The Heroine’s Journey

I want to share my reflections on menopause and its profound, transformative power. The story Hero’s Journey is a useful template to use and one that I have used to develop my menopause groups. Menopause is not merely a biological milestone but a vital phase that enriches a woman’s life, making it fuller and more meaningful. I’ve drawn much of my inspiration from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, adapting it into what I call the ‘Heroine’s Journey.’ If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, I highly recommend watching ‘Finding Joe’ on YouTube—a film that beautifully captures these ideas and has deeply inspired me.

Transformation is a recurring theme in our lives, and menopause is one of the most potent transformations a woman can experience. These stages of change are not rigid or linear; they are fluid, much like menopause itself. The first stage, ‘The Ordinary World,’ mirrors the perimenopausal phase, where we transition from the known into the unknown. Campbell emphasises the importance of relinquishing the life we planned to embrace the life that awaits us—a promise that resonates deeply with the transformative power of menopause.

Traditionally, a call to adventure draws us away from the familiar, leading us through trials and transformations. For women, this often parallels the onset of the final menstrual period. During the challenging phases of menopause, we are prompted to look inward, discovering new ways of seeing and understanding ourselves. These ordeals during the Heroine’s Journey foster significant personal growth and self-awareness.

I see this as an invitation to adventure, urging women to perceive the world with fresh eyes and new sensitivities. Many women find themselves driven to change their lives during their 40s, often making substantial and positive impacts on the world. This is a testament to the power of embracing change and the courage to pursue new paths.

Our attachment to old ways often stems from a fear of inadequacy—a belief that we are not good enough or capable of change. This fear keeps us trapped in outdated patterns. Yet, I believe that within every woman lies a latent Heroine’s Journey, manifesting through the stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.

As women navigate this phase, they often become more collaborative, forging strong connections through shared experiences. This period allows for the death of old ideas and the birth of new possibilities, opening up a new chapter of life filled with learning and growth.

Campbell speaks of the ‘innermost cave,’ a metaphor for confronting our deepest fears. Menopause can feel like navigating a dark cave, demanding inner strength, wisdom, and courage. Women learn to wield these qualities like a sword, reconciling with the fact that to live is to move forward, regardless of the challenges.

The Hero’s Journey concludes with the Hero returning transformed. For women, post-menopause represents this return, enriched with wisdom and deep insights. Campbell’s famous advice to ‘Follow your Bliss’ encourages us to pursue what brings joy and satisfaction. Menopause, in this light, becomes a gateway to hidden treasures and profound meaning.

Reflecting on my own journey, I see how menopause has enhanced my resilience, love, patience, and insight. Despite moments of vulnerability and fear, I am now happier than ever. This transformation is a testament to the potential victory and freedom that menopause can bring.

I believe that every woman can find new strength and effectiveness in her journey ahead. Embracing hope, belief, and wisdom gained through experience allows us to transcend past limitations. The final stage, ‘Return with the Elixir,’ symbolises bringing newfound wisdom back to enrich the ordinary world. My hope is that recognising your place in this journey will help you hold fast in moments of doubt and let go of fear during the darkest times.
With love,


The Stages of the Hero’s Journey:
1. The Ordinary World
2. The Call to Adventure
3. Refusal of the Call
4. Meeting with the Mentor
5. Crossing the First Threshold
6. Test-Allies-Enemies
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
8. Supreme Ordeal
9. Seizing the Reward
10. The Road Back
11. Resurrection
12. Return with the Elixir