December 2018 Whole Woman Newsletter
The State of Your Heart...
As the New Year approaches, I hope you will consider the changing season as an opportunity to help bring about personal change in habits and behaviors.
Today I want to share a few thoughts and feelings with you. These are not the result of extensive study of the research literature, but only my own personal experiences of life. Yet I hope you will take these observations to heart, so to speak.
The leading cause of death for women in the US is not breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, or any other cancer.
It is heart disease.
I’d like to offer some suggestions on heart health.
The obvious first suggestion is diet.
I have researched the microbiology of the bowel, joints, bladder, and vagina extensively, and can say with confidence that research supports the fact that we are complex carbohydrate eaters. Avoiding simple and refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour, emphasizing fresh and fermented plant foods, and avoiding meats encourages and supports a healthy intestinal microbiome and a healthy heart.
Paleo, keto, and other fad diets emphasize weight loss, which is an issue for heart health. However, weight is considerably less of a problem than the damage done to the body by meat and the byproducts of cooking it, which contribute both to heart disease as well as many cancers.
That said, I believe there is a subtler, but far more important issue concerning the health of the heart, which is, and I choose the term carefully, anxiety.
I believe anxiety is somewhat different and perhaps more generalized than fear. While some might argue the point, it is a useful distinction for this discussion.
Many, many women, perhaps even most women, live in a state of chronic anxiety. I know. I have been one of them.
I believe chronic anxiety is a common symptom of post-traumatic stress. That trauma need not occur on the battlefield. It can be the result of abandonment issues in childhood, traumatic relationships, or any number of other traumatic life experiences that leave women with a chronic sense of danger or dread, which manifests as anxiety.
My husband Lanny has remarked when out taking his morning walks how seldom a woman he passes will make eye contact or even acknowledge his presence. Every woman will understand this phenomenon.
Ours is a difficult world for women. We struggle with physical safety, emotional safety, and on average we make shockingly less money than men. In most countries, especially the US, there is no compensation for the years of often backbreaking work of birthing and raising children.
The risks, both emotional and financial, associated with long term relationships have in part to do with the differences in the sexual dynamics of men and women. Women all too often have to subjugate their sexual dynamics to those of their men.
Years ago, Lanny and I were filming an interview with an herbalist, and were interrupted when a distraught customer came in looking for an aphrodisiac because her husband had discovered Viagra. She was well past menopause and aside from little interest in sex, the act was physically difficult and painful for her due to her own physiological changes associated with menopause. But he was adamant that their sexual relationship should be reborn now that he had a drug to overcome is age-related impotence.
My experience with anxiety is that it’s like a clamp on the heart. It is very much like a hand that squeezes down on the heart, part of our instinctive fight/flight reaction to dangers we experience, be they physical, emotional, relational, or social.
What we as women tend not to realize, particularly if this constraint on the heart is the result of legitimate past trauma, is the extent to which a contracted heart limits us [no comma] relationally, socially, experientially, and even spiritually.
I suspect that many women live in a more or less continuous state of anxiety, with the associated constriction of the heart. While the experiences and situations that have legitimately contributed to the existence of chronic anxiety, once it becomes the norm of our lives, we are putting our long-term health at risk.
The cost of chronic anxiety, no matter how legitimately acquired, is how it limits and constrains our creative spirit, opportunities, and relationships. It limits our ability to see and find ways to serve and be useful to our fellow human beings, both male and female.
Many spiritual teachers make it clear that the heart, not the brain, is the receiver of insight and connection to the Transcendent. Perhaps in a quiet moment, maybe lying in bed, you can observe the physical state of your heart. Is it contracted or full and relaxed?
I realize that if it is feeling constrained, there may be very real and legitimate reasons for that constraint. But what would happen if you were to relax the bands around your heart, even for a few moments?
What might you learn when your heart is open and relaxed? What insight, comfort, or creative ideas might come? We live in a world and culture that values the mind most highly. One does not have to look very hard or far to see the limitations associated with this dependence on mind.
The heart connects us to the world and the larger order of things in a way that the mind alone is not capable. But the chronic constraint on the heart, which so many of us women experience all our lives, robs us of access to a higher order of experience.
Something to observe and contemplate…
Whole Woman Practitioner Training
The 2019 Whole Woman Practitioner Training class begins in just a few weeks.
Imagine, being able to transform the lives of women from discomfort and pain, fear of the future, grief over the loss of physical capability, to confident and beaming faces that come from understanding the root cause of their conditions, and the simple and practical methods for living well for the rest of their lives.
It is very special work, and you can be a part of it.
Yes, the training takes time and costs some money. But both are investments in your future, not only for your own health and well-being but your ability to have a major impact on the lives of the women in your community.
Whether you have never even considered Practitioner Training, or it has been rattling around in the back of your mind but never rose to the top of your priority list, now is the time to consider becoming a Whole Woman Practitioner.
The course is only offered once a year. If you miss this window, it will be another year before the option becomes available again.
The steps to take are simple.
- Visit https://wholewoman.com/newpages/wwpt.html and download the information and application package.
- After reading the information package, click the link in the information package to the online application page.
- Complete the application. Lanny will be notified when your application has been submitted and will reach out to you to schedule your interview with me.
- We’ll have our phone interview, and if I believe you are a good fit for the program, I’ll invite you to join.
- Lanny will follow up with you to get you fully integrated.
That’s it. A life-changing decision that will expand your knowledge, understanding, and skills beyond what you could imagine.
The women in your community need your help. Tragically, the medical system, as good as it may be if you get hit by a bus, is a hideously dangerous place for women with prolapse, chronic hip or knee pain, incontinence, or other “degenerative” diseases.
I started researching breast cancer for the Joy of Menopause and have become completely enthralled by the astonishingly cavalier way today’s medical system has found to enrich itself, regardless of the cost of death and disfigurement of women, including developing an entire industry around “preventative” surgical treatment of women who are deemed (very questionably) to be of exceptionally high risk of acquiring breast cancer at some point in the future.
Once the First Aid for Knees video series is done, Breast Cancer Inc. is my next major project to run in tandem with the Joy of Menopause series.
First Aid for Knees
The second installment of First Aid for Knees is complete, and if you were one of the pre-release purchasers, you will find it in your whole-woman.thinkific.com account, along with my sourdough bread recipe and the vegan nut roast recipe I’ve been perfecting for 30 years.
If you missed the pre-sale, the course should be available to the public by mid-January at the latest.
And, this is our first course that is completely closed-captioned for the hearing challenged. We’re very excited to have been able to incorporate this technology into our offerings and finally being able to serve this community of women.
We hope to add this capability to our existing video courses over the next year or two. The process is time-consuming and Lanny has very limited bandwidth given the scope of his responsibilities. But it’s a start and a step in the right direction!
With the holidays, we have an opportunity to connect with family and friends to celebrate the passing of another year of life. It is usually a demanding time for women. I encourage you to also invest time in yourself by reading, resting, thinking, walking, admiring the astonishing natural world around you, and building awareness of the state of your heart.
And know that we at Whole Woman deeply appreciate our relationship with you, being hopefully a valuable asset in your life, and that our work opens new avenues of health, growth, and personal development for you.
All love and Happy Holidays!