Christiane Northrup, MD

Posted on in The Interview by Rob Sidon

Women’s Bodies,
Women’s Wisdom

by Rob Sidon

Born in 1949, Christiane Northrup identified as the black sheep of her family and found solace in spirituality and academics. A Dartmouth-educated ob/gyn, she rebelled against the medical status quo and established herself as a visionary in 1994 after publishing the 900-page Women’s Health, Women’s Wisdom—regarded as the health Bible for women with an alternative mindset. Despite her unconventional honesty and disruptive views, Reader’s Digest ranked her one of the 100 most trusted people in America. Her books, translated into 24 languages, have earned broad praise from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and have been the subject of eight PBS specials.

In her forthcoming book, Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life, Christiane is said to “come out of the closet and stop walking on eggshells” in sharing her spiritual views. In our interview the topics ranged from psychic phenomena and her unusual religious history to the wisdom of menopause and the medical community’s denial of female ejaculation. Her conclusions are deeply empowering to women of all ages while providing particularly wise advice to young women exploring the fine line between life force, sexuality, and sex appeal.

Common Ground: Your famous book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, was published in 1994 and was like the Bible for many women. Why was it such a game changer?

Christiane Northrup: [Laughs] Oh, God. It was a game changer because it was the first time a doctor talked about the processes and functions of the female body as something other than a failed male body. In medical literature the standard for normal had always been the male body—the female body was seen as a lemon. The menstrual cycle was called “the curse,” the horrible monthly flux of women. Writing that book was hard, like reaching with a pickax into some karmic depth, and I was terrified when it came out. The book was a major coming out, and I had dreams that I would be shot. I used to wake up screaming that I would be shot, but in June 1994, the day the book came out, I went into the hospital, and I thought that the doctors were going to say something, but nobody did. I began to realize that for the most part, people are just involved with their own lives and are not really watching you. That was a relief.

I always tried to keep myself included in the jokes. For example, we used to train new residents, and at the residency dinner at the end of the year they would do a slideshow, and they would imitate me with a baby doing a Leboyer type of birth because I did all of that—the delayed cord clamping. I did all that kind of stuff, like putting the baby on the mother’s chest after the baby’s born instead of separating the baby from the mother. Now it’s finally becoming standard at the hospital, but that was just so heresy when I did it, but I knew it was right. The fact that we were laughing with me in the group—then I knew I was safe.

Were you afraid of pushback from the AMA (American Medical Association)?

In the early 1980s when I had finished my residency but still had to take my oral boards in ob/gyn to get board certified, I was afraid they would not pass me if they knew I was doing this heretical stuff called improving one’s diet. I kid you not. That’s how bad it was. If you even made a connection between nutrition and health, it was heresy. At that time I had started to work with Michio Kushi and the Macrobiotic Foundation out of Boston. He brought macrobiotics to the United States, and toward the end of my residency I would sit in on consultations and I watched people get better—not everyone, of course—but I watched the amazing transformation when they began to eat whole foods. This was after the medical profession had totally left them for dead—they’d basically said, “Go home and die,” and then Michio Kushi comes in and actually helps them. The patients would then go back to their doctors, who would still say, “There’s no evidence for this.” They would discount everything instead of being like true scientists and say, “Hey, this seemed to work. Maybe we ought to take a look at this.” The arrogance is stunning to me.

I remember being so afraid when I was going to be on the cover of the old East West Journal at the same time as I was getting ready to pass my boards, and I asked them to please not publish that cover story until afterward. I remember that when they did finally publish the cover story, I called the local food co-op where the East West Journal is sold and said, “Please let me know when these come in.” I went over and bought every issue so that none of the doctors in my community would see it. This was the early 1980s. When Women’s Bodies came out with a major publisher in 1994 I could hardly go around and buy every copy, right? [Chuckles]

You’re accustomed to being a weirdo in your profession, but my understanding is that there is yet a new Dr. Christiane Northrup afoot. That her nontraditional spiritual beliefs are coming out of the closet.

Oh, I love that. Actually it’s who I am and who I have been all along. I decided “Just screw it and put it out there.” This is how I have lived, and it’s worked well for me. This would probably help other people, so why don’t I stop walking on eggshells and just tell the truth? When I was 12, I had a spiritual mentor who was in her 70s, and we’d get together and talk about Edgar Cayce and reincarnation and energy and spirits and angels and even sex—all of that way back then. All of that information I knew to be true. Then I went to medical school. I experienced how society keeps its own members in check in three ways—shame, abandonment, and betrayal. The medical profession is no different, but I believe that people are waking up now on a massive scale. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a very skilled astrologer, but it’s as though the very tools that would free us have been kept secret or they’ve been called the work of the devil, depending on your religious background. It’s fundamentalism in all its many guises, to keep people chained. So all of these ancient systems—astrology, dreams, tarot—all of these things are blueprints of the soul’s journey through life. It’s a script that you have chosen before you were born, but how you play it is up to you. Your free will is how you respond to the script.

I’ve read all of the amazing information on the psychic phenomenon studies from Princeton and Duke. I’ve done a tremendous amount of study on near-death experience, such as Tommy Rosa, the former plumber who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the Bronx at the age of 40. He tells the story of going to heaven and how when we leave our bodies, we transform.

The judgment is our own judgment. It is our soul saying, “Okay, how did you do compared to what you came here to do?” I believe we choose our parents and set the whole thing up so that we can bring a certain amount of light into the dense matter of earth and our bodies. Earth can be a very tough place, but once you see the deeper meaning, life becomes more of an exciting adventure and you say, “Okay, I have divine help here.” The title of my new book is Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life and that’s because any other way of looking at it is so difficult. Who we really are is not even in a body. Our soul is in the body, but our spirit is not. As the Dalai Lama says, “My spirit is in the high places in the pristine mountains, and my soul is in the dark, thick, deep, warm rivers of life.”

When we die, there’s a review?

When you die, there’s this life review. I’ve talked to mediums, and they say that many times our soul will hover for several years in earth-time, reviewing—kind of like, “Okay, so did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish?” If you did, then wonderful—you move on and raise your vibration. If not, you come back but this time to make it more likely that you’ll succeed, the circumstances become harder. I have sort of always known this. When things have gotten really bad, I say thanks to myself and “I’m going to figure this out.” It actually comes down to loving and accepting and forgiving yourself, which is often the very hardest thing to do—and knowing that you’re okay. My standing joke with people is, “Do you want to clean this up with your mother or your dad or your husband? Or do you want to come back as identical twins?” [Laughs]

That’s my take: Let’s get it done now! Whatever our trial is can become the basis for amazing art, right? I don’t want to put suffering on the altar and worship it. Suffering is inevitable on earth—misery is optional. Misery is the person who had a child die and then hates God for the rest of their lives. Or the woman who goes through a divorce and then when her former husband marries a younger woman and has a baby, she’s bitter for the rest of her life. All of this stuff is connected to one’s state of health. Because if you don’t get the message—it comes in your body. There are relationships, but you’re meant to forgive and release and move on. Yes, modern medicine does an amazing job of pulling people out of the wreckage, but it also has a way of keeping us looking in the wrong places. For example, the medical profession loves the germ theory of disease. It instills the latest wave of fear to control everybody to make sure that we don’t actually look where the power is. [Chuckles] Now they’re spraying for Zika virus. A couple of years ago it was Ebola and everyone was terrified of that. Before that it was bird flu—another hoax—and swine flu. And then it was Fifth disease. And on it goes. It keeps people looking in the wrong place for their power.

You don’t seem to get stuck in the victim thing.

Václav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, wrote a book called The Power of the Powerless. Let’s be clear, people get enormous power from waving the victim flag. From the old transactional analysis, we learn the three positions on the triangle of relationships: rescuer, victim, and persecutor. I call it the Bermuda Triangle because nothing ever changes—you just keep changing positions on that triangle. Are people victimized? Absolutely. Are we persecutors? Sometimes, but when we stay there and don’t ask the deeper questions, we’re not in touch with the power to change anything. People could emerge stronger with understanding and not stay in that awful powerless place of the victim. The political correctness of our culture has been a successful censor. We don’t need censorship—we just have the political correctness of each other.

You’ve had your own share of disease. What is the inner wisdom that disease communicates?

That’s a beautiful thing to ask “What is the role of this?” Starting at age 12, I developed severe migraine headaches and was hospitalized for a week. I got astigmatism and near-sightedness. Nobody else in the family had any eye problems. I developed plantar fasciitis and terrible menstrual cramps and had to leave school once a month. In retrospect, all of that was related to my mother’s disgust about being in a female body. My mother, who could do many things well, absolutely detested the feminine and did not know how to love someone like me. She knew how to love my sisters and brothers who were all into sports but didn’t know what to do with me. My empathic sponge-like self made a decision that I was not lovable and that something was wrong with me. So what did I do? I took my drive and my grief and poured it into academics. My own abandoned child, my motherless child-self who was trying to heal, became the fertilizer that created my career in women’s health. It all came from me abandoning myself. Years later I wrote Mother Daughter Wisdom, but it took me eight years to write that book.

The uterus and fibroids—40% of women have them—are the second chakra. It’s the shunting of your creative energy into a deadend job or relationship. In my case it was my marriage. I used to joke that my fibroid was as big as my husband’s head. Now it seems straightforward, but it wasn’t at the time you’re going through it.

I had a condition in my left eye called infectious crystalline keratopathy. There’s only been 80 cases reported in world literature. Luckily, I know enough not to Google and read about diseases because I would’ve discovered there’s no cure and gone blind in that eye. They were giving me antibiotics every hour, but when that wasn’t working I finally got down on my knees and prayed and remembered that high-dose vitamin C used to be used to cure polio. I began to take handfuls of ascorbic acid. Within 24 hours the eye cleared. Vitamin See, S-E-E. [Laughs] That’s how it works—an act of faith.

There’s all kinds of stuff going on with illness. And let’s be clear—there are some systemic things. The burden is not wholly on the individual to figure this out. Whenever we’re stressed our body is far more vulnerable to viruses, and that is also true in the soil. When the soil is well mineralized, plants are far more disease resistant. When it’s poorly mineralized the bugs come. It’s the same with our microbiome. When we’re eating junk food, we’re much more susceptible to viruses. I just read a study from Dr. Mercola who says that one apple in 1950 had as much iron as you would need from 36 apples now.

Anything you care to say about GMOs, since you’re a doctor and we’ve touched on the topic of nutrition and whole foods?

If there are any dark lords, if there’s an evil empire, it’s Monsanto and Bayer. We had a case in Maine of Oakhurst Dairy, a family-owned local dairy that was run by Stan Bennett. Stan put on their milk cartons: “No bovine growth hormone. We never had it, never will.” Monsanto sued him, and the family spent over a million dollars and Stan died of pancreatic cancer. Oakhurst won but was ordered to put on all the milk cartons: “There’s no difference between bovine growth hormone-treated cattle and the milk of others.” Monsanto finally left the business of bovine growth hormone but not before driving all the little guys out of business. Then there’s all these farmers in India committing suicide because they can’t afford to feed their families because when you plant GMO crops, you have to keep using more and more pesticides and more and more fertilizer that is expensive, and it just creates very depleted soil and more resistant pests. I have nothing good to say about GMO crops. There’s no question they are responsible for the increasing epidemic of people with digestive problems. I try to stay away from them as much as possible.

Many people I know are painfully confused when it comes to health and wonder who to trust. People blame themselves, wondering, “Is it my diet? Am I taking the right supplements? Is it my thoughts? My karma?” What do you say to the flummoxed?

Honest to god, the first thing I say is that the flummox is almost always accompanied by a flail—where we begin to beat ourselves up. “I should know how to do better.” It’s like we’re shitting on ourselves and with the disease of “doer-ship.” The most powerful thing you can do is turn the entire thing over to the Divine. This is the work of Tosha Silver, who teaches that you literally say, “Divine Beloved, or whatever name you want to use, give me a sign. This is yours. This dilemma doesn’t even belong to me. Show me what to do.” Otherwise, the ego will try to take over the wheel every freaking time. What does the brain do? What does the ego do? It thinks. It tries to figure it out. You will spend your whole life trying to figure it out and driving yourself crazy. So you just say to the mind, “Honey, you’re so sweet. Thank you for trying to help me. I really appreciate it. Now I’m just going to lie back here and wait for a sign, but I would love your cooperation.” You’ve got to go into the heart. Healing does not happen in the mind. It happens in the heart and in the body.

What do you say to critics who hear you talk about astrology or angels and just say, “What phooey! She should know better—she’s a doctor”?

What’s interesting is I don’t get that anymore. I used to. Like I told you when I was included in the jokes but loved my colleagues. I’ve always loved and respected my profession. I just felt that I was bringing a missing aspect that needed to be included. But I never said, “Oh, you’re wrong and I’m right.” Maybe once a week I’ll get a nasty comment on Facebook or something—far less than it used to be. I think that’s because I’m no longer trying to please everyone. I used to try to see every point of view and to give people the benefit of the doubt, and bob and weave, but now I don’t. When I’m criticized—and it can be quite nasty on the Internet as you know—I will sometimes say, “I’m sorry for your pain,” because I realize people don’t act that nasty unless they’re in pain. I try to stand in the light of who I am and let people be who they are.

What was your religious upbringing? How did you grow up?

I grew up Episcopalian. My dad was a dentist, like his father before him in the small town of Ellicottville, New York. I’m one of five children in a typical 1950s/1960s upbringing, except there was tremendous emphasis on sports, particularly skiing. My mom came from the wrong side of the tracks in Buffalo, and skiing was her salvation. She earned enough money to buy her own skis at 16 and came to my town, where my dad had brought skiing before World War II.

He was in a MASH unit in Northern Italy and North Africa during the war. Later, when I was eight, we learned that he had been previously married and had an annulment during the war. My parents met after the war and married when she was 19 and he was 36 but not in the Episcopal church because he had had the annulment. So let’s just say that religious law didn’t mean a whole lot to our family.

In 1935, when my mother was 13, she was accused of painting the Blessed Mother’s toenails on the altar of the girls’ Catholic school where she was trying to get through. She hadn’t done it, but the priest made her kneel in front of the alter with her arms outstretched for 30 minutes at a time so that she would confess, but she didn’t do it. At the end of the week, the priest came to the house and said to her mother (my grandmother), “Edna won’t confess and she needs to confess.” My grandmother said, “Edna’s an honest child. If she said she didn’t do it, she didn’t do it.” At that point my mother said to the priest, “You say not to gamble, but I’ve watched you playing bingo—that’s gambling.” The priest proceeded to say that she was excommunicated and could never come back. My mother said, “If this is religion, I don’t want any part of it.” So on Sundays I would go to church with my father, and my mother would say, “You go to your church, I’m going to mine,” and she’d go into the woods. She is a great hunter, fisherman, hiker. Mom’s a guy, basically. She’s over 90 now, and we asked her what she wants for her funeral. She said, “The number one thing I want no minister.” So that was my religious training. Her mom didn’t throw her under the bus, and my mom never threw me under the bus.

On the other hand, I played the organ at church all through high school and loved the liturgical year of the Christian church and playing the songs and chants. I played the harp and still do. I was just completely different from my family, the black sheep. I wanted to play in the lilacs with paper doll fairies, and they all wanted to ski and hike and do things with a 40-pound backpack. My sister was on the US Ski Team, the youngest woman on the World Cup circuit.

My dad was into the work of Weston Price, the dentist who went all over the world and saw that peoples’ dentition changed within one generation because of an industrialized food diet. He was a believer in organic food and the natural world and supplements. He spiked the vitamin C in our orange juice. Meanwhile, my aunt and uncle—my dad’s sister and brother—were conventional medical doctors. So I got both sides of the coin. I’ve always loved the profession despite the differences of philosophy because I had that right around the Thanksgiving table.

I had two siblings die: my sister Bonnie, whom I named, was born and at six months she wouldn’t eat and she died. They had put my mother on antibiotics for the entire pregnancy for viral pneumonia. This was at a time when hospitals were fortresses against germs, and they just put the baby in isolation and no parent could hold them; you could only look through a little window.

Then my brother Bill was born. The doctors didn’t know why he wouldn’t eat. One night a nurse said to my mother, “If I were you I’d get him out of here. The doctors don’t know what’s going on.” They had told her that he would die or be retarded. My mom and my dad figured, “Well, if he is going to die, he is going to die at home in our arms.” So they took him and tube fed him every hour. He weighed 10 pounds at one year old, but his esophagus was so eroded from that tube that they had to take it out and just see if he would eat. They waited a couple of days, and he got hungry and started to eat. To this day no one knows what went on with him. As a result of that formative experience I remember saying to my mother, “When I go to medical school I’m going to try to find out why doctors don’t talk to you and why they don’t tell you the truth.” When I applied to medical schools, the guy who interviewed me at the University of Buffalo was the same guy who had been the attending physician on my brother’s case, and he was sure that Bill would be retarded or that he would’ve died by now. Well, my brother runs a multinational corporation now. So I learned early on that Western medicine did not have all the answers.

I had another sister die in the middle of my residency. She had just graduated from the University of Alaska, and she was broadsided in a car accident. That changed the whole family because we were able to get in touch with my sister through a trance channel (Doctor Andre, who came through a woman named Margaret Haney) and learn that my sister was okay and that my grandmother was in the car. So those were the things that were most comforting. Otherwise, you’re left with “life’s a bitch and then you die.“

It is that way for many people.

Yes it is. But I believe we’re connected with the Divine and have the ability to make that connection.

Let’s talk about sex—particularly for women. You’re a big advocate of sexual health, yet many women feel unattractive and juiceless, given the stresses of daily life.

I let people know that sexuality is life force, and every woman is primarily an erotic creature. Naomi Wolfe’s book Vagina talks about the VPA, the vaginal pulse amplitude. This is blood flow into the vagina, and it has been studied in gynecology. We discovered that VPA is the body’s signal for being engaged with life force—the erotic things worth living for. Women can feel that pulse when taking a walk in nature, looking at flowers. Wolfe found that women felt the pulse when their husband threw a couch off the truck at the dump, seeing this big, strong, protecting guy. Or when the guy is tender with their grandmother.

Kim Anami is a cheeky and funny sexual educator who has a program called The WellF*cked Woman. She says some of her most well-fucked times were when she was without a partner—those times when she is completely in tune with life force, with pleasure, with joy. We tend to live from the neck up with our todo list, but when we’re on vacation we have a chance to sink into the pelvis. It’s important for a woman to put attention on her genitals and erotic anatomy. Energy flows where attention goes. Just paying attention literally begins to wake things up. But we have to use our left brains to schedule pleasure. It’s not selfish or self-indulgent. We have to do it on purpose like our life depends on it—because it does.

You know the statistics about women and their inabilities to achieve orgasm. What’s your perspective?

I sure as hell do. Women are by nature multi-orgasmic; however, they don’t understand their bodies. What we’ve been taught in pornography is a sort of big bang theory that you’re supposed to have an orgasm with intercourse, and it should happen in two minutes; otherwise, something is wrong with you. Women have as much erectile erotic tissue as men, but it’s all inside. The clitoris is actually very big, though we only see a tiny bit on the outside. It has 8,000 nerve endings, and it’s the only organ in the body whose sole purpose is pleasure. The G-spot is just the urethral sponge that gets very engorged when you stimulate it. It also stimulates the pineal gland, but women aren’t taught this. If I taught sex education in the schools, I’d actually teach sex education instead of “you’re bad.” I would also teach self-pleasuring so that women would learn how to own and operate their own bodies.

As an ob/gyn what can you say about Amrita, the ejaculate that women store in their bodies? In Sanskrit this means “divine nectar.” The medical community seems to deny its existence.

Oh, absolutely! I’ve written about it. How can they deny it? It’s not urine, and if you look at the ancient erotic texts from China and India, they have woodcuts of beautiful drawings of guys with a whole cup standing under the woman collecting this material. Remember in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues when she had 600 women write to tell stories about their vaginas? One of them talked about all these oceans of fluid that came out and soaked the seats of her car during her first sexual experience. And of course, she shut down and felt terrible when in fact she should be celebrating. You get it from stimulation of the G-spot, which is just superficial to the urethra where it runs through the body just under the pubic bone.

Why is this absent from the medical community?

Nothing! [Laughs] They say nothing because you have to remember they’re dealing all day long with abnormal pap smears, painful bleeding, ovarian cysts, yeast infections, venereal warts, herpes, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies. What the medical profession is doing—and this is why I wrote Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, is cleaning up after a culture that has degraded the feminine for 5,000 years. It’s just a cleanup crew. Why would one in three women have a hysterectomy by the age of 60 in the United States? You don’t see one in three men having his testicles removed. We wouldn’t even think it. I like to compare what men do just to make the contrast. Would guys be willing to give up their prostate and their testicles because they were afraid of cancer? The answer is no.

What is the wisdom of menopause?

It’s adolescence in reverse, where you’re going back to your essential self—who you were as a 9, 10, 11-year-old girl before the reproductive hormones came onboard and opened up the nurturer in you—the one who served others, the job, the family. Now your soul is saying, “What about me?” That’s the inner child you ignored to the point where that inner child has become the shadow self. If you don’t pay attention now, it’s what gives menopause the bad Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde rap of “I’m not myself.” But oh honey, you are yourself. To the degree that you follow it, you thrive. To the degree that you fight it, you get disease, and that’s why the incidence of chronic degenerative disease goes up after the age of 50. It’s not biologically ordained. We live in a culture where women are devalued after the reproductive age—but this is the cool part—because instead of using all of our tremendous energy to reproduce the species, we are using the energy to transform ourselves and our light body. During perimenopause we’re preparing to give birth to a radiant body, and menopause is a huge rebirth. We’re literally creating a new body.

According to my profession, 50% of women suffer from FSD, female sexual dysfunction, after menopause. Again, that’s the norm, but it doesn’t need to happen. It’s not natural. Gina Ogden has done a huge sex study showing women in their 60s and 70s having the best sex of their lives.

You say, “Don’t let your age be your cage,” but our bodies do deteriorate. No?

Absolutely. Our bodies do, but the soul becomes stronger and stronger. As Mario Martinez says, “Getting older is inevitable, aging is optional.” He studied 700 healthy centenarians from all over the world, and they all shared the same characteristics—they’re rebels. So yes, the skin gets wrinkly and you get age spots, but so much of what happens as we grow older is part of a belief that our culture makes us think. Such as we should slow down at 65. That number was chosen by Otto Von Bismarck in 1880 to give German pensioners 14 months to rest before they died. Life expectancy has changed. Back in the Leave It to Beaver days, people looked old who were 50.

Do you ever feel that as you go further along the spiritual path that sexual desire falls off?

[Laughs] This is one of the biggest pieces of bullshit that Eastern religions have handed to people. Let me say what happens to the sexual desires: the guru is the one who gets all the sex and tells everyone else they should be doing seva, folding the guru’s underwear. At this point, when I hear that someone is a minister or a guru, I’m just looking for the sexual addiction because it’s going to be there.

I’m trying to put an -ism label on your spiritual path. It’s nothing clear-cut like Episcopalianism or Buddhism or Vedanta Hinduism.

I think every one of those religions has been male dominated. Look at what the Catholic church has done to female sexuality. Look what all of them have done to female sexuality. So what we do is separate our sexuality from our bodies. There’s this huge sexuality-spirituality split, when in fact spirituality and sexuality are very connected. When a woman sees a sunset or is walking in the woods, she’ll feel her vaginal pulse amplitude. Some will tell you they have an orgasm looking at the sunset. But we have taught people that’s bad and dirty. A woman will be nursing her child and the nipple stimulation feels amazing and she might have an orgasm. Then she thinks she’s a shameful, terrible person. We have 5,000 years of taking women’s sensuality, and for that matter men’s sexuality, and making it shameful. That’s what’s happened with the natural life force. It’s had to go underground in the most strange, perverted, sick ways, like Internet pornography, instead of our owning it.

So your own spiritual path is something of a mixed brew?

My own brew that includes everything I am. When you have a mother who was excommunicated at the age of 13 and stood up to a priest in 1935, you get a different flavor. I’m aligned with the work and the life of Jesus. I am aligned with some of the tenets of Judaism like tikkun, which is right action. I am very drawn to angels, and of course the Tantric path that is about using sexuality as a path to God. I am a kind of animist, Taoist, with pagan overtones and a little Christianity thrown in. [Chuckles] I like aspects of all of them, except the fundamentalism—which is in science and medicine too.

You talk of our egos wanting to be in charge but how do you tackle the ego? It’s not an easy thing.

[Chuckles] I would never tackle the ego or even challenge it. We have to have an ego to do the work we came here to do. Instead I recommend Tosha Silver’s change-me prayers, such as “Change me, God, into somebody who trusts you and who knows that I will be divinely guided. Change me into someone who knows how to deal with my ego. Or just please change me because I don’t have a clue how to do it.” And to the ego that needs a job I just say, “Thank you for trying to protect me. I am going to ask to be changed but thank you.”

Might you share a final message to our Common Ground readership, particularly the women?

To women, particularly young women, I say begin to see yourselves as sexual subjects instead of as sexual objects. I want you to know that the most attractive thing about you is not this seductive let’s-put-on-black-leather thing. Men are attracted to life force. Someone who is comfortable in their skin and healthy—that is what’s sexy. We are attracted to life force! Put away the performance stuff about how often you should be having sex and expand the definition of sex to include things other than penis-and-vagina intercourse. I feel that if women would own their own value sexually—that if they understood that they’re not going to let anyone into their bodies, in any orifice, who does not respect and appreciate them—then the world changes.

I also suggest that the future belongs to those who know how to balance the masculine and feminine. The Mars go-get-it-done thing has held sway on the planet for probably 5,000 years. John Wheeler, the physicist said it nicely—that masculinity expresses the idea that there are things worth dying for, and femininity expresses the idea that there are things worth living for. I would like women to know that the things they are drawn to—beauty, sensuality, comfort, nurturing—that’s just exactly what the world needs. And that’s what they have naturally. So trust it. Trust it and cultivate it.

Rob Sidon is editor in chief and publisher of Common Ground.

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