Your Chakras, Life Lessons, and Menopause
Cycles and phases are part of what defines womanhood. More than any other earthly creature, our bodies run according to cycles and phases – whether it is the monthly cycle of menstruation, or the life cycle of ‘mother-maiden-crone’.
Menopause represents our birth into the ‘wise woman’ phase of our life, although when I say ‘menopause’ I really mean perimenopause too, because as the medical community has come to realize, the life transit that menopause represents is actually one that spans 10 years or more for many women. For most of us, hormonal shifts begin in our early 40s or even mid to late 30s, whether we notice them yet or not. And with this comes the energetic, psychological, and spiritual shifts that usher us into our wise woman years. It’s a long birth!
Changes to our subtle body – our chakras and energetics systems – mirror many of the changes in our physical body. In spiritual traditions that work with the chakras, working with these changes is a big part of the transition into wise woman status – they are part of what enables a shift into a new spiritual perspective and skills. Specifically, it is during this time that we are guided to revisit any themes from earlier in our lives that we have left unexamined, or any wounds we have left unhealed. If we rise to this challenge, we come to own a new relationship to our subtle body, our intuition, and our spiritual selves.
From an energetics technical perspective, this ‘prompting’ often occurs through bursts of kundalini, or spiritual awakening energy, in our chakras. In chakra meditation traditions, ideally the kundalini is brought up gradually from the root to the crown chakra, enabling a smooth spiritual awakening process. During perimenopause, instead there are often sporadic bursts of kundalini (some even connect hot flashes to these bursts, since the kundalini rising often triggers a similar feeling of warmth or ‘fire’.) Just as our hormones swing during this time, so does our energetics system.
Many women experience these energy bursts as actual sensations of warmth or tingling in a part of their body associated with a chakra. If you meditate on your chakras or work with them in some other way, you may feel active energy in the chakras themselves. If not, you may not be aware of these bursts at all, but instead may see the results of them in the patterns or themes of your life during this time, because these bursts bring forth that which you are asked to heal or learn.
Whether we experience them physically or not, these energy bursts represent a tremendous growth opportunity. Each chakra is related to life themes, and we are usually called to focus on the one or two that are the most central to our growth. Although there can be a lot of complexities to our lessons, here is a basic guide to the chakras and the corresponding ‘life themes’:
- First/Root Chakra (Tailbone, Legs, Feet) – Security, Safety, Life Foundation, and Familial Heritage
- Second/Sacral Chakra (Lower Belly, Pelvis, Womb) – Emotional Openness, Creativity, Sensuality, Sexuality
- Third/Navel Chakra (Navel, Solar Plexus) – Personal Power, Will, Boundaries, and Identity
- Fourth/Heart Chakra (Chest) – Ability to Love/Feel Loved, Compassion, Acceptance
- Fifth/Throat (Neck, Jaw) – Self-expression, Clarity, Authenticity, Integrity
- Sixth/Third Eye (Forehead) – Intuition, Wisdom, Seeing Beyond Surface
- Seventh/Crown (Back Crown or Head) – Spiritual Connection, Faith, Insight
The best way to work with this knowledge is to consider how the life experiences you are having during this time corresponds to these themes. Consider how they relate to your past, especially your childhood – what has been left unresolved? Do you harbor buried fears or resentments related to any of these areas deep in your psyche? Or alternatively, are you experiencing health problems related to any of the chakra physical correspondances?
The energetic shifts of this time can manifest in any number of ways. If you approach this phase of your life as an opportunity to really work through anything that you have avoided facing in the past, your overall energy will be freed up, allowing it to flow through your subtle body. You can also benefit from working with the chakras directly, particularly with any techniques that help free up chakra flow – the energy moving between the chakras. Yoga is excellent for this, as are meditation techniques that focus on the movement between chakras (here is one from my blog if you are interested.)
When the energy flows freely through our energetics system, we experience a flowering of spiritual gifts, particularly of intuition – a key part of the wise woman archetype. Our ability to sense and connect with energies and spirit is magnified. As the reproductive aspect of our physical body winds down, the spiritual aspects of our subtle body ramp up! And this shift is something that can continue to deepen for the rest of our lives. This is the heart of conscious aging to me – embracing the shift from a focus on our physical to the focus on our wisdom and insight instead. It is a new birth, a transit into our higher selves, and an exciting time, if we can truly come to embrace it in this way.