Every October we are flooded with commercials and reminders to get our boobs squeezed and focus on prevention and health of women against breast and ovarian cancers. There is a pastel pink color that is splashed everywhere against the bright autumn colors that everyone instantly recognizes as the color associated women and cancer. There are runs, walks, fundraisers and more all in the interest of raising money to find a cure. You can even up your grocery bill to donate that way too. These are all worthy causes and I’m happy that people are paying attention to the need for finding a way to deal with these devastating diseases but isn’t there something underlying and fundamental that we are missing?
While I think these causes and focus on women’s health are important what are we individually doing every day to reduce our own risk? What do we do that helps our health be better overall? Are you only worried about your boobs in October?
I have been very fortunate to date that I have not had any serious health issues (knock on wood). I also realize that I don’t always make the best diet and exercise choices that can be considered the roulette risk of dancing with danger when it comes to things like diseases. As women we are all under a lot of pressure and stress to do a lot in our days and by nature we are very caring people so our needs very often go last on the attention list. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about our body or that we don’t think these other things are important but sometimes it just doesn’t work in trying to fit everything in.
Society has Failed Women
Look I’m the last person in the world to tell someone else about priorities in their life. I have often been the one that said if I spent all the 30 minutes a day doing the things people say you should do I would have no day left to do the obligations and responsibilities stuff. Sorry boss can’t work today because I have to do all these 30 minutes of activities that I’m supposed to do be the healthy, wealthy and wise – working out, reading, meditating, meal prepping, family meal that night, reading to my child, checking my breasts and so on. It’s noble and commendable but exhausting and no woman I know has time for all that.
We live in a confusing world when you are a woman. You are taught you can do anything a man can do. You can serve in the military, you can go to college and you can be anything you want in this world. That’s powerful to teach our daughters of this wonderful possibility they can have in their lives. Women have excelled in careers and professions that just a couple generations ago wouldn’t have been possible. Yes I know we still wage a battle on equality in pay but the achievements and advancements women have made professionally cannot be ignored. Being equal to men in the workplace has propelled our world to places I don’t think would have been possible otherwise.
Yet at the same time women have been achieving these great milestones it has been with great sacrifice and criticism. It is both a blessing and a curse because at the same time you pursue that awesome career you need to still balance that against all the things a woman needs to do like nurture her children, prepare her family’s meals, take care of her family home, and be a loving spouse. When are you getting married and having children is still the top question asked of women! In 2019 this is still a hot question every young women will be asked by relatives, friends and their employer.
When women finally achieved the right to be recognized as equal to men there wasn’t a shift and rebalance in anything, women simply took on more! And we continue to take on more every day! We sacrifice and put off family things because it can be seen as a negative in the workplace. You can be a woman in a powerful career as long as it doesn’t interfere with your job emotionally because you are torn and feel guilty being away from them and physically because you need to be in two places at once oftentimes between family and work needs. As women we work hard at both of these areas in our lives and as a result our own health and needs go under served every day.
Yes Society you have failed us women and when we say something about it there is criticism and push back from men and women! We wanted this right? We wanted all that we have and now we can’t handle it? So many of us just suck it up and press on thinking we’ll prove them wrong or achieve it all and then be able to hire out help and reshape what’s occurring to make it easier for the next women. Yet very little movement for those changes has actually occurred. We may have some stay at home dads these days but it sill in the majority of cases is the woman carrying the bulk of home responsibilities like cleaning the house, meal shopping and preparation and childcare.
We Wear it With Pride
So when October comes around and the world is pale pink everywhere you go, it makes me wonder if our focus should really be on how we achieve improved women’s health physically and emotionally every day. How we actually rebalance work and family on the scale so women can have that 30 minutes to exercise or take care of herself without guilt or shame. Where she can actually succeed at a career and not forego having a family because that will be seen as a weakness in the workplace. Where it is recognized more than just on Mother’s Day all that a woman does for her family every day in addition to working full time.
Women have endured these revolutionary changes and continue to just get what needs to be done every day but the biggest sacrifice we are making in that pursuit is often to our own health physically and emotionally. Show me a momma who isn’t exhausted the majority of the time but still is up late folding laundry so her family has clothes the next day. Show me a professional woman who isn’t laden with guilt over going on a work trip and missing her children’s important school events. I still wear the guilt of having to miss first days of school, Halloween trick or treating and even a school performance because I had to be away for work. Mom guilt is real. Yet we don’t show these guilty feelings and emotional tugs outwardly because we will be considered weak, emotionally unable to perform at the top levels and unfocused on our jobs. Trust me these things are talked about at the table when there’s discussions about who should be promoted, what pay and bonuses should be and when there’s a need for layoffs.
So against all that we should still focus on our health and do our monthly breast checks and wear the fact we are women with pride. I a lot of the times feel more exhausted than prideful. How about you?
The Pink Message
Cancer is an ugly disease that has taken a lot of great women way too early in life. Until we can truly reclaim our freedom and balance the scale with how it looks to have it all and the balance between family and work I fear we will continue to see this disease claim too many of us.
I think the pink message is important but it stops at looking at what could really prove to be the best prevention for all of us. Namely resetting the societal expectations we have about women. We won’t all have perfect bodies that fit into size 2 jeans and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we have a family and a career. We should not feel like we are pass our prime because we are certain age or we can’t do something because we’re not old enough or we might have a family that would complicate our career. Yet society has these expectations of what a women should look like, behave like, feel and do in every situation we are in every single day. As women we may have broken a glass ceiling but there is still much more to be done to realize true equal pay, responsibilities and how life it managed every day for many families and women.
When you put on your pink t-shirt this October, stop and think about what else that pink message means to you and how if we could stop and rebalance a few things we might actually be able to improve women’s health in a way we could never do before. What a world it would be if we could actually prevent things like cancer because we honored what it means to be a woman instead of tried to fit it in against antiquated and unrealistic expectations.
The First Step
I don’t know how to change the world to achieve these things but I feel by continuing to not get down to the root cause of what is causing these incredibly devastating diseases we are all suffering and at risk. Prevention will only take us so far unless we make drastic changes to our society and lifestyle. One of the ways you can support women’s health as we find a way to change the world is through nature. Women and nature are aligned at the soul level and the more we return to nature the more we realize the changes we can make individually and as a society.
My two favorite ways to support my health and honor my body is by applying a drop of doTERRA Frankincense to my breasts daily after the shower and using the doTERRA Clary Calm during my menstrual cycle. These two pure natural oils are powerful at supporting healthy cell regeneration and providing relief to pain and cramps. It may not change the world but it changes me in a way that I can get through my day as a mom, wife and professional as best I can with grace.
Each of us has a choice each day of how we will take back the pride of what we are and what we can do. We are considered super heroes and warriors due to our strength and endurance that has carried us great lengths so far but we must reclaim our femininity and not feel bad about having it. This doesn’t mean just taking on more and showing everyone a woman can do and have it all but rather it means honoring and respecting ourselves to strike a true balance in our world for women to be women and fulfill the purpose we were put here to do.
If you would like to learn more or look at ways nature can support your health, then check out my Healthy Hormones Course. This self-paced course walks you through the major causes of hormone imbalances and offers a personalized plan for reclaiming your hormonal health.
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