Mastery, Flow and Fertility

My brother Ted Bilich, a D.C.-area attorney and Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown, writes and teaches about the importance of goals, how to set them and how to achieve them.  He has a ton of great info on his blog (, but being the P.I.T.A. little sister, I thought I’d try and stump him with a question:  what advice would he give to goal-oriented people who are up against something that is out of their control (ie. getting pregnant)?  It’s a relevent question since many of the women in the Pulling Down the Moon community (including Tami and myself) are very goal-oriented.  In fact, for many of us, getting pregnant is the first goal we haven’t been able to achieve despite all efforts. 

Within a few hours Ted came up with a response that I found thoughtful and inspiring (read the whole piece here).  What interested me the most was his inclusion of the concept of flow, which resonates deeply with yoga and holistic medicine.  Ted writes:

“…Seek the benefits of flow by finding ways to appreciate the value of the process itself.  As Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers points out, outsized success ordinarily requires substantial practice.  Mastery tends to require thousands of hours of study, and someone will not devote hours and hours if they don't find some way to love the process.  The concept of flow captures that notion.  Our favorite experiences tend to be those that challenge us sufficiently that we lose ourselves in the moment.”

So from a Pulling Down the Moon perspective, flow is what happens when we begin to embrace the journey of trying to conceive.  Not because it’s fun or because we want to struggle with infertility, but because that is what life is putting on our plate in this moment.   Flow is what our fertility acupuncturists try to achieve when they place needles on the body to direct the movement of life energy in our bodies.  When we begin to eat right, excercise right, address areas of dis-ease our life (stress, anger, emotionality) we enter a flow that is greater than trying to get pregnant.   The benefit of these practices is that they do, as Ted writes, “bring one’s vital statistics into target zones,” that may improve our odds of getting pregnant.  

But if we’re lucky, we find these practices challenge us in a way that allows us to lose ourselves in the present moment, amazed and enchanted by the process of living life at a deeper, more mindful level.  In PDtM, our six week yoga class we study breathing, meditation and even philosophy to help us experience the concept of flow.   On a very basic level, our bodies can also help to unlock the door to the present.  Check out the video below, a sequence of postures that we call our Moon Salute.  This practice stretches the hips and groin, makes the low back more supple, opens the heart and calms the body and mind with rythmic breathing.  One one level it fits the criteria of “bringing our vital stats into the fertility zone,” yet it’s also beautiful experience in and of itself.   When we focus on the breath and the movement, letting the outside world fall away, we find entry into flow.  Asana (yoga posture) practice isn’t the only way to get there…there’s journaling, painting, gardening, cooking, singing…the list goes on.  

We challenge you now to practice this Moon Salute video every day for a week and come back with your comments and questions.   The flow is a wonderful place to be, and that’s what our community at Pulling Down the Moon is all about.   The babies are just a really big bonus!  Be present, be positive…be part of the flow.  Beth

Categories: Fertility

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