When Guru Hari Kaur experienced menopause, it was a transformative experience. Surgery changed everything for her in only four days. Learn her personal story and how the experience taught her 8 steps that helped her ease menopause, and will also help you.
My transition through menopause was one of the most important transitions of my life. I am an active yoga and meditation teacher who had just moved from Boston to New York City in my early 50’s. I was in a new city and although I am an expert at handling stress, had met my match with the move to NYC.
I was faced with healing myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually
My experience began with sleepless nights and a menstrual period that just would not stop. Although doctors tried to stop the bleeding and did tests, they could not find, at least immediately, any problems. I was losing my usual high energy and high achievement feeling and was confronted with a weakness I had never felt before. I knew something was wrong. Finally the doctors found, after bleeding for months, uterine cancer. Surgery was scheduled within 10 days. I had a full hysterectomy during hurricane Irene in NYC.
I went into menopause in 4 hours. Fortunately I had excellent doctors and healers and I did not need additional treatment. I am two years away from that surgery, happy, strong, and vibrant.
I was educated in healing, had a healthy vegetarian diet, and understood how deeply stress affects the body. Once the diagnosis was made and the surgery was done, I was faced with healing myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I took on the project moment to moment to reclaim the full energy and the happiness, strength, and deep restful sleep I had before menopause and cancer.
Here are some of the lessons I learned during my healing journey and what I recommend to all women going through the transition of perimenopause and menopause.
Open your mind. You are older, wiser and you have what it takes to move away from “doing” and into “being”. This is a time when your physical body is giving you a huge opportunity. The biggest spiritual transition and enlightenment you can find during this time is the experience and understanding of “doing” versus “being”. I found the following things extremely helpful:
1. Clean out your physical home, office, files, drawers, cabinets and closets as much as you can. Menopause is the time to let go of the past. If you want the wisdom that is on the other side of this transition, let go of the past and your attachments to things you no longer need. Figure out what is meaningful to you in the material world, and let go of the rest. Lighten your material load.
2. Practice yoga, Qi Gong or some style of conscious exercise several times per week. Slow down so you can hear what you body is saying. Listen and pay attention. Years of experience with yoga and meditation served me well and with that training I could tune into my body and what it needed.
3. Sweat and laugh every day. Walking is not enough exercise. You need to sweat and work hard to stay young. I recommend Kundalini yoga of course, but also Qi Gong and any physical practice that directly takes on what your body needs to get strong. Go muscle by muscle, organ by organ, bone by bone, and don’t give up for a second. You will be amazed at what you can do! Getting strong does not mean you will be skinny. Getting strong means you will be strong. Learn to love STRONG.
4. Keep an open mind with diet and find what works. Menopause is the time to take diet seriously. Cut down or eliminate what you know is not healthy, like white sugar and processed foods. Get back to basics and enjoy fresh foods filled with nutrition, color, and taste. Think of comfort food as food that makes you comfortable, steady and strong. Clean up your digestion and get as strong as you can organ by organ.
5. Listen more, speak authentically.
6. Forgive yourself and everyone else. Live life as it is, here and now. The past is over and you did your very best up to this moment. Embrace your past with humor and compassion.
7. Learn how to express and process anger, frustration and fear. These emotions are not going away. Embrace all your emotions and live life full out. One of the least understood emotions is anger. Often women have spent their lives caring for others and feeling under-appreciated. This can create anger and resentment that can lead to bitterness. Consider yourself appreciated if you appreciate yourself for a life well lived. If you need to correct something, correct it. Otherwise celebrate every day and enjoy the ride.
8. Do the spiritual work needed to be the person you want to be. Meditation will help you accomplish this. If you have never practiced meditation before, start now. Learn to calm your mind and relax yourself. The benefits of a regular meditation practice are AMAZING!
Life is an experience that is yours to have. Live it with awareness.
To adjust your diet, do the additional exercise and meditation or spiritual work may take some time out of your day. Unfortunately there is no other way. The result will astound you. You have lived this long and accumulated so much wisdom; use this wisdom for your own healing and you will realize you grace and power and happiness in a way that is your birthright as an elder. Best of all, no disease, no outer circumstances will be able to remove your inner happiness. Disease comes and goes, pain comes and goes. Life is an experience that is yours to have. Live it with awareness.
I have come back from cancer stronger in mind body and soul, than I was 10 years ago – honestly this is the truth! You can get stronger day by day even during illness and challenge. Do what you can each day. Turn on your grit to get your grace. These years are the years for self-realization. Go for it. Leverage the wisdom you have gathered for your happiness now.
One last thought – hang around with great people that you love and that love you. Let go of relationships that don’t work. Socialize with other women at this stage of life, especially women in your peer group and older. You are in an amazing part of life. Claim it.
I wish you all the best and would love to hear from you if I can help. Please feel free to contact me by email at Hari@HariNYC.com, or visit me at Hari NYC, my studio in NYC for classes and training in Kundalini Yoga and Meditaiton and Qi Gong.
Director and Founder of Hari NYC – Kundalini Meditation