Isn't it interesting when you look back and see how your life led you to the exact place you are in now?
I’m a life long learner.
My core style is to listen, to chat, and to do.
Over the past eight years, this has included reading a LOT too! There is so much information available on menopause, yet, deciphering what's based on research, what works and what is simply someone's opinion, can be quite tricky.
I have been learning my whole life.
Long before I went through early menopause, and started Menopause Socials and established Women of a Certain Stage, I began learning about human performance starting way back in 1985, when I went to Manchester University in the UK, to read Psychology.
Soon after, I began an HND in Anatomy & Physiology, and over the years, I have completed diplomas and certificates in multiple disciplines. From Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy to Menopause, Mental Health and Coaching and many, many more.
Workwise, I can only describe my experience a portfolio approach. I originally spent a decade in corporate, then another in Health & Fitness, came back into corporate again, before doing what I do now.
Every day is a school day & I love being a life-long learner.
I also believe that we are all continually learning and I have been fortunate to follow my dreams at each turn.
One of the biggest leaps in learning I ever had was after my menopausal roller coaster.
I'd been utterly unaware that I'd been through menopause by my early 40's because I was on the contraception that stopped my monthly bleed.
I thought I had early onset dementia at the time, and left work, for fear of being seen as weak or vulnerable.
After 35 years of learning about human performance, I hadn't known the first thing about menopause.
In the moment that my doctor said, "You've just been through the menopause" I thought "What the heck?!"
I knew in that moment, that I wanted to help prevent any other person from going through what I did, or any other employer from losing staff through lack of knowledge and support an utterly natural life stage - for most of us.
I began bringing people together, reading about menopause, joining every British Medical Journal course I could get a place on and started building my knowledge. Then I found the local expert here in Bristol - note all one of them - and she has now retired.
The more I dug into menopause from a medical perspective, the more conversations I was having, the more women I was meeting, locally and nationally, who had scarily similar experiences to me.
I turned to my contacts in the States and expected that they would be leading the way, and I did find a number of clinics, but all private and no-one doing workplace training or offering simple, straightforward support.
This prompted me to launch Menopause Socials.
Gatherings of women who simply wanted to chat, meet others in a similar position and the more sessions I ran, the more I learned. The critical factor was that everyone's experience was different, no-one could access useful help and support, there was little help from doctors and literally no-one was talking about it at work.
Quite simply, there is a huge amount to learn about menopause. Much more research needs to be done, training to be delivered and millions of women to be helped.
We must also be cognisant that many of our transgender, non-binary and gender questioning friends may also experience menopause.
Over 86% of people who go through menopause, neither know what it is, nor how it will impact them.
I’ve been on this journey for over eight years now, and there is still so much to discover – especially around the way the different aspects of menopause interact with each other.
I have a whole dialogue going with a number of my corporate clients about the cultural variations, not only in menopause, but intersecting this with the role of women in societies around the world.
Our Menopause Toolkits are being translated into multiple languages, including Arabic, Japanese & Simplified Chinese. There is so much to learn!
I've noticed how the different parts of my previous education, training and experience converged as I continue to build my knowledge on menopause.
I love that I get to work with organisations in every sector, to share what I've learned and most importantly how to successfully navigate menopause at home, work and beyond.
The satisfaction I gain from knowing that more and more people will no longer have to lose their confidence, their self esteem or feel like they are going to fly off he handle or burst into tears, the way I did, or leave their jobs needlessly, fills my heart.
And here's the rub!
There is only so much my team and I can do.
There is so much more work to do, and I invite you, with all your passion and knowledge, to join me to learn more about the many varied aspects of menopause and how to share and signpost that knowledge with those who need it most.
If, like me, you are a life-long learner, and want to help those dealing with menopause, I urge you take a moment to read about the Become a Menopause Champion certificate and the Become a Menopause Coach Diploma.
These to programmes are designed specifically for people who wish to help others successfully navigate menopause. The Menopause Champion certificate is a half day course, with five key modules covering
Menopause facts and statistics
Symptoms and how they may manifest
Effective signposting for ongoing support
Listening with curiosity and relinquishing judgement
Your role as a menopause champion, responsibilities and boundaries
The Menopause Coach diploma is delivered in two hour blocks live every Friday & recordings are available for when life gets in the way, or you simply wish to recap. You walk away with a foundational knowledge on menopause and a ready to deliver six week coaching programme, with all the materials you needs to start straight away. We include modules on
Women's health & hormones
Experience our signature menopause coaching programme first hand and take your fellow students through it too
Differentiating between educating, coaching and mentoring
Learn how to deliver The Menopause Plan+, with scripts, PDFs and all supporting documentation & deliver to two practice clients
90 Day Set up For Success module to make best use of your new skills
Surprise bonus sessions
Both programmes come with a minimum of 12 months ongoing support, so you are never alone!
If I have learned anything over the past few years, it is that we are stronger together!
Your coach, trainer and fellow life-longer learner,