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January 16, 2023

The Things No One Told me about Menopause.

There I was in mid-moment and it hit me, like a wave of burning heat from the inside out so fast and so internally loud in my body that it stopped me in my tracks.

This 10-15 second wave of internal fire left me soaking wet. It was like a whoosh of adrenaline and sweat and heat that was exhilarating and confusing all at the same time.

I had no idea what happened, but in a flash, it was over.

It wasn’t until 20 minutes later when it happened again that I started laughing and sweating and celebrating this crazy experience.

In that moment, I allowed this wave of heat to purify my cells from the inside out as if I was celebrating the shedding of an old skin to make room for the new. And over the next few weeks, it happened 10, 20, 30 times a day.

It was official: I was entering a phase of menopause.

Most women do not have this euphoric, celebratory experience—quite the opposite. They resist it, hate it, complain about it, and tear their clothes off every time it’s happening. In my personal experience, by the time my clothes are off, the hot flash is already done. And I get it; just like childbirth, no one can prepare you for what’s about to happen.

The human body is comprised of water and the way you transform water is by changing the temperature. From boiling to freezing or from freezing to boiling, so at that moment, instead of dreading the heat wave that makes most women literally feel like they are losing their minds, I welcomed the insanity with open arms, like a snake preparing for the shedding of its skin. I knew something magical was happening, and it was way more than skin deep.

Because of who I am and what I do for a living, I knew what this meant.

I was being asked to embrace this wave of womanhood that I knew almost nothing about.

I am a growth junkie and live, breathe, eat, and work transformation. I have spent the last two decades of my life committed to facilitating human bodies through the growth, expansion, evolution, and creation with their bodies.

The dark side doesn’t scare me. Quite the opposite; it excites me. I usually go all in—like a snake shedding its skin four to 12 times a year. I am no stranger to the body’s ability to morph and change, quickly and often.

After almost five decades of experiencing change and transformation and doing it as both a hobby and a profession, my life has been dedicated to both studying and being fascinated by the human condition. I am an avid studier and have a background in all things transformation, probably because I am far from perfect and a huge proponent of enjoying the crap out of everything life has to offer—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing.

My hot flashes ensued about every 30-60 minutes for four to eight weeks, and then I’m not sure what happened, but they went away.

It was after the hot flashes subsided that I woke up to what felt like an extra 10 pounds around my waist. Most women talk about this overnight weight phenomenon, but I didn’t believe it could be true for me until it happened, and let me just say, this phase was harder than I ever thought.

I got depressed, went through sporadic, unpredictable mood swings, was sleeping a lot, and felt completely lethargic. I went from high intensity workouts five times a week in very humid conditions to barely being able to go for a walk.

I was confused, pissed, lethargic, depressed, carrying extra weight that I didn’t want or need, and was about to publish a book all about self-acceptance, loving the skin you’re in, body intuition, and celebrating life’s changes so you can create the body, business, and life you love.

Instead of feeling empowered at what normally would be cause for celebration, I felt like I was living a lie. I was anything but self-accepting. I had almost no energy, and for the first time since my depressing 20s, I felt completely lost.

And I facilitate joy, self-empowerment, self-awareness, and an intuitive approach to the body for a living. To say I felt like a failure, a fraud, and a disappointment was an understatement.

Little did I know that this unparalleled disruption to my awesome life was caused by intense hormonal fluctuations. It honestly turned my life upside down. The hot flashes had disappeared, but what followed was a slew of symptoms that I couldn’t find resolve for, and funny enough this is exactly what I help others navigate, but I felt helpless in my own demise (thank you, menopause).

Then two weeks ago, for the first time since in over six months, I was in mid moment and it happened again…an internal rush of heat raging through every cell of my body and then it was gone, but the aftermath left me flushed, sweaty, and remembering; I was on the precipice of another shedding.

Luckily about a month ago, I found a remedy that had nothing to do with hormones; part of my lethargic, weakened, non-exercising disposition was the sheer fact that it was time for a life change that I had been vehemently ignoring.

I was craving a new outlet for my brilliance. My work, my being, and my spirit were calling out for an evolution. It was time to shift my life’s work and embody a new level of living, working, and existing in the world.

Once I recognized the humor of how this hormonal change coincided with a need to deepen my life’s work and strong heart’s desire, the fire within me started to burn again, both literally and figuratively.

I took my mountain bike off the rack, dusted myself off from my physically active hiatus, and got back at it. As I happily suffered through the grueling feat of challenging myself to do the things I once lived for, a newfound outlook on life emerged and my body began to come back to life.

I am still navigating the physical changes, but I feel more alive, empowered, and excited about this next chapter of life.

I have no idea how long this phase of womanhood or the transition will last, but I know every time the instantaneous heat wave flushes through every cell of my body, I am celebrating that it is allowing my body, spirit, and soul to change from the inside out.

It’s not always easy; there are still mood swings, sleepless nights, restless moments, uncomfortable intensities, and an overall upheaval of everything I’ve ever known.

I started intermittent fasting again after two years of not, started to slow down, do even more self-care than normal, sleep more than I have in decades, and recognize the power of this phase of life. I got quiet, curious, did research, and recognized that instead of feeling like I was up against a life-transforming beast I knew nothing about, I started to enter into this phase with a more empowered mindset.

What if this was exactly what I needed to move forward?

What I know is true that these hormonal fluctuations also increase one’s level of awareness, and it simply is a right of passage that allows women in this phase of life to take a step back and truly ask themselves: Are they fully living the life they imagined, or is it time for a shift?

So next time you are face to face with your internal shifts, I invite you to celebrate this phase with welcoming arms. Life is giving you a chance to breathe new possibilities into every cell of your existence.

Embrace the change and empower yourself with what’s next. I don’t know what the answer to your own healing will be as you face this right of passage, but I do know that it is an invitation to step even more into your power, increase your self-care, do research, and get curious about what might be next for you.

It’s time to celebrate. You are awakening.

And to all the men out there who may be reading this, your woman is increasing her potency, stepping more into her own, and discovering what’s next. Although a woman might feel crazy, she is just tapping into a new level of potency and awareness that is unfamiliar, so in advance, we thank you for being patient with us, for not labeling it as a problem, and for being there through our life transitions. We also desire to support you through your life transitions.

~

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