Having Faith—Expecting Your Baby Is On Its Way

What if the key to becoming ‘expecting’, was learning to practice Positive Expectancy?

What might happen if, even in the face of all of life’s uncertainty, we chose to become more resilient and hopeful in our thinking?

In my HypnoFertility and Conception Coaching work with women hoping to become pregnant, I am often met with a sense of urgency and despair. I hear a lot of “What if’s?” “What if I never get pregnant?” “What if it’s too late?” “What if my eggs are no longer viable?” Or worse, “What if I do get pregnant and lose the baby (again)?”

For women who’ve miscarried, this last question can be particularly devastating. They have learned not to trust their bodies, and this mistrust creates an energetic frequency that tends to be incompatible with the relaxation and hope that supports fertility.

There is another body of “What if’s?” we can begin to consider and cultivate. “What if I do get pregnant?” “What if the timing of this pregnancy is perfect for me and all concerned?” “What if my eggs are just fine?” And, “What if I carry this pregnancy peacefully and successfully to term?”

It is curious to me that we hardly ever “What if?” the positive. Most of us learned as children to be afraid and negative. Our culture perpetuates and thrives on fear. Just watch the evening news, or the build-up to it: ‘Stay tuned for the next terrible thing that you should feel scared about!’

Fear is an energetic frequency. Just witness what happens in your body when you think of something dreadful. So, too, is hope. Just witness what you feel when you allow yourself to be positively expectant.

Now, consider which one might be more supportive of fertility and conception.

A wise person once said to me, “Worry is negative prayer.” It is affirming the anticipation of what we Don’t want. Conversely, I believe that faith is positive prayer. It is affirming the anticipation of what we Do want.

While it’s not particularly easy to change our minds, the imagination is powerful and can be used to practice something other than fear. We can engage it to become more hopeful and helpful. To become positively expectant and support our well being instead of undermining it. It is never too late. And what we practice becomes habit.

Here are some suggestions:

• Buy some baby clothes and other baby items that delight you.
• Pick out names, and start talking to your baby, out loud or in your mind.
• Before you go to sleep and when you wake up in the morning, imagine greeting your child with sweetness and love.
• Give your future child a nickname or term of endearment, and use it when you speak to or about your future baby.
• Get a stuffed animal that you can hold and rock, and imagine it’s your child. Allow yourself to feel all the delight you will feel when you actually hold your own beautiful baby—including your longing to do so.
• When you make love, imagine the sperm swimming strongly toward your egg and joyfully and successfully joining with it, beginning your pregnancy.
• Imagine your uterus is a lovely, warm nest, and see your baby curled and cozy and happily thriving there.
• Everyday, give thanks for the beautiful, healthy baby that is now coming into your life.
• Schedule some HypnoFertility (Hypnosis for Fertility) appointments to help you align, body, mind and soul, with bringing in your baby.
• Choose an affirmation that supports what you want. For example, “My beautiful baby is now coming to me, in just the right way, at just the right time. All is well.”
• Every time you think about your baby, smile. Smiling is powerful and pleasurably energetic, triggering a flow of positive chemicals through your entire system.

And most importantly, be patient. None of us knows what’s going to happen next, nor what the unfoldment of perfect timing might be. But, since thoughts have power, the most helpful thing you can do is begin to replace your negative thoughts and beliefs with positive actions and intentions, and cultivate your capacity to be hopeful and have faith.

Truth or Cellulite?

Perception is a quirky thing.

Because, sometimes, lurking in the not-too-hidden recesses of our minds, is a part of us that wants to keep us in pain, shame, hopelessness. And it often it does this by lying to us. Even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

And we believe . . .

We must learn to become mindful of its stories, and question the veracity of our thinking. So we can be happy and at peace. Living in truth.

For example . . .

A while ago I was working with a client who was in some serious distress. She was a cute, perky, attractive woman. Athletic, accomplished, intelligent. Consciously, she had initially come in to see me to address some issues in her marriage. Less consciously, she came to address her marriage to herself.

As a matter of habit she wasn’t loving, honoring or cherishing herself very well. And the culprit, the reason, the excuse for this lack of self-regard and self-reverence was . . . cellulite. It was so bad, she told me, she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror, couldn’t undress in front of her husband, wouldn’t wear shorts or a bathing suit.

Because of this, she was living in a tortured hell, at war with her hideous thighs.

Over several sessions we explored and addressed various aspects of her relationship with herself, and her relationship with her husband. Self-perception and self-care, communication and assertiveness, the lies and truth of thought, and the nature of real love.

She was becoming happier and more peaceful, and her marriage was improving. Life held hope.
We also explored what cellulite might mean . . . A texturing of tissue below the skin? Or proof of one’s worthiness, beauty, deservingness of love, or not?

Then one day, as she sat in front of me, again bemoaning the state of her thighs, I thought, however terrifying, that she was ready to face the problem head-on. To really meet the beast inhabiting her legs. So gently I suggested, “It’s time for us to look.”

We got quiet and got ready.

I imagined an endless field of dimples, and voluminous mounds of pokey cottage cheese.
A world of cratered skin that offended and turned away the eye.

She was wearing a skirt that day, and as she gently raised it up, we waited in gory anticipation for the Truth to be unveiled.

This was momentous. This brave revealing . . .

But look as we might, there was nothing to be found.

We moved more into the light. She turned and prodded, poked and probed.

Surely it had to be there somewhere . . .

I looked at her, curious and quizzical. “You have no cellulite!” I said.

Either it had suddenly vanished, or somehow, she had misperceived.

We looked again. And I asked her to speak the truth.

“I have no cellulite?” she said, as if asking a question.

I invited her to say it again, as an affirmation, as simple statement of fact.

A moment passed. And I watched as her whole world began to reconfigure. Somehow, she saw, she had been lying to herself. And this nemesis, this phantom had always been just that. A figment of her imagination. An example of what we all do to ourselves, in one way or another, to keep our self-hatred alive.

In short: a lie.

There’s a diagnosis in psychology called “body dysmorphic disorder.” This is when a person is excessively concerned and preoccupied by a minor or imagined defect in their physical appearance. It is what allows the anorexic to pull taut skin back from a skeletal frame and exclaim, “See!? See how fat I am!?”

My client had based her self-esteem on a fiction, and now the truth could set her free. She left my office that day, both bewildered and relieved. And returned the following week, happy.
Settling in, smiling, she said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about our session from last week. And what I’ve realized is . . . even if I have cellulite, I am still loveable.”

I sat there, in stunned disbelief.

See how insistent the lie becomes?!

“What’s wrong with that statement?” I asked her.

She was confused. She thought she’d gotten it right.

We waited, but she couldn’t figure it out.

“You don’t have cellulite!” I finally exclaimed. “We established that!”

It was a kind of amnesia. A game the negative ego plays: ‘You’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re unworthy, you have cellulite!’ it taunts. All lies. None true. And so, we fall back into trance, into the dream of self-hatred.

And so, we began again . . .

“Oh, right,” she said, remembering and correcting. “That was a lie, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” I said. “It’s always been a lie. And still is.

“But you’re right on one count . . . Even if you had cellulite, you are lovely, precious, worthy, good enough.”

And in that moment she got it, and affirmed, “Yes, I am!”

Seven Strategies for Managing Everyday Stressors

Life is challenging. We all know that. What we don’t often know is how to manage our reactions to everyday stressors. And, in general, it is those reactions that tend to make things feel bigger and harder, or smaller and more manageable. Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful in soothing your anxiety, and putting your next challenge into a less stressful perspective.

* Consider the bigger picture.
Often in ‘the grand scheme of things’, the thing we’re upset about is really quite insignificant. It is our habit to React. When we can remember the bigger picture, and question whether this is worth getting upset over, we are more able to peacefully meet ‘life on life’s terms’.

* Question your inner self-talk.
All of us have inner voices. Under stress, those voices can be judgmental and self-critical. But just because they’re loud and repetitive doesn’t mean they’re true. It helps to get a little distance from the noise, as if you were hearing a radio playing in another room. Then ask yourself if what it’s saying is really true, or a habit of thinking that only serves to create more suffering.

* Speak kindly to yourself.
Most of us tend to be quite harsh in our inner self-talk. Instead, try talking to yourself in a loving tone, as you might to a child, a pet or a cherished friend. You’re in relationship with yourself every moment for the rest of your life. You might as well makes friends with and treat yourself with kindness.

* Cultivate your inner Witness.
Usually when we’re feeling something distressing, we’re quick to name it and then react. Instead of saying, for example, “I’m scared,” try reporting the sensations you’re experiencing: ‘My breathing is shallow and quick. I feel butterflies in my stomach. My mouth is dry and my palms are moist. My eyes feel sore.’ Or better yet, “The breath is shallow and quick. There are butterflies in the stomach,” etc. When we report, we are noticing, instead of identifying ourselves as the feeling. We become less attached to what we’re experiencing and more able to calm ourselves and observe with interest and inquiry. Like, “Huh, what is this I’m experiencing? This is interesting . . . “

* Say “thank you”.
Most of us are very good at seeing the glass as half-empty. Begin noticing what you do have that’s worthy of your appreciation. Expressing gratitude is calming, and puts our perceived stressors in a different perspective.

* Smile.
Smiling literally stimulates different chemical reactions in the brain. These reactions physiologically contribute to our sense of well-being. Even if it doesn’t feel authentic in the moment, smile. It is quite likely to change your mood, and help you feel happier and more at peace.

* Practice makes perfect.
We are all beginners here. Especially when it comes to mastering the mind and changing our habits of self-care. Be compassionate and gentle in breaking your patterns. It is worth the effort to try and try again; to remember you are worth taking kind and loving care of.

Narrating the Present—Being in the Now

Sometimes we get lost. In the swirl and whirl of our thoughts. In the energy of our emotions. So lost, we can find ourselves angry, hurt, terrified, bewildered, or worried and out of time, in a memory we React to as if it were real in this very moment, or a prediction of a future that terrifies.

This is our imagination, and in that moment, we are our worst enemy. Because in that getting lost we forget who and where we really are, and what is really true.

This, of course, creates the opposite of inner peace. It creates inner hell, inner war. And to call a truce, we must find a way to raise the white flag of truth and call ourselves back to who and where we truly are. In this present moment.

Being in the present moment tends to have little to do with most of our thinking. It has to do with our ‘being’. And when we’re ‘being’ in the present moment, we become calm, peaceful, happy.

There’s a technique I teach my counseling clients and meditation students. I call it Narrating The Present. Becoming the narrator of what’s happening Right Now.

Here’s how it works . . .
The body is always in present time. It cannot be otherwise. The mind is seldom fully focused on what’s happening right now. It is mostly regretting the past and dreading the future. When we Narrate the Present we become aware of exactly where it is we are and what it is we’re doing. On a very specific, detailed level. We instruct the inner voice to become the conscious narrator of what is truly going on.

For example, as I’m writing, if I slow down, I can begin to narrate: “My fingers are typing, I am looking at the screen. Now I am breathing in, and now I am breathing out. My fingers are s p e l l i n g the word ‘spelling’, and now I am finishing the sentence and pushing the return key.”

Another example might be when we struggle with our minds when we can’t sleep. We have less distraction than normal in the middle of the night, when we are alone with ourselves and our thinking. So, I might begin by noting, “I am lying on my right side. I am lying in bed and my eyes are closed. Now I am taking a breath in. Now I am letting the breath out. Now I am moving my left arm and touching the pillow with my hand. Now I am adjusting my right foot and breathing in again.”

The more we can slow down and experience where we Are, the quieter and more focused the mind can become. This becomes a kind of moving meditation, because we are bringing our attention specifically to what is happening in the current moment. A very different place than where the mind tends to dwell. We are inviting it to dwell here, to bring ourselves peace and calm.

When we are in the moment, narrating the present, there is nothing to worry about. Because worry is a negative anticipation of a future that has yet to be. And we are simply where we are, observing it and making note, gently and carefully. Mindfully. Right now.