For many years I have worked with Doreen Virtue's Goddess Cards. At the start of the year I pulled, Maeve, the guardian of Cycles and Rhythms.
My response: "No shit Sherlock!"
At the time I was in the full throws of some intense peri-menopausal symptoms: a constant barrage of hot flushes during the day, night sweats with the accompanied sleeplessness, mood swings sparked off by fatigue and unpredictable cycles and riding it all was the familiar hormonal changing patterns of all over neurological pain that I have experienced ever since an infected epidural C-section gave me meningitus and caused a hole in my spine to leak spinal fluid.
All winter and well into spring, I was riddled with incomprehensible pain- every Thursday.
Some days, all I could do was cancel my appointments and retreat into the calm of a darkened room and wait it out.
Most days it was enough just to put one foot in front of the other by meeting the next task, the next appointment and celebrating the small victory of just being present in each moment.
On my good days, I fished. I threw my metaphorical net into the world in the faith that I would reel what I needed to learn about riding this wild beast.
This is some of what I learnt:
Endurance means knowing when to act and when to rest.
Tenacity is focusing on the next small step and taking it in full faith that this too will pass.
Denial and Resistance only brings more pain.
Acknowledging, accepting and appreciating what is happening is good medicine, and offers a clear path to follow.
Being vulnerable and speaking your truth is a strength that brings a wealth of support to you.
Being open to and allowing that support can bring you to a place of freedom from pain, physical health and the greatest gift of all, a deepening of your love for yourself and all of life.
Indeed, this period of intensive upheaval has passed.
How did I do it?
I surrendered. I let go of the need or the will to control or 'manage' my symptoms. Instead I dropped into them and allowed them to inform me.
I listened to my cycles of pain and what they were telling me and stopped treating clients on Thursdays, dedicating the day to my self care.
I invested in treatments and practices to ease long held tensions in my body .
I turned to my elders to hear their oh so sweet stories of the rite of passage of menopause.
I adopted the practices of stabalising breath, afternoon naps and Menstrual Cycle Awareness.
And the pain lifted, my symptoms eased. The cycle changed. I grew physically stronger, mentally sharper and emotionally grounded. Everyday, a little bit more capable, a lot softer, rising with a deep sense of gratitude.
I am still in the midst of peri-menopause. Now, I am shining.
I have ridden the dragon and landed triumphant.
I'm a woman who has endured, who has a wealth of life well lived, skills and talents sharply honed and the confidence to share them with the waiting world.
Are you ready?
With pure delight