In 19th century England, there were no doubt ladies of certain circles who would get together over tea, and with a flash of self-depreciating humor, mock their tendency to faint, feel nauseas, suffer from anemia, deformed rib cages, back problems and more. Oh, the fate of an English lady (and not only an English lady), they would laugh, cry and then warn their daughters.
Many would have accepted their fate, while seeking out medical solutions for their symptoms. But there was another path: they could have just STOPPED WEARING CORSETS!
It perhaps would have appeared less lady-like for the times, and many doctors who claimed that the corset promoted “good health” in women would have objected, but it would have allowed those peculiar set of “feminine symptoms" to disappear – symptoms which over the centuries had emerged as women increasingly sought to manipulate their bodies through “tight lacing” into the desired (unnatural) sculpted form that fashion demanded.
Today, women of a certain age (and not only of a certain age) have a corset on their mind and spirit that restricts their understanding of midlife women’s health and multiplies their perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
Rather than being made of whalebone and sturdy fabric, this corset is constructed of myth.
From an early age, women are taught to:
distrust and blame their hormones
view symptoms as a sign that their body needs fixing
outsource “the fixing” to science and the medical world – the “knight in shining armour”
ignore their intuition
live life at a pace set by society rather than their own natural rhythms and cycles
By the time women enter perimenopause and menopause, the corset is so firmly tied and restricting, it creates a build up of pressure that explodes into a multitude of emotional and physical symptoms that many women currently believe are inevitable for their age.
These symptoms are not inevitable! Women at midlife aren’t designed to be broken and our hormones never detached themselves from our body's intelligence.
When we live constricted by a corset (albeit innocently) that creates a misunderstanding of our true nature, it is difficult to breathe as we are designed to breathe, hold our bodies as they deserve to be held and nurture our spirit as it calls us to.
The symptoms many women experience arise from imbalance – a life lived detached from the innate wisdom that is available to us all.
Rather than taking off the corset, and transforming their experience of midlife change, many women don’t even know that it is there.
Within the constriction, only medication and self-depreciating humor appear to offer an escape from the suffering. It is the latter that inspired this post.
“Menopause Rhapsody - Bohemian Rhapsody Parody Song for every Queen” is a video on YouTube that has gone viral with over two million views in just a few weeks.
It’s a wonderfully creative piece that is clearly striking a chord among women of a certain age. And yet, while it’s making women laugh and allowing us to appreciate one women getting her art out into the world (both good things), it’s also TIGHTENING THE CORSET with these lyrics (by Shirley Șerban, to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody):
Is this my new life? Irritability Shutting down inside I can’t sleep and I’m so itchy Got sweaty thighs This is my demise, you see I’m just a woman Asking for sympathy Because a hot flush comes Memory goes Mood is high Then it’s low …. Mama, it’s menopause No more children can be bred Now my ovaries are dead …. Too late, my prime has gone Bones shrinking in my spine Body’s aching all the time …. Take it from me poor ladies It’s going to get you Your time will soon come Be prepared!
Do you see what I mean about tightening the corset? Perimenopause and menopause last years. Women can laugh all they like at their misery and yet a longer lasting strategy to move beyond suffering is available to women who a) are willing to recognize the corset, and b) simply remove it.
The choice is always yours.
If you are interested in transforming your experience of midlife change through reaching natural symptom relief and reconnecting to your innate good health and joy, check out The Wiser Woman Course.
Wouldn’t it be better to laugh all the way to good health and happiness?
Feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have.