Does menopause affect creativity?

Creativity Blosssoms During the Menopause Transition

Myriad difficulties and uncomfortable symptoms are part of menopause transition. And a wealth of information now exists on remedies and self-care strategies. And that’s wonderful - so different from when our Menopause Goddess group was going through the Big M.

In our Second Adulthood, we women become interested in the positive aspects of the change. Once we stop flashing every few minutes and our moods stabilize, we ask ourselves “what next?” What next turns out to be a plethora of welcome changes. I’d like to shine a spotlight on one: enhanced creativity.

Creativity blooms during and after menopause. We no longer can procreate but we can create. We become fertile in a new way as we explore our artistic urges. We begin to tap unknown wellsprings of creative juice. We overflow with inspiration. 

The desire to ‘make’ something, to create, to collage, or to cultivate an artistic endeavor feels like an itch we just have to scratch. We take up beading, musical instruments, knitting, photography, painting, calligraphy, pottery, gourmet cooking, poetry, handmade books, gardening, fabric arts, dance, stamping, and scrapbooking. We may return to a craft that we put on the back burner when demands of family and work left little time. Or we could try a completely new art or venture. As long as we scratch that creative itch, we can blossom into a new fertility.

Here are a few hints to help you nurture your creativity:

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail

The “not afraid to fail” adage may be the most important piece. After all, the creativity police won’t come and take us away if we aren’t good at something. And I can attest that if you find something you enjoy and stick with it, eventually you will become more proficient.

  1. Be open to new creative adventures.

Don’t say “I can’t draw” or “I have a black thumb”. Try what interests you. If you feel you won’t be good at something you’d like to try, refer back to #1. I’m speaking from experience. A few years ago, I was at a fundraiser for the Molokai Art Center. A volunteer pushed a flyer into my hands, advertising a series of classes on fiction writing. “Oh no,” I said, trying to give it back. “I only write non-fiction. I wouldn’t have the first idea how to make things up.”

I heard my words and pulled the flyer back. “Wait a minute. Maybe.” What have I got to lose? Maybe it will just make me a better non-fiction writer.”

I loved the class. And I found out this: I can make up stuff all day long. As long as it rings with an emotional truth to me, I don’t need it to be factual.

  1. Don’t worry about finding a passion - try passionettes.

After we experience the empty nest, retirement, or just the post-menopausal blahs, we might ask ourselves “what is my passion?” We don’t necessarily need to find a passion. ‘Passion’ sounds huge, momentous, important and weighty. We may have questions about the passion quest: Where do we look for it? How do we know when we’ve found it? How much of a commitment do we make to it.

A passion should by definition be GRAND. Or should it?

What if we just had a lot of little passions, small pastimes we enjoyed and delighted in like gardening, biking, wine-tasting, or photography. More like passionettes. That would sure take the pressure off – finding the ONE special thing that we not only are in LOVE with (read passionate about) but are willing to abandon ourselves to and actually become good at doing or performing. How about we just fall in like (and out if that’s how it works.)

If we were to allow ourselves full access to our delight in our small “likes” rather than that one great LOVE or passion, might we then be able to relax into pure joy and contentment? And in so doing, discover that our real passion is LIFE?

  1. Take classes. (And there are so many offerings online if what you want to try is not local or easily available.) YouTube videos abound on nearly every artistic endeavor you can imagine. For example, during the pandemic, we mulched our front field. Apparently, the mulch had seeds within it. They sprouted and grew gourds. Giant spheres, elongated forms - they were too lovely to ignore. YouTube taught me how to dry, prep, and paint them. I honestly never considered gourd art until these beauties were right in front of me.
  2. Forget about end products - enjoy the process.

Most recently, I’ve taken online classes in slow stitching and eco printing on fabric. I’m not at all good at these pursuits, but I am enjoying the meditation of stitching and the alchemy of leaves on cotton. I don’t plan to ‘do’ anything with them, I simply feel joy in the doing. 

  1. Create with your friends or join a group of like-minded creatives

The support of others is invaluable on the creative journey. (As well as on the Menopause Journey.) We learn by seeing what others do. Together we amass a kind of synergy and our creativity grows by leaps and bounds.

So dance, draw, paint, photograph, knit, write. Don’t wait – the house doesn’t need to be cleaner, dinner can be eggs, and the laundry will rest in the hamper another day. As poet Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

About The Author 
MenopauseGoddess Lynette

 Author of Becoming a Menopause Goddess, Lynette Sheppard hosts the popular Menopause Goddess Blog. She lives with her husband and a cranky cat in Moloka`i, Hawai`i. Visit the blog or write her at She’d love to hear about your creative journey.

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