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Meet Dana Lawson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Lawson.

Dana Lawson

Hi Dana, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
In my early forties, I began experiencing changes in my body that I didn’t understand. I was depressed and cried often. My sleep started to be interrupted by night sweats. Poor sleep led to crushing fatigue during the day. To stay awake, I drank coffee and snacked often. My hair started falling out, my skin was dry, and I started seeing deep lines forming on my face. The numbers on the scale began slowly creeping upward. My confidence took a beating, which made me even more depressed.

I heard almost nothing about menopause, so I confused the symptoms with other things. In the meantime, I did what most women do. Eat less, work out more, take a bunch of supplements, and try to figure it out on my own. By this time, I had gone back to school to become a Certified Health Coach. So, I knew “all the things” and was doing them. Nothing I did worked the way it had in the past. I was so confused and sad. Still unaware of what was really happening, I finally talked to a fellow student. She looked at my lab work, she said, ” I think you are in menopause.” The only thing I knew about menopause was that your periods stopped. My fellow student’s knowledge of menopause was limited as well; she referred to a Certified Hormone Specialist and Transformational Nutrition Coach. Working with her for almost a year changed my life! I thought to myself, “Why don’t more women know about menopause? Especially Black women. If I had been prepared for this major life change, I could have avoided so much confusion, frustration, and suffering.” It was then I decided that I didn’t want any woman to go through what I did. So, in retrospect, I didn’t “find” my business. My business found me. That was when Align + Shine, LLC was born.

Curiosity about my own changes in perimenopause drove me to seek answers. I found that women, including myself, learn the basics of the sex hormones and their role in reproduction: i.e., menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and birth. That is where most education stops. However, our sex hormones are not only for reproduction; they are responsible for our overall health.

Hormonal shifts in midlife, particularly the decline in estrogen, affect a woman’s total physiology. It’s not only the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, depression, weight gain, anxiety, irregular periods, brain fog, insomnia, and joint pain that are common in the stage of perimenopause, but more importantly, what is happening to their blood vessels, bones, brain, heart, and metabolism. This becomes especially important when a woman experiences surgically-induced menopause at an early age (partial or total hysterectomy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy), early or premature menopause.

For the sake of this article, here are some quick and easy definitions for the main stages of the menopause transition:

Perimenopause – can start in the late thirties through the mid-forties. Common symptoms are hot flashes and night sweats, irregular menstrual cycles, brain fog, weight gain and mood swings, insomnia, and joint pain.

Menopause – The day a woman does not have a menstrual cycle for a consecutive 12 months, she is in menopause. It is only one day in her life.

Post Menopause: The rest of her life.

I’m sure it wasn’t obstacle-free, but would you say the journey has been fairly smooth so far?
Being a CEO and entrepreneur is by no means easy. By nature (and being raised in the northeast), I am a very determined, resourceful, gritty, and tenacious person. Even so, being a business owner has, at times, pushed me to my limits. I am a 56-year-old post-menopausal woman. Learning the nuances of the constantly changing social media space has been quite an experience, to say the least. It has been very frustrating at times. But I love learning new things, even when it’s hard.

Social media is a two-edged sword. The endless influx of information has made it a challenge to stay focused on my niche and remain loyal to my objective. Chasing “shiny things” and comparing myself to others is also a struggle. But, instead of allowing the successes of others to paralyze me, I am learning to be inspired by them. I have come to the realization that I have a unique perspective and voice within this market.

I’ve learned that being vulnerable with my audience makes me more relatable and leaning into discomfort contributes to growth, both professionally and personally. For instance, when I make mistakes in my captions or when going live, I show other women that it’s okay not to be perfect. Mistakes are lessons and opportunities!

Entrepreneurs tend to work long hours, especially when starting out. I was no different. Now, I honor my need to rest and rejuvenate. I am not ashamed to ask for help or say, “I don’t know, let me do some research.” I celebrate my wins and graciously accept losses. I’ve also learned the truth in the statement, “No (wo)man is an island.” Finding and being part of an amazing community of like-minded women is an absolute must!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?

As a certified health coach, I focus on perimenopause and menopause because it is a significant life change that many women are not prepared for. It has been a taboo subject for far too long and it is time for them to get the support they so desperately need. I understand exactly what they are going through and how they feel because I’ve lived through it. Taking a holistic approach through education, lifestyle support, and straightforward explanations, allows women to understand menopause clearly. It gives them the confidence needed to make informed choices and advocate for themselves with their doctor. Instead of wasting time and money trying to muddle through the maze of information on their own, they can focus on living long, healthy, energetic lives.

I am most proud of being able to create a safe space where women feel seen, heard, and understood. Whether it is group coaching, one-on-one, or in my membership community, I want to make sure that no woman goes through this part of life suffering in silence, feeling alone, ashamed, or embarrassed.

What sets me apart is that I help women connect the dots between the changes happening in their bodies during the menopausal transition and overall health. But it doesn’t stop there. I also support their distinct nutrition and weight loss goals, which are part of living a full and happy life. This is another way I build confidence and a sustainable lifestyle for the women I serve.

I am enrolled in a Menopause Doula Certification Program to serve women on an even deeper level and I am so excited! This is another way to set myself apart as a companion throughout menopause for a more satisfying experience. I look forward to completing the program and as a black woman, having the designation of Menopause Doula.

How do you think about happiness?
There is a deep sense of satisfaction in helping my clients reach their health goals. I am so happy to witness mindset shifts that lead to incredible transformation on a regular basis. I get to serve amazing women, giving them options to create a more pleasant midlife experience. It brings me true joy to know that not only are their lives healthier, happier, and better, but they are now empowered to help their daughters and granddaughters have a healthy menopause journey too.

My work as a menopause coach is truly enjoyable and deeply satisfying. I had no idea that menopause was going to be such an incredible gift. Contemplating the long-term powerful effect I can have on future generations of women is exhilarating!


  • Menopause Mastery 10-Week Group Coaching Program – $1,197
  • One-on-One Menopause Coaching – $2,997

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