In 2014, we realised a dream. My Beloved-Man and I bought a house in a forest in France. Two Highly Sensitive Souls leaving behind all-we-had-known. Yikes! Way out of our comfort zone … but that’s how we grow, right?


We woke to bird song and deer walking past the door. Rural idyll. Peace. Honeymoon period. Then it all changed …


Our beloved cat, Parsley  was diagnosed with cancer. She enjoyed three months of ‘Feline Nirvana’. Rich pickings of furred  creatures. We’d a special bond. I’d honed my animal communication skills with her. Dear furry muse. On 29th June, she declared: ‘It is time'(for the vet to end her pain). We insisted she return to spirit at home. Our animal friends are practical about death. They have an awareness of the world unseen that humans forget. She slept away in my husband’s arms. A peaceful transition. We sobbed. We buried her ‘neath the broom blossoms. We hung Prayer flags at her grave.


Then it all started to unravel …


We discovered structural problems in the roof of our 5-year-old house. The building contractor went bust. Our  10 year guarantee was void. Holy crap!


We’d gone in with our trusting hearts; if I’m honest, the land called us. The house was secondary. We’re resourceful peeps, so we started to work. Ve-ry hard.Our work-life balance disappeared.

With builders hired for the specialised bits. We concentrated on our workshop and garage. Some Innovations (Eco-friendly waste water system). Recycled roof tiles. Ta-da we’d a wood shed. We turned some old oak windows into a greenhouse. Rain water collection tanks. Cleared virgin land, planted a veg garden. Painted four wooden buildings. We chopped until we dropped.


Then the onslaught of the ‘loss-fest’


Within three months, our dear friend Vyv died suddenly. So did my cousin. Closely followed by Rita. We’d done a charity walk together only months before. Feck. Shock. Loss. Change. All had cancer. Vyv and Rita both only 56. Same age as my mum . Guess what? She had cancer. I lay awake preoccupied by death. Wonder how long I have?   ‘I’ve only four years left’ panicked my ego! I sobbed. My heart ached. I’d been unable to say goodbye. Old wounds emerged. Painful emotional lancing .


My period was irregular. I was busy. I was stressed. Usually my bleed was bang in tune with dark moon.I skipped one, two, three months . Strange? Feeling weepier, snappier. Short fuse. I cussed and stomped. Became a real pain-in-the-ass-shrew.

Confrontational. Irrational. Volatile. Argumentative. (just ask my lovely man)


Who is this woman? A question we both asked. To be married or not to be married? To live in France or not to live in France? What the hell was I doing with my life? I’d come here to adventure. Set up a retreat centre where I could use all of my passions. Be of service. Make a difference to peoples’ lives.


I’ve never been a drinker. One glass of organic red with dinner. Fuzzy head. No tolerance to alcohol, sugar or self-compassion.


I decided it would be best if I moved out.


Conveniently, we had a guest chalet down the hill. Cosy and tucked away. I needed to hide. Feel safe and tucked-in. Our open-plan salon felt like a barn.


Perplexed and feeling mightily rejected, my beautiful man listened best he could.


He gave me space.


I treated him badly.


Picking arguments. Spitting vitriolic words.


Nevertheless, he loved me unconditionally. I hadn’t quite mastered this.


I wished that I could reassure him ‘all would be well’.


I could not. I felt so sad.


I had to get my own heart in order before I could begin to reconnect.


Why was I feeling this way? On reflection, how much was down to menopause? or losses in rapid, relentless succession? changes in planetary energies? (being highly empathic I feel way too deeply). The nervous systems of   HSPs (highly sensitive people) become overloaded easily.


We’d moved house three times in France, after waving goodbye to our home  since 1988 . That’s a LOT of change. Not much wonder I felt major. soul-loss.


I felt, miserable, unattractive, confused. Where was the sweetness in life? My sparkle fizzled out. I bear-caved. Slept, journaled. I couldn’t eat. I walked for miles in the forest. Craving just what, I couldn’t fathom. Sharing how I felt with my closest friends, keeping a semblance of ‘all is well’ when clearly it was not. Feeling a sense of having ‘failed’ at creating my new life.

I learned to go deep. Not to slip into duality, or to fear change. Of any  ‘darkness’, weakness …. How to integrate the bits that felt unlovable. Learning to love it all. Embrace my ‘flaws’. Integrate. Accept. To ramp up the self-love. Be perfect in my imperfection … Oh, the ‘human condition!’


I craved the softness, kindness, the belly-aching laughs and love of Soul-sisters I’d left behind. The couple of women I met here moved away.


We came to France to immerse ourselves in the local community. I went to a couple of social events. Being veggie, living in an area famed for its meat production was not a good fit! I felt a deep dissonance. Increasing isolation.


I avoided our squad of builders. Feeling oh-so-exposed with large patio doors and open-plan living.


Smoking, laughing, singing out of tune, being bloke-y. They were everywhere. Aaarrrggghhh …


This glut of male energy on the doorstep. It felt way out of whack … unresolved wounds reared up. Oh, Double Feck … I needed more space to work this through. To write, listen to my intuition. Heal, Integrate. Create.


I felt like my brain was being rewired. My wish was for everyone to ‘Feck the hell off and just let me BE.’ ‘Make your own dinner.’ ‘Sort out your own sh*t. Let me work on mine… as I said, my tolerance for the ‘bull of others’ was  zero.


Some days I was soooo tired. My body screamed ‘stop’. Sometimes I listened. Most days, not so. I keeping busy. Feeling numb felt best.


One night, I tearfully called out to Spirit : ‘show me most what I need to do’ and a quiet voice answered: ‘resist no longer. Let go. Surrender.’


Two months after Parsley left us, our neighbour ‘found’ a tiny black kitten. The vet reckoned he was only three weeks old. Round the clock feeds and toilet needs on top of all else. We were told his chances were slim. With TLC and Reiki zaps, Otto grew and thrived. My man, kindly volunteering for night-time feeds.


One day, he exclaimed; ‘I feel I’d have liked to have a child with you, if we’d our time over again’.


Holy, holy hell. I felt stunned. We decided years ago that being parents was not an option for us.


Our familial supports were zilch. I’d had ‘elderly’ parents. We’d held big emotional responsibility within our families since childhood. It heavily influenced our decision to remain childless. A  bittersweet time for us.  Grieving, integrating, accepting.  We were able to connect again. To be vulnerable. Let each other in again. We shared hugs and tears together.


We fulfilled our need to parent by fostering a female cat with five kittens. July 2015,  was ‘the summer of cats!’ It was deeply healing. We got Mama-Puss Celeste spayed. She’d birthed three litters in her two and a half years.Phew. I felt too close to her to do a communication  with her.I sensed she was distressed.  We commissioned a friend to do so. Celeste shared was mourning the end of her kitten-bearing years. Her hormones were out of balance. ‘Please don’t ask me how I feel, I really don’t know. I need time and  space please’.Wow, how our animals mirror their humans. You and me both, Celeste!


My intuition knew I was peri-menopausal. It seemed to creep up insidiously.


Yet, I was not at all prepared for deep mourning of the absence of my bleeing. My ‘moon-time’.


It was time to put the ‘Healer heal Thyself’ clause into action.

It was time to redefine  boundaries.

and time to practice the art of ‘extreme self-care’.

I could feel my wings slowly unfurling from their cocoon……..

With love, honour and respect to all souls



Moon-Pause Doula


This blog  is dedicated to all women who may be feeling alone as they travel  through perimenopause and to all the men we need to openly dialogue with and educate about menopause. Finally, I’d like to give a  special mention to my beloved man Derek Slater who put up with a lot!


Life does get better, loves. You’re not alone.


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