Excerpt from The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Wisdom of Menopause

Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change

by Christiane Northrup

The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup X
The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2001, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2002, 608 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
The Wisdom of Menopause

In the year or two before I actually started to skip periods, I began to experience an increasingly common feeling of irritability whenever my work was interrupted or I had to contend with a co-worker or an employee who was not as committed to accomplishing the job as I was. Looking back, I recall that when I was in my thirties and my children were younger, their interruptions when I was in the middle of writing an article or talking on the phone were only mildly irritating to me. My love and concern for their welfare usually overrode any anger or frustration I might have felt.

But as I approached menopause, I found myself unable to tolerate distractions like my eighteen year old daughter asking me, "When is dinner?" when she could clearly see I was busy. Why, I wondered, was it always my responsibility to turn on the stove and begin to think about my family's food needs, even when I wasn't hungry and was deeply engrossed in a project? Why couldn't my husband get the dinner preparations started? Why did my family seem to be almost totally paralyzed when it came to preparing a meal? Why did they all wait in the kitchen, as though unable to set the table or pour a glass of water, until I came into the room and my mere presence announced, "Mom's here. Now we get to eat"?...Still, during my childbearing years I accepted this, mostly good-naturedly, as part and parcel of my role as wife and mother. And in so doing, I unwittingly perpetrated it, partly because it felt so good to be indispensable.

During perimenopause, I lost patience with this behavior on all levels, whether at home or at work. I could feel a fiery volcano within me, ready to burst, and a voice within me roaring, "Enough! You're all able-bodied, capable individuals. Everyone here knows how to drive a car and boil water. Why is my energy still the organizing principle around here?"...

Little did I know that these little bursts of irritability over petty family dynamics were the first faint knocks on the door marked Menopausal Wisdom signaling that I needed to renegotiate some of my habitual relationship patterns. Nor did I know that by the time I began to actually skip periods and experience hot flashes, my life as I had known it for the previous quarter century would be on the threshold of total transformation. As my cyclic nature rewired itself, I put all of my significant relationships under the microscope, began to heal the unfinished business from my past, experienced the first pangs of empty nest, and established an entirely new and exciting relationship with my creativity and vocation.

All of the changes I was about to undergo were spurred, supported and encouraged by the complex and intricate brain and body changes that are an unheralded - but inevitable and often overwhelming - part of the menopausal transition. There is much, much more to this midlife transformation than "raging hormones." Research into the physiological changes taking place in the perimenopausal woman is revealing that, in addition to the hormonal shift that means an end to childbearing, our bodies - and, specifically, our nervous systems -are being, quite literally, rewired. It's as simple as this: Our brains are changing. A woman's thoughts, her ability to focus, and the amount of fuel going to the intuitive centers in the temporal lobes of her brain are all plugged into, and affected by, the circuits being rewired. After working with thousands of women who have gone through this process, as well as experiencing it myself, I can say with a great assurance that menopause is an exciting developmental stage - one that, when participated in consciously, holds enormous promise for transforming and healing our bodies, minds, and spirits at the deepest levels.

As a woman in midlife today, I am part of a growing population that is an unprecedented forty million strong. This group is no longer invisible and silent, but a force to be reckoned with: educated, vocal, sophisticated in our knowledge of medical science, and determined to take control of our own health. Think about it: forty million women, all undergoing the same sort of circuitry update at the same time. By virtue of our sheer numbers, as well as our social and economic influence, we are powerful - and potentially dangerous to any institution build upon the status quo. It's a safe bet the world is going to change for the better.

  • 1
  • 2
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is the comedic debut novel of writer Julietta Henderson. It ...
  • Book Jacket: In Search of a Kingdom
    In Search of a Kingdom
    by Laurence Bergreen
    The Age of Exploration in the early modern period, lasting roughly from the 15th through 16th ...
  • Book Jacket: Under a White Sky
    Under a White Sky
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
    You can never go back home...so the saying goes. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer ...
  • Book Jacket: The Barbizon
    The Barbizon
    by Paulina Bren
    Esteemed historian and Vassar professor Paulina Bren brings the legendary Barbizon Hotel to life on ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Of Women and Salt
by Gabriela Garcia
A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

  • Book Jacket

    Ariadne
    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Who Said...

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.