Welcome to the Dear Menopause show!
April 27, 2023

Sandy Lowres: Celebrating Wisdom & Experience of Women Beyond 40

Sandy Lowres: Celebrating Wisdom & Experience of Women Beyond 40
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"You can't be what you can't see, and so representation matters." 

Sandy Lowres is a fierce advocate of women's rights and empowerment and is determined to bring the often-ignored voices of women over 40 to the forefront while challenging hypocrisy and taboos.

Sandy is the innovative founder of Women Beyond 40 (WB40), a platform dedicated to uplifting and empowering women through community and storytelling. As the host of The Good Girl Confessional podcast, Sandy interviews inspiring women who are challenging societal norms and making a difference in the world. 

Her work focuses on breaking the barriers of age and representation, giving a voice to everyday women who are overlooked in the media. 

Listen out for us talking about:

  • Shattering misconceptions about menopause and women's health for a more informed and inclusive society.
  • Bolstering confidence and resilience in women entering their 40s, paving the way for personal growth.
  • Cultivating a supportive workplace environment for menopausal women, promoting fairness and well-being.
  • Fostering a strong sense of community and advocacy for women, uplifting them in various aspects of life.
  • Celebrating imperfections and self-love, helping women embrace their true selves wholeheartedly.

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:10 - Introduction to Sandy Lowres and Women Beyond 40,

00:05:28 - Sandy's Mother's Advocacy and Influence,

00:09:22 - Tearing Women Down

00:12:00 - The Movement to Destigmatize Menopause,

00:13:46 - Meno Choir and Women Supporting Women,

00:14:50 - The Celebration of Turning 40,

00:16:15 - The Power of Sharing Personal Stories,

00:23:18 - Resilience and Surrounding Yourself with Good People,

00:29:08 - Breaking Patriarchal Conditioning,

00:30:14 - The Dichotomy of Women's Existence,

00:33:19 - Double Standards for Men and Women,

00:38:05 - The Other Side of Menopause,

00:42:43 - The Good Girl Confessional,

00:44:53 - Life Begins Now.

Women Beyond Forty - website
Women Beyond Forty - Instagram
The Good Girl Confessional- podcast
The Good Girl Confessional- Instagram
Alex The Seal - podcast
HappyPause Menopause Balm - website
The Power To Rise Above - book

Other Episodes You May Enjoy:
Sandy Davies founder of HappyPause
Susan Jarvis founder of Spicy Boudoir

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Where to find Sonya:
Take the Midlife Quiz
Stellar Women Website

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[00:10] Sonya: Today you are going to meet Sandy Lowry's. Sandy's a brilliant, brilliant woman who I am absolutely honored to have formed a connection with and be, and I'd even like to say become friends with. Sandy is the founder of Woman Beyond 40. She'll talk more about that in the podcast, but basically she has a philosophy that all women beyond 40 have incredible hardworn wisdom and have much to offer the world. And she uses her platform, basically, to raise these women up. This is a fun chat. I mean, I'm not going to lie, there's tears, there's laughter, and we went down some deep, deep rabbit holes. I absolutely loved chatting with Sandy. I hope you enjoy listening.

[00:58] Sandy: I am so great, Sonya. I'm so thrilled to be here. I'm all a little bit giddy today to be chatting with you over here on Stellar Woman Love.

[01:08] Sonya: Well, I think that's why I sounded a little bit like a piece of robot machinery when I said, hi, Sandy, how are you? Quite know where that came from, so maybe I'm a little bit giddy too. It is absolutely wonderful to have you here and I'm stoked that we finally made this happen. We have been chatting about this for everyone that's listening. Sandy has an amazing podcast called The Good Girl Confessional. She also has a little side project podcast called Alex the Seal, which, I'm going to be totally honest, it took me a little while to work out why you chosen to call it Alex the Seal. So I'm going to dive into that to find out a little bit more for our listeners because it's such a cool concept. But, Sandy, why don't you tell everyone a little bit about who you are?

[01:51] Sandy: Thanks, Sonya. Look, I first of all, thank you so much for having me here because I love your podcast, dear menopause, it's amazing. And I'm constantly telling people they should head on over and check you out.

[02:04] Sonya: By the way.

[02:07] Sandy: Who am I? Oh, my gosh. Well, I am the founder of a platform called Women Beyond 40, WB 40, and it's for Women 40, 50 and beyond. And we have a print magazine, digital magazine, a website, and socials, of course, and also proudly the host of WB 40s podcast, which is The Good Girl Confessional, where we interview really kick *** women who are doing amazing things out in the world. Right. Because I'm a huge believer that you can't be what you can't see, and so representation matters. And I'm also the co host. Thank you. You so generously mentioned of Alex the Seal, which is a really fun podcast where myself and my gorgeous co hostess with the most s Joe Pybus, talk about the music that we grew up with, the music of the we have this fun, nostalgic look at it. And we also talk a lot about misheard lyrics.

[03:07] Sonya: Yes, exactly. Which is why okay, Seth, for anyone that's listening, that maybe is a little bit slow off the mark like I was. Explain to us why alex, the seal.

[03:18] Sandy: Okay. Well, Joe pyvers actually, I have to credit Joe for this. I loved it. So it's actually a play on words for the Go GOs, our Lips Are Sealed. Brilliant 80s track. And there was a moment in pop culture where people genuinely thought it was Alex the Seal instead of Our Lips Were Sealed. And Molly Maldrom actually said that to the Gogos on Countdown one night. So there you go.

[03:42] Sonya: Oh my gosh, that's so funny. Do you know what, after I found out the whole backstory to the title to your podcast, I happened to be driving along one day and they actually played Alex The Sealed on the radio and I sang along Alex the Seal. And it totally and I totally understand now why people would have thought that. So I thought that was hilarious. So WB 40, which always gives me a giggle and I love that when you talk about I think on your about page on your website, you say and if that sounds familiar to you, think of it as a lubricant for your mind. So Women Beyond 40 is really a very kind of inclusive platform, isn't it, where you have created not only the podcast and its spin offs, but you've also got your magazine. So it's a magazine, you have incredible articles on there, you tell stories and I think that's what I love. You share so many stories and I am such a huge fan of storytelling. I believe that we learn so much from storytelling. So there was a little tech glitch at this point in the recording and unfortunately I wasn't able to salvage a little piece that is missing. So this is going to run into Sandy already talking and I thought I'd make it clear who she is talking about is her mum. So Sandy's mum was a single mum with a disability and Sandy's talking about the impact that that had on her and how it's empowered her to move into the work that she does today.

[05:28] Sandy: The advocacy came from exactly that. I mean, she was already advocating for disabled people and embracing the term disability and disabled and all of those things. So she was a bit of a pioneer really, when I think about it. And I guess she was a huge advocate for human rights and so in that way she marched for women's rights back in the 70s, but she also marched for gay rights in the 70s as well and I think and embraced her gay friends and couldn't believe the hypocrisy that we're all equal, right? And so I think I grew up with that kind of mentality that everyone has a right to be seen and a right to be heard. And really for me, in my forty s I started to realize that there's this almost invisible line in the sand. Sonia like where in media and on television and in radio and wherever it may be where women over the age of 40, over the age of 50, over the age of 60 seem to be represented less and less and our voices are not being heard. And yet all these incredible women that I meet who are in this age bracket, right? And I'm going to a party this Saturday for a very amazing woman who is turning 80, and she is vibrant and brilliant and she dresses in incredible colors and does extraordinary things out in the world. I kind of get really ****** off, and I hope I'm allowed to say that, but I do. Of this lack of representation for women in our age bracket. Yes, there's representation of Hollywood movie stars. We know that, and they're amazing. So this is not to diminish them at all. But for most, that's an unattainable goal. We don't look like we don't sound like them, we certainly don't have the money that they have. And so I wanted to see women represented who were everyday women who were just being brilliantly themselves, who were building businesses or who were out doing really interesting, fascinating things. All were true survivors and disruptors and world shakers, I like to call them.

[07:36] Sonya: I love that term.

[07:38] Sandy: There's a lot of them out there. There's so many of us out there doing stuff. I look at women like you, Sonya, who you're exactly the same. Very much an advocate for highlighting women and what they're doing in the world. And I think there's more women out there wanting to lift other women than there are women wanting to tear them down.

[07:56] Sonya: Absolutely. And I'm not going to deny there are women out there that do take great delight in tearing other women down. And I think we have a mutual friend who experiences quite a lot of that because of, let's be honest, it's Sandy Davies, who founded and formulated the amazing product Happy Menopause or Happy Paws. And Sandy is such a beautiful soul. Her heart is just so big and she is so vibrant herself. And she has this incredible product that she is selling. She has to sell it. It is a product. We don't create these things to just sit on shelves and get dusty and go, hey, look what I did. And also through selling that, she's helping change women's lives for the better, which was her whole drive and purpose in the first place. But I know that she is consistently being pulled down and attacked by other women because she's told that she's vulgar and that women don't want their private parts talked about in public the way that she does. And it breaks my heart because I know every now and then it breaks her spirit. And that is just so wrong. I don't know how else to describe it. It's so wrong and it's not necessary and it's not helpful for women in large. So, yes, there are women out there that will always want to just tear other women down, because that's what they do. And we see that in politics all the time as well, which is the amount of times that I've thought, you know what, I'd like to be involved in politics somehow, probably because I like to make a difference. And I see it as such an incredible way to be able to make a difference. But then you see how our female politicians are treated and I just go, I don't want that. I have so much admiration for the women that do go into politics because they must know what they're facing.

[09:50] Sandy: I don't know that they always do know. I mean, it's like all those things where we think we arm ourselves and you think you know what you're going into, maybe it's going to be different. For me, I've had a couple of really incredible politicians on my podcast and Jane Cara was one of them. I'm not really sure anyone is ready for what goes on.

[10:13] Sonya: You're probably right.

[10:14] Sandy: Politics, I think that they kind of try and arm themselves with, yes, I'm going to cop it from the old boys school, yes, I'm going to get flak from the public, or whatever, but I don't know that anything really can prepare you for being ripped to shreds. Right? And it's quite fascinating. I do want to just very quickly go back to exactly what you just said about Sandy Davies, who is an incredible business founder. I mean, this is such a big thing. She's such an entrepreneur. Happy Pause menopause *** is really about helping women through the menopause journey and helping us for those of us who have vaginal dryness, it's a massive thing. Right. But also, too, she's helping women, a lot of women who are using her product or women who have just gone through chemo or are going through chemo, and that is one of the side effects of what chemotherapy can do to the human body, the female body. But not only that, everything that she sells, as you so rightly said, she actually donates a portion of that to the Melbourne Period Project. And I want that's for younger, not the women who are on the other side of menopause. She's help girls and women who are in need. Right. She's such an extraordinary human being. I think you're right. I do think there is still, sadly, this kind of crazy thing that goes on in society. Whereas women we're not supposed to talk about our bodies, we're not supposed to own our bodies, we're not supposed to talk about menopause, we're not about periods. Menopause is the big, ridiculously, taboo subject. Weirdly. I don't understand it. And I'm loving at the moment that there's this huge kind of push from people like yourself on Dear Menopause, for people like myself, over at Women Beyond 40, there's a movement happening.

[12:00] Sonya: Oh, absolutely.

[12:01] Sandy: Movement. We're seeing Oprah Winfrey doing talk shows now about menopause, specifically about menopause. We're seeing people like Naomi Watts start brands like I Am Stripes. It's all menopause products. I'm kind of really loving this movement that is happening right now. I'm loving Susan Jarvis. For those that don't know, is another one. She's the founder of an organization, sorry, called the Spicy Boudoir, and she's got a house called the Mavens Private Diaries, and she's an advocate for sexuality and sex over the age of 50, 60. So there's a lot of women I love being part of this movement.

[12:41] Sonya: Oh, so do I. And where I was, I kind of got a little sidetracked. But where I was going was, yes, there are these women that will always want to drag down other women as well as other parts of society, but there is more women wanting to do what we're talking about, which is shine a light on the other women and raise them up. And I have this thing at the moment where I feel like we all need to be a bit like pub choir, except I'm calling it Menno Choir.

[13:10] Sandy: Yes.

[13:13] Sonya: We sing loudly, we sing proudly, and we're all singing the same song. And it's this collective of just everyday people, everyday women, that just by raising our voices together can make such a huge difference and such a powerful impact. And that is the side of womanhood and femininity that I absolutely love.

[13:39] Sandy: I see that as the power of the very best of what the sisterhood should be. Right. To me, I don't think I go one single day this is the true story, one single day where I don't actually shout out to at least one woman and generally more. And in this podcast alone, we've just shouted out to how many women there's so many women who are really building platforms, trying to support other women. Like my platform is women supporting women, helping other women to rise. And not just women over 40, 56, although that's our big thing, but bringing our younger sisters forward as well. Even today, there were comments on my social media from a woman who said, I'm 39, I'm going to turn 40 next year. I'm not going to lie, I'm probably going to freak out. And I said to her, I'd love that you're here and I love that you're so welcome here because the reality is so many great things are going to happen for you beyond the age of 40. And I said, I hope you celebrate yourself when you turn 40 because it's the start of really cool things, right?

[14:42] Sonya: Absolutely. I loved turning 40 and my 40s ended up actually being quite a tumultuous time. I could never have foreseen that I was going to be diagnosed with cancer in my 40s, that I was going to go into medically induced menopause. And the second half of my 40s were actually a bit of a **** show. But I loved turning 40. I felt so empowered. And that was before I was even really on this path that I'm on now. Well, before that, I knew that this was where I was going to be, but I just had this overwhelming sense that it was something to celebrate. And I got really, I suppose, a little bit confused by friends that, you know, you have all your friends, you all tend to kind of turn 40 about the same time within a couple of year kind of period. I had a lot of friends that really struggled with turning 40. They didn't see it as the celebration that I did, and I really struggled to understand why they didn't. So, yeah, I think 40 is an awesome age. To turn 50 is even better.

[15:44] Sandy: I agree. Do you know what? I love turning 40. I kind of felt like I finally grew into myself, if that makes sense. I don't know. I always felt like no one really was taking me that seriously in my thirty s. And for me and maybe this is because the flashback to my mum maybe it was because of it that I kind of thought, oh, you hit 40, and it's like this great time in your life and people start to take you seriously. What? I didn't realize, was it's that when you turn 40, you start to take yourself seriously. As in, you start to actually understand who you really are and that you start to let go of some of these preconceived perceptions of who society thinks you should be. And you start to actually grow into your own skin in a way where you kind of just go, who am I? What do I want and where am I headed? For you. Sony. I was going to say, too. And I know that part of your 40s, as you say, was such a **** show and really difficult ****** time. There's no way to sugarcoat that. But you do something extraordinary, honestly, and I get emotional about this stuff. It's so true. In telling your story to the world and in sharing those really personal, difficult, bloodied moments in your life, you give permission for other women to kind of go, oh, this happened to me as well, or I am not alone. This feeling of I am not alone is such a huge thing and you do that Sonya now we are but.

[17:15] Sonya: I think that's so important.

[17:17] Sandy: I think one of the reasons that I started my platform was this reason that the bravery and brilliance and resilience, incredible resilience of so many women who've been through so much by sharing those stories so bravely, is that you really do give permission for other women to step forward and say, I thought I was the only one. And here's the story, and they're going to be heard, right?

[17:43] Sonya: Yeah. Thank you. I've never had anyone say that to me and wow it means a lot. I have to let that sink in and that's not something that I do easily is take compliments. So thank you. But I'm really pleased that that is your takeaway from what I'm doing because that is absolutely my biggest purpose. And it's funny when I reflect back on. So when I got my cancer diagnosis right, I immediately told the world via Facebook. Not immediately, there was close family that I told beforehand, obviously. And my whole purpose for doing that was because my cancer was so out of the blue. Like I literally found a lump in the shower doing my usual breast exam. And my first thoughts when I got over the fact that I was in this place was, my God, I need to tell every other woman that she needs to be doing her breast checks because if this happened to me, this can happen to anyone. And it's that realization which we all live in a little bit of a, I suppose, bubble of that doesn't happen to me, it happens to other people. And so literally within probably a week, once I ticked off all the boxes of who I needed to tell personally, I was out on Facebook saying, hey, this is what's happened. And I had a lot of people say to me afterwards, why were you not more private about your diagnosis? And I was like, it never crossed my mind to be private in many respects. It's not me. I've always worn my heart on my sleeve. I've always talked way too much about everything. But I do it because I know that it can help other people. And you're right, it does. It gives other women that validation and recognition that they are not alone. And I think that is one of the most important things you can do for anyone, woman, man, child, adult to let somebody know that what they're going through, regardless of what it is, they're not the only one that has ever been through. This is so important. I mean, it can literally change, save lives. I think so, yeah. Thank you. That really taps into my absolute overall purpose and that's really nice to hear.

[19:59] Sandy: Well, I mean, for me it's like a very this is absolutely 1000% my takeaway about you. And I am so heartened and honored when women share their stories with me. And in watching sort of your journey and how open you are about these things that you go through, I just think it's mind blowing. I'm blown away that people would say to you, why weren't you more private? I think this is another thing about being a woman is that we're so dictated too about how we should or not live our lives, but also how we should or should not tell our own stories. Right? And I think I understand that some people are private and they want to keep their whole lives private. I have actually. I mean, you know, I've not gone through the same experiences as you, Sony, but I've gone through different experiences and recently I shared the story of an abused child or sexually abused child. I shared that story in a brie and anthology, which I'm hugely proud of, called The Power to Rise Above. Also edited by the beautiful Sandy Davies.

[21:07] Sonya: Andy Davies.

[21:09] Sandy: She's extraordinary. She brought 30 women from around the world and asked us all to share our stories and convinced us that we were in such capable hands. And the reality was we were. We are in hands. But in me telling that story, the same thing happened. I got a lot of messages not from my inner circle because I think anyone who's in my life, they're so used to me being me. But yeah, people who have said, I've been following you for a very long time, I can't believe you told that story. I guess I'm trying to understand why would you choose to tell it? I have spoken about that story many times. I think it was just a surprise for maybe some people, it's in writing.

[21:51] Sonya: Some people, yeah.

[21:53] Sandy: But I have told that story and I think, really my response to them was, I'm okay in my life journey, I've healed, and it's taken a lot of work to get there, and I wouldn't be able to talk about these things if I wasn't in that place. That's not to say it never affects me, but I can talk about it quite openly now. But what I said to them was exactly what we're talking about here is that because it allows other people the grace and the space to say I'm not alone and that if I reach out, someone's going to believe me and hear me. And that's exactly what did happen. So overwhelmingly, if I'm honest, people have reached out and said, thank you so much for sharing your story, and you've given me the courage. I don't know that I can publicly do it, but I'm starting to tell my friends and family.

[22:44] Sonya: That's huge. That is huge. And not everybody should tell this story publicly either. I think one of the things that you touched on before, you used a few words that always resonate with me, and one of them is grace. The other one that goes hand in hand with that is grit and resilience. And I think I find resilience fascinating. I actually started writing a book last year which it was kind of about me. It was like my story as such. And I actually had to stop writing it because I went down this massive rabbit hole about resilience because I realized that I am an incredibly resilient woman, human. And I started diving into why? Why am I so resilient? And when did I become so resilient? Because there is such a I know that in the scientific world, in the psychology world, there's a lot of conversation around is resilient. Are you born resilient or do you become resilient? Is it a learned skill is it an ingrained skill. And I started diving into a whole lot of stuff about that. And it actually took me down some rabbit holes that I hadn't been down for a really long time and to my very early childhood. And I got kind of overwhelmed, not from an emotional sense, but from an intellectual sense, because I found that I was basically writing a research paper on resilience. Hang on a second. This isn't actually what I set out to do but what I learned doing that is that not everybody is resilient. Not everybody. I think from my perspective and what I know about myself, resilience has been built in layers and my resilience has become stronger over the years. But I also think that other people can add resilience to their layers from the stories that they hear of other resilient people.

[24:48] Sandy: Does that kind of make sense? It really does. And I think a I'd love to read a research paper when you finish that.

[24:59] Sonya: I don't think I have the qualifications.

[25:00] Sandy: To be writing a research paper resilience. You're right is a really interesting thing. I often say this and I've been on panels and I've spoken at events about this mainly about pro waging but somehow this will always come up about the resilience of women and I have to draw on my own experience. I do think and I often think how did I survive that childhood when others who have been through the same thing they have not been able to survive or they've not been able to live their life in a really positive way. And why is that? Part of it I do believe is luck. I honestly think that I really do believe that I had some sort of inbuilt survival mechanism but I also totally understand not everybody has it. Resilience was definitely built over time. Over a long time. The old saying that diamonds are forged under pressure.

[25:57] Sonya: I lived through a lot of pressure.

[25:59] Sandy: In my life and I think that I from a really young age had to be kind of independent and was really responsible for myself in a lot of ways. And I think I learned resilience because I kind of had two choices and I remember even as a kid thinking you can sit in the corner and cry about it or you just have to go out and do something. I think I learned very early on to surround myself with people who would help me build up resilience. So I have a group of girlfriends which is that I met when I was eleven and we are still friends to this day and there are ten of us and we've been it's extraordinary. It's it's so unusual and I get that how rare and how lucky I am and these women are such brilliant human beings. I feel like they genuinely kind of knew everything about my life and loved me regardless.

[27:01] Sonya: Regardless.

[27:02] Sandy: Right. But I think when you surround yourself with good people, that helps to build your resilience as well. Because part of being resilient, I have learned for myself, is that when I speak, I'm listened to, when I tell my truth, I'm believed. And people don't always agree with my point of view, but they'll love me anyway. And through those experiences, I learned that I was lovable no matter what had gone on in my life. And that's a huge and powerful gift, right?

[27:34] Sonya: Huge. Huge, yeah. Being lovable is so many women in particular, let's talk about women, because that's what we're here to talk about, that don't believe they're lovable, that have been conditioned to believe that they're not lovable. And the one overarching thing that we all want in the world is to be loved. But we can't be loved if we don't believe we're not lovable.

[28:05] Sandy: Right? And that's the powerful thing. And it took me a lot of years to learn that I was a lovable and therefore could be loved, but also that I, you know, because I love fiercely. Like, you know, when I love someone I love fiercely, friends, family, my children, whoever, I kind of know how to love halfway, that's just my way. But I also have had to learn in life that's not the same for everyone either, and that people can love you in a way that's so different from the way that you love, but it's powerful because they love you in the way that they love.

[28:41] Sonya: Yeah, totally does. Totally. Doves and that comes back to that if we were all the same, if we all loved the same, if we all were resilient the same, the world wouldn't be as interesting a patchwork quilt as it is.

[28:54] Sandy: Yes, very true. Very true. Yeah. It is fascinating, the whole, but you're right, I think that society and the patriarchy and our lives basically, we are taught from a very young age as women and girls. And I'll include nonbinary, nonbinary friends in this file. That we are taught from a very young age that you are not enough. That if you are born female, then the reality is that you're always going to be a little bit less than. And that we're taught to be quiet, to be submissive. When we heard Kamala Harris that day stand up and say, I'm talking, and stopped the opposition in their tracks, you go, Holy hell, two words I'm speaking. It was so powerful, and if a.

[29:47] Sonya: Man had said it, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as powerful. But you know what I find really interesting is that women or anyone that is born identifying as female, we have two options. We're either put into the basket of what you talked about, which is being quiet and not enough, or we're loud and bossy and too much.

[30:14] Sandy: Right.

[30:14] Sonya: And there is no allowable in between.

[30:18] Sandy: I feel it's a very rare woman who would sit in the middle somehow and not. Get judged. I don't know of many. No, there's no and I'm trying to think who recently I saw this wonderful quote who said it? It might have been Jane Goodall. I think maybe Jane Goodall, but someone who said, it's very easy to be a woman who ****** people off. That's why there's so many of us. And I know I'm paraphrasing because it wasn't those exact words, but I laughed. I just burst out laughing because I'm like, it's so true.

[30:58] Sonya: There is a woman in and I'm going to have to I'm jumping on my phone here for a second because I need to find her name to tell you about this and to tell everyone that's listening about this as well. And I think I've mentioned it once or twice before, but she's in New Zealand and I'm a Kiwi by birth. And there is something kick *** about Kiwi women. There is absolutely no doubt about it. And her name is Kate Billing, and her sister Amanda is an artist. And between the two of them, they came up with these T shirts. And I'm going to totally mangle the French language when I say this, but the T shirts say Jisui true and true is trop. And it translates to, I am too much. And I bought one the first moment that I found out about them because I was like, that is what I was told my entire life. I cannot tell you from school reports to being in the corporate world to being I was too loud, I talked too much, I was too bossy, I was too forthright. I remember being in a corporate environment and asking across an open plan workspace my manager, if I could sign up for an assertiveness training program that was on offer. And three of my team members, who were all men, killed themselves laughing out loud because they were like, you are the last person that needs assertiveness training. And it's really perfect.

[32:39] Sandy: Yeah, right. Well, I was like because we know that a woman who has thoughts and opinions and is able to express them is considered difficult. We know. We know that when we're, you know, assertive in the workplace, we're seen to be aggressive, whereas men it is very much a misogynistic and patriarchal thing. Men don't get that. I was in the corporate for a lot of years where you witness a man and a woman in the same room are acting exactly the same way. Not inappropriately in any way. Yes, but then they leave and the conversation will always be, oh, she's a hard ***, she's a *****. Oh, she's this, she's that. She's a search, she's she's bossy. And it kind of goes, because he was acting in the same way, so what was he? But the words for men are different. They are, wow, he's a go getter.

[33:41] Sonya: Driven and a go getter.

[33:43] Sandy: He's ambitious.

[33:44] Sonya: He's ambitious. Yeah, exactly. It is such a shame that we have yet to be able to find a space where women can be a little bit of both or they can just be neutral and they don't have to be too much or they don't have to be too quiet and we can operate just as humans.

[34:06] Sandy: Wouldn't that be nice? I like to always say that things are getting better but when I think that my mum was detained for protesting for women's rights back in the 70s really I have to look at really a lot has changed. We have to acknowledge that a lot has changed because of the actions of those women. Like we're standing on the shoulders of giants. Really?

[34:29] Sonya: Absolutely. And you talked about Jane Carroll earlier. Jane is one of those women that I firmly believe we are standing on her shoulders.

[34:39] Sandy: She was fascinating to chat to because as she so rightly pointed out, we are the first generation of women who have been able to go out, work and earn our own money. The first generation of women who are able to go out and get their own bank accounts, credit cards, buy your own house, do all those things without the permission of a man or without a husband. That's huge. And I was so blown away when she said it because I'm like, are we? And she's like, yes. This generation, we're talking women in their sixty s. Yeah.

[35:07] Sonya: And we're able to do it because of them 1000%. Yeah. And I often talk about with this advocacy that I'm doing within the menopause space, so much of what I'm doing I'm really conscious of is not really going to make potentially huge impacts for our generation. It's the generations that are coming behind us that are going to experience the better health care, better support, better education, better support in the workplace, policies in place in the workplace that they don't have to ask for, they'll just be there. That's so much of my driver is to leave the place a better world for the generations that are coming through behind us.

[35:52] Sandy: Sonia yes. Like music to my ears and I love everything about that and what you stand from what you're doing because there's so much work to be done in this space, especially like workplace policy for women going through menopause. So I'm seeing a huge drive at the moment in some areas where they're really pushing for and rightly so lead for women going through IVF. Right. It is important.

[36:21] Sonya: I spoke on a panel a couple of weeks ago at a summit, and on the panel was and I forget her name now, which I apologize for if she happens to be listening, but she was a representative from the IVF, Australia, and she talked about the and I was never a woman that had to experience IVF. And I don't even really have friends that went through or that I was aware of, that went through the emotional roller coaster of IVF closely. But when she kind of explained the needs. And it's not just for the women, but for the men as well when they are on that IVF journey, it's so important that they can be supported in a workplace when they're going through that.

[37:05] Sandy: Yeah, absolutely. And I did go through watched friends go through that process. I didn't go through it, but I watched my certain friends go through it. I know women currently who are on that path who are going through that journey. Now, it is a difficult journey for many, but I'm seeing that push because it affects basically because it affects younger women wanting to have children. Some are older, do not get me wrong. We know that a lot of women in their 40s going through IVF as well. So this is not in any way saying that it isn't. But then in that same breath, every single woman or every single human being who has a uterus is likely to go through menopause. And so in that case, we're like, well, where's the push for this, for human beings going through menopause? We all have to go through it. It impacts the way that we work. It impacts our ability to work. It impacts how we feel about ourselves. It impacts so many areas of our lives. It impacts relationships, it impacts so much that you kind of go, why isn't there more of a spotlight from a national level sitting on this? Right?

[38:15] Sonya: And the thing that I want to always bring into the conversation as well is it's also short term, a little bit like a pregnancy and a little bit like an IVF. Now, that length of time will differ from woman to woman. Every woman's experience of menopause is completely different. But it is something that is, in the scheme of things, short term with treatment, whatever treatment that is, that a woman, if she's having severe enough symptoms that she needs, the difficulties and challenges can be overcome quite quickly. But more importantly, on the other side of all of that chaos that can unfold in the perimenopausal and menopausal years is this incredible space that women step into of freedom and wisdom and we can create legacy. And in a workplace, women are only just hitting their stride. They are very much at the prime of their careers, at the prime of their skill sets. And I sometimes fear that we get caught up in the the symptoms and the treatments and the, you know, the kind of potentially negative sides of of menopause. But I really want to make sure that every woman never loses sight, that there is so much gold on the other side of that. And that is where we can also continue to even make a bigger impact in the world.

[39:49] Sandy: Oh yes, preach it. Because it's so true. I think this is the thing. The reason a lot of younger women are so terrified of aging, for example, is because there's not enough knowledge out there, which is why you do what you do and I do what I do. As I said, I'm loving so many women. Jules, Brooke is another one. She's an amazing group. Big shout out to you, Jules. I think there's a lot of women out there who are showing and proving that there's so much to look forward to. There's so much greatness that goes on. And it's much the same way that younger women are having their periods, but they're doing remarkable stuff, right? That's a reality. Older women are going through perimenopause or menopause, and we're still doing kickoff stuff that is real. And yes, as I said, there are difficulties at times with it, and it's different for every woman, but we still continue to do great stuff. Look, some of the joys for me, I have to say, is that my children are grown up.

[40:50] Sonya: Oh, I know. Isn't it awesome?

[40:52] Sandy: It's so amazing.

[40:54] Sonya: I love having adult children.

[40:56] Sandy: It's so great. And I have this beautiful relationship with them now as adults, right? One of them got married recently, and one's just gone to Japan, and they're all doing these really cool things. Your relationship changes, but what it does do is give you more time to figure out what it is you want to do. That's the reality. It gives women such an opportunity to kind of change their lives if they're really unhappy. And that could be in a million ways. It could be following up on a passion you always wanted to do, whether that's riding or dancing or, I don't know, horse riding. It could be anything, really. Play golf, I don't know. But I think it also can mean, like, life changing decisions for a lot of women as well. And that is I'm unhappy in a relationship. I don't want to be in this anymore, or I'm loving being in this relationship, but it's a very different phase for us now, and we can go off and do different things. I think it's such a pivotal time to take stock of who you are.

[42:00] Sonya: Totally agree. Yeah, absolutely agree. And we have covered an amount of topics here today that I did not expect us to go down. I have loved having this conversation with you. It's been so deep and rich, and I hope everybody that's listening enjoys it as much as I've enjoyed being part of it. Your podcast. Let's quickly talk about the good girl confessional. So one of the reasons that we connected initially was we have these beautiful friends that said, hey, you guys have got to meet, like, seriously, which we did. And then we also recognize that our audiences are very similar. And so this is a great opportunity for me to introduce the amazing audience of dear menopause to the good girl confessional. So why don't you tell us a little bit about obviously there's storytelling, there's interviews, but just tell us what you love about the Good Girl Confessional the most.

[43:00] Sandy: The Good Girl Confessional, hand on heart, is my happy place, I think. How lucky am I and how honored am I that every week I get to speak to extraordinary women who, as I said, are doing just really amazing stuff. This is a very heart centered podcast and these women are everything from cult survivors to, as I said, politicians and everything else that you can imagine in between. The one thing that is amazing about all of them is that age is irrelevant and that they're doing really inspiring things, if I'm honest. And some of our guests are very well known, the beautiful Tara Moss and Jane Carr, obviously, and Joe Stanley and lots of really beautiful people. But there's a lot of women that you may not have heard of, but I genuinely believe everybody should have because they're just such hickar women. The one big thing about The Good Girl Confessional is I always say we are sharing the hard won wisdom of women because we all know, and it's such a fact, wisdom is never handed to women on a silver platter. It's hard one. And the ability for those brilliant, brave, funny, gregarious, amazing, entrepreneurial women to come on my podcast and share those stories is just such a thrill. And I know that what it does is that it reaches out to so many other women who say, I'm part of a community, I'm part of something bigger here and I'm not on my own. And as I said, that's what I love about my podcast. It's also what I love about Dear Menopause, and what I love about your podcast is exactly the same. This is really building a community of like minded women that life begins now, it doesn't end here.

[44:53] Sonya: Yes, I love that. I love that so much. And thank you for creating The Good Girl Confessional and women beyond 40 and all that. The work that you do with all the women that really are very much the same women that I'm working with. So I think it's awesome that we can come together like this and just give these incredible women even more richness to add into their week.

[45:20] Sandy: Absolutely.

[45:21] Sonya: So, Sandy, I'm going to wrap things up here and I'm going to ask you a question I actually haven't asked my guests for a while because I keep forgetting, but I'm going to ask you and I forgot to give you prep. Head up, heads up for this. But what are you listening to, reading or watching right now that is bringing you joy?

[45:40] Sandy: Wow, so many things. First of all, I am genuinely listening to dear menopause. That's a true story. I've just received the new book by Kerry Sackville. I'm about to start reading that, which is Kerry sent me a copy and I'm hugely excited and I can't wait to read it. And her book is really focusing on people being when you spend time alone and learn to love it, then use your life. So I'm super excited about that. But you know what else? I started watching and I'm in love with it. I just fell in love with it was the new Celeste Barber series. She's in this Wellmania well mania. And I have to tell you, I am genuinely in love with this show. I think it is clever. I love that the central character is a woman. I love that she's not perfect.

[46:33] Sonya: I love all of it.

[46:34] Sandy: I love that life can be messy.

[46:37] Sonya: I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, I'll be honest. I binged it over Easter and I set myself the goal of doing that. Some of my clients in the gym had started talking about it and I was like, no, I'm going to watch this. I didn't expect to like it anywhere near as much as I did. And I know it's based off a book so written beautifully, but like you say, the main character that just is played by Celeste Barber is she's so likable and unlikable at the same time. But she is the perfect representation of an imperfect woman.

[47:14] Sandy: Yeah. And that's what makes her real. I think that's what resonated for me. I think I felt like I've been a number of those things that she's portraying at any given time.

[47:24] Sonya: Right? Oh, I think we all have been. Yeah.

[47:26] Sandy: Because we're not ****** perfect. And I'm really, really enjoying it. I thought it was fantastic.

[47:33] Sonya: And it's beautifully shot as well. It is literally like a beautiful love letter to Sydney. I mean, gosh, if you live in Sydney, particularly the eastern suburbs, you'll be going, oh, there's my local cafe I ran this morning. It's a beautiful show.

[47:50] Sandy: It is. It's actually really beautifully filmed, as you so rightly said, as well. It's lovely, isn't it? I don't know. I didn't know what to expect, but I came out of that smiling my head off and thinking it was fab. Loved it. And yeah. So that's what I'm currently into at the moment. I also loved Daisy.

[48:13] Sonya: Daisy Jones and the Six. Another one that I had read. I read the book and I loved the book. Loved it, loved it. And as soon as I think I read it, because Reese Witherspoon had recommended it in her book club, and, of course, when she finds good books, the first thing she does is go and turn them into something fabulous. Even though I had read the book and I knew the story, it was beautifully acted and again, the cinematography, and it just stunning. Stunning. And it made me want to live in Laurel Canyon in the that lifestyle. It was amazing.

[48:54] Sandy: Yeah. And obviously very influenced, not based on, I should mention this, but very heavily influenced by Fleetwood Mac. And that lines through it so beautiful. And also, too, that I had absolutely no idea that Lisa Marie Presley's daughter was so talented Riley Keos. Riley Keos, just what a superstar.

[49:22] Sonya: My God.

[49:23] Sandy: Just incredible, that voice. Anyway, so listen to me, as we like to say on Alex, do yourself a favor.

[49:30] Sonya: Do yourself a favor and you can read the books or you can watch the shows or you can do both.

[49:37] Sandy: My daughter read the book, by the way, and she put me onto the show and what a surprise. Beautiful.

[49:44] Sonya: You know what she wrote? The author of Daisy Jones in the Six has actually written a whole host of books, and I just read a second book by her called Evelyn no. The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo. And it's equally fantastic. So if anybody is looking for something to read, I cannot tell you the author's name off the top of my head, but it's the same author that wrote Daisy Jones and the Six and one of her other books, evelyn the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Amazing. And again, I just wanted to dive into the whole lifestyle that she just has this incredible gift of creating imagery. Beautiful.

[50:21] Sandy: Wow. Yeah. My daughter said it's actually, obviously adaptations to shows. Some parts are a little bit different, but she said, actually, they've done a really great job.

[50:32] Sonya: Yeah. And I think that's something that Reese Witherspoon's production company always does. So my all time favorite book I think I've ever read is Where the Crawdad Sing and beautiful. I was a little bit reticent to go and see the movie because I was so in love with the book, but I walked out going, wow, that was true to the story. There was nothing in it that made me go, well, that wasn't in the book. So, yeah, I think that's something that if we talk about amazing women, I think Reese Witherspoon is becoming an absolute force and legend.

[51:11] Sandy: I recently saw her interview with Brooke Shields. Again, remarkable. Just gosh, yeah.

[51:18] Sonya: Anyway, how do we get her on our podcast?

[51:21] Sandy: Wouldn't that be incredible? Just honestly remarkable. Two remarkable women having an extraordinary conversation.

[51:30] Sonya: I'll match that with a podcast I just listened to, which was Julia Louis Dreyfus on her new podcast and Jane Vonder. The most incredible conversation. You will love it. Go listen to it. Do yourself a favor. Go listen to it.

[51:50] Sandy: Oh, and I should give one last plug because I can't help myself here, but it's really important.

[51:54] Sonya: Sorry.

[51:55] Sandy: Karen Jacobson, I don't know if anyone's heard of her, but if you haven't, you should have. She actually did this remarkable thing where she put Julia Gillard's misogyny speech to music with permission, and she has created the misogyny opus. And so she released part one of the speech in a song and she's just doing part two. And I am very grateful that I am one of the ladies who's been asked to lip sync a little piece on it. So there you go. So the second half is coming out soon. The misogyny OPEC again.

[52:29] Sonya: Awesome.

[52:30] Sandy: Incredible. She did it for the ten year anniversary of Julia Gillard's speech and powerful. Incredible. And a speech that still resonates around the world to this day, as we know.

[52:40] Sonya: Oh, yeah. Well, in Sydney at the moment, we have playing at the Sydney Opera House, justine Clark in pretty much a one woman show, I think, called Julia Maybe Wrong. I'll link everything through in the show notes afterwards. These are going to be the longest show notes I think I've ever risen, by the way, but I have yet to see it. I believe it's sold out. It's only running until the 20 May, I think, but from everyone I've spoken to that has been to see it, it is amazing and incredibly powerful and just a brilliant representation of that moment in history.

[53:15] Sandy: How amazing.

[53:17] Sonya: And again, the ten year anniversary.

[53:20] Sandy: Yeah. Any of our Sydney, we need to.

[53:22] Sonya: Do a podcast just about all these amazing women. Sure somebody hasn't thought of that already?

[53:28] Sandy: We love what we're doing.

[53:29] Sonya: We do love what we do. Look at us. We can't stop. Sandy, thank you so much. I have appreciated chatting to you and I actually look forward to being on the good girl confessional soon.

[53:39] Sandy: I'm very, very excited and I can't wait for you to come on. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure that our conversation there will be equally brilliant today.

[53:48] Sonya: Absolutely. Thank you for listening today. I am so grateful to have these conversations with incredible women and experts, and I'm grateful that you chose to hit play on this episode of Dear Menopause. If you have a minute of time today, please leave a rating or a review. I would love to hear from you because you are my biggest driver for doing this work. If this chat went way too fast for you and you want more, head over to Stellarwomen.com Au podcast for the show notes. And while you're there, take my midlife quiz to see why it feels like midlife is messing with your head.