When Dr. Christiane Northrup brought up the clitoris at the start of our interview, I knew this article would be more stimulating than the one I'd just written on sewage systems.
"The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings," said the good doctor. "And all 8,000 are for the sole purpose of pleasure. The female body was designed for pleasure. I've decided to dedicate the rest of my life to helping women get in touch with that pleasure."
Hmm....pleasure, yes, I remember hearing about that, I thought as I scanned the large piles of papers on my desk, along with a half-eaten peach and the vet bill from when my black lab decided he could eat the whole box of pretzels, cardboard included.
"Do go on," I said.
The author of several best-selling books, including Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, and The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Northrup will be one of the main presenters at the Omega Institute's Women & Courage conference taking place on September 12th-14th in Rhinebeck, New York. Omega's conferences on women are the most inspiring I have yet to encounter. They make me feel refreshed and ready to tackle the world in new and meaningful ways. This year's conference will examine what it really means to be courageous in one's life.
"When we hear the word courage we think of standing tall in the face of loss or struggle or illness," said Northrup. "But what we really need is the courage to find the pleasure in our daily lives. Our body, mind and spirit operate best under pleasurable conditions."
Northrup also spoke about how we live in a crisis culture, where the mainstream media keeps us revved up for the next piece of bad news. This not only affects our emotional and spiritual health, but it puts our bodies in a constant state of stress, which leads to cellular inflammation--the root cause of diabetes, cancer and depression.
"The antidote to this is the practice of deliberate pleasure in your life," she said. "When you are in a state of turn-on, it releases all of the neurochemicals that Prozac does. It also lowers blood pressure and enhances immunity."
Although Northrup says that pleasure doesn't have to come from our sexuality--a good movie or the ocean breeze will do--she is passionately committed to getting women in touch with their pleasure zones.
"We've been taught to cut off from our sexual selves," she said. "We're so afraid of our sexual energy. But when a woman is hooked into her own wiring and keyed into her own pleasure, she is incapable of allowing anyone or anything negative into her life."
Another fun tidbit: Northrup says that when engaging your body in pleasure, you're engaging the right side of your brain--the side that gets you in touch with your intuition, imagination and dreams.
"By engaging in pleasure, women can find their power," she said. "Once they do that, they can throw a rope to their sisters and help them gain the courage to live pleasurably. It can be something simple, like dancing, or putting lotion on your feet..."
"...or finding each one of those 8,000 nerve endings," I added, perhaps a little too inspired.
So, sisters, I give you this challenge:
Come meet me at the conference, and let's find our courage and rise together! Let's joyfully create a more peaceful, sustainable world!
Until then, I'll be conducting some field research on this crucial topic.
For more information on the Women & Courage conference, visit www.eomega.org