Rebecca Elia's Blog

All about Feminine Health, Healing, and Greece

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blessings in 2010!

Moon at Tholos, Delphi

Full Moon, Blue Moon, Eclipse...What a perfect ending to 2009 and perfect beginning to 2010!
Time to let go, clear, cleanse, and greet the new.

Blessings to you all in the New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Point of New Return

It’s supposed to be the most joyous time of the year, and yet we all know that depression rises at the year-end winter solstice holidays. It may the most joyous time of year, but it’s also the darkest. And, perhaps, this is the point. Joy and light need the darkness out of which they arise.

Our society doesn’t do well with all things dark. Nor do we appreciate dissolution or death. It’s no wonder we have such a difficult time right about now. Our fear and depression go far beyond seasonal affective disorder and lack of natural light. In the middle of a time when we should be able to slow down and rest, most of us are in overdrive. So much needs to be completed before the end of the year. So much needs to be done in preparation for the holidays. Winter holidays, in themselves, are bipolar.

Add to this a disastrous year of financial woes and unemployment, and it’s downright scary for so many of us. Many feel that they are on the brink of collapse, at the point of no return.

But this is exactly what happens before something new is born. The darkest hour truly is before dawn. I suggest that rather than the point of no return, this may, in fact, be a point of new return.

The end of the year is time to take stock of 2009 and set intentions for 2010. But many of us have fallen behind on the lessons of 2009. Now, perhaps more than any other time in our lives, we are being asked to let go. Let’s face it, if we don’t let go willingly, it will happen without our permission, because the change that is here is out of our control. It’s essential that we address what we’re still hanging onto, what we refuse to release—because this will be our weakest link for the New Year.

For those of you who are interested in astrology, mercury retrograde from December 26th through January 15th will work in conjunction with this release. It will support this intense clearing. So, take advantage, and 2010 will be that much easier.

If you notice a lot of old stuff coming up around the holidays—with work, home, family, self—you are not imagining or regressing. Rather, you are re-visiting all the leftovers stacked in your refrigerated-soul that need to be thrown out, once and for all. And you don’t need to thaw them out first! From one who fights tooth and nail against inevitable change, please don’t follow my example. It doesn’t work, and it only leads to more fear and pain. Instead, better to end the year as a true Thanksgiving, a time to recognize what we each hold dear, to shed what is not, and an opportunity to allow ourselves to walk on our true paths in 2010.

I wish you a Joyful Holidays and Blessings in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fall Colors and a Long Winter’s Nap

I realize that it’s a bit late to be doing a post on fall colors, but, keep in mind, I live in California. I recently spent a wonderful week in the Washington DC area with a new friend. Although I wasn’t visiting to see the sights, it was impossible, with DC so close, not to take advantage. My friend was an amazing guide. The last time I had been in DC was as a young teen, and I hadn’t seen the places I was seeing now: Embassy row, Georgetown, a dozen different neighborhoods. Our tour culminated in viewing the major DC sights while whizzing around on a segway. It was a blast! I highly recommend it.

What I didn’t expect was that my trip would fall on the exact week of the spectacular change in colors. Everywhere we went, we were flooded with red, orange and yellow light. I had lived in Maine for two years, more than a decade ago, and I had almost forgotten nature’s spectacular fall show, followed by an equally spectacular winter show and, then, a magnificent spring show! My mother, having grown up in Michigan, had excitedly described to me the fall colors that I had only minimally witnessed on the scarce deciduous tree-lined blocks in the San Francisco Bay Area. But nothing prepared me for my first Maine autumn. I grabbed my camera and excitedly took pictures of every majestic deciduous display that I encountered. (Yes, I went through a lot of film in those pre-digital days.) But what I wasn’t prepared for was the light. I loved being bathed in the golden glow resulting from this marriage of trees and sun.

When winter arrived, I was equally unprepared for its magnificence. Unlike my thorough preparation for the mechanics of winter (some of which got laughs from the Mainers --collapsible shovels, all-wheel drive vehicle, silk underwear, fleece-lined boots) I was overwhelmed and awed by the serene deep quiet, the play of the moonlight against the white show, the ice-storm-adorned trees, and the bright blue sky.

And then, after mud-month, spring appeared with bursts of color and choruses of birds.

As I experienced the change of seasons, I started to notice something more profound, something that I had not experienced in California. My life slowly merged with that of the seasons. The weather became the most important local news, so welcome after the daily murders that had filled the other local news of my hometown. When there was a snowstorm, schools shut down, and life slowed down. The depth of peace and quiet there was almost palpable. My body and soul went into hibernation and experienced rest unlike any before.

We are entering into winter now, and most of us are running faster and faster. The holidays are always tough, but coupled with this financial disaster and the disintegration of our established structures, this holiday season is particularly difficult. If you live in a place that experiences this dramatic change, then use it to slow down. Our bodies and souls need this rest in order to make it through the rest of the year. If you, like me, don’t live in such a climate, then you must be particularly careful not to get caught up in the rat race.

Winter is for rest. Do not take on anything extra. Get more sleep. Take this opportunity to build peacefulness and retreat into your day. Everything is birthed from this state of gestation. It is necessary. Without it, new creation fails. Our bodies may make it to spring, but nothing is birthed. The seasons are here to mirror our journey and guide us along our way.

Pay attention. Quiet yourself and listen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hot Pink

What kind of pink are you? Before you cry out, “I’m not pink at all. I’m sick of the pink thing!” wait, you might change your mind.

There’s been a whole lot of pink going on lately. Between the pink ribbons and pink glove dance for breast cancer and pink standing for just about everything feminine, I, too, as one reader put it, am all pinked out!

But if I were to be honest, I like pink. When I was young, I chose a hot pink and orange shag rug carpet for my bedroom. The same two shades of pink and orange, as well as my favorite color purple, showed up in the fabric for my bedspread and window shade. A paler pink burlap covered my walls and the piece de resistance, a hanging basket chair, occupied one corner! It was the bedroom of any tweens’ dreams.

I always loved pink, but the pink I loved was the hot pink variety, not the soft mild shade that, with my olive skin and dark hair, would have made me look a ghastly jaundiced yellow.

My silver (protected under a pink cover) iPod is reaching the end of its days. I’ve ordered a new battery, but from what I gather, off the You Tube self-help battery-replacement video, I’m in for hell. No guarantees. So, just to be safe, I ordered a brand new top-of-the-line silver 16GB iPod Nano—you know, the one that takes videos, gets FM radio, doubles as a pedometer and gets you hot dates for the weekend. It arrived yesterday. I excitedly pulled off the massive amount of adhesive tape on the outer box (What are they thinking? That the thing is alive inside and ready to jump out at any moment?) And there it was my beautiful new shiny sil..v… OH NO! What is this hot pink thing?? Where’s my beautiful classy silver iPod?

That perky thing had the audacity to give me a saucy look back, as if to say “What, you can’t handle me? Too much for you, am I?” Why that little…

Then I thought, hmmm…the universe is playing a joke on me. Isn’t my pink this exact shade of hot pink? When has my version of the feminine ever been soft or gentle (or prissy or baby)? Nope, my version has always been electric, dramatic, powerful, and perky. She says what she thinks, doesn’t bow down to anyone, protects the innocent, and never backs down. So, yes, I kept her.

How about you--what version of pink are you? What color is your feminine?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines and the Pink Glove Dance

Warning: I’m putting on my white coat for this one.

I recently posted the video “Pink Glove Dance,” created by Oregon-based Providence St. Vincent Medical Center to raise breast cancer awareness. I received the following comment: “Dumb downed—think pink is past its time. This is insulting to women – they need science, facts, not moronic dances.”

Because I was not provided with a means to reply to this individual directly, I decided to reply publicly instead.

First and foremost, if by posting this video I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize. Just in case, I have removed the video from my post. It was never my intention to belittle or insult women. As a gynecologist, I have devoted over twenty years of my life to helping and empowering women in creating healthier lives-- including those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I have witnessed far too many women, including close friends, suffer or die from this disease. I, of course, fully support continued research to find better solutions and agree that we have waited far too long for breast cancer research and, frankly, for most women’s health research.

Regardless of what any of us may think of “pink,” or the use or misuse of this term, this video has become viral and is reaching hundreds of thousands of people. This was their intent, to raise awareness. By and large, most comments to articles about this video going viral on sites such as The Huffington Post have been overwhelmingly positive. With the exception of the hundreds of pink gloves used to produce this video (don’t get me started on the environmental and health effects) I, personally, cannot diss Providence St. Vincent Medical Center for their creative approach, especially if it brings more support for the continued research that we need to save our women.

Because many of you have asked for information regarding the new breast cancer screening guidelines, and because I do not use my blog to post medical information, I have decided to launch the Creating Feminine Health Newsletter to address current women’s health topics such as these new guidelines. This newsletter is free. It is my gift to you. If you are interested in receiving it, please sign send your full name and email address to: rebecca (at) rebeccaelia (dot)com or on the home page of my website:
Excellent New York Times post explaining the research behind the new breast cancer screening guidelines.

And, by the way, commenter, if you happen to read this, I completely agree with the information in the link that you supplied regarding the limitations of mammography screening and had already addressed this in my newsletter, just as I hope it will be discussed between each woman and her healthcare provider.