Women’s Health Tips: Goddesses Never Age (Dr. Christiane Northrup)
Get inspired to look and feel radiant, healthy, and beautiful. Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., board-certified OB/GYN and New York Times best-selling author, shares women’s health tips on how to make growing older an experience you can look forward to. Find out how menopause can be a rebirth and how to make it a time of creativity, sensuality, and fun. Get the principles of ageless living and shift your perceptions about getting.
Know the power of PLEASURE
Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget to revel in life’s simple pleasures.
Dr. Christiane Northrup finds the enjoyment of life to be of great importance. In her latest book, “Goddess Never Age”, Dr. Northrup devotes an entire chapter called “Know The Power of Pleasure” to express just how important joy is to our health and overall well-being.
So, what’s the best thing about pleasure? It costs nothing! And, it practically takes no time to fully plunge into all the wonder and mysteries in life. But first we must shift our awareness to what Dr. Northrup calls the divine force of the universe. Embracing these experiences is critical for the enjoyment of life. Here are some of my favorite passages from this chapter:
“Our brains are wired to allow us to connect with life force and experience rejuvenating pleasure for ourselves. We have forgotten the importance of pleasure and we need to remember how to experience it regularly- as a daily part of life” (p26)
“Create more (pleasure) and you make it easier for your body to create more. Pleasure leads to more pleasure. Life renews itself, while anger, fear, and grief suck the life out of you. To be ageless, healthy goddess, you must learn to cultivate your ability to experience emotions such as joy and compassion, and release grief and resentment, and allow yourself to feel righteous anger when appropriate” (p28).
We each have an innate understanding of how significant pleasure is. Yet, we often reject it out of guilt or shame because of how we perceive cultural messages about work ethic. Dr. Northrup asks us to refute these cultural messages. Is it really in the best interest of our bodies and minds to be in a constant state of deprivation, frugality, and morality? She asks us to question whether endlessly giving, selflessly serving and never caring about ourselves a healthy path to our overall well being.
“Don’t hold back from pleasure. Be direct rather than apologetic or coy. Know and ask for what you enjoy, want, and deserve. Don’t settle for what you think should be “enough” to satisfy you (p31)
Menopause and BEING AGELESS
Once we turn 50, the number most of us associate with aging, it becomes easier to buy into the notion of deterioration. We dry up, shrivel up, and lose life energy. So, how can we remain vibrant, exciting, and full of life? Dr. Northrup asks that we shift our own perceptions about aging and instead adopt an ageless attitude.
“Every woman is an ageless goddess, an expression of the sacred feminine physical form”. (pxi)
“As they (women), enter menopause, the transition into menopause typically lasts for 6 to 12 years, many women realize they’re no longer willing to put their dreams on hold and live according to what everyone else wants. Maybe you have a strong feeling you should switch careers, move to a new place, and a relationship, or explore your sexuality in a new way. Pay attention to that yearning. Your creative juices are flowing! Life force is coming through you. The new life you give birth to must include your own…
What you are changing into is a powerful, luscious, fertile ageless goddess you were meant to be- an expression of the divine, feminine life force unencumbered by cultural expectations that keep you small, overly cautious, and afraid to upset anybody. You are in the process of discovering your ageless, goddess self, and she has many ways to express her creativity and experience the pleasures in life, from feeling good in her body and rediscovering her sexuality to beginning a new relationship, project, or way of living…”. (pxiii)
“Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness or your value. You can be younger at 60 than you were at 30 because you have changed your attitude and your lifestyle. To be ageless is to defy the rules of what it supposedly means to be this age or that age. It is, quite simple, to never grow “old”- to never feel as if the best days are behind you and it’s all downhill from her “. (px)
What are you afraid to change in your life because you think you might be shamed for making a mistake? Is the desire to be seen as perfect keeping you from expressing yourself? You have to take risks to be adventurous. Repressing the need to grow, and try something new is disastrous for health and well-being. Remember, creativity is the life force. Cut it off, and you cut yourself off from the source of everything. p129.
- 1:13 What does it mean to move through time versus space? Dr. Northrup suggests that in order for us to be an ageless Goddess, we have to stop thinking about age.
- 2:32 What is happening during menopause? How can we rise to full Goddesshood and take up space, as we should during menopause, versus being small by yielding to the cultural veil?
- 3:07 What happens during our 50’s when women stop menstruating? During this period, women retain their sacred blood and stop leaking energy.
- 4:01 What happens to our body when we hit 50? By the time we reach 50 our “aging” lifestyle starts to manifest itself from our sedentary lifestyle.
- 6:00 What should we say when someone asks us our age? Christiane shares a beautiful passage from her Facebook group.
- 9:07 How do you get to a place where you become an ageless portal? How can we be in the world and not be of the world? Christiane says we must shift our disempowering perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs.
- 10:26 What does space consciousness mean? It’s being present and in the moment where time and space expand; where a 3-hour conversation feels like 10 minutes.
- 12:05 A powerful story of how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our health.
- 13:21 What is happening to our bodies as we age? Should we fight the aging process? Christiane talks about accepting aging. She shares a famous study by Ellen Lager on aging and how our beliefs are critical for keeping us young.
- 43:16 Christiane talks about getting over her fears with finances at the age of 50? The ideas she presents are a reminder that we should never allow our fears to limit us and that we can always learn new things.
- 45:33 Christiane touches on how our viewpoints can age us and how hanging around young people is important to maintain our own youth.
Sex Life: Being sexy and sensual
In our quest to compete in a male-oriented world, it’s easy for many of us to lose our femininity and sexuality. At the start of the interview, Christiane and I discussed how we were both trained to be men in a woman’s body for the sake of our respective professional fields, medicine and hi-tech. Over the last few months, I’ve been figuring out what I lost during my drive to “success”. As I investigated my own beliefs, I discovered a conflict between being sexy and smart. Could I be both? Sadly, in my mind these concepts were an either/or proposition. It wasn’t possible to be “BOTH”. I also started questioning if my judgments from childhood associated sexy as bad or naughty, or as some frivolous tactic that bad girls used because they felt their bodies had more influence than their own intellect.
In “Goddesses Never Age”, there is a whole chapter entitled “Goddesses are Sexy and Sensual”. Christiane aptly describes that we are wired for sensual pleasure from the start.
“As long as we’re in physical bodies, we are sexual creatures-whether or not we ever end up taking off our clothes with another person. In the absence of undue shame, we’re drawn to sexuality as naturally as bees to flowers. Flowers are simply sex organs that plants use to attract the bees that pollinate them and keep them fertile, but they’re so much more than that. They’re part of the joy and beauty of life on planet Earth. Women’s sexuality doesn’t exist solely for procreation. WE don’t stop being deliciously alluring just because pregnancy is no longer possible” p 150.
While these ideas were enticing to me, the question then became how far down the stiletto heels and red lipstick continuum would I go? I liked the advice that Christiane offers about what sexy means:
“The aim is not to be like the lost young women on the HBO series Girls, who have sex often but are disassociated from their own pleas and wisdom. Nor should you aim to use sex to manipulate other people, because your Aphrodite power is not a commodity to be exchanged. Using sex that way wouldn’t be wise or ethical. It’s like the power of fire; you can cook with it or you can burn down your village, so use it responsibly”. p151
In the end, I’m still on this journey of exploration, but this time my eyes are wide open. I’ve found that for me, being a woman means embracing the soft and vulnerable, engrossing my senses and my intuition, allowing myself to navigate in curves versus straight lines, and to ground myself in the deep wisdom and strength we have as women to create a safe loving place for the people we cherish, including ourselves. This is what it means to be a woman. Interestingly enough, since I’ve begun the journey to embrace my feminine aspects I’ve inevitably attracted more male energy. So, the mere act of embracing womanhood is, sexy.
Here are some quotes from “Goddesses Never Age” to get you fired up!
“Women wrestle with how to be sensual, strong, feminine, and confident in their bodies and their self-expression. We judge ourselves relentlessly about our weight, our breast size, our thighs, our hair. Our self-judgments and shame turn off the life force within us”p155
“A fulfilling sex life begins first with your thoughts and beliefs. As you start to feel sexier, you soon become more attractive on the outside. Both men and women know that women who are turned on and in touch with their own desire for pleasure are sexy. There is no more powerful aphrodisiac than a woman who feels irresistible and relishes it.” p154.
“Sexuality is power. It’s our connection to the creative life force. When you connect with your Aphrodite energy, you remember that you’re worthy of receiving what you desire. You surrender to sexual and other pleasures without fear of displeasing anyone, and you enjoy a bounty of sexual delight that can include multiple orgasms. To embody Aphrodite’s is to be a diva in the original sense of the word, unapologetic about your longing and cravings and unchecked in your pleasurable pursuits. That’s hard for many of us to imagine, because we’ve been taught not to take too much, not to laugh too loudly, and not to be too aggressive in getting what we want. P157
THE SEAT OF YOUR CREATIVE POWERS: Our souls come into our bodies through our hips at the back of our pelvic bowl, where the sacrum-or “sacred” bone- is located. This is the place in our body that is called the “spirit door”. It’s the entryway into the “birthing field”, the place where energy becomes form. Your pelvis and genitals are your sacred center, the area in the body where you access the energy to create everything- whether it’s a book, a relationship, or a baby. When we listen to the call of our pelvic energy to live with greater creativity, take more risks, feel more pleasure, and not be afraid of what others might say or think, we are honoring the creative female force within us.” P106.
Taken from Laura Bushnells’ book, “Life Magic”, Dr. Northrup suggests trying out this wonderful practice as a way to get you started on your journey:
As you are walking, imagine that a very sexy woman is pressed up against your left side- the side of your body that represents receiving and femininity. Now, breath is that woman and her energy. Imagine drawing in her sensuality and sexuality, and increasing your life force within each breath as it is channeled directly from the Divine through her into you. Do this for 2-5 minutes a day for 21 days. ” p158
- 3:43 What herbs can help with vaginal dryness? Puerarai Mirifica is an herb that Dr. Northrup sells to help alleviate symptoms of menopause and restore their youthful vitality. (http://a-ma-ta.com/index.php/menopause-relief/pueraria-mirifica-plus-capsules-35)
- 18:12 How can we embrace our feminine energy? When we embrace our creativity, sensuality, receptivity, and lusciousness, we increase our polarity towards feminine energy. As a result, we attract more male energy.
- 20:06 How do women that embrace sexuality deal with attracting more male energy? If you are embodied in integrity and own both your male and female side, then you will not attract low vibrational energy. If you fully embrace your inner queen, you will only attract Kings.
- 21:33 What does it look like when we “own” our masculine power? Dr. Northrup talks about how she developed her masculine side as a surgeon. Hear her delineation about hieros gamos (more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieros_gamos)
- 23:41 Find out what sign/house your female (Venus) and male (Mars) signs are in. Inner male is your Mars sign and inner female is your Venus sign. The inside job is creating an inner marriage of the two. Often we are looking for men that have that Mars-like energy until we are integrated ourselves. The goal is to have a playful relationship with our Mars and Venus. It’s not about controlling each side, but playing with them.
- 28:09 Link to Dr. Nothrups’s favorite book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Game-Life-How-Play/dp/1603865632 and http://www.amazon.com/Outrageous-Openness-Letting-Divine-Take-ebook/dp/B00J0YT4W2
Family Life: Letting Go of martrydom
Many 50 somethings are facing the sandwich generation; they are caring for their own children as well as their aging parents. Alternatively, there are Millennials or Generation Y children that have returned to the nest. During my conversation with Dr. Northrup, she shares a personal experience of her ageless mother and daughter moving back home. One of my major takeaways from our chat and from a chapter in her book “Goddesses Love without Losing Themselves” was the importance of self-care and letting go.
As my children approach their late teens, the challenge is shifting gears and treating them as the emerging adults that they are becoming. I’m being confronted with the task of releasing control and giving them the independence they need. My journey has resulted in looking at my own reticence in letting go, which I’ve associated with the idea of losing my identity as a mother and the impending thought of being emancipated when my kids take off for college. The beautiful discovery from my own identity crises was realizing that part of it was manufactured. Yes, our roles and responsibilities change but we will always be a mother.
The part that is real is that my identity can change. In fact, it can expand into something bigger and greater as a result of my new gained freedom. As I enter this new juncture I enter a place of both joyful anticipation and fear. Perhaps, when you feel fear you can find inspiration for launching into a future full of self-discovery and adventure. Maybe you’ll find the courage to move forward. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Christiane’s book “Goddesses Never Age”:
“The number one relationship that determines the quality of all the others in your life and sets the tone for them is the one you have with yourself. Are you willing to learn to love yourself enough to discover your depth, own your beauty, and articulate your deepest desires? Or are you going to neglect the work of mining your inner treasures while waiting for someone else to sweep into your life and rescue you from your loneliness, your yearning, and your despair? Each of us is confronted with this choice every day. Only when we have the courage to love ourselves as the divine, ageless goddess we are do we have a real shot at creating heaven on earth with someone else”. P190
“You must learn to complete yourself. You have to see yourself as irresistible and set a high price on your head” p191
“By having a great relationship with yourself, by loving yourself fully, you are serving the world. You’re inspiring others to truly appreciate themselves by modeling what it looks like to appreciate yourself without conceit. To truly love yourself you have to get to know who you are instead of repressing all the parts of yourself that you might have been shamed for in the past. P 193
“…we move into the phase of our lives in which our mothering is no longer required in the same way it was when our children were younger-or our relationships, businesses, or creative projects were just beginning- we have to figure out what to do with the milk of our kindness that is our gift to the world. To support ourselves…. we need new outlets for our nurturance. “p91”
You’re never too old to take risks and do what makes you feel alive. Whether you love horses, dance, gardening, fitness, or travel, it’s clear that they all contribute to agelessness and make others feel attracted to you”. P194
“At some point in our lives, perhaps when we’re finished with up-close-and-personal mothering, we need to access and channel our creative energy in ways that give us pleasuring and inspiration – writing a book or poetry, learning how to paint, or learning how to dance. The creative urge can also express itself in coming up with new ideas, new business models, or new ways of working with technology. The possibilities are endless. The older we get the more direct access we have to our creative energy flow.” p 107
But when you’re an adult with a mother who hasn’t figured out how to make herself happy, it’s counterproductive to allow yourself to get drained by her and keep her happy at your own expense. The same goes for a daughter who isn’t happy by the time she reaches adulthood. It’s not a mother’s job to sacrifice herself for the good of her children either.
- 31:06 What happens when both parties are retired? Men move into their heart and women move into their low heart. Women have to let go of the wheel and that power mentality. You don’t get to control your husband or vice-versa.
- 32:56 Northrup shares family stories about her mom and explains how her mother inspired her to be the woman she is today.
- 38:58 How has your own role as a mother and caretaker evolved? Dr. Northrup shares some tips about self-care when we are bogged down with taking care of both of our parents and our children? She explains how important it is to see our children’s capabilities and how Millennials need our support because of economic shifts. She states that old ideas of children leaving the nest don’t necessary apply.
Christiane Northrup, MD- Ob/Gyn, visionary pioneer, and women’s health expert
Christiane Northrup, M.D., board-certified ob/gyn, former Assistant Clinical Professor of ObGyn at Maine Medical Center, is a visionary pioneer and the foremost authority on everything that can go right with the female body! Dr. Northrup is a leading proponent of medicine that acknowledges the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit; internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness, she teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life. Dr. Northrup stays in touch with her large community worldwide through her Internet radio showFlourish!, Facebook, Twitter, her monthly e-letter, and her Web site, www.drnorthrup.co