We had the pleasure of talking with Lynette Sheppard, author of Becoming a Menopause Goddess and “scribe” and moderator of the Menopause Goddess website and blog. Lynette and her goddesses are tackling the lack of knowledge and awareness women have when approaching the “Big M.” Lynette spent more than 10 years as a Nurse-Manager and head of Intensive Care and Coronary Care units in Santa Rosa, California. She knows her way around healing and the human body and is a terrific translator of medical-speak.
“Was what was happening to me normal?
My entire life was turned upside down.”
Lynette started providing menopause information 15 years ago. We were curious how she came to the realization that there was such a lack of information for women entering menopause. Like so many who carve out a new path, Lynette discovered the need when looking for herself. She quickly realized there weren’t many resources to help her understand her own “weird” symptoms. She described her unique journey from knowledge seeker to knowledge provider.
It takes a pretty big impetus to get someone to change their life track, so we wanted to know, how did menopause turn her life upside down? Lynette describes her overwhelming symptoms (including shingles!!) and how lack of knowledge made the experience so much worse.
We asked Lynette: So what was the start? Was there a moment when you said, “I’m going to take this on” and start not only finding out the information for yourself but sharing it with other women who are equally confused and concerned? The origins of Menopause Goddess lie in “a slumber party with a focus,” Lynette told us. Hear about that first Menopause Goddess gathering, how it led to the blog/book/website, and how you can host a gathering of your own.
“Just to find out that we were not alone, that all of us had been sort of
hit upside the head by menopause, was a huge relief.”
With so many years of Menopause Goddess research and writing behind her, we knew Lynette had some great remedies and solutions to share. So we went straight for the good stuff: what unique menopause remedies could she let us in on? She shared with us the biggest, best, most powerful remedy of all.
How did the group shape the blog and what sort of information and resources do you make available? According to Lynette, as the information started to come together in the group, one of their number suggested writing a book. There was simply too much information (and too much need for that information) not to share, so first there was a book, then the blog which “took on a life of its own.” Lynette tells us how her experience as a nurse really helped inform the Menopause Goddess and how, 15 years in, the blog is taking a new direction.
We wondered how the Menopause Goddess blog had affected Lynette personally. Had it changed her approach to her own experience? The blog “had us ask questions we would never have asked ourselves,” Lynette says. Learning how the menopause experience can be so different from woman to woman or even for the same woman from hour to hour made her more accepting of the experience, she says. Hear why that approach has worked better for her.
What are some important lifestyle changes that can help ease the menopause transition and help us thrive in the many years that come after the change? Lynette lets us in on some hard-earned knowledge about how to live now to live better later.
“Eat well, move, and love well.”
So what are some weird symptoms you’ve heard about? we wanted to know. Ever heard of “Burning Lip Syndrome”? Nope? Us neither, and neither had Lynette until a reader asked her about it. The remedy will surprise you! On a more serious note, a woman’s immune system can take a plunge during her menopause transition, and Lynette lets us in on what can happen and why we need to be doing what we can to boost our immune systems, no matter our age.
Most of us know the major menopause symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, irritability. But that’s not all we should be prepped for. Lynette gives us the rundown on the five “forgotten” symptoms you should know about before they happen to you. Bonus: she also has great tips on how to manage the symptoms and reclaim your life.
With so much talk about symptoms, it’s easy to understand why so many women dread this phase of life if they think about it at all. What, we asked Lynette, is there to celebrate – if anything? There’s plenty to enjoy, says Lynette. Hear the good news that she and her goddesses discovered from each other and in their own lives.
“Menopause will set you free, but it will really piss you off first.”
The Menopause Goddess blog has a very loyal following and continues to attract new readers; what’s made the blog so popular? “Plain talk,” Lynette says, and translation of medical information. It’s the “distilled wisdom” of many many women sharing their experiences and knowledge. That broader community is a wealth of riches for new readers to discover.
What’s the most important thing our listeners should know to survive and thrive during this time? According to Lynette: Treat yourself the same way you’d treat a pubescent teenager: with plenty of patience and understanding. Lynette lets us in on all the ways you can and should take care of yourself during trying times.
Where can we access all this wisdom? Lynette gives us the relevant places to dive into the wealth of information she and her goddesses have accrued over the years.