My friend Laurie is an Oprah devotee. I know without doubt that following an especially insightful broadcast, I’ll receive an e-mail saying, “Oprah had on so-and-so and their book/movie/schpiel was really interesting…” Sometimes I’m interested, sometimes not. After reading my pal’s latest Oprah-related e-mail, I’m happy to say the subject was definitely a memorable one.

Recent Oprah guest Dr. Christianne Northrup, gynecologist extraordinaire and author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, apparently has a new book out entitled The Wisdom of Menopause. Now, the reality is that every woman, like it or not, will eventually have to think about this momentous life-changing event. Fortunately, my friend and I haven’t gotten there yet. But Northrup’s larger assertion, that our bodies communicate with us in a variety of ways – the loudest of which is through illness – does apply to us and it was what captured my friend’s attention. Here’s a small piece of what arrived in my in-box this morning (the section in quotes is apparently taken from the Oprah show web site):

Dr. Northrup says your health depends on what’s going on with your mind, body and soul, and your symptoms are actually your soul’s way of bringing deeper issues to your attention. “You’re in labor with yourself because everything that no longer serves your highest purpose and your optimal health starts to go away and your body gives you signals €”‘Hey, you’ve been putting too much stuff under the carpet emotionally, nutritionally, not exercising putting everyone else first. The kids, the husband, the job, whatever,'” Dr. Northrup says. “And your soul is saying, ‘What about me? What about me?’ And your body will start getting symptoms to hit you over the head with till you wake up.”

When I read that, it completely resonated. After everything I’ve been through these past two years – the medical experiences, the therapy, the large volume of reading, and the connections I’ve established with holistic/alternative healer types – I completely believe that illness is a suggestion made by the body/mind/spirit (call it what you will, it’s all connected) that something is amiss and needs addressing. Illness, I have come to believe, carries a higher message that may not even be just for us but for those around us, as well.

Now I can’t profess to know the workings of the Universe – wouldn’t that be nice? But I do believe the suggestion made by another Oprah favorite Gary Zukav (Dancing Wu-Li Masters; Seat of the Soul), as well as many others who have come before, that our experience of this life is about learning. We’re here, I believe, to learn and grow spiritually and every single person we interact with and every life experience we have can help us do that if we are aware and choose that option. Of course we can also stagnate, which so many of us do. That, also, is a choice. Either way, I know for certain that I am still learning and I hope it continues until my time to depart arrives.

On that note, I send out a great big “thank you” to my smart, witty, wonderful friend whose message today made a big impact. Bless you.