From Dr Sri Radha Sharon
…As a Yogi, I am on the mat or cushion every day. Be it to stretch, mediate, chant, pray. I’m either doing my own self-study, or sharing with others, listening, observing us all as both teachers and students. All around, I am a Yogi through and through, and I was long before I ever understood the title or had the remotest interest in it.
I have taught Yoga Teachers now for many years and spend many hours studying and helping the GGYC yogic community to help itself.
I’m a little older now but because its so topical at present I decided to take a trip down memory lane about my own menopause journey to see if it might help others chill a little, stay on track and not lose faith or focus too much. Too much– I love that term.
At the height of the strangeness that was Menopause for me, it often felt Too Much.
From my years on the mat, I had language and capacity to recognise what is termed ‘a pranic life force’ leaving me. Be it a change in hormonal activity, it was a gradual process of evolution over a decade or so I guess but that year in particular, during the year of being 51, more than any other around my menopause years, I felt a shift, me shift, a drop, a stumble, at times a parachute glide. Memorable, like a fall downstairs or a near miss in the car, it is a moment lying on the bed, listening to my breathing, and believing it could chose to stop it right there if it wanted too.
Now what I also recognised was that although I didn’t have choice over the event itself of Change, I did have some option of how I respond. A choice only in the end of how to respond, how to go forward with it was in my control. It seemed to me as if I were almost in a dream often but at the same time in a more awakened state than at any other time in my life. Differing from the loving climax, or of a race run, a mountain climbed, a breathless joy of birthing my children. It seemed a decision was needed in a new way, needed to be made, none the less, however much I would prefer to ignore it and wished often it would all go away. Would I let it continue and ‘pass over’ myself to a totally new world by one means or another and give up on this current life? or could I turn the lights back on to see this current world more clearly and evolve to another level again.
No- one was forcing me.
I truly felt with every cell that it was My Choice. Mine and mine alone. Do you want to do this? I wondered had it been like that before my own birth. The comings and goings of beings on this Earth.
In a depth of reflection of dark oceans and full moons, rounded belly’s, occasionally Pilates flat, at times I felt totally alone, sometimes overwhelmed and often somewhat deserted.
No one was unkind. No one really knew what was going on for me. I didn’t know what was going on for me! I’d mention it jokingly on occasion to training groups when I’d be obviously ditzy but in the main ‘we’ menopausal women, are more or less generally required and possibly somewhat expected to move through this time of Menopause without any real obvious Change to anyone else at all.
And therein lies the crux of the issue I guess. Unrealistic expectations all round. Everyone, including me didn’t want the change. I was happy as I was. Why was a change necessary ? Was it just a fear of getting older?. A fear of the death even that our yoga worldwisdom always tries to help us be brave and accepting of ?
I had heard many stories of other women’s experiences. Anger at services being unavailable, sadness at not being heard or helped. How to explain something that isn’t necessary to fix and yet seems to have created a whole range of previously unexperienced highs lows and ups and down is challenging especially if you are finding days are fogging and night hot and sometimes anxious.
Stories were shared with me from those who wept for no one ever in their lives but were now feeling the prick of tears often. Tears for real or imagined slights, regrets. Sometimes impossible to explain or share with other. Sometimes able to share a burden, if they were lucky.
Other times, stories of being alone in that howling whirl that is the unchartered territory of being lost for reason or words. Women facing and experiencing waves of Uncertainty on a daily basis for years and year. Those who accept the changes but find they are expected in the main to just keep going even though there is a regular question playing on a loop.
‘What is going on with me?
What’s wrong with me’ I kept thinking ?
Like the first period or becoming pregnant or being a first-time mother I was experiencing the death of a time before this time arrived. The death of a loved ones or an era Prince, Diana, Bowie showing us the way.
For me at 51 it was the closest I’d ever felt as a woman in my own lifetime, to insight of my own withdrawal, my own death, and yet it wasn’t like Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come….not an atonement. This death by natural causes was to be a simple act of no longer participating.
What choices will you make for a new life? A whisper seemed to ask.
Stay or go? “What’s it to be?”
So dramatic! So unnecessary, many would say. I needed to stay real for myself though, I knew that. No external influence I couldn’t trust. No patches, pills, or products. I just stretched and breathed and shared with friends and loved ones. It helped.
Were other women unable, unwilling, or incapable of leading me or helping these all these other women relieve the symptoms women have surely displayed during these generations. Of course not.
But where to begin?
“It’s just your age …..”my Mother said.
And in short in fact, it is ! And just like any other process – ‘this too shall pass !’ ….. And finally it did.
If you need some selfcare tips and company through this time in your life we are here for you.