Becks Armstrong is an acupuncturist, meditation practitioner, techie ex-COO and the founder of Clarity, a unique meditation app specifically designed to support women during menopause. We caught up with her as part of our Phenomenal Women interview series, to understand more about her motivation for launching her business and her personal reflections on managing menopause well.
We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did. With love, The MPowder Team.
Tell us a little bit about Clarity. What prompted you to create it?
Clarity is a digital therapeutic company for women preparing for and going through menopause. We have a mindfulness app that specifically targets some of the main symptoms women experience as they go through menopause. We give women tools to help them lower their stress and symptoms and help them get a deep and restful sleep. After helping a health tech company as an interim COO, I realised that I had a unique set of skills and experience to create an app in the women’s health space. This led me to create Clarity.
I knew that I could create something that addressed the needs of menopausal women and could target some of their specific issues. In my clinic, I would give them acupuncture and while their needles were in I would guide them through a meditation - I used this experience to create the different sessions you hear on Clarity.
Many of the mediation apps on offer today help with generalised stress, not the particular issues faced by many women – for instance, hot flushes, brain fog and night sweats. We also have a series for helping women lift their libido. This is something that can be improved by meditation, but it is not often found on mindfulness apps. Meditation for libido has been researched to be very effective, and that makes me highly motivated to do what I can to help women create a new (and hopefully better) normal for themselves through use of the app.
How has the menopause transition of women in your network, family and friends, influenced your outlook towards work and life?
As a practitioner, I have listened to and treated many women, so I have a sense of the very different life paths and experiences women have.
Women are united by having a period and having it cease at some point. But that’s as far as the commonality goes – everyone’s experience is different. Some will have a great experience and others, less so. The important thing is how we respond to those women – it needs to be with warmth, empathy and openness regardless of the circumstances. What I’ve seen from my family friends is that we are sadly still a long way from that, and I am determined to drive the change.
How do you define success for your business and yourself individually?
Success for my business is about effecting positive and ideally widespread change. If I can help make a women’s journey through menopause easier or give her the knowledge and power to tweak her lifestyle that makes her feel better, that’s success to me. The knowledge that I’ve created products that benefit women and but ca also turn a profit (always a marker that it is ‘needed’) is intensely satisfying.
Has your definition of success changed over time as an entrepreneur and individual?
When I started working in this field, success was on a micro level, i.e. helping individual women achieve specific health goals:
Through working in digital and creating Clarity I am pursuing macro success, i.e. helping many more women while accepting the visible impact may be smaller. My connection to the outcomes is different, but the feeling of satisfaction is fundamentally the same.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
I would say that I’ve always been ambitious. The focus has changed, and I would say my horizons have lifted over time, but I don’t think I’m any more/less ambitious than I used to be. Smarter and more focused perhaps, but still ambitious.
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
These strange times we’re all in as a result of COVID-19 are giving me a brilliant opportunity to ponder that question. I’m taking the time to listen to women to find out if their needs are changing, and consequently, if there needs to be a change of focus for Clarity. In simple terms, of course, I want Clarity to continue to grow and for us to deepen the product offering.
That said, I want to help women adapt and thrive in the new normal – whatever that might be. Instinctively, I think that will mean doubling down on the mental health side of the app. For the moment it’s a work in progress, and I’m testing some new ideas.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life – I would have taken myself a little less seriously, I would have encouraged my younger self to laugh more, relax more and explore more.
Love – Loosen the grip a little, if it’s meant to be, it will work out.
Health – Everything flows from your mental health. When your mental health is better, it’s easier to eat better food, to exercise and to do your mindfulness. It’s constant work to keep them balanced as they all impact each other. Easy to say, tough to do sometimes. But everyone should know they themselves are always worth treating with respect, kindness and focus.
Work – Take a break. The secret to doing good work is to take some time out. If I had stopped and reflected instead of running full force at my dreams, I think some of the outcomes might have been better.
Go slow to go far.
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today?
Find a way to be creative. Learn something new or pick up an old hobby. Being creative is necessary for your body and mind.
Take some time to be quiet. Prioritising your self-care by practising a form of meditation can help reframe negative thoughts, reduce your stress hormones and help you sleep.
It’s essential to have good food, to take time out and to sweat from exercise. Do little bits often. Find a positive community and friendships. Change is ok. If something or someone is no longer fulfilling, make an effort to find people and things that do. Finally, a sense of purpose is the magic ingredient.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
Treating our bodies and minds with respect will have lifelong benefits. What you focus on grows – be careful what you give your attention, thoughts and words to.
Finally, we’re living through unprecedented times. What counsel are you giving to your community about managing their health during this period?
Your mental health matters at all times. While this is an extraordinary event, the stresses it’s putting people under will already be familiar to many. Take one day at a time, and remember wholeheartedly that you are enough and you matter.
For more insight into the impact of meditation on libido, Becks recommends reading: Better Sex through mindfulness; how women can cultivate desire, by Lori A. Brotto.
Clarity is also offering members of the MPowder Community access to the app, for FREE for a month. Simply head to: https://voucher.clarity.app/ and use the code: CFA-WW.