At the end of 2019, I realized that I had just lived through one of the hardest years of my life. I had been trying to get pregnant with my fiancé for two years and now we were coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen.
I used to fantasize about how I would announce said pregnancy. I would post a heartfelt and exciting blog entry about how long we had waited for said baby and it would be unicorns and butterflies and happily ever after.
Or at least that’s how I thought it would go.
Throughout my fertility journey, I have felt an enormous amount of support from my friends. I’ve been able to see the best doctors, and have been treated by the best acupuncturist in LA, but if you are part of the crew of women facing infertility, sometimes all of that falls short.
I began to lean on my optimism and positive energy and the power of manifesting to see if it would be at all possible to create magic out of thin air.
I attended hundreds of workshops, consumed what seemed like thousands of self-help books, and felt I was well versed in co-creating with the universe. I meditated on my “spirit baby.” I went to an infertility conference and felt like knowing exactly what I wanted to manifest would help in my efforts to getting pregnant NOW. But alas, the more time I spent, the more I felt myself grasping at straws. For those of you who are on the same path, I hear you, I feel you, and I’m right here with you.
You know what it’s like to not have your desires come to bear fruit. Literally. Mostly you are left with a plethora of questions, and all the answers that you do get just create more questions. Last year me and Mr. Googs (Google) did so much homework, research, and data mining that I never really felt the satisfaction of actually getting the answers I was looking for. Google wasn’t going to get me pregnant.
But I did learn some incredible lessons throughout this whole process and that left me feeling better than I have in years. Here are the top four things I took away from my fertility journey and into feeling whole in 2020. Then read on for yoga-based practices that can help you find peace of mind.
4 Lessons I Learned About Fertility and My Capacity for Going With the Flow
1. Know Your Why: One of the most important things I ever did was get clear on my why. Why did I want to be a parent? This is actually quite a difficult question to answer. I put it off, thinking I’ll figure it out when I’m there. I asked all of my parent friends if they had asked themselves this question and the majority of them said “no.” But I think it’s important to shine a light on your why. There is no right or wrong answer. For me, I wanted to nurture, teach, and help guide another little soul-gift in this world and help support them to realize their own purpose and dreams. When I felt into that, I realized that mothering can show up in different ways. I can carry that same nurturing energy with every interaction I have: with my students, with my sisters, with my friends… and although it’s not my child that is receiving the energy, it’s still there and it’s actually really fulfilling.
2. Be a Practical Optimist: The National Infertility Association states that one in eight couples in the US will encounter challenges while trying to conceive. I have learned now that infertility is common, but if someone would have told me that I would encounter this myself years ago I would have had a hard time believing it. I thought getting pregnant would be as easy as streaming a season on Netflix.
When you are having trouble getting pregnant it’s hard not to feel like you're completely alone. The good news is that you aren’t. Infertility is all around you. The minute I opened up to my community, I got hundreds of responses from women who have gone through, or are going through the same thing. There’s been a major stigma around Infertility for a long time, but if we begin to open up and share our stories with our people, we will begin to feel more optimistic regardless of what the outcomes are. It’s important that you continue on your path because although we are similar, your journey is unique to you, and that is something worth being optimistic about.
See also How to Be Happy at Every Age
3. Practice Patience: We come from a world of instant gratification. Now more than ever the thought of having to wait for something seems so daunting. We can get anything with the touch of a button and in a matter of minutes. We have lost the art of patience, we don’t know what it’s like to have to wait for something. For me, going back to an analogue version of something can have a huge benefit when it comes to realizing your dreams or desires. Thinking of the process of gestation, it takes nine months for a baby to be ready to come out of the womb. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of something and having it come quickly, it’s simply that the value will be different.
I recently got back into painting. I loved painting as a child. I was never a great artist but I enjoyed the ritual of having a tactile experience. I love to engage all of my senses. With painting, I engage all of them and what’s even better, I disengage from doing things that don’t serve me, like spending too much time on Instagram. Find something to do that’s going to take time. Write down your goals and your desires, and set them aside. Revisit them from time to time, reaffirming that they are in the process of being “birthed,” so to speak.
4. Find a Daily Ritual: Finding your own way to cope with something challenging is very personal. I can say that coming from a place of “I’m still in the process” that there is no “happy ending” to my story in terms of “...and now I’m pregnant.” It’s still very much in the in between state. If I’m honest, I can say that on some days it’s extremely easy, and on other days, it’s extremely hard. But what I can say is that my outlook on becoming a parent has changed completely and I feel way more connect to who I am as a person, and who I want to be as a woman.
See also The Importance of Ritual
Here are some rituals that tune me into who I am, what I want, and the power of manifestation:
Meditation: Three to five minutes a day can make a world of difference. When you are struggling with infertility, it seems as though you spend a lot of time feeling like your body is broken or you have to heal some part of you. Instead, use a meditation practice to connect to your breath, and to what is happening in the present moment. A meditation for healing negative thought patterns is different from trying to heal something you don’t understand.
Practice along at A Meditation for Healing.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has truly been life-changing. I have always been a fan, since back when I ran my first LA Marathon and my acupuncturist saved my groin pull two weeks before race day. I was hooked. Acupuncture has helped with so many different things—from inflammation, depression, and muscle aches to my overall mood. It is also a great treatment for fertility, however my intention has mostly shifted to creating more space around my overall health, instead of trying to manifest an expectation. You know what they say: “expectation is just premeditated resentment.”
See also The Ultimate Guide to Energy Healing
Yoga Nidra: This is the one that I truly give all the credit to for creating a healthier and happier approach to my Infertility journey. Yoga Nidra literally means “yogic sleep.” It’s an effortless state of consciousness where deep healing occurs. The physical body is guided into a state a deep rest and relaxation. I used my Nidra practice to receive some respite from emotional tension. It provided a deep sense of connection to my body (which is not broken, by the way, and neither is yours).
The journey of infertility is not easy. We will encounter ups and downs, and feel that our questions may never get answers. Two thirds of millennial women worry about their ability to have kids, many of them keep those concerns to themselves.
It’s time to share our stories, and to manifest a true support system and a deep connection to our bodies as they are.