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Menopause as Rebirth: First comes labour

Posted Aug 31 2011 11:58pm

Menopause is a major rite of passage. It can be a difficult passage. But it is worth hanging in there. If it’s disrupting your life, for sure you need to find the kind of medical help you need, whether through acupuncture, herbs or hormones. Read up on it and get knowledgeable, talk with other 'elders' who have been there. Know that it will pass.

Once you've entered the passage and are feeling around down in the shadows, have spun your cocoon, and hibernated for a while, get ready for the coming up, the ascent; the ascent is like a new birth, a second life. But before this, comes the 'labour' phase.

There is not one day, or one moment that will demarcate the arrival but you feel the fragility of new wings, gossamer things, shiny in the sun. You feel the old self peeling away, the old attitudes, the old passions dying and the new ones being born.

In the middle of this transition, you may feel like you’re 'bug soup', a melting down phase, where your will is hiding somewhere down around your ankles like pants without a belt. You wonder who you are, what you want, and feel overwhelmed with all the changes going on. It’s not just about hot flashes and night sweats. But in your dark night, look up, and know that in the darkness wing buds have sprouted. A new you is on the way.

Your energy will return; you will be flying back into the light. Have patience.

A friend wrote to me that her partner was in the 'throes' of miserable sleepless nights and overwhelmed with everything stressful (homeopathy helps). I know it's a hard phase to go through, but recognize these are labour pains. It's akin to travelling into the labyrinth of the birth tunnel.   This is an important time, just like menarche and pregnancy/birth: it is a major phase of your initiation into your Self. It has been largely unstudied or ignored until recently. Women have been kept in the dark about its momentous changes and the growth it brings. Fear and loathing kept us from exploring its gifts. It is worthy of ritual. Knowing it is temporary helps.

Heed the messages your body sends you for rest, and more rest. Slowing down is imperative. Don't wait for a major illness or accident to do it for you. In the middle of transition during childbirth, it is not time to get up and run around, or pretend you don't know what is going on. In menopause you are called on to stay focused on the new woman being born. Stay with your center, with your new self arriving; stay in the present as much as possible. Writing about this in your journal helps too. Any right brain activity, like singing, dancing, yoga, collage also helps.

God's little birthing machine is turning herself inside out and being reborn. Trust your inner tuning.
The good news is that you will resurface, you will find yourself, and begin again.

I am publishing a new book soon, in October, hopefully in time for World Menopause day, The Tao of Turning Fifty, and you can read more about it at, just launched on-line today.

 take care




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