Women today have tremendous opportunity, hope , encouragement, and power to claim. We truly can do anything….our minds a sieve that mold and shape our world – and the people around us.
But why is it that women, more often than not, collectively reject or deny their power- sometimes by force and other times by choice. As a mom and integrative physician I was disturbed to see this pattern and it led me to ask why is it that this is happening?
Could it be that it’s rooted in the DNA of women – that we’re genetically programmed to give up our power?
Ladies and Gentleman—welcome to the female brain.
The story I bring to you today is hard fought- and hard won- as an integrative physician, merging multiple systems of medicine, I wish I could share the stories of thousands of women who have sat in my exam rooms, each with their own tragedies and triumphs. As a writer, I am desperate to detail the struggles and the heroism of women I meet everyday.
Does That Make Me a Bartender?
As the daughter of immigrants, I know the stories of my mother and my grandmothers- and as a wife- I have had to expand my boundaries to embrace a family unlike mine- and understand their culture, religion and values.
I guess that makes me an integrator or a bartender of sorts- mixing and merging people, cultures, medicine, science, and history. Sometimes I feel like a bartender, able to step back and observe while the party continues in front of me.
In my earlier years, I used to get really frustrated with women. Why would they not leave that guy or fight oppression or stay silent in the face of abuse? Why would they turn against each other and not empower one another?
Patience is not one of my strengths and my frustration would often translate to irritability and intolerance- losing a few friends and acquaintances along the way.
But what if I told you that these decisions, seemingly external or a function of our will, are embedded in our DNA and then passed down generationally, molded and rooted in our chemistry. That the milieu of hormones, nutrients, gut function and energy, play a hand in the daily decisions of all women? That there is a science to empowerment and To empower women in totality, we have to help them change their chemistry, alter their DNA and embrace their authenticity.
We Do Have the Power to Change it All
It is our collective responsibility to change the trajectory of disempowerment or society, as we have already witnessed, will crumble.
Without empowered and healthy women, societies fail, countries fall and the children are just forgotten.
But, wait a minute, what if I told you that we do have the power to change it all, -we just have to change our DNA?
There exists a challenge that we as women carry with us. It winds back to our earliest ancestors and what we know about the primitive brain. It links together the structure of our brains, the understanding of mitochondrial dna, and the anatomy of thought and energy.
From the earliest archaeological findings, we know that the size of our brains and shape of our heads has changed structurally, from the enlarged frontal cortex to the embossed foreheads, we look far different than we did in prehistoric times.
But while geologists dig for bones, the new way to track our history, inheritance and even migration patterns, is to track mitochondrial dna or the dna that is inherited maternally. In fact, today, ancestral studies look at mitochondrial dna to understand familial roots and origins. The mitochondrial genome, exists outside of the center of cells, and cannot be recombined with other cells, providing archaeologists and scientists, a direct genetic line, not influenced by the father or Y chromosome.
It’s Coded in Our DNA
Let’s take a look – here we have a prototype of an early prehistoric brain. Over time, this structure has evolved to what it looks like today; notice the difference between the male brain and the female brain. The female brain is smaller, but with greater surface area or volume, compared to the male brain- essentially a more efficient organ- but we already knew that.
At the same time, take a look at dna, the very molecule that is handed down generationally and passed within families. We are learning so much about how much information is contained in DNA. While we knew that how we look, intelligence, and phenotypic traits like our eye color is coded in our dna, we are learning everyday that there is so much more there, including our emotional landscape.
Stop for a Second and Absorb the Responsibility
Take a look at a picture of a cell- each cell has dna and each cell also has mitochondrial dna, a specific type of dna that is inherited from the maternal line or mother. Every organ in our body is made up of billions of these cells- every piece of us- reverberating with dna passed down over time- maybe even from prehistoric times. Your brain is essentially a computer, with multiple microchips, coded with a memory- a lot more gigabytes I am sure than my apple account, – – all held in DNA and passed most noticeably- from your maternal line.
Here is what we know about mitochondrial dna- studies show that certain sequences in mitochondrial dna are linked to emotions, attention, memory, the ability to multitask, and cognition. It is a storehouse for the thoughts and characteristics of your mother, grandmother and her great grandmother.
Finally, lets review what is known today on thought and the anatomy of a thought and its relationship to energy. Without getting too much into quantum physics, we understand today that all thought is a form of energy, which the brain processes and then records- essentially a computer for our experiences. We can see in research today how the structure of the brain changes, how cells respond, in relationship to our thoughts.
Let me stop for a minute- we have our brains, mitochondrial dna and thought- which is essentially energy- all working together in concert to record and interpret our life experiences. There is fascinating research on vibrational energy and the energy of thought and how it is then recorded in the human body- in these billions of cells that we walk around with everyday.
Our thoughts matter and determine our choices. We are essentially coding and processing every day, computing and responding to our environment. All this data is recorded in our cells- and here is the responsibility- the challenge for all women- this data- our thoughts- is then passed down generation after generation. In fact, there is some talk that it takes seven generations to redirect this coding fully.
Stop for a second and absorb the responsibility that we as women and a society have to each other, to our daughters, and to our generations to come. If we follow this line of reasoning, could it be, that we have learned or are fighting the imprinting of our maternal ancestors, and still fighting their fight?
When This Hit Me, I Was Stunned
Is this why we say yes, rather than no, dont stand up for ourselves, sacrifice our interests and fail to recognize and understand our power? Is this why a strong woman, chooses the wrong partner or cannot protect her financial interests? Is this why, we turn to tribal behavior, stepping on each other to get to the “man” or perceived power source, sacrificing our sisterhood along the way?
Think about the implications and the responsibility here- that means that groups that are disenfranchised today, will struggle for generations to reclaim their identity – their power- as the experience of one generation is slowly diluted over time?
When this hit me, I was stunned, confused but relieved. I finally get it- I get why we as women work against our self interest, our needs, our rights- we are still fighting their fight! We need to change this- or our children will be fighting this same fight and will take exponentially more time to change the course of history.
But here is the best news of all- we can change this- by embracing the power of thought, understanding its connection to our actions and recognizing our past- we can reshape the future. Women everywhere, need to band together, understand their chemistry, take responsibility for their minds and follow their intuition-
listen to that voice that guides you in your interest and sees you at your highest- not the one that sacrifices your needs, makes you feel second or any less than you are or —-makes you hurt another woman.
You have to do this- meditate, journal, pray, do yoga, sing- I dont care- find a way to harness your thoughts- because every thought is actionable and with responsibility and consequence.
When we are gone we all want to leave the world a better place than when we found it- we want our daughters to fight their own fight—-not our fight.
So- yes- you can change your dna, you can influence what is passed down and if we all did this – we really can change the world. This is the time, the moment to embrace this responsibility- wherever you are in the world- dont accept second best, fight for your rights and find your power.
Our daughters and granddaughters are watching.