This month we speak to Hatty McCafferty who hosts Real Menopause Talk, The Podcast. Real Menopause Talk is an opportunity for everyone to share and hear stories about real life experiences of Peri to Post Menopause and the impact it has on all life has to offer.
They say it takes a village to raise a goddess. Community is powerful. Women are strong and powerful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
You may well know the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The idea being that there are many people of all ages to provide a new human with a variety of skills as it grows up. Within the village, the child grows up learning that there are many perspectives and the parent(s) to the child, get time to replenish their resources so that they have enough to give to nurture and love their child.
It’s not dissimilar for Perimenopause.
A community of women is undeniably powerful. When women get together, something special happens and possibly never more so than at this stage of life and beyond. One of the reasons behind this is the ‘Tend and Befriend’ theory.
Fight or flight is the recognised response that is useful for fleeing a sabre tooth tiger, or indeed fighting it. Women actually fare better not by fighting or fleeing from the tiger but by making friends with it. It’s called the ‘Tend and Befriend’ response. Imagine turning a great big, ferocious tiger into a soft and cuddly friend just by being kind to it and now having it as an ally.
Another way women ‘Tend and Befriend’ is by being with other women. Or indeed other men – it just has to be people you wholeheartedly trust and love. People you feel safe with. By being with such a group, we can talk out our fears and dispel them thus reducing our stress levels, which is foundation to thriving through Menopause.
I’m happy to report that I am seeing more and more communities or ‘hubs’ being created in and out of the workplace to facilitate such meetings of minds and symptoms where people can listen to one another and share their experiences and solutions to make work and life that much better. Just knowing you are not the only one, hearing a story you can relate to, can help.
In short, having a community, or village, of trusted people is an invaluable resource to help us all through Peri to Post Menopause and I very much hope that this is what we continue to build wherever we may be, with a view to living in communities where the elder female is respected for her knowledge and experience. If you have one, embrace it. If you need one, seek it out, or even create it as it will lift you up and give you the resources to nurture and love yourself.
The Menopause community that I have discovered is one of sharing and support, of cheering one another along and picking each other up when we falter or fall. We are powerful. It takes a village to raise a goddess.