This interest in menopause has been growing for quite a few years, but I only recently realised where my passion started and why I’m so interested in this stage of life for women.
The beginnings of interest
To get an idea of where my passion for women’s health and menopause started, we have to go back to when I was first born really; about a month after I was born, my father started painting. So he started painting oil on canvas, and he would paint landscapes and buildings, and he used a fine palette knife. His artwork had very fine details, very structured, very upright, very rigid, and it fitted well with his personality and demeanour. He was very stiff and proper, neat and tidy.
As his skills as an artist developed, he became involved with a local art gallery. It was the next town over, and he would exhibit with other artists at this art gallery. And as a child, I remember going to the art gallery and seeing my father’s artwork up on the walls with the other artists.
Beauty and creativity of menopause
There were all sorts of different types of artists and artworks. And, you know, I remember looking at the artwork and seeing how different each artist was and how they worked and all the different ways they expressed themselves. But I was particularly fascinated with this type of artist. Certain women would exhibit their artwork and look very different, obviously to my father and my mother; they were quite a bit older than my parents.
So their artwork was often abstracts or nudes or still life, and their artwork was much larger. They would use long fluid brush strokes, there was a lot more movement in their artwork, and they were using different types of paints and different textures too. It was quite a contrast to my father’s very rigid, very structured, very realistic artwork.
The artists that created these works were invariably women in their climacteric years -transitioning through menopause. These women often had wild, out of control hair, and they wore dresses or scarves with different colours, and it would all be flowing, fluid and moving.
I was fascinated not only because the nudes had, you know, breasts and bottoms and all the rest of it, but because their artwork was so vibrant and alive and uplifting and unusual.
I remember as a child, I would often be asked by the adults if I was going to be an artist when I grew up like my dad, and I could never answer them quite clearly. I knew in myself that I was not capable of drawing. I couldn’t draw a line. You see, I knew that I had no talent in that regard. And today, I still can’t draw, but I express myself quite differently with my art these days.
As a young child, I knew as a five-year-old when I was being asked if I was going to be an artist like my father. I knew if I was ever going to be an artist, if I was ever going to find my talent, I knew that I had to have what those women had, those women with the wild hair and the fluid, colourful dresses.
Awareness and awakening
It wasn’t until I was a little bit older, maybe 11 or 12, that I understood what those women were experiencing. I understood that they were going through menopause, and they had a very different approach to life. And it was almost like their awakening through their climacteric years was opening up this creative expression within themselves.
And it’s interesting looking back, you know, as a young child, I knew that there was something different about these women. I knew that they had an energy about them. That was fascinating. So that was really where it started, interest and fascination for women’s health – menopause, and the early beginnings of Natural Menopause Mentor.