By Cat Saunders
It was 1995, and Christiane Northrup’s groundbreaking book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, had just been released. One of my publishers sent me a review copy and asked if I’d like to interview Dr. Northrup. Of course I would!
I still remember the first time I saw her in publicity photos. I was struck by the depth of compassion in her face. It seemed as if I was looking at a very old soul. Christian looked like someone who had witnessed much pain and learned how to hold it in her heart with tenderness and respect. Every time I’ve seen her since then—on television or the covers of her books—I see the same kind face. But her kindness has deepened and strengthened over time.
Although I haven’t met Christiane, I told her in a letter that she plays the role of “Mystical Midwife” for me. For years, she has shown up in one way or another at key transition points in my life. Invariably, the transition points are ones that require me to listen more deeply to the wisdom of my body. This is, of course, the main theme of Christiane’s work.
The first time this happened was actually the first time I’d ever heard of Christiane. It happened after my publisher set up a telephone interview for me to talk with Christiane about her first book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. As it happened, I had to cancel the interview at the last minute due to a healing crisis. I had a cancer scare that required a uterine biopsy.
Fortunately, the cancer scare turned out to be just that: a scare. However, I’d never had to cancel an interview with anyone, so it was a big deal. Also, the biopsy was such a ghastly experience that my body was screaming at me afterward. My body was angry that I had submitted to an invasive procedure instead of just asking my own womb what was wrong.
In point of fact, the right direction of inquiry was inward. But I was also glad to have medical confirmation that no cancer was found. Once I put all the pieces together, I realized that this situation was no coincidence. After all, the biopsy forced me to cancel with none other than Christiane Northrup, who is one of the world’s foremost champions of feminine wisdom.
When I finally remembered to ask my own womb what was going on, the message came loud and clear: STOP WRITING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK AND GET ON WITH YOUR OWN!
I knew immediately what I had to do. For years, I’d allowed my other writing—especially my interview work (which I loved)—to interfere with the completion of my own book. So I must credit Christiane Northrup’s mysterious “midwifing” effect on me because it made me change course with my writing. I stopped interviewing other people for years, and I got on with the completion of Dr. Cat’s Helping Handbook.
After the publication of my first book, I resumed interviewing other people. But I missed the opportunity to interview Christiane. Luckily for us all, her work is available in many venues. Christian Northrup’s website is loaded with information and support especially designed for women, and it’s expanding all the time. By the way, she has written two other masterpieces: The Wisdom of Menopause and Mother-Daughter Wisdom. I recommend them both!
In October 2008, Hay House released Christiane’s fourth book, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause. I don’t know how she keeps doing it, but this book is yet another groundbreaking resource for women. It’s also a book that men can learn from as well. After all, most men’s lives are populated by many different women, starting with their mothers!
We women have learned a lot about our bodies from male doctors dispensing information based on countless studies conducted primarily by men. I think it’s high time for men to reap the benefits of learning more about their bodies from women. Christiane Northrup is as good as it gets for a teacher extraordinaire!
Cat Saunders, Ph.D., is a counselor in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is also the author of Dr. Cat’s Helping Handbook: A Compassionate Guide for Being Human (available through Amazon). Contact Cat by emailing her or by calling 206-329-0125 (24-hour voicemail).