Tag Archives | midlife

5 Ideal Workouts for Women Over 50

Sunny Day © lynette sheppard

In this guest post by Perly Rodolfo, she shares tips and ideas for creating an exercise program to keep healthy as we age. It’s simple, not necessarily easy – especially to keep motivated. My pal, Dee Adams, cartoonist creator of Minnie Pauz, started out slowly – just walking every day. She lost weight and gained fitness (and she took some mighty fine photos on her morning walks every day.) And if/when we backslide? No recriminations, just start again.

5 Ideal Workouts for Women Over 50 by Perly Rodolfo

Even if you don’t exercise regularly now, it is important to know that there is still plenty of time for you to initiate your workout program.

And if you are in your 50’s or older, becoming physically active is advantageous for your health. Staying fit as you age is a necessity rather than an option.

Many women suffer from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, joint pain, sleeping disorders. But, did you know that a physically inactive lifestyle can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis? A sedentary lifestyle can also cause emotional problems, even a midlife crisis.

Experts suggest that middle aged women who exercise more have a biological age of 35. This is the reason why you often see celebrities and athletes who are over 50 to be more energetic, fit and healthy.

To reduce your risk of disease and have a healthy life beyond the age of 50, you will want to embark upon a complete fitness program that is ideal to your age.

Without further ado, here are 5 ideal workouts for women over 50:

Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises are perfect for women over 50 as most of the moves are not stressful, less intense and are common workouts at home. This type of exercise focuses on your large muscles benefiting your cardiovascular health as well as keeping your weight in check.

Some of the best aerobic exercises that you can do are walking, swimming, dancing, jogging, cardio machines as well as many others. If you prefer a more advanced exercise, you can try hiking, Zumba dance classes, boxing or other anaerobic exercises (aerobic exercises that are performed at a level of intensity).

Stretching
Stretching exercises focus on your flexibility to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints. Doing stretches before and after your regular workout helps reduce the risk of injuries and muscle soreness.  Some of the best stretching exercises for women over 50 are yoga and pilates. These forms of exercise help improve core body strength, increase stability and elevate mental power.

Strength Training
Lifting weights may seem too difficult and dangerous to middle aged women due to the risk of various possible injuries associated with incorrect strength training exercises. But lifting light hand weights can significantly improve your strength and posture, maintains bone strength and reduces your risk of lower back injury.

Above all, lifting weights that give tension on your arms results in a more toned and fit body. This means that lifting weights can burn more fat and in a much faster rate than any other regular exercise. You can start with hand weights that you can comfortably lift for eight repetitions initially. Increases reps until you can do 12 for each routine.

Core and Balance Exercises
Maintaining a strong core and a stable balance will help protect your spine and hips.  For these exercises, you need core equipment such as stability balls and half-round balls. You can use this equipment to help improve your abs, glutes and hips.

Abdominal exercises such as crunches and planks require some perseverance and patience especially if you are a beginner. Doing both balance and core workouts will give you optimal results out of your overall workout program.

Respiration and Relaxation
Women over 50 are not the same as young adult women in their 30’s. Your lung capacity begins to decrease during the aging process.

This results in weakening of your bronchioles and alveoli air sacs, lungs, diaphragm and intercostal muscles.
So how can you improve and maintain a healthy respiratory system? Aerobic exercises and the other exercises mentioned above can certainly help. But breathing exercises are the best. Tai chi is one of the most perfect breathing exercise programs for women over 50.

Tai chi basically helps improve overall well-being – mental, physical and emotional state. Plus, this breathing technique is simple and easy with no extra equipment required.

Conclusion
Remember that every bit of movement counts. Doing household chores or just walking your dog  can be helpful to your workout program. Take  vitamin D to help support your bone and joint health. Above all, follow a healthy and sensible dietary regimen that will support your workout.

Remember, age is just a number and you can prevent many of the signs of aging by just performing simple exercises at home.

Author Bio:
Perly Rodolfo is a health and fitness enthusiast, businesswoman and a mother of two. She spends most of her time with her family and blogging about dietary supplements, healthy lifestyles and online businesses. Learn more about Perly through her website at http://www.populardietpills.net/.

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New Year’s Intentions

fireworks for blog
I don’t make resolutions anymore.It’s too freaking stressful to make them and subsequently break them. I do make intentions, however. Intentions for me are large global visions of how I want to live for the next year (and maybe longer.)

I am in the habit of drawing an angel card each morning. The one word on each card serves as a daily focusing, a mantra if you will, for noticing or expressing a certain quality throughout 24 hours.

For example, today, I drew Kindness. Musing on kindness throughout the day allowed me to slow down when my cat was walking all over my keyboard and just pet him for awhile, rather than push him away. Work could wait. And it did. I was nicer to the people I met in town and even to myself, usually last on the list.

Similarly, I’ve found intentions to be helpful for me in focusing on a larger scale, on defining what might be important to me to notice and embody for the coming 365 days. Under each intention are ways in which I might accomplish it, but I am in no way absolutely wedded to them as goals.

That said, here are my intentions for 2017:

Notice and follow Beauty.
Photography
Prose: read and write
Butterflies – follow them.

Artify
Become an Art Activist rather than a politics watcher
App and paint photos
Write

Nourishment
body: exercise, yoga, eat healthy most of the time
mind: Scrabble, reading
spirit: solitude, music, time in Nature

Connection
Spouse: quality time, shared pursuits and adventures
Family: spend time w kids, parents, pets
Good friends: spend time

Celebration
Being on the top side of the dirt (that’s big!)
Each moment
Celebrate What’s Right With The World site

Give Back
Blogs
Healing Images
Art Activism (see above)

I will re-view these throughout the year – maybe find that some are easy to focus on and others need more attention. I use them as a sort of fuzzy logic compass to give my meanders through life a sense of direction and purpose.

I will eventually set goals as I focus more on my intentions – for example, within the intention of music, I want to learn to play ukulele. I’ll need to set a schedule of practice and lessons as well as determine how far I wish to go in this pursuit.

Your intentions may echo some of mine or they may be completely different. I offer mine only as a template and you may find a better way to define your New Year visions. Please share them if you do. That’s how we become Menopause Goddesses – growing and sharing. I wish you all a peace and joy filled New Year.

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Beyond Hesitancy: A Midlife Leap of Faith To the Unknown

Sand and Sea © lynette sheppard

Sand and Sea © lynette sheppard

Sirena Pellarolo shares an inspiring story of how to create a vibrant Second Adulthood in this wonderful guest post. Enjoy!

Beyond Hesitancy: A Midlife Leap of Faith To the Unknown

Guest Post by Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D.

“Over and over I’ve watched peri-menopausal symptoms resolve in women who’ve had the courage to negotiate the rapids of their midlife transitions consciously and in an empowered way in which they finally give their own needs high priority” (my emphasis).

Christiane Northrup, M.D., The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change. New York: Bantam Books, 104

I’m finally rocked by the magic murmur of the Ocean. It’s soothing and sometimes haunting. I’ve been yearning to live by the ocean for decades, and I always thought it would be impossible. Who would have thought the solution was right in front of my very nose? I just needed to change my perception and open up to the possibilities. As an appointed Sirena, I knew that my Oceanic Mother Iemanjá wanted me close to her healing waters. Now I am, and I feel that each day that I spend in her presence, I’m closer to my own core, my aquatic essence. It took me courage to push the hesitancy aside and just do it.

The story I’m sharing is an exemplary tale of how we can make positive and self-supportive changes at midlife. By telling my story, I wish to convey to other women that it’s safe to listen to our own intuition and follow our deepest dreams. As midlife women, we’ve lived too long making sure that those around us had everything they needed, be they family members, co-workers or bosses. It’s our time now, time to pay attention and listen when our soul beckons us to release more life, be more of who we really are without apologies. The more we do it, the closer we’ll be to our own self-expression and fulfillment.

Take my case. I spent a whole lifetime of obligations as a single mom. Strayed away from my own artistic, mystical inclinations when I migrated to the US with my family of two baby daughters and an artistic husband who refused to give up his own art no matter what happened. Although what I am going to share was probably a biased perception, at that time I felt that I was the one who had the sole responsibility to anchor my focus on the day-to-day survival of the family. I created a life crisscrossed with duties, and although I did pursue a career that was close to my heart, the freedom and creativity that I craved became repressed and acted out in ways that –I see now–, could have been avoided by just letting out some steam and addressing the longings. Too much rational work as an academic thwarted my poetic nature until I hit peri-menopause at forty-five, and it then became unavoidable to shed the masks I had donned to perform the victim role that didn’t fit me anymore.

In a recently completed chapter titled “The Masquerade is Over: Shedding Masks at Midlife,” included in the collection Menopause Mavens, from Mayhem to Mastery, I recall the incredible transformation that I underwent fifteen years ago: the opening of the path that has brought me where I stand right now. Prompted by a series of psychic upheavals and deeply symbolic events, I ended up renaming myself and changing the course of my life forever by simply acknowledging my deepest desires. However, looking back at that transformation, in the mentioned piece I acknowledge that I wasn’t able then to fully “embody the greatness of la Sirena,” as I did not dare to “cross completely the threshold” that separated the old version of myself with my magnificence.

In her comments, the editor of the anthology addresses my hesitancy, “this feels like your next book topic – how to fully embody the new you and releas[e] the hesitancy…. how to explore what the blocks [we]re, [in order] to really embodying her.” I truly appreciate Jane’s feedback for it propelled me to start working on a book guided by my own process of identifying and overcoming my inner fears. In turn, I use this acquired self-knowledge to guide women who have been holding on for too long to old limiting belief systems and behaviors and discover at midlife that they can feel happy, creative and fulfilled.

After my peri-menopausal wake up call, I slowly but surely started to pay attention to the stirrings of my soul and allowing my intuition to move me, tentatively at the beginning, with more courage and heart in recent years. At fifty-five I underwent another turning point when I retired from my position as a professor to pursue my passion and calling as a healer. But the real pivot happened in the past six months, during the last of a five-year transition from full employment to retirement, as I was building my practice as a certified Holistic Health Coach. I plunged into the revamping of myself by listening closely to my yearnings towards service, as I knew I had so much to offer other women by just sharing what I had learnt in my own healing experience.

During those five years, I had consciously embarked in the process of stripping myself of the accoutrements of my old profession, by deepening my spiritual practices and learning everything I could about how to become a heart-centered health practitioner. I knew that this last year of my semi-retirement, was going to be crucial to catapult myself into my new career. Interestingly, several external events inspired me to take a radical leap of faith toward the unknown.

My younger daughter Violeta and her husband decided to leave Los Angeles and move back to Boston, where Andrew and his family are originally from. They were also expecting a baby, my first grandchild! In my various visits with them–and more intensely when BB James was born in July–, it became very clear to me that I had to move out of Los Angeles and start a new life elsewhere. I didn’t know where, but it became crystal clear that I had to let go of a city that had ran its course, and de-clutter my life from old stuff that didn’t serve me anymore.

“I renounce everything to have it all” became the theme for this process of letting go. The admonition haunted me, I repeated it as a mantra, and its meaning helped me move forward. I breathed it, I prayed it, I dreamt it. As soon as its profound meaning became flesh and I stood in the power of that calling, I willingly started selling or tossing everything that I felt was cluttering my life. The more I got rid of, the freer I became. I was feeling lighter and ready to tackle the next stage of my life with a clean slate.

This was the time when my older daughter, Paloma–who had been living with me and was the original instigator of this process of decluttering–, decided to leave Los Angeles too. Wow! I was alone now… Why would I stay in this city past December, when I would be fully retired? It was a perfect opportunity to let go of a place and a lifestyle that had had me running around trying to be productive, spinning my wheels to provide for others and really slow down, catch my breath and recoup all those dreams I had put in the back burner twenty-five years before, like writing and traveling.

These past six months have been the most liberating of my life, as I got rid of things, situations and places that were imbued with the clingy energy of self-limitation and frustration. As I released, I was making space for the new to sweep me up ad move me forward.

In my need to simplify my life and focus 100% on my healing practice, the calling for travelling and going back to the simplicity of Latin America, where I’m originally from, started to haunt me. I wanted to visit my aging mom in Buenos Aires, and spend time in my beloved surfers’ beach of Santa Teresa in Costa Rica.

In mid December, after I posted the grades of my last classes, cleaned up my office at school and sent the 30 day notice to vacate the rental place I had lived in for the past five years, I still didn’t know where I’d go come mid January. However, I was certain I’d receive guidance and stayed in trust that the right place would reveal itself in due time.

Sure enough, one morning in meditation I got a download to reach out to an old friend who had been my grad school classmate from the early 90s, and ask him if he had a room available in his beautiful ocean front home in Baja California. I knew this was a long shot, because my friend is very private and really cherishes his aloneness and is content sharing his ample home with his four cats. In addition to that, he rarely checks his email and doesn’t have a cellphone. Very difficult to get in touch with him!

By the beginning of January, I still hadn’t heard back from him and already assumed that my request had not been well received. Until one day I finally got an apologetic email about the delayed response, where he assured me of his delight to have me share his home with him. I was elated at this and speeded up the process of packing up, storing and getting rid of my last belongings.

As I look back, I really don’t know how I did it, how I found the courage, determination, patience and persistence to go through this protracted process of letting go and trusting the intelligence of the Universe in the process of moving towards my next stage in life. But the fact is I did. Now that I’m settled in this beautiful home, facing my beloved ocean, allowing myself to be rocked to sleep by its continuous cadence, I look back and take stock of this experience that can serve as an example of how to change around our lives at midlife.

Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D.
Midlife Midwife and Holistic Healer
Co-author of Menopause Mavens: Master the Mystery of Menopause
www.sirenapellarolo.com

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What A Vibrant Second Act Looks Like

Whatevah © lynette sheppard

Whatevah © lynette sheppard

We drove up to the house and parked. A diminutive red-haired pixie burst out from the front door, multicolored tattoos scrolling down both arms. “This can’t be right,” I thought. “This woman can’t be a grandmother.”

It was our first time using Airbnb. The cozy mother-in-law unit looked perfect. I received text messages from our hostess, Linda (not her real name). She gave me pertinent details and asked why we were coming to Ventura. When I mentioned grandchild, she responded that she too was crazy about her grandchildren.

As Linda neared me, I realized that she indeed was a Menopause Goddess. She flung her arms around me in welcome and ushered us into the charming hideaway. A bottle of wine and several Keurig coffee pods decorated the counter. A woman after my own heart.

Linda  is a nurse midwife who runs two other businesses. She is a dynamo, a force to be reckoned with. I don’t doubt that she jumps out of bed every morning excited to greet the day. She has created her vibrant Second Act.

Menopause Goddess Sandy was in a terrible accident last year while commuting to work. Her convalescence gave her time to assess her life choices. She retired from her job and took a different route to Vibrancy. She spends her days walking, reading, and playing with her grandson. For the first time, her days are completely her own. She says she may volunteer or work at a bookstore someday, but for now each day is a perfect jewel to be admired as it is.

Jess and her husband left the tech industry last year. They bought a motor home and traveled the U.S., wandering wherever they wished, whenever they wished. They came back home and got jobs that have nothing to do with tech – she works in the hospitality industry and is loving the fresh start.

Barbara is a member of my writer’s group. She moved to Moloka`i alone last year. Her family was aghast. Why was she moving to a rural island where she knew no one and had no ties? She explains it this way – “This is my Walden Pond. I want to live a life of contemplation in nature.” She writes much of every day and is thriving in her new life.

My point in sharing all these stories is this: there is no one right way to live a vibrant life. All these women are following their hearts into a fulfilling (for them) Second Adulthood. There are as many ways to live vibrantly as there are Menopause Goddesses. And if we don’t know what or how we’d like to create our next steps? Try different ones on for size – if you don’t like it, go to Plan B. Or C. We don’t get demerits for trying more than one approach. Or for constantly revising it as we go along. Whatevah!

Share with us your vision of a vibrant Second Act, even if you are not quite ready to fully live into it. Sharing our dreams makes them more real to us. And after all, that’s what this site is about: Women sharing wisdom.

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How Do We Inform Ourselves About Menopause?

Christmas bouganvill

That is the question that Jamie Cooper is trying to answer in her doctoral research study at University of South Florida. She is asking for participation in her online survey questionnaire.  She’d like women aged 35 -55 to share their experiences with her; your answers will be confidential and anonymous.

Jamie hopes to help improve the lives of women at midlife now and in the future. Now that’s some research we can get behind. Women sharing wisdom – that’s what we are all about. Here’s the link:

http:tinyurl.com/menopausestudy

If you have questions for Jamie, you can email her at jc2@usf.edu.

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A Guide to Creating Me Time

Paradise Palms © lynette sheppard

Paradise Palms © lynette sheppard

First off, I want to thank all my sister goddesses who wrote me about which topics were uppermost on their priorities for the “Second Adulthood” posts. I promise that I will get to all of them – eventually. Most are high priority for me as well, as I traverse this second half of life. And please, if you have thoughts, insights, or offerings to help us along the way, share them! That’s how we survive and thrive – together!

 “Me Time” was mentioned so many times that it jumped to the top of the list. I used to think (and say) that I needed to find time for me, as if it were lost or misplaced and I had only to stumble upon it to have it. I know now that I was completely off base.

Me time can’t be found. It must be created. We have to actively set aside time for ourselves or risk never having any. Sure, there are always demands on our time. For years, we put aside ourselves for other people and priorities. The rare massage or infrequent bubble bath just didn’t fill the need, though they helped some.

So, how do we go about creating “me time”?

First and foremost, we have to believe that “me time” is important, even critical. Right now. Because it is.

Second, we have to be clear with our family and friends that this is a necessity and in no way diminishes our relationships with them. In fact, they may come to see that a refreshed, revitalized intimate is more present and connected, a pleasure to be around. It can only enhance our relationships.

Third, we must schedule it and keep it as a sacred covenant, to be broken only in case of a true emergency. (And I have found from this vantage point in life that very few of the “emergencies” I responded to earlier in my First Act were truly as urgent as I made them out to be or that I was the ONLY one who could respond. Discernment is called for in such a case.)

Right now, I am writing this blog post from my hotel room on the island of Kauai. I’m sitting in the middle of a bed with four, count them: four, fluffy white pillows propping me up. Sister goddess Lei and I are attending a multi day hula conference. Hula is something we love and share; it nourishes us. However, it is intense to go from early am to late night learning and sharing dances. And while this trip is a type of “me time”, it can be tiring both mentally and physically.

So we’ve learned to schedule a day prior to the conference and a day after to just “be”. We might hang by the pool, make art, or just take a walk on the beach. We might talk. Or not. Naps may spontaneously happen.

Tonight, our last night here, one of our sister goddesses who lives on Kauai will join us for dinner and we’ll have some “us time” as well. I know that we will be rejuvenated and re-created by all of this time. And we will go home rested and filled with joy.

Don’t wait. Start now. Schedule that me time. And let us know how you feel afterwards.

Helpful hint:  it can help to schedule “me time” with a girlfriend. Because we may let ourselves down, but we will not let our girlfriends down. Who knows? It may become a habit. Let’s hope so, anyway.

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What’s Important to Post-Menopausal Goddesses?

Arch of Celebration © lynette sheppard

Arch of Celebration © lynette sheppard

OK, wow. As of this post, I am officially no longer the go-to Menopause person at Menopause Goddess Blog. I’m thrilled that Ashley Ross has taken over that position. From now on, I’m the Second Adulthood blogger here. Ashley and I will alternate weeks posting most of the time, subject to change if one of us is on vacation, overwhelmed, etc.

Now that menopause is (mostly) in my rear view mirror, I find myself contemplating how I might spend the rest of my life’s time. Not that we didn’t spend hours discussing how we might best live a vibrant Second Adulthood during our Menopause Goddess gatherings – we surely did! It’s never too early to start looking ahead and crafting a vision for the future.

Myriad thoughts and ideas swim through my head. Crafting a vision is important, but so are the changes brought about by aging, coping with elderly parents, dealing with loss. So for this first blog post, I’d like to ask what you are most interested in reading and sharing.

Because that blank piece of paper can sometimes make the mind go blank (happens to me all the time), I’ll list some potential topics. Add others as you think of them. You can post them here in the comments section or email me at lynette@9points.com. That will let me know where you’d like the conversation to start.

Potential Topics
Retirement (or being unable to retire)
Finding a passion
Creating a new relationship (with either a new person or your partner of many years)
Exploring creativity
Caregiving
Health issues
Staying / becoming healthy
Looking good
Aging
Coping with change
Travel
Redefining yourself
Legacy and giving back
Grandchildren
Me time
Nurturing self
Nurturing others
Learning

These are just a few ideas – let me know which of these is most important or intriguing to you or send me topics of your own. I’m excited about experiencing this new adventure together. Again, my direct email is lynette@9points.com  Can’t wait to hear from my sister goddesses, menopausal and post-menopausal.

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Recover Your Juiciness In Four Simple Steps

Agave Dewdrops © lynette sheppard

Agave Dewdrops © lynette sheppard

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:

http://www.sirenapellarolo.com/programs/jumpstart-an-empowered-and-healthy-menopause/

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.

info@sirenapellarolo.com
www.sirenapellarolo.com

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Mid Life – Schmid Life

Staying Happy in MIdlife  © Joe Indovina

Staying Happy in MIdlife © Joe Indovina

I laughed out loud when I read this essay by Joanne Cain – we are blessed that she offered to share it with us. You can read more of her musings on her blog at http://katherinesdaughter.com/

Mid Life – Schmid Life
by Joanne Cain

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”

― Maya Angelou

I am 57 years old and feel like I am finally coming into accepting this beautiful, whole mid life thing I’ve been going through. I cannot believe at times, how I took my own youth for granted. I also can’t believe the things I worried about in my younger days.

They say youth is wasted on the young and ok, I get it. It would be nice to have a few things back right now, like a smaller waistline. But then I wouldn’t have all this wisdom and maturity I finally get to enjoy.

I can’t lie. It has been hard to accept certain parts of being over 50. Most of all, I can’t believe how naive I was about the changes my body would go through. I’d look at older people and make fun of the sagging skin on their arms or the fact that they couldn’t see or hear. It is pretty humbling when those same things start to happen to you.

I’ve struggled on and off with being ok about the sight and hair changes, the attention and focus issues, and the forgetfulness. Mostly I realize some of those things can happen to anyone at any age. My own 32 year old daughter couldn’t remember her banking PIN number when planning her work conference a few weeks ago. 🙂

So the thinking I’ve been coming into lately has been one of acceptance. Of loving my body and who I am no matter what. Of accepting who I am and embracing my age. (a mantra really for any age!) That’s why my opening quote is by Maya. She and my mother are really my role models for aging acceptance.

I quit coloring my hair a few years ago. It just got to be too much. Too much upkeep, too much trouble. The temptation to take it back to full on (dyed)color left me after the first year. This was one of the things I felt most strongly about- embracing the changes that were really mine, a part of my aging process. I didn’t take hormones through the change either. I had good role models who encouraged me to hang in there. I got better at deciding what I really needed to be emotionally healthy. I left a job that I loved because the drive was too dang far. For me, I have to do the mental work of healthy attitudes before any kind of physical work (like exercise or a career change) can really take root.

You know me pretty well by now to know that I’m a grace and love kind of person. I want to be the child of God who embraces unconditional love for all people. It doesn’t mean I agree with everyone’s viewpoint. It also doesn’t mean I condone unacceptable behavior when someone isn’t treating me well. It just means that I give others the right to have their viewpoint and I expect them to respect mine. And I love them pure and simple for who they are. This is the attitude I try and embrace every day. Aging and faith have taught me this.

When my silver hair grew out, it came in mostly on the sides of my head. I have darker hair down the middle and pure silver all along the edges. I call the darker part my “racing stripe.” And truly, I mean it.

photo credit: Staying Happy in MidLife! Joanne thanks her buddy Joe Indovina for this pic.

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Get Your Midlife Mojo Back

Butterfly Glowing © lynette sheppard

Butterfly Glowing © lynette sheppard

Dr. Joni Labbe’s new book “Why is Mid-Life Mooching Your Mojo” is absolutely my favorite book about those persnickety symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, and weight gain that afflict so many of us in perimenopause and menopause.

meno mojo

As she says, you are not crazy, lazy, or finished! Not by a long shot. And she offers down to earth wisdom for getting your mojo back. It’s like having an integrative practitioner and a girlfriend in one. She ought to know, she lived it when she went through menopause.

Those of you who’ve written me over the years when at the end of your rope with all the changes know that I highly recommend a holistic or integrative medicine practitioner to learn about and treat your menopause symptoms. I also believe that we cannot travel this journey alone and advocate starting your own Menopause Goddess group or staying in close touch with your virtual community on the blogsite and Facebook page.

Dr. Joni demystifies the changes (and many of the conditions that may accompany the Big M, like thyroid dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, and inflammation.) Her plain talk approach on what’s happening and what to do about it are brilliant. Allopathic medicine (aka the regular medical model in our healthcare system) has been woefully inadequate in diagnosing low thyroid, adrenal insufficiency, and quite frankly, menopause. Working with functional medicine as a model, Dr. Joni explains how you can find relief and feel like you again.

I was lucky enough to find my own Dr. Joni (Dr. Michael Gerber) after a few rough years who tested me and helped me make simple life changes (+ bioidentical hormones, which also helped). So much of what Dr. Joni says I fervently agree with and am proof that dealing with inflammation and hormonal issues can give you back your vitality.

What I love about this book is how clear, concise, and downright helpful it is! I believe that every woman approaching this transition or having any of the symptoms that plague us during the Big M needs to read this. Thankfully, it’s easy to read, interwoven with real life case studies and humor. And you can keep up with new info on Dr. Joni’s website:  MojoGirlfriends.com.  Buy her book on Amazon – click here.

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