Chakra colours and scarves

It seems odd to think of chakras purely as their colour. So often we carry crystals or wear them as jewellery hoping to balance a chakra. As a person who is not likely to randomly kiss trees or hug babies I actually pay quite a lot of attention to my chakras and to that extent I pay attention to the colour scarf I wear. I wear scarves everyday. Each of the colours chosen are used to support me mentally. Some people laugh but it is true. I tend to incorporate a lot of red into my overall outfit. In fact my basic work wardrobe is black, grey and red. While this provides me with a sense of safety and security, it is designed to engender that sense of safety and security in others. The message is, “I have this under control, you can believe in me to get the job done.”

For meetings or public appearances I choose carefully. I think of my audience and the message I am trying to get across. When I am speaking to large crowds I always wear a turquoise coloured scarf to support my throat. You may laugh but I gave my favourite turquoise scarf to a woman terrified of public speaking back in February. She gave a magnificent presentation. So much so that I felt compelled to give her the scarf.

Earlier on this year I was on a mission to reempower my self. My previous job had become so mind numbing that I had unintentionally stripped some of my own confidence. I found a beautiful yellow scarf with other charkra colours interwoven in a lovely paisley pattern. I like tiny paisley patterns as they remind me of mandalas. I have to say that the scarf restored me to my former confident self and enabled me to make some great life changing and life progressing decisions.

So my learning to share with you, think about the colours that you where, and if you do the Melbourne all black, add some colour and dedicate it to a specific chakra. Then watch how your day unfolds.

Love and Light!!

Yellow chakra scarf

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Menopausal Madness & the Working Woman

I always wondered why women would take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) especially when all the news linking it to the development of cancers started arising (see link below). That is until changing my bed linen became a daily occurrence and the slightly strange moods morphed into feelings of being overwhelmed or disengaged and unmotivated, we won’t even discuss the bizarre feelings of anxiety! I have always prided myself on being a strong woman that will always step up to the plate when needed. I am the person who makes the hard decisions. I’m the person the family calls on for answering questions like “should we turn off the life support”. Serious. That’s me. I’m the Aunty people call when there is a problem that needs a person who can act sensibly and responsibly under pressure. Not to mention being the super-organised one at work who just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it. Now I find myself with eye leakage at cute puppy and kitten memes. As I dragged my jumper off for the nth time yesterday, I wondered how professional me would be coping.

Currently I have the luxury of working from home and videoing in for meetings. During my last face to face meeting I was only having slightly warm flushes of an evening. Now the most recent ones are noticeable. So, how does the professional woman manage, in a room full of clients, peers and subordinates to not rip off her shirt and madly fan herself with the most recent financial report? How do you deal with brain fog? What are the alternatives to HRT? Because, I have to say that a couple of days ago if I was working in a corporate environment I would have considered it.

When I went to the TCM Dr she commented that “I’ve caught it early”. This means in terms of treatment my menopausal symptoms will respond better. I now have 15 little black ball shaped pills to take twice a day and acupuncture once a week till I get some balance back. Given I am a holistic health coach myself, I understand that unlike harsh Western medicine, I will not see immediate results. I am also a firm believer in not trying multiple therapies at once, so I am not trying any essential oil or homeopathic treatments; as yet. But I can assure you that at 3am, with zero sleep and another flaming hot wave sweeping through my body I could easily set aside my do no harm principals and eat the heart of a frog, or drink the urine of the endangered long-eared bat! And, and this is an important AND, I am NOT having severe symptoms, not only am I in the early stages, my  plant-based (mostly organic) eating habits mean that I am less exposed to hormones and chemicals in the food chain.

I have been doing a bit of research. By this I mean I activated the female friendship tree and got some tips. I have heard that I should wear waterproof makeup that allows you to sweat, no ladylike glow here, or where no makeup at all, or get your eyebrows and eyelashes tinted (something I already did until my recent accidental conversion to plant-based eating). Put a bundle of tissues in each armpit and leave your jacket on during meetings. Keep a diary to see if you can time the flushes and only schedule meetings when you think you won’t have one (can you imagine what that notation would like it in your diary? 9am Meeting with CFO, 9.45am Hot flush …). Drink as much water as possible. Avoid eating foods that cause your body to smell when it is sweating. In fact, try and avoid altogether because apparently you can just get smelly. Oh, and one last one, always wear at least a panty liner, because minor incontinence is also on the cards. Menopause Australia list 34 symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause. If you weren’t depressed at the thought of menopause, read the list, I promise you will be at least sad and apprehensive. On the upside, you will be informed and better able to manage and make tough decisions.

On a professional note, I recommend being open, whilst you don’t have to discuss each and every symptom, which would also be tactless, you can do what I do, drag out my trusty fan and fan myself. I say nothing unless someone looks at me questioningly, at which point I simply say “that time of life” and move on. You will also be surprised at how accommodating men of your age group and older are. It appears that as we get older there are less and less social taboos. I had a man at the airport the other night regaling me with stories about his wife’s flushes and how he often ended up on the couch!

On a further professional note, it is worth your while to be familiar with these symptoms as we all manage or work with a diversely aged population. To date I have worked with: women going through IVF and men whose partners were; colleagues with children and with children facing difficulties; women going through “the change”; and people my age and older dealing with becoming grandparents (sometimes very unexpectedly) and often at the same time becoming the carer for an elderly parent. All these outside engagements can affect performance. To keep employees productive we need to be understanding and able to provide a flexible and harmonious workplace. Who knows, it might be you who needs a special consideration one day!

After my meditation retreat I will be recommencing my martial arts training. I am hoping that meditation and the discipline of martial arts will assist me in regaining and retaining my focus and sharp thinking.

Some further reading on menopause…

Menopause Centre Australia: http://menopausecentre.com.au/menopause-symptoms-index

Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/hrt-and-cancer

A little happy note from me…

I wish that all of you whose meanderings in the Red Dust have brought you to the menopausal stage of your journey are able to embrace it as the next big adventure. I personally am looking forward to seeing how the way I view and respond to the world changes. And while I probably can’t dance like I used to (in fact, after my nieces 21st recently, I know I can’t), there is always a dance to be found! So I will continue wandering my Red Dust Way and hope I can bring you some wisdom from my menopausal journey.

Menopause? Now!? Really!?!

Yes, Really! At the ripe young age of 48 I am heading into menopause. Don’t ask if it is peri-menopause or menopause. I have been too paralysed with fear to do any intelligible research. I didn’t even know there was more than one stage. I did try to do research. Really. I googled “symptoms of menopause” and in the search results was an article on “38 symptoms…” At that point I truly wished I drank alcohol so I could drown my fears, sorrows and anything else. I refused to read further. The symptoms I have include random memory loss, fuzzy thinking and a huge, almost crippling inability to focus. And, as if that isn’t enough, I am spending the entire night on a rolling wave of hot AND cold flushes. My mother has some serious explaining to do. This part of my life was left out of the “Talk” we had when I had meno-start.

Now I must say I was relieved to discover that the brain fugue is part of menopause. Even if it was delivered via the oh-so-not hilarious taunts of a friend on Facebook. Well, okay, they were funny taunts but that is not the point. I had been starting to think I might have an early onset of Alzheimer’s so I was glad to know that I would stop forgetting important stuff, of course I can also continue to remember dancing on pianos when I was younger. Perhaps I can organise a selective forgetfulness? I was also pretty okay with the flushes. Although my sleep was disturbed, I was waking feeling rested. The flushes started of as mildly warm and stayed that way until about a week ago. Now it is total strip off time. This is all fine and good until you are a guest on a bed in the lounge room and wake to find yourself with blankets kicked off and no t-shirt! My son assures me he doesn’t have to burn his eyes out!!

And again, all that I could have coped with, until I started getting more than one or two mild flushes through the day. Now I get several through the day and they require me to strip off my outer layers. And I have many layers as just before hand I would have had teeth-chattering cold and bundled up. Fortunately, being a born and bred Melbourne girl I am used to dressing for 26 seasons in one day, but I have to tell you on my recent flight back from Sydney on a tiny plane there wasn’t much room for on again off again clothes. Well, not unless I wanted to elbow my fellow passengers, which I confess is something I have thought about on previous flights but these fellow travelers were nice people.

Anyway, after the son nearly burning his eyes out incident, I had decided I needed a Plan. I find things work better when you have a Plan. Even if you can’t stick to it, you still have an idea of where you are meant to be heading and what you are meant to be doing. My plan – always wear a t-shirt and jacket instead of sweaters. Simple! I thought I was so clever. Well the weather was not conducive to the t-shirt and jacket so I had to wear a sweater. On one occasion, Sydney got a lovely eyeful of my middle-aged pale midriff as I ripped my sweater off. My daughter-in-law at least had a vague idea of what I was going through so did not die of embarrassment at the feral stripping off on the busiest thoroughfare in the city.

Time to change tactics. This was when I decided that a fan would be a lovely complement to my plan. Do you have any idea how stupid you look fanning yourself in freezing cold weather? I do. Especially when all the trendy young hipsters surrounding you have no clue as to why you would be fanning yourself. I suddenly felt awkward and gauche. Not something that is foreign to me, but it has certainly not been something that has caused me concern for decades. I rarely give a toss what strangers in crowded restaurants think about me. I dress for me and behave for me and choose to have the friends I have. And quite frankly I can’t be bothered with people making vapid judgements. So why the insecurity? Or rather, anxiety? Ah, yet another symptom. Something I also know nothing about. I actually had some anxiety two weeks ago and had to phone a friend to ask what was wrong with me. When she told me I laughed and told her I didn’t get anxiety. Guess I was wrong on that count.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I wasn’t planning on going through menopause until I was 55. Guess that schedule needs reviewing. So I thought, oh well, no biggy, I’ll just suck it up and get through it. I mentioned to a friend how uncomfortable the symptoms were. She told me she has a friend who has been having the symptoms for 10 years. 10 years!!! Another woman I spoke to mentioned that her Aunty has been having symptoms for over 15 years. So NOT A HAPPY CAMPER people. What next? I have decided I need to do some research and I went to see the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Dr. I have had a treatment of acupuncture and started taking a herbal remedy. I’ll let you know how it works out. And any interesting tidbits from my research. Hopefully I’ll have my happy dancing feet back on in no time at all.

**LoveAndLight**