, Inc.
Bags of Glory  at FORZIERI.COM
Barnes & Noble

According to the popular ideal, a  “feminine” woman controls her emotions, body size, shape and reproductive system. And this control is particularly threatened, or at least in question, during menopause (Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or 40s or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s). Not surprisingly, one of the most common feelings reported by the women I worked with was that of feeling out of control.”


Counselor, Lafern Page, in her book, “Menopause and Emotions: Making Sense of Your Feelings When Your Feelings Make No Sense,” indicates that body image distortion has become a huge problem for women, and also for men, due to the way advertising bombards us with made up images of perfect people - perfectly slim, symmetrical and beautifully made up! We are supposed to be models of perfect control. People of all ages are affected by this constant exposure.


Lafern’s research suggests that for many women, self-image and physical appearance are pretty much interchangeable. This leads to a disconnect between the outward physical presentation and the actual body. Both the idea of appearance being self-image and the resulting separation between our bodies and our selves could certainly explain in large part the constant striving for thinness, and the extreme end of that continuum, anorexia. And when peri-menopause begins, with its often surprising changes, the loss of control is pretty shocking to a lot of women.


Lafern Page’s book was written over 10 years ago, and the media manipulation of body image has grown significantly since then. Even if we haven’t bought into the young and perfect look, when a size 10 model is considered a “large size”, (even though the average woman over 25 is size 12), we can’t help but look at ourselves and find something lacking. All that perfection makes us feel rotten!


Women are ‘supposed to be’ - and stay - slim and fit at all ages, so as to fit the stereotype of perfection, (as well as for health reasons). And we as women are definitely not supposed to talk about our biological functions, especially the transition through menopause. Puberty is honored as a biological and developmental transition and it is understood that young women (and men) need some time and some space to grow into adults.  Yet, the same respect is denied us as women in one of the most significant changes we will ever go through.


“I’d given up, humiliated by my belly fat” -reads an ad on a menopause blog. Why should this be humiliating? Susun Weed, whose well-known book on natural treatment, Menopausal Years, Wise Woman Ways, has been reprinted many times, and says that the years leading up to menopause are the time to actually gain a little weight.

Why is weight gain good now?

Yes, gain weight! Most women I speak to aren’t aware of this, because doctors don’t tell us, and the ‘how-to’ articles certainly wouldn’t.


If we gain about 10 pounds in the years leading up to menopause, we retain more estrogen because it stores in the fat tissue of our hips, thighs and buttocks. The estrogen helps control some of the symptoms of menopause, and even more importantly, helps our bone health. Visit to check out Weed’s article: Healthy Bones the Wise Woman Way.


The media generally gives a very distorted view of aging. However, Ad campaigns like Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” showing women with all size bodies is a great beginning. For more information, visit their website at Let’s keep looking for all kinds of ‘alternative’ representations of health.


By Ellen Besso

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 “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Great quote, but what does it have to do with thanking your money?


A while back I published an article titled “Set Them Free.” In it I wrote, “How can you expect your relationship with her to be anything other than what it’s been as long as you have her fixed in your mind as capable of only certain behaviors?” As I explained in that article, I didn’t then envision the person the way I’d like her to be, I chose to just let her be—that is, be who she is. This also freed me to reflect on and appreciate all of the good moments we’ve shared during the years, and there have been many. Every time a good memory flashes in my mind, I give her a quiet, heartfelt Thank You.


It occurs to me we can do this with money as well. We can recognize that money is actually a form of energy we exchange; and though we enjoy it, use it, and seem to usually want more of it, we may never actually thank it for all it’s done and does for us. Sometimes we treat money like the quote and curse it (in a manner of speaking), however it shows up in our lives—generally by wanting more but holding a negative expectation of more showing up in the way we’d like. Better to light an inner candle to illuminate ourselves differently about money.


Try this: deliberately pull up money memories that are goods ones:


-A purchase that either made you feel really good or served a purpose;

-A gift chosen carefully, knowing how delighted the recipient would be;

-An enjoyable dining experience or form of entertainment;

-A donation that really made a difference; and of course

-The everyday exchanges that help us move through life.

-Take a moment to thank money for making these things possible since money exchange is what we use in our 3-D world.


Thank money for showing up consistently or as a surprise, in expected and unexpected amounts (including coins on the ground that I hope you pick up and then affirm abundance). Thank money for helping you learn a good deal about yourself and others. Apologize to money for ever restricting it because of learned negative or limiting beliefs.


Is it time for you to set money free from certain behaviors based on your beliefs and limited expectations? Start by genuinely feeling core-level (head-and-heart alignment) appreciation for what money has done, does, and can do to enhance your life experience. It’s a good practice; one you’ll appreciate.  


Practice makes progress.

© Joyce Shafer



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