Crossing the Threshold of Menopause, Part 2
What you personally believe about menopause will influence your choices more than anything else. For many, menopause is nothing to fear. Do not see it as an “old-age” disease, or a failure of the body to do what it should. Approach it as a transition from childbearing years to wisdom-bearing years. Informed physicians know that 70% of women make this transition smoothly and make their choices intelligently.
Women will spend nearly one-third of their lives postmenopausal. Thus, it is worth the time it takes to be informed, to ask the question, “What will benefit me?”
Here are some suggestions for arriving at your decision.
1. Don’t postpone talking to a trusted physician. Have a complete physical, including mammogram. Ask your doctor about other possible causes for what you are experiencing.
2. Begin a healthy lifestyle program of exercise and eating. To be informed on ways to eat healthily you can read such authors as Dr. Christianne Northrup, Dr. Andrew Weil and others. Recipes can be found in wonderful cookbooks like, The Hot Flash Cookbook by Cathy Luchetti, in which she not only gives delicious recipes but enlightening information.
3. Accept yourself and cherish this time in your life. As a woman you are losing nothing, as an evolving soul, you are gaining everything. There is within everyone the ability to know what the right route for us is, when we are willing to research, to listen (both outwardly and to our inner wisdom) and to make a full commitment to our choice. When we do this, we age consciously and make our choices with style and grace.
Menopause often catches us unaware. “I’m too young for that!” Its evidence may be mistaken for many other things such as depression, lack of direction, stress and burnout. Gail Sheehy in her book, New Passages wrote, “Women I have interviewed often describe a ‘pit’ or ‘low'” during their mid-to-late 40s, complicated in many cases by the confusing symptoms of perimenopause … when they reach 50 they begin to take off.” They have crossed a threshold.
How we make the rest of our journey is up to us, individually, because each of us is ultimately in charge of our attitude and our choices. What we choose will define our path and like traveling through a maze, the choices we make lead us to our next experience as pioneers in the new land of mid-life. I can’t think of any greater freedom than this, being free to choose the attitude with which I meet the changes and challenges in my life.
Affirmations can alter our attitudes and release old ideas, while anchoring new ones in our consciousness. Living our lives with daily affirmative thoughts will guide us to the right decisions for our lives.
Today, I fully accept myself, just as I am in each moment. Using my life as an adventure, with neither forced optimism nor unrestrained negativity, I live with a sense of curiosity about the future. I listen to the wisdom within me to guide my every choice.