DINK #292 The Good Side of Menopause

Posted on : 10-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



Over twenty years ago, the concept of meditation was introduced to me through the Self-Realization Fellowship and Kriya Yoga.  I learned how to calm my brain and body down so that I could center my thoughts and focus on that Divine love that many of us are seeking.  For a long time it seemed like every time I sat down to meditate my mind would hop from one thought to the next scrambling to all the corners of my brain to dig out as many distractions as it could.  All the teachers said to notice those thoughts and then let them float out.   The ultimate goal in the Buddhist practices that I studied was to empty out my mind.  I’m discovering that the good side of menopause is my mind seems to be emptying out without any real effort on my part!

The good news about my mind emptying out is that holding on to rage or having an obsession migrate into a fixation just doesn’t happen anymore.  My mind seems unwilling to hold in all the riff raff that it did in the past.  Today in class after the Baha’i services, the speaker shared on the most excellent topic of Divine Love.  I was telling a friend of mine later on in the day that this speaker was so unassuming in his countenance that I didn’t realize the depth that his talk had gone to until suddenly I realized that he was talking about ideas like each moment of our lives is eternal.  He weaved in many of the philosophies and teachings of several of the great religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Baha’i.  One piece that I grabbed from his talk on Buddhist philosophy was to think of the mind as being a vessel that can receive information from the outside but in order to receive new information it must be emptied first of distractions and irrelevant pieces. That’s when I realized the good side of menopause.

For my younger readers who have many years to live before they reach the menopause stage, this blog can be a beacon of hope for you to recall when you are where I am now.  For my male friends, I’ve learned that guys go through a type of menopause just like we women do, it’s just talked about even less.  In this aging process that I am going through now, much like Jill Bolt Taylor’s “Stroke of Insight“, I’ve been given the where-with-all and energy to grasp what I’m going through now so that I can question my perceptions and insights through this process and capture what I understand through this mechanism of blogging.  Perhaps when I’m 85 and read back on these archaic days of blogging I’ll shake my head at what a dear I was but for now I’m determined to uncover what I understand is the good side of aging.  And, by the way,  I’m sharing about the good side of aging from the perspective of someone who never had children (although I enjoy them) and never particularly understood the fulfillment of being a grandmother (though I understand the joy that my friends’ feel).

By late afternoon this past Saturday, I felt pretty much like a “she-woman” after taking an hour and twenty minutes of a pretty rigorous Hatha Yoga class and then jogging 6.5 miles later in the day.  I’m not quite sure what the God of my understanding is preparing me for these days with my exercise program, school and twelve-step work but I do feel ready to face much more that life may hand me then I ever have before (by the way God, if your listening I am not tossing out a challenge to you!).  I am glad that I can be of service to some of the friends in my life who I care about because I have enough energy to take care of me and then plenty of reserves left over to be there for them.

So while there is a changing of the guard going on with my brain chemistry and hormones during this time of my life, the good side of menopause is the brain I have today remembers the many times in the past of my intentions to empty it and realizes there is an opportunity to grab onto the gaps of spaces in-between to empty out the unnecessary in order to fill itself up with the Divine.

What does the good side of wherever you find yourself today look and feel like?