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Geniece says that part of her stress comes from not wanting to disappoint anyone. "I'm a constant giver," she says. "My life is pretty hectic. Being a single parent, I'm a mother first and work comes after that. And then pretty much you're the last person in line."

After seeing how much Geniece gives in a typical day, Dr. Northrup says, "You're here to serve, but you're not supposed to be the main course. We all have to serve. The heart is about service. It's about love. It's about compassion. But you've gone overboard into self-sacrifice. And if you die early, you're not good to anyone, right?"

Dr. Northrup wants Geniece to realize that heart disease is not an inevitable condition. "Your grandmother died of heart disease. So did mine. So did everyone in my entire family, and we have the high cholesterol and all of it—and you know what? It doesn't apply to me and it doesn't need to apply to you either," Dr. Northrup says.

Dr. Northrup wants Geniece to focus on her environment, her thoughts and her emotions. "I want you to look in the mirror and say, 'I accept myself unconditionally. I am enough. I do enough. I have enough.'"
FROM: The Big Wake-Up Call for Women with Dr. Christiane Northrup
Published on January 01, 2006