Thursday, May 28, 2009

Singing my truth and thyroid

“Relax your jaw”, commands Grandmother Growth as her strong fingers carefully encircle and sensitively touch your throat. Do you know there’s a butterfly in here?

A butterfly that can literally change how you perceive the world. As you change, it changes, too. During menopause its pulsation is slower. Its ability to give voice to the truth increases, becomes insistent.

Be still, dearest granddaughter. Turn off the radio, the TV the stereo, the phone. Her voice is firm and strong. Then listen carefully to the murmurs and screams of your own truth. Accept your psyche’s need to turn in, to grieve, to rage. You will emerge stronger and wiser. (from Menopause the Wise Woman Way, Susun Weed).

see the butterfly shaped thyroid at the throat chakra
may she spread her wings!

My singing teacher has been asking me to relax my determination and loosen the jaw so I can sing.
My reike practitioner has been noticing blocked throat energy and creative energy, and asks if I sing for love or for duty to the choir. She recommends singing to the lake, or in the woods.
And now with this internet picture, I can see my little butterfly is singing from within, her wings wide open in my throat. I want to give her voice.

My doctor took blood tests last week, and one of them was thyroid. She wants to see me again next week, and made an appointment for me so it must be urgent. If it’s my thyroid talking, I will listen. I am listening to the butterfly’s wings.
more on this issue next week,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Peri-menopausal wisdom and self-care

In peri-menopause our brains are being rewired to live with more inner wisdom, to adapt to a more direct current (intuition); and we may experience insomnia, forgetfulness and depression. It takes a great deal of courage and faith to go through this change, and some women go through painful breakdowns before they are ready to relinquish the struggle for control.”
The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup

Before we hit menopause, there is a long period of transition called peri-menopause. For some women it's like a second adolescence, an emotional and hormonal roller-coaster. For others it's a non-event.

For myself it was the mother of all wake-up calls as Dr. Northrup calls it. The first symptom, that I wouldn't have imagined was connected was a huge increase in the length and severity of my PMS. Some authors have likened this premenstrual period to a lightning rod for unfinished business. It is a warning to be heeded: if self-care is minimal, PMS increases.

Personally, I found it increased to almost two weeks out of the month! The year I noticed it, my father had recently died, I was 49, and my kids were hitting their obnoxious, sullen teen years. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to see a family counselor and get some help managing my emotions, which were very explosive. Teens or not, I did not want my children to suffer the brunt of the unpredictable outbursts. After a few months of weekly talk therapy, I could feel the difference. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders (I was struggling with bursitis and sore neck at the time) as years of self-protective armour were being peeled off me. And I also noticed my PMS diminishing, except for some irritability on the day of ovulation and mild crankiness a day or two before my period, like before.

“All the emotional and psychological change of the peri-menopausal years are to the entire life cycle as the week before one’s period is to the monthly cycle. All the issues that have been occurring pre-menstrually and which perhaps had been avoided till now- should I quit my job? Should I stay in this relationship – now come up and hit us between the eyes rather relentlessly, demanding that they be dealt with at this time.” (Wisdom of Menopause).

So consider this time of peri-menopause as a Big Bright Flashing Light on the highway saying, Slow Down. Self-Care Needed Ahead. Major construction going on, re-wiring of brain and emotional sensitivity underway. Proceed with Caution.

Do not drive carelessly or quickly through this 'rough patch'. Heed the signals, give yourself the time off, the down time or the journalling time you need to get in touch with your own needs. Women who mother others (whether they are your children, your parents, or co-workers) are especially in need of self-care, because they normally have spent a life-time forgetting about themselves, and putting others' needs first.

Don't hit the brakes too fast - don't skid on the road. Just incorporate some self-care tips from a previous article on Seven Tips- Tools for Gaining Essential Wisdom, and if you care to, browse this blog for the many tips and articles on all aspects of menopause.

Coming shortly, more excerpts from A Woman's Way, A Guidebook for Peri-menopause.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Menopause and Mothering

Dear menopausal babes and mothers,

Hope you all are taking good care of yourselves.

There is no better remedy (ready-me as my friend Susan says) than self-care, self-love.

You may be going through an up and down time, an inside-out time, a feeling upside down time.

The way you care for yourself is indicative of the way you care for others, and vice-versa.

Can you stop for a moment, and remember the last time you gave yourself an encouraging word, a big hug, a moment of stillness and reflection, a minute to listen in? I read recently that stopping for 5 minutes to look out the window was a great stress reliever. Getting outside at lunch time instead of eating hunched over your desk is also a great thing to do, especially in Spring. Talking to a friend reduces high blood pressure and feelings of overwhelm.

You are the only vehicle you have to get to the other shore, wherever that is. Drive it with care. Don't keep your foot on the brake pedal, don't rev up the engine and pop wheelies all the time either. Take it slow and easy, whenever possible, especially during this Make-over Transitional time in your life.

Listen to your body's wisdom, listen to your gut feeling. It never lies. It expects less of you than you imagine. It just wants time to play, as well as time to work. It wants time to have fun, time to undo the 'should's, time to work out the knots in your shoulders. Time to breathe, time to stretch, time to take in the beauty of this moment.

Take the time, ladies, cause it doesn't come around again. This time is your time.

Your children and families will appreciate a calmer, happier you, so please take care.

Enjoy the Mother's Day message - you do make a difference to someone. You are special, and you are worth taking care of :)

hugs and wishes for loving kindness,


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