“We live a full human life not by stopping at any stage, but by becoming all that is in us to become.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin
Too many of the stories we hear about menopause have to do with loss – lost beauty, lost vitality, lost libido. the dreaded Lost Youth. We’re also told to lose weight, give up sugar, stop drinking alcohol and abandon most — if not all — of the ways we cope with life's b.s., exactly at a time when we need the most support.
We say to hell with all that – and so do many of our favorite icons of aging vibrantly. Maybe it’s time to focus on what can be added to our lives (instead of taken away) when this important transition begins.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
–– Maya Angelou
Sexual Pleasure Forever
The “loss” lie is especially loud when it comes to sex and menopause. We may worry about how our changing bodies look to our partners or feel to ourselves, and the lack of positive messages about sex and aging don’t help.
Menopause can be a time of unparalleled sexual freedom and reclamation of our pleasure. It’s different now, but not gone! We have often mentioned the health perks of regular sexercise, but we also want to emphasize the importance of pleasure. Many benefits of sex (such as cardiovascular health) actually hinge on the quality of the sex.
With or without a partner, set aside time to explore with an open mind – what worked before may be different, but what will work in the future just might surprise you. Need a little help with lubrication? Try our Sex Oil with CBD to help get that blood pumping.
“In the end, the real wisdom of menopause may be in questioning how fun or even sane this chore wheel called modern life actually is.”
––Sandra Tsing Loh
Healthy Boundaries, Healthy You
Perimenopause loves to arrive when our lives are overburdened with responsibilities. If this sounds like you, maybe you should take it as a sign that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard.
We can often feel like we spend our whole lives belonging to other people. Menopause and the years beyond can represent a return to belonging to ourselves, and truly becoming who we’ve been all along.
Whether you’ve been focused on your career, family or community, it might be time to take your foot off the accelerator and learn to love the word “no.” Identify the most draining aspects of your daily life and start putting up some healthy boundaries to protect your future wellness.
“In interviews, the first question I get in America is always: ‘What do you do to stay young?’ I do nothing. I don’t think aging is a problem... I’m so surprised that the emphasis on aging here is on physical decay, when aging brings such incredible freedom.”
Embrace the Power of Rituals
Now that you’ve reclaimed a space to grow, breathe, and come into your own, think about what grounds and recharges you? Long baths? Massage? Meditation or other spiritual practices? Gardening? Working with your hands? Whatever it is, find it and schedule more of it into your life.
And consider expanding your scope to pursuits that you’ve never considered before. Exercise is key to maintaining strong bones and a healthy mind, so if you’ve never done yoga or climbed a mountain, why not now?
Any ritual that calms your nervous system could help improve your menopause symptoms. Regularly focusing on your body and mind will also help you quickly catch and support any new health issues that arise. Our Intimacy Breast Oil was designed to inspire just such a ritual – to support you in loving your body, at any stage.
“You only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else. The idea of dying young when you’re 25 is kind of cool — a bit romantic, like James Dean. But then you realize that life is too much fun to do that.”
–– Helen Mirren
Supportive Healthcare Practitioners
Unfortunately, women’s health has historically been neglected by conventional medicine. This is especially true of all matters pertaining to sexual health – but times are finally changing, and rebel practitioners from MDs to massage therapists are arming themselves to help you along a path that has been too solitary for too long.
You might be able to meet all your needs naturally right now, but going forward, it’s important to know when to seek medical care. If you feel unsupported or uncomfortable discussing intimate topics with your current doctor, find a new one — TODAY. Ask friends for referrals, read reviews online – and don’t put up with callous treatment.
On a practical note, more and more healthcare professionals are waking up to the importance of holistic health care. Your doctor might prescribe hormones or antidepressants to treat your symptoms, or they could identify simple vitamin deficiencies or other easy fixes that help your life flow much smoother.
“I ain’t never gonna be old because I ain’t got time to be old. I can’t stop long enough to grow old.”
–– Dolly Parton
A Shared Experience
Menopause is not inherently a medical problem — it is an inevitable transition. People who view menopause positively, as a time of liberation and self-actualization, actually suffer from fewer menopausal symptoms.
So how can we view menopause as an inspiring journey, when all we hear about it is negative? It takes some work, but the key is seeking, listening and speaking. We aren’t “supposed” to talk about menopause, but we want to.
Find menopause mentors in your life, who have been through it and come out the other side thriving. They could be family members, teachers, friends, or even the many public figures who have spoken and written about the vitality of growing into themselves.
And if you want to foster more positive feelings about menopause, you could create a circle of peers to celebrate all life’s transitions together. Menopause is a universal experience — it’s not meant to be shouldered alone.
“We’re held to a different standard than men. Some guy said to me: ‘Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock n’ roll?’ I said: ‘You’d better check with Mick Jagger.’”
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