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Knowing Hope

Posted on September 7th, 2014 | Filed Under Featured, infertility

Have you ever thought about how many times a week…a day…you think the words ‘I hope’? ‘I hope the traffic isn’t bad today’ … ‘I hope I don’t get the flu from my coworker’. And if you are traveling on the road to fertility, then I may sound like ‘I hope this is the month I finally get pregnant’ … or if you have been on that road a very long time, maybe it sounds like ‘I hope I get my period so I can keep trying…’

Do any of these thoughts actually create hope? Or create the feeling of hope? Or do these thoughts create more mind chatter – you know, the ‘monkey mind’ – as if the thoughts were just questions to keep the negative thoughts endlessly spinning? Questions answered like: ‘of course there will be a lot of traffic – I live in Houston, ug.’ … ‘I always get sick when anyone sick breathes anywhere near me’ … ‘why would this month be any different than the last one, the last five or … thirty?’

Hope Letterpress

The hope that we desire to tap into is more than a feeling, more than a fleeting wishful conceptual thought. It is a knowing that anything is possible – with no conditions attached. Now that may be a new concept – unconditional thought. The conditions only make the thoughts spin more. For example, ‘I could get pregnant IF I did everything I am supposed to do (ie. if I get acupuncture, if I take herbs, if I do yoga, if I meditate daily, if I always think positive, if I avoid eating sugar and dairy etc. etc. etc.)’ or if I was ten years younger, if I had married sooner, if I hadn’t put my career first’….back to spinning thoughts, yes? And further away from hope. It is almost as if the IF is protection against hoping too much. The insurance, if you will, that we will have recourse if the miracle doesn’t happen. We can blame the sugar, or the gluten or the PCOS or age or something in our past… etc. etc. etc. … After all, it would be just too much to accept that the pregnancy doesn’t come just because.

Once during one of the darker years of my infertility, a social worker said to me that it was just ‘luck of the draw’. This was incomprehensible to me. No, it had to be my fault somehow. Maybe something that I had done that made me undeserving…not good enough…unworthy. Or it had to be something physically wrong inside me that must be fixed. There had to be a reason. It couldn’t be just because. That left me with no recourse. No power. No hope.

I ran across this quote about hope:

Hope transforms pessimism into optimism. Hope is invincible. Hope changes everything. It changes winter into summer, darkness into dawn, descent into ascent, barrenness into creativity, agony into joy. Hope is the sun. It is the light. It is the fundamental force for life’s blossoming.

~ George C. Fraser

This is the hope that transcends all rational thought, all conditions and all fears. This is the hope that I aspire to and sometimes attain and cherish. I never find it in thought. I never find it in questioning. I only find it inside, just under the thoughts and fears, in quiet moments of being. Just being with myself and my breath…just as I am in the present moment, in the now, in this moment. In the moments that I allow all of those thoughts, conditions and fears to melt away, there is room for all things possible.

And in that place, there is hope. The hope which is always available, always there waiting….just under the thoughts, conditions and fears. Hope is yours to know and to own….just because.

Need some help tapping into your hope? Schedule a coaching session with me today.

Love & Joy,
Michelle

The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden

Posted on February 13th, 2014 | Filed Under Life Balance, Personal Growth, Self Care

You know how I love to share resources! I am super excited to share this amazing new book The Life Organizer, by Jennifer Louden. It is an exquisite book – a feast to the eyes, and a beloved companion to your continued journey to self care.

life organizer book

We all yearn to have time for personal needs and creative dreams — after all, this is our life to make the most of. And we all know how hard it is to remember what really matters. With distractions from jobs, aging parents, and children — not to mention women’s perennial fear of being labeled “selfish” — following our own desires and dreams can become ever more elusive. The Life Organizer aims to help you shift your focus, augmenting traditional goal setting with the ease that comes from steady inner listening and mindfulness. It will become your trusted companion — and maybe the most important book you’ll ever own.

The book’s author Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement. She is widely known as The Comfort Queen thanks to her first bestelling book The Woman’s Comfort Book, has been interviewed by Oprah, and has written a total of 6 books on well-being and whole living that have inspired women all over the world. She believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all. You can visit her online at http://www.jenniferlouden.com.

You also can watch a short YouTube interview w/ Jennifer about the book, which offers an inspiring glimpse into her work here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf5q1aVTvk

I hope you enjoy her work as much as I go!

Replenishing Our Feminine Energies

Posted on March 17th, 2011 | Filed Under Featured, Life Balance, Personal Growth, Self Care

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.”

Barbara De Angelis

As women, we wear many hats.  Play many roles.  Woman ~ Wife ~ Mother ~ Daughter ~ Sister ~ Aunt ~ Friend.  And in each of  those roles, we give of ourselves.  We give love, support, compassion, empathy, passion, encouragement, sympathy… it is in our nature to give.  There is an exquisite and innate beauty in this giving of self, but within also lies great risk.  The risk comes when we do not know our boundaries, honor limits, or neglect to refill our vessels that can flow so generously.

The quote above from Barbara De Angelis captures perfectly what I have known for myself to be true.  I deeply need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to replenish.  As elemental as food and water for my wellbeing, I must have this time for self in order to maintain my ability to be in this world.  I have learned to honor this in myself.

There was a time, however that I compared myself to others who seemed to have this limitless energy – this ability to go on and on in thier giving, their living, thier doing.  And I thought myself inferior – unable to compete.  While I  beleive the quote states the truth for all women, there is an ebb and flow to it – as our energies move in and out like the waves of the ocean.  During one stage or moon of our life, we may feel our tides are full and immense.  While during another moon, we may feel our energies retreating, even shallow.  So, I have let go of comparing….and honor that each of us have the ability, and the responsibility, to check in with ourselves and discern when it is time to go inward.

This time of going inward, the Yin time – gives our mind, body and spirit the opportunity to connect, tune in and be.  This is where we connect with our inner wisdom, our intuition.  It is where our dreams blossom.  Where our authentic self resides.   This is where our power originates.  In this quiet, reflective place we remember who we are.

This shift towards self can be uncomfortable for some, intimidating for others; and to some even frightening to be left alone with thier thoughts spinning.  And to some, it will bring thoughts of selfishness to mind.  Afterall, as women we are taught to put ourselves last.

“Self care is not self-indulgence – it is self-preservations”  Renee Trudeau

Self care is essential.  It is the core nourishent of our mind, body and spirit that must some first in order to allow and empower all we wish  accomplish.  Self care is the foundation of how I begin the coaching process with my clients.  It is the sturdy rock from which they can joyfully and confidently dive into the ocean of thier dreams.