Beloved Friends, I just woke up laughing and feel inspired to share more on Men-O-Pause. In fact, I am going to be sharing a whole lot more, and often, because for us women in our 40’s and 50’s, this opens the door to a phase of life that once meant decline and death. But for us, with our added longevity, expanded consciousness, and ability to articulate and navigate — this realm promises something new and exciting.
But first off, I gotta say — it is epic. It is full on. And there is nothing you can do but surrender.
This is easily the most immense transformation I have ever encountered. It makes my time with baby guru monster seem like kindergarten. Saturn’s return, a mere glitch, and puberty, a slightly bumpy ride.
This, my beloved friends, is a whole ‘nother beast.
The reason I woke up laughing was that I saw myself dancing to “Fame, I’m going to live forever” whilst doing one of those high leaps as you tack your heels to the butt and raise your arms off to one side in the air. Complete with a leotard and footless tights, I was all hair and spangle. And I guess this image captured what I thought. That I would be youthful and fancy-free forever.
Especially as I witnessed the majority of my friends having children and creating family life. I ooh’ed, ahh’ed, and even eeked when I saw the colossal change in my friends — and felt relief when it was all over and I was left to my peace and quiet.
Me, on the other hand — well, I was living a nomad’s life in the French Pyrenees, writing books and wearing a kaftan. I would grow old glamorously, with young lovers and intoxicating love affairs, right? Wrong!
What I didn’t realize, was how Grandmother Crone was rubbing her hands with an extra glint in her eye, preparing a really special and well-overdue female transformation for the one who thought she had escaped the net!
Okay, let’s have some facts. I guess you could say I have been in perimenopause, and now menopause, for five years. Three years of perimenopause was a time of increased emotional irritability and mood swings. Shit, even I didn’t recognize myself. I was just…dark! And, I kinda liked it.
Then there was a pause and my old self returned. Yay! I was joyful and light again. I even said ridiculous things like, “I’m out of the menopause” and “Well, it wasn’t too bad.” I had my hormones done, and it was confirmed — I was the other side of midway. “Yay — it’s over,” I thought to myself. Grandmother Crone laughed madly at that one, as she reached for the intense heat dial.
And so after some peaceful respite, the next stage rumbled into town. And in came the hot flashes, heart palpitation, and personality switch. And this — this is where the freakin’ furnace of transfiguration happens!
These hot flashes are just like Kundalini surges. And so, I have been paying attention to them. Closing my eyes when they appear, tracing their path, and inwardly affirming, “Well there goes another false part.” Because I can see they are incinerating the inauthentic me. Because I say yes to this. If I was afraid of them, or taking hormones to suppress them, then I suspect when they come — because they will come — it’s going to be more intense.
You cannot stop this — this is life. It’s bigger than any of us.
The other day I was speaking to a stranger in a café, and one came mid-sentence (laughing again) and so I had to say something. I mean — I was bright red, sweating, and engorged with blood. If I didn’t say anything, the woman would have thought I was about to self-combust. And so I shared, and we just laughed, she was older, and so she knew…
The other point I want to make that has been a game changer is the necessity to retreat — to turn in and make a physical and inner space for yourself, to be alone.
Again, like the hot flashes, we have to surrender. Menopause is a metamorphosis at a cellular level. It mirrors the classical stages of initiation; isolation, death, and rebirth. We have to make time for solitude, to really be with the Ancient Grandmothers as they stir the cauldron.
I am now sleeping alone, and my bedroom is my womb. It is exactly as I want it. Candles, perfumes, spacious, warm, and potent. Every night I climb into bed, place a large, sturdy cushion between my legs, and bring my knees up to my chest. As I curl myself into the fetal position, I am restored and rebirthed by a trustable and ancient force.
During my change, I have experienced an emotional uproar, as nothing made sense. There was no balance. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, irrational, and depressed. And this is where I want to grab your/my hand and say, “It’s okay, baby crone, this must happen. This is very, very good. Just let it come, no problem. Release yourself from the confines of this superficial world. Go for it — I am with you!”
If we want to get up at 4:00 A.M. and write in the candlelight, we can. If we want to slurp tea at 3:00, we can. If we want to listen to Tibetan Mantra all night long because we are journeying to the other world, we can.
Take my hand beloved woman, it’s trustable and honest. I’ll write for us. I’ll speak for us. Speak back to me, tell me how it is. I’m going through it naturally and have no intention to interfere with or delay its effects upon me.
I am in the change, and I love it.
I am not afraid of growing old or dying. Because I am coming into contact with something that the world could never bring.
I am coming into contact with fearlessness. I am coming into contact with immortality. I am coming into contact with things as they really are.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.
Sip a little more: