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Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Photo by Barbara Peacock
Dr. Northrup knows she can dance:
"When I explored ballroom dancing, I saw a woman come by dancing the tango—it looked so gorgeous, so sensual. For years, I did what so many women do, wait for someone to go with me. That was the real sticking point. Then I decided to just go. I took some individual lessons before I started going to the practice sessions. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me—my credentials and accomplishments meant a hill of beans. I was just another middle-aged woman who wanted to learn how to dance. So I had to go through all that personal put down stuff before realizing there’s nothing crucial or life threatening about any of this. This is about dancing tango, about delight and pleasure."
Q&A with Dr. Northrup
How can women tap into their passions?
“I know a breast surgeon who has always wanted to be a beekeeper and loves the vibration of the bees. You find out what your thing is and you are going to be a beginner. Who cares? It’s all about the enthusiasm. Are you going to sit there on the sidelines or are you going to dance?”
What's your mother's legacy to you and your daughters?
“My daughters and I went to visit my mother in Buffalo, NY where I grew up, to see a slideshow of her trek to Mt. Everest base camp. She’s in her 80s. We come from this maternal line that is so stalwart. My life has been imbued by the power of a woman who follows her desire.”
What is the wisdom of aging?
“Menopause is the most powerful birth canal of our lives. It is when we finally go through labor for ourselves. We are in the crucible there for a while. When everything that is no longer working for us will come up and hit us between the eyes. This is when the soul says, what about me? The 20s and 30s are about being a part of the world, sacrificing for society, caring for the needs of your children—all fine and part of paying your dues. In your 40s, 50s and leading into your 60s, you go back to who you were as a child but with skills and clout. Your intuition is becoming fine-tuned. There is something magical that happens when you’re 58, 59. Before you did what you had to do to survive and now you can thrive.”
As a leading proponent of health and well being, Dr. Christiane Northrup believes that the time to listen to your body’s wisdom is now. Following a career as a practicing physician in obstetrics and gynecology for over 25 years, she dedicates her lifework to helping women flourish by creating health, prosperity, and pleasure in their lives.
A passionate mom of two adult women and a graceful tango dancer, Christiane embraces all of life’s dimensions and encourages you to change destructive patterns to gain greater fulfillment.
Restore Your Body
Many women have had negative experiences regarding exercise, either as a result of school sports programs or messages in our culture, which tend to place emphasis on athletic skills rather than fitness. They key is fitness on your own terms. It has to be enjoyable. When you first start moving your body, and you’re not used to it, it will start talking to you. Emotions will even surface as a result—be prepared for that. Choose a form of exercise you will do at least 5 days a week for 30 days to create the habit.
Embrace Your Divine Spark
When you realize that your body and its symptoms as well as feelings are allies that point out what serves your highest good and what doesn’t, you become free. Negative emotions exist to let you know that you are not on the clearest path to get what you want. Whenever you feel angry or have a headache, reflect upon what the symptom or emotion is trying to say to you. What you really want is usually the opposite of what is going on. Saying what you want out loud will help to define your desires clearly and get your energy flowing in that direction.
Contrary to getting what you want is taking a victim stance. A common one is “I’m too old” or “time has passed me by.” Tell yourself: thinking this way won’t get me a job, it won’t get me a lover and it won’t make me feel better. Look around for examples of women who have reinvented themselves and are thriving. Women completely underestimate the impact of their radiant soul—it is ageless and timeless.
Honor Your Legacy
Developing self-esteem starts with the healthy bonding circuits laid down during early childhood. If a young girl has basked in her mother’s loving attention, and if the connections between her mind and her body are well established, she will have an easier time knowing what is right for her and how to go after it. To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother’s history influenced and continues to inform how we live our lives. Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her.
For some women, their job is to recognize that there is a piece of unconditional love that they should have gotten from their mother that they will never get. Then they need to look around and see the other women who have or can mother them. There is something so amazing about the way women can nurture one another—statistics show that those with the best girlfriends live the longest.
Enhance Your Sensual Nature
Sexual energy, or eros, is a force that permeates all of creation and is part of the joyfulness of life formation. Understand that the human capacity for ecstasy is a normal part of who we are. We can experience the uplifting energy through art, intense feelings of love, religious worship, meditation. Embracing our sexuality is a sure sign that we are heading in the direction of a healthy and fulfilled life.
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