When I was mid puberty, I watched my Mum (who I much later figured out was peri-menopausal) have a nervous breakdown. In fact I was the one who triggered her cataclysmic bursting out and apart.. the calling of the Doctor... hushed voices... her laying on the couch looking weak, disconnected and broken. At the time I had NO IDEA whatsoever what was going on. Nobody told me anything. I'd just been conscious of my Mum being depressed and anxious for quite some time and my own role as unofficial counsellor to her. At some point after I left home for Uni she appeared to rally. She took up ballroom dancing and started taking HRT. She kept both of those going pretty much until a dodgy hip and dementia got the better of her in her 80s. I know the dancing gave her immense joy and pleasure. She even experienced a mutual crush with her much younger dance partner. But sensual pleasure? Romance? Loving connection with my father? If I cast my mind back, I can't recall witnessing my Mum experience that in or for herself, apart from in the way of girlish fantasies about actors or singers. I guess I must have unconsciously resolved NEVER to be like that myself. My own journey through menopause was very different. By that time, I was a facilitator of conscious dance, yoga and sexual and spiritual awakening for women. Enjoying far younger lovers, relishing motherhood, interviewing leading light workers for my podcast and publishing my first book - RAPTURE. I was resolute that I was not going to buy into the mainstream narrative about how menopause should be, nor take HRT, which is not to say I didn't experience some significant shifts in mood and energy. I did. But I approached these with compassion and curiosity, rather than denial or repression. And the outcome was more like a spiritual deepening, than a breakdown. People would sometimes ask me to speak or lead a workshop on menopause, but I never felt the calling to pigeon-hole myself as that. It felt like a distraction from the broader thread, which DID speak to me of awakening as woman through all ages and life-stages. And because my own transition was relatively smooth, I didn't feel I had much of value to say, since I'd not had cause to become an expert in the body-mind challenges many women face. Now that I'm fully on the other side of menopause however - a bona fide crone, I see that I DO have much to share of value for women approaching or in this life-stage. So I'm really looking forward to joining Eugina O Liberty this Friday for her panel discussion on PLEASURE and SENSUALITY in peri/menopause. It'll be in her Facebook group The Orgasmic Queen Self Love, so head on over to join us at 11.30am on Friday, November 3rd, 2023.
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