By Christine Davis, LAc., MSOM
The process of struggling to achieve something you really want can take a toll on you! If you have been trying to conceive for some time, maybe a lot of time, it is hard to see the forest from the trees and remain hopeful in spite of hardships, struggles and losses. It can be difficult to dig deep into your spirit to find the well of hope that keeps you going. Here are some ideas to help keep your spirit vibrant and ready to keep moving forward:
- STOP! Take time to breathe, focus, meditate, pray – whatever will work best for you to find that place of peace and serenity that your soul needs. Try building an activity like this into your daily schedule. It is as important as eating a good diet and getting enough rest and exercise! Try guided meditations or a yoga class (Pulling Down the Moon offers fertility-focused classes that include these techniques). It is important to note that this time should not always focus on reflecting or trying to solve problems. Instead, it is a time to recharge your batteries, restore your ability to center yourself, and equip yourself with the emotional and energetic tools to carry on.
- Think about something else! Sometimes concentrating on work, family, friends, hobbies, fun stuff, etc. can help to keep things in perspective and keep us going. Maybe take up a new class or hobby. Have you ever tried flamenco dancing? Stained glass making? Want to learn more about astronomy? Do it! Changing your focus for part of each day helps to make you feel more balanced and joyful.
- Let go of trying to control. Even with all the numbers, data, and testing, it is easy to feel that much is out of your control when you are trying to conceive. There are just so many factors at play. Instead of filling your mind with all the potential scenarios based on your numbers, try to trust that you are doing everything you can (even when you need to be lazy or relaxed!) to make this happen. You have chosen a great team of experts to be on your side, you have friends or family members who are rooting for your success, and you are involved and present in the process when you need to be. You are taking the medications, timing your cycle, eating the right foods (see our Nutritionist if you feel you need help making the right choices), etc. It is impossible to control every piece yourself. Trust and take comfort that you ARE doing what you can.
- Give negativity the boot! Do you have people or things in your life that are bringing you down? Take some time to detach from the things that aren’t helping you be your best self. Part of Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and herbs, is Chinese geomancy or feng shui . This is the idea that a harmonious living and working environment leads to good health. Get rid of clutter from your home, closets, car, and workspace like it’s your job! Surround yourself with colors, images, sounds and smells that make you feel confident and happy. Anything else is holding you back from feeling joyful and may be worsening stress and poor health. Are there relationships that are toxic in your life? Maybe jettison those that aren’t necessary and distance yourself from the ones you cannot completely remove. There will always be some people or situations that are unpleasant that you must confront, but make sure to keep your boundaries up. Remember Dirty Dancing ? “Here’s my dance space, that’s yours… Let’s Cha-Cha!” Concentrate on relationships that bring joy, inspiration, and fun to your life. Make an effort to be kind, compassionate and considerate of others.
- Be grateful. This is probably the hardest one. When we have experienced frustration, loss and heartache it is so painful to see those around us who all seem to be having success with ease. First, understand that in this world where we are tormented by social media “perfect lives,” celebrity worship, and billboards/magazines/emails that tell us if we have more we will be happy, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that NO ONE’S journey is perfect and easy. Turn away from social media and regular media that is leading you to believe that things are always supposed to be happy and ideal. We learn from struggle. We grow from challenge. Embrace your own journey and live your best life. This includes giving yourself slack, allowing yourself to feel your emotions fully so that you can move past them, and really concentrating on gratitude as the path.
I love this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Allow yourself to cry. Allow yourself to be angry and frustrated. And then, allow yourself to let these feelings subside and find the light