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Mindset is Key to Mastering Menopausal Transition

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  • Why I made the Mastering the Menopause Transformation Summit
  • How I went from pediatrics to helping women through the menopause transformation
  • How to create the life you desire and your invitation to write your sacRED second act
Dr. Sharon Stills

Hi ladies, welcome to Mastering the Menopause Transition Summit, I’m your host Dr. Sharon Stills and I am just genuinely humbled, honored, and ecstatic to be here with you all. I’ll be teaching a class at the start of everyday just so you can learn more about me, and how I work with patients, and how I, my views and philosophy on menopause and medicine, and just to get to know why I actually spend all this time and energy to bring this summit to you. So let’s get started. I am a naturopathic medical doctor, I’ve been in practice for over 20 years, and I didn’t go into practice to specialize in menopause, I went into practice to be a pediatrician, but as the universe had different plans for me. So early on when I had just opened my clinic a patient came into my office, she had Suzanne Somers’ book, I think it was called The Sexy Years, it was her first of many books, and the patient said, Dr. Stills, I want what she’s having. 


I want these bioidentical hormones. And I have to admit, my first response was isn’t that Chrissy, the dingy blonde from Three’s Company that I grew up watching on TV? And why is she giving medical advice? But I have a very open mind as you will learn, and I love learning from my patients, you guys live in your bodies 24/7, I just get the honor of checking in with you once in a while, so I said look, give me the book, let me read it. I read the book and I thought this makes a gazillion amount of sense, and with my knowledge not only as a naturopathic physician but as a doctor who has specialized in bio-regulatory medicine and spent years and years, and still does, studying over in Europe and Germany to learn the best of what they’re doing, I thought with all of that knowledge I can make it even better. And so I prescribed her bioidentical hormones, and her life changed, her husband sent me flowers, she told two friends, who told two friends, who told two friends, and before I knew it I had a very big practice practicing helping women go through menopause. And now at the time I was in my early 30s, and had a gazillion hormone problems. 

I had the worst PMS possible. I felt good maybe a week out of the month, I would bleed, I would feel good for a few days, and then I would just bam, get bloated, get cravings, get mood swings, couldn’t sleep, get constipated, and this is how I was existing, which was not very fun. And so I thought, okay, one of the principles of naturopathic medicine is , which means teacher, which means I will learn and teach you, and so I thought, I gotta get my own hormones in balance, ’cause now I’m helping all these women go through menopause, and they’re changing in front of my eyes, they’re getting younger looking, they’re getting skinnier, their hair is looking amazing, their skin, they’re having sex, I mean just fascinating, that this is happening, and I’m sitting there struggling. So I implemented bioidentical hormone replacement for myself, and I worked on my gut, and my emotions, and my lymph, and my toxicity, all the things we’re gonna talk about, my liver, and I got better. And I felt great. 

And so when I went through menopause, I’m now 54, in case you’re wondering, grandma of two, and I went through menopause, I was 48, a little on the earlier side, but totally fine, and I never had a hot flash, and I credit that to pre-gaming, to having balanced my hormones so much earlier on thanks to all these wonderful patients of mine, who were seeking help for their menopausal transition, and so menopause became this beautiful transition for me. And has been for my thousands of patients, and that is what I want for all of you. I am on a mission to change the conversation, to change the thought processes, to change our beliefs, to change our experiences, and for you to realize and embrace, and really embody that menopause is this time, it’s this sacred, as I call it, the sacred second act of your life. And it is a time to be ecstatic about. Not, oh my God, menopause is coming no, no, no, instead like, menopause, I’m coming for you. 

So I’m gonna teach everyday, we’ll start the day with me teaching, and today I just wanted to get you to know me, and give you a little bit about my philosophy, because my philosophy is truly the foundation. It’s truly what I believe has to happen medically, we’ve got to have our head and our thoughts in the right place. It’s really important, and I’ve learned this after, over 20 years in practice, and over 54 years as a human, that who we are is so much more important than what we are. So who we are being over what we are doing. And so that is why I say menopause, and you’ll see it, I write it with a parenthesis, because I am all about the pause, and so pausing is this underrated activity that we don’t put any credence into. That we don’t honor in the way I believe we need to. And so we, we’re human beings, not human doings, but we’re human doings especially as women, and I know, I’ve been there, I sit here equal to you, not sitting up here, I raised two children on my own, I put myself through medical school, I ran a very busy practice, I still run a busy practice, it’s just more telemedicine now than in person, and so I understand what it’s like to have a full life, I have family, people depending on me and counting on me, and so on and so forth, and so it’s easy to not pause, it’s easy to just get into life and get on the cycle and just wake up and go and work, and eat, and sleep, and maybe watch some Netflix in there, and just kind of, and the next thing you know 10 years has gone by, or 20 years has gone by, and so I feel like menopause, it has the word in there, and I know they’re talking about your period pausing, and it is, and that’s important, but I think it’s like, oh, let’s just use this opportunity to pause, to actually pause and think about our lives. I’ll tell you a quick story. 

I had a clinic on the east coast, a very successful brick and mortar clinic, and after 10 years I walked away from it, and people thought I was nutso. They’re like, why are you walking away from this clinic? You’re helping so many people, you’re very successful, it’s a fine oiled machine, you’ve been doing it so long, it’s hard to start a business. And what I said to them was, I think of my life as a book. And at the end of my life I want it to be an interesting story, I don’t want it to just be, Sharon was born, Sharon went to med school, Sharon ran a clinic, Sharon went home, goodbye. I want it to be different, and I had this real desire, maybe it was because I had kids young, and I raised them on my own, and I didn’t get to have as much freedom as I desired, but I wanted more freedom than what a brick and mortar clinic was offering me at the time. And I wanted my story to read with the things that were important to me. Traveling, throwing out my alarm clock, hot yoga, tea with a friend, making meditation a priority, and I wanted to create a life where my desires were at the forefront. And so I wanted a book that read, Sharon did this, and now Sharon’s gonna do this, and now Sharon’s gonna do this. 

So lucky for you you are all catching me at the beginning of the next chapter of, ’cause it’s been 10 years, since I closed my clinic, and now I’m in a new chapter of sharing, and teaching, and learning, and growing, and creating community, and helping as many women as I can rock this time, and this period in your life. So that’s good. So that’s when I paused and really thought about things, and I don’t think that we do that enough. And so this is your invitation, you are here, you wanna learn, and maybe you’re here ’cause you’re having horrible night sweats and you wanna learn how to get rid of them. And we got you covered. Maybe you’re here ’cause you are 10, 20, 30, 40 pounds heavier than you wanna be and you want some new strategies for how you’re eating. We got you covered. We got you covered on sleep, we got you covered on meditation, we got you covered on exercise, we got you covered, all of these things are important. 

I wanted to bring the conversation around menopause, because the menopausal transition is so much more than just getting rid of your hot flashes. But now I want you to pause, and just allow yourself to have this moment for you, of how’s life been going? Where have you been? Are you living out the dreams, or the goals, or the desires you had for yourself? Are you really content in your relationships? In your health? In your hobbies? In your community? In how you give back? In how you feel? In what your work is and what your passions are? In everything, in how your day to day is. And if you are, I wanna know what you’re doing, ’cause you are like, you are like no being I have met before because we all tend to have areas where we’re like, I’m not really hitting my desires there. Or I could do it a little differently here. And so this is not a time to beat ourselves up, there is no beating ourselves up around here. This is a time to just pause and think about. So for example, I’ll share something for me. One of my favorite things, one of the things you’ll hear me say all the time is dance is medicine. I love to dance. And I just paused in my own life because , I practice what I preach, and I thought, you know what? I love to dance, why am I not taking a dance class? 

So up on my screen which you cannot see, but I’ve got little windows open of dance classes I’m going to call and see where is one that works with my schedule, and is convenient, and I’m gonna get myself in a dance class. And if I didn’t pause and I didn’t think about this, my best friend’s not gonna do it for me, my kids are not gonna do it for me, my assistant’s not gonna do it for me, no one’s gonna do it for me, I need to really be in charge of what do I want out of my life. And so, I often in this pausing process that I do with patients, and there’s an A, U, S, and E to it, but right now we’re just talking about the P in pause, in this process I often do a eulogy exercise. And like, oh, Dr. Stills is getting morbid here. No just listen for a moment. So, what do you want to be remembered for? Who do you want to be remembered as? For me it’s important to give back. So if I wanna be remembered giving back, am I volunteering? Where am I donating my time, energy, resources, and if I’m not, well, then more windows get opened on the computer and I start researching and think where I can volunteer, and all of that kind of thing. 

And so this eulogy exercise gives you a opportunity to reverse engineer. Because you know what they say, the top regrets of the dying are typically they didn’t do what they loved, they didn’t spend enough time with the people who are important for them, and so I, one of the other principles of naturopathic medicine, there’s six, so we talked about , another one is prevention. And so I am really big, you’ll hear me talking about prevention, pre-gaming, and so to me the eulogy exercise is a way to prevent ending up in your life, at the end of your life, and having regrets, or not feeling like you really lived the life that I am telling you you deserve. And so it’s really important to me that we start thinking about these things, that we start thinking in this way. That we get excited. Menopause is a time, yes, we no longer are having menstrual cycles, so we no longer can birth a child, a baby from our womb, but we can birth creativity, we can birth new experiences, we can birth compassion for ourselves and for others, we can birth new lifestyle habits, we can birth so much at this time, and I am just thrilled that you are here along for this journey with me. So, I just, I love you all so much already, just for the fact that you’re here, you have an open mind, you wanna learn, you wanna grow, and together we are gonna become this community of menopausal magical beings, and I can’t wait to experience that with you all. So enjoy today’s talks, I cultivated them especially for you, I know you’re gonna enjoy them. And I will see you later.


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