Let the world be a reflection of yourself in acceptance.
Midlife transformation represents a changing point for any person, to start living life on their terms.
However, menopause isn’t always a change a woman is ready to accept in their life. It isn’t as if a woman can choose when menopause can happen. Historically this isn’t true. Female Taoist practitioners were known to induce menopause earlier in their life.
Regarding life, Taoism sees human life divided into three significant times as an adult.
- The first third of life is all about fitting in with your society.
- The second third of life represents taking control of your story.
- The final third of life represents focusing on your legacy and releasing oneself into spiritual exploration.
The second third of life is midlife transformation and menopause. Taoist women used to induce menopause early on purpose to release the social responsibility of having children. Also of course health was a major concern when having children as one got older. It was a much safer and powerful place to induce menopause earlier and seize control of one’s own life to be outside society’s control.
In current modern society, things are very different. It’s medically more acceptable to have children older. Also, our culture is more mind centric: people want to control their bodies, and not be controlled by the body. Finally, western culture is youth-centric. People don’t want to lose the edge of their youth, to go through menopause is to be forced away from one’s youth.
In China where elders were respected, it made sense to speed up menopause. In the western culture which worships youth (look at how western culture treats the older population, and you immediately see the problem), it now makes sense for women work to delay menopause.
A simple truth is this… reproduction comes at a high cost to our bodies. To be reproductively fit pushes the body at a higher pace and rate, to ensure reproduction. It turns out midlife is a very very biologically critical time in human life. Midlife transformation is all about resetting and then re-tuning our bodies to be more sustainable.
To live as a 20-year body, would, in fact, mean the average human body would fail and burn out by 60. The body needs to shift a bit to pace out life in a better fashion. Men who don’t go thru a full version of menopause (men still do go thru midlife physical changes, but more slight and subtle) die younger than women, on average seven years younger. (Other factors come into play for the age difference, but this re-pacing of life plays in heavily)
Midlife transition and menopause are all about improving the quality of life for a person. In addition to literally re-tuning a body, a woman’s body can age more gracefully when flowing through the menopause process.
Menopause isn’t always an easy transition for many women. A midlife crisis itself is a hard time for many people, for both men and women. For women who could be dealing with the effects of menopause at the same time as their midlife transformation, the combination of both processes can feel overwhelming indeed.
Now one aspect that is interesting: The actual timing of menopause and midlife transformation aren’t always in sync with each other. Menopause can be induced earlier in life due to stress or other conditions. Likewise, a woman’s midlife transformation could happen before menopause due to a partner being in midlife crisis. Midlife transition, as a result, can be a bit more confusing to a woman since while menopause traditionally represents when the midlife transition happens, that isn’t necessarily the case either.
When a woman works with menopause, it can become a very powerful gift to enhance her life. So a final consideration is this: midlife transformation often in our society becomes a midlife crisis. The trouble is in trying to avoid aging; you can create a crisis of lifestyle that forces the natural process of midlife transition into becoming a greater personal crisis.
In this process, women need some reassurance to be reminded not to let midlife crisis thinking from the culture and peers, impose upon their natural changing point in life. Menopause is a time of great power for a woman; power represents the ability to define oneself. Take the time to exercise, redefine your lifestyle and make choices that represent how you truly want to live through your middle third of life. Don’t lose the power of transformation to crisis style thinking and actions from our culture.
Discover that the second third of life represents becoming your own person.
Make this time be about true transformation and become strong in who you would like to become.