“Menopause is an opportunity”. Let’s be honest, if you ask most people what menopause means, you won’t often hear that said!
For those of you in menopause right now, you may either be scratching your head wondering what I am on… or throwing epithets of rage at me.
Bear with me!
What menopause means: a different way of thinking about “The Change”
I am not discounting the very real suffering that too many of us experience when we begin to go through the menopause.
However, I believe there is also something very powerful trying to happen at menopause. If you know how to connect with that, menopause can be experienced as a path that supports you to refine and hone who you truly are. And therein lies great freedom.
Menopause is an ending, a death process in short. Your body and soul go through a transformation, and like the caterpillar going into the cocoon, as you enter menopause you go to ‘mush’ first.
Much of the powerful emotion that can emerge at menopause is connected to feelings that can emerge with ‘endings’. You are shedding who you think you are and for awhile may have no idea what it is that you want, or even who you are. You are left feeling psychologically exposed. This is all normal and it is the prelude to waking up to what you are truly about.
This is the opportunity of menopause – the opportunity to know and accept yourself deeply.
To help harness this opportunity, you have two particular superpowers that awaken at menopause very strongly:
1. Inner knowing
As you start to let go into menopause, you will notice the veils fall from your eyes. By that I mean you will suddenly feel, sense, see and know things that you didn’t or couldn’t before.
You’ll know things that you need to do, however difficult or challenging. You’ll just know and can’t argue with them! You have both a deep instinctual knowing and can really see-through both yourself and the illusions of society, particularly all the subtle and not so subtle ways that patriarchy operates. A true ‘emperor’s got no clothes’ moment.
And you’ll have zero tolerance for it!
2. The power of No
You may well find yourself saying No to just about everything.
This is not ‘being negative’, it is about you knowing what is no longer relevant, what you do not want in your life. Be heartened by the words of Warren Buffet who said that ‘the really successful person says NO to practically everything’ and harness this force.
It’s helping you to clear the ground of all those things that aren’t really you anymore, or no longer float your boat, even as you might, for instance, be really good at a certain job.
This process can also include a literal clearing of stuff and people from your life. Some relationships bite the dust at this point. In clearing the ground you create space for something new to emerge or for what is most essential or important in you to flourish. You will find this voice of ‘No’ is uncompromising. But remember:
Behind the No lies a great and powerful Yes to yourself.
The shadow side of your new power
Like all powers, these energies have their shadow side. If you are not sufficiently mindful and self caring, the inner sight and knowing can simply be experienced as overwhelm, grief or rage (the latter two may happen regardless, but you don’t want to get stuck there). And the ‘No’ power can simply come out as reactivity, irritation, frustration and anger.
To activate these powers in a wholesome way you need time and space for yourself. Time and space for yourself are the commodities most often in short supply. You may be someone who still has children at home, elderly parents to care for, a demanding job or any combination of these. In other words, someone who has precious little time for yourself.
But here’s the rub, the one thing that your soul demands of you at menopause is time and space for you.
Time to simply be, with no responsibility for anyone.
Without it you will feel as though you are going mad, with it you will start to slowly and quietly feel the order and meaning of this powerful life transition get to work.
So how are you going to get it?
Here are 4 powerful ways to begin to embrace what menopause means, and tap into the deep well of power that is waiting to be drawn on.
1. Be aware of what is happening
Consciously name what is happening to yourself, metaphorically turn and face the change and greet it with dignity.
2. Recognise that some things will need to change
Be kind to yourself – cut yourself some slack. Do not hold the same expectations that you would normally have of yourself. No more ‘going the extra mile’ for anybody. What you do and who you are will still be enough. You need your energy for yourself now.
3. Start small
Give yourself microdoses, or one percent, of sacred time for yourself with plentiful doses of silence, and no, emphatically, no ‘to do ‘ lists or demands on yourself.
One percent is always doable. It may not be perfect but it’s something and you will begin to feel moments of relief coming into the system. Schedule it in. It might be no more than half an hour at first, but it’s all yours. Sacrosanct. The more you taste it, the easier it will be to claim. You’ll get ruthless with your schedule as you wield that ‘No’ power!
4. Write it out
Keep a journal to hand to help you drop your bundle – sometimes writing everything that’s in you head is a way of slowing down and putting the stuff of the world to one side temporarily.
And as you let go, your inner life starts to speak…emotions, feelings, memories, realisation, revelations emerge. You might feel you want to note some of that. It’s your call. I impose no rules on you in your alone time.
Menopause: A time to come home to yourself
Think of menopause as an opportunity to truly come home to yourself, get some deep rest and repair, and receive utter clarity about who you are and what you truly want. This is the recipe for experiencing a deeply creative and meaningful post menopause life.
Want to learn more about the power of menopause?
If this article has seeded something in you, and you’d like encouragement and support from a like-minded group of women as you undergo this powerful transition, we invite you to check out our online programme, “Menopause: The Great Awakener”. To find out more and listen to a free introductory webinar on the topic, click here: www.redschoolmenopause.com
Alexandra Pope is co-director of Red School and co-author of the iconic and hugely celebrated book from Hay House, Wild Power: discover the magic of the menstrual cycle and awaken the feminine path to power.
Together with colleague and co-author, Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, she teaches a radical new approach to women’s health and wellbeing; creativity and leadership; and spiritual life based on the power of our menstruality consciousness.
With a background in teaching, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and drawing on 40 years collective experience pioneering this emerging field of menstruality, they offer workshops, online courses, training and coaching worldwide based on the power of the menstrual cycle, and the developmental journey from menarche to menopause. Find out more at