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Achieving Harmony: Balancing Work and Rest During Perimenopause - "The New Normal"



When I started researching, training and learning about perimenopause almost two years ago, I couldn't imagine that it would bring me to this place. To have a seed, an intention, can be powerful, but to be in a place where my vision and dream have come into the world into a tangible offering is mind blowing sometimes. I practiced my hormone yoga every morning, exercised regularly, ate well and overall thought I was navigating this perimeopause thing pretty well.


I tend to jump in with both feet, both a blessing and a curse. As I have created, offered, and shared this autumn, I forgot something important. My own well being. I now realize that these depths of struggle are sometimes necessary to regain clarity, creativity and renewed purpose.



My whole life I have been driven, ambitious and motivated. I still am. I want to create something special, something valuable and something heartfelt.


And then I stopped sleeping.


From night to night to night.


I was too tired to do my hormone yoga. My sleep changed so much that from 4:30-7:30 am was the best sleep I was getting through the night.


I saw my well being start to suffer. I kept on working my full time teaching job, moving most days like I was walking through molasses. The less I slept the more despair I began to feel. Most nights I would be awake from 2-4:30 am or so- hot flash after hot flash and such anxiety that my skin tingled and my heart raced. I thought at times that I wasn't going to make it through this turbulent time. I was starting to get depressed and lose the zest for life that I have always had.


I always believe that life's lessons are to be taken seriously, and I was so focused on my full time job PLUS creating my own offerings within my business that I forgot. I forgot to rest. I forgot to relax. I stopped lsitening to my own wisdom. Just kept moving forward.


I am not sure if it was the self imposed expectations I had of myself and my productivity, but I was no longer myself.


 

Life happens. We all know that. With wisdom and life experience we learn how to navigate these tricky moments in life. This fall honestly I felt like it was one thing after another.


Sometimes when life is trying to get you to pay attention, and you don't, then the opportunities for lessons keep getting louder - and louder - and louder.




Our beloved dog Ruby became sick in early October and passed away. My partner and I were sick with grief and not quite ready to say goodbye to our sweet girl. This impacted our health and we both got very sick with a flu. While sick, and still not sleeping, I fell down my stairs in the middle of the night. Crumpled in a mess on the stairs landing, I wondered what on earth was going on. This was too much. Too much. Too much. I ended up with a significant sprain to my ankle, so now my opportunity for exercise and movement was restricted - stopped really. Through this I still kept my commitments to hosting retreats and workshops but I was struggling - physically and emotionally. It wasn't until I got covid in mid-November that I really slowed down.


I started to listen. Finally. I felt like I was starting from scratch. 8 weeks of sickness, sprained ankle and depression left my physical body hardly recognizable. Movement is my medicine. Without it I am like a ship without an anchor.


I am on the road to recovery, and realized that I didn't have to do this alone. I started acupuncture, enlisted help from my naturopath and medical doctor and began to realize that my health and wellbeing needed to be a priority right now in my life.



 


Where does this message come from that productivity and success matters more than my health? I am not sure, I do come from a highly successful family. But I think it is more about my perceived thoughts about my worth.




So I slowed down. Realized that the universe was LOUDLY trying to get my attention. My worth doesn't come from how many instagram followers I have, or whether I have enough workshops or programs being offered.


My worth comes from being human and so does yours. How we impact others, from the kindness we share and the wisdom we gain. This journey can be full of suffering, but also full of joy and celebration. The last six months has been a time of immense challenge for me. With the support of my health care providers, I have some medication and supplements on board that are starting to help.




How to find harmony between work and rest during this sometimes - often -turbulent time of life through perimenopause and menopause?


Listening.


Listening to my soul. My inner wisdom.


Slowing down and not allowing myself to become distracted by netflix or other ways to disconnect from myself.


For those of you who know me personally, you know this is a big life lesson.



Honoring this need to regain myself, my wellbeing and my strength, I am taking a 4 month 'self care sabbatical' where I am not offering new programs, workshops or retreats. I am diving deep into what interests me and may take a yoga nidra training with Tracee Stanley in March - 2024!



We all evolve. Change. Evolve again.


From this I will emerge stronger, wiser and in a place of creativity where I will continue to discover ways to support and guide other women through this journey.


How to create harmony through perimenopause?


My friend, please listen carefully to your intution. Really take time to rest. No matter what the challenge may be, it will not last forever. You are not alone.


Lots of love,

Shauna


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