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I have a strange question on my website that prospective clients must answer before I send them my program brochure. (Actually there are a few strange questions on it!)
“Do you know your life’s purpose?”
It’s a rare person who replies honestly “Yes”.
I remember Oprah saying one time that if you didn’t know your life’s purpose then your mission should be to find it. What she meant was that everything gets better, more focussed, more meaningful more successful if you are pursuing your purpose, and once you realise this then you have no choice but to go in search of it, because even searching for it is as good as having it!
Pursuing your purpose doesn’t mean you ‘have’ the life you want, it means you are moving towards it all the time.
I agree with Oprah in sentiment but disagree on the specifics of it.
I no longer believe that everyone has a singular life purpose.
I no longer believe that we must find ‘it’ or else our lives will be wasted.
I strongly believe that we can mould our own purpose by working to solve our own problems as they arise (as opposed to avoiding them).
Defining that purpose in words can be difficult, but I know that we all have a sense of it, regardless of how we explain it out loud.
The tragedy is how so many people reach the end of their lives oblivious that they could have defined their own purpose ages ago and went off in search of it thus making a much more meaningful life in the process.
Your life’s purpose can’t be “to have a baby”, because you can full fill that purpose over a 30-hour period of labour as you actually deliver the baby.
Your life’s purpose can’t be “to be a parent”. Any ejit can be a parent, any parent can be an ejit. Just being a parent is not a purpose. Sure – it can be a worthy ‘goal’, and for my clients it’s a goal that requires a lot of work to achieve.
A purpose is a teleological concept, it emerges from the ‘Why’ question.
Why do you want to have a baby? Why do you want to be a parent?
What gets you up in the morning?
If it is to do something you really don’t want to do and doesn’t even get you any closer to what you do want to do – then you will have to reckon with that as part of your journey back to fertility.
Everything is connected!
To push through the rough waters of infertility your heart needs to be totally committed.
Weeks after you were conceived your heartbeat for the first time, and everything you’ve done since then has been driven by its power.
Your heart came first, even before your brain!
There is no more powerful metaphor – we can’t do anything properly if our heart is not in it.
We may believe with our brain, but it’s our hearts desire that carries us through the storm.
Get ready to be inspired:
Imagining the future you want won’t make it real, some level of action is also needed. That seems obvious, but less obvious is that if you are to succeed you must first imagine your success, your future, the dreams you really desire, because whenever you create something, you create it twice – first in your minds eye then in real life.
To succeed you must first imagine your future into existence – only then can you go and create it.
What I find strange is why so many people refuse to do this feeling it to be too silly a task!
Countless good people get sucked into infertility forums hoping and praying that somebody in there will have the answer they so desperately desire.
The fact that these places offer solidarity is a huge and worthwhile benefit of joining them, but the potential for the positive to degenerate into the negative is an ever-present risk. When groups come together for emotionally charged reasons it is only a matter of time before strong personalities rise to the surface – and if these personalities are themselves unbalanced or egocentric the entire tone of the conversation can shift towards victimhood – one of the most disempowering and insidious faces of ‘faceless’ support groups.
If you find yourself in a forum that is obsessed with symptom comparison, program boasting, doctor cheerleading or bashing, differential diagnosis and drug regimen advice from novice lay people – think about leaving.
If you choose to stay be strong in yourself and know that the power to overcome your problems lies in you, not in a random support forum full of people like you who will happily offer opinions about facts. Don’t confuse the two – a blood reading may be a fact – but what it means to you is just an opinion.
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?