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The Shift

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

I wish I would have known.

If I was able to reach back in time and give a gentle nudge to my 45 year old self, I would have whispered “Pay attention! Your body is changing.” I did not, however, have any idea that peri-menopause was even a thing. I was chugging along, busy parent and professional, yoga teacher and athlete. Rest was over-rated.

I had vague ideas about older women - MUCH older than me - entering menopause, but that was about the extent of both my awareness and my knowledge on the subject. “Pay attention” my mind, body and soul whispered.

But not only was I not AWARE of the subtle changes to my hormones, I was BUSY! As many of us are at this age and stage, I was working full time, parenting two teenagers and doing my best to discover not only ‘who am I’ but what my purpose on this planet was intended to be. My marriage of 20 years was hanging on by a thread. “Pay attention” my body whispered and how the hell could I have heard these whispers with my busy life in chaos? I wish I would have known. Had some strategies, tools and knowledge at that time.

Fast forward 5 years. Newly divorced, an empty nester, a fledgling but beautiful new romantic relationship and my body is not whispering anymore. One of the pieces of wisdom I have discovered through this journey of midlife is that your body will let you know what it needs. Even if your tendency is to push on, go at the same pace as you’ve always been driven to go and rest is for the lazy, your body will let you know. And mine did. Like being hit by a 2 x 4. BOOM! Hot flushes began. BAM! Irregular and heavy periods started to emerge. CRASH! Fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations and depression. I honestly thought I was dying. These symptoms coincided with not only every day stress, but the loss of both my Aunt and my beloved Dad. The stress and grief in my heart, body and mind was almost unbearable. I think pieces of me broke forever during that time of grief.

“Are you paying attention now?” My body pleaded with me. I listened. I slowed down where I could. I listened more. I learned what peri-menopause was and began to educate myself. Why aren’t we talking about this as women? The more I’ve learned about this season of life, the more I realize that this is a murmur of discussion that is beginning to build momentum within midlife communities of women. As I become more aware of peri-menopause and menopausal symptoms, body physiology and the beneficial nature of yoga to help manage my hormonal shifting symptoms, I feel empowered. I dove deeper. Not to fix nor to cure, but to understand the changes in my body and how to live my most full and peaceful life.

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