Listening to Women’s Wisdom

Wondrous is the way one can stumble on something that seems to be just what you needed to hear – if you are paying attention. My local PBS channel is one of the places this tends to happen more often. Yesterday it was the special: Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Menopause and Beyond: New Wisdom for Women. I felt a little silly hitting the record button so I could watch it later. Is this some overreaction to my upcoming 40th birthday? Now I’m watching TV shows for post-menopausal women? But a part of me – that little wisdom voice perhaps – wondered if there might be something I could learn from what Dr. Northrup had to say. I’ve seen women that I know suffering through the symptoms of menopause and I know that there are changes that affect your health. Why wait until after or smack in the middle of this significant life change to find out what is important to know?

So I started watching it today. It was great to hear her telling women that most chronic illnesses can be prevented with diet and exercise instead of medication. Here are a few things that caught my attention in the first segment of the show:

  • In 1900, my average life expectancy would have been 40. Today it is 80. That’s the difference between my and my mother’s total lifetimes. She’s turning 80 next month. I feel gratitude for how much more life we get in these days.
  • Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women: Love Your Heart movement gives women information to help them lower their risks.
  • She also emphasized the importance of exercise which of course is one of my primary focuses these days. She recommends walking 10,000 steps a day. Similar to that is the recommendation in You on a Diet of 30-minutes a day that I am working towards.
  • Dr. Northrup walked us through a facinating view of our monthly cycles and how they relate to our larger life cycles. She described PMS and peri-menopause as “wake-up calls” to deal with difficult emotions we have been avoiding. This quote particularly moved me:

    “Befriending and mindfully surrendering to our most dreaded emotions, we discover the heart’s native intelligence.” (Miriam Greenspan, Healing Through the Dark Emotions).

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  1. Her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, changed my life – my perspective on my body, and helped me to better stand up to doctors who didn’t honor what my body was saying or my own feelings about my body. It was so exciting to read a DOCTOR that seemed to trust and value my body. I am always on the lookout for used copies to give to friends and family. Glad you liked it. I suggest her book too. Much healing, Elizabeth

  2. I agree about hearing a doctor telling you to trust what you body tells you. It is so important and you usually get the opposite message.

    You know it’s funny. I don’t know why I never bought that book, but I can’t find it nor do I remember reading it. Browsing it online, it totally looks like my kind of book. I’m going to have to read it ASAP! Thanks 🙂

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