Did you know that at midlife, a women's brain literally rewires itself?
Perimenopause is a topic I am very excited about. I could go on and on about so many aspects about Perimenopause. Let's just touch on a few in the hopes that this may change your perspective about what happens to a woman during midlife. How this can be the best time to sort out any unresolved past issues in order to move forward and live a rich, full and happy life.
In childhood, we form relationship neurons which shape the way we relate. We lay down brain circuitry which affects our relationship choices. These are carried with us through our life and then, at midlife, this changes. Up to now a woman often looks after everyone around her and places their needs before hers. This is important because she may have children and partners who need her.
One day she wakes up and wonders 'What about me?'. And whereas before she was quite happy to cater to everyone's needs, perhaps even feel important by this, she may now start to find this very frustrating, and wish she had more time to herself. It makes sense that the relationships we had up to now will change because we are different, our brains have changed. At this time in our life, our relationship neurons rewire so that our attention shifts to ourselves and we can perfectly deal with our stuff.
We are different now at midlife. It is normal to feel these changes.
Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) governs our internal organs. It also activates the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The PNS is the pause button, the deposit into our health bank, it is where healing can occur. I believe this is where all the magic happens. Our SNS is our fight or flight state. It is a state of stress and withdrawals from our health bank. Our ANS takes our thoughts and beliefs and turns them into matter which form our DNA and become our cells. In other words, our ANS takes how we view our world and turns it into our state of health. WOW, that’s powerful. This means that the way we see our transition to menopause will create our reality.
Let's look briefly at Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Our menstrual cycle is a powerful self-development system build right into us. In the last part of our luteal phase, so just before menstruation, our left and right brain hemispheres connect really well, and our intuition is heightened. All those things that come up when we are 'pre-menstrual' are fantastic clues as to what is no longer working for us. When we don’t deal with these aspects, but rather push them down, they pop up in Perimenopause as our body starts to speak louder. At this time our body wisdom may bring old issues to light and give us an opportunity to deal with them so that we can experience joy and a wonderful second part of our lives. It can be an exciting new development stage instead of something to be dreaded. As I mentioned earlier, our relationship neurons rewire so that the attention shifts to ourselves and we are equipped to perfectly deal with all the 'stuff' from our past that we have kept tucked away or maybe we thought we had dealt with.
As you can imagine, there are many hormonal changes happening in our brain during Perimenopause. It feels like a whole new conversation needs to be had about this part of the topic, so let me briefly explain just one aspect of this to illustrate the earlier point of needing to deal with past issues. At midlife our Estrogen and Progesterone bind to our receptors which are very prolific in our amygdala and hippo campus. These areas are responsible for creating and retrieving memories. And this is how our brains bring up all the aspects of our past that we have not dealt with. Can you see now how cleverly our whole body, mind and hormones have orchestrated this time in our life to be the best personal development coach and given this to us as a gift?
What comes up for us now that has been dormant is an opportunity to explore new aspects of ourselves, to uncover destructive beliefs and allow ourselves a healthier, more resilient and joyful life. At midlife new dreams are discovered, new creativity is uncovered (as part of this divine process) and I think we are at a crossroad, torn between the old ways we have known and the new ways we have begun to dream of.
It's time to take responsibility, be willing to feel the pain of the loss of things that never worked out for us, to pick ourselves up and move forward without regret, and to become who we really are, instead of who we think we should be.
Lastly, just think about how, when we participate consciously in this beautiful transition, it can hold promise at the deepest level of a life of joy, happiness, peace and adventure. If you are in Perimenopause, now is the time to do the work that your future self will thank you for.