Kryptonite to Superpower, Re-framing My Menopause Experience.
Updated: Jul 10
Have you seen the film Devil Wears Prada, or maybe Baby Boom?
Both Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton play high powered businesswomen in sharp suits, at the top of the game, earning more than their male peers and generally looking like they’re kicking arse!
A few years back, I identified with those women.
I was up at 05:00 every morning.
Busting a gut at the gym.
New suits every season.
Leading big teams and projects.
And juggling the demands of being a sole parent.
Until I encountered what felt like my kryptonite.
Suddenly, I was losing simple words, my emotions were all over the place and sleep became an alien concept.
I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and I didn’t feel able to talk to anyone at work.
I kept it all in and battled on.
Eventually, I reached out to my GP and he diagnosed low mood.
This didn’t compute, but I felt powerless to argue and had no clue what else might be going on.
I felt like I was super dependent on my team. Everything just felt wrong, to the point where I felt like I had leave before I got ‘found out’.
Two GP appointments and five months later and I finally discovered what was wrong.
It had ‘just’ been an early menopause...
...and it felt like it had cost me everything, I’d worked so hard for.
It was then I decided that no one should suffer like I had. Not another person going through menopause, or another employer.
The Journey Begins ...
The first thing I wanted women to know was that they weren’t alone ... and so ‘Menopause Socials’ were born.
A few curious souls gathered with me to share their experiences over a cuppa, on the first Sunday of every month.
Gradually, the word spread, and more women joined...and they brought their friends and colleagues and even more women joined.
Over the next two years, I studied, researched and shared what was working for me so that the others could better manage their menopause symptoms too.
And I began campaigning
I spoke to everyone who would listen to me share about the lack of support and education for women going through this phase of their life.
I found my voice on radio, on TV, I spoke to journalists and told my story wherever I felt it could make a difference.
The elation I felt every time I helped someone, or landed my message was countered by the realisation that my savings rapidly dwindling.
I ignored the nagging voice and instead, invested a chunk of my remaining funds on qualifying with the Health Coach Institute in America.
And then an opportunity arose, and I took it with both hands.
Setting Myself Free ...
“So, there’s a global competition for all new health coaches, with a $10,000 prize. Click here to find out more and apply.”
Countless new coaches from across the world applied.
Five made it through to the final held in Tucson, Arizona.
I was lucky enough to be one of those five.
When it was my turn, I walked on stage, ready to deliver my talk.
I looked out at the audience...
... a thousand faces waiting expectantly for me to start.
And in that second, I knew.
I knew that this was what I was meant to do.
It didn’t matter what they thought about me.
It didn’t matter about the prize.
The only thing that mattered was that at the end of my talk, they felt one percent more confident in understanding and talking about menopause.
I started to speak.
I heard laughs, oohs, ahs and applause throughout my talk. I was blown away.
When I walked off the stage, I knew I’d never be the same again.
I was free.
When I look back at my corporate career, I realise now that I spent years wearing a corporate mask.
Like many women, I’d fallen prey to what so many of us do, feeling that we have to behave in a certain way.
I was weighed down by the stress of constantly trying to fit in.
To prove that I was good enough every day.
In the gym.
In how I looked.
I felt like I had to be in control all the time.
Putting work before everything.
In the end, although I left my job - it was menopause that rescued me.
Today, I see it as the best gift I ever received.
Now I love chilling in my sweatpants, and you’ll rarely find me in shoes.
I don’t fret and stress about what people think.
I’m comfortable in my own skin.
I’m kind to myself.
I listen to my mind and body and give it what it needs.
Training sensibly, eating well, sleeping well and drinking less.
And most importantly, I’m doing what I love.
Helping other women reframe menopause as a gift and a gateway to an incredible future.
The Gateway to Our Best Selves.
When women begin to work with me, they are confused and feel lost.
During our time together, a new perspective comes into focus, like the mist burning away to reveal the beauty of the landscape.
On average we go through 37 years of menstruation, and all that comes with it, and yet we’re only half-way through our adult life.
Post menopause, we have an average of another 37 years plus to go.
Can you imagine what’s possible?
Without the monthly cycle rollercoaster.
With no fear of unplanned pregnancy.
It’s the perfect time to reflect, refocus and re-plan.
Space to question what we need.
Menopause is the great reset!
When people learn how to navigate the emotional, psychological and physical demands of this new phase in their life, they are able to step into their power and claim the future they want.
Becoming a catalyst for this transformation is incredibly rewarding, but the demand is huge.
So many women are looking for education and support to navigate this change, and it is almost overwhelming.
That’s why I created my Become a Menopause Coach programme.
If you are an employer, or someone looking to help people to successfully navigate their menopause, there is a huge opportunity for you to make a difference. If you’d like to hear more about the difference you could make, then have a read of Donna’s menopause journey in ’Acceptance, Understanding and the Big Shift’
Find out more about my Menopause Coaching programme here . The next course begins in Sept 2023, click here to register your interest or if you want to book a call to talk through it, I'd love to hear from you.
Your coach & trainer,