As the world inches its way back towards a balance of the masculine & feminine, the natural, (ie ways of nature) ways of Being of the feminine are returning to the fore. And this means that we women are starting to become more aware of the natural cycles of our lives.
One part of this cycle is, of course, Menopause. That which was once shoved down, denied or ignored as something negative and scary, is now starting to be embraced in enlightened circles as the significant life transition that it is. And lets get this into perspective – there are only 4 main transitions for women – Birth, Menarche, Menopause and Death. That’s just how significant a portal Menopause is.
Menopause signifies a new way of Being. Not better, not worse – it’s just different. Times are changing so fast and women are really breaking new ground here – whereas in times gone by, a post-menopausal woman wouldn’t be expected to live much beyond the cessation of her menses. Now, increased life expectancy means that often Menopause is only half way through a woman’s life, so our Wisdom Years, or our Second Spring or our Post Menopause Years are potentially a whole half of our lives. This means that the old ways of thinking around a shrinking, ill, disempowered useless old lady were always misguided, and even more so, are no longer relevant in todays world.
If we bought into the old paradigm of “A woman is ‘past it’ post menopause”, “She can no longer bear children, therefore she is of no use to society”, “She is no longer sexually active” “She’s dried up and riddled with osteoporosis!”, “She’s a batty hormonal basket case” etc etc, then it would indeed be a sorry tale for the second half of our lives.
Luckily this outmoded perception of The Change is on its way out……
…. and women are starting to see the light! The years of Peri-menopause through menopause and beyond offer us a whole new and exciting exploration of ourselves. It offers us the opportunity to honour and integrate all thats gone before; to offer us new perspectives and the wisdom of retrospect that is so valuable for the world to hear right now.
The new way of Menopause involves reclaiming our experience for ourselves. Its about honouring our bodies in all their changing ways; its about offering ourselves loving attention and tender bodily self-care.
Its about not trying to do things in the same old way as we’ve always done them, because if we persist in the old ways, we will be struggling against the natural order of things that wants us to release old patterns as we journey through this portal. Its almost as if we come to a door which says, “Only Truth Permitted Beyond this Threshhold!!” And facing this is no mean feat – especially if we haven’t had the opportunity to slow down and deal with our ‘stuff’ before reaching the peri-menopause, then we really can have an emotionally rocky ride.
Our bodies and minds are moving into a naturally more Yin state, and this, within the context of our overtly patriarchal society, has long been deemed a weakness. Now we’re understanding that this Yin state is that feminine part of us, and a feminine thats probably been suppressed for most of our lives. So, its a real gift for us to embrace this more Yin state as it brings us back to a more natural balance between our masculine and feminine.
It feels so important that we understand the nature of this gift and align our consciousness and our physical and energy bodies with this new, natural way of Being. In this way we’re able to enhance the gems that are open to us at this time, eg increased creativity, increased wisdom, and yes, though this is surprising for some to hear, enhanced capacity to feel sensual and embrace our innate sexual woman.
At Menopause, our sacred elixir, that is our menstrual Blood, is no longer lost outside of our bodies, but the sacred essence of that is now held in our sexual organs, so on a physical level these organs, eg our Ovaries, Wombs and Vaginas may shrink, yet on an energetic level they can expand into a creativity, joy and wisdom that we never knew possible…. Its just about learning to listen to our bodies in a new way; its about learning to become sensitive to our energy bodies; to our Yin organs, including our Hearts & Wombs… its about a new and gentle relationship with ourselves; its about having the courage to leave the old ways behind and embrace a new way of deeper intimate connection. In some ways it could be compared to the energies it serves us to embrace as we move into the season of Winter each year; except Menopause is on a much more intense scale… this is literally the Autumn / Winter of our whole lives.
My personal experience is that I have this feeling that my womb has been waiting my whole life for this opportunity to connect with me strongly at this potent portal – she’s really showing me the futility of comparing myself to my younger, more Yang, more active sisters. Striving, forcing myself to comply to the energy of this Yang society never ever served me personally as I had never truly embraced / nourished my Yin. My Kidney Yin had been ‘on the floor’ most of my life so it took me extreme amounts of effort to function well in a way that the conventional society around me, expected of me, ie strive, achieve, go faster, embrace logical left-brained thinking etc etc. It just wasn’t where my body and mind could naturally be, except that I had no idea of these concepts until I reached my late 30’s / early 40’s. I’ve started to get much more perspective on the way I’ve struggled in a masculine paradigm, and instead of struggling now, I can drop the resistance and allow my Yin to flourish as a way through to peace and a more natural, slow-burning unfoldment of sensuality and creativity.
A balanced menopause stage is not something we can intellectualise; its something to be experienced and felt ; its an embodiment of the power we’ve maybe been longing to feel all our lives or the creativity we’ve been longing to explore all our lives…. And at this threshold, as we move into these wisdom years, this is a potent time of fresh new beginnings – hence the Taoist tradition refers to it as our ‘Second Spring’.
And so the further I journey through to the other side of the ‘Moon Pause’ portal the more I start to really feel the intrinsic value of that feminine Yin part of me, the more I really get that a more Yin way of Being does not in any way mean a weaker way of being; and the more I really understand now how imperative the embracing of our Yin is for all men and women in the re-balancing, not only of ourselves, but of humanity as a whole.
HOW TAOIST WOMEN’S PRACTISES CAN HELP US TRANSITION WELL
At this potent time in our planets history, like many other ancient women’s traditions, so too is the Women’s Taoist tradition starting to be re-discovered in ancient texts, re-membered, channelled. This is because Universal energy is now moving back towards the Feminine in an effort to redress its balance after its peak of Utmost masculine. The Taoist Women’s practises are an essential tool for re-awakening our inner Feminine energies and returning our bodies and minds to balance. We’re being encouraged to embrace a more loving, more sensual, more intuitive, more creative way of Being. When we reactivate these innate feminine treasures, we naturally become healthier, happier, wiser, more abundant, as we are re-aligning ourselves with our natural way.
The taoist tradition, out of which stems Chinese Medicine, has so many gifts to offer women when it comes to helping us transition smoothly in the run-up to the Menopause, and out the other side! It starts with the tenet that our energy flows where our attention goes, so if we’re focussing our loving attention on our bodies, the healing potential is infinite.
Taoist practise helps us:
- To balance the Yin & Yang within us.
- To embrace our inner Yin (our inner feminine)
- To work intimately with our endocrine glands and organs. This way they communicate together to journey us more smoothly in the change from focus on the Ovaries to more emphasis on Kidneys / Adrenals.
- To manage the anxiety that can arise with this heightened pressure on the adrenals.
- Work with our internal organs to release what is often a life-time of pent up emotional patterning, so that we’re freer to unleash our highest potential for peace of mind and wisdom.
- Maintain strong, healthy joints, tendons and bones
- Regain focus, clarity & concentration
- The taoist tradition incorporates the beneficial practises of acupuncture, tao yin and qi gong, all of which help our bodies return to strong, balanced well-being. Qi Gong helps us
- To manage our Qi Flow which helps balance all of our body processes. This circulating our Qi more easily helps to alleviate:
- hot flushes,
- stagnating emotions, eg frustration, grief, fear, anxiety, worry
- The taoist women’s practises, including Jade Egg practise, offer effective ways to nourish our Yin essence which helps avoid dryness and keep our cells, our skin, not to mention our vaginas vital and moisturised!
And, the good news is, it’s never too late to start looking after ourselves! Ideally, of course, if we start incorporating these taoist practises and other women’s wellness strategies into our lives before we even arrive at peri-menopause, then its clear we’ll have a much healthier and emotionally smoother ride all the way through!
Wishing you a beautiful journey through your own Second Spring. May you experience the fulfilment, the magic and the joy that is the potential of this sacred phase of life.