I danced my way into my forties ecstatic to enter a new phase of life. I had no apprehensions about aging. For me, getting older meant transforming into a wise health guru living on my island health retreat, clothed in white with cascading salt and pepper locks.
My dance came to a severe halt 7 months after my 40th bday. For months, I had been on auto pilot working full time, overseeing my non-profit, acting as chaffeur, teacher, and mother to my 12 year old daughter. I was doing what I had done most of my adult life…taking care of others. In the midst of it all, I had forgotten me, forgotten to take a moment to breathe, forgotten that although I could, I shouldn’t. As it always does, the universe decided to give me a wake up call that would set me on a journey of rebirth.
the universe decided to give me a wake up call that would set me on a journey of rebirth.
It began with a difficult menstrual cycle ridden with symptoms I had not experienced before. My period arrived and with it came intense nausea, heart palpitations, and hot flashes that arrived the same time nightly. With the physical symptoms came anxiety and insomnia. Each night, I would lay awake dreading the arrival of the uncomfortable feelings I was experiencing. After the third day of my cycle, I found myself in a state of panic wondering if something was deathly wrong with me. I packed my bags, said goodbye to my home and asked my husband to take me to the emergency room, an unusual request for someone who believes in natural healing. I felt as though I had lost my center and that my body was defying me.
After running routine tests at the hospital that showed no complications, I sought out a naturopath. The physical symptoms had subsided, but I continued to experience anxiety and insomnia and I wanted to get to the root of it. After a series of more in depth tests, the results showed that my body had been producing high levels of cortisol to keep up with the demands of my schedule; the worry at night had further heightened my cortisol levels leaving my adrenal glands pooped out. Because I had entered the premenopausal period of my life, my female hormonal levels were also shifting and I was faced with the reality that I, the Health and Wellness Coach, had to change the way I was existing. I had to take time out and rebalance and that meant that I could not give to others as I had always done. This reality saddened me and I found myself feeling incapable and further away from the person I had defined myself to be.
In trying to recenter, I began reading numerous texts on perimenopause/menopause. As I read one medical text after another, I became afraid of aging. Getting older began to mean increased risks of ailments/diseases, disruption in sleep, and unwanted emotions such as self doubt, anxiety and depression. The more I read, the more I became buried in a sea of worry and for the first time, I began to reject my womanhood. I moved through my days riddled in fear, clothed in my ego. But my soul was fighting, fighting to be released from the invisible cage I had created. I knew I needed something to change the course of my thought pattern.
And there it was months after…found within the pages of a girlfriend’s book …a woman’s life cycle defined from a spiritual perspective. The book spoke of all the symptoms that I had experienced and why they were necessary.
You see, I had been on a journey and had entered a new period of my life cycle. I had moved through my twenties and thirties extroverted, producing and giving life and now I had entered a time when I needed to shed and move closer to me. I had to experience the uncomfortable emotion of fear so that I would feel incapable of giving to others so that I could give to me. I had to feel vulnerable so that I could allow arms to encircle me. I had to ultimately embrace all emotions so that they could point me in the direction that I needed to travel. I was changing on a physiological level but my journey was spiritual, connected to the earth and integral in becoming the wise guru with salt and pepper locks that I will one day be.