Making Sense of Menopause: A New Beginning

An excerpt from the book The Hormone Zone by Dr. John Alexander Robinson:

Menopause is not a disease. Menopause is a stage of life. Menopause is no more a disease process than puberty. We view puberty as a time of blossoming and beginning, and the related difficulties of the time period are accepted because we perceive that we are coming of age and transitioning into a time where the best is yet to come. Why is it that menopause is not viewed in the same way? This is a time when most women have the opportunity to truly begin to know who they are and what they really want, and menopause harkens this transition. As most journeys are wrought with peril, the journey of menopause is no different. But there are tools that you can carry with you along the way to aid and assist, making the journey possible, a little more manageable, and even enlightening. This book intends to provide you with some of those tools.

Some of the psychological issues that women experience during this time largely surround the idea of fertility and the ability to conceive. As most women have revealed to me, conception is a centralized theme in a woman’s life. I have spoken to women who have absolutely never wanted to conceive and had no children of their own, but upon entering the permanency of menopause, mourned the passing of this rite of womanhood.  But, the best is yet to come, if you know how to find it. The idea of conception is not just limited to conceiving a child. It is also about conceiving ideas, embracing new projects, and finding deeper truths about yourself and others. Women possess a unique perspective and ability in this regard.

 

Nurturing the Nurturer

Women inherently are caretakers. My own mother was and is spectacular in this regard. She sacrificed much for me along my own journey, as so many mothers and women do for their children and loved ones. I have spoken with so many women who are absolutely devoted to their families, putting all aside for them. Sometimes this devotion is to an extreme, where a woman will even neglect herself during the process of taking care of others, often to the detriment of her health. And that is the irony. If the caretaker does not take care of herself, she will ultimately not be the best caretaker for those who need her. Be good to yourself. Now is the time.

As a woman enters into this new stage in her life, she may find that her role as caregiver is not the same. Children grow up and leave the home to create new lives for themselves.

This creates a natural space for a woman to explore herself and the things she has always wanted to do, to fill that space with lifelong dreams. Now is a time to be alive in a different way. Your creative force is now even more powerful, if you allow it to flourish.

  • Travel the world, or at least in your own back yard with a good book.
  • Be philanthropic on your own terms, giving when and how you choose.
  • Go back to school and learn for the sake of learning.
  • Create your own business, or offer your gifts to the workforce.
  • Focus on your own spiritual path, join and contribute to a church or faith group.

Most of all, menopause can be a time of releasing old fears and wounds to the spirit. It can be a time of resolve, when a woman can experience more freedom and wisdom than ever before in her life. I encourage all women patients to celebrate where they are in life and to ask for help if they feel they need it, whether it be medical help or more support from partners, children, friends, and their community.

 

Chiron Returns:  Healing the Wounded

“You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land… And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants… That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you… It shall be holy to you.” Leviticus 25:8-11

In Greek mythology, Chiron the centaur, a half man and half horse, was revered as a teacher, philosopher, astrologer, and great healer. His own tragedy befell him when he was wounded in the leg, but being immortal, was destined to continue to have the wound and seek out his own healing. Chiron later arranged to give up his immortality and his suffering by exchanging it for Prometheus to be set free. Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods and given it as a gift to humanity, leading to an eternal punishment of having his liver pecked out daily by a griffon. When Prometheus was released, Chiron died and was freed from his suffering. The gift of fire is symbolic of the gift of consciousness and deeper understandings. Chiron helped to see this concept fully realized with his own sacrifice that led to his own personal understanding about his healing journey.

Astrologically, Chiron is a comet that orbits in close proximity to Saturn and Uranus. It makes a full cycle every forty-nine, fifty, or fifty-one years, back to the original place it started in relationship to a person’s birth. The return of Chiron is the time when most women enter into menopause. The average menopausal age is in fact fifty-one. And this is the average age that both women and men initially come to see me, seeking help and understanding about the new challenges they face. This is a time when a lot of changes are occurring and this is the time that people start to instinctually seek to “heal the wounded.” This is a special and important transition into a time where real understandings can be realized.  And as the passage from Leviticus explains, “It shall be a jubilee for you.” It also explains that at this pivotal time, it is a Day of Atonement, implying forgiveness, healing, and reckoning for yourself and others.

At this time of life, we are given an opportunity for growth—to delve into ourselves and understand a deeper meaning about the pain and suffering that we are experiencing. This is a time to address unresolved issues and pain completely and for the last time. It is only when we address and face these wounds and issues can we make room for our truest purpose.

It is this concept of the “wound” that we should actually embrace in order to learn from it. Or, we can continue to avoid it, mask it, and deny it, which is often the case.  This is part of the quick fix, take-a-pill mentality that occurs in our society which leads to missing the opportunity for growth. This time in your life, with all of its difficulties, is a gift. And your very essence and being is poised to make changes and realizations more than at any other time in your life. The more we see menopause (and male andropause) as an opportunity for growth, the more we will embrace and learn from it. If we seek to just fix it without any other regard for it, then the opportunity is missed, and our “wound” will never really heal. Full healing is always possible, but not from avoiding what the condition really is and what it likely represents. We must embrace it to understand its true nature, leading toward better solutions such as the things offered in this book, and much more.

 

Dr. Robinson has been my Bio-Identical hormone specialist for a number of years. For me, they are the right choice. I feel wonderful, balanced, and suffer only minimal symptoms as I head into menopause. His care and knowledge are exceptional. The notion that we are perhaps guinea pigs forging a new frontier is just fine with me. My mothers generation did it with birth control pills, which revolutionized the family unit, and womens opportunities outside of the home. The truth is Bio-identical hormones are not new, but I think rather than have me wax on, perhaps Dr. Robinson’s book would be of interest to those of you looking for an assist on the journey through menopause. If not, that too is an option, and good news, youhave the right to choose.

Lola

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