by Joanna Poppink, MFCC

Basic Premise:

There is value in every stage of life.

To cling to a previous or passing stage because we are unwilling or afraid to move to the next wastes energy.

Straining to be what we were puts energy into the stress of creating an artificial structure we hope resembles the spent original.

This stress deflects energy from the new and current stage.

Most importantly, this prevents the new and current stage from emerging in its full value.)

As women move through the complex and systematic physical changes of menopause we enter a new phases of our lives. Menopause is not just a change of hormone distribution and temporary and periodic emotional disequillibrium. Menopause is the beginning of something new.

Caterpillars don't struggle to remain caterpillars. They move with their body changes and prepare for the butterfly stage. What a pity to miss it!

We know now in psychology that the mind and body are in integral connection. More and more we appreciate that a spiritual aspect is part of our wholeness.

Emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves are embodied intricately in our physical being. Our bodies hold emotions. When our bodies change, rigid or hidden emotions move or are released. We are reconstituting ourselves in a new and unique form we could not foresee.

Riding through this process with care and respect will bring us to the new stage where we live afresh and see the world with new eyes.

This is the process:

The guideposts are courage, compassion and self supportive anger that helps us to remove the once necessary cocoon that sheltered us during our vulnerable time.

We help each other. The learning and wisdom in each of us serves as guideposts for each other. Poets and artists, people who have been working on the edge of transformation all their lives, are part of our guide companions now.

Women, sharing and talking, meeting and growing together, is crucial at this time. This is the transformation safety nest where new lives can stretch our early beginnings to grow healthy and strong.


Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C., licensed by the State of California in 1980, is a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor (License #15563). She has a private practice in Los Angeles where she works with adult individuals and couples. She specializes in working with people with eating disorders and with people who are trying to understand and help a loved on who has an eating disorder.

Contact Information:
10573 West Pico Blvd. Suite 20
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 474-4165 phone
(310) 474-7248 fax

Please help support our SelfhelpMagazine mission
so that we may continue serving you.
Choose your
support amount here: