The rate of infertility globally is on the rise, which means there are a lot of people living in a state of heartache. Being diagnosed as infertile can be a devastating blow. It may be one of the most difficult experiences one can go through.
We work with thousands of couples each year that are struggling to get pregnant. For many, the thought of never being able to have a child of their own is so difficult they find themselves in a state of depression and isolation. Couples diagnosed with infertility may suffer regularly from a range of difficult emotions.
Many societies put a value on a person depending on their ability to reproduce. This pressure may create even more stress on a person. This has me thinking deeply about the meaning of suffering. Thousands of couples go through disappointing news, invasive medical treatments, a feeling of desperation and empty sadness, all because of infertility. Infertility isn’t fair. Being diagnosed as infertile doesn’t have to mean that life cannot be fertile and abundant though.
What if we look at fertility in a different way, as a state of being rather than one’s ability to reproduce. Could shifting our thoughts about what it means to be fertile enhance our lives? I think so. The root of the desire to reproduce is to procreate; create something. Each person on earth has the ability to procreate, maybe not reproduce another human being, but they can procreate other things in life. Whether it be a work of art, a song, a special program for underprivileged children, or cultivate a mindful practice to live each day to the fullest and happiest possible.
If one finds great challenges in life, is it possible to get through them with happiness, gratitude, compassion and a peaceful heart? Living a life that is fertile can be done in many ways. I find that faith, gratitude, perspective, creativity, and mindful practice are important aspects of living a fertile life. Humans have the capacity to be fertile beyond their wildest imaginations.
Transforming Our View Of What It Means To Be Fertile
The definition of faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion. It is also belief that is not based on proof. You hear it all the time, “Have faith.” If a person doesn’t believe in themselves or that they are deserving of happiness, how can they be happy, fertile and abundant in life? Every being on this planet needs to have faith in something. What is that for you? Explore your faith in yourself and in your beliefs. How can you cultivate and strengthen that aspect to become your most fertile self? Connect daily to your God, to your set of beliefs, and to yourself.
Perspective is a mental view or outlook. At any given time, a person can choose to view life with a positive perspective. Shift perspective to live a more fertile life. Let fertile mean to be capable of becoming a new individual, fruitful, prolific, productive. Choose to see the best in each situation. Use words that have a positive impact.
If you find yourself having a difficult day and catch yourself thinking and saying negative things, stop. Just stop in that moment. Take a deep breath and then think about how you can shift what you are feeling and thinking to make that moment a more positive one. Catching yourself, stopping, breathing, and then shifting your perspective to a more positive one can become a healthy habit and is one of most impactful ways to be more fertile in life.
Gratitude is a feeling or attitude, an acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. How much do you have to be grateful for? It is probably more than you can imagine.
A long time ago, I went through one of the most challenging times in my life. I was in despair, down in the dumps and felt there was no way out. I went to a store and bought a yearlong calendar that contained artwork from my favorite artist. I forced myself to write down what I was most grateful and what special thing happened to me each day. Even if it was something small like the beautiful sunset or the opportunity to meet someone new, I wrote it down. I called it my Gratitude Journal. That simple daily practice saved my life. Being grateful, consciously recognizing it, and taking the time to acknowledge and reflect on that, made a powerful impact on my life. It helped me to believe in the greatness of life. Gratitude has always helped me to live a more fertile life
Procreate your passion, hobbies, dreams, interests, each day. Even if it is something small. It could be a dish of food for your partner or a friend, a work of art, a sewing project, volunteer time at a homeless shelter, a project in the back of your mind, gardening, the list is really endless. It is up to you to decide what that creative passion is to you. Create something that you find makes your heart sing.
Practice living a fertile, abundant life each day. As one gets better at this, try to do this in each moment, even in the most challenging of times. Laugh, smile, and deeply listen to your own heart. Be creative. Find what you love to do and try to do it daily, and if that isn’t possible, weekly. Practice faith, gratitude, perspective, and the cultivation of creativity. This will be different for each person.
One person that I admire, who is an excellent example of a person that lives a most fertile life, is Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hahn. Here is what he has to say about how he handles and teaches others to handle difficult challenges in life, no matter what they be…
“I go back to my breathing and try to be in that moment deeply. Because there is a possibility to handle every kind of event and the essential is to keep the peace in yourself…The fear, the anger, the despair is born on the ground of wrong perception…We care about today, we live today. And if we know how to handle the present moment, we don’t have to worry much about the future. If the present moment has peace and joy and happiness, and then the future will have also. Suffering is the kind of mud that we must be able to use, in order to grow the flower of understanding and love.”
The Stand Still Point: When You Have Put Your Life On Hold
Trying to get pregnant can become consuming, so much so that, after a while, one may find that they have come up for air, only to realize they have put the rest of their life on hold. This is very common for couples juggling fertility charting, medical appointments, timed intercourse, and fertility treatments. If you can relate to this, take a deep breath, stop for a moment, quiet your heart and breathing. Allow your mind to drift off to all those creative ideas and plans you put on hold. Plant them in your heart once again, the fertile soil of your inner self. Nurture those creative seeds by making plans to bring them to fruition. Some couples find that making plans to do other things in life outside of trying for a baby, feels like they are giving up. This isn’t so, it simply means one is living in balance, cultivating and living as very fertile beings.
My greatest wish for all on this earth is to find happiness and peace in their life. Challenges will always arise, life cannot be in balance without them. How we choose to face those challenges and what we choose to create in this world is the true value of what it means to be fertile. I leave you with this quote…
“Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.” -Morihei Ueshiba
- PBC, M. (2013, May 12). Oprah Winfrey talks with Thich Nhat Hanh Excerpt. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ9UtuWfs3U
- Faith. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith
- Gratitude. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gratitude
- Fertile Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/fertile.html