Honor Your Voice to Awaken Others

Last night I listened to another amazing podcast from Oprah with Zainab Saibi. It was truly ironic that I had just posted a blog about women sharing their stories and not holding back because you never know who you can help.

Zainab Saibi is a humanitarian, author and founder of Women for Women International. Her story, her message and what she has done and continuing to do is truly amazing.

This podcast opened with “Giving Women a Voice”-Letting Women share their stories. Honoring your own voice to awaken others for new possibilities. Help heal so others are not alone”.

Mind you, I had just posted my blog and this is what I heard within minutes. I felt relieved and happy. Some may say, I should only be teaching yoga and call it a day. Why?

I was very broken and I have been putting the pieces back everyday. As I am mending myself, why would hold back from sharing with others? That is called selfish.

This blog is not about how I am going to try to save the world or that I want to be the next Oprah or Yoga Girl. I just want to be me and teach how I want to teach, learn, share and help others who are interested in doing the same through yoga, conversation, blogs, email, text message or social media. There is so much to learn. As we age, the learning does not have to stop and everyday we are offered the opportunity to learn and grow. No one “Knows it All” so don’t be one. Be open to others ideas and opinions, and always remember there is always more than one way besides your way to look at situation.

With that being said…..

Happy Menopause Monday!!

Why are so many women embarrassed to discuss menopause? There is nothing to be ashamed

of. Going through these changes does not make us less of a woman or less attractive. It may cause weight gain, crankiness, exhaustion, low sex drive, dryness, hair loss, mood swings, rashes, bloating, constipation and so many other attractive side effects.

But guess what? All of this can be controlled!! Don’t let what you read online fool you. Read the Medical Medium to find out.

About eight months ago, I decided I needed to remove gluten from my diet for a few reasons and weight loss was not one, so don’t roll your eyes. I was having extreme digestive issues and rashes on my hips. Juicing and gluten free worked!!! No more bloat, itchy rashes. I felt great.

About three weeks ago, I went bad. This summer has been challenging with cooking. The kids are rarely home so I haven’t cooked because they are out with friends. I caved. My family was in town, I went to visit my mom and HAD to have her sauce, and a few late afternoon early bird happy hours with the BF. Well, going  bad was horrible. I developed itchy rash behind both knees and a few days after, I started bleeding. CRAZY!!! I haven’t had a period in years. WTF!!!

As most of us do these days, we run to Google before the doctor. “What causes bleeding after menopause”? The answer:

Vaginal bleeding after menopause isn't normal and should be evaluated by your doctor. Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding can be caused by: Cancer of the uterus, including endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. ... Thinning of the tissues lining the uterus (endometrial atrophy) or vagina (vaginal atrophy)

Not the answer I was looking for, so I kept searching only to find the same response, if not worse. So I called my doc and the next morning I was having a ultrasound and three days later having a endometrial biopsy. Both tests were negative. A cyst on the ovary and a polyp on the cervix. Nothing to worry about except going back in two months for another.  

I truly believe that all of these situations are caused by food. Of course you won’t find that on Web MD. But you will find out from being fully in-tune with your body.

The Rolling Stones sang it best: “Time is on My Side” and guess what? So is menopause.

Anthony Williams states in his book, “Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal: (BUY IT)

“Menopause is actually on your side. Believe it or not, the aging process slows down after menopause. That’s not the message that is out there. Women think of menopause as the onset of aging and age-related health problems-when in fact it’s just the opposite.”

“Women are told reproductive hormones are the fountain of youth. The irony is that your youth wasn’t in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Your true youth happened before puberty. Reaching menopause is a way of reconnecting with that time. Menopause ends the reproductive system’s cycle (and its drain on your body) and brings down reproductive hormone levels. It’s the body’s natural way of slowing down aging so that you can live a long, healthy life”-Anthony Williams

How lucky am I to slow down the dreaded aging process at 47? I have now accepted this stage of my life and looking forward aging and living a happy, healthy life. Perfectly Imperfect. My way. By learning, practicing, sharing and teaching.

 

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I am Woman

Saturday more than 200,000 protesters attended the march in NYC and cities across the country protesting the Trump administration, applauding the #metoo movement, equal rights and so on. Thumbs up to all who attended. 

Well, this blog is not about "#metoo", "I'm with Her", "Hear Our Voice", "Girls Rule", "Women Rock", or the best I have seen: "Pray For Our Pussies"!!! 

Yes, it is about women. For all women not matter how old because one day you will all be here. Some may be closer than others or some may already be there. 

I have been wanting to share this when I first had the call from my doctor back in December, but to be honest; I was kind of embarrassed. Blood test in. I am done!! It's official. 

But after thinking of the last 4 years of  perimenopause I feel the need to share with all women about the full experience and what you can do to make the most out of menopause. Most woman dread it because of the symptoms that come along with it.

Everything you hear and everything you read will scare the shit out of you. Just do it. GOOGLE Menopause Symptoms.

  • Pain during sex
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Dryness
  • Loss of hair
  • Anxiety
  • Irrtability
  • Moodiness
  • Reduced Sex drive
  • Vaginal Dryness

Sounds hot right? In my opinion, it is. Every situation is different and it is all how each woman handles it. This is a milestone. Embrace it and think of it as a chance for new opportunities and potential for personal and professional growth. Everyone has the tools to make this time of your life amazing.

 I am 46 years young. It just so happens that my ovaries no longer release eggs and produce estrogen.

The last 4 years have been interesting for sure. Embarrassing hot flashes anywhere at anytime. Sweat stash, red face,  and the back of my neck so wet it was like I just got out of a pool. Definitely not the most pretty site or the most comfortable. 

But I learned. Learned to wear layers, tank tops under long sleeve, short sleeve over long and zip up hoodies or cardigan sweaters. Easy on. Easy off. You have a few choices to have fun with the hot flashes. You can moan and groan, cry and complain, or do things that will help make this uncomfortable, embarrassing, situation better. Here are a few tips to get through hot flashes:

  1. Don't eat spicy foods.
  2. Limit caffeine. (my biggest mistake was not cutting out coffee)
  3. Drink water. Lots of water and Green Tea. (Green tea I did. It also helps with belly fat)
  4. Nothing lasts forever. Even hot flashes. You will feel them coming on, start your strip tease, sip cold water, put your hair up, wipe off and BAMM! Done.
  5. Clary Sage essential oils is a life saver during this time. Carry it with you everywhere. Rub on the back of your neck and the bottom of your feet. 
  6. Don't complain about it. Let it happen. The more you bitch, the worse it is. 

And then came the night sweats!! Now, this was disruptive for sure but only for a short period of time. Again, you need to have fun during this time of your life. Most do not. Everything in life is what we make of it.

The first night I remember being scared. I thought I was sick. Getting up in the middle of the night soaked. My second thought was that I wet the bed!! Now that is something I have NEVER done. (even during my younger, partying years).

I spent hours searching and the only thing that appeared was Menopause. I ignored that because there is no way in hell that I was going through that at 42. 

They continued. Every night. Changing sheets. Clothes on. Clothes off. Cold. Hot. So fucking annoying. Luckily I do not share a bed with anyone! After a few nights of this, I needed to figure out how to make the best of this so I would not be exhausted.

When  the first drop of sweat began to form, I began to think of myself practicing yoga on a Island on a very hot day. Very hot. Flowing and generating my own heat as well as the 100 degree temp. The visualization made me smile and by the time my trip was over so was that particular sequence and I knew another would be approaching shortly. So I toweled off and took a child's pose.

Few tips for night sweats:

  1. Layer in the winter.
  2. Sleep naked or in shorts and a tank in the summer.
  3. NO WHITE SHEETS.
  4. Have water and towel bedside.
  5. Wear your hair up!!!
  6. Suck on ice cubes before bed.
  7. Lavender oil!!! Diffuse it and put a few drops on a cotton ball under your pillow. Lavender will help you relax and have a better night sleep.
  8. Take Black Cohosh supplements. This will help with both hot flashes and night sweats.
  9. If you share a bed, you may want to guide him  on the same meditation to a hot yoga class. Make sure he brings a towel!! Or use plastic sheets and go on a fun slip and slide! Could be kinky!!! You can make it fun or you can make it miserable. Your call.

Mood Swings

Well, this is the topic where I must say that shockingly I wasn't so bad. I rarely went on a rampage. I never really have the need to unless it is 100% necessary. If anyone messes with me, my kids, lies, steals or cheats; I will loose my shit. Estrogen or no estrogen; STAY AWAY! ha

I found myself being short a few times at home. Not too bad thou. No real reason to. Not married, kids are well behaved,  teen hormones are kept under control and thankfully, they are very independent and don't ask for much.

Teaching yoga has helped tremendously. It is amazing how you can wake up on the wrong side of the bed, have coffee, feel blah and the moment your first student walks in and start to teach your mood vanishes!!! It is magic!!! Unless of course you fully absorbany negative energy that may be in the room, which is a no-no. This I have learned rather quickly a few years ago.

A few tips on how controlling your irritable, grumpy, defensive, hormonal self.

  • Wake up with a positive mind. Let the first thought be a positive one. Most wake up complaining. "I'm so tired", "I don't want to go to work", "Night sweats are brutal". Remove the negative thoughts ladies. It sets the path for the entire day. MISERABLE. Remember moods are contagious. 
  • "A closed mouth says nothing wrong". If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it. You will have the days where everyone and everything is annoying the hell out of you for no reason.  Sit back, breathe, and let it pass. Go for a walk, go to yoga or to a quiet space in your house.  "It's thought that mood swings are related to the fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones during the transition to menopause...Woman who had severe PMS in their younger years may have more severe mood swings during perimenopause"-N.A. Menopause Society
  • Listen to music that will lift your spirits. Music is the medicine for the mind!!
  • Frankincense!!!!! My life saver the last three years!! The benefits never ending. It is the king of all oils. Frankincense reduces stress, negative emotions, prevents signs of aging, balances hormone levels, and helps prevent illness. I apply it on my crows feet, third eye, upper lip and chest, behind my ears before bed, sakral chakra, bottoms of my feet and prior to boarding any flight to prevent vertigo.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people. During menopause you should consider removing toxic people from your life. They will only bring you down, make you grumpy and sad.
  • Talk to your spouse or BF about your moods. Communicate! Tell partner what is going on with your body and your moods. Be honest about when you need space, what is bothering you, etc...Don't make them try to figure it out. If you find yourself grumpy and you are not sure why, reflect on the day. If nothing specific went down that caused your mood; take a walk, do yoga, take a bath and separate yourself from others so the energy does not transfer to your friends and family. It's not fair. 

Well now here is the topic most won't want to hear. Both men and women! LACK of SEX DRIVE!

Is it true? Does it happen? Yes and Yes. But..............It does not have to be that way. 

Sorry ladies, many do and will use menopause as an excuse not to have sex with their hubby or live in. (notice I did not say boyfriend)

Here are a few tips for "lack of"

  • Maca Root!! Powder in smoothies or supplement. Not everyday thou. When I started Maca, I took it everyday and it made me constipated (everyone is different). "Maca is a root vegetable that is high in antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, copper and iron. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years and has been shown to enhance sexual health and libido, improve energy, mood, memory and balance hormone levels"-Dr. Axe
  • Coconut Oil!!! Dry???? With over 500 uses, Yep!! It feels good too!! Ha ha
  • Couples Yoga
  • Communicate
  • Be honest. Don't use it as an excuse. If you are; maybe you should really think if you want to be even be with him forever.
  • Any essential oil! Diffuse it, give massages, take a bath!! 

Diet

For the most part, I watch what I eat. Few tips for menopause:

  • Eat light. Smoothies and soups have been the latest and greatest in the house. 
  • If you eat meat, buy organic
  • Lighten up on the booze my friends. It does not help the bloat. 
  • Do a juice cleanse every once in a while. It flattens your tummy and clears out toxins.
  • Lower the carb intake
  • Fruits and Veggies. I was bad with the fruit but good with the veggies. Do both.
  • Water. Lots of water. 

 

**I am not a nutritionist. These are just suggestions and they worked for me

Fatigue!!!

Well, this was my worst during menopause. I was never one to nap until about 3 years ago. Head nodding, falling asleep anywhere at anytime; I became a napper. Something I do not like to do. It is not productive for me when there is always so much to be done. 

Tips on Fatigue

  • Limit coffee 
  • TAKE YOUR NAP.
  • Listen to your body
  • If you at work and have a hard time keeping your eyes open, diffuse peppermint oil or dilute with coconut oil and rub on your chest. 
  • Eleuthero Oil or supplement: Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) is a powerful adaptogen that has been used in Chinese Medicine since the 16th century. It has many healing benefits including: stress, enhances energy, and improves brain function. Eleuthero being an adaptogen, it helps and re-balance your adrenals. As a result, you can combat the negative effects of stress and become energized throughout your day.  Take in the morning by mouth or you can drop the liquid in your smoothie or food.

Bloat.

Yep!! It's going to happen. Your body will change. This is the one thing I struggle with. It changes. The number may not change, but your shape does.

  • Continue to exercise no matter how tired you are.
  • YOGA, YOGA, YOGA. It helps all of the above
  • Peppermint Oil, Patchouli and Ginger. No oil? Boil hot water add peppermint leaves or Ginger. Green Tea is great too.

Well, I think I am done for now. I'm tired!!! lol

Thank you for reading and I hope you take some of this advice during your next phase. It's really not bad. It's actually been pretty good!! #mindovermatter

So my friends;  I will close with this

"Our bodies. Our Minds. Our Power"-Cher