Embracing the Pause: A Journey of Empowerment through Menopause

Embracing the Pause: A Journey of Empowerment through Menopause


In recent years, there has been a notable increase in awareness and education surrounding menopause. More shared experiences and a deeper understanding of what it means to cross the perimenopausal bridge has been life changing for so many women. 

This newfound openness is empowering,  yet for many brings about feelings of frustration and disbelief - why hasn’t it always been like this? A paucity of information and education on menopause in the past has led to symptoms and experiences being dismissed and a lack of understanding in the workplace as well as within the wider society. Resistance to discussing menopause openly can lead to ignorance and indifference - why don’t they just get on with it?”. However, it's imperative to confront these uncomfortable conversations head-on. We must amplify discussions.  Talk about it.  Celebrate it. Evolution of thought and societal narratives take time to change and clearly there’s still some way to go to ensure this stage of a woman's life is fully unstitched, understood and universally supported. 

Despite its inevitability, the experience of menopause is as diverse as the women who go through it. From the physical symptoms to the emotional and psychological impact, navigating menopause requires a holistic approach that embraces empowerment, self-awareness, lifestyle changes and community support. 

Understanding the journey 

Menopause is not a sudden event, but a transition that unfolds over several stages. As such, it’s important to uncouple the terms perimenopause and menopause.

Perimenopause, the period leading up to menopause, can span for months and often years with some people experiencing symptoms spreading across a decade. Physiologically, perimenopause is characterised by fluctuating and declining hormone levels, irregular periods, and a range of symptoms including poor sleep,  hot flushes, mood fluctuations, brain fog, and fatigue. The breadth of symptoms varies widely among individuals, with some sources documenting as many as 35 and others reporting up to an incredible 62 symptoms. Perimenopause nearly always happens with natural menopause, but not induced menopause (menopause due to surgery or other medical treatments). 

Menopause itself is defined as the point when periods permanently stop, typically after 12 consecutive months without menstruation. For those who have a uterus, menopause usually happens when they are in their 40s or 50s. Perimenopause begins when they start having symptoms and continues past the point of menopause, ending one year after their periods stop. 

A shift in seasons 

Menopause is not just an endocrine deficiency or biological event however; it's a profound transition that marks a significant phase in a woman's life. 

Traditionally, and in cultures that value matriarchy and equality, menopause is celebrated as ‘the third age’; a woman's ascent into her full wisdom and authority. She steps into the role of a sage, healer, guide or mediator. Far from marginalising older individuals in the workforce, overlooking their wealth of knowledge and life experience, these cultures seek counsel from menopausal women on matters that span the entire spectrum of life. 

The later years mark a shift in a woman's role from nurturing her immediate family to caretaking for the broader community. Dr Christiane Northrop beautifully comments that “Our fertility stops being about having children and starts being about what we create for ourselves that benefits us and the people around us.” In stark contrast, our modern and western society often fixates on the allure of youth, neglecting the value of maturity with many women feeling unheard, invisible and forgotten.  We have been led to believe that menopause signifies a decline, overlooking the potential for growth and self-discovery that this phase can offer. In reality, women in their menopausal years are often at the top of their game career-wise, branching into community roles, heading up or supporting families, stepping up to grandmother status or may be simultaneously caring for their own parents. They possess a deep understanding of themselves and their capabilities. 

Far from being invisible, these women who know their power radiate a presence that is unmistakable when they enter a room. 

There is no doubt that for some, the symptoms of perimenopause can be challenging, even debilitating. This stage is a period of metamorphosis - although of course it can be difficult to embrace these changes when we don’t feel ourselves or in optimal health. Understanding the physical and emotional changes associated with menopause is crucial for navigating this transition as well as equipping the generations yet to experience this stage with the tools they need to step into their time with confidence.

A personalised approach to menopause

While hormone fluctuations are inevitable, how we manage these changes is within our control. A personalised approach to menopause management considers individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle factors. Many women transition this stage of life uneventfully, whereas some experience prolonged or severe symptoms and need information, support, or medical treatment. With a myriad of symptoms associated, it is impossible to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. The personalised approach, however, often needs guidance, looking to those who have trodden the path before us such as specialised practitioners and holistic modalities. This may involve exploring natural remedies, herbal support, incorporating health-focused lifestyle habits, and seeking medical guidance when necessary. 

It's essential to adopt this holistic perspective that encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. These aspects don't need to be addressed separately; the most effective approach embraces diversity. Any medical intervention, if chosen, can complement lifestyle modifications such as nutrition and exercise or alternative therapies such as acupuncture. 

Starting early, during perimenopause, allows women to proactively address health concerns and establish supportive routines. Whether choosing to cut down on caffeine intake to support your adrenal health, prioritising your bedtime routine or becoming consistent with your nutrition and supplementation, the key is to make it part of your life, not an extra chore for your already long to-do list. Make the adjustments slowly and gradually to ensure these changes stay the course. 

Find your tribe

Navigating menopause is not a journey meant to be travelled alone. Finding support in a community of like-minded women can provide comfort, validation, and encouragement. Sharing experiences, stories, and resources can help normalise the conversation around menopause and dispel misconceptions and taboo.


Menopause affects not only women but also their partners, families, and colleagues. Engaging men in conversations about menopause is equally important. Whether to support their sisters, partners or mothers, open discussion helps to foster understanding and empathy, creating a more supportive environment for women.

Embracing the Pause

Menopause is more than just an end; it's a new beginning. 

Many of us spend our lives living in ‘roles’; being a mum, sister, wife, colleague, boss. We spend much of our time nurturing or giving to others, truly a remarkable gift women bring to the world.  During this stage however, we can embrace the ‘pause’. See it as a time to slow down and reflect, to give back to ourselves, reconnect with who we are, pour into our own cup and enjoy life. Embracing the pause allows women to prioritise self-care, pursue passions, and explore new opportunities. According to ayurvedic medicine perspective, it is characterised by ‘soul development’ -  an opportunity to look inward and redefine priorities. 

As we embrace the pause, let's challenge the narrative of decline and celebrate the resilience, wisdom, and vitality that women bring to every stage of life. Imagine a world where we were told that menopause is not the end of youth, but the beginning of a new chapter filled with possibilities. Imagine if we were told that in fact, the best was yet to come. 

Menopause can be a transformative journey that offers women the opportunity to reclaim their power, redefine their identities, and embrace the wisdom of experience. 

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