by Sherrill Sellman, © 1998
MENOPAUSE! Just hearing that word causes women to dive for cover. Does it really herald the end of all that women value about themselves…their attractiveness, their sexuality, their worth and their health?
There exists a cultural virus that reinforces the belief a woman’s worth and value is directly linked to her sexual attractiveness and youthfulness. Fortunately, we are now dispelling such debilitating myths that have surrounded menopause. Women are at long last awakening from the dark ages that have hidden the real power of women’s wisdom.
So first let’s dispel a few of those myths. Eighty percent of women never experience menopause as a problem. In fact, the predominant body of knowledge that has been gathered about the symptoms and effects of menopause have been the result of medical science studying menopausal women who have had serious imbalances and difficulties. There has few if any studies about healthy women. According to Dr. Chris Northrup, author of Women Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, no one has ever proven that lack of oestrogen automatically leads to heart disease or hardening of the arteries.
Most medical texts will say that at menopause the ovaries fail. Another myth!! Actually the ovaries never stop functioning and provide hormones throughout a women’s entire life! For many women, sexual energy is, in fact, increased or deepened offering a much richer and fulfilling sex life.
Unbeknownst to most women, menopause is a most profound and significant rite of passage in one’s life. Just as puberty heralded a transition form child to woman, so too does menopause represent another transformation into a greater feminine power and inner knowing.
Indigenous cultures throughout the world have recognised that only at menopause do women truly come into their most sacred and profound wisdom.
We may indeed have to live in this culture, but we do not need to be driven by it. During the menopausal time, women must take the time to find out who they are and then bring that truth into their lives and all they do. It is a time when powerful creative and mystical forces are released. This is the time to truly become yourself. It can’t be denied any longer!
Margaret Mead, the well known sociologist has said, “There is no more powerful force in the universe than a menopausal woman with zest!”
The challenge of this initiation into power which is the real meaning of menopause, is to allow emotions truthful release and expression. For so many years, women have lived within the whirlwind of their desires, duties and responsibilities. Now it is time to go to the core of one’s being that is beyond activity and desire.
During this time all unfinished business within oneself surfaces to be attended to. What has often been perceived as menopausal outbursts in women, is really inner wisdom fighting for survival. Women begin to realise that their bodies are totally related to their emotions, mind and spirit and the way they have been living their lives.
During menopause, women must take time for their inner lives. It is vital get to know themselves. It is a time to experience deep rest and rejuvenation. Women need to give priority to do what nourishes them. Retreats support the mid-life transformation by providing opportunities for solitude and inner attention.
Solitude is essential during the menopausal years. Menopause is a woman’s time to connect with and establish a relationship with her deeper self. Farida Sharan, author of Creative Menopause, says, ” it is a time to gather strength for our elder years. the earlier we begin to take personal retreats, the more prepared we will be when our change of life begins.”
For all to long women have been kept in ignorance about themselves and their bodies. As women now reclaim a greater appreciation of who they really are, the gift of menopause will be valued as the transformation of a woman into her true wisdom and power. It is a time to celebrate, honour and encourage the emergence of the Wise Woman.
About the author:
SHERRILL SELLMAN is a psychotherapist, lecturer, and Women’s Health Educator. Sherrill writes for health magazines in over 12 different countries and presents public and corporate lectures and trainings in Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, and England. Sherrill offers a Hormonal Balancing Coaching Program by phone consultation at (918) 437-1058. For further info visit www.ssellman.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.