Sunday, June 14, 2009

Are You Too Sensitive?

Menopause is a huge teacher for me. Whatever ideas I have about myself are changing. It's no longer good enough to sweep my feelings and emotions under the carpet. Even if I wanted to, they tend to explode out of me.

Why are some of us more sensitive? Susun Weed says that at menopause all our senses are heightened, our ears, eyes, nose and mouth. And especially our emtoional body - "I feel untruths as physical discomfort," she writes.

While I was pregnant, and for months after childbirth, I remember feeling akin to a mother wolf or bear - I could hear my baby cough from 2 floors below, I could sense in my body when it was time to nurse, even before the milk reflex came in. My nerves were also more edgey, and the slightest thing made me cry.

Normally we consider this a liability, not an asset. But what if this is a survival instinct, bred in us to keep us alive? "Let us honor the heightened sensitivites of the Crones. our communities depend on the Crones' irritability for their survival. In their sensitivity, the Crones are irritated first by that which has the ability to poison all of us, whether it is a food, a feeling, or a rule."
Susun Weed, Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

There are herbal remedies and flower remedies for soothing an overly sensitive system so you can sleep, work and eat without too much problem (oatstraw and walnut). Maybe all you need is some time alone to sort through your sensitivities. Maybe the emotional turmoil needs more breath work, more grounding in the body through yoga, or prana exercises. Ayurvedic medecine suggests that the liver needs care when we feel overly irritable (milk thistle, dandelion). Calcium soothes the nerves. Gardening, walking in nature, and lowering your caffeine intake may also be beneficial.

Learning to turn down the noise outside you, the tv, stereo, car radio and listening to the birds instead is a wonderful way to quiet the world.

Be gentle, less demanding of yourself. Understand your rhythms and moods and listen in - give yourself solitude, serenity and surrender to your inner needs. Accept the gift of sensitivity and nurture your creative side. Allow yourself whatever it is you need right now to feel taken care of, soothed, rocked and cossetted like a baby.

take care

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