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Supporting Friends on the Journey

There are many stand-out moments along a woman’s journey through menopause. What we tell ourselves about these naturally occurring changes determines the kind of impact these experiences have on our self-image.

Sharing with others enables us to see that ALL women share a similar journey, and by supporting each other we can walk with more grace, authenticity and acceptance.

A prolonged period of insomnia and night sweats heralded the beginning of my own perimenopausal phase. The fact that these symptoms indicated a change was happening did not occur to me until speaking with a friend who was forced into early menopause by a hysterectomy.

My age, symptoms and friend’s experience suddenly drew the puzzle pieces together. The moment I had dreaded was coming to pass – I was getting old, I told myself.

Was there a moment when you first realized that you were beginning to change? What did you tell yourself about what was happening?

“Oh, you’re in mental pause,” exclaimed a wise mentor when I shared how I seemed to have lost my sharpness. My smarts were a self-defining feature and my brain fog was deeply disturbing. My friend’s feedback was balm to my spirit, reassurance that this too would pass. It also helped identify an area for personal growth – to stop clinging to a self-definition that was creating suffering. Once the hormones settle, I would re-emerge with a clearer image.

After a prolonged period of determined yet foggy self-acceptance practice, blood work showed that the hormones did indeed settle – so much that I was officially post-menopausal. An unexpected wave of grief crashed over me as I left the doctor’s office. The finality of the loss of fertility, despite any mental rationalizations, demanded a period of mourning.

Changing skin texture was the next self-acceptance hurtle, prompting a proactive approach to caring for my body’s evolving needs. Our feature this week on how to Put Your Best Face Forward provides tips from experts on how to nourish your beauty as the journey continues.

Recognizing that a different level of self-care is required to navigate this natural process can empower us for the second half of life. It enables us to focus our energy on proactive practices rather than self-denial. And it strengthens the confidence and inner glow that define ageless beauty.

The only certainty in life is change. In today’s world, the level of it is unprecedented. While we can’t alter that fact, we can choose how we handle it personally. That is a power that is ours throughout life.

Centering ourselves in practices that help us look and feel good will help us weather current storms and lead the way to a brighter future.

Learn about creating a more stable core to ease your way forward with our upcoming programs.

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