Posts By: Brendan
We act as if we are in control of ourselves – and on the surface this would seem to be the case but think about it a bit and you will come to realise that it is an illusion. If we truly controlled ourselves, we could simply command our bodies to do stuff that we want it to do and it would be done.
To the extent that we can’t do this it must be obvious that we are not in control.
To the extent that we can do this it is better to realise that our success in this matter is but a reflection over the level of influence we can bring to bear over ourselves.
It’s a strange thing to ponder!
On the one hand if we were in full control, we would not allow ourselves to ruin our bodies in the pursuit of some dream life – instead we would pursue our dream life and command our body to keep up and not break down in the process.
The fact that we are not in control is not the problem though – the problem is we think we are!
I am often reminded that more than a few of my fellow men shirk responsibility for the awesome and sacred task of preparing for pregnancy when faced with complications.
99% of the time it is the woman who drives the search for solutions to infertility. This used to bother me, but I’ve come to realise it can only ever be the woman who is truly driving the project because that’s the natural order of things.
It’s not – in and of itself- a problem. The man’s job is to have his woman’s back, to provide, to serve, reassure and protect. In the modern world this means protecting her from unnecessary stress, from the need to organise everything, from unhelpful people – even if it’s her mom or worse – his! But it also means protecting her from the fear that he will no longer love her if she can’t have a baby, it means ultimately – being present in the relationship as an equal whether kids happen or not.
If you are a man reading this, know that if you don’t automatically lean towards doing the above, if you resist it, if you rebel against it, if you disagree with it, if the woman is doing ALL the heavy lifting and the you are just there, neutral or even un-supportive then the issues go way beyond fertility – something is wrong with you and something major is askew in your relationship. If infertility has ripped the plaster off the wound of your relationship – you are in a tough place. The psychology of this runs very deep.
It means something very fundamental to your life is out of focus and you need to bring your attention to it now and work hard to solve it otherwise you are going to spiral downwards to a life of unfulfilled misery.
That’s ok though – none of us are perfect, we all mess up – it’s what we do with the mess that counts.
The real problem is that fertility has an end date!
The clock is ticking, and the biology needs to be sorted out fast, yet the psychology of broken relationships will completely pull the rug from under any sense of security a woman might have and this in turn will waylay any chance of returning normal fertility rhythms.
Complex infertility can only be solved by a combined Psycho – Neuro – Endocrine – Immunology approach to treating the whole person.
Infertility is going to magnify the relationship issues you already have. It’s either going to break you and make you realise you chose the wrong partner a long time back, or, it’s going to focus you and make you realise who you really are. Either way the truth is going to come to the surface and the beauty of it is – it’s your choice which truth emerges.
You’ve already chosen your past, choose your future now – quick!
Schools need fundraisers – I get it – but in this day and age – Cake Sales – Really?
The mixed messages that run throughout family, society and government are psychologically destructive to growing kids. As adults who have already been through this ringer are all psuchologically damaged by it – and yet we perpetrate it over and over.
Good people, volunteers, people without whom good stuff just wouldn’t get done in a community – all grew up in this damaged culture of mixed messages.
We are punished for making mistakes, we are ridiculed if we stand out, and we are unsupported if we do something different.
Implement a healthy school lunch policy – then raise money by selling cakes full of sugar!
Kids see this and they get the message that “ah shur cakes can’t be that bad”.
The problem is it takes some deeper thinking to come up with an alternative – but in the age of epidemic diabesity surely we can come up with something better!
June, warm and wet. Man do the weeds grow fast!
Weeds need no encouragement and constant attention if they are to be kept from spreading all over the place.
It’s no different in our minds.
Weeds take the line of least resistance and before you know it you are back doing old habits or thinking in old disempowering fearful ways.
It takes regular cutting, burning, spraying and pulling to keep the paths clear.
Habit is the key. Habit requires discipline. Discipline requires mental energy.
Mental energy arises when the paths of the mind are free of weeds.
Moving forward requires constant gardening.
The scientific method is such a cool human creation.
As a species we try to understand the world around us using science, and what an unbelievable boon it has been to the entire world.
But when it comes to medicine, I think we are in danger of undoing much of the good we have done.
Think about this for a moment:
If a new aviation technology is created, it will invariable go through several iterations before being perfected and used commercially. Many separate research groups will reproduce the concept and report back to the world if it worked just as the originator said it did. Reproducibility is cornerstone of scientific advancement.
But in medicine this ides is broken!
A drug is created to cure a condition, it goes through a monstrously expensive process to get approval, along the way it must show that it works – or at least works to some degree.
Once it is approved as the primary intervention for some condition then it becomes near impossible to override it with a new drug for that condition. Why? Because any clinical trial done to test the new drug must use the existing drug in the trial – because it is unethical to not give the accepted treatment to people with that condition.
If this resulted in continually new and improved drugs it would be one thing, but it rarely does, and what’s worse many of the big expensive trials done to approve the drug turn out to have major flaws that only come to light a good time later.
So we have drugs for all sorts of chronic conditions, that are based on flaky research, that can’t be set aside in the search for new drugs – so we are forced to limp along as a society with drugs that only work for some, not for many and even damage many too.
You can’t change this, and I can’t change this – the only option we have is to set our sights on staying healthy. The only successful way to do this is to empower yourself with knowledge, and then use the scientific method to your advantage and test test test yourself whilst being honestly open to feedback to see if you are going in the right direction.
The real power is in our own hands. If you’ve left it too late to prevent your issue – well, you can use the drugs and hope for the best!
Some people can solve their infertility problems pretty easily, only one or two simple additions or subtractions can make the difference. These people are the minority.
Most people’s fertility problems are more complex, and the solution depends on what you might call ‘multiple small touches’, meaning a number of factors are ‘off kilter’ but none so severely that it is the main issue, and all need but a gentle ‘nudging’ back into position.
Some people’s fertility problems are dire – with many functions desperately struggling and one or more needing a serious amount of focus and work to bring it back online.
It’s a difficult truth to swallow but all the above scenarios are due to how the person has lived their life up to this moment. They may or may not be to blame for their predicament; indeed they may have been born with some tendencies that have now manifested and caused them to be unable to conceive.
But there is something worth thinking about here – in most cases the person didn’t realise they had a fertility problem until they were forced to figure it out. Forced, that is, by ‘failure’.
What is it about humans that we seem destined to learn our important lessons the hard way, never appreciating that those who have gone before may have ready answers for us?
What is it about the (boring) concept of ‘prevention’ that continuously fails to motivate us into action to prevent problems long before they happen?
Is it simply that we lack awareness that could have made us realise we were drifting away from our center and alerted us to the fact that we needed to do something? Awareness of our body, our thoughts, our intentions, our desires, our dreams, our mode of being?
An answer this simple to a problem this complex surely couldn’t be right…could it?
IQ levels are falling.
Food nutrition levels are falling.
Our purchasing power is falling.
Sperm count is falling.
Nobody is immune to this.
It is going to happen to you or to your kids unless you take personal action.
We are all working on fixing problems, the question is are you focussing on the right ones?
It’s a ridiculous example but go with me for a moment – what if you were useless at math and a psycho had a gun to your head ordering you to solve a quadratic equation or they’d blow your brains out? It seems to me you might as well make peace with your maker at that point because you can’t make yourself good at math in a short moment. But what if the psycho said – “I’ll be back in 6 months and if you can’t solve a similar equation by then you’re dead”?
Can you change your brain in 6 months? Sure you can.
Give my three kids the same task that involves doing something new and you will get three different outcomes. They see the problems differently, or they don’t see it at all. They imagine solutions differently, or they can’t imagine them at all.
A solution that is obvious to one is totally obscured to another. Why?
They have different brains – it’s that simple. A deficit in one area is usually compensated by a strength in another, but when faced with a particular kind of problem the deficit gets in their way, and when faced with a different kind of problem their strength allows them to solve it easily.
But what if the problem you face is serious and of a type that your kind of brain struggles with? What if it’s so important you just can’t ignore it or give it to others to solve for you? What then?
The most obvious answer is that you’re going to have to struggle with this more than other people would., you are going to have to get serious about it and put in extra effort to solve it. You’re probably going to need help too.
At this point in my career it is painfully obvious to me that clients who can’t overcome their infertility are resisting change in some way, and part of the reason they are resisting is because the nature of the problem is one they find really hard to get their heads around. They just don’t get it and they don’t want to have to go through the pain of changing their brains so that they can ‘get it’.
I really feel for these people because they have the psycho’s gun to their head (life is a psycho!) telling them to solve a problem – but they just can’t grasp it.
“How can food make me infertile?” It doesn’t make sense!
“How can everyday stress make me infertile when I see stressed out people all well able to have kids?” It doesn’t make sense!
It’s true – it doesn’t make sense – to a brain that struggles to make sense of these kind of things, that is.
But it makes perfect sense to someone whose brain can easily see the connections.
Alas, the psycho of life will shoot you dead if you don’t adapt!
Theresa May turned away from the crowd as she finished her resignation speech – just as she was about to burst into tears.
In this moment the real Slim Shady stood up.
My question is why didn’t she stand up long ago? Indeed, why do our political leaders not show up as themselves when they face crowds or do their work in public, preferring instead to hide their true selves, not show any weakness or uncertainty or confusion at all?
The answers are easy to say, but hard to fix.
Our media and how it covers current affairs, pounces on anyone who shows vulnerability. In turn this sets the tone for what people think, it gives them a slant on what happened (the journalists slant) and they react by becoming part of the ‘narrative’.
Our self-created mass media culture pays lip service to being ‘authentic’ but in reality they provide no ‘safe space’ to be ‘real’, and if you dare to do so the media-machine which gleefully fosters polarized opinions stands ever ready to take you down.
We the people are the ultimate problem, hence the difficulty in fixing the system.
I hate saying this but in terms of all that is wrong with the world, the mass media really do have a lot to answer for, they really do peddle fake news!
On my programs I often get push back from clients when I encourage them to find their own truth, the seat themselves in their own real center of power. It can be hard to explain what this really means – but Teresa May gave us a glimpse of it. She showed her true nature only at the last second, then covered it up straight away.
The thing is – we are all the same – mostly. We are conditioned to put on a face, the be one thing to ourselves and another thing in public. I’m not talking about walking around your house in your jocks unshaven and wrecked looking at 7am, only to present an immaculate image when you go to work at 9. That’s normal, that’s just being ‘presentable’. That’s different!
On the other hand, making a decision to work where you think you are ‘supposed to’, instead of pursuing a career where your real talents and personality can shine, is a common example of not being seated in your own true nature. There is pressure to do this, sure, just like there is pressure on Theresa May to be a certain way. But the real issue is how is it affecting you?
Is ‘not being true to yourself’ just giving you an occasional headache? Well if that’s all the side affects you get, fire away. But what if it is causing you to be internally conflicted for a long time and between one thing and another you lose your fertility…what then? Can supplements solve that? Not likely. Being true to yourself will though. That’s worth pondering!
It seems strange to say this but some of the best moments of inspiration I have experienced in my life came whilst reading books. Flashes of insight revealing how others overcome huge challenges gives me inspiration.
An insight that allowed me to bond much better with people was to recognise that we are all connected, indeed how we are all ‘one’. It may seem like a sort of woo woo mother earth kind of concept, but for me the message hit home slowly and over multiple iterations and inspirations. What hit me was that we all share the same experience of life, albeit we interpret that experience in our own unique way.
But the essence of it is that the experience is the same for all of us – we are all struggling.
We may tell ourselves different stories as to why we struggle, or even that we are not struggling, or that we do nothing but struggle, but one way or another nobody goes through life plain sailing.
We all have the same deepest fears – the fear of not being loved or not being ‘enough’, and again we tell ourselves different stories about this, most of the time not acknowledging that this is really where the chips on our shoulders come from.
For me the realisation that this is our plight was illuminating and inspiring, it made me feel more connected to people and less judgmental. We all do what we all do as a way of dealing with these very fears – we may all seem to do it in different ways, but in fact our different ways are not that different at all. They are so similar and so predictable that artificial intelligence bots can be programmed to respond to us based on our fears.
We all have the same set of needs, and of course food, air and water are needs, but this is not what I mean. We all have the same psychological mental spiritual needs, but we go about fulfilling them differently.
How we go about fulfilling them is how we live our lives. If we do this the ‘wrong way’ we end up suffering, and if we do it the ‘right way’ we end up happy with meaningful lives.
When we get into the habit of doing things the ‘wrong’ way it can be very difficult to get ourselves out of that pattern, because we have become identified with it and this takes the problem to another level. There are however some key tools we can use that will get us out of there, but the catch is that we have to be willing to use them – and that’s a big catch because the tendency is to not exercise will power for fear that we will have to face facts which are uncomfortable.
These tools were mostly learned from great books that changed my life in subtle ways and gently inspired me back on the track of meaningfulness.
One of those tools is to take total responsibility for our lives. Make no mistake about it, many people cannot bring themselves to do this and as a result we live in a blame culture. It permeates our political life and the media representation of it. People avoid responsibility explaining it away using internal stories that allow themselves off the hook. I’ve done it many times.
Another tool is to practice delaying gratification. This is the famous Marshmallow test! Find a kid who can delay gratification and you have a winner!
And finally, if there is one overriding principle I use as a tool to help me find my way it is dedication to the truth. This is not an easy one to explain because truth can be different to different people. It’s not, as it may seem at first glance, a universal truth. It’s not the kind of truth you find in a murder mystery…did you shoot her to death or not?
The truth is to do with more than just facts, though it must be built on facts. It is to do with what one truly feels, and it is precisely because it is based on a feeling that it can be misinterpreted. So, the key is not to get hung up on what the truth ‘is’ but rather to pursue truth as an ideal, knowing that you wont always get it right.
If you face infertility the above rules will get you home – if you are willing to (ie have to will to) use them.