t yet, whatever the reason.  

An activity I love to do with my clients who run their own businesses or those who are actively stepping into a new season is to write out their vision for each area of their life. Many are surprised to find that they struggle initially but as they allow themselves to dream the easier it becomes.  Writing down your vision provides a springboard from which to launch from.  

Confidence ~ In yourself, your capabilities, your strengths, and your experiences. These often form part of your story and hold the lessons or gifts you can share with others. Confidence is derived from knowing and aligning with our core values, acknowledging our fears and reframing our beliefs if necessary.  

Two thirds of businesses today are started by woman, with 85% of all purchasing decision made by them. These are incredible statistics which are set to grow as more woman realise the benefits of starting and growing their businesses from home while caring for family and loved ones. 

As amazing as these statistics are, the biggest challenge still facing many woman, even those in corporate positions is the lack of confidence.  

Certainty ~ Who are you deep down, at the centre of your being? Being certain of who you are at your core is key to confidence and courage. This was the one question I certainly mulled over when I felt like I had lost my identity after moving to Australia. Certainty is not the same as confidence. We can be outwardly confident and inwardly uncertain. If you’re an entrepreneur certainty spills over to knowing who work with, your business model, distribution channels and what you offer.  

Commitment ~ Commit to yourself fully. Commit to your goals. Set yourself a goal and focus on achieving it. There will be days when you may feel tempted to give up. When this happens consider the phrase “courage over comfort” You are so worth it.  

Take a deep breathe and listen to the quiet voice of courage nudging you to take action. It is in taking action that fear will dissipate and courage will rise.  

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Nelson Mandela 

As women we have so much to give; a wealth of experience, hearts open wide to support and encourage others, start new businesses, step in to new careers, create secondary income streams, travel the world, share a message that will transform lives, make an impact and leave a legacy for those who follow behind us.  

Once you allow yourself to surrender to what is, you will make way for courage to bloom. You will finally be able to show up in your business with warmth, authenticity and certainty. It’s from this place that your life and business will thrive. 

Web links  

Website : www.BrendaTsiaousis.com  

Facebook Page : www.facebook.com/brendatsiaousis 

BIO :  

Brenda Tsiaousis

Business success mentor, courage Igniter and confidante, Brenda supports passionate, impact driven women over 40 to have the confidence and courage to market their business and create a unique brand by combining a success mindset with timeless strategy fuelled by faith.  

She is passionate about supporting women, addressing crucial missing components in life and business that often stop them from shining bright, sharing their message and living more aligned lives. Brenda is #1 best selling author of Courage To Bloom.  

This article first appeared in Issue #6 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read more articles like this click HERE to subscribe.

Self Love….is it another buzz word?

Self Love….is it another buzz word?

Written by Keri Norley 

SELF LOVE… Is it another “BUZZ” word?  Is it a load of rubbish?  Do you reach the holy grail?  I mean for real… is it all it’s cracked up to be?   

This concept of self-love is everywhere these days.  And lots of people are preaching it.  The question is… do they believe it to truly be possible?  Do you believe it?  Have you ever experienced it? 

So what is it?  Self- love?  

It is not love driven by ego.   

It is awareness of self.  It is love for all parts of self… the beautiful and the ugly.  It’s awareness that you are capable of the worst and also the best… and still loving you.  It’s loving your body, no matter the size.  It’s looking after and nurturing all levels of yourself… mind, body and spirit… 

In my opinion… self-love is not a “buzz” word… but it can be… if you take it for it’s superficial experience.  Saying you love yourself doesn’t make it the end of the journey.  Generally speaking… it’s only the beginning. For many of you reading this, even doing that will bring tears to your eyes… if you look yourself in the eyes, in your soul and say it and truly mean it…  

So what are 5 crucial pieces that are an absolute must in order to fall in love with yourself… deeper and deeper in love?  

  1. Be willing to spend time with yourself. 
  2. Have people around you to hold you to a higher standard.  Fire the rest.
  3. Look at your mindset, the stories you are telling yourself, the stories that others told you and you believed… are they true?  What do you want to think instead and STICK WITH IT.
  4. Be courageous.  Have the deep conversations with people when it scares you.  Be willing to go ALL IN to living an aligned life.  Don’t go halfway.
  5. Forgiveness.  Forgive yourself first.  Forgive others who you feel have hurt you.  Realise… your responsibility in the situation.  Forgive yourself again.

 REPEAT.   

And when you do these things… when you start to love time with yourself.  When you are saying kind things to yourself… when you have the courage to go all in.  When you stop worrying and truly surrender… when you forgive… when you do all this and more…  

Something happens within.   

A peace begins to take over.  A peace that was not there before.   

Your energy shifts.  It goes somewhere you didn’t know existed.  Somewhere you couldn’t go while you were beating yourself up, shaming yourself, loathing on you… thinking you were completely incompetent and inadequate… feeling unworthy and not good enough… in that place… you couldn’t, you wouldn’t allow yourself to vibrate at the level of love.  You couldn’t receive it.   

This feeling.  The feeling of vibing high, joy, boundless love and freedom and abundance… it’s beyond words.  It’s to be felt.  And you will experience it different to me… but I can promise you… The feeling of infinite love and source energy streaming through, in the times when you allow it to… it’s worth every challenging part of the journey to get there.  

So now… you get to decide… are you ready to completely and fully let go?  To totally surrender to that which is guiding you…  

If not… that’s all good.  We are all somewhere on the path… and knowing your truth around it is the first step.  Do you want to love yourself?  Do you want to go deeper into this path?  If so… what are you willing to do to take the next step? 

And… if you are already on this path… and you are falling deeper and deeper in love with you.. congratulations… it’s a never ending, lifetime journey that will take the wildest twists and turns and it’s this path that will bring you to your deepest alignment to your soul’s purpose.  And it’s this path that will have you healing yourself, those around you and the planet.   

I invite you… to be willing to go further, deeper… on your path of love.  It will change your life… every aspect of it.   

Keri Norley

Written by Keri Norley, “The Manifesting Queen” and creator of Business Manifestors Club and the Manifesting Mindset Bootcamp loves to help you create an epic life on your terms.  She is passionate about ALL things manifesting and helping you live your life in complete alignment so that things show up with ease.  She loves helping you to work through your mindset and uncover the blocks that are holding you back from being the person who gets to live your dreams.  She loves helping you follow the signs to walk on your own path… to follow your heart and your soul’s purpose and alignment and to ultimately manifest all your deepest desires.   

You can get some fun free trainings that are honestly deep and incredible content in this no FLUFF zone… Click HERE

This article first appeared in Issue #5 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read more articles like this subscribe HERE

The Woman Who Refused to Take No for an Answer

The Woman who refused to take no for an answer

Written by Jo Duff (transcript of interview with Julie Randall)

Author Julie Randall faced aggressive terminal cancer in the face, and although she may have been frightened, she chose to stare down the big C and say “Not yet”.  

Just four days after her fiftieth birthday celebrations, Julie Randall suffered a very sudden and severe seizure at work. Out of the blue, she went from a fit, healthy, fun-loving wife and mother, to not knowing what had happened. Or why.  Julie was rushed to hospital where it was discovered she had a malignant brain tumour. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Advanced Melanoma, she was told to get her affairs in order because she didn’t have long to live. 

Her world fell apart, but not for long. There wasn’t time, and she made a promise to her daughters that she would live. Julie then embarked on a crusade to find a treatment that would work and became Patient 71. 

Julie Randall is an open book when it comes to her story, sharing it with the public to give hope, inspiration, and some much-needed laughs to women who are fighting the same battle.  

When you were going through treatment and had down days, what were the things you did to pull yourself out of the darkness? Or did you just push through each day? 

Some days were push and some days were pull.  On the down days, I would sit for a while, give myself a stern talking to and move forward. I kept fit and healthy and stuck to a strict diet.  I worked hard to train my mind to focus on living. I made a mood board about my future and stared at it every day believing I would be in that future for a long time to come. I certainly wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows every day, but having these tools helped me overcome the dark days quicker. 

Do you feel that cancer robbed you temporarily of feeling like a woman? Do you have any self-care tips to women who may be going through treatment? 

Yes, I did. If it isn’t bad enough that you are given a death sentence, you then lose your looks and your femininity as well. It’s cruel beyond measure, but as they say ‘It is what it is!’ So, you just have to get through it the best way you can.  

Exercise is incredibly important. You need those endorphins running through your veins! Yoga and meditation were also vital to my wellbeing. You may think sitting still with a clear mind is impossible when you are going through something as traumatic as a cancer diagnosis, but, just sit, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 minutes imagining your cells in perfect harmony. Don’t fight against your own body. Keep reminding yourself that your hair will grow back in time. Mine is now longer than my husband’s, which was one of my goals! 

You are proof to every Australian woman over 40 that whatever is thrown at you, no matter how bad, it can get better and it can turn around.  What are the common themes and stories you hear from other Australian women?  

I’ve heard from all kinds of women who are in the dealing not just cancer, but divorce, financial hardship and family pressures such as caring for a relative or child. I believe that great women always turn pain into power. There is always a lesson to be learned through suffering, and I’ve witnessed so many women help each other walk that journey and come out the other side. 

Do you ever feel conflicted when you think about becoming such a positive inspiration to people and making a difference by sharing your personal story, considering you had to go through hell and back and share such a tough time in your life?   

Great question. Yes, I absolutely do. I had to think long and hard about sharing my story publicly. It wasn’t just my emotions that needed to be considered. I had to think about those of my husband and children who had been on the ride to hell and back with me. But, there was a nagging voice in my head that said it was my responsibility, almost my civic duty, to share my story and offer hope and inspiration to those who needed it. When I sat the family down and explained that to them, they were very supportive and really proud of me for taking that path. 

They are three amazing humans. 

How will you keep making a difference in 2018? 

My motto is LAUGH, LIVE & GIVE so I will be doing plenty of that this year. I will also be investing time in mentoring those who need support to stay on track with their goals, whatever they may be. I also hope to connect with Maga readers and women facing a similar battle too! 

Julie Randall and daughters

Watch Julie’s 60 Minutes Interview HERE

Patient 71 is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.com.au 

Interview conducted and written by Jo-Ann Duff 


This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine. You can read more articles like this by subscribing HERE

Dance Yourself Awake

Dance Yourself Awake

Written by Natalie Southgate

Do you remember a time when you completely let loose on the dance floor? Maybe it was at a night-club, or at a party, or even when you were just cranking up the stereo in your own lounge-room. You closed your eyes and let the rhythms and beats ripple through you. Remember the joy, the bliss, and the freedom of that feeling?

As we get older, as well as not stepping out on the dance floor as much (or ever!), we may also find that we’re not stepping fully into our own lives. It’s easy to find ourselves sleepwalking through life. It can feel like we’re just going through the motions of getting through the day. It’s easy to feel tired, jaded, and uninspired. The days and weeks, and even years, roll on by and yet we may only be semi-conscious of the choices we are making and the lives we are creating.

Many of us are playing lots of roles in our lives (wife, mother, friend, daughter, carer, breadwinner etc) and have put the needs of others ahead of our own for so long that we’ve literally lost touch with who we really are. And yet … from somewhere deep within, there may be a voice that is beginning to cry out: “Is there more to life? Who am I really? What am I here for?”

It feels to me that this deep soul-stirring seems to intensify at mid-life. That inner voice crying inside seems to get louder, and the external triggers that force us to grow get bigger. Some people call this having a mid-life crisis, but I really believe that it is a calling home to our true, authentic self. Our soul wants to dance again!

Twenty years ago, my various studies and passions (one of which was letting loose on the dance floor) led me to create Chakradance, a dynamic moving meditation practice. Since then I have shared it with thousands of women who have had that inner yearning to live their lives more deeply, authentically, and with more creativity, passion and purpose.

In Chakradance, we dance to specific music that has been composed to resonate with each of the seven chakras. As you dance your chakras you will begin to notice changes in your body and in your life. You might find yourself releasing tension you’ve been holding onto for years, and gaining energy for the things that you want to do in your life. Your dance may re-ignite your passion. You may find you have more insights into how to handle difficult situations in your life. You might find more connection in your relationships. You may just feel a lot more relaxed and free, and wake up each morning looking forward to the day ahead. Chakradance helps us to free up our natural energy flows and helps us feel more vibrant, more passionate, more alive.

Here is a quick overview of each dance

Base chakra

This dance connects us to our primal, instinctual energy. It helps us to reclaim the wild, animal-like part of us and deepens our connection to the earth. We may find ourselves emphasizing movements of our legs and feet in this tribal, raw, and primitive dance.

Sacral chakra

Dancing the sacral chakra deepens our connection with the sacred feminine. Like water, our feelings and sensuality flow in this chakra. Fluid, sensual movements of our hips and belly can heighten our sense of pleasure and passion.

Solar plexus chakra

As we dance the solar plexus chakra we express our innate masculine energy. This fiery energy fuels our dance, helping us to feel confident and strong. We may find ourselves doing dynamic martial-arts type movements as we rediscover our own warrior power.

Heart chakra

We use our breath to expand our chest and lift up into the airy dance of the heart chakra. This soft and gentle dance opens us up to love, kindness and compassion – for others, but also for ourselves. This dance, which may call us to whirl and soar, can help us open ourselves up to the lightness and joy within us.

Throat chakra

The throat chakra helps us to express our authentic truth. This dance is a mantra dance, where we weave together our voice and movements. The vibrations of the sounds we create pulse through our bodies, intensifying our self-expression and creativity. We become moving sound.

Third eye chakra

As we surrender into a trance-dance, we may find ourselves making hypnotic and repetitive movements. We may also open ourselves up to visions, insights and higher guidance. This dance heightens our perceptions and helps us see the bigger picture.

Crown chakra

The dance of the crown chakra feels like a dancing prayer. We may find ourselves raising our arms toward the sky to receive the universal love, grace and wisdom. This is the dance of our soul.

When Chakradance is used as a regular practice, it transforms your life. It wakes you from your slumber and re-ignites all that exists within you. Is your soul calling you back to the dancefloor?

Natalie Southgate creator of Chakradance

Chakradance is offered in live classes all over the world. There are over 400 fully trained and accredited Chakradance Facilitators now, running classes in over 40 countries. Click here to see if there’s a facilitator running classes near you.

This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for women over 45. Click HERE to subscribe and to get access to more great articles.