April 18, 2019

Growing Pains

Pull on that cashmere sweater,
Sure could fit much better.
Same with the velvet pants,
They won't take me to any dance.

Buttons that no longer close,
Runs in old pantyhose.
Favorite shirts, all worn or stained,
Floral skirts, tight and strained.

Not a moments guilt, no hesitation,
Throw them in the box for donation.
They served me once, maybe twice,
On someone else they'll look real nice.

Empty hangers, potential space,
No longer interested in being just a pretty face,
But really comfortable in my skin,
Not just because once I was thin.

Clearing the closets, shelf by shelf,
Finally I have outgrown judging myself.
Soon I'll go on a shopping spree,
And discover just what really suits me.

Blessed be.

April 11, 2019

Highly Recommended on Alignable




Kayla, 


You're a top recommended business 

in Santa Cruz! 


Great news! Your 5 recommendations from Santa Cruz business owners have earned you our new Highly Recommended Business badge! Woo hoo!

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If you want your life to take off and fly, go to Kayla Garnet Rose. She's amazing.
- Misty Day, C.A.P


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Kayla is a bright light and gifted tarot/spiritual teacher. I highly trust and value the heart-based guidance she provides.- Jill Troderman




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March 24, 2019

77 Tips for Mindful Menopause

In no particular order, here are 77 tips to experience Mindful Menopause. Watch out for my forthcoming book "Changing Woman: An Enchanting Collection of Myths, Musings, and Meditations for Mindful Menopause" which delves deeper into the practices outlined here. I hope this is helpful!

  1. Acupuncture - I have found acupuncture to be enormously beneficial hormonal balancing. Before going on hormones, consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Like any natural remedy, it may take longer to see any results,but on the other hand, one also tends to experience less side effects. If you're not comfortable needles, acupressure and reflexology are alternatives that create flow in the meridians.
  2. Drink more water, no ice - you’ll drink more; same with using a straw. When you urinate, consciously let go of whatever has been pissing you off lately. Same when you defecate - say out loud, “I now release all this old crap.” Notice that as you release the accumulated emotional and physical toxins, the sense of well being and serenity that permeates your body.
  3. Research - You are unique, not a statistic. This is the time to activate your scientist and discover what works for you. You'll get a ton of advice from friends, colleagues, doctors, magazines and Internet articles, but ultimately the expert on your body is you. Be willing to experiment, take responsibility for your health and happiness, and do your own due diligence to honor your individual unfolding.
  4. Laugh - Practice saying out loud, "Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee, ho, ho, ho" It becomes so ridiculous you will begin to laugh for real. Laughter is the best medicine - Breathe into your Buddha belly and feel a big belly laugh whenever you want to feel high. Especially good when driving to the ATM.
  5. Fans - Wow, what a difference a fan makes! From little personal electric fan necklaces to full on ceiling fans, it's well worth investing in a cooling breeze. My fans range from a delicately carved sandalwood fan which I can add aromatherapy oils too ( peppermint is cooling, lavender is soothing). I finally figured out how to change the setting on the main ceiling fan to be cooling the house instead of warming, check yours out. We don't have air conditioning, but I sure do love it the car. Then I bought a small, portable desk fan, which I take with me traveling. When I feel a hot flash coming on, I throw back the covers, letting the sweat evaporate, then throw back on the covers, but feeling less clammy than when I didn't have the fan going. And in the spirit of the Tibetan prayer wheels, I wrote blessings on each of the fan blades, so that during the night I am being showered with blessings.
  6. Cold Wash Cloths - Never underestimate the power of a wet washcloth. When I feel a hot flash coming on, I've found it super useful to get up, go pee, run cool water over my wrists while getting a wash cloth soaked with cool water. After wringing it out, I'll either do a quick sponge bath along my arms, chest and back, or simply drape it across the back of my neck. Combined with the fan can be very cooling, just make sure to do no more than twenty minutes of with the fan to avoid over cooling muscles. Blot, blot, blot - Every time when you go pee, (adrenals) blot under your breasts, forehead, armpits. Learn to collect napkins in your purse, tissues in your pockets. you don't want the sweat to stay on your skin to attract bacteria or fungus.
  7. Kitchen Towels - I keep a stack of kitchen towels by the bed. Super soft and absorbent, baby cloths would be another solution. These I either stick between my breasts or between my thighs to absorb all the clammy sweat, especially when sleeping in the nude. A friend has recommended sleeping in sports gear with wicking action as opposed to pajamas.
  8. Bath Towels - For about three months I would have to spread a bath towel on the bed, which I would change every 90 minutes as it would get soaked in sweat. However, this was way easier than washing the sheets and mattress cover continuously. I also noticed my pillow getting a lot of sweat stains. If your mattress gets stained, sprinkle a box of baking soda all over it, let sit for a few hours, then vacuum thoroughly.
  9. Separate Beds - For some reason this makes e think of being a kid and seeing Ricky and Lucy having separate beds on "I Love Lucy". At some point I helped my mom make my parents bed, and I realized they had separate sheets and blankets under the coverlet. Later they had separate bedrooms for years. Now I get it. Not only does my husband seem to put out an incredible amount of heat, so do my cats, and I find myself feeling trapped and unhappy. Often I will go downstairs and sleep on the couch, massage table, or my daughters bed, just to have some breathing room and a few cool spots on the bed. This has created feelings of rejection in both my spouse and pets, so paying extra attention to them during the day has felt like a new mindfulness moment. To maintain intimacy with my sweetie, we practice a daily Cuddle meditation.
  10. Breathe - Sounds obvious, but all day long I get paid to remind people to take deep breaths and drink water. Long, slow, cooling breaths. Imagine your breathing deep into your belly, then deeper into your hips, deeper still into your knees, and even deeper into your toes. Make the exhale as long as possible. Breathe in the cool, breathe out the hot, dragon mama that you are. Or whatever you want... Breathe in calmness, breathe out the rage, breathe in peacefulness, breathe out the frustration, breathe in acceptance, breathe out despair.
  11. Meditate - Start your day by simply stating your intentions, take a moment to visualize them as if they have already occurred, feel that in your body, and breathe it into every cell of your being. To further amplify this frequency, write in your journal, speak your truth, or better yet, sing your truth. Attract what you need in order to grow.
  12. Purify -  hot showers, hot baths, hot tubs saunas: release toxins naturally and effectively. Transmute old poisons, shed your skin, wash away the past to feel cleansed and renewed. Neti pots cleanse the sinuses & clear the head of congested thoughts.
  13. Cold Floors - During the peak of menopause, sometimes my only relief was found lying down on my cool, wood floor. Like jumping into an icy lake, I would find myself gasping as I lowered my steaming hot back along the refreshingly solid yet slightly chilled floor, feeling the sweat gather at the small of my back, slightly disgusting sucking noises as I adjusted my shoulder blades. But like hitting a reset button, I would find the particular wave short circuited, lasting only a couple of seconds rather than long drawn out minutes. However, mopping and cleaning became a little more important as a result!
  14. Moderate Temperatures - Keep your bedroom moderate to avoid chills. While there's a compulsion to keep the bedroom/house as cold as possible, recognize that the heat comes from within your body and spreads out - it's not about the outside temperature affecting your body in an inwardly fashion. This means that once the flash is over, you'll feel cold, and in fact go through a cold flash/chill. This could cause complications from simply depressing the immune system and catching a cold to more severe illnesses such as pneumonia or Bell’s Palsy.
  15. Do It - One of the most frustrating experiences for me is that moment of waking up and feeling the surge begin. A part of me wants to resist, tries as hard as possible to simply go back to sleep. But we all know that what we resist, persists- and often comes back stronger. It has been a mindfulness practice to just get up and deal, like when i had an infant, or for some, when you hear the cat outside in the middle of the night. Go pee, drink water, asses what you need - it'll be easier to fall back asleep until the next cycle begins.
  16. New Rhythms - I found my sleep cycles changing drastically. Suddenly I was wiped by 7:30 pm, ready for bed at 8:00 pm. Then I'd be awake for an hour, a ninety minute sleep cycle, then up for another hour, respectively through the night. So even though in theory was getting eight hours of sleep, I felt cranky and exhausted all the time. Maybe one of the main joys of being self employed is that I get to choose my own eighty hours a week, so I could actually schedule in naps. while 45 minutes or a full 90 minute cycle was optimum, even just doing twenty minutes of hypnosis left me feeling refreshed, re-energized, and ready for the afternoon.
  17. Sleep as much as you want to. Take naps. Remember your dreams. Your mind and body are doing the repair work. This is where deep healing occurs. Allow yourself to go to bed when you want to, and to wake up when you want to. Get rid of your alarm clock - you’ll be surprised how easily you wake up when you need to, feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed, ready for a new day.
  18. Ice-olation - One of the things I noticed the most was a huge compulsion to spend more time by myself. I recognized that the word "alone" is also the word "all one". When I was alone in nature, I was all with nature. When I was alone with the cats, I was all ones with the cats. When I was alone by myself, I was alone with myself. This was so different from the intense loneliness that I had experienced in my past two relationships. I found myself chanting the mantra "Focus and Simplify" and applying this to all aspects of my life, not just cleaning out the garage. I let go of business groups, networking, luncheons, and other social occasions. Mostly I would be with a client, my husband, or by myself. When my adult daughter moved back for a while after collage, I felt the need to create alone time in a healthy way even more acutely, again like the bed situation, not trying to project rejection but create a sense of good boundaries. Being mindful meant being conscious of my own tendency to run away and instead create time and space in my calendar to go on writers retreats as well as time in the house by myself.
  19. More Cool Cloths - Put an undershirt in the freezer, slip on in middle of night. Also works well with a pillowcase, washcloth, or kitchen towel. Rather than ice packs, use a bag frozen peas or frozen blueberries wrapped in a towel, apply to back of neck, under arm pits, under breasts and/or on belly, lower back.
  20. Sunlight - We are so conscious of skin cancer, but one of the deficits as a result is the body not producing enough vitamin D. I found that sitting in the early morning sun for ten minutes a day completely changed the menopausal eczema around my mouth. Do use sunscreen, but also allow the sun to help regulate your cycles, and give yourself permission to simply sit for a small part of the day in order to recharge your battles, cellular and mental.
  21. Moonlight “Under the moonlight, that serious moonlight” - David Bowie I found my cycle shifting, from thirty three days to 28 to 22 to complete pellmell. Reconnecting with the moon is as simple as walking outside. Since I'm already awake at 2,3 or 4 in the morning, why not just walk outside onto the deck? I found the practice of "drawing down the moon" useful, simply cupping your hands around the moon and then imagining you Are flushing it down your body. Also helpful was using my online calendar to create reminders for the simple rituals of before. For example, I used to wash all of the sheets and towels after my period. Now I have a recurring reminder for. "big laundry" once a month, keeping the cleansing cycle on a mindful basis.
  22. Gurus - 24 years ago Susan Weed's book, "Menopause for the Wise Woman Ways" was easily one of my best selling items. Still in my 20s, when I leafed through it, nothing made sense. Now, thirty years later, I am just amazed at how pertinent this information is today. Louise Hay died last month at the ripe age of 90. She wrote her first book at my age, 50. Look around - who do you admire? Who resonates with your soul? Who spoke to you in a whisper years ago and now you can not, can NOT, ignore the roar? Do not look for a crutch, a leader, give your power away - instead notice where do you feel inspired, enlightened, and simply encouraged? In French, the word for heart is "coeur" so notice what boosts your heart now. Who are you mentors? If you never had a grandma, who are elderly folks in your life? What ancestral wisdom could you tap into now?
  23. Feeling Cranky - It's okay to be cranky pants. Just like puberty, just like being pregnant, the hormones they are a raging. Not that I was ever pregnant - my daughter was birthed by my ex-wife - but boy oh boy, have I witnessed some hormonal fluxes. In fact, if I ever start a Metallica band, it'll be called "Hormonal Flux". I've been with a pregnant woman, I've been with a transgendered person during their transition from female to male, I witnessed my daughter’s puberty - menopause brought me into a whole new emotional experience of riding the bio waves. Something as stupid as a band aid commercial on the tv puts me in tears. My mind obsesses on worst case scenarios, my dreams are plagued with apocalyptic scenes. My body is pumped with not just the mmmm whale noises endorphins but a bunch of testosterone, survivalist notions, my inner Rambo activated. Crank crank crank, churn, churn, churn, what has been helpful is to allow each catastrophe to unfold in my imagination and discover my own survivalist instincts as a result.
  24. Keep a journal, chart your journey - Probably the best thing I have done for myself. After a huge period of lethargy where I was beating myself up for feeling lazy, unmotivated , etc and had the vision of the goo in the chrysalis - its not going to do anything either, it's okay - I came back to the basic.
  25. Make art - Grab a crayon, a piece of paper. Not your journal, it does not need to be remembered indefinitely. Not the calligraphy pens, none of this is elegant. Nothing needs to be saved. Use crayons, cray pas, finger paints , get into the inner child, the visceral, viscous. Use your non dominant hand, do it upside down, think outside the frickin' box. Give yourself to destroy, to edit, to add to over time - there is the immediate fires of frustration and the long term satisfaction after putting in time for gratification. This is your time.
  26. Howl - Howl and wall as needed. For no reason. For every reason. We live in an intense time, full of contradictions, full of despair, full of fear. Let it out. Keen and wail like the widows of Sardena. Howl in the shower, let the sound of the water mask your turmoil in order to not upset the neighbors, but give yourself that cleansing sound. this is a time of release, not just the discontented sigh, the I'm putting up with things and being martyr bullshit. Be the bitch, in heat or out of heat, raise your shackles, bare your teeth. Be ferocious. The word fierce comes from the French word “fiere” which means fire, which means pride. Where is your pride? What are you proud of, feel fierce about? Key word here is passion - not sexual, not career driven, but dropping into your soul - what is it you have always wanted or always wanted to do? Howl your displeasure, howl about the unfairness, the inequalities that have kept you from your true purpose, just as all the other slaves before you.
  27. Alone = All One - Be conscious of creating alone time instead if getting sick or picking a fight. Deep in the chrysalis, everything is shifting, transforming, transmogrifying. Everything is up in the air while decaying as compost. So much on one’s mind, so much to simply let go of, transmute old poisons. There is no need to to get sick in order to have some time off - a mental day as a regular habit is way more yummy than scheduling in sick days. Same as noticing when someone asks, " are you okay" and a knee jerk reaction of " Oh, I'm just tired/ sick/ allergies." Stand in your power and simply assert, " I need to think about it" and then create the time/space to do exactly that, guilt free, cranklepuss free.
  28. Vasodilation - It begins in the middle of my chest, but more than that, a line from my collarbone to sternum. Pure heat, like the core of the kiln, the depth of the volcano. But then there are all the open arteries, the vents and cracks, leaks and fissures, enabling the lava flow. I've learned to regulate certain substances that simply are vasodilators, meaning opening the vessels, as they contribute to the overwhelming hear and discomfort during menopause. So rather than choosing vasodilators like red wine, coffee, spicy foods, be mindful. It might seem boring to have white wine, green tea, or less pungent foods, but there are w as to keep your tongue engaged, your palate stimulated, body satisfied. Choose to be the gourmet rather than the gourmand - One wants the finest things in life, the other, just a lot.
  29. Toxins - Well going through menopause you are transforming toxins. Not just physically, but also emotionally spiritually and intellectually. Avoid toxic people and toxic situations. You will find that your friends circle will change. Allow yourself to graduate from old friend circles and either find comfort in more time for yourself or a new set of cronies. Watch out for getting intoxicated as alcohol will also increase your hot flashes see. See liver support.
  30. Change is our friend - Be okay with changing your clothes every hour. Be okay with explaining the sweat on your lip. The okay with doing a few more chores because he will simply have more laundry as a result of all that wet. Find close that are really comfortable, loose around the belly. Button downs are great for letting intervene able to take off layers as needed. Stop wearing a bra. Nobody cares if you're tits are hanging to the ground. Seriously everyone is so self absorbed no one is really looking at you especially in a culture where youthfulness is exonerated. Allow your lymph glands to do their work of cleansing the body without being restricted by the tight elastic of uncomfortable underwear.
  31. Become friends with Death - Ponder your own death. Write your will or create a trust fund. This it a funeral home or decide if you would like to be cremated. You can now buy biodegradable urns that have a tree seed in them which can be planted. This is the time not to be morbid or get hung up on thinking about getting sick, but to be planning your own transition and ways to care for your family and friends. Think of this as a way to create peace with death as well as peace in your life by creating these contracts because, you know, witches spell it out.
  32. Making Peace - Speaking of making peace this is a good time to review your past make peace with it and let it go. Whether you have prior conflicts or regrets or resentment second be a simple as writing a letter, going to therapy, or telling the person that you love them and forgive them. Marianne Williamson defines forgiveness as no longer being affected by a person or incident, not that that what happened was okay or ever will be okay. But you can be okay. So forgive your parents, your siblings, your ex lovers. None of these people and none of the past define you now. You can do the Hawaiian Ho'oponopono ritual for forgiveness.
  33. Get a Job - Studies show that people who retire early tend to lead shorter lives. Why? Because often our work gives our lives meaning. There's a reason it's called an occupation - it keeps us occupied! Be okay with a complete new career change, even if you have "retired". Or consider volunteering, taking classes, or getting involved in local politics. After a period of isolation, reconnect with your community as a mentor.
  34. Let your Freak Flag Fly - Do you want your hair to go grey, purple, fire engine red? Have you always wanted to get a tattoo? Want to show up at work wearing fairy wings? Why not go for it? Play your body and what it means to you to grow old gracefully. Don't buy into the stereotypes and start wearing frumpy clothes. At least add a dash of glitter to your repertoire.
  35. Love Your Body - Feed yourself good, yummy foods that you truly enjoy to nourish your whole being; play with your body, dance, do yoga, go roller skating, get an exercise ball, stretch. Get rid of your scale - you’ll be surprised how much happier you’ll feel.
  36. Gain Weight - According to Susun Weed, women who gain ten extra pounds usually do better through menopause. As our ovaries stop producing estrogen, it's up to our body fat to producing it instead. Plus a little extra padding could be useful in a fall! And after years of playing the dieting games, isn't it about time to accept your body and stop wasting time and energy trying to be thinner? Deepak Chopra says that it's not thin people live the longest, but people who maintain the most consistent weight.
  37. Go on Retreats - As in re-treat yourself. What is a treat for you? A nice meal, a massage, a mani-pedi? Going camping, to a music festival, or a yoga workshop? A retreat could be one hour, one day, or one week. The most important thing is to plan them, put them on your calendar, claim the gift of time for yourself. I like to go on on four day silent retreat that are also writer's retreats. They are affordable and easy for me to schedule on a regular basis. Different in focus from vacation, retreats can be focused on personal reflection, relaxation and rejuvenation.
  38. Fire Up Your Brain - While going through the pause, I often found myself doing just that - pausing. Indeed, half of my exercise came from going upstairs and completely forgetting why I had gone there in the first place. Spacing out, blanking on names and words, forgetting what you were doing - a few more challenges to be sure. Practice mental exercise - crossword puzzles, Suduko, logic games, memory games. Build your mental muscles by affirming that you just "remembered" your keys, etc, rather than our knee jerk reaction of saying, "oh, I forgot my keys". Use your fingers to keep lists for short term memory. Use your phone for longer or long term lists. And remember, this could be a great time to practice beginners mind, the Buddhist concept of treating everything as if it was for the very first time, connecting with a sense of wonder and innocence rather than confusion or doubt.
  39. Practice Emotional Ergonomics - Ergonomic means to practice efficiency and comfort. What would bring you emotional comfort, and what is an efficient way to communicate that need? Let your partner/ kids/parents/friends) colleagues know you are in transition, might be a bit weepy, but still need to be taken seriously. These are tender times, much like the hard shelled crab busting out of its shell in order to grow into new form. Accept offers of help gracefully - much like having a baby, everyone will offer their advice. Nod sagely as the wise woman that you are, be proactive on any advice that resonates with you and disregard the rest. 
  40. Chose to be Active - I had my first car for 19 years. I've had my second Honda for thirteen now. If there's anything I've learned about cars is take care of them with regular maintenance, good grade fuel and lots of lubricant. My body is my vehicle, it has served me well for the last fifty years. Now the question is, what am I willing to do to make it last another 50 more? Choosing to be active is key. You don't need a frickin' yoga class, just bend and extend throughout the day. Go on walks to transmute energy. Stretch more! Check in with your accupuncturist, chiropractor, or massage therapist for regular tune ups. Remember Omega 3s to stay lubricated in your joints and AstroGlide for other slippery needs.
  41. Work is Love Made Visible - Do your own house cleaning or gardening. Deepak Chopra has plenty of examples of people living to be in their hundreds not because they went to the gym, but because they stayed active everyday, physically and mentally.
  42. Mindful Eating - Your metabolism has changed drastically. Keep a food journal or do my fitness pal, which eventually I got tired of and called "my fitness nag". Forgive yourself the moments of carbo overload, reduce stress to remind your body it's all okay. Take smaller bites, take home more leftovers. Learn to savor and relish, back to being the gourmet instead of the gourmand. As we grow more vintage, our liver processes alcohol differently too - practice more moderation.
  43. Weep - Weep, cry, keen, howl, wail when you need to. At band-aid commercials, in the shower, when reminiscing about the past. 
  44. Cry with a friend, a counselor, your favorite pet, or a sappy movie. Release grief, disappointment, guilt, heartbreak, frustration. We release different biochemicals in emotional tears rather than those shed in physical pain. Use your tears to release those toxins. Or find a lachrymal, and capture your tears to use as holy water in your rituals.
  45. Reminiscing - "In memories golden basket, drop a pearl for me" - Laura Ingalls Wilder. Notice your memories replacing your eggs in your sacred space. Suddenly it is easier for me to remember my phone number in first grade or my kindergarten teachers first name than what someone told me five minutes ago. There's a reason all these memories are coming up now. Mainly, because you can handle them. Emotionally, spiritually, you have the experience and maturity to review the past, and much like the oyster who coats the irritating grain of sand with the iridescence of the mother, creates the pearls of wisdom.
  46. Potent Dreaming - Notice your dreams as you wake up every 90 minutes- an adrenal cycle. Are they more vivid? About closure? Lucid? I noticed my dreams becoming very heightened, especially right before walking up. If I could hold the image while going to pee, rearranging the sheets, or putting the fan on, often I would fall back into the same dream, able to take it further, sometimes to a satisfactory completion through lucid dreaming. Lucid, as in, I am aware that I am dreaming. Thus, mindful dreaming.
  47. Darkness - Darkness is our friend, as light stimulates the pituitary gland in the third eye. Keep your bedroom extra dark, or buy a sleep mask. I found that I generally woke up to the crowing of cats, ie predawn. If I actually got up, fed the critters, peed and even better pooped, putting on a sleep mask could offer anywhere from 90 to 180 minutes more delicious sleep. Try to keep electronics out of your bedroom, especially cell phones. If you need a clock, get a battery one with no all night clock display. Even pop your clock in the bedside drawer to stop from obsessing over lost sleep.
  48. Hot in the streets, Cool in the Sheets - Sometimes just finding one cool spot on the mattress for a hand or foot can make a world of difference. I've needed to rearrange cats several times, whose bodies tend to run a good five degrees warmer than ours, hence being my fuzzy water bottles of love. There are cooling sheets, pillow cases, mattress covers and even mattresses, depending on your budget. I find that having a king size sheet on my queen size bed serves as away to tuck between limbs, or to create a barrier from my slumbering husband, who also generates an incredible amount of heat. It is not unusual for me to get up in the night and take naps in the guest room, on the massage table, or on the couch, simply to find some coolness.
  49. Go outside - Yes, it is two in the morning. Yes, it is raining heavily, in fact I am up to my ankles in the flooded backyard. Yes, I am naked, arms outstretched to catch the cool drops if rain mingling with the sweat in my body. New moon or full, foggy or clear starlit sky, simply walking outside has proved to be a balm to the soul, a way to connect both to the darkness of night and nature's delight. I have become friends with the raccoons, opossums, skunks, and other nocturnal critters.
  50. Being Alone, Together -Menopause is hard, and can be hard on relationships. Ask your partner not to freak out during heart palpitations, memory meanderings, or emotional swings. I've emphasized alone time over and over, but also make some together time with your significant other. A sincere hug and honest communication will help ease any feelings of rejection or doubt that can occur during this sensitive time. Humor helps - whenever I get over emotional I’'ll make "sad whale noises" or even text that to my husband, daughter, best friend. The vocalization often helps to dissolve the lump in my throat and change the tears to a smile in my eyes.
  51. Go Natural Fibers - Invest in cotton or rayon as far as sheets and clothes go. Get rid of anything polyester, anything that doesn't breathe. Put away your silks for a while, they'll just get sweat stained. layers are our friend, both in terms of bedding and clothing, so be prepared for quick switches, i.e more button downs or zippers rather than struggling to pull something up and over your head. And look around your home - is everything made of plastic or synthetic materials? How much off gassing have you been breathing in for years? Even now studies show plastic bottles that get heated release estrogen. Come back to wood, glass, and ceramics. Yes, they might break, they might (gasp!) get old. Consider the Japanese tradition of Wabi-Sabi, of infusing gold into the cracks of time to elicit that which is precious.
  52. Free the Tatas - Stop wearing a bra, as much as you can, or at least get fitted for a new one. Nobody cares if you're tits are hanging to the ground. Seriously, everyone is so self absorbed no one is really looking at you especially in a culture where youthfulness is exonerated. Allow your lymph glands to do their work of cleansing the body without being restricted by the tight elastic of uncomfortable underwear. Do clean under your breasts daily, the sweat makes a harbor ground for bacteria and yeast.
  53. Cross Dress for Success - Wear men's underwear if your thighs rub together. The new boxer briefs for men are a zillion times better than the so called boy cut girl underwear. If it feels weird, sew the flappy closed, but it never bugs me. Men's underwear is cheaper, better sewn, and less likely to have thin bands of elastic that cut off circulation in thighs and belly area. My husband is almost a full foot taller than me, weighs more, but we fit in the same size waistband, much to my dismay. Solution? Buy different colors so they don't get mixed up in the wash!
  54. Healthy Flora - Changes are going on both internally and externally. Your whole biochemistry is changing. Use an anti-fungal, or antibiotic ointment in owie places, where you see or feel any redness of chafing. Especially between thighs, under breasts, but surprisingly also behind your ears, between your toes, any creases that can trap dirt. Be light with tea tree oil, choose a carrier oil or moisturizer in order not to end up over drying. Evening Primrose oil helps with psoriasis, eczema and menopause acne, whether taken internally or applied topically. Pro-biotics help the gut adjust to new metabolic conditions, create better digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Check with your doctor first if you have any allergies.
  55. Grieve - There is a difference between not being able to give birth anymore and being able to give birth and choosing not to have children of one's own. I never wanted to have children. Intact,there are only two distinct times in my life when I wanted to get pregnant. Once was in high school, simply feeling so happy in a random moment with my then sweetie, more a feeling of being pregnant with possibility than anything else. Then, in my late thirties, after getting divorced. I realized pretty quick it was not that I wanted another child, but wanting a child that I would not have to share with my ex (my daughter’s birth mother). So it came as quite the surprise that as my eggs dried up I grieved no longer having the option to conceive, even though I never felt the proverbial biological clock ticking, yet alone the biological urge to procreate. When I got together with my husband, he was quite willing to discuss having kids, despite our advanced age (I was 43 at the time, he was 56). Twelve years later, I still wonder if I will regret that we didn't try. My logical mind says no, health risks etc, my emotional side makes sad whale noises.
  56. Heart Magic - I glance down at my blouse. I can see it visibly moving with every palpitation. I wonder if my client notices too, the twitching cloth at my chest. My heart is pounding - in my chest, my ears, the roof of my mouth. I focus on each palpitation, distinguish the pulse in my neck as I discreetly touch the pulse in my wrist. Thirty seconds later it's over, passed, like the high tide. Many doctors prescribe statins at this time, so discover what is right for. you. Omega 3s, increased fiber and Vitamin E are natural adjuncts for heart health. What does make your heart pound? Fear, worry, excitement? Let every beat of your heart ripple out in a wave of peace.
  57. Sheila Na Gig - In many of the churches and cathedrals in Ireland, above the main entrance portal can be found the image of Sheila Na Gig. Slightly hideous, a grinning, bald hag is openly displaying her genitals. Her significance has been pondered for centuries - above the portals/openings, her own opening, is she the midwife if death or a symbol of rebirth? To me she is the epitome of the juicy crone, she who has the last laugh. When I die, I hope it's when I'm masturbating. Than my epitaph can say, "She had a hand in it."
  58. Hop To It - I certainly noticed that my predeliction for beer was hyper sensitive during menopause. But no doubt, hops also have an estrogen effect. however, I also noticed my sensitivity to alcohol increasing. Specifically, both red and white wines gave me headaches and the snuffles, something I always attributed to. the sulfites used as a preservative. But now more than ever, drinking hard alcohol made me feel hard and bitter. It was easy to feel nauseated, bloated, just plain old uncomfortable drinking the same amount as ten years before. Needing to be more mindful of my drinking was a matter of responsible drinking - thus avoiding less arguments, emotional upsets, hangovers and cures.
  59. Lespugue Goddess - The Lespugue goddess was discovered in 1922. Considered a fertility goddesses, I certainly see her as a crone. Pendulous breasts, extended belly, here could be the archetype to the the elder, she who survived, she who passed on vital information. We live in a culture that tends to dichotomies the virgin/whore, or the maiden/mother, so one has to ask, who benefits from attributing icons to these categories rather than a non sexual as in non reproducing female who still has power and influence for the clan?
  60. Rest in Peace - I go to bed ridiculously early. 7pm, maybe 7:30 or 8pm. I get up between 6am and 7am, twelve hours later, but in that time I’m happy if I get my proverbial eight hours of sleep. Why? Because I know that I will be up for hours in the interim. I certainly have learned that If you can't sleep, rest. What does it mean to be mindful about resting? It might mean watching one's breathing, or doing a body tour to relax each of the muscle groups. For me, this is my prime thinking time. All day long I deal with clients. And shopping and cat food. Finally, a time to review my thoughts, gain insights, and adjust my course. Rather than dreading these awake times, I have taken to cat napping more, practicing self hypnosis or simply meditating.
  61. Tap into your Power - Stimulate all of your glands- it's not just about your ovaries. Tap on your third eye/pineal gland, thymus, sore spots/lymph, try some light chi gung on kidneys. EFT, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique or Energy Tapping is a useful way to transmute sine of the emotional toxins arriving during menopause. Using the key phrase,"Even though "I'm emotional right now, I completely love and accept myself" while tapping on meridian points.
  62. Chart It - In the medical industry we have a saying - "If you didn't chart it, you didn't do it." not only is charting important for accountability, it is a great way to feel in control of your symptoms. Charting can be as easy as notes your wall calendar to a more complex spreadsheet, whatever makes the most sense for you. Simply take notes such as extra weepy today or assign values (on a scale of 1 to 10 my stress level today is...." ask your partner to take infrared photos during your flashes, proof positive of the feeling of solar flares emanating from within.
  63. Altruism - Right now, in these turbulent times, i truly believe that the most radical, political (as in for the people) act that I can do is reading to toddlers once a week at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Center, here in Santa Cruz. Studies show that happiness can be increased when we do kind acts for others, with no need for pay, although we do need recognition. As you step into the role of the crone, no longer mothering your children or your business, where would you like to invest your precious energy? Become a docent, volunteer, be the storyteller, the grandmother, even if you've never giving birth.
  64. Evolution - We are the only animals who do this. Dogs go through estrus (bleed when in heat), but we humans menstruate, we bleed AFTER. And are the only animals who continue to live for a significant time (half or our whole lives) without being able to reproduce. What evolutionary purpose could menopause serve? Certainly having another person who has experienced childbirth could be helpful to a younger generation, particularly if there is no completion for male attention. Interesting that we become less attractive by societal standards, but also by biological attractiveness. Like cows learning to be domesticated in order to insure survival, maybe many of the so called symptoms or at least the signs of aging could be natures sneaky way of ensuring longest invite through a combination of usefulness and nonthreatening characteristics.
  65. Going Crazy - My dad asked me if I was willing to be crazy when I went through menopause. His memories of his mother - we're talking 1960s Italy here -  is that she went crazy during her menopausal years. I remember a particularly dramatic day in Milan when she showed up unexpectedly after taking the bus from Rome, her arms in the air, screaming at the top other lungs,"Io Venuto!” Being crazy is something I'm pretty paranoid about, mostly from messages from my parents, no wonder I got into the field of mental health. But what is crazy? There certainly are the manic depressive moments, emotional sensitivity, angry outbursts, and storms of tears, but I never actually questioned my sanity. I have been aware of the roller coaster, and thus mindful as I result, to read these as symptoms that need addressing, not labels for the rest of my life. Back to soothing teas, acupuncture, doing self-hypnosis as wells as art and journalist to channel mine, and hopefully my grandmothers energies into something grounded and centered.
  66. Mutating - This is not medical or pathological, this is normal, said the monarch to the caterpillar, no, to the pupating mass of undefinable metamorphosis. I have felt so smooshy, gooshy, in limbo. Everyday a new part of my body hurts. Usually just for a day, like my body is saying hello here is your little toe, hello let me introduce you to your gallbladder. I notice the twinges and try not to pathologize them. I notice my belly getting bigger, now I know why it's called middle age. I notice my brain turning to mush, as I try to remember something my daughter mentioned five minutes ago, while suddenly I can recall my childhood phone number with ease. Because it’s hard to define myself, it's hard to design myself.
  67. The Void - I find myself thinking about empty vessels. On my altar, an empty basket, or an empty bowl sits in front of the crone. Where is there sacredness in the absence of all? I find myself contemplating the black hole in the middle of my uterus, which is not just blank but somehow sucking in all of my life force within. I succumb to the abyss, allow myself to wallow in the nothingness of my soul. What this really looks like is staying in bed for hours on end. Maybe it is this hollow feeling that I try to feed with food, with alcohol, with endless crossword puzzles. I long to be hollow like a drum, still resonant, still beating.
  68. Be a B.I.TC.H - An acronym for (You) Bet I Take Charge Here. Or, Being In Total Control of Herself. So go ahead, be a bitch, a hag, a nag. Allow yourself to be charge, to walk with your head held high, to not move over in the sidewalk when a man is walking by. People will call you a bitch, but you can just smile.
  69. Focus and Simplify - Go slow. Savor. Your not spacing out, you're being super ridiculously present. Right now half my exercise comes from walking upstairs and wondering why I went up there in the first place. At first I'd be annoyed and irritated with myself, an easy thing to beat myself up over. Now instead I treat my life like I treat my garden, I flit from one task to the next, easily distracted so have developed ways to not lose the shears.
  70. Man o pause - I discovered that many of my male clients who were my age or older were experiencing some of the same symptoms, mainly emotional hypersensitivity. One client confessed to crying during war movies for the first time. Again I wonder, what evolutionary purpose would that serve? Certainly to have an elderly male who is not just good at being a warrior, but now able to develop both compassion and emotional intelligence would be an advantage to any tribe or culture. Certainly men's hormones will dip over time.
  71. The Wounded Healer - According to Greek mythology, Chiron is the wounded Healer. He was an immortal, but as luck would have it he got stabbed by one of Hercules' poison arrows. Now he was condemned to being in agony for eternity. He scoured the earth looking for a cure, trying each and every one of the herbs for medicinal properties, but to no avail. So he decided to turn over his knowledge of the healing properties of plants over to humanity, even though he still suffered. The gods and goddesses were so moved by this gesture they decided to let Chiron become mortal, and thus die from Hercules arrow. Now he is an asteroid in the sky, known as the rainbow bridge according to Barbara Hand Clow and other astrologers, linking Mars and Jupiter, our deepest desires and our willingness to be in the social world. the message here is how to change one's deepest wound into ones greatest gift, to bridge our selfish desires with our desire to improve the world, not just enjoy it. Myself and many of my clients are experiencing a Chiron return around the age of 50. We are looking at our past and recognizing the need to stop being a victim of past conditioning, it is not our wounds that define us. So how to walk not necessarily as the hero, but the healer, the teacher, the mentor, and in whatever way encourage future generations despite our own frustrations. Check with your local astrologer or an ephemera to see where Chiron is in your chart.
  72. Remember to Remember - You can boost your memory by "remembering" instead if forgetting. Every time we say, "Oh no, I forgot my keys (or whatever)!" we are actually affirming forgetting rather than what actually happened - you remembered (present tense) that you forgot something (past tense). Affirm the present moment, the remembering, and retrain your brain to say, wow I just remembered my keys, to pay the property taxes, to breathe... Rosemary is for remembrance too, so use some aromatherapy or consider taking Gilko Biloba to also boost memory.
  73. Righteous Anger - Guess what, there's a lot to be angry about. So don’t just be a cranklepuss or a curmudgeon, notice what is really infuriating - might be some old family dynamics or just feeling a lack of control in our government. Anger is truly a force to embrace, rather than just trying to be nice or deny it. It can explode and harm others, or implode and harm self. Anger serves a purpose - it lets us know that something is not right, something needs to change. Often behind anger is hey or fear. Take for example if someone is standing on my foot. It hurts. I express pain. They don't do anything about it. Now I express anger - I get louder, or maybe I even shove them off my foot. Then negotiations need to start - does the other person see the harm, take responsibility? Do I just act the victim and not say anything, or respond in a passive-aggressive way, i.e make them feel guilty without letting them know what happened? Whether it is your spouse or your government w ho is stepping on your toes or your rights, now is a good time to be fierce and passionate in expressing yourself, your needs. Channel that anger into something passionate, productive, and for social good.
  74. My Precious - I have never been so hot, do sweaty, so Gollum, so realizing that I am "my precious" .Honor this time, in whatever's best for you. You are precious, your time is precious. I found myself letting go of business networks, social gatherings, old friends and even family. My time to myself - not to do anything but stew in my own juices- were some of the most healing and best times, even if in them I wallowed in hot, sweaty misery. There is a particular selfishness during this time of holding our blood to ourselves - no longer needing to be acknowledged as the attractive maiden or the productive mother, this is a time of coming home to oneself. A harsh reality for many husbands who thought that after retirement their wives would take care of them, instead we have an army of cronies ready to take down nuclear missile testing grounds.
  75. Be Old - name it claim it. Say it out loud, fierce and proud. Be your magnificent crone, baby witch, pierced elder.
  76. Frugality - Be frickin' wise with your money. Everything is changing, including your energy. Plan ahead. You might want to lavish your grand kids with eating out and trips to the toy store. Be smart - they will remember a simple picnic in the park. Put that money into a college fund instead. Be mindful of the difference between spending and investing - whether referring to your time, money, or other resources.
  77. Be Humble - You have never done this before. Puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause - you’ve been through some of these hormonal roller coasters, but nothing like this. Thank the goodness you are stronger than before.
  78. This Too Shall Pass Yes, it will. Practice the mantra, "My life is good - And only getting better!"
Blessed be.
Kayla

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is intended to indicate or imply that Kayla Garnet Rose is a licensed medical or mental health practitioner. This article is not meant to diagnose, cure, or treat in any way, medical conditions, illnesses, or diseases. Hypnotherapy is not the practice of medicine, psychology or psychiatry, and is not in any way intended to be a replacement for diagnosis or treatment of any complaint or ailment. Persons with medical conditions should seek treatment from a licensed physician or other licensed healthcare professional. Persons with mental disabilities, disorders or illnesses should seek the care of a licensed psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other mental health professional.

March 13, 2019

You Know What To Do




she thought she had a decision
to make...
but it had already been made.
she felt it inside her.
now she just had to admit it.

-terri urban, bone sighs