HotFlashDaily is about helping you make the best of a very challenging transition.
Because life doesn't pause during menopause.

Non-hormonal SERMS for Hotflash Relief?

Non-hormonal SERMS for Hotflash Relief?

If you can’t use estrogen therapy or you choose not to, SERMS just might give you an alternative to suffering. NAMS is the North American Menopause Society, which is a trusted source for keeping on top of the news in perimenopause and menopause treatments. Here’s why you might want to check out the NAMS information on this non-hormonal therapy:

“You should talk to your clinician about SERMs if you are experiencing hot flashes and have a history of breast cancer, have been told you have low bone density, want to avoid uterine bleeding or changes in breast density, or sex is painful for you. For a more thorough discussion about SERMs, see the NAMS video What Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) Can Do for You.”

We aren’t doctors and we don’t play them on the internet- but we recommend that if perimenopause or menopause symptoms are impacting the quality of your life, then look into SERMS. It’s science, not hocus pocus.

Life is short. Use what you know to make every day the best you can.

AstroFlash – June, 2016

AstroFlash – June, 2016

Everyone's acting hormonal, men included.

AstroFlash June 2016
Weirdsville June 1-23
What’s This? Solid Ground? June 26
Bliss Out June 27

Look at June as a carnival funhouse. If only it were just your environment. The catch is, there’s one inside of you as well. Remember, you will eventually find the exit, even if you can’t see it until it’s right in front of your face. Until then …

Are you all over the map?! ADD, OCD, turbocharged, hyper-productive, confused, at peace, overwhelmed, stretched beyond your limits, exhausted yet trucking on, stressed out, freaked out, blissed out — sometimes in rapid succession, sometimes in one confounding tossed salad of emotions and reactions.

Go easy on yourself, and other people, too. No one is exempt. Everyone’s acting hormonal, men included.

Here’s how this wackiness benefits you:
1. You’re off the hook, because you can’t do everything or  force anything.
2. You’ll instinctively gravitate to what’s most important.
3. Other people will deal with their own whatever, or not, no skin off your nose for a change (spouses and children included).
4. You’ll get a peak or two behind the curtain.
5. Bonus for creatives: the potential for artistic productivity and success is off the charts.

The best way through it?  Surrendering, for starters.  And keeping focus on your body’s needs (sleep, food, tender touch) and mundane, physical details, like doing dishes, staying on top of bills and clearing clutter off your floors, dining table, bathroom counter and desk now and again.

As the month floats toward a close, a growing sense of stabilization joins the tossed salad. This ingredient stays on when the rest of the bowl is dumped into the trash (though the memories and gifts of the rest will remain). Keep tissues on hand for the 27th, when hearts blow open and tears may flow. In a good way.

AstroFlash – April, 2016

AstroFlash – April, 2016

…And give slack generously. Everyone’s a bit off right now. Men included.

Power Surges April 4-9
Avoid Sharp Objects April 4-9, 22-24
She’s Gotta Have It April 12, 19, 29
This Again? April 17-30
Talk & Travel Advisory April 28-30

You can’t blame this month on menopause. People who have no prior history of hormonally-charged outbursts — even those blessed-among-women-of-you out there — are gonna be acting out like toddlers. Or women of a certain age, under a certain influence. Primal, dramatic impulses are all the rage:  Flying off the handle. Screaming until hoarse. Erupting with frustration, fury, that-does-it outbursts, and then Doing Something About It. Taking humongous risks in a split-second and then wondering why they waited so long.

A pressure cooker is exploding that’s been building steam for months, probably years. This is good news.  With insistent and ferocious volatility like this, staying stuck is impossible. The aftermath will feel like you’ve been sprung from jail, though it may take a while for your nerves and blood pressure to settle.

Besides, you’ll have ample opportunity to take another look around and tweak your big, bold moves. From the 17th on opportunities for cosmic do-overs come in ever-increasing waves.  Well, maybe not so much do over entirely as ask questions, think through the operating assumptions, and nail down issues of training or legalities.

Some of these chances may come in disguise, of course, like tripping on a shoelace that’s come loose, or breaking a heel. All these little irritants have a silver lining, and not just to provide a safe target for all the …. fieriness surging within you.

And speaking of irritation, month’s end brings everybody’s favorite cosmic visitor (not!). Yes, it’s time once again for another Talk and Travel Weirdness Advisory.  From April 28 – May 22, the cosmic messenger Mercury will be retrograde, a time when the normal rules of operation go out the window for communicating and getting around.  Demons possess technology; messages get garbled; traffic snarls; misunderstandings abound.  This particular installment will make time feel slower than slow. That’s great for savoring experiences (there will be some you’ll want to prolong this month) (no, seriously, there will), but annoying when you’re on a mission.

No freak-outs, please. Be proactive and prepared.  Double-check information. Make notes and lists like crazy. Follow up if calls, texts or email go unanswered. Allow scads of time for getting around. Look for opportunities to back track, pick up dropped information and clean up some old business. And give slack generously. Everyone’s a bit off right now. Men included.

(Bite your tongue!)

Astroflash- February, 2016

Astroflash- February, 2016

Your reward at month’s end: long bubble baths, bingeing on chick flicks and floating off in your own fantasy, private or duo.

Three Truffles Minimum: Feb. 5
Ask For What You Want (But Avoid Sharp Objects): Feb 5-7
Fish or Cut Bait: Feb. 13
Tub Time:  Feb. 19, 26, 28

And, just when you had given up on your brain ever returning, there it is.  Bringing a burning awareness of what you want, crave, gotta have, no matter what. Woe to anyone or anything that gets in your way, especially in the first third of the month. No waiting around for Valentine’s Day and hoping a certain someone reads your mind and delivers a prized goodie. Godiva assortments, a Michael Kors bag, your secret obsession or some more … physical, shall we say, object of desire. You’re helping yourself to it in advance of that minefield of a holiday, and kicking down walls, barriers or viewpoints that interfere.

Once you actually allow yourself to want, then allow yourself to have, a blockage uncorks. Why stop with a new leather bag? Why not upgrade your car as well? Or, okay, more realistically, simply allow yourself to enjoy being in a body again. No matter what its current condition. This isn’t the onset of second childhood madness. It’s reclaiming your life, and every act of dominion and devil-may-care enjoyment grounds you more and more in the here and now.  Cosmic bonus: Doing this assists in pulling a dream or two down to earth as well. Park your cynicism and see.

Even a newly revived woman can keep up this emotional intensity for only so long, and then it lets up. Lightening up happens after Valentine’s, when your mind regains its top running speed. Your druthers shift to hanging out with pals and looking at much in your life from the distance of that 10-foot pole everyone used to invoke. When the spring cleaning urge arrives three weeks ahead of schedule, give in to it. Your reward at month’s end: long bubble baths, bingeing on chick flicks and floating off in your own fantasy, private or duo.  And while you’re off in your personal flavor of la-la land, don’t be disturbed at that creaking sound. It’s only a door opening onto one of those first-of-the-month desires showing up for real. For a pleasant change.

 

AstroFlash – January, 2016

AstroFlash – January, 2016

"You have a superpower at your disposal. Call it a Spidey sense or heightened intuition...you've got access to an ability to feel your way through the fog that borders on sonar.

Fog Advisory: All Month Long
Talk & Travel Weirdness: Jan. 5-25
Big Girl Panties On: Jan. 8
Light Bulbs Pop: Jan. 20, 31
She’s Gotta Have It:  Jan. 18, 23-31

This month will have you wondering if your brain got thrown out with the holiday wrapping. No such luck. Hormones aren’t to blame, either. (Much.) The skies are sending out a double-whammy that guarantees spaciness, confusion and reasons to question sanity. Whammy the first: the cosmic fog machine, on high 24/7, with the off switch disabled until summer. Whammy the second: the fun and games known as Mercury retrograde, from Jan. 5 – 25, when gab, gadgets and getting around replace their usual rules of operation with something closer to roulette.  (More about this at the bottom.)

The good news? (Hear me out.) You’ve got company aplenty.  No one is immune to this brain fog, not no one, not no how. It’s not necessarily unpleasant, either. At times it may be a hoot, even, with the goofy buzz that usually comes from really good painkillers. Plus, you have a superpower at your disposal. Call it a Spidey sense or heightened intuition or paranoia that turns out to be on to something major; you’ve got access to an ability to feel your way through the fog that borders on sonar. Use that and the whereabouts of your mind won’t matter so much. It can’t really help much with the fog, anyway.

On those occasions when your brain does surface, occupy it with pre-spring cleaning (think: tidying up before the housekeeper arrives.) Review, rethink and reorganize any systems that go haywire now, not to mention the small stuff that’s always tripping you up. Don’t tempt fate, though. Hold off introducing new elements until the end of the month, when only one whammy is in effect.

All the confusion and disorientation have a surprising kicker. You’re making progress with long-term value, just without the usual fuss and bother — or, at times, any earthly idea where you’re heading. Your heart and inner GPS have a clue, though. Your mind gets a glimmer of it around the 20th. It’s crystal clear by month’s end.  Good timing, too. A path is opening for a dream to come down into reality. You wouldn’t want your mind to get in the way.

Talk and Travel Weirdness Advisory:  The year’s first communication-caution time (aka the dreaded Mercury retrograde). runs January 5 -25, but the advisory holds until the planet starts moving noticeably on the 28th.  Demons possess technology; messages get garbled; traffic snarls; misunderstandings abound  — and the fog will make it harder than usual to wise up to them. No freak-outs, please. Be proactive and prepared.  Double-check information. Make notes and lists like crazy. Follow up if calls, texts or email go unanswered. Allow scads of time for getting around. Look for opportunities to back track, pick up dropped information and clean up some old business. And give slack generously. Everyone’s mind’s a bit off right now.

To learn what 2016 holds in store, order Kathy’s astro-overview mp3.

HotFlash Heroine- Francis McDormand

HotFlash Heroine- Francis McDormand

"I'm interested in starting the conversation about aging gracefully and how, instead of making it a cultural problem."

I loved the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, which fearlessly featured older, cantankerous, and unglamorous characters. Although I haven’t seen the HBO miniseries yet, I can’t wait to see Frances McDormand as the book’s protagonist. One of my favorite actresses, Frances won an Academy Award for her role in Fargo and was nominated for Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous, and North Country. The 58-year-old also frequently collaborates with her husband, filmmaker Joel Coen in his films.

The character in her latest role, Olive, doesn’t mince words, and neither does Frances.

“The body suit I had to wear on hot days … that didn’t help with hot flashes,” Frances said in an interview for NPR. “We played with different sizes of body suits from the beginning of the storytelling. And we decided to start with my body — I weigh 150 pounds, I’m 5 feet, 5 inches. At the time we shot, I was pretty much on the other side of menopause — though, as we know, it never ends.”

Yes, we do know, Frances, and we totally empathize.

Frances also reflects on menopause when describing her character, Jane, in the movie, Friends with Money, which she describes as a woman in menopause mode. “Menopause in not an overnight event,” she said. “It can take years. And it’s a kind of hormonal activity that makes you crazy and not interested in sitting in chairs, but instead you want to walk around a lot. You really get tired of doing things like combing your hair and being socially nice. You say things out of turn or get too loud and opinionated at times. You experience those kinds of things and that’s where we come in on with Jane.”

Frances is not only honest about menopause but is also blunt about aging and cosmetic surgery in Hollywood. In an interview with The New York Times she announced, “I have not mutated myself in any way.” She added that her husband, director Joel Coen, “literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people — to friends who’ve had work. I’m so full of fear and rage about what they’ve done.

“One of the reasons that I am doing press again after 10 years’ absence is because I feel like I need to represent publicly what I’ve chosen to represent privately — which is a woman who is proud and more powerful than I was when I was younger. And I think that I carry that pride and power on my face and in my body. And I want to be a role model for not only younger men and women — and not just in my profession, I’m not talking about my profession. I think that cosmetic enhancements in my profession are just an occupational hazard. But I think, more culturally, I’m interested in starting the conversation about aging gracefully and how, instead of making it a cultural problem, we make it individuals’ problems. I think that ageism is a cultural illness; it’s not a personal illness.”

As she said in the interview for NPR, “I want to be revered. I want to be an elder; I want to be an elderess.”

Yea! I love this woman. Let’s embrace getting older. I want to be an elderess too!

What we’d like to ask if we’d had a few glasses of wine: Exactly which friends had cosmetic surgery that made you feel so enraged? Inquiring minds would love to know. Names please.

 

 

Photo Credit:  By Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hot Flashes, What Works for Me

Hot Flashes, What Works for Me

Nora can't keep using estrogen, but she wasn't willing to go back to hot flash desperation.

One of the cruel facts about menopause is that there is no single, magic solution to our symptoms. I’d been stumbling along through my symptoms, annoyed and frustrated, but not totally devastated by them. That changed in January of 2015. That Ohio winter was brutal, as winters go. Like many, I experience a seasonal funk once the gray, cold, rain, and snow just won’t stop. In January, the combination of weather and menopause symptoms became a perfect storm. I had hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, and loss of libido. I couldn’t stand living in my own skin any more.

Little was ever told to me about menstruation or menopause, and I have no sisters to query on the subject. I thought I was going to tough this out like the generations of women in my family before me. This was, I concluded, as foolish a decision as trying to have a baby via natural child birth. Natural child birth was all the rage at the time my oldest, now 31, was born. When my youngest, now 21, came, I wholeheartedly cried “Bring on the drugs.” Epidurals are wonderful things.

Anyway, in January, I reached a moment of deciding to “bring on the drugs.” I swallowed my pride and approached my doctor. As she prescribed a patch, an insert, a pill, and a topical medication, she shared a humorous meme she’d recently seen at a professional conference. It was a diagram of male vs. female sexual function.  The male diagram was a photo of a light switch – on or off. The female diagram was a photo of the inside of an airplane cockpit – a myriad of switches, knobs, buttons, levers, and gauges. “There is no single solution to this,” she told me.

In February, just one month after beginning all my therapies, I had a heart event. Concern that I’d had a heart attack prompted an emergency cardiac catheterization. I was told to stop all menopause hormonal therapies. Great.

Thankfully, my heart issue turned out to be angina rather than a heart attack. Still, my doctor was reluctant for me to restart the estrogen-based portion of my therapies. But I didn’t want to go back to hot flash desperation ever again. She told me about a new product she’d just learned of – Relizen®. She told me that Relizen® was flower pollen-based and already popular in Europe. She told me that it sounded promising for helping women to deal with the hot flashes and night sweats that are such a miserable part of menopause. I trust her. I tried it.

Relizen® helps me. In the beginning I was disappointed; it took more than two months for me to begin to notice a difference. That’s normal, per their web site and the insert in the package. I still have hot flashes, but they are much less frequent, and much less intense. I have had no night sweats since about two months after beginning use of the product.  Since I can’t do hormone-based therapies, I’m pleased with the results, and very grateful to feel a little more human.

We live in a society that is focused on instant gratification. One of the things I’ve discovered about natural therapies of any kind, including Relizen®, is that they are almost never instantly effective (except for maybe my Friday night martini – that’s pretty instantly effective!). My advice to women considering using non-prescription support such as Relizen® is to definitely try it, but also to realize that you are going to have to keep the faith. You will not have instantaneous results. The reward, however, of symptom relief from a non-prescription solution, versus using drugs in your system, is always a great choice for your body in my book.

Oh, and a great choice for your mind, too- if you’re someone like me, and hot flashes and night sweats make you crazy!

 

And now, HotFlashDaily.com is happy to offer a $45 discount on a starter package of Relizen®.

Editor’s Note: I’ve known Nora and worked with her for  years, so when she told me this product worked for her, and we checked out her doctor’s recommendation and the product, I felt we could share this information with you responsibly. Nobody at Hot Flash Daily.com is a health specialist or expert, so always, always, consult the experts who support your health before taking action. 

Smiling Even When It’s Tough

Smiling Even When It’s Tough

Contributed by Jen Lynn, who has had a heck of a year, and yet her spirit remains bright!

Contributed by Jen Lynn, who has had a heck of a year, and yet her spirit remains bright!

Funny for the day.

Before my Hysterectomy a nurse called me to go over my pre-op info.

She asked me, “Mrs. Lynn, in your own words can you tell me the procedure you will be having?”

Being a pet sitter, I couldn’t resist saying,

“As a dog walker, I will be getting spayed today!”

She laughed so hard, said I made her day!

Then my friend got me this shirt.

My story:

27 years ago  I met my husband at a stoplight.❤️

I am 45, went through 6 rounds of In-Vitro and we were blessed after 9 years with one awesome son who is off to college.

Talk about hormonal roller coaster!

After years of cysts on my ovaries, bowel obstructions and just dealing with a Hemmorragic cyst for 2 years , I had a hysterectomy on Monday.

I have one ovary left and that’s it.

My doctor used the new Davinci Robot  and I can tell already my recovery is going to be quick and great!

I have been showered with love, support, gifts which include chocolate, magazines and this shirt from my dear friend Janet.

Thanks for going through all these changes with me!❤️

be optimistic

HotFlash Heroine- Francis McDormand

HotFlash Heroine- Francis McDormand

"I'm interested in starting the conversation about aging gracefully and how, instead of making it a cultural problem."

I loved the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, which fearlessly featured older, cantankerous, and unglamorous characters. Although I haven’t seen the HBO miniseries yet, I can’t wait to see Frances McDormand as the book’s protagonist. One of my favorite actresses, Frances won an Academy Award for her role in Fargo and was nominated for Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous, and North Country. The 58-year-old also frequently collaborates with her husband, filmmaker Joel Coen in his films.

The character in her latest role, Olive, doesn’t mince words, and neither does Frances.

“The body suit I had to wear on hot days … that didn’t help with hot flashes,” Frances said in an interview for NPR. “We played with different sizes of body suits from the beginning of the storytelling. And we decided to start with my body — I weigh 150 pounds, I’m 5 feet, 5 inches. At the time we shot, I was pretty much on the other side of menopause — though, as we know, it never ends.”

Yes, we do know, Frances, and we totally empathize.

Frances also reflects on menopause when describing her character, Jane, in the movie, Friends with Money, which she describes as a woman in menopause mode. “Menopause in not an overnight event,” she said. “It can take years. And it’s a kind of hormonal activity that makes you crazy and not interested in sitting in chairs, but instead you want to walk around a lot. You really get tired of doing things like combing your hair and being socially nice. You say things out of turn or get too loud and opinionated at times. You experience those kinds of things and that’s where we come in on with Jane.”

Frances is not only honest about menopause but is also blunt about aging and cosmetic surgery in Hollywood. In an interview with The New York Times she announced, “I have not mutated myself in any way.” She added that her husband, director Joel Coen, “literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people — to friends who’ve had work. I’m so full of fear and rage about what they’ve done.

“One of the reasons that I am doing press again after 10 years’ absence is because I feel like I need to represent publicly what I’ve chosen to represent privately — which is a woman who is proud and more powerful than I was when I was younger. And I think that I carry that pride and power on my face and in my body. And I want to be a role model for not only younger men and women — and not just in my profession, I’m not talking about my profession. I think that cosmetic enhancements in my profession are just an occupational hazard. But I think, more culturally, I’m interested in starting the conversation about aging gracefully and how, instead of making it a cultural problem, we make it individuals’ problems. I think that ageism is a cultural illness; it’s not a personal illness.”

As she said in the interview for NPR, “I want to be revered. I want to be an elder; I want to be an elderess.”

Yea! I love this woman. Let’s embrace getting older. I want to be an elderess too!

What we’d like to ask if we’d had a few glasses of wine: Exactly which friends had cosmetic surgery that made you feel so enraged? Inquiring minds would love to know. Names please.

 

 

Photo Credit:  By Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A Bond WOMAN, at last!

A Bond WOMAN, at last!

 

007 romancing an older woman? We love it!

When I saw the trailer for the new Bond flick, Spectre, I had to find out more! Monica Bellucci isn’t your typical Bond girl. She is fifty-one years old,walking that Bond movie premiere red carpet. Not only that, she’s four years older than Daniel Craig, which makes her an “older woman.” (Not to say cougar) No one batted an eyelid to think of a forty-seven year-old Bond, but when you start talking about Bellucci cast opposite him, jaws dropped. Thank you, director Sam Mendez.

In an interview in The Daily Mail, Ms. Belucci shares the perspective that makes her a Hot Flash Heroine:

‘…menopause is a natural thing, it is not a sickness,’ she says. ‘OK, the body at the beginning will get a bit mad. But after a few months, or one year, it’s going to be OK. This is a natural process of life. I am not nervous about it at all.’

We LOVE that!

Of course, as a woman who’s been voted “the most beautiful woman in the world” on numerous occasions- Monica Bellucci isn’t what most people think of when they think of women heading into menopause. But we think she’s what YOU should think of, along with that key phrase, “menopause is a natural thing.” Shoot. If menopause doesn’t scare a Bond woman- take your cue from her!

What we’d like to ask if we’d had a few glasses of wine:  In the movies, it’s customary for leading men to be cast opposite women who are as much as half their age. In your “real life”, would you date a man who is half your age? What are the advantages of being the “older woman”?

 

Photo Attribution:  Manfred Werner – TsuiOwn work

Julie Walters, Hot Flash Survivor!

Julie Walters, Hot Flash Survivor!

As many as 15 hot flushes a night! But still optimistic. A true Hot Flash Heroine.

Like many of you, I came to know Julie Walters for her role in Educating Rita in 1983 which earned her an Academy Award nomination, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. She also starred in Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls, Mama Mia!, and played Molly Weasley in seven out of eight of the Harry Potter films.

I loved Julie in her role as Rita, but here’s why I love Julie as a person – besides the fact that she has the same lovely first name as me. Like myself, she suffered from menopause symptoms for more than a decade. Oh, how I can relate!

Insomnia – my biggest complaint about menopause was also hers. “My sleep has always been a bit fragile but it was very bad through that time and trying to work at the same time,” she says in an interview for the Daily Mail.

I feel you sister.

In addition, Julie admits she suffered from as many as 15 hot flushes (as they say in England) in a single night.

“I still get hot flushes,” she told Nina Myskow in an interview for Saga Magazine. “That’s 15 bloody years. Still, it’s nothing like I did then. Ripping off your nightie and Grant thinking it’s something else! ‘No – don’t get any ideas!’ Oh God, weird! It was like a chimney and came from the base of my spine. I was doing this TV called Murder, and every take there’d be, ‘Stop! She’s having a flush!’ At the National, I’d come off stage for a quick change and have to shout, ‘Garth, the tray!’ And this guy would come with this big tin tray and fan me. Harry Potter, I was in a wig and padding, and they had to put this big tube of air conditioning in my face.”

The stories sound funny, but Julie confesses it was dreadful. I’m loving this woman more and more.

Do you suffer from fuzzy brain like me? Take comfort. During a live question and answer session with fans, Walters discussed how hard she found filming for the movie musical, Billy Elliot, saying,

“It was awful, and I couldn’t get the steps right. It was the menopause again, I don’t want to go on, but it was. I went up to the end of the room, and I’ve never done this on a set before or since, and cried. But anyway I had to come back and face everybody. It was just terrible. Anyway we got it right in the end.”

Her honesty is so refreshing and I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone. The other reason I love Julie is because she gives us all hope. Those of you who like me who spend years – yes, I’m talking years and years – in menopausal mayhem and hormonal hell can be reassured that the future looks bright.

Now 64, Julie says she feels liberated and better than ever.  “If you deal with it in a healthy fashion then I think you come out the other side a better person,” she says. “I’ve got so much more energy now than I ever had in my early 50s before the menopause.”

A healthy lifestyle for Julie included cutting down on alcohol (say it isn’t so!) and she credits acupuncture with helping her manage her symptoms. So there you go. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. By the way, as icing on the cake, Julie looks fabulous in her post-menopausal years!

What we’d like to ask if we’d had a few glasses of wine: How in the world did you get through menopause without wine? Not that I plan on trying it – just curious.

Photo Credit:  “Julie Walters 2014 (cropped)” by Christopher William Adach from Mexico – The Harry Hill Movie – Julie Walters-1. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Julie_Walters_2014_(cropped).jpg#/media/File:Julie_Walters_2014_(cropped).jpg

be wise

Weekly Be Wise Check-In

Weekly Be Wise Check-In

These questions help keep me centered and resourceful,  and they remind me to be compassionate with myself.

It’s the weekend, and I’m doing my weekly check-in. I want to share a part of my process, because it might be helpful to those of you who are in menopause.

When we are in menopause, it’s so important to treat ourselves with care and compassion.

These questions help keep me centered and resourceful,  and they remind me to be compassionate with myself.

  • How much am I remembering that this life transition is a journey, and that I am a hero?
  • How well am I managing the stress of my life transition?
  • What non-essentials (inner and outer) did I let go, this week?
  • How am I using my inner compass to find my way?
  • How have I allowed the energy and power of my true self to support me?
  • How have I claimed the authority of my own voice and truth?
  • In what ways am I making my unique contribution to my world?

It’s important to do this check-in with no self-judgement, just curiosity. Be compassionate with yourself when you ask these questions.

The answers will provide you with at least two important things:

  1. Celebration! Savor and appreciate what you are doing well, how you are nourishing yourself.
  2. What can you tweak for the next week, that will help support you even more?

 

How to Be Wise in Menopause

How to Be Wise in Menopause

A perspective to help you feel "yourself" during this transition.

When we are experiencing change in our lives, there is a lot of new and unknown territory, and menopause is full of change. It is a time in our lives when so much of our experience is out of our control. It can feel chaotic and overwhelming.

There are a lot of moving pieces in our outer world when we are in menopause.

So what can help us?

  • We can ground ourselves in a deep awareness of our own resourcefulness.
  • We can breathe and remember that we have the answers we need within ourselves.
  • We can make space and listen to our deep inner wellspring of wisdom.
  • We can give ourselves permission to Not Know.
  • We can treat ourselves well, with love and compassion.

I’m not saying that any of these is always easy to do. They are a place of deep trust. In my experience, they take practice. It seems like they aren’t habitual for most of us. But deep down, I know these things can help me when I remember them.

I’m hoping they will help you too.

This Way Home

This Way Home

Savoring the present moment might be just what the Universe ordered!

What Divine Reminders do you get in the middle of your day?

The Home Button on my iPhone is working only intermittently. The Home Button is essential to the functionality of the phone and everything else on it. I’ll obviously need to replace it, but not before the Universe has gifted me with some key lessons about being present.

Who knew the degree of wisdom that’s available from technology failure, right?

Being With What Is.

We’re on our morning walk, and it is so hot. I can’t wait to find out when it is going to warm up, so I reach for my iPhone to find out. Until I remember the faulty Home Button. No going into the future for me. I’m practicing Being With Scorching Weather instead.

Savoring the Present Moment.

In the middle of my reverie, my husband says something along the lines of: “This weather is crap. When is it going to get better?” (We have both made rather a hobby of grousing about the weather lately.) No phone. An invitation for us both to Savor the Present Moment, and catch the swallows swooping within inches of us.

Regular Moments of Silence.

I’ve developed the efficient but unfortunate habit of taking care of a few new emails when I am out in the yard with my dogs on their constitutional breaks, during the middle of the day. How many of us do something like that? Come on, true confessions. Elevators? Standing in line? On that short bus or taxi ride? Now, in the moments when I don’t have my smart phone available, I breathe, and relish the sounds and feel of nature. I play with my dogs.

More Time Communing with the Divine.

Now, every time I find myself pulling the phone out and reaching for the Home Button, I take a long, deep, luxurious breath instead, and allow myself to really come Home, to my True Home.

I have been gifted with a habit of being more present, and living more alive, than I was before the Home Button “failure,” and I now have a choice. When I get my new phone, which way will I go?

I’m guessing that we all get Love Letters from the Universe during our days. The question is: do you see them?

 

be healthy

Chocolate cake with that coffee?

Chocolate cake with that coffee?

Eating chocolate cake as part of a full breakfast can help you lose weight, say scientists. Thanks to The Telegraph for cluing us in on this!

You know we have a “check with your health advisors” disclaimer here, right? Because we’re sharing an article here titled Chocolate Cake Breakfast Could Help You Lose Weight.”  Naturally, even though we’re skeptical, we do love the idea. And if you read the piece, in the Telegraph, the notion is supported by a study, and it actually makes a lot of sense.

“…one of the biggest challenges that people face is keeping weight off in the long-term. Ingesting a higher proportion of our daily calories at breakfast makes sense. It’s not only good for body function but it also alleviates cravings. Highly restrictive diets that forbid desserts and carbohydrates are initially effective but often cause dieters to stray from their food plans as a result of withdrawal-like symptoms. They wind up regaining much of the weight they lost during the diet proper.

Ultimately this shows a diet must be realistic to be adopted as part of a new lifestyle. Curbing cravings is better than deprivation for weight loss success.  said Professor Jakubowicz, Tel Aviv University.

What we want to know is whether or not pumpkin pie is as effective as chocolate cake….

Exercise & Breast Cancer Risk Post-Menopause

Exercise & Breast Cancer Risk Post-Menopause

Easy to judge a smoker as irresponsible for taking that cancer risk- but what about you and exercise?

Oh Canada, 300 minutes of exercise a week? Truly?  “Post menopausal women who are trying to lose weight clearly benefit from doing 300 minutes of exercise per week, compared to getting half as much exercise,” an Alberta study has found. We’re talking about moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise.

Darn it, right? So many studies have been telling us that a twenty minute session is as good as a sixty minute one, so what’s going on?

The key difference seems to be that this study was specifically focused on breast cancer risk.

“Our findings of a dose-response effect of exercise on total fat mass and several other adiposity measures including abdominal fat, especially in obese women, provide a basis for encouraging postmenopausal women to exercise at least 300 minutes/week, which is longer than the minimum recommended for cancer prevention.”

Reading about the study on The University of Calgary’s website, it is interesting to note that fat loss is “an important (though not the only) mediator of this association.” So, if we’re reading this right, that means that 300 minutes is the important number even if you are at your ideal body weight. Meaning, from now on, the goal should be 300 minutes per week.

I don’t know about you, but as I get older, I know more and more people who have been impacted by breast cancer. Women with no family history. And where I’m heading is the reality that I have a responsibility- to myself, to my husband and to my daughter- to do everything I can to be healthy. After years of hearing my mother cough and then, at the end of her life, be tethered to an oxygen tank, I have no problem wondering why anyone in her right mind would choose to smoke a cigarette. But I have never seen myself as the same kind of crazy for the eating and exercise choices that I make. Until now.

Is there really any reason NOT to start exercising or exercising more, if you are physically able?

What is it going to take? No. Seriously, what is it going to take?

Start today. Start where you are. Just get to it.

Note:  Always always seek advice from your health experts. We aim to offer you some targeting that you can discuss with your own experts. (Cause though we like to think we do, we don’t know you or your situation!)

 

How Did We Get So Busy?

How Did We Get So Busy?

It's called menoPAUSE- heck, maybe a "pause" would make it go a lot better!

First here’s an assignment: take a look at your calendar. How much empty space do you have this week—that’s not occupied by work, meetings, scheduled social events, classes, activities, workouts, kids’activities, social events, classes…you get the idea.

If the empty spots on your calendar occur at 2 AM while you’re sleeping, then you’ve probably fallen into the Busy Trap. This, according to New York Times blogger Tim Kreider is a widespread epidemic:

“Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s  make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications. I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.”

So if your excuse for not doing the things you love, or not seeing your favorite people is that you are “too busy” you might want to reconsider your perspective. Because the side effect of all this busy-ness is less sleep, more stress, heightened anxiety, and the feeling of being caught up in a whirlwind, never getting a moment to breathe.

And add hot flashes, mood swings, and the other joys of menopause to the mix?

Can you say recipe for disaster?

Now, imagine that you have time to just read a book, stare into space, walk in the rain, window shop, or do anything that you find soul-nourishing. Not because you feel like you have to, but because that’s where the wind takes you in that moment.

Would you feel like you were wasting time? Would you know what to do with yourself? Would you actually be able to enjoy the moment?

As Kreider writes,

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

In short, life is too short to be busy. And if you are one of those super busy people, you might want to dial it down a bit, slow down, chew your food at least 20 times and enjoy the ride.

be informed

Non-hormonal SERMS for Hotflash Relief?

Non-hormonal SERMS for Hotflash Relief?

If you can’t use estrogen therapy or you choose not to, SERMS just might give you an alternative to suffering. NAMS is the North American Menopause Society, which is a trusted source for keeping on top of the news in perimenopause and menopause treatments. Here’s why you might want to check out the NAMS information on this non-hormonal therapy:

“You should talk to your clinician about SERMs if you are experiencing hot flashes and have a history of breast cancer, have been told you have low bone density, want to avoid uterine bleeding or changes in breast density, or sex is painful for you. For a more thorough discussion about SERMs, see the NAMS video What Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) Can Do for You.”

We aren’t doctors and we don’t play them on the internet- but we recommend that if perimenopause or menopause symptoms are impacting the quality of your life, then look into SERMS. It’s science, not hocus pocus.

Life is short. Use what you know to make every day the best you can.

A New Experimental Treatment for Brain Fog

A New Experimental Treatment for Brain Fog

Many women say the “brain fog” of menopause feels like dementia, but an innovative psychiatrist has a different explanation.

Forgetful? Can’t focus? Many women say the “brain fog” of menopause feels like dementia, but an innovative psychiatrist has a different explanation.

First, here’s the background story, taken from this article in the Philadephia Inquirer:

“After C. Neill Epperson, a psychiatrist who directs the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness, listened to many patients complain about their brains as they approached and entered menopause, she had an idea.

Women would tell her that they couldn’t juggle as much as they used to. They had to write something down instantly or the thought would disappear. They felt foggy and disorganized. Some worried that they had dementia.

The symptoms didn’t sound like dementia to Epperson, but they did sound like something else: attention deficit disorder.”

So Epperson tried treating them with a drug used to treat ADHD, and guess what? For many women, it worked.

Epperson attributes the decline in brain function during menopause to a drop in estrogen levels, but most women return to their baseline within a few years.

The research hasn’t been published yet, and is still in its very early stages, but the results are promising.

We at HFD will keep you posted as this develops further.

 

 

 

Are You a Door Mat? Wisdom from Martha Beck

Are You a Door Mat? Wisdom from Martha Beck

Martha Beck is a hero to us at Hot Flash Daily. She tells it like it is, even when we find it hard to “go there.”

In a recent blog post about “How to Stand Up for Yourself“, Martha talks about times when we allow ourselves to be exploited:

“we stop acting on our own desires and become purely reactive instead, focused not on what we want but on what others will think, say, or do.”

She gives a very clear description of the kinds of feelings that might signal you’re in this situation, on a scale from:

Feeling: Disturbed
You easily brush aside your feelings and continue your nice, polite behavior.”

through four other feelings to the last, most extreme feeling:

Feeling: Homicidal
You daydream about thrashing the offender in a cage fight. You have knots in your stomach and can’t sleep. You’re irritable or depressed. You may occasionally lash out at loved ones in what appears to be irrational rage. Toward the offender, however, you still act “nice” and “polite.”

We’re not just posting this because we know menopause can make us feel homicidal. (Yep.)  All jokes aside, it is a time when feelings can be stronger and closer to the surface than before your hormones put you on this menopause journey. It can be difficult to decide what is real and what people often tell us is “the hormones talking.”  Martha’s blog might just help you see a situation where you could stand up for yourself and improve your energy and your life! We hope so.

What we want for you is a life where you stand up for yourself.  Where you make the best day of every day you have. And we bring you every tool we can to help make that possible.

 

be entertained

It’s Wine or Whine

It’s Wine or Whine

I don’t care if wine makes my hot flashes worse. I don’t care if wine makes me fatter and my Buddha belly bulge.

Warning, Will Rogers! I will whine if you mess with my wine.

I don’t care if wine makes my hot flashes worse. I don’t care if wine makes me fatter and my Buddha belly bulge. I don’t care if wine makes me more dehydrated contributing to my already dry, itchy skin. And I don’t care if wine makes my fuzzy brain even fuzzier.

Leave me alone!

Ever since menopause hit, my friends and family don’t even ask questions. When I visit, they just start pouring. My neighbors know that I can hear a wine cork popping from 100 yards away and anticipate an impromptu visit to borrow “a cup of sugar.” My ever-patient husband greets every menopausal meltdown with the phrase: “Here, have some wine.”

Like everything else, of course, I blame menopause for becoming a wine enthusiast. Oh, I would love to say that I’m handling menopause in some kind of sophisticated yoga, meditation, exercise way or that I use one of those other trendy relaxation techniques to relieve stress. But it’s hard to prove that point when I’m on my second glass of wine right now.

Besides, can’t we count running late to happy hour as exercise? And in menopausal land, doesn’t a balanced diet mean a glass of wine in each hand? And didn’t I read somewhere that we don’t want to look at the glass half empty?

I’m not alone, and as always, I find that fact reassuring. How do I know? Because there are actually menopause wine charms, bottle wine chillers, and flasks just for us menopause madams (http://www.cafepress.com.au/+menopause-humor+wine-charms) with humorous tags such as “Something’s making me hot. Unfortunately it’s not you.” And “Warning! Woman Under the Influence of Testosterone.”

And let’s not forget about Hot Flash Wine (http://hotflashwines.com/wines/), and yes, there’s actually such a thing, with labels like Mood Swing Merlot, Covers Off Chardonnay and Zin-o-Pause. (Well, there MIGHT be, no surprise, last time I checked, they were out of stock! No surprise, right?)

So ‘fess up. Hasn’t your appreciation for fine wine increased since good ol’ menopause took up residence in your body? The answer to all of menopause woes may not be at the bottom of a wine glass, but most of us check.

Baby boomers who want to learn more about finding their bliss, can visit Julie’s blog.   

Does Menopause Cause Irritating Male Syndrome?

Does Menopause Cause Irritating Male Syndrome?

It's tough enough to go through menopause, why do the men in our lives have to be so irritating? Shall we turn those tables? Bwahaha!

Don’t let the title mislead you. I’m not talking about Male Menopause which is sometimes called Irritable Male Syndrome.

Yes, there’s such a thing. Like that joke, “If it’s called MENstruation and MENopause, so why don’t MEN have it?” True, men don’t have periods, but studies show they do have a form of male menopause. Evidently, due to a drop in testosterone as they age, men can have some of the same symptoms as us – weight gain, memory loss, diminished libido, hair loss, fatigue – plus a couple that thankfully we can’t have as females such as erectile dysfunction. We have enough troubles with our own female parts without worrying about that one as well.

But let men whine about this male menopause thingy on their own blogs – because my articles are about MY complaints and MY symptoms and MY menopause. I can’t imagine that male menopause is as bad as our menopause – but if it is, I don’t want to hear about it.

So this article is about irritating male syndrome – as I said, not male menopause – but about how males make US irritable during menopause.

Because while it’s true everyone infuriates us during menopause, no one can annoy us more than the men in our lives. Clueless on how to calm us down during our menopausal meltdowns, they usually manage to do and say all the wrong things. You’ve probably heard that joke: “It’s called menopause for a reason. MEN should PAUSE before they speak.” But they never seem to learn.

“You’re being a bit sensitive, aren’t you?” “Those pants look kind of tight.” “Why are you in such a bad mood?” “Aren’t you feeling better by now?” “Why don’t you… (input a thousand lame suggestions to try and solve this whole menopause thing).”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a great husband. But since even delightful men can be annoying at times, we women have to take some kind of action to make ourselves feel better.

So what can we do when we’re suffering from Irritating Male Syndrome? Annoy our husbands, of course, so they can feel and understand our pain of feeling exasperated and enraged all the time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Okay, admittedly, this first one is kind of mean. But my husband goes poop regular as rain – once and sometimes even twice a day – while I often suffer from meno-stipation. This is irritating enough on its own, but when hubby says something super annoying on top of this whole regular bowel movement thing, it’s time to get serious. So, when we get down to the last roll of toilet paper in the entire house – I hide it in the back of the pantry. When he desperately yells for help, I pretend I don’t hear him. Now some husbands won’t notice for several days, but if you have a hubby like mine, this one works like magic. (Yes, we DID just talk about poop on HFD.)
  2. Does your husband sleep soundly while you’re up all night with insomnia and then dares to ask why you’re so cranky in the morning? Sometimes my hubby is guilty of this one. So, I eat cookies on his side of the bed. Set his alarm for 2 a.m. and blame the grandkids. Stick my finger in his ear while he’s sleeping. Wedge marshmallows between his toes. If your husband snores like mine, try putting a little Tabasco in his mouth. Get creative and have some fun since you’re up anyway!
  3. Sell his stuff at your next garage sale. This one drives my hubby, who is a pack rat, absolutely wild. Or if I’m not that brave and the offense is more minor, I move his wallet and keys off his nightstand where he usually keeps them and put them somewhere else. Then I pretend I’m sleeping while he gets ready for work in the morning and thinks he’s getting senile because he can’t remember where he puts his stuff. Give him a taste of fuzzy brain! Tee hee.
  4. Leave his boxers and socks in the washing machine for a couple of days. My husband helps with the laundry sometimes, so this one doesn’t always work for me. But if you have a husband that rarely does laundry, he won’t notice until he puts on his undies and they smell nice and damp and moldy.
  5. This one is fitting punishment for mild annoyances. I wait until my hubby is deeply enthralled in one of his favorite shows like Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe or Shipping Wars. Then I sit down, preferably across from him, and I list all the chores that he’s said he’d do around the house. And hasn’t. As a final touch, I ask for a sip of his beer and drink every last drop.

There you go, five remedies guaranteed to make you feel better about the whole Male Irritable Syndrome thing. Bahaha! Plan your revenge and have fun!

Oh, and I’m sure you have some even better ideas, so please, post them for us all!

Summer Reading – Big Fails & Small Wins

Summer Reading – Big Fails & Small Wins

I wanted and planned to have some really good romantic smut to read and recommend. Sadly, all the books I tried refused to cooperate with my schemes.

“Summer Reading” is concept I never quite got.  My reading tastes have never really undergone a seasonal variation, except that around Thanksgiving I usually dig out a book on the JFK assassination and in December I tend to reread Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and a couple of Mary Balogh’s or Barbara Metzger’s Christmas themed Regency Romances.

Of course, I grew up in West Texas, and one of the perks was that in the summers we had heat advisories so often that we stopped paying attention. We would wring out t-shirts in cold water to wear to bed.  Reading indoors during the hottest part of the day was a recommended activity to avoid heatstroke as well as a favored way to avoid snakebite.  Not exactly the idylls described in Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day.  I never got the memo that the summer heat meant I wasn’t supposed to concentrate as well as in other seasons and should read things that didn’t require too much thought or just read stories that are set on a beach.  (This led to me to discover that On The Beach was not about summertime when I was about thirteen.)  As an adult, when summer-time book displays needed to be made, I’d have to consult the New York Times Book Review pages for suggestions on what most people consider fun summer books.

I wanted and planned to have some really good romantic smut to read and recommend.  Sadly, all the books I got refused to cooperate with my schemes.  The first one, “The Forbidden Cabin” by Cheri Zee, well…the phrase ‘stinks on ice’ came to mind in the first five pages.  When the older protagonist started thinking about how sexy her daughter’s fiancée is, that wasn’t…necessarily bad.  That’s not an unusual fantasy choice.  Then, in the following paragraph she’s wondering if the young man in question has dreamed of having ‘a mother/daughter sandwich’…and that actually made me throw up a little.  That lovely thought of mature adult mother and daughter incest was justified in the text by the fact that both women have the same type of breasts.  Yes, identical breasts, that are – you guessed it, small – but not too small, and perky.  Mother and daughter have tits that are described with an adjective that is often used to describe small, yappy dogs.  I had a flashback of the time a guy told me he liked a woman’s breasts that sat up and said hello.  I told him mine say hello, take a seat, order drinks and demand to know the dinner plans.  Needless to say, the affair didn’t last long…neither did my attempt to continue with this book.  Cheri Zee couldn’t even create an entertaining Shayla Black level of bad.

The next book I attempted, Carl East’s Mature Women Volumes 1-5, (no, I didn’t make it through all five volumes)…started with sweaty a teenage boy mowing the lawn of a nice neighbor for extra money. He goes into the house to get ice water and discovers her showering and we all know the bad Penthouse Letters style story to follow.  I don’t find this set-up erotic, I find it a great beginning of a Criminal Minds’ episode in which the sweaty 19 year old ends up becoming an insane maniac who is thrown to the ground and manhandled by SSA Morgan wearing a very well-fitting t-shirt in the final act.  Which I somehow suspect isn’t what is going to happen in Volume 5.

The next attempt was The Wild and Wanton Edition of Persuasion, by Micha Persell and Jane Austen (note to authors, if you are reworking a classic, the original author gets the top billing), and it wasn’t in the dead fish smelly ice club of badness, it was just bone numbingly dull which makes the title rather sad.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has less sex, but is a much more fun read.  Just mentioning that.

The first of the last set is Kate Richards’ Spanking Ms. Whitman, which is another what an amazing coincidence to discover that the perfect man in the office that I have a crush on is into all the same things I’ve got secret fantasies about but never told anyone about and isn’t that convenient? type of fairy tale… actually if there had been a fairy in this tale, it might have conjured up some drama.  Mostly, it is mindless, uncomplicated drivel.

The worst for last book is Renee Rose’s Pleasing the Colonel, a domestic discipline type of historical romance, which for the unwary is a type of story in which everyone does the same things as a BDSM story, except nobody is allowed to really enjoy it.  People (actually, just the submissive, because the dominants are holy creatures who are all knowing and wise who never make mistakes and if they do, the submissive would never think of punishing them), are punished for being screw-ups and to improve them, just for their own good.  Not for a reason as base as finding this sort of thing exciting or pleasurable that both partners agree to do for fun. Also, this sort of thing never seems to be discussed or agreed upon in advance in these sorts of stories; the submissive is usually ambushed with a ‘You screwed up!” and given the choice of punishment or being thrown out of job, home, security, or so on, always wildly disproportionate to the transgression.

(You burned the eggs at breakfast?  Submit to this caning or go live in an abandoned chicken coop, wench!)

Of course this kind of unrealistic absurdity can work in fantasy, but if not written with care and insight only makes the characters look stupid. After the initial punishment, the submissive character is always repentant and secretly loves the dominant for being ‘strong’ (not blackmailing, intimidating or abusing their authority, but ‘strong’).  Of course, the dominant is pleased that the submissive partner surrendered but doesn’t have sex with them, even if he really would like to, because this ISN’T ABOUT SEX it’s about LOVE…to beat someone into being a better person, even though only the dominant partner knows what that sort of person is…the submissive partner is not going to give up material things, cut her hair and dedicate her life to selflessly helping the poor because of the dom’s influence in this sort of story.  The dominant is to be loved for being a whole and complete control freak which is Good For Everyone, and he (usually, there may be a story of this type with a female dominant but I have never seen one) is only dominant because he has to be, not because he enjoys it, because where would we be if we didn’t have him to tell us what to wear, how to speak, when to go to bed, what purpose to have, because nobody had a life before he showed up and only chaos would ensue otherwise…well, this not only stank on ice, it would have released an odor while sitting on an ice floe on Charon, the frozen moon of Pluto.

As a result of those fails, my main summer reading this year was catching up on Ian Kershaw’s work.  He’s a brilliant historian, and specializes in social history of Nazi Germany.  I read his first book on the subject, The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich, and his last one, Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry, the Nazis and the Road to War.  Both are absolutely brilliant and I recommend them whole heartedly for all history fans, just like I do the rest of his works.  However, you can’t call either one, or any of his books for that matter, light reading.  He’s one of those writers that I have to read ten pages and then I go back and read them again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I enjoy doing that.  Of course, this is also why I have the closed captioning on all the time on my TV, which also annoys a lot of my friends. Go figure.

Anyway- summer’s nearly over and I’ve still not found a racy book I can honestly recommend. What have you been reading?

 

astroflash

AstroFlash – June, 2016

AstroFlash – June, 2016

Everyone's acting hormonal, men included.

AstroFlash June 2016
Weirdsville June 1-23
What’s This? Solid Ground? June 26
Bliss Out June 27

Look at June as a carnival funhouse. If only it were just your environment. The catch is, there’s one inside of you as well. Remember, you will eventually find the exit, even if you can’t see it until it’s right in front of your face. Until then …

Are you all over the map?! ADD, OCD, turbocharged, hyper-productive, confused, at peace, overwhelmed, stretched beyond your limits, exhausted yet trucking on, stressed out, freaked out, blissed out — sometimes in rapid succession, sometimes in one confounding tossed salad of emotions and reactions.

Go easy on yourself, and other people, too. No one is exempt. Everyone’s acting hormonal, men included.

Here’s how this wackiness benefits you:
1. You’re off the hook, because you can’t do everything or  force anything.
2. You’ll instinctively gravitate to what’s most important.
3. Other people will deal with their own whatever, or not, no skin off your nose for a change (spouses and children included).
4. You’ll get a peak or two behind the curtain.
5. Bonus for creatives: the potential for artistic productivity and success is off the charts.

The best way through it?  Surrendering, for starters.  And keeping focus on your body’s needs (sleep, food, tender touch) and mundane, physical details, like doing dishes, staying on top of bills and clearing clutter off your floors, dining table, bathroom counter and desk now and again.

As the month floats toward a close, a growing sense of stabilization joins the tossed salad. This ingredient stays on when the rest of the bowl is dumped into the trash (though the memories and gifts of the rest will remain). Keep tissues on hand for the 27th, when hearts blow open and tears may flow. In a good way.

AstroFlash – April, 2016

AstroFlash – April, 2016

…And give slack generously. Everyone’s a bit off right now. Men included.

Power Surges April 4-9
Avoid Sharp Objects April 4-9, 22-24
She’s Gotta Have It April 12, 19, 29
This Again? April 17-30
Talk & Travel Advisory April 28-30

You can’t blame this month on menopause. People who have no prior history of hormonally-charged outbursts — even those blessed-among-women-of-you out there — are gonna be acting out like toddlers. Or women of a certain age, under a certain influence. Primal, dramatic impulses are all the rage:  Flying off the handle. Screaming until hoarse. Erupting with frustration, fury, that-does-it outbursts, and then Doing Something About It. Taking humongous risks in a split-second and then wondering why they waited so long.

A pressure cooker is exploding that’s been building steam for months, probably years. This is good news.  With insistent and ferocious volatility like this, staying stuck is impossible. The aftermath will feel like you’ve been sprung from jail, though it may take a while for your nerves and blood pressure to settle.

Besides, you’ll have ample opportunity to take another look around and tweak your big, bold moves. From the 17th on opportunities for cosmic do-overs come in ever-increasing waves.  Well, maybe not so much do over entirely as ask questions, think through the operating assumptions, and nail down issues of training or legalities.

Some of these chances may come in disguise, of course, like tripping on a shoelace that’s come loose, or breaking a heel. All these little irritants have a silver lining, and not just to provide a safe target for all the …. fieriness surging within you.

And speaking of irritation, month’s end brings everybody’s favorite cosmic visitor (not!). Yes, it’s time once again for another Talk and Travel Weirdness Advisory.  From April 28 – May 22, the cosmic messenger Mercury will be retrograde, a time when the normal rules of operation go out the window for communicating and getting around.  Demons possess technology; messages get garbled; traffic snarls; misunderstandings abound.  This particular installment will make time feel slower than slow. That’s great for savoring experiences (there will be some you’ll want to prolong this month) (no, seriously, there will), but annoying when you’re on a mission.

No freak-outs, please. Be proactive and prepared.  Double-check information. Make notes and lists like crazy. Follow up if calls, texts or email go unanswered. Allow scads of time for getting around. Look for opportunities to back track, pick up dropped information and clean up some old business. And give slack generously. Everyone’s a bit off right now. Men included.

(Bite your tongue!)

Astroflash- February, 2016

Astroflash- February, 2016

Your reward at month’s end: long bubble baths, bingeing on chick flicks and floating off in your own fantasy, private or duo.

Three Truffles Minimum: Feb. 5
Ask For What You Want (But Avoid Sharp Objects): Feb 5-7
Fish or Cut Bait: Feb. 13
Tub Time:  Feb. 19, 26, 28

And, just when you had given up on your brain ever returning, there it is.  Bringing a burning awareness of what you want, crave, gotta have, no matter what. Woe to anyone or anything that gets in your way, especially in the first third of the month. No waiting around for Valentine’s Day and hoping a certain someone reads your mind and delivers a prized goodie. Godiva assortments, a Michael Kors bag, your secret obsession or some more … physical, shall we say, object of desire. You’re helping yourself to it in advance of that minefield of a holiday, and kicking down walls, barriers or viewpoints that interfere.

Once you actually allow yourself to want, then allow yourself to have, a blockage uncorks. Why stop with a new leather bag? Why not upgrade your car as well? Or, okay, more realistically, simply allow yourself to enjoy being in a body again. No matter what its current condition. This isn’t the onset of second childhood madness. It’s reclaiming your life, and every act of dominion and devil-may-care enjoyment grounds you more and more in the here and now.  Cosmic bonus: Doing this assists in pulling a dream or two down to earth as well. Park your cynicism and see.

Even a newly revived woman can keep up this emotional intensity for only so long, and then it lets up. Lightening up happens after Valentine’s, when your mind regains its top running speed. Your druthers shift to hanging out with pals and looking at much in your life from the distance of that 10-foot pole everyone used to invoke. When the spring cleaning urge arrives three weeks ahead of schedule, give in to it. Your reward at month’s end: long bubble baths, bingeing on chick flicks and floating off in your own fantasy, private or duo.  And while you’re off in your personal flavor of la-la land, don’t be disturbed at that creaking sound. It’s only a door opening onto one of those first-of-the-month desires showing up for real. For a pleasant change.

 

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