There is always beauty to be seen.
May you find beauty in your life today.
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Coping with Infertility and the Holidays
I just read an article written by someone I know and respect on ways to get through the holidays. Dr. Marie Davidson, from Fertility Centers of Illinois, in "Advice from Two Pros: How to Navigate the Holidays With An Infertility Diagnosis" posted by the Chicago Tribune, gives some very sage advice about infertility and finding ways to celebrate without causing yourself undue harm.
It's about creating a plan. It's about being proactive in the next several weeks in ways that you can; making decisions about what you do, what you don't do, where you go, where you don't go.
I love all of her ideas. I remember trying all those ideas and finding the ones that fit in the right ways and adjusting others. I suggest reading her wonderful article and seeing how her ideas could help you.
Here's one more idea that a very lovely and loving woman in our practice tried out this year.
She adopted a family. Luckily, a lot of us do that. It's a way of helping another human being and putting them first, if only for a little while. It creates a feeling of gratitude within ourselves about we DO have, rather than what we DON'T have.
This lovely woman went further and organized other women in Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In to help. One woman went out and shopped for the two year old boy, whose mother had left him. When she brought the clothes in to be collected at Yogaspace, her face shone with delight. I asked her if it was difficult to shop and buy clothing for a toddler when she was still without a child herself, wondering how that would feel.
Her reply was that she enjoyed herself so much, that it lightened her heart. She showed me what she had bought, describing each item of clothing, smoothing the clothes over with her hands, almost as if the little boy's body filled it out. The love and kindness of the holiday season was all there, in that moment, in this woman's heart.
The feelings are there. Love, compassion, kindness. Then there was an outlet for those feelings to be expressed, by giving to a little boy who needed some tender loving care.
What does the holiday season mean to you?
Maybe it's not love, compassion and kindness. That's what the season means to me.
Perhaps taking some time to find out what the holidays means to you; to reflect, write, meditate, ask yourself some questions. Probably the holidays aren't just about shopping and gift giving. What are they about?
Then, having identified what the holiday truly means for you, take some action. Whether the action is for you, a loved one, or someone you've never met.
Give your feelings a way to be expressed. Don't worry about whether it's a traditional way to celebrate the holidays or a truly quirky version. This year, give yourself permission to celebrate the holidays in a meaningful way for you.
Me, this year? I'm going with lighting candles, sitting in front of the fire, drinking tea and reading books. That's right, multiple books! Nirvana, for me. It will feed my soul to have some quiet time.
I celebrate the holidays by encouraging you to find your way of expressing yourself.
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The holiday season is now in full swing. Christmas songs are all over the radio, holiday lights are up. Parties have begun. Drinking, eating, celebrating, and oh yeah, shopping.
I went into four major retail stores, touted to have everything one needs for the holidays to get Chanukah candles and came away empty handed. A menorah, to be lit each night, needs forty four candles. Chanukah candles are sold in boxes of 44, usually easily found. Sometimes they are handcrafted, hand dipped, specially decorated. I was content for the incredibly inexpensive, somewhat homely mass produced kind.
Nothing. Zero. Nada.
Even for those of us who don’t celebrate Chanukah, we know about menorahs. It’s a mainstay of Chanukah. See, even my Microsoft word program capitalizes it if I forget! So I won’t even go into a tirade about how Christmas takes over the stores and that there are rows upon rows of green and red, as far as the eye can see in any store you walk into. I won’t go on and on that the Chanukah section is perhaps four feet wide if there is one at all. I’m used to that.
I’m not used to not being able to find Chanukah candles. In the stores that I went into, I asked for them and was shown fake candles. Yes, that’s the new thing. Fake candles that don’t light up and present a fire hazard. Ok, I guess I get it. I think though, that I might even have been appeased to have found an electrical menorah. Nope, none.
It hit hard. I knew that my reaction was moving deeper than my inability to find forty four ugly candles. It was being in the minority, being outside looking in; feeling the edges of the warmth of the season and not truly feeling warm or welcome.
Same exact feelings I had looking at babies and strollers and mothers. Because of course, all the stores are about shopping. And so much of that shopping is about children. There's Santa Claus, holding court, with child after child confiding in him what their secret wish is. Standing on line, sometimes for hours, just to sit on his lap and whisper in his ear what their dearest hope is.
Don’t you wish we could go sit on his lap? Not in some icky, creepy way. I wanted to go sit on his lap for years and tell him how good I had been. How I had given up drinking coffee, liquor, eating many of the “wrong” foods. How I moderated my exercise, took my medications, gave myself shots, went for ultrasounds, and did what my doctors told me. That I had been a good girl, that I deserved my secret Santa Claus wish.
My wish for all of us is that we stop being on the outside, looking in. That we get to join the “Mommy” club. That this year, Santa grants our deepest, most heartfelt wish. After all, we don't want the whole bag of presents, do we. We just want that one, special wish granted.
I’d much rather have that for all of you than find my Chanukah candles.