By Susan Miccile, Rph, CEC (Registered Pharmacist and Certified Life Empowerment Coach) and RNE volunteer.
The phone finally rings… a message left, an appointment with the doctor. The devastating diagnosis of infertility triggers the roller coaster ride of your life.
It is a ride that began as a heartfelt dream and is now speeding out of control down a path of unknowns. One moment your plans to start a family fill with you with excitement and joy, and in the next moment that excitement explodes into fear and anxiety… uncertainty is all you know.
Infertility is a game of waiting, a test of patience, an exam in reproductive endocrinology, and a lesson in trust. It’s a life consumed with daily reminders that your arms are still empty, your heart pushing you further into the future of questions that are waiting for answers. Your mind is always wandering beyond. What is the next step? When will I be pregnant? When will I feel happy again? Thoughts carry you constantly into the future, a place where there is no true reality. Infertility is bunch of “what ifs” propelling you into the future, or a bunch of “should haves” paralyzing you in the past. Infertility clouds your ability to be cognizant of the present moment. The present moment is used as a stepping-stone to leap further into the future. It feels virtually impossible to be present in each moment when you are living and breathing infertility.
What does it mean to live life in the present moment? Present moments are the only moments that we actually have. It is the here and now. It is your presence right now. Presence is a conscious awareness of yourself, your body, your heart, and your soul. The awareness of your surrounding environment expands through you as you breathe in each moment. When your mind, body, and soul are present in the now, only peace can be felt.
What does the Now look like? When you are so overwhelmed, it is likely that you don’t even notice that the present moment is unfolding before you. Infertility is a part of your life experience, but it is not YOU… it does not control you, unless you let it. Nonjudgmental thoughts and empowered choices are within you, but are trapped between the layers of loss and sadness. Your dream may not look or feel the same, but in the present moment, peace can be felt, not imagined in the future.
Present Moment Practice
Practice focusing on your breath… your breath is the connection to your inner soul. Begin by sitting, with your eyes closed (or open if preferred). Inhale a long, slow, deep breath through your nose and notice it fill your chest; continue to slowly breath deep. After a minute, gently allow your breath to take on its own natural rhythm… as you continue to breathe. You will begin to notice thoughts that are flowing through your mind. Your mind is a busy place. Do not judge the thoughts, do not try to force them away, just notice them and allow them to flow out…. This exercise is about noticing and not judging. Become grounded in the moment. The more attuned you become to yourself, the more present you become in the moment, and the more peace will reside in your heart. Your breath is your inner connection to the present moment.
Acknowledge without judgment where you are emotionally and physically in each moment. Be with your feelings and thoughts. Recognize that they are there. Allow yourself to just be. Surrender to being, and then gently begin to move forward into the next moment.
Another way to create an inner connection with yourself is through a gratitude journal – writing down one aspect of your day that brought you joy. It is all the little things that we don’t notice. Meditation is an exceptional way for a sense of calm to slowly blanket the anxiety. With the sense of calm comes a deeper trust in your inner being.
There is always something to capture in the moment, some beauty, the flower flowing in the breeze, the smell of the ocean, the rain on your face, the smile of your partner. By being grounded in the present moment, the possibilities are endless… opportunities are wrapped around each moment as a gift waiting to be unwrapped.
Open your gift, hold on and breathe … the peace that you are looking for is tucked within your heart. It is there waiting. Each moment is a gift that that you can’t get back once it’s gone.
This article originally appeared in our Fall 2009 Newsletter.