making life easy – Gender & Tribes

“We are all hungry for genuine connection and caring, and we will not get this unless we find our Soul’s tribe. If we don’t find this, we’ll kill ourselves, either by finding an addiction to mask the pain or by ignoring what we need to stay healthy.” -Christiane Northrup M.D.

making life easy by Dr. Christiane Northrup is a book I ordered and read many months ago and then put aside. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I MISremembered sharing a couple of Northrup’s books before (I try not to duplicate authors too soon). I say “MIS”remembered because to my absolute SHOCK, I never reviewed Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Northrup, even though I’ve had it for ages and ages and read through, marked and highlighted it so much that the pages burst from the seams. Sometimes, I make no sense at ALL.

One quick note about that book: IT’S THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE BEST about women’s bodies – the ins-and-outs, comings-and-goings, and any other hyphenated team of words you can think of… yes, even if they’re double entendres.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I had only mentioned Northrup once, in this post about menopause. And it was a double feature! Not even just about her book on the subject. Yeeeeee gads, and yes-indeed-y, I digress.

As I pulled making life easy (Yep, another book title without capital letters in the title. Is this a thing now?) book from the shelf today, I thought to myself… Self, maybe we should talk about how all these self-help books are beginning to sound the same?

Now, where did THAT come from? Because that’s exactly what crossed my mind.

Here’s the thing: It’s not true!

While many of these books have similar themes (How could they not?) if you’re willing to dig a little, keep and open mind and listen for nudges… there is ALWAYS something new to learn. It can be an overreaching arch or simply ONE LINE in the midst of 300 pages. Know what I mean?

In the case of this book, there are a couple of things I want to point out…

  1. The book touts that it is as much for men as it is for women. I like that because many (many, many!) self-help books don’t say anything about gender and yet, anyone can see they’re mostly for women.
  2. The last chapter of the book is about something that is, in my opinion, vitally important! The Power of Community.

Number one doesn’t need much more by way of commentary… though… the more I think about it, the more I think it does.

I’m sitting next to my shelves of self-help books. As I scan the titles and authors, I realize there are more males than I expected. Surely, these are not all books for women? Where did I get that idea, anyway? I had to stop and think about it.

Some of those gender-NOT-neutral thoughts come from the belief that men won’t make life charts and vision boards, which is so dumb because I know they DO. Still, I’m guessing it’s more women than men.

You know, this would be an interesting subject for a dissertation: Self-Help and Gender. Now, if only 60+ yr olds went to university. What’s this? You say, “They do!”? Oh yeah. I forgot. In fact, I forgot about my mom, who – like clockwork – went back to school each decade through her adult life, right through to her sixties. Dr. Mom.

Ahem. Digressing again.

The second thing on my list is about community. Nurthrup begins with a quote:

“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.” -Wendell Berry
(pg.99, “The Body and the Earth”)

It makes so much sense! Doesn’t it?

As if to prove the notion, one need only visit a nursing home. In fact, we all should! Well, once Covid is over, anyway. We should adopt a senior who has no visitors. There’s not a chance in hell that they’ll heal (in any way) if they’re stuck and lonely.

Northrup says that community = immunity. I believe her!

Once of the reasons I struggled so after moving here is that I had nobody but my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he was (and is) amazing. But he couldn’t carry the weight of my loneliness by himself – nor should he. He was busy trying to support us as we navigated a very bumpy road… and that was from day one of my journey to Canada.

No, I needed more. It wasn’t until 2006, when I got a permanent job in an office and became “a part” of the mission and vision of the place, not to mention assisting my husband with our finances. I was blessed in so many ways, not the least of which has been several relationships that are precious to me. I was a part of the tribe – and it made all the difference.

I suppose it’s part of why, since 2014, I have struggled. Completely contrary to what makes me feel “a part of,” I have bounced from job-to-job. It wasn’t my intention when I accepted the positions. Each time, I thought, okay, I can do this until I retire.

What I’m doing now is looking NOT FOR the next tribe to pay me… my quest is instead for a little job to help sustain our finances. My TRIBE has shown itself to me over the last two years or so… it is the self-help, blogging and empowerment communities. Through them (hopefully!) I will one day (soon!) NOT NEED another job because I will be helping others and being paid to do so. That is my vision!

So, that’s what this book evoked. It might evoke something different in you! That’s the neat, wonderful, exciting thing about good self-help authors and books. This author and book… good ones! In fact, GREAT!!

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