I hear all different opinions about menopause from my patients. Some hate it, some love it, and many experience it as a fact of life with some minor inconveniences attached. I haven't gone through the process yet, but let me share something from my perspective as a younger woman- we need you. We need you to be an elder. We need you to share what you've learned in your life. Our children need you. They need your guidance.
I talk to so many women in the 50s and 60s who think they don't have anything of value to share. I know that can't be true. You've gotten through half a century or more of life and have undoubtedly had many trials, struggles, joys, and lessons. You have so much to share.
So, as you journey through menopause, consider it a transition into your time of being an elder. You may want to consider the following:
Steps to take in this transition
- Take on an opportunity to mentor someone. Sit with them, listen, and give them guidance as they move through their life.
- Get together with other women going through menopause and talk about how you can support each other and the community around you. Talk about what needs you see in your community that you could help fill. This is no time to be shy- bring forward your gifts!
- Create a vision board. Through times of transition, a vision board can be an incredible tool for growth. Sit down with markers, magazines, scissors, pencils, paints, and create a symbol of what you would like to create and bring forward. Take your mind out of the picture for this one, and work from your spirit and your heart!
- Be with women who are going through other life transitions, such as becoming a mother, or puberty. This is a powerful way to show your support.
Rite of Passage Ceremony for Menopause:
This ceremony is created after a woman has not bled for a year, or has fully entered into menopause and is entering into a new cycle in her life.
Gather together women who are going through this transition themselves or have already done so. Before the ceremony, talk about menopause, and it's spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional joys and challenges. I find it particularly powerful to do the actual ceremony outside if possible. Gather together in a circle and call in the spirits that you work with. I call in the directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Great Spirit. Then, each woman will get 3 pieces of corn. These represent the following:
- All of the ovum that have passed through you
- Any physical children you have birthed
- All of your creative projects
Place a prayer in each of the corn kernels.
Each woman being initiated will come forward, place her kernels in the earth, and walk through a path of the other women. When each woman being initiated is done, celebrate! Dance, drum, sing, whatever makes you feel alive.
Ceremony does not have to look one certain way. It is a spiritual connection between you and all that is, or your higher power. You may take these ceremonial bones and form them in whatever way most serves you.
I wish you courage and happiness as you go forward in this walk of life.
Dr. Jen Riegle is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) who practices in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Jen specializes in women's health, infertility, and oncofertility. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to make an appointment, you may schedule on our website or by calling (707)-243-8998.