Is time on your side?
Do you feel like you don't have enough time?
I certainly understand. I once woke up at 3am with the thought that 100 years just wouldn't be enough time to do everything I wanted to do in my life.
To some extent, a complicated relationship with time is part of the human experience. However, our society is constantly telling us that we (especially women) are running out of time. We should be married, financially successful career leaders, and pumping out babies before age thirty because this is 2019 and if you don't "have it all" you are doing something wrong. Right?
Even if we know this is ridiculous on some level, societal conditioning can be powerful, especially if:
1. science also factors into the equation and
2. our own personal desires match up with society's expectations.
When it comes to infertility and trying to get pregnant, these factors all feed into each other to create a never-ending cycle of fear about time, where every single childless second that passes Feels Like another nail in the coffin of your childbearing years.
I constantly hear a version of this from people who are actively trying to conceive, or know they would like to conceive at some point, or feel that it is already too late for them to conceive - and it drives me crazy.
Not because these fears aren't valid, but rather because the fear of time--of being too old to conceive--is first nurtured and then exploited by society. Egg freezing and medical fertility procedures, for example, are hugely profitable but only marginally successful and yet many people think these are the only options to keep time and aging at bay in the race to conceive.
Now I am NOT saying that age means nothing for conception and that there is no benefit to medicalized fertility.
However, a reductionist approach to fertility and pregnancy is not helpful to the lived experience of fertility struggles. Age is only one of many factors that impact fertility. Nutrition, lifestyle, stress management and relaxation, general health and wellbeing also factor into conception, whether natural or assisted, and should be considered for more effective fertility care.
The Good News!
So, while we can't stop time, we can adjust our relationship to it and ease our fear of aging through practices of timelessness - anything that makes you forget about time, even for an instant. One of my clients talks about this as gifting herself time, and I love that!
Timelessness Tools to Gift yourself more Time while trying to conceive!
Massage, acupuncture, or any other bodywork. Ever get an hour long massage and feel like it passes by in about 5 minutes? Or fall into a blissful acu-nap while getting acupuncture? These are some of my favorite timelessness tools and they have many additional benefits for health and wellbeing.
Sensory deprivation (floatation therapy). Flotation involves a small pool or enclosed pod where many pounds of epsom salts are dissolved into body temperature water, causing effortless flotation. The space is dark and quiet, allowing you to activate theta brain waves and deeply relax. If you enjoy water and the sensation of floating, definitely try this one. If you’re not a water person, this is probably not for you.
Mindful movement. Yes, this is always on the list of anything I say about optimal wellness, so you have seen it from me before and you'll see it again. Human bodies are designed to move - need to move - and there is really no right way to do it as long as it's happening. In terms of finding that flow state where time is shown as the illusion it is, what's your pleasure? For me, it has always been yoga and walking/hiking or dancing. For you it could be martial arts, running, hula hooping, curling, whatever. Do it.
Meditation. I hardcore resisted meditation for many years and still do at times because it is such an effective tool for disconnecting from ego and dropping into glimpses of the infinite. There are many styles of meditation so try out a new one if you haven’t found one that works for you yet. Check out Tara Brach and the Expectful App if you are looking for a starting point.
Creative expression. Creativity is one of the best ways to access the flow state and also connect to the energy of conception - fertility IS creative energy after all. There is no wrong way to be creative, so do what you enjoy! Art, writing, cooking, singing, dancing, whatever it may be; do it for the joy of it and not for the end result. If it has been so long that you don’t remember how to be creative, think back to what you enjoyed as a child or try out new activities - maybe an art class or even just a coloring book!