Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
You will go through menopause and whether you are ready for this phase or not you will have to find ways to deal with it. Menopause affects you physically, mentally and emotionally, usually all on the same day! Step Seven of The Menopause Makeover shifts your focus to your spiritual self. Staness Jonekos and Dr. Wendy Klein wrote The Menopause Makeover to include all the important areas in your life.
Step Seven Embracing Spirituality What You Believe Can Change Your Experience
Note that Step Seven is not about promoting any particular religion, dogma or belief system. Spirituality is defined as a way for you to understand your existence. You may follow an organized religion. You may find your spiritual self in nature, meditation, your community and relationships, or in any number of sources. This section is for you to look for ways to celebrate you; who you are, what is important to you, and what you would like to achieve during and beyond menopause.
The Menopause Makeover Step Seven Change Your Experience
Step Seven is the renewal part of The Menopause Makeover; it is a chance to see menopause as a beginning and not an end. Old attitudes and beliefs about ‘the change’ still persist and affect how women feel about menopause:
*Menopause is the end of youth, vitality, purpose, and even life in the sense of enjoying life
*Menopause is the end of child bearing years and women have little purpose after
*Menopause means you are no longer attractive or desirable
*Menopause means getting older and facing years of decline
*Menopause now means it is all downhill from here (and on a very fast and steep slide!)
How will Step Seven help me?
To all those old assumptions: nonsense! Menopause is a very tough time for some women and simply thinking happy thought will not help. But every woman, even you, can change your mindset and view menopause as time to reinvent yourself. You can now take the time to look at where you have been and what changes you would like to make. This is a good time to decide how you want to spend your years beyond menopause.
In North America, the average woman can expect to live around 81 years, and will typically hit menopause at age 51. This could leave you with 20, 30 or even more postmenopausal years. How will you live those years? Will you choose to wallow in the past or embrace the future? The Menopause Makeover provides plenty of areas to write out your goals and dreams and then find ways to get working on those desires.
Challenges of Step Seven Embracing Spirituality
The first challenge may be to define spirituality on your own terms, in a way that you are comfortable with. You may already have a strong spiritual system in place. Or you may have neglected that part of your life or decided long ago that the system you were raised with no longer works for you. There is no right or wrong spirituality.
Jonekos offers the example that has helped and continues to help her in her life. She shares this knowledge not to promote her beliefs but to demonstrate how a healthy spiritual life plays an important part in all areas of your life. The Menopause Makeover was written with a wide range of women in mind and the activities and steps can be applied to your particular belief or value system.
Step Seven also refers to changing your experience or how you view menopause and life. Even if you have always been a health optimist, menopause may catch you off guard and test you physically, mentally and emotionally. Menopause does come at the same time as the aging process and you may have an easy time accepting this or find it devastating to be getting older.
Editor’s Note: A favorite quote of mine is from Australian inspirational speaker and writer Andrew Matthews: “Many people die at 25 and don’t get buried until 70.” In his book "Being Happy" he refers to losing the zest for life; believing that once you are no longer a teen or college-aged that life is ‘over’ and the fun is over. This could easily be applied to menopause but we do not have to think this is the end. Don’t be one of those women who ‘die’ in their 40s or 50s but don’t get buried until decades later.
**Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. provided this review copy of The Menopause Makeover to me completely free of charge.**
The Menopause Makeover, Staness Jonekos with Wendy Klein, M.D., Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., New York, 2010, 302 pp.
Please visit www.menopausemakeover.com