Black Women’s History Month

Hey menopause bosses, did you know that April is Black Womens’ History Month? As a society, we don’t glamorize or tell tall tales about the inspirational lives of women, especially women of color, who are relegated to the shadows. I often think of how womens’ stories are never at the forefront. Making legends seemed squarely for men and I want that to CHANGE.

Where are the Abe Lincolns, Paul Bunyans, heck even Santa Claus- level of respect for women’s accomplishments? We never refer to Shirley Chisholm, Wu Zetian,Mary Church Terrell, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Grace Lee Boggs of history in that same reverent manner. It’s always relegated to certain themed months or relevant moments of their careers. I want WOC (women of color) in particular black womens’ stories to remain a timeless mainstay. We need to turn Womens’ History Month into a daily initiative to put women in the spotlight until it becomes the norm. So let me start off with my own story from the very top. You know me as the ORIGINAL Menopause Whisperer and as your menopause coach… but do you know my origin story?

I’m Deborah Roebuck, and I hail from West Philadelphia. Growing up, I dreamed of becoming a nurse to serve my community. I did exactly that for over forty years, working as a nurse and public health administrator to promote childrens’  and womens’ health. And for a while, I thought I had truly lived out my potential given that I had done all I wanted to do. However, God had different plans for me and it was perhaps a hard blessing in disguise. Early into my retirement, I had 3 life-altering experiences occur. I was widowed, diagnosed with breast cancer, and witnessed a police shooting on my doorstep all at once. Going through those personal struggles as a menopausal woman, I realized how much I drew support from my community to recover and how difficult it was for older women going through menopause to receive the help they needed.

Menopause as a phenomenon is very much an underrecognized transformation, and it was this realization that spurred me into creating my community Going Thru The Change LLC. For me, my menopause was not just a cessation of the physical manifestations of my period but also a gateway into the next part of my life. A renewal. Most women don’t understand the symptoms of their menopause because society did not equip them to do so and that in itself is a tragedy. Putting my experiences, expertise, and desire to see this change, I launched myself into coaching menopausal women to show the world that our lives don’t end at menopause. Rather it is a fearful and wonderful opportunity to seize upon a more profound purpose in life. 

Menopause frees us from the societal burdens once placed upon us for having child-bearing abilities. I now see my destiny is to help more women come into this realization and take ownership of their golden years. Menopause is supposed to be an era of personal increase, not decrease, and has a momentum. God’s divine direction is for me to act as the conduit for women to harness their unique capabilities to find fulfillment in their lives.

That’s how I think I will make my mark on history. This purpose is part of my ongoing legend as the Menopause Whisperer.
XOXO, THE MENOPAUSE WHISPERER

My Vaccine Experience

I’m fully vaccinated and I’m feeling free at last. Thanking God Almighty, I am feeling free enough to move around in my community.

I know of others who are no interested and/or willing to get the vaccine, especially given the not-too-distant reality of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.  I can understand their skepticism towards needles and large-scale study initiatives. American medical history has not been kind to us and the malpractices they have committed while documented, still continue to be a problem today. I had a dear friend of mine shared a document detailing how to legally decline the vaccine. I informed her that while gracious of her to share, I had chosen to accept the vaccine. I wanted her to know that I wanted to serve as an example within my circle of friends and family. My other reason for my decision was because as a care provider, I want to protect those individuals I care for.

I am fortunate enough to receive my second vaccine last week and as of now, I am protected against COVID-19. It was a small step for herd immunity, but a giant step for my personal sense of certainty and assurance.

MY STORY

See, if you’re anything like me and have a strained relationship with obtaining flu shots, then you can probably understand my initial skittishness to getting the vaccine. When I went to get vaccinated, the lines were already long at 8 AM (the doors opened at 10 AM). I was accompanied by my friend, sister, and brother-in-law. Since my friend was a nurse, we felt that our presence would help support those whom we met in-line. It took two hours to make it to the front and get my 2nd dose. I had a sore arm and felt extremely unwell the next day but after the effects subsided, I felt fine enough to resume my life as planned. Side note and pro-tip, please drink lots of water! It will help you immensely. 

Once I got over that hurdle, I felt an immense sense of relief. And that feeling alone was the best reassurance I received after this year-long ordeal.

MY CHALLENGE

Extend a hand to family, friends and community who may be of need of assistance:

  • friends and family members that might need extra assistance with registration or with transportation so that people can get vaccinated once they become eligible,
  • friends and family members may have signs and symptoms (body ache, headache, fatigue, or even fever) that an individual may experience that are related their body’s own immune response.  Check on them after they take the vaccine and see if they need help or assistance.
  • encourage friends and family members to connect with their health provider if their signs or symptoms become significant.

Be blessed!!

Pivot: Self-Care Strategy

Hey Whisperers, it’s been a minute since we caught up. On my end it has been an eventful week; I was blessed with the gift of reaching my 66th birthday and year of life. Reflecting back, I feel immensely grateful for making it to this point in my life. I have now outlived a majority of my family and it truly is a surprise that I’ve made it to this point in life.

 I have outlived my grandfather who passed at the age of 64 from a recurrence of polio. I have outlived my father who died of colon cancer at the age of 52, and now I have outlived my mother who passed on at 66 years of age. So as you can tell 66 is a milestone for me and I plan to hang on tight and enjoy everything that I have experienced and achieved. And I plan to make this year an even bigger one.

For a time, I thought 60 was going to be it for me. I blinked and now I’m at 66 years…and what a ride it has been. Making it to this day has made me cognizant of how precious life is, and I cannot nor continue to take it for granted when so many have lost theirs to the pandemic. Life is a struggle but in spite of the hardships, it should be celebrated. In fact, because of the hardship, we ought to celebrate each moment and milestone of our lives with extra gusto. Savor each meal, enjoy every breath of air, laugh a little harder, and hold our loved ones a little closer. As cliche as it may sound, you’ll never know exactly which moment may be your last.

 This past week’s Menopause Boot Camp was an exciting experience as well as a challenge for me. I learned many lessons from the women that I serve, all while guiding them with my experience. In close virtual company, I felt their exuberance, wisdom, and candor permeate our Zoom circles. I am lucky to be surrounded by this community of peers who are blessed with confidence, ease, grace, and style which I admire and seek to emulate. That’s right. At 66, I am still learning and taking notes on the lessons I pick up while running Going Thru The Change LLC.

It reaffirmed to me that Going Thru The Change, LLC is filling a void in the community of support for the long-ignored women of menopausal age. The Bootcamp was just the beginning glimpse of what other services and offerings I need to build on. Hearing the stories, basking in the shared joy and struggle of going through this unique experience of womanhood was enough to reaffirm my mission. I will continue to pivot and reinvent Going Thru The Change LLC to service my community. I will continue to open up new doors and opportunities for myself no matter my age or season.

I am grateful for the chance to continue to be enlightened with the fuel of self-discovery leading the way. Now my greatest wish and question is… will you join me?

For this week’s journal challenge let’s reflect externally as well as introspect from within…

Prompt: Look in a mirror and ask the following questions

What do I see within?

What do I see on the outside?

What do I want to see during the year 2021? How should I pivot for my greater good?

XOXO, The Menopause Whisperer  

Reflections: Achievements and Lessons Learned

ME.NO.PAUSE CEO, we have finally arrived at the finish line. Winding down 2020, it is time for some much-needed reflection on what hard-earned lessons and victories this year has brought. 

Yes, I said it. Victories

Although this year was wracked with COVID-19, the fires of racial injustice, and the deep isolation of a long quarantine, there was still a small silver lining to it all. I have been steadily growing my network and building the Menopause Whisperer brand all of 2020 and am manifesting the opportunity to help out more new clients for 2021. More conferences, more workshops, on-line courses and growing the ME.NO.PAUSE Meet-UP ME-NO-PAUSE MEET-UP : Women In All Phases of Menopause Facebook group. 

All of this is well within my reach, and I can feel the tides of fortune upon me. And I want to invite you, dear reader, fellow Menopause CEO to take a moment to reflect on your personal accomplishments over the calendar year. 

Did you start a new job? Lose weight? Learn to meditate? Cut out sugar? All small positive lifestyle or environmental change counts. Positive psychology shows that showing gratitude and celebrating small wins enhances motivation and stimulates the feel-good dopamine system. This in turn can push us to want to achieve more and feel rewarded. A much-needed feel-good emotion for 2020 woes and perhaps a propellant for 2021’s goals.

Oftentimes this year we were just moving from one crisis to the next and it may not have occurred to you just how far you have come. This time last year, I had been thinking about my power word. I had settled upon FIERCE as my descriptor. I wasn’t fierce in the way I had planned but became fierce in a way that was needed to aid myself and my loved ones. I had expanded beyond my scope and vision.

At the onset of the pandemic, I had been fearful for menopausal women in the later stages of life because of the inherent health risks. But I rose to the occasion and became FIERCE in advocating for and providing food and care for my loved ones (friends and family). I was FIERCE healing my mental traumas from social injustice. 

Over the weeks, I posted and streamed weekly on various social media platforms and gave action steps through workshops and seminars that detailed how to be kind to yourself under mental pressure. I kept my business moving to service clients and grew my business while pivoting the Going Thru The Change strategy to educate menopausal women concerning all of their issues of concern, need and desire. 

In my journey I myself was RECLAIMING what it meant to be a Menopause Boss and became ME.NO.PAUSE CEO so I could pass on my teachings to my students and muses. I am revitalized and see my menopause as a superpower now. One that has gotten me through this year and empowered me to help out my greater community at large.

Here my 2021 challenge to you. I want you to review and reflect on your year. Look into the mirror of 2020. When you look in that mirror, I want you to see all the fabulous, beautiful aspects about yourself. Your achievements and wins unlock a different way of experience for your five senses. Really reflect to bring up those sensory answers which can be either literal or metaphysical:

Journal Prompts:

1.   What do you picture or “see” about yourself that is a victory?

2.   What do you hear or have heard about yourself that shows that you have grown?

3.   How do you experience the fragrance of your surroundings differently?

4.   Are there any achievements that you can physically “touch” now because they exist?

5.    What is a taste or flavor in your life that is different now versus earlier this year or last year?

I would love to hear your answers to the above questions down in the comments below or feel free to message me to share your wonderful reflections.

Have a great and purposeful year!

XOXO, THE MENOPAUSE WHISPERER® 

Celebrate the 2020 Holiday Season as a ME.NO.PAUSE CEO

We’re officially days away from the big day and predictably, this year will be looking rather different compared to the years prior. It has been a long road to the holidays. For some families, it may be extra painful this particular year without certain family members or friends around. There have been many casualties of COVID-19 and making hard choices will help ensure that you can secure many more years together with your loved ones. 

Despite everything that has gone down, it may be more important than ever to participate in some form of cheer even if it is just to have a symbolic close out to the end of this year. This post right here is my personal plea and PSA for all women but especially menopausal women because you are all my extended network. Please take time for yourself. I know personally, I’m making sure that I am in a healthy and relaxed state of mind in order to be able to maintain my emotional bandwidth. That way when I feel relaxed, I can pay special attention to my family and neighbors’ needs while staying safe. 

It has been a tumultuous time and it is ok to decompress and do whatever it takes to recover your mental health. From serving as matriarchs and pillars for your family to being caretakers of the community and the workforce, menopausal women do it ALL. Just as you invest energy and time into your responsibilities and loved ones, it is critical that you bring that full circle and pour that love back into yourself.

Tune into all the emotions that roll through your mind without judgment. Flesh out the negative emotions and thoughts about life and 2020 out on paper. Allow yourself to feel overwhelmed and make sure you monitor your stress levels (journal it out if in doubt!). If you’re feeling extra stressed out, take a long walk, or do some yoga (or other physical exercises). Watch your favorite TV show or call up an old friend to reminisce about your favorite memories. It will help get the serotonin and dopamine working to help boost your mood which will in turn reduce your stress levels and promote a better sense of wellbeing. 

Doing these activities will allow you to be more present and better equipped to handle the influx of holiday activities, whether it be personal or circumstantial. When you are feeling refreshed and if you feel comfortable doing so, step forth in the community and offer yourself up as a source of strength to others. Being in our position with our years of accumulated wisdom and lived-in experiences have equipped us to guide the young which is especially important this season when many may be feeling lost.

I hope some of the words I offered up above resonate with you. I highly encourage you to stay distanced and opt for video calls and limited interactions with family members. Make sure to follow CDC guidelines and have yourselves a wonderful and SAFE holiday. 

As always, my inbox is open if you ever have any questions. In addition, I invite you to check out my Menopause Bootcamp for 2021 where I will teach you the art of managing your menopause and vital skills to survive and thrive while going through the change. Join us on the journey to becoming a ME.NO.PAUSE CEO!!!

XOXO The Menopause Whisperer

Choose Wisely When Playing the Long Game

Over the last week, the number of COVID-19 cases has surged all across America in what is now the previously predicted second wave of the pandemic. This means that the world will once again be going into lockdown mode to weather the storm. The thought of being housebound for another few months is an understandably tough idea to shoulder. It brings up anxiety and impatience since a normal routine may now seem even further away than before. We see you, hear you, and are right there with you. 

In these hard times, I urge you to keep going. Keep up with your affirmations, prayers, routines, whatever it may be that gives you even the smallest sigh of relief or hope. Write in your gratitude journal, call your friends, take a bubble bath, eat good food. Nourish your soul.

Hang onto hope. Lean into your faith. These small gestures or rituals, whatever it may be, can make all the difference. My inbox remains open for anyone to reach out to in these trying times.

I also urge you to brush up on any self-care and related healthcare or medical paperwork. If you are currently uninsured, look into enrolling for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act for 2021 coverage. Enrollment was opened on November 1st, 2020 and will close on December 15th, 2020. In the wake of this crisis, it is more crucial than ever to choose wisely and make decisions about your coverage, especially for the upcoming year. This way you remain prepared for anything that comes your way. We may be playing the long game this winter so like a game play, we should evaluate and choose the best options for our needs. Health insurance is one of those things in life that really creep up on you and I myself recently had a rude encounter with the system.

Last week when I was choosing my new health insurance for the upcoming 2021 year, I neglected to examine the finer print. I accidentally chose a plan that didn’t cover one of my essential medications.

This led to my pharmacy informing me that my medication payment would increase to $1000 and then afterwards I would have to shell out $630 every three months. This was a crazy price hike from my current premium.

OUCH.

Needless to say, I scrambled to call my insurance representative so I could change to a plan which did cover all my medical needs. It was a stressful ordeal to say the least but I was able to get the matter resolved. The moral of the story? Please make your health-related decisions carefully and seriously. Read the paper/digital copies of your insurance policies and keep hard copies on hand, listen to your representatives attentively, and make your decisions with clear intention. Ask questions to your healthcare provider, friends, family, etc. until you fully understand all the terms and conditions. Inform yourself before you sign on the dotted line!

I would love to hear from YOU about some of your own close encounters with health insurance. What was the most difficult part and how did you manage to rectify those mistakes?

Comment down below!

As always, have a great and purposeful day!

XOXO, THE MENOPAUSE WHISPERER