Episode 14 - Rock Your Menopause | Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow with Eleshia Harris and Mairi Taylor - Part 6 of 6

Jul 14, 2021
Episode 14 - Rock Your Menopause | Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow with Eleshia Harris and Mairi Taylor - Part 6 of 6


Menopause. How do you feel when you hear that word?

For many, the word sparks feelings of anxiety and frustration. We feel old. We feel sad. We are forced to face these unwanted changes in our bodies and do our best to make sense of this new chapter of our lives. 

Yet menopause is a natural and gradual process that doesn’t signify the end, but a brand new beginning that magnifies our unwavering strength and the immense power that lies within ourselves. 

They are part of the cycle of life that we have to face. Together, we will conquer the world, having a more positive mindset, healthier lifestyle, and better overall wellbeing as we approach this transformational time of our lives.

In the sixth and last part of our series ‘Harnessing Your Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow’, Eleshia and Mairi talk about everything you need to know about menopause so you can approach this natural phase of life feeling more informed and can accept and embrace it with enthusiasm and gratitude. 

Even if you’re in your thirties and don’t think this applies to you yet, make sure you listen. The shift starts around 35 and you owe it to yourself to understand what might lie ahead. 

It’s been amazing to go through each phase of the female cycle and share so much knowledge, information, and inspiration. We hope you enjoyed the series as much as we did. 

If you’re new here, don’t forget to listen to the first five episodes of our series so you can benefit from everything we’ve discussed so far. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Eleshia Show because we’re here to share knowledge, learn from each other and become stronger, more empowered women.

Also, as a special treat, I'd like to share with you the ebook: Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow, an interactive resource that helps break down the female cycle and learning to live with it.

Eleshia’s Essentials:

  • There's just such a wealth of information in this series and we need to continue to educate ourselves on all next seasons of our cycle.
  • Give yourself permission to let go of those things that you've been holding on to for quite some time.

We also learned so many valuable lessons from our guest Mairi Taylor:

  • Self-care is one of the first things to go for many women when they're in that completely disempowered and depleted state.
  • One of the most important things about menopause, as with anything in life, is your mindset.
  • Perimenopause is a period of time which can be up to 15 years where a woman starts to feel and notice the physiological and psychological changes of her progesterone.
  • One of the great things about lifting weights is it helps with testosterone production which is really good for your bone health.

About Mairi:

Mairi Taylor is an educated Home Economist, ex HR Manager, retired fitness professional, Menopause Rockstar, Women’s Wellbeing Guide, juice therapist, cacao medicine carrier, aromatherapist, and essential oil enthusiast. She walks with women to empower them to rewrite their menopause story and come home to themselves - by honouring, loving, and fully accepting the woman they are now.

Connect with Mairi:

About the Show:

The Eleshia Show is an exciting new podcast that helps empower female business owners to put their well-being first whilst building their businesses. Tune in every Wednesday as my inspiring guests and I discuss strategies, share stories and experiences and dive into how you can build your business whilst trying to navigate real life. The host, Eleshia Harris is here and ready to share her decades of project management and wellness experience to help you start saying ‘Yes!’ to your business and life.

Show Transcript:

Intro: Hi, I'm Eleshia Harris and I am your host of The Eleisha Show. I am also the founder of eleshialifestyle.com, and I'm so excited that you're here with me and I am here with you. I'm also really appreciative. Each week, I'll be sharing strategies and stories, and insights to help you enhance your wellbeing and to build your business while still navigating life. 

Because sometimes we often try and separate the two, and let's face it, if you are not well, you have no business. So let's try and work with these two things combined because we can, enhance your lifestyle. Again, I'm really excited to have you here. I have wanted to put together a podcast for over two years, and so here I am ready to share. Let's get into this week's episode.

Eleshia: We've reached episode six.  I have fully enjoyed sharing these last six episodes with you. It has been truly amazing going through each of the phases of our female cycle and just learning even more to layer on to everything that we already know. Just having more information in our toolkit to ensure that we are living our best lives, as they say.

Today's episode is an episode that I knew I needed to record in this series because a lot of us are not thinking about menopause.  I know some people will be thinking, oh my goodness, Eleshia, you're preempting menopause at 42. But for me, it's really important that I'm equipped with as much information as possible to ensure that I go through this stage of my life as easily as I can.

Mairi and I sat down, and we had a really frank conversation about her journey. She was really open. She was really honest. I saw such vulnerability in my friend to share her story,  and for that, I am grateful that she did that for me, but also for you. So I really hope that you listen and you get a lot from the information that she shared in this episode.

My mom went through menopause, but she didn't share, and she is not here for me to ask any more questions. Having friends share their experiences with me is golden for me. I hope it helps you along your journey too.

Hello Mairi.  We are back after five episodes of greatness. I really hope you guys have enjoyed the series that hopefully you have just listened to, and if you haven't, you need to go back and listen to every one of those episodes because they are golden. Thank you so much, Mairi, for being my co-host on this series. I think every woman needs to listen to this and their partners because there's just such a wealth of information there. We need to continue to educate ourselves on our next season as I call it. 

Mairi: Absolutely. We can't wait to hear all the aha might drop light bulb moments or whatever you want to call it. What difference women have made to their performance, their working life, their relationships,  everything. Because when we truly harness this knowledge, this information, and our cycle,  there are real opportunities for people to have. 

Like Eleshia said, if you're just joining us now because you've jumped into today's session, then please do go back and listen to the last five because all of that information is as relevant wherever you are in your season as it is today.  

Eleshia: Exactly. Today, we are going to discuss menopause and Mairi is going to share her story with us because for me, it is really important that I get  different perspectives of how different women went through their journey with menopause   

Mairi: I am in my early forties, I am 42. For me, as I said previously, this is all about education. I want to make sure that I am fully equipped with all of the things that I can have in my toolkit to help me along my journey when I come to go for it. 

You're going through it now.

Eleshia: This is it. I was coming back to that, but yes, exactly. 

Mairi: It's that funny thing off the air, we were talking about knowing your numbers. I'm 12 years older than you, so I was just thinking that when you were 12, I don't know what age you started your period.

So you started your periods at 12, I was 24. I love this thing, isn't it? We never met then, but when we met was the right time for me and we started this journey, these conversations. 

As I said in an earlier episode, we're here to share knowledge. We're both very much about people being informed consumers, but it's also about being that big sister.

As you've just said, it's about, you've gone through it, Mairi, what are your tips? What could you learn? What could you glean? What do you want to share? What do you wish you'd known before and so on and so forth, so yes, let's get started. 

Eleshia: Let's do it, so what's your story?    

Mairi: We've shared some of this in previous episodes, but fundamentally in my late forties, I got to a phase in my life where I decided that I wanted to take a natural route to my menopause. Again, for those of you who have now listened to me,  that was my choice. How lucky was I to be able to make that choice because we fully honor and hold in our hearts the women who either didn't get the opportunity, the women who had medical or genetic or had the choice taken away from them? 

So as you already said, Eleshia, we very much want to talk today about my journey. There are other women who have made other choices and as long as you are thriving and flourishing and honoring, then your choices are your choice as long as you make it from an informed position.

I got to a point in my late forties where I decided that I wanted to go through my menopause naturally. I wanted to show that it could be done, that I was more than capable of doing it because I was eating clean and I was training right. I had all the knowledge, I'd read all the books, done all the courses.  I was supporting and working with other women.

And when you look back over the time, there was a period of time and it was probably roundabout 50. I think I was great, so I was about 50 and then life changed a little bit and things were changing. I got to a  point where I was so depleted because I was constantly running and pushing and striving that I literally couldn't wash and  I couldn't eat. 

Thank God that I've got an amazing partner. He would come home from his work, and he'd be like, have you eaten? No. He would do all the cooking.  Have you washed? Literally, and those are symptoms. 

So if there are any ladies listening or there are partners of ladies listening, those are symptoms that things aren't right because self-care is one of the first things to go for many women when they're in that completely disempowered and depleted state.  

I can remember one day whilst juicing because obviously,  I was still doing some of the things and I just thought, oh my God, I had this moment. And I thought I know why people want pills. 

I get now why people take pills for other reasons because I felt completely out of alignment. I felt complete that I was living a lie. 

I was running a well-being business and yet I had no motivation or inclination to look after myself, and all of a sudden I thought that you've got all these tools, all this knowledge, you're having these thoughts,  these aren't right. And more importantly, it wasn't fair for my partner to have to look after me in the way that he was having to look after me. I really felt he deserved better, and I deserved better.  

The people who entrusted me deserve better as well.  So I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and really took on board all the knowledge, all of the experience, and made sure that I was doing the things that were going to talk about. Eating right and actually at that point I was probably under-eating, well I was definitely under-eating but over-training.

I was very overwhelmed. My boundaries were really very poor. There's stuff going on with my mom, I was being Mrs. I Don't Care. I'll survive without my mom. I don't need to read my life, obviously, that wasn't the truth at all. 

Also, at that time, I got introduced to essential oils, and one of the things I found about working with essential oils is it really helped to support my emotional wellbeing.  

It gets me back, but I got myself back by just some boundaries saying no, putting some things in place which meant I was really looking back after myself. And so I got myself back on track and then started doing lots of talks. 

At that point, I'm going to be really honest, Eleshia. I didn't realize that might've been perimenopausal symptoms. 

Eleshia: I was going to ask you that, but I was also going to say, did it happen overnight? Did it just feel like you had lost yourself overnight?

Mairi: No. I think it was gradual. When you can't even be bothered to wash yourself, and I wasn't eating and I came to realize that some of the reasons I don't eat, and I've always had a very interesting relationship with food is, it's a punishment for me.

If I'm overwhelmed in over-planning myself and I wasn't putting systems and procedures in place, and if I got overwhelmed, I would then punish myself by not eating as a way of punishing myself for overwhelming myself. 

What I now come to learn is, at that point as well, I'd come off my Mirena Coil. 

Yes, realigning itself, and that was one of the reasons I'd come off my Mirena Coil is because I'd wanted to see if I could realign myself.  Obviously, I was probably a little bit progesterone low because I am someone who has run and run and run and run and run and run in life. 

That whole HPA axis, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenals were probably a little bit out of sync out of that. I wasn't making what I needed to be making.  So yes, it was gradual. And then it was like, wow, I've been lifting like this for literally knuckle-dragging myself. I was running a fitness business.

I literally couldn't teach, or I could teach but I couldn't physically do the exercises anymore. Because if I did, I would just feel so depleted, so I just started coaching from the sidelines kind of thing and got away with it. But probably if I look back on it, I probably lost some clients as well because I wasn't the one jumping around at the front anymore.  I really got back into looking after myself and putting myself back in this prime position. And then about 51-ish, so as I say, I was a little bit smug muck smug to about 50-51 is like, yes I've got this. I've got this all under control, but I hadn't probably changed anything and I wasn't adapting.

I was still trying to run, and the batteries were just getting flattered and flatter and needed changing more often. I can always remember my first hot flush because I have just gone to manage rocky hormones, rocky menopause workshops. They'd been down, they'd been down south, and I've been invited to do them, and they were amazing. 

They had absolutely, oh my God. I actually found that really overwhelming. I found it really overwhelming to get so much adulation in terms of, wow! I've actually made a difference in these women's lives by talking about something I feel really passionate about.

Again, because one of the ways I manage my emotions, I either don't eat or I stuff it down. I remember stopping off at the service stations, and  I traveled all the way down towards and delved on. Probably hadn't eaten properly for two days because I was running on adrenaline. 

Eleshia: I say you were high on life. 

Mairi: I'm high on life and overwhelmed by the success of the event because it was the first one I'd ever run.  I stuffed my face with sugar at the service stations just to get some energy. I had a long drive home and had my first hot flush.

Eleshia: How did that feel? 

Mairi: Really like, oh my God, seriously? Seriously? The irony of it being literally on that weekend, and I was just like, okay right, we need to walk our talk again, Missy.  And then I moved into the two periods in one month, nothing for three.

Fundamentally, it was that timing with where I was, but also realizing that I'd probably had been that weekend with all the emotions will lead up to it and so on and so forth, and just was then in a light. I need to readdress, where am I at? What am I doing? The two months of no periods, then two periods in one month, then a period, then this and that. 

I never had night sweats, but I then had the itchy skin and the restless legs, and the power surges. 

Eleshia: Can we talk about these power surges because this is not happening to me right now, and I need to know. When you say power surges, do you mean that your whole body lights up? 

Mairi: For me, I'm sure other women may have different experiences. We could be having a conversation now,  and it would literally feel like someone switched a switch. And then from the soles of your feet, you just feel this heat coming all the way up to your body and your face goes bright red.

You can feel the heat in your body. And this is the thing, a lot of other women have said to me, I wouldn't get the sweats. Some women would then have this heat rising and then they'd start to be sweating. So they could be like in a really important meeting,  really important event and all of a sudden you've gone bright red. You're sweating. For some women, they literally sweated through their clothes, and of course, we're talking about sweat in the armpits, in the groin area. 

Eleshia: Mairi, I'm a sweater.

Mairi: No wonder then we lose our confidence in the workplace. But one of my theories, and this is a Mairi Taylor theory, stress and emotional situations can trigger blood sugar. Imbalances can trigger all of these. 

If we think about it, standing up and presenting at a business meeting and maybe putting or trying to sell an idea or a concept or pitching if it's your own business, et cetera.

They're all stressful situations anyway. We probably always have that little bit of stress going on. But because we have estrogen and progesterone to buffer us, we didn't notice. But all of a sudden, we don't have them anymore buffering us, and so we then get these symptoms.

I got to a point when literally as soon as I started to eat my evening meal, I'd get a hot flush because of the blood sugar and the cortisol. I used to get them at six o'clock in the evening and I'd get them when I woke up. I would literally wake up.

So again, there was that link with adrenaline, cortisol, all those kinds of things going on. I have to say now I'm two years into my third chapter, the final act, next season, or whatever we want to call it. It's been two years now since I had a period, and we'll talk about the relevance of that in a minute. 

I got to a point where I had to do a lot of emotional work. I was carrying around a lot of baggage and this is something Dr. Christiana Northrup has always spoken about. I know some people do and don't like her. I got thrown out of someone's Facebook group for quoting her.

It was some interesting views, but they're her views, but that doesn't take away from the knowledge and wisdom that she has imparted. She really, for me, is like the godmother of some of this hormone work that so many other women do. 

She's just actually got a new abridged and up-to-date version of her book.  She always talks about menopause as a transformational period. It's the time that you go down to the basement or up to the attic, and clear the boxes. 

Eleshia: Yes, I love that. 

Mairi: And if you don't clear the boxes, you're going to carry them around with you for the rest of your life. It's an invitation. 

I eventually had to get to the point where it's like, I just need to sit down. I need to do the work. I need to clear the boxes. I need to clear the baggage. I need to flush everything that I'm holding in my system out of me, otherwise, I am going to carry on walking through this living hell. 

Eleshia: It's really interesting that you've said that now because, all of a sudden, one of Louise Hay's books just reappeared out of nowhere, and it was, You Can Heal Your Life.

It was literally about the fact that you need to go within and start to heal some of those things from internally, as well as outside. You just struck a chord with me because I just feel like sometimes when you're holding onto so many things, that's when dis-ease is created, so we need to think about that also. 

Mairi: Definitely. And I know that maybe some real experts in Chinese medicine, and I have heard her and all that listening, but my very simplistic understanding of this is that we store a lot of anger and resentment in our liver.

Eleshia: We do.

Mairi: Our liver is one of the most important organs for ensuring that we sail through our menopause because we need it to do all the breaking down and helping to metabolize the estrogen and et cetera, et cetera.

I was carrying a lot of anger, a lot of resentment, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness and interestingly as well in Chinese medicine, they say that you carry a lot of your grief in your chest. 

So when I got depleted, it would go straight on my chest, straight on my chest. Again, touch word for about 18-19 months now. I've not had any kind of emotional, chesty stuff when I had anything going on in that area. It's because you do the work, and for me, menopause is not just about what you're eating and how you're moving and what you're drinking. It's about what you're thinking and what you're letting go of and what you're inviting in and setting the boundaries and creating the life that you want to be leading in that next season. 

Eleshia: I love how it all comes full circle in everything that we do. 

Mairi: Always.

Eleshia: We have to remember that because it's really important from the perspective of helping yourself get through it, and also honoring yourself through it, honoring the people around you but also giving yourself permission to let go of those things that you've been holding on to for quite some time.

Mairi: Yes, and one of the things I've loved about all of the guests that you've had is I've listened to most of the podcasts so far, but like Irma's, the number of women holding onto grief.

That is such important work. Again, we need to be linking into this.

The self-care, all of that, for me it's that element of when you fully embody and you fully understand, you can look at each of the guests that you've had and go, okay, I need a little bit of that, not just because of my grief but actually, it helps you to balance your hormones. 

Your hormones are affected by your emotional stressors. If you are carrying around grief and you are still triggered, and that was where I was getting triggered because I hadn't done the work. I hadn't really dived into what was triggering me. And so the triggering response, then maybe a punishing one who would be a not eating one, it'd be overeating the sugar.  

I physically didn't move for two. I walked, but I just wasn't. I had no energy to lift weights, do all the things that I love. It's really important that we, again, if I can share that knowledge and that wisdom now, and to be fair, I don't regret one moment of it because at least I understood what was going on. 

Eleshia: Exactly. As you said, you are nowhere as the big sister to be able to then inform us who are going through our journey. 

All of my guests have been intentional here. From the perspective of the fact that I've learned from them, I want other people to learn from them also. Everything that we're discussing now is really intentional as female business owners. It's not just about the business.

Mairi: No, and that's what you say, and for me, it's always so interesting that this is my map. This is how I look at menopause, but for me, stress is one of the biggest, biggest impacts on your hormones or wellbeing. And that by stress, I mean emotional, physical, mental, spiritual nutritional movement. I'm going to make a word up, movement. 

Too much or too little of any of those things, and when you're saying, how can you be too spiritual? I think if you become so spiritual that it's only that way and you become so blinkered and biased and opinionated, that's stress. Because all of a sudden, you're back to being a perfectionist. You've just given it another fancy title around it.

So really for me, particularly because this podcast is about supporting female entrepreneurs and many of them are still going to be at the top of the game. This is one of the biggest travesties in the working world is the number of women we lose at this time in their life because they lose their confidence. They think they're going crazy because the brain fog is real. 

Eleshia: Thank you for saying that, because I get really irritated when people are like, oh yes, is it? But is it, but is it though? Yes, it is. It is very real. 

Mairi: I found my purse in the fridge the other day. 

Eleshia: So this morning I nearly brushed my teeth with my face cleanser because they were both there. And I was like, what are you doing?

Mairi: I went to put the dog food in something, but you know what, again, I've spoken about this before.  When I start noticing that I can't even open an Excel spreadsheet or quickly jump on Facebook, so I go, why have I gone into Excel? 

Eleshia: Exactly. 

Mairi: And we've just been speaking about this before, Eleshia? I need more white space in my life. I need to go and calm the front down. I need to step away, and I need to go back and look at my boundaries and make sure that I'm balancing my blood sugars, getting my sleep on, and hydrating. 

I tell you, it has been a game-changer. It's not just drinking plain water but adding a little bit of lemon and a pinch of salt. I definitely found that when I'm hydrated, I sleep better. I just function better.

We're not drinking enough, ladies. Go and fill your water bottle up. A little pinch of sea salt in there, some lemon juice or lime juice and just make sure that we're balancing our electrolytes particularly in this weather, which always makes it easier for balancing my blood sugars.

About half an hour ago, you asked me what my story was.

Eleshia: But this is your story. 

Mairi: This is my story. But my story basically was I knew the theory. I was really smug. Life threw me some curveballs. I got to feel, for moments in time because I knew what was going on so I also knew what to do to pull myself back in line. 

Two years post-menopause,  I've had my numbers done. I've had the tests done, and I've checked in with where I'm at. I've had my supplements reevaluated. I am the most energetic, aligned, and rocking than I had been for years.

So let's get into how.

Let's get into how. Let's just dial back a little bit because some of your listeners might be thinking, how cheeky Mairi Taylor told Eleshia that she was in perimenopause at 42. So let's just clarify and do some numbers. Get some key facts in there because again, I don't do any kind of testing. I work much more on mindset, lifestyle, and understanding the bigger picture because, for bio-individuality, we both have some amazing women in our network, in our circle that we can direct our customers to.

So menopause is one day. It's the last day of your last period followed by 365 days of no menses. That's the first thing to stand, it's a day. Technically, we're always in menopause because once we pause the menses and the other thing we need to be aware of is only us and killer whales that go into menopause.

The reason being particularly in the Orca pod is because the female goes into this menopause phase that she becomes the matriarch of the pod.

She's no longer competing with her sons for birthrights, so to speak. All of her energy goes into the knowledge, the guidance, the wisdom, the showing them the best places to eat, keeping the whole pod together.

And that's how we should be looking at our menopause as well. It's a time to shift our energy, to move away from one thing into another. So menopause is one day, peri-menopause which has become a fairly familiar term, but still not for many people. 

Perimenopause is a period of time which can be up to 15 years where a woman starts to feel and notice the physiological and psychological changes of her progesterone and her estrogen starting to drop.

This is as nature intended. However, because of our modern life and the way that we live, we are more depleted, probably in many cases undernourished, overstimulated, over toxify because of our skincare products and the way that we live. 

Therefore, we're at a disadvantage and we are feeling the effects much stronger and much sooner.

So let's do some simple maths, 51 minus 15 is 36. So in my book, if you are a woman and I'm sorry ladies, and you're over the age of 36, as far as I'm concerned, you're in perimenopause or starting to feel the tickle of.

If you're over 40, absolutely. So when you're told that you're too young, your tests are normal and you're feeling anything but normal. It's time to either go back,  we were talking about the Davina Programme. Go back, do not accept that.

The great thing that's come out of the Davina Programme whilst we both know there are more loads that need to be shared on, the right kind of exercise, the right way to eat all the lifestyle stuff that we need to be familiar with, and wrapping ourselves around is that more general practitioners have signed up to actually be educated. Because did you know that at the time of that program, only 41% of the universities that taught doctors even had anything about menopause on the curriculum? 

Eleshia: That is absolute, I want to say disgusting. 

Mairi: Yes. Well, let's use the word disgusting because it is disgusting, and historically most women were dead by 50, so it wasn't really something that mattered. But don't accept it if you've got the brain fog, the itchy skin, the hair is falling out. Get the test. Now, the gold standard is the Dutch test.

Eleshia: Yes, it is.

Mairi: You have to pay for that privately, but that is absolutely the gold standard. Unfortunately, and also as well, when you get your test results, the best advice I can give is if they come back and they say that you're normal, you say, I want to see my results.

I want someone to interpret them for me because they use a bell-shaped curve, and if you were either end of the spectrum, one point this way could've been under, one point this way could have been over. You want someone to be really explaining that to you, and if you're not satisfied, then maybe don't get your hair colored for a few sessions and go and get your Dutch test on. Know your numbers and know exactly what you need. 

Eleshia: I'm so glad you said that because a lot of the time we will still just ignore it. You will go to the doctors and the doctors would say that you're normal, and then you'll continue to do the things that you're doing and ignore the fact that your body's telling you something different than what the doctors told you. 

Mairi: Yes. Comes back to that whole red light analogy, the dashboard. I can always remember, there was a time when I wasn't feeling a hundred percent and this will sound very arrogant, but I can remember having a conversation with my mom and my mom say, please go to the doctor. And I was just like, what's the doctor going to tell me that I don't already know? I know what to do. I'm just not doing it, and I need to understand why I'm not doing it. Why am I disrespecting myself so much?

The other thing I think that's really interesting and a lot of women are having their children older as well. 

Eleshia: Yes, me. 

Mairi: Absolutely. Most of the women in my circle are having their children in their forties when we're naturally starting to move into the decline of our estrogen and our progesterone, and you've got a small baby, and they might not be sleeping.

We've got to talk about elderly parents, so we may have young children, elderly parents where the sandwich is filling in the middle, getting squashed, and really because of the way, many women feel guilty about their self-care. They think it's selfish.

They've got poor boundaries. They just ended up depleted trying to be everything to everybody, and nothing to themselves. When we move into something that we're either the martyr, the bitch or, the victim, we feel disempowered and so on and so forth. So all of that is going on. We need to understand that over the age of 36, if you are a busy superwoman spinning all of those plates, then you may well be starting to see because the body there was a really interesting analogy. The sex hormones are the kind of the only hormones that the body can choose to go, we don't need you today. 

Because they're not survival hormones. So if the body and that was like a real aha, even for me, I just read it. I read it the other day and I thought, I love that analogy. That makes so much sense because historically I've always used that if your body has to choose between making the cortisol and the adrenaline, the fight or flight or freeze hormones, because your body doesn't know.

And again, we've covered this in our previous episode so please go back and listen. If you're listening again it's that we need to fight the Saber-toothed tiger. It doesn't know that actually, your Saber-toothed tiger is the 1900 emails in your inbox. The school run, the mom who didn't talk to you there, the fact that you can't get into your skinny jeans, the fact that you've overcommitted yourself, maybe you and your husband or your partner had an argument or fight this morning, and you've still got to write that report for the board. 

I don't know. It does not know the difference. So all it will know is it will be getting the message that this woman is in fight or flight mode. Let's stop making estrogen and progesterone because she ain't going to be procreating today, and let's just flood our body with what she needs to get her through. 

Eleshia: It's mind-blowing to me that there is not much education on this, especially as I know a lot of women, I know a lot of female business owners, I know a lot of moms, I know a lot of women.

A lot of them will not even think or know that they are perimenopausal. So they are just still going go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go and not realizing that these things are happening to them because of perimenopause. 

Mairi: Yes, and actually one could argue if we want to get you, we could get really philosophical with this and say, is it happening because of perimenopause or is it happening because of our superwoman lifestyles where we just keep pushing through? We're not honoring our cycle, and this is why we said right at the start of our series that this information is relevant wherever you are in your life cycle, because the stuff we're talking about today about menopause and perimenopause, that's PMT.  We said, if you're having really severe PMT or PMDD every month, we need to pull over.

We need to really take a breath and a moment and think, what is going on, where am I at in my life? Where am I depleted? Where am I disempowered? Where are my boundaries? Because once we get those back into place, don't get me wrong. For me, I actually was on the point, and I knew this when I had my Dutch test on, I was flat-lined. I had nothing.

My cortisol was flat, and we talk about cortisol, we're always demonizing it but at the end of the day, it needs to rise and fall through our circadian rhythm. 

It's like Goldilocks, we need just the right amount. It's what gives us a little bit of getting up and going.  Mine was flatlining, absolutely flatlining.

My functional nutritionist just basically said to me, thank God you were doing the juices and the oils and the other bits, and that's known to stop exercising. Hello, thank you. A little bit of middle-aged spread, but I had to make that choice. She says because otherwise, you should not be standing. 

Eleshia: But a lot of people don't know this.

Mairi: Exactly. 

Eleshia: They keep on going, and actually they start to do even more exercise. They start to run and they start to do more HIITs, and then they end up... 

Mairi: As we say,  disease, stress causes inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of many, many lifestyle diseases, so no wonder we're seeing so many women in their early 40s and 50s picking up some of these horrendous lifestyle diseases. People are giving them medication, and thank God for the medication to keep them alive.

But then we need the education so that we can thrive because that part of the thing for me is I used to drive to work and go past the care home.

I just always used to think, and no one knows what's around the corner.  Again, if you've listened to other series, you know that I'm the daughter of a daughter with dementia and so on. 

But my mom is still the happiest camper. I still want to be able to wipe my bottom to a certain age and be able to function. A lot of what we talk about in terms of menopause, wellbeing, and support also can help to slow down and offset and stop that genetic switch on of some of the lifestyle diseases. 

So again, for me, it's about rewriting your story. Your mother's story, your grandma's story, your aunt's story does not need to be your menopause story.

Particularly now, I started studying all of this almost 10 years ago when there was one book. Now, there are so many amazing people. You can go and find good information just by putting in the hashtag menopause or perimenopause or hormonal flow and get some really, really good resources.

It's about education and it's about learning to stop that doesn't make us weak. It's about replenishing so that we can recharge our batteries and go again. I'll use the car analogy, sorry honey. Fundamentally, we have now become classic cars. The kind of head-turning classic car that goes, yes exactly. So we want to be under the bonnet. We put the best quality fuel.

We're out there rubbing it down and really looking after that because we are still head-turners. Our life is ain't over, it just needs that little bit of extra care and attention. 

Eleshia: Yes. I just let that breathe for a minute because as you said, that care and attention, we've given it to everybody else for all of our lives and now we really, really, really have to give it back to ourselves. It is imperative that we give it back to ourselves now. 

Mairi: You're learning that at 42, I was learning that at 52 because that's when I finally started going like you need to put yourself.  How blessed are you and any of the listeners, and it's never too late. It is never too late. 

Eleshia: I will always remember, and I've said it before. I will always remember that episode of Sex in the City where Samantha was going through her menopause, and she was trying all of the natural products. And again, watching Davina and hearing the lady talking about sitting on an ice block. I don't want that for my vagina, I'm sorry I don't.  

If I can do the research and educate myself now and help myself along the way, that's what I'm going to do.

Mairi: Yes, and the interesting thing is because someone spoke to me last week about the whole dry vagina and irritation and all the rest of it. 

And they were saying, what would you recommend? And I'm like, okay let's just take a breath and step back a step. What's their lifestyle? What stress have they gone through? I said because it's just a symptom and by that, I don't mean it's just a symptom, it's one heck of a symptom.

My menopause-perimenopause might show itself, as I say, as a power surge, and x, y, and z.

Yours might be constantly sweating and hair loss. Someone else's brain fog and a dry vagina. But if we all stepped back and looked, we would be able to see trauma, grief, and stress. 

When we actually went back and spoke to this lady, she was lonely. She had just come out of a difficult relationship. She was caring for an elderly parent.

She had a daughter that had X, Y, and Z, but at no point had anybody or even herself because when you're in it, you're in it. Aren't you? Being able to take a step back and go, and you don't think you're stressed?

The number of women I speak to, and I'm like, what's your stress levels? And they're like, absolutely fine. And then you speak to them and ask a few more questions and it's that. Well, I did it and quite often they're looking after the husband's parents as well. I've got this, and I've got that and, and, and, and you're like: And that's not stressed? Okay, that's interesting. 

Eleshia: But it's funny that we identify stress as being.

Mairi: Yes.

Eleshia: Isn't it? And you just made me think about something because I remember, when I was going through my whole fertility journey and we were in the restaurant, I had an allergic reaction to the nuts.  And I was like, this has just got something to do with my grieving, but actually, it's probably a symptom of perimenopause. 

Mairi: Thanks for mentioning it because, for some women,   I definitely become more intolerant of foods as I've progressed through. Things like perfumes, that is where I've become my mother. 

She can't have any poor perfumes or fake scents or anything, which again, for me is why it's like hallelujah for essential oils because I can tolerate and use essential oils. Now smell nice and wears like perfumes. 

But I can't, you give me perfume or anything that's scented or whatever, I'll be like. 

Eleshia: The same.  I'm the same. Perfumes, detergent, cleaning products and all of that. 

I'm very susceptible now to the fake, disinfectant smell. 

Mairi: But there's a link there as well to lowering estrogen and the immune system. This was one of the things, we're recording in June 2021. Estrogen is immune protective.

That's something we do want to be aware of, that progesterone is very balancing and calming, and it's progesterone that drops first when we go into perimenopause. So again, no wonder all of a sudden we're less able to manage the stresses and find ourselves more irritable.

Our PMT/ PMDD may get even worse because if we're not eating the right foods, particularly we're on constantly low-fat diets because we include fat in our diet for our hormone production and our brain health.

I might be repeating myself, but I know I spoke about the fact that we need good fat for brain health, and we need estrogen for brain health.

My mom's generation where it was all low-fat foods, is that why we've got such a huge incidence of dementia amongst that generation of women?

Again, it was an interesting statistic on the Davina Show where dementia is the biggest cause of death in women. That was like, hello, can we just rewind a minute? Because I'm not saying I can prevent it or we can prevent it, but we can offset it with lifestyle. 

Eleshia: When I literally had to pause the TV, I was just like, wow. Wow, and knowing what you've been through as well, the number of people who would have been thinking that they would go in start crazy as well, it flawed me. It really flawed me.

Mairi: Again, this is the whole purpose of what we're doing and so many other amazing women like ourselves are getting that message out and just sharing so that people can ask better questions, be better informed.

There's a whole range of books, maybe we'll put them in the show notes. I'll send you some great books and some great podcasts that I would recommend, for people to follow wherever you are in your menstrual cycle.

But for me, I think one of the most important things as with anything in life about menopause is your mindset.

And again, if you've listened to our first part of the series, you will know that my history is as well, as my sister died before she was even 30. She didn't even get the opportunity to go through this thing called menopause. So again, it's a privilege denied many. For the women who have to go surgically, it's like overnight. There's no gentle transition. There's no getting to work things out, it's all the things there.

I think it is a natural process where it's natural. If that makes sense, what am I saying?

Given that most of us are going to be living now 30, 40 years post-menopause, we better start rocking it. We better start changing our mindset, changing the story, doing the work, and embracing this transformational time of our lives because it truly, truly is. 

For me, it has most definitely picked me up the ass, and it also seems really strange to say Elishia, I actually feel very blessed that at 52-53, I found out about my mom's Alzheimer's and I was able to do the work that came as a result of her partner dying, so I had to clear the house and discover stuff.

I have reflected on it, and as hard as it's been, I've also seen it as this huge blessing that I'm only 54 and it really made me do the work.  It forced me because I reckon if I hadn't. It would probably be 64 or 74, whereas now I'm 54.

I haven't done it all, but I've cleared. I've made peace. I've been released. I've let go. I've embraced it. And it's like, wow, how blessed am I? I see it as a gift from my mom, which many people might be thinking, really? But I have to find the light.

Eleshia: I'm with you on that. I live by that because if I didn't find the light if I couldn't see the reasons that I've been through the journey, that I've been through,  I will be holding a lot of resentment in my body. I wouldn't be thriving. 

Mairi: I wasn't, because I didn't realize I was because I made myself busy, so I didn't get quiet. I didn't listen. I rejected anything that had any kind of spiritual or aspect to it. Then I got invited to surrender, and so I did.

It really has been so empowering to walk through and do that work and then be able to share this knowledge now. Not just from a theoretical perspective, but also from, yes, I've had the sweats. I've had blood sugar imbalances. I've had the itchy skin where I literally want to rip my boobs off.

Eleshia: I don't want to gloss over that because that's scary, but I also want to ask you, what were some of the things that you did just to help with that? 

Mairi: I will be like a broken record, but it was first of all, literally, pause, breathe, smile, pullover, indicate, get off the motorway. Get off the motorway, and then it would be like, what's my sleep? What's my social media? Where's my joy? How am I moving? What am I drinking? What am I eating? What's my bedtime routine, and then I'd put the lavender oil on my boobs. It solves everything. It's like I would use it a lot.

I'd calm the skin in the first instant. You know that way that you scratch yourself and you'd get those wield?

Again, it's just a warning light. It's just a warning light. Are you taking your AMIGOs, your magnesium? Are you drinking your good water? Have you put green vegetables in your body today? Have you laughed? Have you hugged somebody?

This is one of the big problems for the last 18 months. 

Eleshia: Yes. Through the first part of it, I was sharing my talk for free because I was just like, women just need to hear this because homeschooling, running a business, being in the office whilst you're homeschool and all the things women's hormones must have been while women were out of whack as we. I'm not saying that to be disrespectful, but we cannot underestimate the impact that will have had. 

Mairi: It wasn't that you weren't coping. 

Eleshia: No, it wasn't that you weren't coping. It was just that everything was being thrown at you. And now that it's not so immersed in the last 18 months, it's time to now reflect and think about the things that you can be put into place to really support yourself. 

Because of how many of us were like, I'm really enjoying this different pace of life, and then went busy. We got so busy, didn't we?

Yes. As soon as you were allowed out, it's like, I'm doing this, this, this, this, and this. I'm watching Friends, and I'm watching and I'm like, wow. I'm seeing all the Instagram posts, I'm here, I'm there and I'm doing this.

I've got this book, and I'm like, wow, let's scale it back a little bit. It's really interesting that you mentioned social media a few moments ago when you were saying that about all of the things that you looked at when you were in that moment of overwhelm with regards to what needed to be scaled back. Because a lot of people go straight back into social media and they play the comparison game and this person's doing that. Why can't I do this, and why can't I do that? 

But we don't know what that person is really doing in real life. We've got to remember that people are showing up, they're showing you the best version of themselves on social media. There are not many people out there that are really being really vulnerable all the time, so let's remember that. 

Mairi: Yes, and the other thing on a physiological level is blue light. So, I sleep better on the nights when I am not doing my business on my phone until the minute I literally drop into bed, by switching it off. If you can, two hours if you need to work, work backward slowly, maybe 15 half an hour.

But you know, I sleep so much better when I'm not. I take it off. I literally take it off my phone at nine o'clock at night. 

Eleshia: I've got a notification that my phone shuts down at nine o'clock, and my phone does not go into the bedroom, neither of our phones goes into the bedroom too fast. But usually, except for today because I put some makeup on. I usually got my blue, my glasses on to help with the blue light as well. It's all of those little things that you need to be implementing. 

Mairi: Yes, definitely. But for me, protecting sleep, balancing your blood sugars. As I said, it's a full-time job, but you're worth it and it's worth it. Because once you see these things as recharging, replenishing, and renourishing you, resetting you, they're not punishments. You're not doing without, and we're definitely not saying don't eat the cake and the wine. Just be prepared that on those nights, your sleep might not be so good. You might get a hot flush. So you have to decide, I want the wine or hot flush?

Now, six nights a week, you might say, I don't want the hot flush. One night of the week, you might be like, do you know what? I just want to drink the wine and be with my friends and whatever. But again, that for me is the self-care element. That's the informed consumer element. It's that notice that what are your triggers? 

Eleshia: But it's also remembering that, and it's really hard not to do this, but it's also remembering that we are different. We have evolved. We have evolved what we could do when we were 20 or 30. We are not going to be recovering the same way. So if you were drinking five nights a week, and when you're feeling shit about yourself, you need to look at that. Because you need to think about what you're putting in versus what you're getting out. 

Mairi: Absolutely. And particularly, for many women, as we come into our forties and fifties, we're at the top of our game. We've got all that knowledge, all that wisdom, all that experience.

If we've done the work, we know who we are, we know how we want to show up so we want to be doing it and we want to be doing it with ease and grace and a little bit of sass. However you want to show up in the world, and we don't want to be in the situation where we feel lost and confused in our own bodies, and in our own minds maybe.

Eleshia: Yes, I agree. Okay, so one last question. Can you give us an essential oil blend for sweat, if possible? 

Mairi: I'll make it really simple. This what's worked for me and to tell those people to smell peppermint oil. 

Eleshia: Yes. Okay, I'm glad you said that because that is what I've been telling people. I'm like, get your peppermint oil out.

Mairi: Yes. I find it even diluted in a rollerball. I find it too hot on my skin for whatever reason, but I literally have a nasal inhaler because my partner's allergic to peppermint oil. So bio-individuality, even natural things come with it.

Eleshia: So you are trying to use it.

Mairi: Yes. I can't diffuse it, but I make a little nasal inhaler. Those ones that you can buy in the store with other stuff in them. I literally take a sniff of that before I go to bed, and then if I wake up in the night, I will sniff it again. Literally, that does it for me. 

I have to say in the last few weeks, I've not had any. I brought up my water. I've gone back to training. I've definitely done quite a few things that bring me joy, but I've also really been focusing on my sleep.

And one of my favorite oils for supporting sleep is Roman Chamomile and Lavender. So I'm making a little blend. So Roman Chamomile Vetiver, so I just make a little blend of that as part of my bedtime routine, roll into my feet, add a bit of bustle too, as well to support my adrenals system. And so that goes on my back. I've been sleeping like a baby, and I've also been making sure that I'm eating. Yes, I've not had any need for my peppermint inhaler for a while. 

Eleshia: That is amazing. I'm sorry, I've just thought about another question. Exercise, exercise. What did you find that you did differently that really helped? 

Mairi: I had to start for starters because I just had no energy whatsoever, but what I'm doing at the moment is I'm back lifting heavy weights twice a week. Walking, we need to physically move around, and then exercise is the icing on the cake. So I've been lifting weights, I've got back into swimming.

Fundamentally, what brings you joy but one of the great things about lifting weights is it helps with testosterone production. Obviously, it's really good for your bone health. Lifting weights doesn't have to be huge, great, big, huge, whatever. 

If you're doing nothing, lifting two kilos is literally what you can use bodyweight as well, but bone loading, and also as well, making sure I've got enough energy for my training.

Eleshia: Yes. We talked about that a lot in the series. If you're feeling depleted, don't go and do something that is going to have you on the floor, please. 

Mairi: Yes, and when I'm training, I probably don't train for anything more than 45 minutes. If I'm going on a nice walk, it takes me about an hour and a half to do 10,000 steps if I don't have my dog with me, in which case it takes about three hours. But it's not HIIT that I'm doing either ladies, it's just short intense weights, some stretching, a little bit of yoga. I've started doing some outdoor swimming, some wild swimming. I'm on my paddleboard, and everyone was thinking, Mairi, I live in the center of London, where am I going to get on a paddleboard? What I'm saying is I'm doing things that get me out and that bring me joy. I'm putting movement back into my life. But from an exercise perspective, it needs to be something that you are comfortable doing consistently, and you're not feeling depleted afterward.

Eleshia: Yes, and that's why I've loved this last year because I've really honed into my Pilates practice. It's non-negotiable, twice a week. For me, I do a reformer class, and then when I can, I may add another class that I do on my own, and then I'm running around with Alessandra, going on walks, and so forth.

It happened to be a nice balance of exercise. 

Mairi: And the reformers are amazing because they're Superbowl loading strength. 

Eleshia: Exactly, exactly that. We've covered a lot again. Wow, these last six weeks have been amazing. Mairi, I know I always say this but it's such an honor to have you as somebody who I look up to in my life, with regards to the knowledge that you have and the fact that you're so open and honest with it as well. Not just from an educational perspective, but you want to help others as well. So I am so grateful that we have been able to share these episodes with each other, but with our listeners as well.

It was long overdue, but we got there. We did it, and this is not the end for us. This is the beginning with regards to collaborations, but I just want you to remind the listeners where they can find you, and let them know of any excitement.

Mairi: Fabulous. Of course, anything shares it all. Again, who knew when we both walked into Wellingborough. We did walk together through so much. Yes, I'm right back at you and it's so interesting that we've always, and again if there's one thing that we all need someone we can talk to, and sometimes it doesn't have to be your best friend. It's somebody that can hold the space for you so that you can truly walk through and look around and really explore.

So I've made it really easy to find me, menopause Rocks Mairi Taylor, Menopause Rockstar. So type in menopause rockstar into Instagram, you'll find me there. Menopause Rockstar is my Facebook page as well.

I'll be launching my coaching business in September where we'll be taking you through the archetypes and helping you to retire superwoman and show up without burning out. 

It will be very much from the emotional side of it, which is then a beautiful compliment to the work that you are doing. But I'm also super excited because something that I'm launching, my first one will be at the end of June and I'll be continuing to run it through the summer, is something that's called Gather the Women.

When I was first introduced to the concept, it resonated with me so deeply because again, it's a 22-day online sister circle,  and it's absolutely relevant to the menopause transition. So I very much took it on and wanted to become a space holder for it because there are so many women who are going through this time of life.

It's all about gathering the three elements, the three aspects of you. The girl you used to be, thanking her and making peace with her. The woman you are now, knowing that she is exactly where she needs to be. Honoring and accepting the woman you are right here right now, and then looking and seeing the woman that you are yet to become and leaning into her and allowing her to guide you, and to become your mentor. 

This is what the menopause transition for me is all about- learning to honor and accept where we are.

Thank ourselves for space and the journey and the hand-holding we've done because the girl you used to be, the girl that you were yesterday, the girl 10 years ago, 20 years ago, all the way back. And I think as we look forward and invite our future self to guide and lead us as we release and let go and honor and accept, then it's a truly, truly magical experience.

So any secret sorcery, any woman that wants to spend 22 days immersing herself with cacao and candles and painting, and coming together in ceremony and daily ritual, then this is the program for you to gift yourself that time to really give back to yourself and come on a little bit of a journey to help you open, release, honor, accept to move forward.

Eleshia: That sounds amazing. Sign me up. So people can find the information about that on your website.

Mairi: mairitaylor.com.

Eleshia: Okay, brilliant. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can't thank you enough. 

Mairi: And of course, we need to remember in case anyone's thinking Mairi leaves me now, but I want more. We are going to be creating a beautiful collaboration. We're not sure yet if it will be in-person, but it will definitely be online. The ME retreats are coming because it's all about me. It's all about you. 

You are the "me" and M.E. obviously it's Mairi and Eleshia. We want to bring our knowledge and experience together for all of those professionals. Those mompreneurs, those women who are in business, but also want to bring in a little bit of woah, a little bit of butterfly wings, a little bit of candlelight and magic, and really spend some quality time with you, looking at where are you now? Where are you now? Where are you now as your business? And what tools and tips can we give you so that you can move forward, empowered and lightened and kicking whatever asset you need to be kicking? 

Eleshia: Yes. I'm really excited about that, and if you want to know more about that, then you can go onto my website or Mairi's website and join the waitlist.  

Brilliant. Okay, ladies and gents, we are signing off. Thank you so much for listening to the last six episodes, and if you haven't, then you need to go back and listen to the previous episodes because as we've both said over the last hour or so, there is so much good information in those episodes that will layer on to what we've just discussed.


Outro: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being with me on this Harnessing the Female Cycle and Learning to Live in Flow Series journey.  I am so appreciative of all of the feedback that you have shared with me.

I'm so happy that you've got so much information from this series.  If this is the first time that you are listening to one of the episodes from this series, I would really urge you to go back and listen to all of the episodes because they interlink. 

Remember this doesn't have to be the end of our journey together.  I will be continuing to share episodes weekly,  and also you can find Mairi and I through the details that I've shared with you in the show notes. We have got so many other exciting collaborations coming up for you, so if you really want to dive in a little bit deeper into your female cycle, business strategies, wellbeing,  and all of that great stuff.

Next week, I will be sharing with you my takeaways and my strategies, and some of the things that I do on a daily and weekly and monthly, and quarterly basis to help me stay focused. I hope you join me again next week. Take care.


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