I am often asked why in the world I chose to call the workshops that I teach Powerful Puberty or Powerful Perimenopause. How can a stage of life that can feel so unearthing, so confusing, so shaking in every way, be called powerful. Am I spreading a false hope?
Powerful by the dictionary definition means "to do, to act, the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events, political force or might". I don't know about you but this sounds like a very one sided and masculine version of the word power. I am NOT dogging on masculinity or even masculine power...let me say it again NOT doing that. However, I believe that this version is one dimensional, leaving a whole lot out of what power means and looks like. In the end it disconnects many of us women AND men from this other type of power.
Invisible Power is what I am talking about.
Invisible power is found in strong connections to others and to ourselves: true love for another, connection to another, connection to yourself, love for yourself, an expression of who you are and your gifts, your inner knowing and acting from that. These are ALL also power! Flowing, intuition, nurture, connection, creation these are invisible power sources that aren't valued or included in the current definition. They also happen to be feminine in nature and tie into our life cycles, although that does not mean that they aren't housed within men. They live in both of us in varying degrees and as a culture, these power values aren't included. This disconnects us from ourselves, from nature and from ways of being that are POWERFUL and connecting and I believe can change the way we experience the world and interact with it.
Power is being embodied, discovering and uncovering who you are and showing that person to the world. Power includes vulnerability!
The process of these time periods of life is that you are becoming you. You are connecting with your inner wisdom. Brain scans show that the intuitive parts of our brain are more active during this time. For perimenopause it is said that we are becoming "stupid" our brains are shrinking, yes we do tend to lose words and that is f**ing frustrating however we are also diving into our intuitive knowing, our feminine knowing which is VERY different than our logical knowing. Our society has said one is better than the other and many of us have accepted that.
The story that we have been told culturally is that these stages of life: puberty and perimenopause are anything but powerful; they are a curse!
We have been told and therefore may have experienced them as SUCK! Cultural neuroscience has shown that our brains are literally patterned by our culture and that patterning can also affect our biochemical nature. This is why in cultures that have different stories there are different experiences of these time periods. Another way of thinking about puberty is that it is the beginning of the cyclical nature/connection of our lives as women. In my opinion HOW POWERFUL IS THAT!!!! However, our world is VERY linear and doesn't allow much for the power of cycles in fact we try and control cycles to "get things done". Culturally we don't honor cycles and in most ways we ignore them. Of course girls who begin to cycle hate it! Forget about the pain and inconvenience they hate what they see about what it means to be a woman, how not valued the cycle is. Many of us weren't taught anything about that side of it, or even the health benefits and clues for our lives; our 6th vital sign of health. We definitely weren't taught that it is something to be honored and even that we can live into it and when we do we are more productive than if we worked in a linear, full on all the time way. Girls don't learn about the emotional, mental, physical aspects of this time. Most of us didn't when we were younger either and that carries forward into the end of our cycling. Most women don't even know what perimenopause is, dismissing it at that horrible thing that happens when you are "old" and lose your period.
For many of you reading this who have been through puberty and found it to be anything but powerful, I get it!!!
It wasn't powerful for most of us but that isn't because it isn't, it doesn't make that story we were told true. It means from the very beginning of the turning on of the connection we become disconnected. From the very beginning, we saw our bodies in some ways as our enemy: the cramps, the headaches, the PMS is the curse and lets control it because CONTROL IS POWER. OR what if we connect with it, honor it and listen to it? What if that changes all the symptoms? A headache is telling you something, so are cramps and all the rest...do you listen. If you did would it be powerful? Would that knowledge, that CONNECTION help you feel powerful?
Both of these time periods are for going within, being all mixed up and then figuring out and yes that can feel anything but our current dictionary definition of powerful. We can’t control it and we can’t overcome it, although we certainly try.
We have to be within it and let it do it's magic. We need to listen. What if this is what we were taught? What if as a culture we went through these time periods in these ways, with these ideas as explorers? THIS IS what I am talking about this is powerful. Having a relationship with it and not labeling it as puberty hell, or temper tantrums but as moments of growing and changing. If we are given the knowledge about what is actually happening in our bodies and we be open with them and with ourselves about these time periods.
I am asking us to evolve and reclaim these time periods in a powerful way. Not of control, force but of connection and embodiment of becoming. It is a process of becoming and through the breakdowns that occur; the growth that occurs a more solid and powerful version of you emerges.