Episode #80 – How to Navigate Menopause with Ease_Pt 2
This week’s episode of the Wise Women Conversations Podcast is another solo one from me. I share with you some recordings from the recent 7 Day Hormone reset that I ran. This week I cover Pillars 3 and 4.
Pillar 3 is environment and liver health, specifically avoiding toxins that can cause imbalances in your hormone.
Pillar 4 addresses the stress in your life. Stress is the underlying cause of the majority of symptoms that women experience as they move through menopause.
If you are ready to navigate menopause with ease then why not join the Thrive in Menopause Collective, a monthly membership that has been created to support women as they move through their menopause transition. As part of the Thrive in Menopause Collective you will learn more about your hormones and the steps that you can take to look and feel great. To learn more click HERE
This week’s episode of Wise Women Conversations was a fun one when I had Bron Roberts who is a Laughter Yoga Teacher. I had heard of laughter yoga before but I wanted to find out more. Bron shares the years when she lost her laughter and what she did to get it back. Bron also found that laughter got her through some tough times when her Mother was very sick.
There was so much fun and laughter throughout this episode particularly when Bron shares the story of the time she turned “crazy old lady” to get a flight upgrade. Bron has so many fun stories to share and she is proud of her “crazy old lady” status.
You will also learn a quick exercise to help you start laughing, follow along with Bron and I guarantee no matter what mood you are in, you will very quickly feel your mood lift as you experience the healing effect of laughter.
If you want to learn more about Bron you can visit her website www.letslaugh.com.au or find her on LinkedIn as Bron Roberts.
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
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
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
“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.
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.
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? 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?
Be willing to spend time with yourself.
Have people around you to hold you to a higher standard. Fire the rest.
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.
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.
Forgiveness. Forgive yourself first. Forgive others who you feel have hurt you. Realise… your responsibility in the situation. Forgive yourself again.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Why does a simple attitude adjustment suspend Ageing?
Why do some people become well centenarians while others die young?
Does Age affect our wellness or wellness affect our age?
All great questions and ones I wanted to explore to truly understand the ageing process.
Let me share with you some of my findings that I wrote about in my International Best Selling Book ‘Age is an Attitude’ in 2017.
“Cultural Beliefs effect our immune system and thus our health and ageing process”, says Dr Mario Martinez who is a clinical neuropsychologist and developed the Bio cognitive Science Institute in 1998. He wrote the ‘Mind Body Code’ by studying over 400 centenarians. From his research he believes that longevity is learned and not inherited. This study puts a whole new slant on the ‘Nature/Nurture’ controversy and I think it has great credibility.
His bio cognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. I find this fascinating as I believe our thoughts are so powerful. I have been teaching this for many years.
You have to ask yourself why can some people live well past 100 without seeing a doctor? Why can some people live well past 100 when both their parents died young? Why can some people reverse incurable diseases, like I did, while others hold onto childhood diseases despite years of treatment and therapy?
Dr Mario Martinez, on the 180 Nutrition Show with Guy Lawrence and Stu Cook talks about “The Secret of Living Beyond 100 years old”. He gave some great examples for us to get this concept of the cultural thinking influencing our health and thus our ageing process. This is the example.
“Let’s say your culture has a propensity in the immune system issue like Lupus or Cancer. Research has shown that that culture generally teaches you to be subservient with authority”. How many of you have felt subservient with authority growing up? I know I did. I had a big issue with ‘people in charge’. I think many of us have felt this at some time.
Dr Mario Martinez then says “Some of the characteristics for Cancer and Immune Disorders are:
Inability to set limits
Fear of the world and not being liked enough
Inability to reduce fear which causes a low immunity and a low ability to produce the natural killer (NK) cells that can kill the pre cancer cells.
He goes on to say that “The family quite often fosters the illness teaching us helplessness and subservience”. So we teach ourselves to get sick and remain sick. We should never blame ourselves because we don’t do this consciously. If you can learn to get sick you can learn to trigger the causes of health you inherited.
I believe this because I did it. I felt subservient around authority. I created an auto immune disease.
I know from my teachings that we have a Mind and Body Connection. What Dr Mario Martinez has added is that this Mind Body Connection is influenced by our culture. So our perception of who we are and why we do what we do is cultural. In fact we are influenced by cultural beliefs from the day we are born. I believe Bob Proctor would call this ‘Programming’. In each culture our beliefs are different. We are influenced by what we share or fear even at the pre-birth stage.
As an NLP Coach and Trainer I know this from many processes that we can do with people to take them back to a time where they felt that fear or shame for example. The actual meaning of the words is different in each culture. For example, Dr Mario Martinez says that “Shame and Honour may mean different things in different cultures”. He goes on to say that “Shaming causes inflammation of the immune system by reducing imunoglukans”. Were you ever told that you did not do well at school or sport? This is one way of shaming. Each culture can shame in different ways. Some cultures shame the whole group. For example some older people feel not treated well as a group. Women in some cultures are shamed to keep them feeling subservient.
The problem with shaming, or any other negative word is that our subconscious mind is symbolic so it refers to words as symbols. “These symbols can create a bio cognitive set of responses that can influence our immune system. Therefore illnesses and ageing are learnt and the causes of health are inherited” says Dr Mario Martinez.
He goes on to say that “We are basically born healthy. There are very few chromosomal errors. In the process, however of dealing with the world, we learn to respond in a dysfunctional way. We have a pre-disposition in our DNA to overcome illnesses, through our resilience, that allows us to get well. We become ill from factors we have learnt. We have a tremendous ability to be well and overcome many illnesses and challenges”. I know this from practical experience.
So if .001% is inherited illnesses, why we age must have a lot less to do with our genetics and a lot more to do with our environment or culture. Dr Mario Martinez says “We don’t inherit illness. We actually inherit a propensity for illness. What we do learn is how to be hyper alarmed.” So we live in a constant stress state without realising it.
So let’s have a look at an example of why he says this. “Let’s say you are raised by abusive parents, where you are constantly mistreated. That is not just psychological damage. That creates problems with the immune system and endocrine system and nerves. These systems are learning to get sick and so they secrete chemicals, stress and cortisol steroids, into our immune and endocrine system which lose their ability to assist us. So all our systems, nerve, immune, endocrine, and cognitive are learning stress. The medical system then offers us a tablet for that which enforcers the illness belief.
We don’t inherit illnesses. We inherit the propensity for the expression of genes based on our environment, culture and beliefs”.
Ellen Langer, a Professor in Social Psychology from Harvard University did a study on working women in a hotel. The study was to demonstrate ‘How Context Affects your Ageing Process’. So she split the group of hotel workers into two groups;
Group 1 were all told that what they do in the hotel must be hard work and I’m sure you must get tired at the end of the day”. In NLP we call this an ‘embedded command to the mind’ because it is so suggestive.
Group 2 were told “Do you know that the work you do is similar to aerobics, bending and stretching, like going to a gym and you must be burning lots of calories”. So these workers also had embedded commands of a whole different nature given to them. They were given attributes that the work they were doing attributed to their fitness and had aerobic consequences.
So they then looked at both groups 6 weeks later:
Group 1 got worse
Group 2 allowed the attributions of aerobic exercising while working to change their mindset and attitude about their work and they made significant changes. They dropped their cholesterol, weight and blood pressure significantly, just from thinking about their work differently. They allowed the attributions to change their attitude about their work and they had a significant mind body change.
I actually did this exercise with my son. He was working in a ‘Boost Juice’ bar and he was not happy with the amount of work he had to do for the amount of pay. So I said to him “why don’t you go into your work tomorrow and pretend you own the business and work as if it is your business”. To do that he would have to change his mindset and attitude about his work and his role in the job.
Well the outcome not only surprised the people at his work, it also surprised him and me. He was told “you can’t change that quickly”. His comment was “yes you can because I just did”. He was then asked to become the assistant manager in four days. He not only did this at this casual job, he did it at his next job in a music store with the same results. He now knew that he was in control of his outcomes every day and that his attitude was very much connected to his aptitude.
In NLP, we believe that Attitude is very much attributed to Aptitude. The effort you put into anything in your life will be governed by your attitude, thoughts and beliefs around that task. Attitude is the way we decide to do our behaviour from the way our beliefs and values are. So our behaviour is a great indicator of our mindset and attitude. If we want to make change we may like to check our willingness to change our mindset and thus our attitude first.
So Can The Power of Thought Stop You Aging?
“Professor Ellen Langer carried out another experiment in 1979 to find if changing thought patterns could slow ageing” according to the BBC News. The full story of this experiment was hidden until 2010 so it’s just being realised now.
The most important point here is that thoughts can actually change the chemistry in the brain. We can make the choice to grow older in a healthy happy way or not.To become a well centenarian is a choice.
So let’s look at what Dr Mario Martinez found as the common denominators for longevity according to his research on over 400 centenarians.
They all intuitively express the causes of their wellness
They were all assertive, celebrated life and others
They had what has been called righteous anger which is good for letting off steam
They all set their own limits. They were happy to help others but only to a point.
They ate mostly vegetarian or Mediterranean diets until they were ¾ full
They don’t manipulate. They acknowledge that both they and you were worthy. This is healthy for the immune system. If we don’t feel worthy and acknowledge it then how can we project ourselves. Our culture quite often teaches us to be humble and helpless.
They exercised regularly by walking, riding bikes and dancing
They had a purpose every day. Whatever they did (even if it was to mind the great grand- kids) they did it with the best attitude.
The important point here is that cultural anthropology and neuroscience back this information up. So if ‘SHAME’ is the underlying reason behind your immune system not allowing you to have the longevity that you want then you can STOP and DECIDE to find times in your life when you felt HONOUR because honour is the healer for shame. Honour becomes an anti-inflammatory component. So what may be a great exercise for you to do is to write about all the times you felt honoured in your life. You may be surprised at how far you can go back. By focusing on your worth, and a mindset of your purpose, your body feels well and you age well.
Lynda Dyer Msc, Mind Power Global
Certified NLP Trainer & Master Trainer of Matrix Therapies
International Best Selling Author of 8 books Including ‘Make it Happen Now’, ‘Good Grief Book’,‘Healing your Immune System’ and ‘Create Confident Kids’.
I see the big picture, organise the details, meet the deadlines, and never let it seem as if I need support.
I had never asked for appreciation or acknowledgement, I wore the lone leader cap, both with family and my career. I’ve got this as my badge of honour, that is, until I noticed that perhaps I wasn’t appreciated anymore. When did this happen to me?
When did I become unnoticed, unappreciated, undervalued and undone. And when did it start to matter?
Is this the big M?
Yep, I was on top of it all the time…except when a task veered beyond my toolkit of expertise. But that rarely happens. Right?
I’m here to admit it happens more and more of late. What I’m talking about is self-doubt that comes with Menopause. Those changes in my body and in my mind that I am trying to pretend don’t exist.
I now find myself saying “I am not prepared to drop this because of the principle of it”. That niggling sense that I am going in a different direction to the rest of my family and they are looking at me weirdly.
Pre the big M, sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then I’m stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support. Then I get hit with the sick stick and “have” to stop.
This pattern is on incessant repeat in women’s’ lives and possibly men’s lives, although I’m not as sure because in my experience, men are not talking about a whole lot of stuff. They suffer with anxiety and depression just like women though.
I have reflected on the reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed and here they are:
You could be accused of being high maintenance. You could raise eyebrows and whispers in the powder room like “how did she land this job”? Or at playgroup “what is she thinking, I’m a mum; I would have handled it SO differently”.
Will they think you’re a pest?
Will they have more important people to support and no one will answer at all! This imagined consequence of rejection is enough to keep you from raising your hand; unless, that is, it’s to help clean up.
Or are these reasons in our own heads?
Are we perpetuating our own futures?
Is what my kids say to me actually true? “Mum you need to talk to someone and get help with your feelings…”
Holy shit! What about some acceptance or recognition of the things I have achieved! The self-development hours I’ve put in. I want someone to see me with fresh eyes, see me for the growth and the investment in myself over many years.
Until recently I had forgotten the basic simple human trait – Others want to help.
When you can ask someone to help you, they are instantly flattered. Beyond the initial ego-boost, your potential helper experiences a sense of validity and purpose. It’s almost like you’re doing them a favour.
According to recent research, heterosexual marriage is an unequal institution. Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands/partners. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals in the relationship and for their relationship.
I have two daughters 30 and 27 years and a partner . A year ago started I noticed I was feeling blue a lot more. I caught the symptoms a lot later than some of my friends. I wanted more fairness and equality and HELL YEAH I wanted more understanding, team work and to be heard.
Then I asked, if society undervalues most of my work, perhaps I do too. Time to start doing what I ask my clients to do……Journal.
I notice my children who come from the “pampered” generation. They know more about everyday things, especially technology and are able to do things quicker. Often looking at each other as if they have finished the book and I am way back at the forward.
Please let’s stop talking about what’s gone wrong, what’s going wrong or who’s wrong — let’s plant trees together and save the future, I say.
Maybe, just maybe women are subordinating themselves! Are we undervaluing ourselves in our relationships, our careers and with our children? Are we enabling the struggle of menopause?
Then I utter those famous words …ahem cough cough – “Coach!, Coach thy self”!
My life takes on a warm glow when I keep a journal. This type of journal is special and is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D
The way I journal is to has two components to it, firstly to hear my feelings and to know that when my needs are not being met, this stirs feelings I don’t like and I can then make an action request; a powerful component to listen to any pain that surfaces and discover the beautiful needs that lie underneath any hurt and misunderstandings. I then look at specific action requests to meet that need; a very powerful part of moving forward for future peace of mind and connection with your partner, family or workplace colleagues.
Then lastly, just before sleep; simple gratitude. A quick 3 minutes of indulgence is enough to lift my mood and bring forward opportunities.
My Mum who is 87,is an ornery character of late, her badge of lone leader is, never asked for support and never will. She is so proud of that mantra.
I have discovered that by giving her a journal she eventually tells me that she needs to know someone cares and is listening and that helps her think she can go on. The anxiety seems to take her from behind and with a flurry of texts to me she is once again complaining about everything that has ever made her sad in her life and everything that is not fair and how everyone there is unkind to her. Post journalling she seems to be embracing peace of mind.
This is possibly her own beliefs catching up to her and being played out on the big screen before her eyes each day. These beliefs have always been in her life yet and now she has a way of journalling them through to clear them from her body and her mind. Its early days still.
What can I learn from her behaviour? To work through things as they arise to look at my needs as my guidance and know they stimulate feelings I don’t like and then do the journalling to breakthrough these beliefs, habits behaviours and doubts.
In a study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep. They reported faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, increased sleep duration, and less difficulty staying awake during the day. This is not because their life was simply better – levels of gratitude are more dependent on personality and life perspective than on life situation.
Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.
A small bit of jealousy or envy directed at the right target is motivating. Too much produces feelings of insecurity, materialism, inferiority, distrust, and unhappiness. Did you hear social media swan in the back door?
How does gratitude reduce feelings of envy?
An attitude of envy and an attitude of gratitude are largely incompatible. Just like it is impossible to feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, gratitude is the act of perceiving benevolence, while envy and jealousy is the act of perceiving inadequacy. Benevolence and inadequacy cannot be completely perceived at the same time.
I propose our greatest joy needs to come from our work and from our families. Perhaps nurturing our life’s work which includes our family, rather than excludes our career.
I propose a purpose which starts when we are kids, takes a detour or sabbatical when our kids are born, comes back with a vengeance when our kids are whatever age you decide and then our passion and purpose continue until grandkids, then right back into it.
Fear is our greatest enemy, not our children or our partners or our bosses. Let’s self-coach ourselves to peace of mind.
Loads of love
Glyn Conlon Communication Mediator
Glyn helps business professionals resolve conflict by communicating effectively so they can protect the things that matter most– in the workplace and at home.
In a previous blog I shared with you some of the common symptoms that can occur as your hormones shift and you transition through the menopause stage of your life. Now that you understand how the way you are feeling is impacted by your shift in hormones let’s have a look at some of the simple ways that you can manage your symptoms.
Please note that I am not going to include pharmaceutical medications or HRT in this blog, I will cover those topics in the future. This blog will only include herbs, nutrients, diet and lifestyle interventions.
Before I go into how you can treat your symptoms I do want to briefly cover the role that lifestyle choices play in the severity of your symptoms. As I mentioned in the previous blog the adrenal glands do naturally secrete some reproductive hormones and this process is designed to make the drop in hormones a little more gradual so that you don’t experience too many symptoms. The problem is that many women are adrenally exhausted by the time they reach their mid to late 40s and their adrenal glands don’t have the capacity to cope with the hormonal shift that occurs.
The release of adrenal hormones is very closely connected to our lifestyle choices (see this blog) and therefore the key to managing your menopausal symptoms starts with healthy lifestyle choices. Check out the Acts of Self Love E-book and videos (click here) if you are not sure how you can make better lifestyle choices.
Let’s get on to some of the specific treatments for the most common symptoms of menopause
Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Hot flushes are one of the commonly known symptoms of menopause. A flush is when you get a sensation of heat that seems to start inside of you and intensifies until you are hot all over and you can also have visible sweating. At night when you wake up covered in sweat and feeling very hot (even if the outside temperature is cold) this is known as a night sweat and can severely disrupt the sleep of some women.
Where possible wear light loose clothing
Don’t rug up too much at night, loose cotton nightwear is best
Flushing and night sweats often happen more after stressful and busy days, try to manage your energy and emotions during the day
Note if you see a naturopath or herbalist they will create a herb mix specific for your situation
Common herbs used in the management of hot flushes and night sweats are sage, zizyphus, motherwort, black cohosh and red clover (any over the counter remedies will contain these herbs)
A simple home herb recipe is to chop up 6 sage leaves and soak overnight in lemon juice. In the morning strain and drink the juice. Repeat for the next week to 10 days and often your flushing and sweats will decrease. Do NOT continue this for more than 2 weeks without consulting a herbalist or naturopath
Avoid excessively spicy foods
Avoid very hot drinks or foods
Avoid coffee (this is not only a hot drink it also stimulates the adrenals)
Limit your alcohol intake, alcohol makes flushing worse particularly at night
Increase foods high in phyto-eostrogens eg organic tofu, tempeh, flaxseed, garlic, chick peas, pumpkin kernals, green or mung beans.
Poor Sleep – Insomnia is a very common complaint for menopausal women and it can be made worse with the occurrence of night sweats. Poor sleep then leads to higher stress, memory loss and lowered energy during the daylight hours. Whilst hormonal shifts can impact your sleep pattern, often the issue with sleep comes from years of poor sleep habits. The first step to correcting your sleep problems are addressing some of your lifestyle habits while also using herbal support to help you sleep. You will find a lot more info on my previous sleep blog
Ideally your body prefers to be asleep by 10pm at the latest, this allows for a natural waking at around 6am when the sun rises. Try to be in bed before 10pm
Take all electronic devices out of your bedroom. Any device that is connected to the network or wifi produces EMRs which disturb your sleep patterns. If you must have a device in your bedroom make sure that it is on plane mode
Keep your room as dark as possible and the temperature at around 23degrees Celsius
If you mind races before you go to sleep try writing in a journal to help you to clear your mind
Common herbs used to promote healthy sleep include – chamomile, passionflower, lavender, hops, kava, valerian, ashawaganda, St Johns Wort, zizyphus, californian poppy
You can purchase Sleepytime tea at most supermarkets or health food stores which will include some of the above herbs
One of the reasons why people wake up in the night is due to their blood sugar levels dropping too low. Eating sufficient protein and fats in your evening meal will help to regulate your blood sugar while you sleep
Avoid high sugar foods prior to bed
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Avoid alcohol especially if you find that you regularly wake between 1am and 3am (this is liver time)
Magnesium with dinner can assist with sleep or a long bath with Epsom salts will do the same job
Calcium is also required to help with relaxation and sleep
Vaginal Dryness – The decrease in oestrogen levels affects the mucous membranes and the skin. This can lead to dryness of the vaginal tract, the eyes or the mouth. The skin also can lose its elasticity which leads to wrinkles or skin irritation. These symptoms can range from quite mild to very severe in some women resulting in discomfort walking, ongoing cystitis problems or recurring urinary tract infections.
Use of vaginal lubricant such as Sylk (made from kiwifruit), coconut oil or Vit E cream
An easy cream that you can make up is – 75gm Vit E cream as base and add 10ml of Calendula Oil, 30ml olive oil, 20ml Evening Primrose oil, mix thoroughly and apply 2-3 times a day
Couples counselling maybe required if the relationship has broken down
Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Wild Yam, Calendula, American Ginseng and Licorice are all great herbs that help with tissue integrity
Essential Fatty Acids (Fish oils)
Memory Problems – Many women report that their “memory isn’t what it used to be” after they reach the menopause stage of life. This can be due to many different reasons. Poor sleep is a big contributor and so it high levels of stress. Also the older you get the more you have to remember so it is understandable that you forget some things. As women age they may start to worry about whether they might have Alzheimer’s but the risk is lessened if you eat well and look after yourself.
Get a good night’s sleep (refer above)
Reduce stress in your life and be less busy
If you smoke then take steps to stop, nicotine reduces the blood flow to your brain
Journalling will help to clear some of the thoughts that fill your mind so you can remember the important things
Use memory joggers, notebooks, todo lists etc
Gingko and Bacopa are 2 fantastic brain herbs that help you remember, can take up to 2 weeks to start working
Other herbs are Peony and Ginseng
Rosemary as an essential oil is also greata
Sufficient protein and healthy fats in diet
Drink lots of filtered water, at least 2 litres a day
Eat a wholefood diet with heaps of veges, plus protein and healthy fats
Depression and Anxiety – Depression and anxiety are closely related to the memory symptom mentioned above, they are often caused by too much stress, not enough sleep as well as the shift in hormones. Women over the age of 45 are also often questioning their life and what they will be doing in the future, if things don’t appear to be too bright this can result in feelings of depression.
It is not uncommon during this stage of life for women to wake in the middle of the night with their heart beating fast and feelings of anxiety. This can be related to a sudden drop in blood glucose levels or it could be due to high levels of cortisol, whichever it is there are some steps that you can take to reduce these feelings
Address any emotional triggers that you have around reaching this stage of life, a woman’s beliefs around aging and menopause will have a significant impact on how she deals with the changes that are happening to her body
Find a group of women who can offer support and understanding of what you are going through. The Maga Woman Project was created specifically to provide this support
Journalling is a great way to clear some of the circular thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis
Meditation or yoga are other great tools that can help with feelings of depression or anxiety
Research shows that regular exercise reduces depressive episodes
Regular massage helps to increase your sense of wellbeing
Spending time in nature will ground you and connect you back to yourself and have you feeling better
Slow breathing exercises
The LifeLine Technique is a great tool that will help you to connect to the true underlying cause of your depression or anxiety so that you can clear the beliefs that are impacting your life. You can learn more about the LifeLine Technique here
St Johns Wort is one of the best herbs for mild depression and anxiety, it has been show in several research trials to be more effective than antidepressants
Other great herbs are – ashwagandha, skullcap, passionflower, oats, lavender, Siberian ginseng, licorice, ginseng, dong quai, peony
Evening Primrose Oil
Vitamin B (specifically B6 and B5)
Eat a clean whole food diet with adequate levels of protein and healthy fats
Lots of vegies
Avoid alcohol, processed foods and high levels of sugar
I have covered some of the most common symptoms above but there are other symptoms which might require more support from a naturopath or similar health provider. Where I have mentioned herbs I have done this so that you can check for them in any of the products that you might purchase over the counter. Purchasing products containing these herbs are relatively low risk but please read all labels to ensure that there are no contraindications for you. I also have not mentioned any nutrient dosages, this is because everyone is different as to how much they need to take. Simply taking an over the counter product at the dosage listed might not be enough for your particular needs. Please consult with a trained health professional rather than self-prescribing herbs or nutrients. If you would like a referral to a local naturopath please let me know and I will find someone for you.
Infinite Love and Gratitude
This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine, a magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE.
Menopause always seemed to be a scary thing until I reached that stage in life. When I was studying we really didn’t cover much of what happened when women reached their mid-stage of life. We did learn about hot flushes and the drop in eostrogen levels and the best herbs to use to treat these symptoms but I now realise there is so much more to know. Over the past few years I have not only personally experienced a shift in my hormones I have also spent a lot of time learning more about menopause and how it impacts the lives of women around the world. Over the next few blogs I will be covering the physical symptoms with some suggested treatments as well as the emotional and spiritual changes that also happen at this stage of life.
Let’s Define what Menopause is
Let’s start by clarifying some terms that are often mixed up and misunderstood. Firstly menopause simply means cessation of periods and is used retrospectively after a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, it is simply a moment in time. The time period before this is known as peri-menopause and the time after is known as post-menopause.
Peri-menopause can last for up to 13 years and this is often when many of the common symptoms associated with menopause occur. Post-menopause obviously lasts for the rest of your life and generally the symptoms can greatly reduce but further changes associated with growing older occur.
Until very recently women were expected to keep quiet about what was happening in their body as they transitioned through this stage of life. It was called “the change” and women were often portrayed as being hot, bitchy and witches, go and do a google search of menopause images and see what comes up. I would guess that many of these so-called funnies were created by men who often can feel threatened by the changes that happens to women at this stage of life. I will cover more about this in another blog post, I will stick to the common symptoms in this post.
Changes in Hormones
At approximately 45 years* of age (and this is very variable) women’s hormone levels can start to change. They ovulate less often as their egg supply dwindles and the less they ovulate the less progesterone they release. Progesterone is a hormone that is released by the egg after it is released from the ovary, it is the hormone that helps to support the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Apart from supporting pregnancy progesterone also impacts the brain causing feeling of calmness. It has sedative effects promoting restful sleep and is anti-anxiety. Can you see why when this hormone starts to drop that you might feel a bit tense and have trouble sleeping. Other symptoms that are associated with lower progesterone levels are: – breast swelling and tenderness – moods swings – fuzzy thinking – irritability – trouble sleeping – fluid retention/bloating – weight gain
You will notice that these are similar symptoms that many women experience just prior to their monthly period except they may continue for longer if you are not having regular periods.
The next hormone that starts to drop is testosterone. The drop of this hormone is not as great and the symptoms are a bit more subtle and they include: – decreased sex drive – decreased sensitivity in erogenous zones – decreased sense of well-being, energy and ambition – signs of depression – thinning of pubic hair
While the progesterone and testosterone levels start dropping the oestrogen levels stay high relative to the other hormones but over time the oestrogen levels start to drop as well causing the following symptoms: – hot flushes and/or night sweats – vaginal dryness – low energy and ambition – depression and mood swings – dizziness – mental confusion – urinary incontinence – recurrent urinary tract infections – higher risk of vaginal infections
You might notice that in at least one of the above lists are some symptoms that you have been experiencing, this could be a sign that you are in the peri-menopause stage of life.
Whilst all of the above hormones are produced by the reproductive organs they are also produced by the adrenal glands. Ideally as your egg supply gets lower the adrenal glands should be able to produce enough hormones so that the drop in hormones from the reproductive glands doesn’t impact your health too much. Unfortunately due to the modern lifestyles many women are living their adrenal glands are tired by the time they reach this stage of life and there is not enough of these hormones produced from the adrenal glands. This is one of the reasons that many women experience severe menopause related symptoms.
The most common symptoms that women experience are:
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats – this is the sudden heating of the body from the inside, it can include sweating and flushing of your face. For some women hot flashes are only a minor discomfort but for others it severely reduces their quality of life. Excessive heat and sweating at night can disturb your sleep along with the physical discomfort that occurs.
Poor Sleep – as mentioned above poor sleep can come with night sweats but for some women they simply find it harder to sleep at night. There might be nights were you feel totally wired and unable to sleep or maybe you are waking at a set time each night.
Infrequent or irregular menstrual bleeding – as your egg supply drops and your hormones shift you can find that your period becomes irregular even if you have always had a very regular cycle. You might miss a month, or have a light bleed one month and a heavy bleed the next, or maybe you seem to be having a period every 2-3 weeks. There are many changes that can happen to your monthly cycle which are part of the menopausal shift. It is quite common for women to not have a period for 3-4 months and then start taking some herbs (which I will cover in the next blog) and then their period starts again and becomes regular.
Vaginal Dryness – this occurs with the drop in oestrogen levels and is not only uncomfortable but can also increase the risk in vaginal infections. There can also be an impact on a woman’s sexual experience both physically and psychologically.
Memory Problems – problems remembering things can be as a result of falling hormone levels but it is also associated with high stress and poor sleep patterns, all issues that can worsen at this stage of life.
Heart Palpitations – waking up with your heart racing can be a common occurrence even if you have a health heart. This is often triggered by a sudden lift in stress hormones or if it happens while you are asleep it could also be related to a drop in insulin levels. Given that heart disease is the biggest killer of women if you suffer from heart palpitations on a regular basis get your heart checked to make sure there is nothing else going on.
Depression or Anxiety – many women can experience depression and/or anxiety at this stage of life. Often is can be related to high stress or worry about ageing. In our western culture there is a lot of negative beliefs around women growing older and this can cause women to feel like their life is over when their children leave home and they no longer in a full parenting role. There are many causes of depression and anxiety and one of the primary causes is feeling alone, this is why I created the Maga Woman Community to provide women with support and friendship.
Heavy bleeding – most women expect that as they transition through peri-menopause that their periods will get lighter until they stop all together. This is not what happens though. It is not unusual to have at least one significantly heavy bleed after several light bleeds, if you continue to have heavy bleeding please make sure you visit a health professional for further investigation.
The menopause transition is different for every woman and while I have described some of the physical symptoms that might occur, they might not happen for you. In the following blog I will share with you some ways that you can manage your symptoms.
Menopause is NOT a medical condition, it is a natural time of change that every woman goes through. Women can experience physical, emotional and spiritual changes during this time. If you see this stage of your life as a time to re-connect to the real you, often the part of you that you left behind in your teens or early twenties, then you often will transition through this stage of life with minimal issues.
Quote from Susun S Weed
The joy of menopause is the world’s best kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate…as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, it is the most exciting passage a women ever makes”
In the next blog I will share with you some great natural remedies to help you on your journey.
*What I have described is the natural transition into menopause not medically/surgically induced menopause or premature ovarian failure which can happen a lot earlier than 45. Symptoms in these cases can be more severe
This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine a publication for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE