This month we chat to Katie Day, a Director of RDP International Ltd (www.rdp-int.com) and runs workshops for women on menopause.
Traditionally there have been three stages of a woman’s life: the Maiden; the Mother; and the Wise Woman. However, I have shaken that up a bit and created a fourth stage. At 62 I have a way to go yet before I become the ‘Wise Woman’. What I am is ‘The Enchantress’
- The Maiden: from birth to 24
- The Mother: from 25 to 49
- The Enchantress: from 50 to 74
- The Wise Woman: from 75 +
What do I mean by Enchantress? The menopausal transition offers women a wonderful opportunity to: reassess; rediscover; redefine; re-emerge; and, in some cases, reinvent. It can be one of the most powerful and potent times of our life. In my TEDx talk back in 2019 The Roar of the Menopause I talked about how the world ignored our powerful roar at its peril!
We need to own this natural life phase, after all it is a globally shared female experience. Let’s name it: it’s the menopause. Not ‘the change’ ‘the time of life’. Once we, as women, own this time, recognise its importance, own our strength and brilliance, be proud of who we are, the more easily we will be able to have those conversations with others. If we are embarrassed to name it, other people are likely to share that emotion!
What I often find when working with women is how easy it is to get caught up in the ‘should do’ ‘ought to do’ and ‘must do’ of life – usually to fulfil the perceived expectations of others rather than the expectations of ourselves. We can start off meeting the expectations of parents / guardians / teachers. Then we often move onto the expectations of a partner, the expectations of ourselves as parents (if that is what happens), the expectations of bosses / clients / colleagues …
What about the expectations of you about you? Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what you really want? Now’s your chance! Once I had found out how to navigate the menopause transition in the way that worked for me, and had managed to get myself back on an even keel (I was, unfortunately, someone who was ‘on the edge’ for most of the peri-menopause and suffered hugely) it represented the most liberating time of my life.
I was ‘officially’ post-menopausal at 58 (later than most, the average is 51) and I didn’t truly appreciate just how much energy it took to navigate my hormones every 28 days for over 45 years, until it stopped and I no longer had to! As women we ‘get on with it’ because, frankly, we have no choice. However once our hormones are no longer running our lives, the surge of energy we can get it huge. All that energy and zest for life can be directed in whatever way we choose. It really can be the most powerful and potent time of our lives, if we would like it to be.
An exercise I take women through at this pivotal and important life phase is one of self-reflection. It is outlined below, so do take the opportunity to take yourself through it if you would like, and do reach out to me if you would value the opportunity to talk it through.
Tapping into the Enchantress
Starting in the top left box, then top right, bottom left and bottom right, read and reflect on each of the statements, and capture your subconscious, uncensored reactions and words, either on a blank wheel or on a notepad.
|What am I hanging onto to?
What do I need to let go of inside to transform / change / grow?
What story am I telling?
What am I passionate about?
|What are my fears?
What do I need to face and stand up to?
What do I need to be aware of?
|Am I sharing my knowledge?
Am I sharing my wisdom?
Do I work collaboratively?
Do I know where I am on my journey?
Am I following my life’s purpose?
|What is my life’s purpose?
What direction / path do I want to take?
Am I following my vision?
Am I spreading myself too thinly?
Am I seeing clearly what needs to be done?
Once you have done this, look at your responses, reflect on where you, where you would like to be and then create a plan for your fabulous, powerful and potent future – it’s in your hands and it can be whatever you wish it to be – this is your time!
If you would like to work with me so I can support you in creating your potent future, do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org