Did you know that at midlife, a woman’s brain literally rewires itself?
Perimenopause is a topic I am very excited about. I could go on and on about so many aspects of 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 that 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
Your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) governs your internal organs. It also activates the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The PNS is the pause button, the deposit into your health bank, it is where healing can occur. I believe this is where all the magic happens. Your SNS is your fight or flight state. It is a state of stress and withdrawals fromy our health bank. Your ANS takes your thoughts and beliefs and turns them into the matter which forms your DNA and becomes your cells. In other words, our ANS takes how you view our world and turns it into your state of health. WOW, that’s powerful. This means that the way you see your transition to menopause will create your reality.
A brief look at Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
Your menstrual cycle is a powerful self-development system build right into us. In the last part of your luteal phase, so just before menstruation, your left and right brain hemispheres connect really well, and your intuition is heightened. All those things that come up when you are pre-menstrual are fantastic clues as to what is no longer working for you. When you don’t deal with these aspects, but rather push them down, they pop up in Perimenopause as your body starts to speak louder. At this time your body wisdom may bring old issues to light and give you an opportunity to deal with them so that you can experience joy and a wonderful second part of your life. It can be an exciting new development stage instead of something to be dreaded. As I mentioned earlier, your relationship neurons rewire so that the attention shifts to yourself and you are equipped to perfectly deal with all the ‘stuff’ from your past that you have kept tucked away or maybe you thought you had dealt with.
As you can imagine, there are many hormonal changes happening in your 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 your Estrogen and Progesterone bind to your receptors which are very prolific in your amygdala and hippo campus. These areas are responsible for creating and retrieving memories. And this is how your brain brings up all the aspects of your past that you have not dealt with. Can you see now how cleverly your whole body, mind, and hormones have orchestrated this time in your life to be the best personal development coach and given this to you as a gift?
What comes up for you now that has been dormant is an opportunity to explore new aspects of yourself, to uncover destructive beliefs, and allow yourself 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 you have known and the new ways you 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 you, pick yourself up and move forward without regret, and become who you really are, instead of who you think you should be.Tweet
Lastly, just think about how, when you 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.
Inspired by the work of Dr Christiane Northrup