How I Navigated the Menopause Maze and Now Help Others to Step Fully into Their Personal Power
Updated: Jun 26, 2022
No Woman Should Have to Go Through This Alone ...
My heart was beating out of my chest, as I sat waiting in my GP’s surgery for the outcome of the blood tests. He turned to me with a smile and said
“You don’t have early onset dementia; you’ve just been through the menopause.”
My relief and amazement at being given the all-clear for dementia soon turned into white hot anger.
Just a few months before I’d been a highflying senior leader, heading up multiple change programmes, with managers from all corners of the globe reporting into me.
... but all that had disappeared, along with my confidence and self-esteem.
If only I’d have understood what was happening to me, I could have asked for help.
If only the people around me had been able to spot the signs, they would have been able to support me instead of avoiding me.
That white hot anger created a new purpose of molten steel, and absolute clarity of vision.
I recall saying to my Doctor:
“I have to work with employers to stop them losing female talent. They can’t let people go through what I’ve just been through, without supporting them.”
And from that moment my mission started.
How Do You Make Sense of the Menopause Maze?
I knew where I wanted to get to ...
I wanted to be able to educate *women, so that they could mitigate the symptoms and flourish through the menopause ...
but I had no idea how to get there or where to start.
First, I tried to understand the science behind it and headed to the British Medical Journal, then the British Menopause Society where I consumed every piece of research available, finishing off with the same training that people in the medical profession get from the Newson Menopause Society.
There are over 34 recognised symptoms of the menopause, (possible over 60), and every person’s journey through it is different.
A small group of people will experience very few symptoms, the majority will have their health and wellbeing affected in some way, but about a quarter will have their lives turned upside down, just like I did.
The menopause symptoms can affect every inch of you, from top to toe, inside and out.
Although Every Journey is Different, One Thing Remains the Same...
Managing hormones and the medical symptoms has a part to play in navigating menopause successfully, but I realised that whilst every woman’s symptomatic journey is unique, there is one thing all menopausal women have in common, and that is they are having to manage change.
Not only the thoughts and emotions associated with the physical and hormonal changes happening, but also the psychological impact of moving into a new phase of life and leaving a part of our old self behind.
I knew that I had to add coaching into my toolkit.
I qualified in multiple coaching disciplines, thinking that the combination of menopause education and coaching would be enough to guide women through and get the results I wanted for them.
But it wasn’t.
Something was missing.
The Key to Escaping the Maze ...
Before becoming a mother and switching to a corporate career, I had been a fitness professional, sports therapist and nutritional adviser with clinics in Bristol and London.
As I contemplated what else I needed to create a truly transformational experience for women through my programmes, I had a bit of an epiphany.
At each stage of our growth and development from infant to adult, our nutritional and energetic requirements fluctuate, but once we reach adulthood most of us assume that’s it.
We tend to stop listening to our bodies and get stuck in patterns, preferences and lifestyles that we only vary if there is a clear and present danger to our health, or we set new goals and behaviours intentionally that require us to act differently.
But what if the menopause was another major evolution in our development and our body’s nutritional and energetic needs were as chalk and cheese as infant to adult?
I started testing my theory by bringing in nutrition and energy management into the equation and the results were phenomenal.
The Magic Triangle Approach: Holistic Health, Medical and Mindset!
When I incorporated the three elements of holistic health, and medical and mindset management of the symptoms into my programmes I was able to accelerate my student’s journey through the menopause maze.
It had taken me nearly three years to get in control of my menopause journey, but I was able to get my students to the same place in just a few weeks.
As the awareness of the menopause and my programmes for individuals and employers has grown, so has the demand.
So many women have been stepping out of the shadows where they have been trying to hide, alone, angry and anxious, and into power and new possibilities.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to the work I’ve been doing, and my only regrets have been not being able to accommodate or reach more people.
Fortunately, one of my own students showed me that despite all the mind training I’ve done, I was the one getting in the way of helping more people.
Am I Really Good Enough?
Since 2014, I’ve gone all in on my mission to make sure no one has the same experience through menopause as me.
I’ve travelled globally, sharing my mission and message in keynote talks and workshops with some of the biggest companies.
I’ve worked with the media in TV, Radio and print to raise awareness and shift the narrative on menopause.
And, I’ve had thousands of people through my programmes.
The thought had crossed my mind that my programmes could be used by companies and wellbeing practitioners to reach more people than I could alone, but I always pushed it away because I didn’t feel ready.
Then, during one of the menopause programmes, a student said:
“I’ve been waiting to get on this for ages, if only there were more Laurens!”
In that moment, the penny dropped. I knew that what was really stopping me was that I was concerned that other people wouldn’t think I was good enough.
I was making it all about me, rather than my mission, and that’s when my ‘Become a Menopause Coach’ certification programme was born.
Who is it for and what does it do?
... well you can find out more about it and see if you or your organisation would be a fit for the programme in the next blog Who Should Become a Menopause Coach?
Your coach & trainer,