I know I am not the only woman, who is experiencing perimenopause as the biggest force of change I never wanted to undergo!The phrase ‘releasing all that no longer serves you’ is the nicest way to put into a nut shell, the most epic years of loss and restructure I have ever entered into, and I still have years more of perimenopause to go. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the 10 years between 40’s and 50’s where many women’s hormones and lives start to change and unravel at an unprecedented rate. 10-ish years of perimenopausal mayhem before our fertile cycle stops and we move into menopause.

As my hormones shift, so do my moods, interests, energy levels and tolerances to people and the world around me. As hormones move my cycle, the life I sustained and conducted through my 20’s and 30’s becomes redundant, and brings into the bold light of day all the years I neglected my body, health, needs, desires, glaring misconceptions and painful truths. This cycle of change leaves no part of me untouched, spanning all stages through innocence, fertile expectation and career choices. This shift brings something older and deeper to the surface, ready or not.

In early perimenopause I clung on through the chaos of menstrual cycle changes, screaming into the wind with mood swings and ovulation pain, for things to go back to they way they were! But life doesn’t move in a backwards motion, and mine was propelling me as far away from my current life format as possible. As the years past 40 gain momentum, I have shed entire lifetimes in between cycles and swings. Relationships and life structures dissolve, whilst I morph into another version of myself, moving through conceptual and hormonal layers. As the years unfold I uncover more about myself to grow into, and more to release. I have grieved and shed and howled and clawed, and still there’s more calling me to blindly wander home to myself; each time gaining confidence amongst this complex changing territory. I know I am not the only one who is facing ‘all the things’, from the tiny bumps, to absolute soul shaking, bone grinding truths that cannot be unseen. I know I am not the only one who continues to brave and release old paradigms, relearning myself in this decade of constant shifting sands as my body changes month to month, year into year. I know, I am not the only woman who doesn’t know who or what the fuck she is anymore.I trawl for knowledge on how to manage this body that constantly changes the program, as I settle into the drivers seat, learning on the fly, becoming a talented and adept pilot. This is the truth of perimenopause.

We are not meant to stay as we were.It’s all changing again as it’s meant to; as we move with the shifting sands of our bodies, swinging moods and changing mind, formulating what life really means for us. The changes of perimenopause encourage me to make myself a priority. To pay attention to all my needs as they arise, to hone into the kaleidoscope I embody, uncovering capacity to encompass the complexity of this feminine universe. I am entering deeply into loving self care, pulling most of my focus into me and my needs. NOW, I dare to be selfish, I dare to be self absorbed, and dare to spin into the vortex of myself to serve myself, my body and my needs. I am entering into my power in this process, like I have never done before. My diet has changed to soothe my endocrine system, exercise has changed to suit my body’s current needs, instead of standards I set for myself years before. Relenting into rest and recovery as I lay exhausted from working, womaning and mumming way too hard, releasing so much about what I had expected for myself and instead reclaim what is uniquely best for me, making myself the priority. Self care is now a full time experience, not something I schedule once a month because of my period. I am discovering a new depth of self love, care and acceptance through the process of perimenopause. At 50, it’s still a work in progress, as my hormones change yet again, as I learn to navigate these constant shifting sands, as I continue to let go, lean into and pilot a vast landscape of self that I have never seen before. It’s a time of deep exploration, to get to know our bodies all over again, our desires, needs and wants, to love ourselves as we re-enter into change over and again.

Perimenopause does that. It removes all that prevents us from opening fully into ourselves, and presents the raw, unapologetic honesty of our divine femininity, throughout this hormonal undress. 

Entering into these deep shifting sands of womanhood is a rite of passage, which will destroy parts of us we no longer need. We may temporarily fall apart as we are designed to do, and rebirth from this stage into the next, complementing ourselves with each new round. It’s what women are biologically designed to do. It’s our birthright to undergo constant change, death and rebirth, through many moons and phases we grow stronger and closer into our power for it. 

What I am learning about the hormonal shift from fertility cycle to no more bleeding cycle, is that we don’t enter the years of the crone with the same load we lugged through our fertile years. Perimenopause is a 10 year induction into releasing and reconciling all our pain, patriarchal baggage, trauma, abuse, faking it, pushing it, perfectionism, the mountains of imposed shame, guilt and expectation we have worn through our looks, our choices, our ability to love and live our lives safely and confidently as women. Perimenopause is the great shakedown, another major rite of passage through woman-hood, beyond monthly blood, into the deep seated throne of empowered self, stripped bare and arriving gloriously silvered and creased with experience. Our silvering hair, the crowning (that’s what crone = crown), is a testament to the trials we have undergone to this point.

By the time I have moved into menopause, into and beyond my 50’s I will be growing into my silver crown of truth, love, integrity, and power. And so will you. This is the purpose of perimenopause, a rigorous rite of passage towards being crowned into the crone. 

Bringing wisdom garnered from the years through maiden and mother (fertile cycle), dumping our conditioning, and patriarchal expectations, to emerge once again empowered, and in love with who we truly are. A skilled navigator of shifting sands, many deaths, and many rebirths. Crowned in silver, the Crone years will come to greet us. 

We either enter as Queens or arrive as refugees, depending on how we navigate the perimenopausal rite of passage, either way, we will arrive.

How are you navigating the shifting sands? Have you fallen apart yet? In the process of discovery? On the other side? Shell shocked and screaming into the wind? Don’t know who you are anymore? I would love to hear of your travels through this wild place of perimenopause! It’s time to break open the silence and mystery of this place. Let’s TALK.