I discovered Eckhart Tolle on YouTube a couple of years ago when I was in the throes of anxiety attacks and menopausal overwhelm. In very simple language, Tolle emphasises the power of the present moment, and explains very clearly how to observe and accept what is without resisting. I’ve found his talks and meditations incredibly helpful as I’ve moved through menopause so I thought I’d share what I learned from him here.
When it comes to menopause, if the present moment involves a hot flash or a mood swing, the trick is to not resist what’s happening, but to observe it with curiosity and without judgement. L-O-L, I hear you say – how is that supposed to work when I’m in the throes of it all?
It does take a bit of practice, as do all useful life skills, but once the practice is there, it can be incredibly helpful in managing overwhelming situations. Recognising in the moment that these symptoms are transient and not the entirety of our being gives some distance and helps with the overwhelm.
It’s the same with feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, rage etc. Observing these emotions from a place of detachment helps us see them as separate from our true selves, we can imagine them as passing clouds in the sky, not to be identified with but observed and understood.
Accepting the changes happening within us is key, according to Tolle. Resistance creates struggle, acceptance brings peace. Embracing the changes, understanding that they are part of the natural cycle of life and a process of transformation and renewal will get us to a much better place than resisting and clinging to what was in the past.
Finding stillness is crucial during this transformational life phase. Yes, our hormones are whirling around, up and down, in and out – but there will always be moments where things calm down and those are the moments of opportunity to observe the stillness and switch off the noise. Meditation, deep breathing or simply sitting in nature can help us connect with the stillness within, providing moments of escape from the physical and emotional turbulence.
(Peri)menopause offers a unique opportunity for personal growth and enlightenment. By observing our states of being with mindfulness and acceptance, we can transform this phase into a journey of self-discovery that leads to inner peace. It can be a valuable chapter in our life’s story, filled with lessons, growth and the potential for profound spiritual awakening. Here are some ways to cultivate observance and acceptance:
- Mindful meditation: Practice regular meditation, focusing on your breath to anchor you in the present moment.
- Journaling with awareness: Write down your thoughts and feelings, observing them without attachment.
- Nature walks: Leave your headphones at home and spend time in nature, observing the simplicity and tranquility around you.
- Yoga and gentle movement: Connect with your body in a gentle, mindful way by doing yoga or tai chi.
- Reading and reflection: learn about mindfulness and presence through reading or following people like Tolle or Tara Brach on YouTube.
Book an online session on the Fundamentals of Menopause. During this 90-minute talk we explore your experience of (peri)menopause so far, any worries, fears and expectations you have, and I take you through all the key points you need to know to be well equipped for this transformative phase in your life.
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