Enjoy this guest post by Menopause Goddess, Cathy Skipper. And check out her workbook for growing and thriving through this life transition.
The Alchemy of Menopause by Cathy Skipper
Menopause is a celebration. We must raise the status of post- menopausal women and restore their value. We must return them to to where they rightfully belong.
Many women do not see peri-menopause as an empowering, beautiful, natural transition to the next part of their lives. They may feel disconnected from themselves and from the secrets of the wise crone. The secrets are like a buried treasure hidden in society’s false image of the wizened, wrinkled, mean old lady. We become frightened, afraid of being rejected, of not being loved anymore, of not being seen or listened to and of not being respected. We search for surface solutions for eternal youth, not realizing that the true beauty of a women comes from inside. Inner beauty is eternal. It can only be obtained through cultivating the soft strength that exudes from a woman who has transformed herself. Such a woman can see through the eyes of all and has become universal and unique at the same time. She who has become woman.
Woman is she who has lived through the maiden, the mother or the motherless, the wife or the divorced and the lover or the loverless. Woman encompasses them all and has stepped beyond them all into herself.
Nothing can rush the passage of time. There are certain wisdoms only time can bring. Menopause marks a passage from apprenticeship to mastery. The crone that has embraced the passage of menopause has mastered what it is to be fully woman. Her perspective has changed from receiving life’s experiences to becoming life’s experiences. She has given birth to her own maturity and to herself, finally.
Our bodies and ourselves are the vessel through which this transformation of consciousness will happen. Our wombs are the crucible that contains the alchemical process. Before menopause, our wombs may have developed a new human being, but this time, in menopause, we ourselves go through all the stages of development and become independent beings ready for our new life.
Menopause is not something to be cured. It is an opportunity for new growth.
This feminine energy is contained in both men and women. Women have a responsibility to remember, heal and activate this feminine power for themselves and to enable men to recognize it in themselves, too. Many traditional cultures recognize that women are ready to take their role as healers and leaders when they reach a certain maturity. The passage to this maturity is the transformative process of peri- menopause.
We must be careful of the symbols we attach to menopause! Menopause is a woman-centered experience and needs a woman-centered approach.
“Medicine women among the Pomo of California cannot practice until they are sufficiently mature; when they are immature, their power is diffuse and likely to interfere with their practice until time and experience have it under control.” (1)
Recognizing that menopause is woman’s age of maturity and independence relieves younger women from the pressure “to have to know” and “to be in their power” right away. They can relax into their lifelong journey of transformation, knowing that they are still apprentices to themselves before menopause.
“ Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life…we take the step into the afternoon of life…with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve as before. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning—for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at the evening have become a lie. For a young person it is almost a sin, or at least a danger to be too preoccupied with [the] self; but for the aging person it is a duty and a necessity to devote serious attention to [the] self.” (2)
Are you ready to birth yourself? Are you ready to become who you really are? Are you ready to love yourself? Are you ready to restore balance in yourself? Are you ready to become powerfully woman?
As we feel the call of menopause ; these are the questions we need to ask ourselves as we journey into the unknown potential of our future selves.
(1) Paula Gunn Allen “The sacred Hoop – Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions”, 1992
(2) C. G. Jung, “The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche” (Collected Works Vol. 8), Bollingen, 1960
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