The REAL Whole Woman work!


The last few weeks, for me, have served as a serious reminder that the Whole Woman work is for life, and that the principles we have learned here must never fade from consciousness. It has also served as a great refresher on just how very difficult it is, to navigate everyday life in posture with whatever may be thrown our way. But most of all, it has reminded me (not that I needed a reminder) that I don’t know where I’d be today without Whole Woman.

I have been very symptomatic recently. It has crept up on me slowly, because, thanks to Christine’s teachings, I have never fixated on or worried about my wandering organs. I understood what was happening, and knew just what to do, and any setbacks were short-lived and not a cause for alarm.

I attribute my current situation primarily to the increased levels of care needed for my elderly mother, and the increased tension and stress that go along with it. Especially on the weekends, when I am “on duty” for almost 72 hours straight. This weekend I even pulled out the mirror (almost unheard of for me!) and was pretty dismayed at the view down under.

I think the sneakiest part is the gradual and almost undetected increase in the quantity and frequency of very poor obtuse body angles. Leaning out over her to perform the tasks of dressing/undressing, serving up food and meds, hand-washing in her chair, and hoisting her up to a sitting or standing position and keeping her there, without paying attention to body angle or to whether I’m hinged at the hips or have a flattened spine. And even when I do think about it, a good body position just isn’t always achievable at every moment……don’t we all know this!! All of it goes on non-stop around the clock. Sleep is compromised; there is frustration, and along with this, the dreaded tension in the belly.

And there is more. Priority not being given to existing opportunities to take a nice posture walk (which if done nightly, would probably solve ALL of this). Worse and worse slouching when I’m propped up in bed, trying to relax and prepare for sleep. Worse and worse toileting habits, on which I will elaborate, for the benefit of the many with elderly parents or small children, who can surely relate: I am tending to nibble and graze more, instead of having meals on a schedule. This causes more frequent bowel movements/bathroom visits. I tend to push and strain a bit, in hopes of finishing up before the next random interruption. If NOT interrupted, I tend to sit and “relax” too long, in a terrible slumping position which exerts downward pressure.

Still more. During the week I may be working in the kitchen while dressed in good work clothes. Not wishing to splash myself, I will stand just a little ways back from the sink or stove, and reach forward. Bye-bye lumbar curve! (Yes I know, an apron or smock will easily solve this dilemma).

So remember ladies, nobody gets a pass on this. It is maintenance, not a cure. Remember all your tools…..walking, firebreathing, jiggling, proper toileting, driving, lifting, and most of all, “remembering to remember”. Not just in your normal standing and walking-around posture (I’m doing fine, there). It’s in all the little things we do all day. It ALL adds up. I’ve been a touch careless about a number of things in recent years, and now it’s all coming back on me.

Thank you Christine, for bestowing this wisdom on us. I don’t have to tell you guys how I feel. Just wish I was making it out there this year!! Lots of love to Christine, Lanny, our practitioners (including the upcoming grads!) our moderators and contributing members..... love you all! - Surviving

Dear Surviving,

Many many thanks for this heartfelt update. It’s difficult for me to imagine how hard you’ve worked over the past several years caring for your mother. What a wonderful daughter you truly are.

You certainly are aware of all the little stresses and habitual patterns that are adding up to worsening symptoms. It would be lovely if suddenly you could change all that, but in reality you need someone to come in and relieve you of your duties for several weeks so you can re-set. My hope is that you receive such relief.

In case you have to keep up the good work on your own, I think I have something that will help you at a whole new level. I injured my back last winter and the subjects of this new video were what came out of my healing process. We will be notifying everyone tomorrow that it is available.

I spent 3 days last week with such a lovely post-hysterectomy woman. Working with her reminded me that “our worst day is better than the post-hysterectomy woman’s best day.” It is the cruelest of surgeries and none of our bulges even compare with the feeling of impending evisceration.

We are very busy bees here getting everything ready for the WW Conference. Carol and I have lots of great stuff planned, and Saturday night we’re going to open the WW Center and share a New Mexican feast. So wish you were going to be with us.

Please know we send lots of love in return, and many prayers for your full recovery.

Hugs from Christine

Dear Surviving,
I haven't had to look after my elders as intensely as you, and I do hope you can get a break - even regular ones as you go.
I know that tension and awkward angles can get us, having experienced it with driving a lot more for a period of time to help/ and be there for elders this year.
Please look after yourself too - you have come up with some of your own ideas in your post, so let us know how you go with them.
much love to you and your Mum,

Aussie Soul Sister

Hello ladies,
Thank you for this. I feel so grateful today for all that I have learned from this site and from you ladies in particular. I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties and challenges that you have but heartened to hear that you are managing.
I have been at this for several months. I do the exercises almost daily and ward off various suggestions to "just do kegels" or "have you considered surgery?"
Yesterday I worked in my garden, cleaned up my yard, cooked for family-all remembering to remember to stay in posture-which I have learned from you IS much of the work and is a lot like-as one of you said-keeping a car on the road by making subtle corrections! It works. I never forget that I have a prolapse but it is manageable. Very manageable. And sometimes I do forget.

I wonder if you might be interested in some of my spiritual musings about this…?
I'm always conscious that "as above, so below" and that our spirits are so interconnected with our physical etc.
My story began when I was straining on the toilet.
Straining: to force or make a strenuous or unusually great effort.
Prolapse: falling out of place.

Please know that I'm very aware that this my story and that other women's experiences are unique to them…

It's hard for me to stay "in place". To be present. I know that when my prolapse occurred I was very much not present.
So much pushing and pulling to get somewhere or think about something or be concerned about something else. My goal these days, perhaps embodied in my prolapse story, is to become accepting and friendly to my present moments, to the "place" I'm in. Believing if I will stop straining and efforting that the moment, and perhaps life itself will become friendly to me.

This thinking helps. I reminded myself many times yesterday to relax, to stay in place, and to just be. It was an excellent day.

Much love and thanks to you al!!

Hi Mamacita - this is a lovely post and I thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is indeed such a spiritual aspect to the WW journey, and being in the present moment is one of the most important lessons that we can learn from it. I hope your writings here will help others to remember this, and to explore all the unexpected benefits that can accrue from this shift into mindfulness and appreciation. - Surviving

I am reading your posts a year later from when you wrote them and they are all supporting me so much! I have only been on the site for 3 weeks and am learning the true scope of the gift and challenge of being "in WW Posture". It is making the difference between not being able to walk without gimping and being able to successfully wander through a museum without pain. And Surviving, yes...all the other positions in life make walking seem like a snap (not really, yet!). I am wondering if you have been able to receive support in caring for your she still here...and how are you? Thank so much for is the consistent awareness that I sense you are all cultivating that calls to me. Gratitude!

Hi SET and thanks for your post. What strikes me when I read this, one year later (I had completely forgotten it!) is that I could have written the same thing yesterday. Still dealing with the same issues only we're both a year older! I remain very conscious of my shortcomings when it comes to the small posture-related things that I do throughout the day. I am lucky I can still keep her in her apartment and that at 68 I can still work with the assistance of aides to care for her during the work day. It keeps me sane and those hours away from her are the best for my posture, for sure. I'm glad these posts are helping you, SET, keep us informed of your progress! - Surviving

Wow, Surviving! I cared for my dad into his nineties but I did not have to do the hard labor that you are doing...I imagine you are seeing some of your own patterns in your mom and her body issues. My mom finally succumbed to colon cancer so that for sure keeps me looking after my own digestive health. I am babysitting for 5 days for my grandkids who are 2 and 7 and am absolutely exhausted after the first day...just trying to stay in posture while chasing a 2 year old around the playground and telling the 7 year old he can't jump on me any more! My condition got so much worse about 6 months ago so I am attempting to pull myself back from the edge of dysfunction! I see that it is lifetime commitment!! Thanks for being great...even in all those moments where no-one knows! xoxo SET