I thought people were being overly sensitive. I was wrong.
Cheryl is a friend of mine who has found her own, effective way to deal with a long-term heart condition. Something that could have killed another person appears to have become her call to live more closely in-tune with herself, nature, and the people she loves. How many of us can reset a bad mood with a walk outside? How many of us can change our life direction by spending serious time in nature? The physical and mental aspects of nature and health are interconnected in astounding ways. Let's take a walk.
"By relegating sex and vaginas to compartmentalized regions of medicine and culture, we remove them from the whole context of wellness." We leave a strange vacuum in awareness, knowledge, and honest conversation about female health because we are too embarrassed to talk about it.
Women are caregivers. We care for our families, our communities, our jobs, and our organizations, but for some reason we have a hard time caring for ourselves. We don't seem to see the connection between the effort we spend on the caregiver and the level of care we are able to offer. I love it when mamas decide that taking care of themselves might be a wise investment of time and energy. Michelle is a perfect example of a committed professional and mom who has decided it is time to care for the caregiver. This is her story.
Jake Keiser is the last person I would have expected to sell me a goat. She is beautiful, smart, and refined and she is a farm girl. I met her through a friend when she first made her dramatic move from urban Florida to rural Mississippi. Many of us dream of giving it all up and exiting our successful lives for something with more substance, but few people are brave enough to take that leap into the unknown for the slim chance that there might be something more beautiful on the other side. Jake leapt into that dark hole in her life, and came out the other side shining. This is her story.
When I was younger, I looked forward to “retiring” and doing the things I love to do. Now that the time is here, sooner than I thought, I’m afraid I won’t be able to do the things I love. Even though I was born with a congenital heart defect and health care professionals have ALWAYS been a part of my life, I never once considered that I might have to stop working because of my health – not once. Until now.
It has been almost six months since my diagnosis and the beginning of my treatments, and I am happier than I ever was before. I am thankful that through my struggle with mental illness I made the decision to be a real person with real feelings instead of an empty shell with a smile permanently plastered on my face. I would rather learn to love myself for the mess I am than hate myself for not being perfect.
Sarah is on of the thousands of brave women who found her own solutions to overcoming vulvodynia, a female health disorder that affects as many as 1 on 12 women. One of the reasons I wrote Rethinking Women's Health was because of the sheer numbers of women like Samantha who shared their brave stories on Facebook Support Groups. These women go through countless doctors and years of pain before they find answers. The good news is that there are answers if you are persistent in advocating for your health. This is Sarah's story:
Becky is a cheerful Lifestyle Blogger from the UK who contacted me about writing this post on her unexpected bout with anxiety. I think it is important to note that someone as chipper as this go-getter can experience periods in life when mental health is a challenge. Anxiety and depression don't discriminate, and it is up to us to find the tools and get the help needed to come through the other side.