It’s Saturday again. I can’t believe how fast the week went by. Did it go by fast for you? It’s just like, “Whoosh!” I’ve been so busy, so busy answering your emails and getting ready for this retreat that came up out of the blue.
I think you got the announcement for it yesterday. Women at Woodstock, very excited about that. It’ll be good practice. If you can’t make it to that one, then maybe it’ll be an inspiration for one, for all of us in the future.
I’m out in what we call the sleeping porch. I live in a big, old Dutch Victorian that’s 110 years old, and there are all kinds of cool little closets and cubby holes and everything.
This little porch is about 8 feet by 10 feet, and it’s just off the dining room. We recently put in some new windows, and when we took them out, we discovered that this was an outdoor porch, designed, probably, for the men to come out and have a little smoke after dinner. Since then, whoever owned the house before, built it in so it could be used as an indoor room.
We decided to winterize it so we could use it all year, and that’s where I am. I’m looking out at the Hudson River and the Palisades in New York.
Today’s subject was inspired by all of your questions about menopause and the different ways to deal with it, medically. I, personally, do not feel qualified in any way, shape, or form to discuss those things. I would advise that you Google Christiane Northrup, because she’s highly educated in this area and has a lot to say, and I trust her. I’ve seen her on Dr. Oz, I’ve listened to some of her tapes. I was just compelled because I like the way she spoke about it. She definitely trusts the human body.
I’ve never had female problems. My mother said that when she went through menopause, she didn’t even realize it until a year later. She suddenly thought, “Oh my God. I haven’t had a period in a year.” She didn’t even have a hot flash. I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to follow suit.”
I heard all the horror stories, and I have some dear, dear friends that have truly suffered emotionally and physically, I do not want to discount those experiences in any way, shape, or form. I thought, “Everything we deal with in life, that comes our way, it could be a tornado, it could be the death of a family member, it could be an illness of our own. No matter what’s thrown at us, the only thing that we really have control over is our viewpoint towards that thing.”
I thought, “Okay, the curse, menopause, hot flashes, hot sweats, mood swings, fear of losing my femininity and my sexuality, discomfort during sex because of dryness.” All those things that we’re starting to talk about, thank God, but we didn’t talk about a lot before in our society. They could all be really bad, and getting tense about it and getting worried about it could make it worse.
I’ve never been a pill taker, I’ve always trusted my body chemistry. I never took birth control pills because I thought, “Those little pills can have your body think it’s pregnant.” I’m not interested. I want my body to just take care of itself. I do take aspirin once in a while, if I get a headache, and then I know the headache is because I didn’t drink enough water, or maybe I had a glass of wine the night before, or whatever. In general, I’m not a pill taker, somebody that wants to mess up with my body chemistry.
Taking hormones and all of that would’ve been something I would just never, ever, ever do. Then, I should never say, never, because I haven’t suffered, and if they cleared up my suffering, then I might. I certainly don’t like headaches, and honey, I’ll take that aspirin like that to get rid of a headache.
I’m just trying to give you a sense of how I came to my viewpoint. And that is, if these things are going to come my way, the attitude in which I deal with it is what I have a choice over. I started getting hot flashes, and I thought, “Oh, I could suffer, I can’t wear my winter sweaters, I’m going to be uncomfortable, I’m going to sweat in public, and all of that, or I could have fun with it.”
It’s like all the wash of hormones, the movement of hormones that you have during puberty is much the same of the movement of hormones and the wash and the circulation that you have during menopause. They’re on their way in, and then, at the end, they’re on their way out. You can have a rollercoaster ride with that. Well, how about enjoying the rollercoaster?
I bought a bunch of really beautiful hand fans. I wore tank tops all fall and winter underneath my other clothing. When I felt that hot flash coming on, I’d let everybody know who was around me, if I knew them or not, and it’s like, “Wahoo, here I go again.” Brought out the fan, and, sometimes, basically, had to strip in public. I’d be in the middle of a restaurant, at a crowded table, and all of a sudden, “Hot flash!” It was just so much fun because everybody came to my aid.
The waiters would take a menu and fan me with it, and
all my friends at the table would cheer or I’d get up and do a little strip dance because I was going to take my sweater off to get down to my tank top to cool off, or I would just look around and say, “Have to go, I’ll be back in 5 minutes.” I would race out into New York City, with the snow coming down, and literally be standing there in my tank top. They’d leave as quickly as they came.
“No matter what’s thrown at us, the only thing that we really have control over is our viewpoint towards that thing.”
I got refreshed outside, came back in, got tons of attention by a lot of really nice people, got to flitter my cute little fan, and that became a huge conversation because everybody else wanted to know, “Where did I get the fans?” And, “They’re so great. We used to use them all the time,” and “Can I get any to match my outfit?” I just made it fun.
How about night sweats? Those are really fun, too, right? Drench your sheets, drive anybody you might be sleeping with crazy with the sheets off, the sheets on, the sheets off, the sheets on, and waking you up throughout the night. We can have a very negative viewpoint around that. I actually thought it was really exciting that my body was changing so dramatically that something that intense happened.
I sleep well, so I don’t have an issue getting back to sleep once I’m up. I do get up in the middle of the night a couple times to go to the bathroom, so, you know.
Okay. It’s really about having a positive point of view rather than a negative point of view. Rain, rain can be wonderful, rain can be bad.Thunderstorms can be great or bad, it’s really your point of view. If you want to play tennis, rain is miserable. If you want to stay in and read a book, rain’s pretty nice. If you’re a gardener, rain can be nice or bad, because if you wanted to get out and weed, you can’t do it. But, boy, it makes the ground nice and soft to get those weeds out the next day or so.
You kind of get what I’m talking about. I think that there’s always a way to win. I was told by a very wise man once, in fact, that, we only have three choices in life with any given situation. Two ways are to win and only one to lose. The odds are always with us. The first way to win is, get in agreement with the situation.
Getting in agreement with a situation has you win. Let’s take rain for an example. You didn’t expect it, it’s a surprise. It’s going to rain all day. You had made your plans. Well, you can fight it and lose and be miserable and be frustrated all day. Or, you can get in complete agreement with it, which means finding it right, finding it good, finding it positive. When you find things good, you can always get to better. Things will always improve.
The second way to win is, change something. If it’s raining in your area, go drive to an area where it’s not raining, change your plans for the day. Do some things that are indoors. You get the idea. Two ways to win, get in agreement or change something, and the other way you can respond is lose, which is lose the battle and not be happy about it.
We know, from a pretty young age, that we’re going to go through menopause. We could use that to read about it, to find out more about our grandmothers, our aunts, our mothers, our cousins, our friends, read books about it. Learn about being a woman and everything that it is. Then, celebrate it all, get in agreement with it. You might be interested to find out what happens to your body.
They’ve done a lot of studies on getting rid of headaches. One of the ways that people get rid of their headache is, they imagine what color is it, where is it, and what size is it. That’s a way of getting in agreement with it. You’re putting your attention on it, you’re not resisting it. You’re actually getting ahead of the game. It’s like a wave. You can let the wave come over on you, or you can ride the wave like a surfer and go with it.
That’s another way of kind of describing getting in agreement with it. What happens is, the body relaxes, then the veins and blood vessels in your brain relax, and they’re less swollen. It’s like an anti-inflammatory, getting in agreement with something. What you resist persists.
Menopause, there’s so many areas about it. I’m sure you’re going to write a lot in response to this. That’s the way I deal with it. Like I said, I’ve never had major problems. I have friends that do. They are trying a lot of different things. I think that’s all I have to say about it.
All right. I will see you next Saturday. Please, write your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
02:00 Christiane Northrup, an expert on medical issues with menopause
03:20 You can control your viewpoints on whatever life throws at you
04:25 Why Cindy is not a pill taker
06:30 Having fun with hot flashes in public
09:10 You have two ways to win, and one way to lose with any situation
10:40 Learning about being a woman and celebrating it