I love the idea of a midlife midwife – which is exactly what Sirena Pellarolo is! Her guest post explains how she helps women thrive during the transitions of menopause and midlife. She shares four stages of empowerment we can all tap into. Enjoy!
Recover Your Juiciness In Four Simple Steps
by Sirena Pellarolo, PhD
Many of my clients who are going through menopause come to me confused, disempowered and at times, resigned to their lot, as they believe that what they are going through is just a natural part of the aging process. Their low energy levels, digestive issues and sometimes weight gain have them depressed, isolated and lonely.
Is this you? Have you given up and thrown up your arms in despair? If it is, I will guide you in four simple steps to regain your mastery by reconnecting with your body, mind and spirit. As a result, your feelings of frustration, lack of confidence and self-esteem will melt away and you will start experiencing your life on your own terms. My role as a Midlife Midwife is to support midlife women to master their lives, recover their self-confidence and stand in their power; a rebirth of sorts at midlife. I’ve seen clients turn around their lives and feel empowered, vibrantly healthy and energetic, with a renewed zest for life. Take Cheryl’s example.
Cheryl is an entrepreneur who is going through peri-menopause. When she came to me, she was in a family situation where she was perpetuating a codependent role she had picked up from childhood with her own adult children and sister. She had been having a semi-satisfying long distance relationship with a man several decades her elder, who was extremely generous and provided for her every need. In spite of this, she was very reluctant to open up her heart completely to him, as her family drama had her stuck in a no-win situation.
As soon as Cheryl started to pay attention to her diet and exercise routine, she recovered a sense of wellbeing, and as a consequence, other areas of her life became lighter, too. After a not-so-easy break away from the family, she decided to leave the city, move in with her lover and give this relationship a chance.
This decision proved to be the best she could have ever done in her life! As she moved out of the family dynamics, her children and sister found their own sustainability and she is now enjoying the most loving and caring relationship she could have ever dreamt of, in a new community where she feels loved, accepted and supported. She has been able to refocus her business and is thriving as an entrepreneur. I’m so happy for her, as she is an example of how letting go of old dysfunctional patterns and deciding to put ourselves first, transforms our lives in unimaginable ways.
In my work supporting midlife women, I firmly believe in the autonomy and self-reliance we can tap into by creating an environment that promotes a healthy passage when approaching the Change. Our bodies are infinitely intelligent, “physical and emotional health is our natural state, even during this time of transition,” Dr. Northrup reminds us in The Wisdom of Menopause, Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change. And she adds against the current prevailing wisdom and the trend toward highly medicalizing this life change, that “perimenopause is a normal process, not a disease” (116).
As a Midlife Midwife I guide, support and encourage you to find within yourself that innate intelligence to move through this time consciously, connected to your inner wisdom and empowered to make the right choices according to your individual needs.
In many of the healing processes I have witnessed, I was able to identify four stages in the recovering of health and vibrancy, and basically, self-power. There is a logical order to these stages, but they are not necessarily chronological, there is a flow, like a spiral flow, where stages at times overlap and at others are repeated, but, for the sake of clarity, I will try to describe each stage separately so that you can understand the characteristics of each one.
The first stage is to reclaim our power that we have given away to messages that come from external sources, like the media, family, or church, in brief, the prevailing wisdom about aging and the expendability of women after fifty. Although aging Baby Boomers are changing this belief system around, we still need to be attentive to not allow these negative messages to become internalized in our psyche as they control our perception of ourselves in disempowering ways. The first necessary step then is to reframe this passage on our own terms, listening to our own truth and unplugging from environmental noise.
The second stage is to release what doesn’t serve us anymore, be it physical, mental, emotional or environmental toxins. The lightness of being that a holistic cleanse of this sort affords us makes space for the new to sweep us up and move us forward, in the direction that our intentions take us. We will thus be able to make more personalized choices in the creation of our own conditions.
The third stage is to activate ourselves with supportive habits towards health. Lighter now from the clean-up, we become energized by putting into motion practices such as a nutrient rich diet, vigorous exercise and a personalized spirituality that will speed up our journey towards the next phase of our lives.
The fourth stage is founded on our courage and readiness to transform. After the requalification of our beings, there is a next step that we need to take if we are willing, which is to become a brighter version of ourselves. When we muster the strength and determination to take that ultimate leap of faith, we will be living on purpose, ready to recover those dreams that we had put in the back burner during our child bearing years. It’s our time now to serve others as we model for them how to transform, creating in that way a ripple effect that eventually will change the world.
As an example of going through this transforming process, these past three months, after uprooting myself from the city I had lived in for twenty-six years, I am fulfilling a dream I’ve had for some time, of traveling through the Americas and writing. I am working on a DIY guide for an empowered and healthy menopause based on the four stages described above. I address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation with the support of daily exercises and tips.
I have also designed a program, “Four Months Towards an Empowered and Healthy Menopause,” that follows the four stages of healing I cover in my book. If you feel that you –or anyone you know– might benefit from my program, please share this information with them. You will find all the details here:
Wishing you the best during the Change,
Sirena, your Midlife Midwife
Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D. is an author, speaker and holistic healer. She supports women in their menopause years to recover their juiciness and dive full on into a vibrantly healthy and fulfilled second half of their lives. Sirena believes in a holistic and empowered approach to manage menopause symptoms, specializing in weight management through cleanses, live foods, and emotional detoxing.
A board certified holistic health coach, raw food educator, detox expert, radio host and blogger, Sirena is Professor Emerita of Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies. She has authored and published numerous articles and two books on Latin American performance and gender studies, globalization and new social movements. Her forthcoming book Recover Your Juiciness: A 30 Day DIY Guide for an Empowered and Healthy Menopause will be out next Fall by Flower of Life Press.
She is a compelling public speaker offering wellness seminars in English and Spanish.