Tag: menopause

Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Lessons In Letting Go & Finding Balance with Sora Garrett

Learning to find our balance again and again, is a valuable skill we practice as we navigate life’s challenges. This is especially true during the midlife years when a plethora of destabilizing happenings beset many of us. The blessing that is born as a result of our hard work is multifaceted. Sora Garret joins us today as the final guest in this segment of The Voices of Wisdom Series. In her article she describes this practice beautifully. Sora is a gifted writer with a gentle spirit whose valuable message comes through loud and clear . . .  Be sure to visit her website and check out her books.

Midlife Reflections on Balance, Menopause & the Joy of Being

Sora Garrett

Letting go
Sora Garrett

I’m turning 50 this year, the foundations of my life solid around me, wisdom woven deep from the rich tapestry of a half century of living. Some days I revel in this feel of solidity—the comfort & freedom it brings. Other days I am cast as water, floating in the elusive nature of things and wondering what I am to do with myself now that I’ve reached so many of my dreams.

Most of my life I’ve found fulfillment through action, the fulcrum of my life based in doing. Finding balance meant stealing time for myself so that I could keep functioning as a working-volunteering mother-wife-friend-entrepreneur.

Balance was also a journey of taking myself to the extremes, testing boundaries, exploring edges to find where I belonged so I could be really happy. My outer life was in well-juggled balance. My inner life was not.

A LESSON IN LETTING GO

Eventually life crashed in around me, literally, and forced me to listen. After a major ski wreck gave me a concussion, I slowed down for a few months. The following year…different wreck, same concussion. Only this time I listened more deeply and finally ended a business partnership that was falling apart at the seams.

It was a huge lesson in letting go, and one that started me on the most amazing adventure of my life—the journey into my essential self.

I’m at least part way there, and the dance of balance is different now, though still illusive. There is less I have to do and more I want to give.

While I still have tendencies to over-do, my evolving spiritual practice keeps me well-watered and connected to my inner being. I really know what it is to overflow with giving that comes from a sincere desire to share. These days, I’m pulled (not pushed) to explore my edges so I can stay fresh & awake to wonder.

FINDING BALANCELetting Go

Rather than looking for some miracle balance point that will bring happiness, I’ve learned to shift my balance in the moment as life blossoms around me.

When I engage gracefully in this life-dance, I find a joy of being that is more fulfilling than any accomplished goal or conquered dream. And as I learn to say no to my habits of over-doing, my soul leads me to give in ever more satisfying ways.

Except there’s this one little thing: my changing body is betraying me.

Some days, I barely know myself, the heavy-fuzzy symptoms of menopause casting a dullness over my otherwise radiant world. More sensitive to almost everything, my physical balance point has become so narrow that I keep falling off. And, some days, nothing I do seems to help.

So I just keep doing what I can, showing up as authentically as I know how, and creating new rituals to support the physical changes as they come. My body has become a new learning edge that is inspiring me to pay attention more closely than ever before…to practice a new dance that will serve me as I enter this next new phase of my life.

TUNE IN TO THE SIMPLE JOYS OF BEING

I’ve discovered that even in the midst of the physical or emotional pain, when I tune to the simple joys of being…walking in the snow, getting kisses from my dogs or hugs from my family, drinking in a most amazing sunset, connecting with a friend, sitting by the fire…my balance is restored, at least for the moment.

And I’m learning that sometimes doing nothing is the best way to keep giving.

MORE from VOICES OF WOMEN

 


Sora Garrett is an author, mentor & life simplification guide who just turned sixty. She wrote this article ten years ago and is amazed at how relevant it still is today. While she no longer experiences the intense symptoms of menopause, her highly sensitive nature has given her a gift for helping women s l o w – d o w n to create lives of ease, joy and overflow.

With her FlowLiving® Mentoring programs, Sora will help you embrace the miraculous and find calm in chaos as you create more space in all areas of your life. Schedule a free illumination session, enroll in a mentoring circle, and find her books & blog @ SoraGarrett.com

SORA’S BOOKS

The Miracle Keys: A Conversation with an Angel

Silent Grace: A Celebration (poetry)

Coming Soon: Ignite Your Inner Star: a discovery guide & playbook for creating your most Radiant Life.


 

THE MOST COMFORTABLE PJs I’VE EVER WORN! COOL-jams!

THE MOST COMFORTABLE PJs I’VE EVER WORN! COOL-jams!

I was recently invited to try Cool-Jams – wicking sleepwear – ideal for our up and down body temperature. Perfect not only for the menopausal years but also before and after! Little did I know that I would fall in love with these jammies. I don’t know about you, but I have to feel “just right” in my pjs.  In fact, I have a drawer full of sleep apparel of all varieties that I keep just because I spent money on them, but almost never wear. They’re either too hot, too cold, too tight, too itchy, too something! I have one or two favorites at any given time. NOW, I have a new favorite!

wicking jams for menopausal womenI suffered through night sweats before I even knew they were night sweats – in my forties. Menopause came around and I had other issues, mostly I never slept! The post menopause years I find I’m not one minute, ice-cold the next. That’s what I like about Cool-Jams. They work to keep your body temperature even. I can tell you what I read on their website about how this works, but you might want to explore yourself. Suffice it to say they have developed some miracle fabric that is incredibly comfortable. I’m not just saying that. When I finish this post I’m going to order a second pair.

To make matters even better Cool-jams has an amazing selection. They even have menswear! I just noticed today that they now have bedding! (Trust me there are men who suffer from hot flashes as they age when their hormone levels go wacky for various reasons. They just don’t talk about things the way we do. So you may want to buy your guy some for Xmas.)

I’m not going to model mine for you. 🙂 But, here’s the one I have. Trust me she looks much better than I do! But, I seriously don’t care because I feel just as attractive in mine!Cool Jams wicking pajamas

 

 

SOFTEST, MOST EFFECTIVE WICKING SLEEP WEAR ON THE PLANET

How to Manage Menopausal Symptoms

How to Manage Menopausal Symptoms

1952887_sI don’t know about you, but menopause arrived in my life when I wasn’t paying attention and it came in great, arcing swirls of confusing symptoms, that ebbed and flowed in an annoyingly unpredictable fashion. In my forties, I was blissfully unaware that the night sweats I was experiencing was actually peri-menopause. Furthermore, moodiness and irritability were a part of my very nature, that I blamed when I could on PMS. And weight gain? Another life long problem. So, really, how was I supposed to know, not only what was happening, but what to do about it?

Getting a Handle on Menopause

By the time I reached fifty, I was more on top of things and very proud of the fact that I was being pro-active about my health and my symptoms. My mother not only had been utterly clueless during her menopausal years, but wild and crazy, in a very reserved sort of way. The bottom line is that I didn’t learn a thing from her about how to manage my symptoms, but I did learn from reflecting on her behavior, talking to my sisters about their experiences, and comparing notes on general family trends. We all shared similar characteristics to one degree or another, and that may be true for you as well.

Talk to Your Female Relatives

Talking to your female family members can provide you with a great resource. It may help you, not only to identify confusing symptoms, but to be more accepting of some of the emotional aspects that go along with hormonal fluctuations.  My two older sisters and I discussed treatments and self-care methods that each of us had tried enabling us to zero in on a solution more quickly. Chances are good that if something worked for your sister or your mother, it will work for you. Friends can help, but not with genetics.

How Are You Coping with Menopausal Symptoms?

Menopause is different for everyone. For some, it is predicable and manageable, but for  women like me, it’s hard to pin down the symptoms and it is a challenge to manage them. Thanks to the increased conversation and growing awareness of menopausal symptoms and treatments, there is more information and alternative treatments available to us than there was for our mothers. Being aware is the first step toward finding the right treatment regimen.

HRT vs. Natural Treatment Plans

Many women are choosing to avoid HRT therapy, preferring a more natural route that includes changes to our diet, increased exercise and the use of natural supplements.  I did a little of everything, leaning heavily in the natural direction. Choosing a supplement or a treatment plan depends on  your goals  and how much discomfort you are willing to tolerate. There are wonderful new natural products available now, that were only beginning to come on the market when I began my journey through the menopausal years. Estroven is a product that I used when I was experimenting with treatment options, and one that I found very helpful. It has come a long way in recent years, now offering a line of products for specific symptoms. They even have a product to help manage weight gain. Supplements, changes in your diet and exercise can help smooth out the waves of your menopausal symptoms and help our bodies  regulate our weight,cope with hot flashes and mood swings. Thumb_a0b1506a-101c-11e3-8b77-22000afd2dc7 September is Menopause Awareness Month. To help prepare for menopause, check out Estroven’s website to browse their product suite as well as tips and tricks for managing the good, the bad, and the sweaty! This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Estroven. The opinions and text are all mine.

STRESS * BURN OUT * COMPASSION FATIGUE * ADRENAL FATIGUE *

STRESS * BURN OUT * COMPASSION FATIGUE * ADRENAL FATIGUE *

Adrenal fatigue is a term that is growing in popularity as researchers learn more about the mind/body connection. Adrenal fatigue is used to describe a collection of non-specific symptoms that occur as a result of ongoing, high levels of stress.

Living in a chronic state of stress, without allowing for sufficient periods of recovery, precipitates a cascade of events depleting the body’s resources. We used to call it “burn out”, but as practitioners tease out more connections and relate them to causes, the conversation is expanding.  What’s important to know is how it connects to you and your life, and what you can do to improve your quality of life.

First, let’s talk about what is taking place in your body when it is under stress.

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS

Have you ever felt exhausted for a day or more after a stressful event?  During the event, energy was plentiful.  You danced at your son’s wedding or handled a crisis with ease and grace. That night, sleep came easily.  The next morning, however, you awoke tired and foggy headed.  Days later your body still felt limp with fatigue and your mind sluggish. You had that “I can’t get out of this chair” feeling in spades.

What you likely experienced was an adrenaline hangover. In stressful situations, good or bad, our body goes on high alert. Adrenaline gives us that boost of energy we need to take care of business. Once the event is over, however, our body takes time to return to its normal state of equilibrium.

Chronic stress has become a way of life for men and women of the 21st century. This is especially true during the midlife years when daily demands intensify. Everything hits at once.  Not only are we coping with a decade or more of the physical and emotional demands of menopause, we are navigating other pivotal life-changes.  For example, our parents are aging and becoming increasingly dependent on us for support. Our children are either temperamental teens navigating their own major life choices, or venturing out into the world for the first time.  We are mid-career, mid-marriages, post divorce and beginning to wonder about retirement. No wonder our body says, “Hey! Wait a minute!”

Chronic stress can do serious damage, not only to our enjoyment of life, but to our long-term health.  The longer we live, the more likely we are to have experience prolonged periods of unabated stress. This can and does eventually lead to adrenal burnout for many. Caregivers are particularly vulnerable to this condition, as day after day, week after week, month after month, they put the needs of their loved ones above their own. Those with chronic illnesses or unhealthy lifestyles are also more susceptible to this condition.

UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS

Our adrenal glands produce hormones that mobilize our body to deal quickly and aggressively with unexpected danger. In today’s world, the dangers we encounter are emotional and psychological, as well as physical.  We may no longer need to run away from wild animals, but we sure might want to run away from our job or home life. Job stress, family dynamics, a poor diet or lack of sleep and exercise take their toll on our adrenal system.

The fact that we no longer fight or flee in the physical sense, actually leaves our body without a means of dissipating the chemicals released into them during a stress response.  We rarely get into a fist fight with our neighbor when she makes us angry, or sprint ten miles down the road to get away from her.  (This is a good argument for running for exercise!)

To complicate matters, stress has become a chronic way of life for our entire culture.  Even as our adrenal glands are working overtime trying to keep up, we are telling ourselves that we are lazy or emotionally weak.  When we’re young we carry on, ignoring our body’s objections. Then one day, often midlife, we realize we have a serious problem.  Our adrenal glands are in a state of fatigue. We are now experiencing “burn out”, not only a psychological phenomenon, but a physical one. Bouncing back becomes increasingly difficult and we become less and less resilient.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO ADRENAL BURNOUT

Many factors contribute to, and exacerbate adrenal burnout.  A poor diet, lack of sufficient sleep for extended periods of time, a history of substance abuse, repeated infections, chronic medical conditions, emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety, financial difficulties, a stressful work environment, are all likely culprits.

Reversing this situation is almost always possible, and the sooner the recovery process is begun the sooner we will be back on our feet. Recovery takes not only significant life style changes, but time. We must remember that it has taken us years to get into this situation. It may take months, if not years, for us to repair the damage. The good news is, however, that we will begin to feel better and better as time goes on, even as we must still remain vigilant as we do.

SIGNS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE

 

STEPS TO RECOVERY

ADRENAL RECOVERY SOUP