The new year often prompts us to reflect on the past 12 months as we move forward with intention. Fertility is not only cultivated by women, but rather, it is a universal need that impacts every individual. We all seek to be a part of something, to create, to make a difference. It’s our strongest desire after our basic needs have been met. This primitive drive to create gets thwarted by distraction, wherein we mute the sound of our own voice with food, drink, drugs, and other vices that act as blockades, creating stronger resistance to the change we seek.
When fertility is hindered, the soil needs tending. One way to do this is to feed your soul through awareness and self-care, which are pathways to wellness. It’s taken me 4 years of rebuilding after an infertility diagnosis. It has rocked my world. I wallowed for awhile (ok, a long time). Then I stripped down and got dirty, digging through my hopes and fears. I found that I could make it through any hardship by stopping to recognize that I am persevering RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT (a practice of awareness and gratitude) over and over again. Every second of every hour of every day. There I was, and here I am.
Nothing teaches you more patience than when you realize you are not in total control. To survive deep sadness, I learned to shift my energy from anger and disappointment into a daily practice of gratitude and planting seeds into things I could develop, things I actually had control over, like my health.
While I can't control when I get pregnant, I can create healthy meals with love (this routine has been one of the biggest components of my self-care). I can create space to breathe and meditate through frustration and anger to come out refreshed on the other side, after only a few minutes. I can stop and be aware of what my body is REALLY telling me (I’m hungry, I’m scared, I’m upset, I need movement) in order to assign the best self-care strategy to meet my needs.
I’ve learned to tune in instead of tune out. It’s a scary place at first, but the results of going there are life-changing. These steps of soil rebuilding have helped me to see that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and that I can’t plan every second of my life, because life happens to us sometimes. The big storms prepare us for future challenges and teach us to bask in and savor the days of smooth sailing.
Through these baby (and I mean zygote-sized) steps, I’ve chosen happiness. I’ve gotten into mental and emotional shape to continue trying to give birth to my dream of motherhood. But I haven’t arrived at a final destination; I make a conscious decision to work on the soil daily. Sometimes hourly, because, I may slip back into old habits or thought patterns for a second (or a month or two) or get a case of the “f**k its.” In these times, I remind myself of why I want to be better, that perfection isn’t attainable, and that I do my best each day.
You may have a life challenge that has similarly rocked your world. What can you learn from it? How can you get better in the midst of a challenge? What are you giving birth to? A healthy body? A meditation practice? A lifelong dream of learning to play an instrument? A healthy eating and food prep ritual?
Fertility directs what we create, how we grow, and what we are able to offer to the world. Stepping into our best selves allows us to serve in a richer and more directed way. To cultivate a fertile foundation, we add nutrients like love, connection, and gratitude with purpose and intention. We must care for the soil as if it’s the most precious life force we have. Because it is.