A very influential part of preparing for pregnancy is the mind and body connection. As a team of herbalists, we are trained to pay acute attention to how the mind affects the body in the role of health and healing. We impart this wisdom daily in working with couples struggling to have a baby.
No matter how many herbs, supplements or healthy foods a person takes in, they will not have complete beneficial effects if the person is not simultaneously addressing aspects of their mind-body connection.
We find the role of the mind-body connection of life a critical piece to building a natural fertility program and because of this, we wanted to share the work of Elisabeth Manning (aka. Fertile Living guru) with you. She is an excellent guide whose life work is to help people harness their most fertile selves. We invited Elisabeth to do an interview with us to help you learn more. Keep reading, you won’t regret it because I guarantee it will stir something deep in your soul, something you knew was missing in your journey to parenthood, but couldn’t quite put your finger on.
Interview with Elisabeth Manning, Creator of Fertile Living
NFI: Welcome, Elisabeth. Tell us about your philosophy, how it works, and why it is important to conception and fertility?
Elisabeth: Fertile Living and Conscious Conception are proven methods for thoughtful, committed parents-to-be to use the fertility journey as an opportunity for spiritual growth and preparing to be the best parent possible. If there are 4 main parts to us called Mind + Body + Emotions + Spirit, then this work is about the 75% of you – the mental, emotional, and spiritual pathways to support the 25% called the body.
You are a container for life. The idea of this work is to return back to what brings you to the brightest, richest, and fullest inner landscape possible. It is about birthing yourself first and creating a spacious, safe and soft “landing pad” within, so your baby can do the same. Many times, a new set of eyes (like mine) can help the process more effectively.
Fertility, if you really think about it, is all about life. If we are to truly return back to “what brings us to life” we have to ask the questions that reach beyond our quality of eggs and into the quality of how we have been living up to this point. By Divine design we are made to procreate. We are made for reproduction so when this isn’t happening it makes sense to look to your environment to say, what is it that is out of balance for me? What is making me sick? What is “killing me?” What is draining me? What do I need to feel fully safe, strong, whole and alive? This is where we want to be.
When we want to find our way to a goal we build a bridge to that goal one step at a time while maintaining our vision. But we also want to look closely and honestly at what is blocking our path, and Fertile Living is one process to uncover some deeper truths to get there.
NFI: When you say “uncover some deeper truths” what do you mean?
Elisabeth: That everything is connected and how you spend your energy, matters. You are not broken, but maybe there are some kinks to work out is all. Surrender is actually more powerful than “trying” in this case. Thought and emotion are energy, but they are also not who you are. (You are so much more!)
By addressing what qualities make a good parent now and asking yourself what would a baby bring to your life, and by living these qualities now, you are setting yourself up for success on so many levels beyond your current understanding.It would be impossible to explain; you can only learn by acting on this exercise, not just reading about it.
NFI: Tell us some of the research that backs up what you do and why it is so successful.
Elisabeth: Research out there is abundant on the mind-body relationship. For one, they have found by hooking up the brain to track perception the mind knows no difference between imagination and reality. So, what we perceive in our life, we experience as truth, even if it isn’t real. And the real kicker is we are feeding that information to our bodies and the body responds to what we are telling it. Now, over the long term this can really take its toll.
Another research-oriented finding is called Epigenetics, which says our environment can literally affect our genetic DNA health. In regard to fertility that means our food, our water, our surroundings at work and at home, as well as our inner landscape.
Another example is the research done by Masaru Emoto where he found thoughts affect water. He placed words such as “I love you” and “I hate you” onto small water vials and flash froze them after letting them sit for about 48 hours. Under a microscope he found the water crystals were beautiful colorful symmetrical snowflake designs with “I love you” and grayish asymmetrical “blob-like” shape with “I hate you.”
In addition, there is research on the stress response vs. relaxation response; only when it is in the relaxation response can the body self-heal.
We must acknowledge that our thoughts carry tremendous power. This is not an option to ignore, and not a fair-weather reality to use only sometimes, it is a universal truth that applies everywhere and in everything, whether we are aware of it or not. What we perceive, we receive.
NFI: Why is the mind body connection so important to think about and address prior to conception?
Elisabeth: Because you are creating the space for a child. You are mindfully acting as the parent you want to be, now. You are intentionally acting “as if” and using what you are going through now to help you grow into a person of character, using wisdom and strength as active preparation for being the parent you hope to be. If that is too hard for you then that is your homework. Facing what is difficult and doing what is necessary is important to stretch your container to hold more. You must. You simply must do this kind of work. This is what it means to be a parent.
You are the fortunate one to consciously deliberately make room, now. It is foolish to say I will do it after I get pregnant, that is like saying I will clean the house after the guests come. You are preparing the soil for this precious seed. We need to return to enjoying our life to the degree that the body really does feel safe and emotions are stable. Work to repurpose your energy toward slowing down and reprioritizing things a bit, letting go of things that do not serve you.
Your “fertile energy” is a lot like a bank account. What do you invest your energy in? Will it be energy wisely spent? Your entire environment is a playground for creating fertile energy. It can be with your mind, with your emotions, with your physical body, work, and home and relationships (these are your physical environment) and most importantly, with your soul/spirit. Are you actively doing things that add to your bank account or are you constantly feeling a deficit? If you are drained or exhausted in any area, pay attention and take measures to shift it or you will be depleted. What drains you also drains your life energy, which is also your “baby bank account.” What fills you, inspires and energizes you adds life energy or abundance to your baby bank account. When your account is full enough, your cup runneth over and creates effortlessly and abundantly from that overflow.
Think of it in terms of metaphor: You cannot sustain (or generate) from a dead battery, empty gas tank, or over-drafted bank account. You cannot grow anything in your garden if your garden is full of weeds, if you are not watering it, or if it is buried under too much debris. Nothing can grow in the dark. Fertilize and shine some light, water, and weed your precious soil, first. A farmer wouldn’t think about overlooking these things when his livelihood depends on his crops. Treat your fertility as if your life depended on it, because it does.
Everything you do now affects this little one, just like everything you do when you are a parent and your little one is here will affect that child’s development, its view of him/herself, and its perception of the world around them. When you see you are sacred, when you see all of life is connected, sacred, and precious, you will better be able to see – to truly see – and in essence be worthy, of the miracle of life that is sitting in your lap when comes your turn.
NFI: What about couples struggling with unexplained infertility? We hear a great majority of them say, “If my body is healthy and all Doctor’s visits say I can get pregnant, what might be going on and what can I do to help myself?”
Elisabeth: This is a tough one, and the only answer is to trust that you will be shown the way. The way that is your journey and yours alone. The ones who get pregnant easily have other challenges to bear. Yours is this one, or it wouldn’t be this way. Can you let go of fighting it and instead do what you can do to enter into the sacred life of fertility and do your deeper work? More will be revealed, I promise.
NFI: Beyond what you have already shared, how can couples struggling to get pregnant shift to a more fertile way of living to help invite in a healthy pregnancy and child?
Elisabeth: Nature, God, Life, the depths of the Soul, our limitless fertile nature – all is a mystery. Can we learn to be in these mysteries without needing to know or asking ‘why me’ and just be with it? In the being, we grow, we change. The effortless effort, just in showing up – without making it what we think it should be, or fighting where we are, or judging the circumstance as good or bad. It simply is. When we can be in a space of what is, without trying to fix or change it, we expand our container to hold more, beyond what we can comprehend with our finite mind.
A limitless potential lies within each person that can only be accessed in the state of stillness or awareness; the state of just being. This doesn’t mean being a couch potato either; this means active contemplation, slowing down or resting of the overactive, over-cluttered mind. It means active listening to what wants to be, rather than what you think it needs to be. All is working together to weave a presence within you that creates the capacity for life to sustain. Giving it room to grow means to allow and be, not force and do. Fertility is actually a way of being at this higher level. Life and nature, events around us, will teach us all we need to know, if we are listening.
NFI: What are 3 MUSTS in your work that clients need for success to be born?
Elisabeth: 1) Honest self-reflection, 2) Stop running from a bear (stress takes the life out of you and smothers the FSH pathways) 3) be willing to stretch yourself into a new and higher place within yourself – that you may never would have discovered had you not been challenged on your journey. And for those simply wanting a sacred path to fertility, good for you; you are listening to a call that serves a greater purpose for humanity. Trust this.
NFI: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Elisabeth: Trust your process. Trust God and life. Trust your body. Trust your instincts and do not under any circumstance ignore them. You have everything in you that you need. Your life is so, so precious.
NFI: What are you currently offering to help people who want to learn more about this conscious conception and fertile living path?
Elisabeth: There are two programs emerging right now: School of Life Mastery is a highly committed intensive program involving two to three Saturday classes monthly and VIP private coaching with me. I also created a lighter version called Baby School of Life. For more information, I offer free consults and I am happy to answer any questions in person. If you would like to see if the program is a fit you can contact me here. To learn more, check out my website at www.elisabethmanning.com
About Elisabeth Manning
Author, speaker, and international Master Certified Spirit Coach, Elisabeth Manning is a thought leader in the realm of fertility. Her unique background and training empowers parents-to-be and practitioners alike to activate and awaken our true innate fertile potential. Elisabeth’s teachings are based on aligning with nature, spirit and life itself to reverse infertility and birth our potential; cradling the notion that when we thrive within our own life, life is more likely to thrive within us. Her mantra: “We are connected to all things, and we are much, much more than a body. We are powerful creators. When we remove what is in our way, we heal, allowing what wants to be born to manifest.”