In the UK, very little emotional or spiritual support is provided for women who are entering perhaps the most rewarding aspect of their lives once menopause arrives. Focus is generally on addressing the physical challenges and changes. However, throughout history the notion of the female trinity of maiden, mother and crone has been held in the collective psyche, and many indigenous cultures still honour and consider this third aspect as the most sacred. Western culture, however, has historically marginalised female voices and even distorted the accrued wisdom. The hunting and burning of healers, wise women and herbalists of the Middle Ages may seem a long time ago, but it was as recent as 1944 that the last woman was jailed in Edinburgh as a witch. It’s not surprising then that western women today still often enter this period of their lives without a clear sense of who they are. Deeper still is the unacknowledged and unspoken association with words such as ‘crone’, ‘witch’ or ‘wise woman’ as well as perhaps issues within their own female or family lineage. Witnessing a woman release and heal from maternal patterns going back generations is both humbling and powerful.
Here are some tips I recommend for any woman entering this most profound part of her life:
- journaling your thoughts regarding your maternal heritage, be it both good and bad, is a cathartic process and may help to bring up and release stuck emotion.
- honouring this most precious part of your life through the creation of some form of celebration or rite of passage can help with the recognition and acknowledgement of the wisdom you have accrued.
- seeking emotional support during this period can take many different forms, so it’s worthwhile considering some spiritual coaching or shamanic therapeutic work to help you work through any blockages.
- somatic body work such as shiatsu or t’ai chi can also help to identify where you store stuck energy in the body and help you release it.
- allowing the ageing process through the creation of a list of principles by which you now want to live your life is incredibly empowering. There’s a sense of ‘lightness’ that comes with fully stepping into this period of your life.
- accepting and cherishing the physical bodily changes can be a tough one for many. We’re bombarded every minute with images of eternal youthful-looking women who get hooked on plastic surgery, tucks and lord knows what else. We’ve forgotten how to just ‘be’ who we are.
Instead, how about telling your body daily how much you appreciate and love it – whenever you rub moisturiser into your dry skin, or notice more wrinkles or silver hairs appearing, etc.
- honour your soul – by which I mean honour and recognise that you are more than just a physical being but an eternal soul enjoying the physical realm in this earth dimension.