Messages at menopause from nature

Did you know that nothing means anything until we give it meaning?

I enjoy studying the symbolism of special animals when they show up in my life. I interpret these messages in two ways: as signs for how to care of myself, and as reminders to keep my expectations and intentions for my life high.

As a woman approaching menopause, sometimes I need reminders to be kind to myself, to forgive myself and those around me for errors and omissions, mistakes, and remissions to unsupportive attitudes and behaviours. Connecting with the symbolism of animals gives me an opportunity to look for supportive messages.

 Women are natural givers and nurturers. We take care of everyone we care about, and if there’s time leftover, we take care of ourselves. Our culture expects us to give until we have nothing left, and if we buy into this thinking, eventually we find ourselves overwhelmed, frustrated and resentful.

Maybe it’s the ‘wisdom of menopause’ that Dr. Christiane Northrup writes about in her excellent book by the same name. Maybe it’s because my 20-year-old son doesn’t need me in the ways he did when he was younger, but I’ve realized that in addition to giving, which I truly enjoy, I must fill up my ‘well’ in order to be productive and happy.

That’s true for everyone, no matter who you are, if you’re male or female, or what your circumstances.  Balance is necessary and that means giving and receiving. As personal development guru T. Harv Eker says, we must learn how to be a “generous giver” AND an “excellent receiver”!

I encourage you to be open to receive messages from your totem animals. The best resource is Ted Andrews’ book “Animal Speak” where he writes that animals are used by spirit guides to communicate loving messages to us.

 To start you off, see if there’s a relevant message for you from my totem animals who show up regularly in my life: rabbit, butterfly and hummingbird. I’ve edited the following from Andrew’s book.

The keynote of the rabbit is fertility and new life.

Andrews says that a rabbit showing up is not just about the possibility of physical fertility (which I don’t know about you, but I sincerely hope I’m done with that!!) Rabbit can inspire you to become more fertile in your life. It may mean that you need to plan for possibilities – to check plans you have in motion or to make plans so you don’t box yourself into a corner. “The rabbit moves primarily by hops and leaps and individuals with this totem find that their endeavours do so as well…Rabbits are clever at doubling back, making quick and rapid turns. If they need to flee, they can be extremely fast. Learning to shift from freezing to great speed is something all with this totem should learn. It will aid your success and enable you to take advantage of opportunities that may only present themselves for brief moments.”

The keynote of the butterfly is Transmutation and the Dance of Joy.

“When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. This is probably why butterfly has shown up. What stage of change are you at in regard to them? To determine that, you may have to examine and determine what you wish the outcome to be, and how best to accomplish it…

Butterflies appear to dance as they light upon flowers and such. They remind us not to take things quite so seriously within our lives. They awaken a sense of lightness and joy. They remind us that life is a dance, and dance, though powerful, is also a great pleasure. Butterflies can be reminders to get up and move, for if you can move, you can dance. Dance brings the sweetness of life back. This is further exemplified by the fact that butterflies actually have taste receptacles on their front legs. They taste flowers by walking upon them. Butterflies bring color and joy with them.

When butterflies come into your life, look at how much or how little joy is within your life. Lighten up. Look for change. Don’t forget that all change is good.

Butterfly medicine reminds us to make changes when the opportunities present themselves. Transformation is inevitable, but butterfly will help teach you that growth and change does not have to be traumatic. It will teach you that it can occur as gently, as sweetly, and as joyfully as we wish.

Hummingbird keynotes are Tireless Joy and the Nectar of Life.

Hummingbirds can help you find joy and sweetness in any situation. “We have all heard how good it is to whistle while we work, but humming is much more effective. It creates an internal massage, restoring health and balance. This the hummingbird reminds us to do. It reminds us to find joy in what we do and to sing it out.

Hummingbirds eat 50 to 60 meals a day! Because of its small size and its high degree of activity, it loses body heat quickly, so it must digest food quickly. Individuals with hummingbird totems should watch their own sugar levels. Are you getting too much or too little? Are you hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic? Are you not getting enough sweetness in your life? Are you not savouring the sweet things of life?

These birds hibernate overnight. They can lower their body temperature to conserve energy while resting. For those with the hummingbird as a totem, it is important to get regular and deep sleep and rest. It will be necessary so that you do not burn yourself out.

Hummingbirds are migratory and can travel 2,500 miles to get to a warm climate. Because of this, they are a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible. Andrews says hummingbird will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.

Looking for positive messages from totem animals is one way we can connect with nature to bring more joy and awareness into our lives during menopause and beyond. I see this as a variation on something I learned at a T. Harv Eker seminar: “Everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to serve me.”

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