Saturday, October 14, 2017

Unraveling the Hashimoto's Affair: The Damsel in Distress

Donna-Lynne Larson, director/writer/producer
Walk Talk Dance Sing

An Unraveling Wellness Mull...
Giving one's power away:

"The Damsel in Distress may be the oldest female archetype in all of popular literature and the movies. She is always beautiful, vulnerable, and in need of rescue, specifically by a Knight and, once rescued, she is taken care of in lavish style. When disappointed, a Damsel must go through a process of empowerment and learn to take care of herself in the world. The shadow side of this archetype mistakenly teaches old patriarchal views that women are weak and teaches them to be helpless and in need of protection. It leads a woman to expect to have someone else who will fight her battles for her while she remains devoted and physically attractive and concealed in the castle. Many women still expect to marry a man who will give them a castle and take of them. And some men are raised to expect to do this."
-- Caroline Myss

It's pretty obvious that the classic "damsel in distress" psychology is being played out in this Hashimoto's-affair. This is a deeply-ingrained generational pattern learned very early on (hello, Cinderella),  downloaded directly to the psyche, and few of us "modern, progressive, liberated grown-up women" will admit to being afflicted---and most of us certainly are not conscious of it. I know I wasn't.

But, clearly, a large percentage of the masses still play into this archetype very strongly to this day, the "sweeping romantic fantasy" always looking to be fulfilled.

It's particularly evident around this "mostly female" health issue--an "affair," as revealed in "Walk Talk Dance Sing," that is demanding our female energy rise-up and express itself, in order to "balance the system" (both the individual's system and, subsequently, that of the entire earth collective).

Instead, we hear the anxious ongoing rally cry, the age-old mantra: "They (preferably tall, dark and handsome HE) will fix this!"

And of course, if we are always in need of fixing, we will continue to look for things to fix, so we can, as per the archetype, "be rescued and taken care of."

This is the pattern in action.

It is the embedded belief that the "promising savior" is going to make everything OK for ME.

Let's be real: with the archetype in play, it stands to reason that if we fix this issue,  there will be another one to fix following close behind. It must be this way in order to fulfill the fantasy, where "the allure of the safe elegant castle" becomes more intoxicating than the realization of personal fulfillment, ease, and contentment.

Keep in mind that for every Damsel in Distress there is a Knight in Shining Armour---this is a classic male archetype.

The romance is destined to go on....and on.

Without realizing how essentially degrading and destructive this really is, we bow down with awe to the (self-anointed?) "thyroid doc rock stars," (hello, Prince Charming), and we weep at their feet and hail them as mighty and brave (and, under the dreamy influence, we find ourselves buying whatever it is they are selling.  I mean, who can resist?)

We need only look at our top ranking "mainstream Hollywood-ish" doctors and their audiences and we can see the love in action---check out our ever-suave Dr. Oz , the ever-knowing Dr. Phil, and the ever-virtuous Dr. Mercola with their (beautifully ailing) female fan clubs of MILLIONS. ( Do these men really have a stronger grasp on the female body and mind then say our much less popular female practitioners?)

HE will save us!

He MUST save us!

In what I have deemed "ThyroidLand," (essentially the land of "thyroid commerce"), there are male physicians and "specialists" who have marketed their way to the front of this female issue, suited-up nicely and sitting at the front of "expert panels," dutifully taking on their role: They convincingly "tell" us "what we need, how we feel, and how to fix it."

Well-intentioned though they may be, (I see it as primarily self-serving), these male doctors will never understand the female physiology and experience as well as a female will. It's simply not possible.

Consciously or unconsciously,  Prince Charming is given full permission to "take the lead," swirling us around the dance floor, so smooth, so smart, so strong, so sexy.

"Here, follow me, this way," he assures us, "Don't worry, I've got you."



(Cue the Eyelash flutter)

Oh yes, you had us at hello.

All I can say is, "Well played, gentlemen, well played."


(Personally, I find dancing in corsets and glass slippers to be extremely uncomfortable.)


The film "Walk Talk Dance Sing" is here

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More from Caroline Myss on Female Archetypes

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shake it off!

It's true, we tend to let things "build up." We not only accumulate stuff in our closets, desks, cupboards, etc, but in our bodies as well. It's also true however that we actually have a natural response to "shake things off" that we seem to have forgotten over time.

Ever notice how your body will tremble after a "close call" when you're driving? The adrenals freak out!  There's an immediate "shake off" to stress. Children do this "shake off" instinctively and "normally" (physically and vocally)---until they are led to believe it's wrong, and society's programming tells them that it's much better to hang on to all that stress.

Stress can literally get stuck in your body, where you might feel tight shallow breathing, feel intense muscular tension, and anxiety,--which are all caused by the presence of stress hormones.  This "shake off" is the body's natural response to stress.

You will observe that many animals in nature do this, such as polar bears and rabbits and ducks! They shake several times in a day to get rid of stress or trauma that they have experienced. Watch a couple of ducks: you'll see that immediately after a "kerfuffle,"  they'll move away from each other and do a "shake out." How perfect is that? ( Great couples' therapy!)

---Give it a try...don't get too out of control if you're not warmed up...go at it gently to begin...first, stand with knees slightly bent ( not locked) and feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, RELAX your jaw, now shake out your hands, and let that shake move into your arms and up into your shoulders....see where it leads.  Let the breath relax, stretch your face, make sounds if you wish, like AHHHH! You can give the feet and the legs a shake and then, for the grand finale: shake the hips! (Go on, show Shakira how it's done!)

If standing is not comfortable, you can do this lying down. Simply raise your arms in front of your chest, and shake out the hands, up through the arms, and into the shoulder. You can shake out your legs by keeping them on the floor and gently bouncing them and/or rolling them in and out. You'll figure this out ...move intuitively, with the breath, and never "push or strain". Be kind.

Tip: If you look and feel ridiculous, you're doing it right!

After shaking, "moving all this energy," take a moment and enjoy "the sensations" running through your body after this rejuvenating shake off.  This is a great opportunity to switch from the "thinking mind"--close your eyes and FEEL the body tingling, each cell being affected by this liberation and therapeutic reorganizing of hormones, lymph fluids, the blood, the breath...

I bet you will feel better after 30 seconds of "letting things go"!  In the world of energetic wellness we learn, "the moment you change the form, you change the content"-- meaning the entire system ( endocrine, nervous, immune, emotional) sets off with new instructions, new signals start firing off, something new unfolds and energy is set in motion.

"The fastest way to still the mind is to move the body." -- Gabrielle Roth, 5 Rhythms Dance

(As a side note, kids will happily participate with you. In fact, instead of a "time out" I think kids might really be better served with a good "shake it out.")

Photo credits: Sophie and Jen, Integral Movement Class with Donna-Lynne, "Shake it off",

"Walk Talk Dance Sing," the movie about thyroid disease, is here.

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