World Menopause Day

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October has been dedicated as Menopause Awareness Month and today, October 18th, is World Menopause Day.

Menopause is defined as the absence of periods for 12 months and the average age for a woman to go through it is 51 but just as the age for menarche (first period) varies from woman to woman, so too does menopause.

I personally am experiencing what is known as perimenopause - this is the transition stage before menopause where a woman can still get her period but it is erratic. It is a whole new can of worms and the irony of it is I created and market a product that assists women in tracking their cycles when I never know when Aunt Flo will show up or indeed if she ever will again. One of my best friends is in her mid to late 50’s and still get her period like clockwork whereas one of my sister-in-laws went through menopause at 35, one at 42 after she had her tubes tied after giving birth via Cesarean and one at 53. You just never know!

Some women go through menopause very early on; one in 1000 women will go through menopause before the age of 30 and you can read about one woman’s experience with that in this article from the BBC.

Like pretty much everything surrounding menstruation, menopause is a female condition that is not talked about openly or often enough and when it is talked about it is frequently regarded with negative connotations much like periods are.

Fortunately we live in a world full of educated and passionate activists who wish to change the conversation on all things menstrual related including menopause and what better day to catch up on what is happening in that regard than today?

Did you know that there was a slew of ‘Menopause Cafes’ held across the UK in 2018? The purpose of these cafes is “to increase awareness of the impact of the menopause on those experiencing it, their friends, colleagues and families, so that we can make conscious choices about this third stage of life.

A Menopause Cafe is a group directed discussion of menopause with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a support or counselling session. We usually split into small groups and you are welcome to just listen, although we hope you will join in on discussions.”

And building on the popularity and need for such events, there is actually going to be a Menopause Festival in 2019 also in the United Kingdom. It seems many activists live and work in the wonderful UK and if you do , and you think this is something you would be interested in, or know someone who would be, check it out here.

The Become company has created some awesome under garments that helps reduce hot flashes in 95% of women.

“Every single body that has ovaries is going to go through menopause. That’s just a fact.”

So say the remarkable duo of Sasha Davies and Nancy Nowacek who have created a guide to menopause because they realized that most of us have not been educated of this certain eventuality. You can donate to their kickstarter campaign and get yourself a copy.


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If you are in, or approaching, menopause I highly recommend this book.

It is a very witty and funny romp through one woman’s experience with “the menopause” that will find you laughing and commiserating with in equal measure.

Pick up your copy here.

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This helpful nonfiction tome

is written by a female doctor and the suggestions and information she provides promises to help you “breeze through menopause the natural way.”

If you like a great deal, this book can be had for less than a specialty coffee at your local coffeeshop by clicking here.

 


I learned about this special day, along with so much more, from my involvement with the Menstrual Heath Hub. If you world like to join this amazing organization I encourage you to watch their brief video and join us!

Well, the day is almost done but I hope you had a good one. I’ll leave you with this little joke that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a line from the above mentioned book ‘The Madwoman in the Volvo’ which I will paraphrase.

Menopause isn’t all bad. Now I can be just as selfish as everybody else!
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An Attitude of Gratitude

 Photo by  Roland Epple  on  Unsplash


Well, it is Thanksgiving again for us Canadians but anytime of the year is a good time to practice an attitude of gratitude.

William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. "

So many times people become discontent with their lives and surroundings and is it any wonder?  There is a whole industry set up to make us feel inadequate.  We are not thin enough, or not rich enough, or not hip enough because we are not buying the latest products on the market. The message rings loud and clear: We are not good enough!

How many times have you found yourself saying, if only _________  then I could be happy? The problem is that if we get caught up in this way of thinking we will never be happy because there is always something more we will think we need to complete our lives.

Paul Reid said, "Poverty is a state of mind often brought on by the neighbours new car. In other words, when we see our friends and neighbours acquiring things, we often feel poor because we cannot afford these luxuries.  But, in reality we are not poverty stricken, we only think we are poor." This state of mind is purely relative to whom you are comparing yourself to.  If you were to change your thinking and look at the homeless, then you would realize how truly rich you are.  You have a roof over your head, and food on the table. Okay, so maybe it is not your dream house and maybe you are eating peanut butter sandwiches and not caviar, but you are sheltered and fed.  Believe it or not, some people do not even have these basics. Be thankful for the comforts you do enjoy on a daily basis and try to remember not to take anything for granted.

Most people do not realize the benefits of gratitude. When we sit and think about all the things we want but don’t have we set ourselves up in a downward spiral of disappointment and negative thinking which can lead to overwork, and depression. Gratitude, on the other hand, lifts our spirits and gives us a clearer focus on life as it really is.  We will be content with what we have and therefore our attitude will bring us a spirit of peace and contentment.

You may say to yourself, but I don't have much!  Well then be thankful for the little things you do have.  Do you have a roof over your head?  Do you have someone who loves you?  Do you have someone you love?  Do you have food on your table? Do you have your health?  Do you have a job? Do you have a pillow to sleep on?...a blanket to keep warm? Do you have your sanity?  These may seem like small things but there is nothing small at all about good health, a nutritious meal, a warm bed, a lucid mind or the love of another human or even a pet. Just ask somebody who doesn’t have one of these things. And if you don’t have them all, you can still be grateful for the ones you do while you chase the ones you lack.  

Someone once said, If you haven't all the things you want, at least be grateful for the things you don't have that you wouldn't want. There is always something we can find to be grateful for. Be grateful for your health. Appreciate your ability to move and feel the wind in your hair and the grace of your own movements. 

Try not to let the shallowness and unreality of social media trick you into thinking that others are living a better life than you are. If you can recognize and savour each beautiful moment of your life - and I’m not saying that every moment is beautiful but I’m sure there are a few lovely moments each day - then you are wealthy beyond measure. You don’t and shouldn’t need others to validate your joy…doesn’t that actually detract from it?

I know this sounds simplistic and I know that there are always things that many of us truly need but if we start changing our attitudes and develop an attitude of gratitude then we will be in a better position to allow our positive thoughts to direct us in a way in which we can achieve more.

“You won’t be happy with more until you’re happy with what you’ve got.”
— Viki King

Gratitude is the first step in achieving the things you want to achieve in life.  

Let us make every effort to get rid of the negative thoughts that hinder our life's journey and learn to develop positive thoughts that will help us achieve our goals.  

Don't wait until Thanksgiving rolls around each year to be thankful.  Make it a point to develop in your daily life an attitude of Gratitude.

 

Self-Love September

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September is the beginning of a new school year for many people, and I encourage you to consider taking this month and making it a new chance to grow and learn by making it a month of self-love - the first semester in the School of You if you like :)

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The idea is that every day - all 30 of them - for the month,  you write down one reason why you love yourself. A positive attribute you possess that brings you pride, or should. You can write this down in your daytimer or journal,  calendar, or just on a piece of paper but I encourage you to write it down and not just input your self-love reasons on a cell phone because you will want to be able to access this page for a long time. From past experience, cellphones don't last as long as books do and this exercise is one that you should keep for as long as possible and refer to often. You could of course use technology however I still suggest printing the final product as a keepsake. 

By the end of the month you will have a list that should instill a sense of confidence and appreciation for yourself that perhaps was not there before, or not as strong. 

To help you here are some suggestions for qualities that you may possess and wish to add to your list of lovable characteristics:

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I offer these words because I would encourage you to think along the lines of who you are, what you stand for, how you move through your life as opposed to how long your hair is or how perky your derriere. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said "what is essential is invisible to the eye." 

Never forget that who you are on in the inside is far more important that what you look like. When you realize that, you will experience a great sense of #empowerment.

 

Posted on September 1, 2018 .