In this week’s episode I challenge and change beliefs that no longer serve us, and advocate for awareness and intentional imagination as we embrace the next stage of life, through understanding my 3 Step Empowerment Model.


The 3 Step Empowerment Model in Menopause:

The Opportunity
The Problem
The Solution


My 3 Step Empowerment Model dismantles stereotypes and unravels the profound nature of the midlife journey, focusing on the distinct stages of perimenopause and menopause. We dive deep and explore the internal changes, societal misconceptions, and challenges that arise during this significant life phase and highlight the often overlooked opportunity it harbours for self-growth and transformation.


Perimenopause and midlife are not just about managing challenging symptoms, it’s also a gateway to a new life chapter, a period of belief reshaping, and enhanced self-awareness. 


Tune in to the episode, explore the 3 Step Empowerment Menopause Model, and join me on this transformative journey towards psychological freedom and empowerment in midlife.


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Join the waitlist for The Midlife Upgrade Course:


Please note: Nothing within this podcast constitutes medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider.

Full Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Meegan Care: Well, hello, my friend. Welcome, welcome to the podcast. This week is a solo episode with me. I’m Meegan Care your midlife mentor. So glad that you’re here. I’m going to talk about In this episode, how we can best harness the winds of change that occur for us in perimenopause, menopause and midlife. So I see three stages that we are going to look into more fully in this podcast. So first of all, there’s the opportunity. What is going on for us? What is actually happening inside our body and brain? And why is that an opportunity? Why is that not just the same as it was prior to perimenopause? And then we have the problem. or the roadblocks, what is getting in our way of actually creating change during this very important time in a woman’s life.

And then we’re going to go into the solution. Of course, we need to look at the solution. How do we move past or minimize those roadblocks that show up during midlife so that you can really engage this next stage of life to its fullest, to its absolute fullest. So having gone through perimenopause very early without even knowing I was in perimenopause, as does happen for many many of us, and then out the other side for a number of years now, I guess it’s fortunate that I went through menopause early because now I’ve been out the other side a few years.

I really know the different stages of perimenopause, menopause, which is that year after your menstrual periods have ceased, that’s that 12 months, and then you jump straight over into postmenopause, funny, well, interesting story. I had dinner with my auntie and uncle. My auntie is my mother’s sister, and she’s, I think, ten years younger than my mum. My mum passed away eight years ago, and at that time, I hadn’t talked to my mother about that. Menopause and So I was asking my auntie about it. I was asking her, you know Did you talk to mum about it when she went through it?

How old was she? She didn’t actually know all that much information which is very telling right because I have Certainly talked to my sisters about menopause and asked them about their experiences I think it’s a lot more openly talked about now and hopefully we’re moving towards a stage where So much of the stigma and unconscious social shame around menstruation and then menopause is coming to an end.

Through these conversations that we’re all having, we are causing that shift to happen and that’s a really powerful thing. Anyway, when I was talking to my auntie, I was saying to her that I went through menopause early and that, I did the eight years where I was using only natural means to minimize the symptoms, to try and feel good in myself, to navigate what was going on, and then finally I started using Body Identical HRT, and when I said that, her energy shifted, and her expression shifted.

Now, obviously I can’t mind read, and I should have just asked her what she thought about it, but there was a conversation that we were having as an aside, and there were other people talking around us in the kitchen area that we were in. So it was kind of one of those funny conversations and my assumption that I made was that there was mild alarm on her face or concern, shall we say.

So we went on to talk about, you know, 20 years ago when she went through menopause, there was that Women’s Health Initiative study, which we now know has been debunked, that caused so much difficulty for women going through menopause in that doctors were very, very reluctant to prescribe any form of HRT.

HRT was seen as very bad for our health, very dangerous. And we now know that that, that study that caused all of that panic and fear. Has now been disproven and that there is better research out there now and that actually Body Identical HRT is safe for women going through perimenopause and menopause. Anyway, that was a super interesting conversation that we had and it really started me thinking about, what is the opportunity for us to menopause And why do some of us take it, take that opportunity and create a life that we’re really fully in and is really rich for us in this next stage of life.

And for others of us. We go into that place of feeling stuck and lost and we seem to sort of not come out and Actually our life seems to get smaller. So we’re going to talk about the opportunity first and then the problem Which I was just speaking to and then the solution for that.

So the opportunity That occurs for us in perimenopause and through that midlife stage is that we’ve got a physical change going on in our body We know that right and we know that as we’re in perimenopause Estrogen progesterone mostly slowly declining But and amongst that we’ve got a lot of up and down rock and roll turmoil in our body.

And that causes a lot of very difficult symptoms. We wouldn’t want our hormones to go from, previous state when we’re menstruating to menopause overnight, because that would be super harsh on our body as well, and very, very difficult to tolerate. And we see that for women that go through surgical menopause, it can be a very difficult journey. So, while we’re going through that stage, and it is sometimes called the second puberty, so if you remember what it was like when you were going through puberty, it was quite up and down, In a way, your brain felt like it wasn’t your own, your, your emotions were all over the place, and there’s a massive amount of psychological and developmental growth at that time.

Well, I think this piece is very overlooked for us. I feel fromPerimenopause and menopause Because the same opportunity is there for us Yes, we’ve got the up and down of our hormones It does cause some physical symptoms and very difficult physical symptoms for a good number of women I think it’s around 80 percent of Western women experience Perimenopausal symptoms.

So we’ve got that going on in the body and while the hormones are all over the place and up and down What’s happening in your brain? Is that just like in puberty, in Perimenopause your brain is going through another big change transition. So you’ve got connections and pathways Being broken down and built up, broken down and built up, in a line all over the place in alignment with your hormonal fluctuations.

So it is no wonder that we experience forgetfulness, brain fog, mood swings, memory challenges. But, the opportunity here is that, just like in puberty, in perimenopause, early menopause, there is an opportunity to form new connections. And when we form new pathways and connections in our brain, what that will do is, it will means in our reality is that we can change belief systems, our self concept can change and potentially improve substantially.

We can grow our resilience to stress and that may Seem a little ironic for me to say because we know that in perimenopause actually our resilience to stress lowers because of what’s going on with our hormones, but if we ride the wave well And that’s what I’m talking about in this podcast Then we come out the other side with new pathways and a greater resilience to stress now This has been studied.

I’m not just making this up. This is Actually reality for us as women. So there’s this massive opportunity actually for an upgrade in our brain. So our brain can make new connections and on the other side, through postmenopause, once we’ve had That change happen that can, you know, take place anywhere from a number of months to around ten years for women.

And mine was, my experience of perimenopause was definitely long and slow. It was over a number of, I guess, eight, nine years, something like that. And it’s not, you just don’t wake up one morning and you’re done with perimenopause. It’s a gradual coming into this new sense of self and different and altered experience in the body.

Just like when you went through puberty when you were a teenager. And so then out the other side, in postmenopause, the brain enters a more stable phase again. So if you’ve done the work through that, through that change time, you’re coming out the other side during postmenopause, with actually an upgraded brain.

A poten the potential of a change of beliefs. change of self concept, increase in self confidence and a greater resilience to stress.

So if changes took place during perimenopause, then during that postmenopausal phase, they will stabilize and become just a normal natural part of your psychology. So that sounds great, right?

And then the next piece is the problem. So we’ve had the opportunity, now we’re looking at the problem or the roadblocks. Now, it’s twofold. First of all, currently, our Western perspective, the way we’ve been socialized as women, the way all genders have been socialized around menopause, is that it’s seen as an ending, A diminishing, a loss of value, rather than an opportunity for a new chapter.

And whether or not you think about that consciously, or you see that out in the world consciously, it’s there in the mix of our social conditioning. It doesn’t need to be spoken to overtly for it to be there because it’s just a part of the soup of the social conditioning that we live in. So that’s problem number one.

Because we’re seeing Aging through that lens, that as we get older, as women, our value diminishes. And then the second piece to the problem is that through this transition phase of perimenopause, because we’re dealing with physical symptoms, as well as mental and emotional symptoms and challenges, where we might have. Lack of sleep, hot flushes, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, you name it, vertigo, increase in migraines or headaches, joint pain, they’re all there.

Because of this, we’re trying to put out the fires of those symptoms, and it doesn’t leave us any space to turn our attention to what is actually possible for us while we’re on this threshold of change. And so that becomes a problem, and we’re just moving around from symptom to symptom to symptom.

We’re kind of just moving the furniture around in a house Rather than clearing out and moving to a more beautiful, elegant, suited house for us. We’re just moving that furniture around trying to make it look better. But it’s just ratty, shitty, crappy furniture, right? For a very bad analogy.

And further to that, we’re kind of stuck, because of our social conditioning, between a rock and a hard place. In that, you know, menstruation is still going on. It’s seen as shameful. It still has the stigma attached to it. But then also when we’re not menstruating, when we’re in menopause, there’s shame and stigma around that as well.

And you may wholeheartedly disagree with men and say, look there should be and is no shame. Connected to menstruation and menopause, and I agree, there should not be, and we should not feel shameful around that because it is a perfectly natural, normal function and transition that we go through as women.

However, we’re not just an individual living our life, we’re part of the community, we’re part of the world. the connected whole. So we are still, in some ways, subject, or we become aware of, even if it’s just subconsciously, to our social conditioning. And so that’s what I’m speaking to around the shame and stigma around menstruation and, and of course, menopause.

 So when I was doing my counselling study, it was really helpful for me to learn about developmental cycles and stages. And so, what we learned is that you’ll go through different stages, if you think about a circling spiral, right? And along the spiral, kind of like a spiral staircase, you’ll have different stages of development, which are sort of like destinations of psychological, mental, emotional development.

And we’ll spend some time at those different stages, from when we are an infant, to a child, to a teenager, to a young adult, to a mature adult. We’ll all go through those stages at different times. Of our life. Some of us will move through them easily. Some will be quite rocked by our changes of stages, but the piece I want to make really clear is that when we’re in a stage of development, when we’re settled in that, when we’re stabilized in that, we see the world in a certain way.

We’re quite We’re a bit more settled within ourselves, our, perhaps our friend groups, the way we talk about ourselves, the way we appear, the way we relate to others, the way we feel about ourselves. It’s pretty stable. We’re in that one place. And then something will shake us out of that. And a different stage of our life, it’ll be different things, right?

Sometimes it’s hormones. Sometimes it’s a relationship change or a relationship beginning. So Sometimes it’s an impetus that comes from within our own psyche. But anyway, when we move out of that embedded stage, we come into a change, a stage of change and flux, and that’s where it can feel quite uncomfortable.

And I think as a really easy example, we might see that in our teenagers and When they are in that intense stage of change and flux, their identity changes, how they see the world, their friends and friend groups, they might be less stable within their emotions and how they see themselves, can be a very difficult time.

And that will happen more or to a lesser extent throughout our adult lives, although some people do tend to stop that sort of evolutionary growth and development, you know, sort of stops beyond their mid 30s. But that’s not the way it needs to be for us, right? We can continue growing in our life.

So the challenge, I think, that we’re not taught about very often is that in order to move into that next developmental stage where we are embracing the world in a different way and it’s very normal and helpful that we move through these stages as a human being. We, we leave one stage behind and we come into this place of uncertainty, change, of destabilization, both within ourselves and how we relate to the world.

And it’s in that stage that there’s this massive amount of opportunity, but it doesn’t necessarily feel all that good. We might question our identity, our beliefs, and the way we see the world, but this is what is giving us the scaffolding to be able to move to that next stage of development. Now, my hypothesis is that this is exactly is exactly what’s happening for us in perimenopause.

Nature starts the journey for us. Nature gives us that kick start. We have that changing of our hormones through perimenopause. Well, That’s shaking things up. And when we shake things up, we can create change within ourselves. So, as uncomfortable as perimenopause can be, it can actually be this incredible tool for you for

growth towards much more empowered living,

which leads me to what is our solution here. So we’ve, we’ve been talking about the opportunity of perimenopause and midlife. We’ve talked about the problem, so there’s the perspective of what aging and menopause mean, and the I will say incorrectness of this, that is a societal norm, as well as the very challenging for many of us, physical, mental, emotional symptoms that come along with it.

Now the solution. And what I’m speaking to you about today is very much what my course is based on. The Midlife Upgrade Course. It’s a psychological roadmap for women in midlife. So we really address, first of all, the. the opportunity, the problem, and then the solution. So we go through those stages on the course so that you are opening up to the solution for yourself within your life.

And I have seen it enough times now, during the course that I can tell you hand on heart that this is a really powerful and potentially life changing process for you. We’re starting again the next round on April 1st, so if you’re interested to check it out, jump on, don’t delay because we’re only taking a small group, check it out on my website Meegancare.

  1. nz forward slash course. Now very quickly back to the solution which is You know, part of my course, to speak to it really briefly, what we need to do is we need to stabilize our body as much as possible. So we need to minimize those symptoms as quickly as possible. I advocate that we, we get to choose which way we go with that. Whether it’s natural medicine or mainstream. HRT. And I’ve tried both. I’ve worked with both.

One has been useful at one stage of my life. The other has become more useful in a later stage of my menopausal journey. And now I access both. What’s important is that we remove the stigma around all of the supports that are available to us. and we are able to access them readily. That is what I advocate for.

You get to choose what works for you. I just would like us to remain open and flexible that perhaps what worked for me a couple of years ago, if it stops working for you, in a few years time, don’t be afraid to open up and look for other solutions and other options. And I will say that given that the conversation really is opening up around menopause and that’s so helpful and such a, such a needed thing.

Unfortunately what it does is also opens up for a lot of

A lot of menopause commerce. We are going to see over the next few years more and more and more fad diets, fad supplements, fad treatments. Some will be helpful and some won’t be. So, talk to other women around you. That is the best way to figure out if something is useful. Has this worked for other women? Or have they just spent lots of money on something that really hasn’t made a dent in their symptoms? Because we’re going to see more and more of that coming through. And we need to use our discernment, right?

We want to be offered support. But support that has evidence that it works and support that is going to move us pretty quickly where we want to go. So we want to minimize those symptoms. And like I said, you know, we want to be empowered to choose. Do I want natural medicine? Do I want mainstream medicine?

Do I want a mixture of both? Do I want something now and then later down the track is something else going to be more effective for me? That

And then, this is a very important piece, so if you’re still with me, this is great. We’re coming near to the end, okay? So once those symptoms are minimized, and we can’t do this before, because if you are struggling your sleep is absolutely in the toilet, you’re not going to be able to think about this next stage very clearly, or from a very empowered place, right?

But the next stage is to pay attention to what’s not working. Is it in my relationships, my work, my play, my finances, my home. And then look at our beliefs, beliefs about the world, beliefs about the nature of relationships, beliefs about yourself, your self concept, your self perception.

Do I believe that I am less worthy now that I am 53 versus when I was 33? And the way the world responded to me when I was 33 is very different to the way the world responds to me now. And is that a problem? And if that’s a problem, then can I look at what my beliefs are and what my perceptions are?

Because yes, I cannot change the way the world responds to me, but I can change the way I make meaning of that. and how much I let it affect me or not and go after or not the connections and relationships that build me up, that support my vitality. So we’re looking at those beliefs, self concepts and self perceptions that are no longer serving you.

And what I suggest that you do is that we work on one belief at a time, one self concept at a time. Write it down. Become aware of it. So awareness is everything when we want to create change. We can’t change something about our psychology unless we have very clear awareness around it. We don’t need to know where it comes from or what caused it, if it was caused by trauma or our mother’s belief about aging and women or whatever it is, about the intelligence of a female brain.

We don’t necessarily need to know why it got there in the first place, but we do need to become aware that it is there. And the best way to do that is to think about it, to write about it, to write about your beliefs, about your self concepts and perceptions. In your journal, get them down on paper, that really boosts awareness.

And from that place, you can challenge that belief, you can flip the script on that belief. You can create a whole new belief, and we go into this in the course where we learn how to do that in a very specific way that enables our brain to accept and work with the new information. Because if we, we have to change beliefs in a very particular way, because if we don’t do it skillfully, that all our brain will do is block and defend against it, poo poo it, think it’s rubbish, think that I can never take it on.

So there’s a very particular way that we work with changing beliefs so that it can be presented to your brain and your mind. in a way that is acceptable, that your brain can get on board with, and I teach that during the course. So we work on that one belief or that one self concept at a time, one at a time, right?

Because once you change one really powerfully, you create this you create this downstream effect that changes, that can actually change a lot of your self concept and therefore your self confidence and vitality and how you relate with the world. And then what I, what I suggest women that are doing the course do, is that we also, while we’re doing that in a work, it’s also really helpful, actually imperative, that we create one small change in our external world as well, right?

So we create one small change in behavior, because change of thought of emotion will naturally lead to change of behavior. But if you But if you consciously also change a very small behavior How you do something, where you show up, you might go and do a new activity, you might meet with new people, you might move yourself into a different circle of acquaintances or friends, you might have different conversations, you might exercise differently.

You might change spending time in toxic relationships that bring you down or toxic friendships that bring you down. You change one small thing in your external world, while you have that awareness and knowledge and capacity to shift one belief inside you. And the two of those create a synergy that ripples out into your world in phenomenal ways.

And actually opens up that next chapter of your life in a way like it’s a blank page. In a way that you can direct your intention and your will to be open to Yeah, so this is what it’s been like. This is how I’ve been. How do I want to show up in this next stage? What is going to bring me purpose, meaning, and value?

How am I wanting to express that in the world? And you might not have the answer for that and that’s absolutely okay. The way I do it, is I might ask one of those questions, and I just let life kind of start to show me. Because then you’re inviting that change, you’re inviting that next chapter to be written in a really open, creative way.

And so, that’s the solution, is to stabilize those physical symptoms as best you can. You do not need to remove them 100%, but we need to have some kind of handle on it to be able to. intentionally imagine ourselves into this next stage of our life. And as we start doing that, we might come across beliefs that are blocking it, such as, I’m 53 now, gosh, if I’m going to partially retire when I’m 60, what’s the point of starting something new?

Right? What’s the belief behind that? Well, for me, the belief behind that was, I’m going to get tired. I’m going to want to retire when I’m 60, but I don’t. I love doing what I do. I feel like I’m just getting started. I am just finding this level of confidence as a post menopausal woman that gives me that certainty, that empowered openness to share what I think is important with other people in my community.

And so I had to really change and flip that belief. But it was only by dreaming in and intentionally becoming aware of this next stage of my life from that place of open creativity, which this process will give you, that I was able to able again then to see what is in the way. Because life is a growthful spiral staircase and it is not, as we have been taught, and I think Jane Fonda talks about this in her wonderful TED talk around menopause and aging, Is that is not a bell curve as we’ve been taught where we are on the steady decline after the age of 40.

No, we see life as this staircase with each step being the next stage of empowerment for us. in our life Hey my friends, I hope that was helpful let me know what you thought. Where are you at? What’s holding you back? What are you stuck with?

I would love to hear. And if you enjoyed this episode, please rate it on your listening app. That really helps to get the podcast out to more people. Have an amazing, empowered week, and I’ll talk to you real soon.