"Exploring Maga" Workshop ...

Written by Charlotte Young
07
May
I’m really excited about this workshop – there’s so much I want to share! I’ve been busy reading some fantastic books and collecting stories from women who are in the middle of their transition and others who are out the other side. 

The main reason I facilitate the Celebration Day for Girls program (for 10-12 year old girls, to prepare them for their transition into puberty) is to encourage them to have a more active and positive relationship with their body, which is exactly the same reason I’m offering this workshop to women entering the Autumn of their lives. The parallels between menarche (first period) and menopause (last period) are uncanny: perimenopause is often likened to a second adolescence and Dr Christiane Northrup suggests we think about it as the other end of a process that begins at menarche. The transition doesn’t just happen overnight. Yes, both are marked by blood but the years that follow menarche and the years that precede menopause are often all over the place in terms of relatively long cycles that are irregular and anovulatory. In adolescence this usually lasts for 5-7 years and in perimenopause for 2-8 years.

Then there’s the hormones! Both in perimenopause and at puberty, we experience a rewiring. Even when enormous change isn’t happening, the body does the most incredible juggling act of constantly trying to make sure all our hormones are in balance (and I’m not just talking about reproductive hormones; there are growth hormones, hunger hormones, stress hormones, fat-burning hormones, energy-and libido-related hormones, and sleep hormones). But we know so little about these chemical messengers and the part they play in our endocrine system. As Alisa Vitti notes in her book “WomanCode”:
Most women know very little about our hormonal biochemistry, and as a result, we’re making choices about our menstrual care, fertility, and libido that have long-term negative repercussions. Among even the smartest women I know, Sex Ed was the first and last time they formally learned anything about their bodies, periods, and hormones; the rest has been picked up from magazines and friends.

This is why I do this work! It’s time we powered up with information to support ourselves (whatever the life season we’re in) and got into a loving relationship with our body. The information is out there, we just need to access it. In The Joyous Body Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls the body, ‘Our consort, [it] is born with us, just as our soul is. The body is our loyal and valiant companion’. So, it’s time to give some time and attention back to our ‘companion’.

One final rant … Culturally, there are as many taboos around menopause as there are around menstruation so it’s not surprising our heritage encourages us NOT to know more about it. But I, along with other women who are determined to re-frame some out-lived paradigms, want it to be known that perimenopause is a passage into the wisdom years and it doesn’t have to be feared.

In fact, there’s rather a lot to look forward to!

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