Last year when I officially crossed the threshold of perimenopause into menopause, I had an overwhelming urge to celebrate this rite of passage. So I did. All by myself. My twelfth month without a period, which I dubbed my #menoversary included self-care/honoring acts that resonated with my body, mind, and spirit.
At the time, I didn’t think about why the urge to celebrate was so overwhelming. But as time passed, I reflected more on the possible reasons and eventually landed on rituals. Why didn’t I think of that before? So of course I headed to Google to gather whatever information I could on menopause rituals.
There, I came across several cultures that honor menopause with ceremonial rituals. As I began to sift through, I realized what my body was yearning for that day was a ritual or recognition to honor my journey and usher me into the new phase of my womanhood.
Despite the lack of reference, I’m thankful that I created a day of rituals to honor what it means to be in menopause. This rite of passage deserves acknowledgment and acceptance. And the acknowledgment doesn’t have to be from anyone but you.
My ritual acknowledged the blessing of having a period, my pregnancies, my births, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. I also accepted that my body, mind, and spirit are functioning differently. I prayed, did qigong, cooked, ate, played music, danced, chatted with friends and loved ones, took photos and videos, shared images on social media posts, envisioned/visualized, reflected, and journaled.
But perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of my ritual was the love and appreciation I felt for myself and all that came between my first period (which I clearly remember) and my last (which I also remember). It was a full-circle experience for my coming-of-age experiences that deserved acknowledgment, gratitude, closure, and ushering into the next leg of my earthly experience.
Of course, Your ritual can be whenever you want it to be, wherever you want it to be and however you want it to be. If you’re not sure what to do, don’t worry, I’ve put together fourteen ideas below to get you started.
14 Rituals To Honor & Celebrate Your Transition to Post-menopause
1. Have a ceremony
You can have a lone ceremony or gather some of your dear friends around a fire or at your home and usher in or honor this transition with shared experiences, well wishes, singing, poems, reflection, prayers, affirmations, etc. Give thanks to God. If you have an altar at home, light candles, write notes, and offer up prayers of gratitude.
Go deep and connect with your mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers (seen and unseen). Say prayers of gratitude for them. They are the fabric of your existence and this very experience you’re having.
You can also schedule ritual ceremonies like first or second baptisms or an Ayahuasca healing ceremony. Let it be whatever feels right for you and your beliefs.
2. Create symbolism
Create something special to symbolize your transition into menopause and post-menopuse. It could be a tattoo, piercing, jewelry, or painting. Something that reminds you of how far you’ve come, all that you’ve overcome to get to this moment. If you choose Jewelry, consider having it engraved with your menopause date and pass it on to your daughter or other members of your family who will likely experience wisdom. You can also do a time capsule. Bury it with a message about your menopause experience, the state of menopause today, and what you hope for the future of menopause.
3. Take An Indulgent or Spiritual Bath
A bath is a ritual of pleasure. Submerge your body in water infused with herbs, oils, and exfoliants, and soaked up the beneficial nutrients from the additives. There is a certain kind of beauty about bathing that beats any other kind of water therapy. Enjoy the peace, serenity, and loving aqua therapy. Know that your body deserves to be pampered and nourished with the elements of the universe. Your bath can be nourishing and indulgent or spiritual for cleansing unclean energies.
4. Indulge in Restorative Practices
Schedule a session for meditation, yoga, reiki, breath work, qigong, tai chi, acupuncture, massage, energy healing, therapy, sound baths, or other types of healing therapy. These practices will help to root and ground you and bring you home to your body. They release tension, balance your energy and nurture your mind body, and spirit. You can do these alone or with a group of friends.
5. Journal and Reflect
In your journal, write a letter to your younger self about your experience through every transition: puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause. What would you like to say to that version of yourself? Also, write a letter to your future self. What would you like to say to her? Then do a bit of reflection about your lived experience through all the transitions you went through. Write down what comes to mind.
What do you want your life to look like? Project those feelings up on an imaginary screen. Think of every aspect. I use my Six Pillars of Self-care as a guide to hold the visions for what I want to manifest during this phase. Think of what you want each of these areas to look like during this phase: Purpose, Relationships, Recreation, Finances, Sustenance, Restorative Practices.
7. Break Bread
Prepare a feast/meal for yourself or for your friends and loved ones. Gather round, eat, drink, and be merry. Menopause is a milestone that deserves merriment, and for some, the more the merrier. So if that’s you, meet the moment and bring it.
8. Mirror Works
Consider this mirror works for menopause. We all know how important it is to look ourselves in the eye and say kind affirming words without guilt or feelings of shame. Look in the mirror and say the words you want to say to you. And when you’re finished, watch yourself dance. Truly dance. Forget about whether you’re moving in time with the music. Watch that body that’s brought you this far move. It’s miraculous. Appreciate those bones for bringing you along for this fantastic ride that’s your life. Ask those bones to continue this journey with you because the loss of estrogen can strip the density from them. Dancing can help maintain them. So dance.
9. Have a Party
Much like you have a birthday party or a coming-of-age party or a baby shower. You can usher in this time in a big way if you wish. Have music, food, friends, and family. It’s aye ok to celebrate yourself and this coming of age. You deserve it.
10. Take a Trip
Take a trip abroad or at home, solo or with friends or loved ones. Go to your fave destination and Immerse yourself in the beauty of whatever draws you there. Appreciate the fact that you are able to be in the places that enliven you and bring you joy. And while there, visualize the other places you’d like to visit during this phase of your life.
11. Be With More Nature
You are not separate from nature. You are nature. And as a part of nature, being in the midst of other life forms and elements is stimulating and also provides sustenance to the spirit and soul. Step into a space of abundant trees and fresh air. Go down by the riverside, get your feet wet, and watch the water flow by. Look up and gaze at the wonder and mysteries of this universe. You can even meditate, do yoga, qigong, breath works, sound healing, or whatever source of grounding you love to use while you’re with nature.
12. Be Still
Be still and know that you are blessed and beautifully made, and your journey continues. Also, you don’t have to do anything in particular. Going about your regular day with optimism, gratitude, and appreciation are also ways to honor this coming of age.
13. Do A Photoshoot
Lights, camera, action. Schedule a photoshoot. Listen, folks do photoshoots for births, sweet sixteen, and pregnancy, so why not treat yourself to a shoot for menopause? These photos can be passed on to your children with notes and stories about your journey and what you’ve overcome to be able to cross this threshold.
14. Schedule Dr. Visits
I couldn’t think of a better way to honor your body than making sure it continues to work well to support you in this phase. And doing so means getting diagnostic testing and screenings so you are in awareness of your current health. Schedule visits to the dentist, mammogram screenings, bone density screening, gynecologist, general practitioner, etc. Acknowledging that the body is no longer functioning the way it used to due to hormone decline and taking action to support long-term health and vitality is in itself a sacred ritual.
This may not be for everyone. Go with your heart’s desire. But if you decide to have a ritual, make it about you. Yes, you. Do what you want to do and what feels right for you. Connect with your body and let your wisdom (all the years of experience and lessons) and intuition be your guide for the outcomes you desire. I know there are tons more that could be done to honor this rite of passage. What other ways would you suggest for ushering in menopause?