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Embrace the Now: A Journey from Grieving to Grooving in Midlife

mindfulness mindset Jan 16, 2024

As a fitness expert who grew up in a culture and family where precision and being on time were highly praised, my life has been dominated by discipline, rules, and striving for perfection. These qualities, inherent in my A-type personality, served me well in my professional endeavors. However, they also became a double-edged sword, especially as I became a mother in midlife and started navigating through the tides of menopause. I learned that plans not going as planned and being late to pretty much everything was becoming normal. In the beginning, it was because I had a brand-new baby, and it seemed that explosive diapers only happened right as I was walking out the door and later, when I entered into the roller coaster of perimenopause, it was my explosive out-of-nowhere periods that kept me from sticking to my plans. This phase of life, often tumultuous and unpredictable, taught me a valuable lesson: the power and peace in letting go.

The Struggle of Letting Go

For years, I held onto an image of my younger self, a version of me that seemed invincible and unchanging. This image was not just physical but also symbolic of a time when control seemed within reach. Life changes, including menopause, with its myriad of changes, challenged this perception. It wasn't just about the physical transformation; it was a deep-seated emotional journey.

I realized I was grieving. Grieving for the youth I was leaving behind, for the body that was once familiar, and for the sense of control I thought I had. This grief was silent yet profound, a constant companion in my journey through menopause. But as I grappled with these changes, an epiphany struck – letting go was not just necessary; it was liberating.

The Liberation in Acceptance

Embracing the now meant accepting the current state of my body and my life. It was a realization that the pursuit of past ideals was not just futile but was robbing me of the joys of the present. The truth hit hard; I wasn't truly happy in my younger years despite seemingly having it all. The perfection I chased was a mirage, one that shifted further away the closer I thought I got to it.

This acceptance opened doors to a new realm of possibilities. It was an invitation to move with the rhythm of life, with its ebbs and flows. Embracing the now became my mantra, a guiding light through the fog of menopause.

Five Tips for Embracing the Now in Menopause

    • Cultivate Mindfulness: Practice being in the moment. Whether it’s through meditation, deep breathing, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea. Mindfulness grounds you in the present.
    • Reframe Your Perspective: Shift your focus from what you have lost to what you have gained. Menopause is not just an end; it’s the beginning of a new chapter filled with wisdom and new possibilities. By the time we enter menopause, we have lived many experiences that can hold immense value in helping us frame the next phase of our lives. 
    • Explore New Interests: Use this time to try new activities or revisit old hobbies. This exploration can lead to unexpected joys and a sense of fulfillment. I have been practicing this one a lot by rekindling my love for racquetball and even trying new things such as snow tubing.  
    • Connect with Like-Minded Women: There’s strength in community. Sharing experiences with others on a similar journey can provide support, laughter, and understanding. I would never be in this positive mindset about my life, my menopause transition, and the future if it weren’t for my friends, family, and community. Who’s your support system?
    • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that change is a part of life, and it’s okay to not have everything figured out. In fact, figuring out the things you haven’t quite figured out yet can be a source of exploration and fun!

Menopause, for me, transformed from a period of grieving to a stage of grooving. It became a time to celebrate the present, to appreciate all that I have learned, and to embrace the beauty of change. Letting go of past expectations and embracing the now has not just been my biggest ally; it's been a big source of joy and freedom. 

How have you embraced the present during your menopause journey, and what changes have you celebrated in this new chapter of your life?