Annapurna Woman: Dr. Christiane Northrup

The following is an excerpt from Goddesses Never Age by Christiane Northrup, MD. It is published by Hay House (February 2015) and is available at bookstores and online at We are grateful to Hay House and Dr. Christiane Northrup for sharing this excerpt with us.
All photos by Charles Bush Photography.

All photos by Charles Bush Photography.

by Dr. Christiane Northrup

A Living, Joyful, Present Orientation

Emotions don’t have to get stuck in the connective tissue and energy system of your body, burying themselves ever deeper with the passing years. You can release them as they come up even as you’re working on releasing the old ones. If you adopt a living, joyful, present orientation, you can end the habit of letting unprocessed emotions adversely affect your health and well-being. Dwelling on the past and keeping the old stories alive by retelling them as stories of sadness and loss will age you quickly. You don’t have to be the grieving widow, parent, sister, or daughter anymore. Maybe you’re ready to stop going to the cemetery or to the school where they annually present a scholarship in memory of your late loved one. It’s okay to move on.

Dr. Christiane Northrup

First come the grief and anger. Then comes the party to celebrate everything that was, is, or will be good. The party has already started and it’s called life, so put on your dancing shoes. I currently have about eight pairs of dancing shoes, and I keep them on an altar—with candles! It’s really just a display, but I feel it’s a tribute to the goddess of dance who lives within me and whom I have wanted to welcome my entire life!

Having a living orientation means paying attention to the goodness in this moment right now. Every time I sit down to have a meal with friends, we join hands and I say an impromptu prayer—I bring Divine Love into the food, I praise whoever is sitting at the table, and many times, I comment on whatever pleasure or good has shown up that day. This raises the vibration of the whole gathering and helps keep attracting more happiness, great people, and wonderful situations. You can do the same.

Speaking of shoes, whenever you see someone wearing a great pair, tell her or him, “Those are gorgeous shoes.” Compliment and thank people whenever you can. Share a joke and a burst of nitric oxide. Spreading joy in the moment is a spiritual practice—and so is saying yes to life by allowing yourself to ask for, or go for, whatever it is you want rather than giving in to fear and shame (“Who am I to ask for what I want?”). A couple of years ago, I asked my tango teacher, Paul, to come down to New York City from Portland, Maine, with me so we could dance together at the opening of men’s night at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. He said yes. I was shocked—and thrilled. When I thanked him afterward, I said, “I can’t believe you came down. You’re such a great dancer!” His response was, “Well, I can’t believe you didn’t ask me before. Why wouldn’t I want to come down and dance with you in New York?” Even though I believe we should always go after what we want, I had convinced myself he wouldn’t want to dance with me because I’m not a master, like he is—and that it would be too much to ask of him to perform with me as his partner. As it turned out, I was completely wrong. He felt it was an honor for him and, in fact, the experience led to an entirely new career for him both in teaching tango and in writing about what this dance has to teach men and women about relationships and pleasure. The lesson is that you can’t get what you want if you don’t ask. And if your desire is genuine and coming from your heart, you will find that the fulfillment of that desire has the power to transform everyone who assists you in fulfilling it.

Discard the past and the old ways of doing things. You can create rituals around saying good-bye to the way you used to experience life as a struggle, or to your identification with something that happened long ago that you don’t want to keep breathing life into. Write a letter to the person or situation that you want to release. Read the letter out loud to a trusted friend—or just into the ether. Then burn the letter, letting the smoke rise into the night as a symbol of your transformation. Do this ritual as many times as you need to completely free yourself.

Dr. Christiane Northrup

About Dr. Christiane Northrup

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness, which includes the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness, Dr. Northrup teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life.

A board-certified OB/GYN physician, Dr. Northrup graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and did her residency at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. She was also an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at Maine Medical Center for 20 years.

Dr. Northrup has spent her life as an advocate for women’s health and wellness, first as a practicing OB/GYN physician for 25 years and now as an internationally respected writer and speaker. Her books have been translated into 24 languages.

Her newest book, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Wellbeing (Hay House, February 2105) will inspire women (and men) with an entirely different mindset about what it means to grow older.

Visit Dr. Northrup at