CT Fertility Testing Tonight
Today, we’re two blogs. Nope, no identity crisis, just wanted to make sure that everyone out there knows about our free fertility testing in Trumbull, CT this evening. Below the event listing is today's blog. You get a double dose today! ~Lisa Rosenthal
Free AMH Fertility Testing Seminar
When Thu, December 4, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where 115 Technology Dr, Trumbull, CT 06611, USA (map)
Description Fertility Essentials | Fertility Testing ~ A blood test is now able to tell women, more easily than ever before, about their potential to become pregnant. This blood test, known as Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), helps doctors determine your chances of becoming pregnant now and in the future.
What is Your Ovarian Reserve?
FREE testing is now available from RMA of Connecticut! There will be a brief presentation and a blood test. (You can take the test while on the birth control pill or at any time during your menstrual cycle.)
Our doctors and nurses will be present to discuss how AMH testing can indicate reproductive health. Participants will receive a call from an RMACT clinical staff member with test results within 10 business days.
Registration is recommended. Please join us! Get the information you need to plan for your future family. Light refreshments will be included. Please RSVP - firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "AMH 12/4" or click here.
PathtoFertility - Fertile Yoga and Meditation
We’re moving. We’re really moving. RMACT will be in our new, beautiful, state of the art home in January 2015.
One of the ways that I know that we’re moving? Our beloved home at 10 & 20 Glover Avenue in Norwalk is not quite how it’s been for the last decade plus. Hence, Fertile Yoga for the month of December in Norwalk is a thirty minute guided meditation instead. No prenatal yoga at all in December.
This sounds like less, right? Thirty minutes instead of seventy five minutes is less. Forty minutes less, to be exact. And less is less is less. Right?
Thomas Keller started a food revolution at the French Laundry in California. Someplace, that despite having visited the area fifty-one times in my life, I still have not eaten. That’s another story. This story is about how he feeds people there. He feeds them. Nourishes them. Sustains them.
With bite size pieces. With a taste. With many different tastes. He serves his guests many tender, different, exquisitely flavored, exotically created and textured bits. (OK, next time out, I’m going to the French Laundry, done.) One of the keys is that there is only one bite. Maybe two, very occasionally, three. Interviews with Chef Keller will confirm this, his portions are that small.
What a contrast to some of our favorite restaurants which serve humongous servings. Enough to share and still bring some home. Enough that the food is overflowing plates that could be, should be, serving plates for a party of three. In those restaurants, we know that we are getting what we paid for and then some. Is there a temptation to overeat? For some of us, many of us, there is. Do we taste the food after the first bite? The second bite? The seventeenth bite? Thomas Keller would say no.
My plan about our meditation time in Norwalk for the few weeks in December as we shift to our new beautiful space is to make these sessions that delicately flavored. That exotic. That rich and pleasurable. To use the time in a thoughtful, mindful way so that everyone who attends feels sated. Feels fully satisfied without being overstuffed. So that we all experience a practice that feels delicate and enriching.
To make a practice that lingers on the palette afterwards, as an echo that soothes the heart.
That is my intention for our meditation practices for December in Norwalk.
I would love for you to join me. December 4, 11, 18. No classes on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1.
Come get your taste.
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Fertility and Holiday Meditation Ideas from Tesa Baum
I promised you guest bloggers. And here's our first, Tesa Baum. A great way to start, by offering some help with the holidays and the craziness that we sometimes get into. Especially challenging for those of us in fertility treatment or sad that we are still without our babies.
Read beneath her blog post for her official bio and her beautiful picture.
Meanwhile, here are her thoughtful and very helpful suggestions for the holiday season.
The Holiday Smackdown: Mindfulness vs. The Monkey Mind
Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally--in the present moment as if your life depended on it. Because it does, actually.
The Monkey Mind is a way to describe the agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behavior of ordinary human consciousness.
I have a confession. Even as a practitioner of holistic wellness and healing, I succumb to the monkey mind. I find that my mind is often wandering and thinking about my To Do List, going over my daily activities and plans for tomorrow, or replaying moments from the past. Yes, just like you, I find it is difficult for me to sustain focus, appreciate, and absorb the present moment, whether that moment feels pleasant or challenging.
Ironically, the Holiday Season, the time of year that gives us the most frequent and meaningful reasons to remain in the moment, is also the most favorable arena for The Monkey Mind to dominate our thinking. As our holiday season responsibilities escalate, we can become overwhelmed, sad, frustrated, lonely, scared and depressed, especially if we are feeling the loss of fertility, and so we struggle to attain balance. All bets are placed on The Monkey Mind.
This holiday season, together, let's shift the odds in favor of Mindfulness. Neither you nor I can simply stop thinking. But, by practicing a quick mindful meditation technique, we can become less attached to our thoughts and less swayed by every passing emotion.
What does this mean for grief, loss, sadness, and feelings of isolation during this holiday time? We don't want to feel trapped and consumed by these feelings. Unfortunately we begin to fear these feelings so much and then all we want to do is "move on". Mindfulness reminds us that pain and sorrow, like all else, is not permanent.
Does this mean that disturbing feelings will go away completely? And stay away? Of course not. But it does mean that they will change shape and form, they will ebb and flow, some days won't be great and some days you will start to smile. It means that our grief, like everything else, is only temporary. Once we accept this, even if only on a rational level, some of the need to avoid our grief starts to diminish. We can stop believing it is permanent, even when we feel it will last forever. Instead of battling your feelings, let them stay with you and treat them compassionately. Once you learn to stop looking at your negative feelings as a taboo, they can start to dissolve. Accept uncertainty and try to allow it to coexist with who you are. You will be pleasantly surprised how fleeting and impermanent these feelings can be. It takes a lot practice. Here's how you can start!
Tesa's Seven Minute Monkey Mind Smackdown Meditation
I am pretty sure that I am the first holistic healing practitioner to leverage WrestleMania terminology in a meditation technique! But, we all truly wrestle with this beast day in and day out. And, even though this technique doesn't require a lot of muscle, I want you to feel powerful in its defeat. Here are four simple steps to follow:
1. Find a quiet place and set a timer for 7 minutes.
2. Close your eyes, and establish a point of focus-your natural breath moving in and out.
3. When your mind wanders, don't be critical of yourself. Allow the thoughts to come and go and gently bring yourself back to your point of focus.
4. When we start to get really heavy and all we want to do is run away, that’s when to simply say to the thoughts, “hello, I see you, welcome”.
After completing this exercise, I feel extremely focused and I am able to really enjoy the moment. I am going to commit to this meditation practice each and every day during this holiday season. I hope that you commit too, both to practicing and to feeling more present.
In the New Year I will circle back on this topic and let you know the impact of my meditation. And, in the meantime, feel free to reach out to me and let me know your experience with this holiday survival tip.
Tesa Baum, R.M., CHT
Tesa is a Reiki Master Healer and Certified Hypnotherapy Practitioner.
Tesa is passionate about natural healing and helping people live their lives to the fullest.
Her goal is to help people experience inner peace, purpose, and inspiration. She is a member of the International Association of Reiki Professional (IARP) and has studied energy work, healing and meditation. She practices in Westport & Ridgefield, CT and Mt. Kisco, NY. Tesa works with individuals of all ages, groups, and facilitates workshops.
The Center for Health and Healing Wellness Center
Westport Hypnosis Group
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Fertility Meditation from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey
Full disclaimer here. I do not get any money from Oprah Winfrey or Deepak Chopra. RMACT does not receive any money from them either. We have no affiliation, neither professional nor personal with either Oprah or Deepak.
I’m sharing this on PathtoFertility because a lot of you have expressed interest in meditation. There have been a lot of questions, some of which have only led to more questions. In Fertile Yoga and Ladies Night In, we’ve talked about:
- positive affirmations
- creating a personal mantra
- candle gazing
- clearing our minds
- sitting quietly
- opening our hearts
- visualizing health and wellness
- bringing closer that which you want for yourself
- different types of breathing exercises
And much more.
We’ve talked about “putting it down”. Consciously making the decision to turn away from a recurrent, maybe even obsessive, thought or thought pattern.
These are all ways to avoid getting drawn in so close that you are in constant pain. Ways out.
Yes, there are ways out.
Meditation for Fertility: Free Program
Then how could I not share this free program, which can be used as meditation for fertility, delivered by Deepak Chopra? I love them. I use them to jumpstart or intensify my own meditation program. A natural inclination is that when one feels better, we stop using the tools that are helping.
We figure we’re better. All done.
Actually, it doesn’t work that way.
Practice. Consistency. Persistence.
Those work really well.
Here’s a lovely, gentle way to start. Please don’t judge yourself or the program if you can’t sit through the entire meditation. Try a few minutes if it feels too long.
Know that however long you sit IS you being successful. Maybe you will be able to sit longer after five days. Maybe not. Know that however long you do sit quietly is so much more powerful than no time at all. If your mind is busy the entire time, please know that you are not the only one. Not by a long shot.
So give yourself permission to try this. It’s free. And Deepak Chopra has a voice that is immediately soothing and comforting.
Here's the link: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience
Please let me know how you like it.
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Infertility Trouble With a Capital I
What do you do when you get into trouble? Whether it's trouble with your primary relationship, work, feeling stuck, infertility trouble or your own personal version of trouble; what do you do?
That was the question that I was asked in a yoga class yesterday by a beloved teacher, Mary Gerdes. She always asks the question that I need to hear, that resonates deep within and bubbles up with something new.
What do I do when I get into trouble?
LOL. Just being honest. I completely realize that it is not helpful, nor conducive to solving problems. I get that.
Experiencing Infertility - A Look Back
When I think back to experiencing infertility though, that’s exactly what I did. First month, I was sure I would be pregnant. Same with the second and third month. I was pretty confident until the ninth month. The ninth month hit hard, most probably because that’s the gestation time of a baby. By the ninth month of trying with no baby, the realization that something was needed beyond having loving sexual relations with my husband was undeniable.
Trouble was Infertility with a capitol I.
And so off to panic I went.
I didn’t know what to do first, who to listen to, what to pay attention to; that wasn’t for lack of reliable sources and available help. That was due to the panic that had ensued and clouded my thinking and ability to discern what was helpful from what was unhelpful.
Breath and Awareness
Mary asked and answered the question yesterday. What do you do when you get into trouble?
What do you do when you’re happy?
What do you do when you’re disappointed?
I could go on, but you get the idea. We breathe whatever emotion we are in, whatever situation is raging or loving around us. We breathe.
I’m not saying we always pay attention to the breath; that was Mary’s point.
My point is, actually, no matter what? We breathe. That’s what we were born to do. To keep breathing no matter what, otherwise, we are no longer alive.
Mary’s point, as interpreted by me, was “can we bring our focus to our breath when we are in trouble?” We will be breathing or hyperventilating as the case may be, but we will be breathing. We can’t get into trouble and just not breathe, then there’s a whole lot more trouble.
We breathe because we were designed to breathe every moment of our lives. We have to, there is no choice. Bringing attention to our breath, that’s different.
When I pay attention to my breath, even as my panic rises, I pause. I consider. It gives me just that amount of time for the panic to recede and a sort of reason to return. Not everything is worthy of panic. Ramping things down is healthy, physically and emotionally. Cognitively, we make better decisions when panic is not the ruling force.
I wish I had known in the middle of infertility that even though I felt panicked, there was a pause that was available. A place and a way to settle myself that didn’t count on anything except my breath and awareness.
Thanks Mary, for a glorious class as always. I appreciate always the physical movement of yoga. If I had to pick though, I’d pick the question brought up and reinvestigated in the practice.
What do you do when you’re in trouble?
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Fertile Friday Affirmations
Pick one. Or two. Create a thought or a phrase or a paragraph. Use the affirmations that express how you are or how you would like to be. Select words that describe you before infertility.
Find words that inspire you to live more fully and sweetly.
Taste each word on your tongue and in your mind’s eye. Does it fit? Is it attractive? Does it hold potential?
Listen to your heart and be generous with your choices. See yourself as those who love you do. Choose at least one word that your best friend would use to describe you. Choose at least one word that makes you slightly uncomfortable.
Create an image of yourself that is bold and clear.
Fill in the blanks:
Please feel free to add your own.
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Fertile Affirmations for Friday
Might it be a good time to replace some thoughts that rattle around your head with fertile affirmations? Whether you are in the midst of infertility or fertility treatment or just want to live a happier life, I think yes and here’s why. Speaking for myself, I often get into a place of internal scolding when I don’t make the choices that are absolutely perfect for me. In other words, I beat myself up almost whenever I can. Interesting that I make that choice over and over again. It’s become a routine, even a habit. Do something less than perfectly, and here’s the tape in my head, “oh, cr#p, I did it again. That’s the third time today, eighteenth time this week, nine thousandth time this year. Why did I do it again? It’s never worked before and it didn’t work again.” I won’t bore you with the on and on and on that goes; it’s not pretty. I won’t discuss how distracting it can be when I’m trying to focus on something in front of me, that’s a different blog.
What I will focus on is how exhausting it is to be in a constant state of internal disapproval. My brain is the arresting officer, judge and jury in the split second of an eye. And it’s not enough to judge the moment; I have to bring up every time I’ve ever done that in my life. And I throw in the kitchen sink as well.
I do this less frequently now. I have a new practice, a new habit, that I’ve gradually incorporated to replace this automatic instinct to scold myself.
Positive Affirmations - A One Minute Break
Positive affirmations. Every hour on the hour, I take a one minute break and reel off a list of positive affirmations of things that I believe about myself. Every hour they are different. Every hour it becomes more familiar and comfortable to reflect on these aspects of my personality and feel them, in my heart and even deeper.
This felt deeply uncomfortable at first. It was a change in routine, of course it felt strange. Like it does when I add anything new into my life; it took getting used to.
Now? I love it. Doing this makes me breathe more effortlessly. And it does not feel like bragging or like exalting myself, quite the opposite, what it feels like is that I am bringing balance to my internal conversations. I still scold myself but it is balanced with an acknowledgement of my self worth.
17 Fertile Affirmations to Try
I am strong
I am healthy
I am loving and I am loved
I am valuable
I am vibrant
I am worthwhile
I am capable
I am able
I am persistent
I am funny
I am a force to be reckoned with
I am light
I am kind
I am powerful
I am humble
I am capable of growth and change
I am fertile
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Infertility Chaos - Turning to Calm
“You don’t have to suffer continual chaos in order to grow.” John C. Lilly
Some people react to crises with calm composure. Those same people will react to other types of crises or challenges with a less calm demeanor.
How about you? Does a roadblock in your way cause frenzy, either in your behavior or in your emotions? Does the challenge cause turmoil or do you accept that it’s part of your journey like all the good and easy, sweet things?
Infertility is a crisis. It’s a road block that can feel like a massive and unassailable impediment. More like a mountain than something that will give way and be temporary.
And that’s where today’s quote comes in handy. In the middle of a crisis, any crisis, there is the temptation to be in a state of chaos. I find it very tempting to blame the chaos on the situation. I can find excuses, always, about why this or that hasn’t happened or has happened and the crisis is always a good thing to blame it on.
Really though, maybe it’s just about time to learn how to grow without chaos. When facing infertility, there are schedule changes; unexpected test results, insensitive comments from family/friends and more that can cause chaotic feelings and reactions.
I personally like meditation. Which I am terrible at; my mind chatters about what I need to get done, my thoughts wander around the universe and back home, my nose itches and I want desperately to wiggle my toes. My method these days is to candle gaze. Carrie Van Steen is my hero! She meditates and she didn’t even know that’s what she was doing. Light a candle, gaze at it. Focus on the flame. Soften your thoughts. Then soften your thoughts and your judgment of yourself when you realize that you are having thoughts. Allow yourself to let go of other distractions and just keep looking. Consider it a mini-vacation. Consider it a major vacation.
Maybe chaos is more productive for you than it is for me. I notice the whirlwind and realize that I’m the eye of the storm. The eye is calm, yet I create frenetic activity all around me. What if I choose instead to extend that calm, that sense of peace and quiet from the eye of the storm?
What if? What if I chose quiet over chaos? Let the business slip away. The din to die down.
I feel capable of making a different choice and I am ready to practice it during less chaotic moments.
Who’s willing to try with me?
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Fertility Medications and Placebo Effect
Sometime last week I wrote about my chance meeting with Dr. Katherine Scott, RMACT’s IVF Lab Manager. Our conversation sparked some ideas that have been percolating ever since.
How much does it matter how a message is delivered? This is a question that is fairly rhetorical as we know it makes a difference. We know it makes a big difference, that’s why such mind-boggling amounts of money are spent on advertising and marketing research. We know that what we call something and how we describe that same thing affects how we think about it; how we take it in.
Last night I spent some time with our PA, Diana D’Amelio. We were discussing the efficacy of medications and supplements and the effect of the placebo. I love being surrounded by such smart people who think about matters in such deep ways. Speaking with her sparked some new thoughts.
Infertility is a science. And it’s an art. And there is so much that every one of us can do about our own health, treatment and general well being. The placebo effect gives us a lot of power. Thinking something will work, will be powerful, helps make it that way. In essence, that’s what the placebo effect means.
Taking a pill or tablet that has no medication in it can often give the same physiological reaction as taking a pill or tablet that has specific medication in it. This has always been true. This is how double blind studies create research that we rely on. And it is frequent that the placebo is very effective in treating whatever ails you.
I am not suggesting that you all stop taking your medication because you can just believe your way into becoming pregnant. Fertility medications are powerful and using them will often bring a response of more eggs/follicles that we are looking for, especially when undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization). This blog is not about knocking fertility medications.
What I am suggesting is that believing they will work is a great idea. What I am suggesting is that believing that eating in a healthy way increases the healthiness. What I am suggesting is that believing that sleeping properly makes our sleep more restorative and healthy.
When you’ve had disappointments, it’s challenging to put your heart into it. It’s a natural reaction to guard against more disappointments by keeping an awareness of failure. We all get that. And sometimes the best that you can do is take the medications and keep your heart protected. If that’s where you are, please know that suspending judgment around yourself is more important than anything else.
Mantras for Health
If you feel you can add a little something to your already rigorous fertility treatment regime, I have a suggestion. Once or twice a day, (or every hour if you are ambitious), create a mantra for yourself and repeat it three or four times. It can be simple and easy or very specific and personal. Your own mantras for health. Here are a few suggestions.
- My fertility treatment will be successful
- I am creating health for myself
- I am healthy
- Everything is exactly as it should be
- I am bringing my baby closer
- Peace (shanty)
- I am doing whatever I need to do to create my family
- I am one with the universe
None of these may float your boat at all. Again, no judgment. You may have a prayer or a poem that will work for you.
Try it for a week if you can. It’s painless, calorie free, alcohol free, caffeine free. In fact, it’s free, costs nothing. When you say your mantra, close your eyes bring your thoughts deep into your cells and organs. Create health and well being.
My mantra for this week: everything is as it should be, in this moment.
I would love to hear your mantra.
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Infertility and the Day After Thanksgiving
Whether you are choosing to indulge in shopping or relaxing into peaceful serenity or some combination of the two, the day after Thanksgiving is just that: the day after. It may have been a lovely day or a rough day or some variation. Fertility announcements abound at this time of the year and putting on a happy face when you are feeling sad for yourself is not always easy. Nor is it gentle on our own hearts.
Overindulging can take on a lot of forms. Eating is only one. Whether we eat because it’s delicious or because we’re sad or happy or any other feeling, we do sometimes overdo it.
Wearing a mask for too long is burdensome and emotionally exhausting. We wear a mask when we feel one way and say and act another way. That can be over indulging too; not honoring yourself and your feelings as valid and important.
We tend to overindulge on holidays, in so many ways. We create an idea, based on the past about how the holiday “should” be. Or we decide how we want it to be. Rarely are we available to experience the moments as they are. That’s over indulging too, one of my favorite kinds, where our fantasies become more tangible than our realities.
An Invitation to Yoga Nidra and Finding Your Center
The Friday after Thanksgiving, I teach a way to achieve Yoga Nidra instead of any of my regular classes. It’s become a tradition up at PhysEd in New Milford, CT, for my students who are used to a vigorous class to come, practice lightly and then repose into Savasana for almost an hour.
That’s almost 60 minutes of lying down, having arranged the physical body as comfortably as possible, and sinking into yoga sleep. My favorite definition of Yoga Nidra from Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati is below:
Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. In Meditation, you remain in the Waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake. While Yoga Nidra is a state that is very relaxing, it is also used by Yogis to purify the Samskaras, the deep impressions that are the driving force behind Karma.
According to the definition of Yoga Nidra and what it is and what it is not, I do not teach or facilitate Yoga Nidra. I create pathways of getting there by using guided meditation to achieve this. I am excited to be teaching Yoga Nidra in a more traditional way this Friday. I hope to have you join me.
On Friday night, Fertile Yoga will meet twice, once from 6-7:15 and then from 7:30-8:30. You are welcome to one or the other or both.
It will be my first foray into a more traditional Yoga Nidra. I would love to have your company.
Whether you have indulged too vigorously in food, or drink, or happiness or sadness, Yoga Nidra will be a way to recenter yourself. To find your way back home.
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
Affirmations for Health: A Positive Practice
You have the ability to replace thoughts or beliefs that you hold that may not be affirming or healthy.
Know that using positive affirmations may feel strange at first. These are suggestions. Perhaps there are other affirmations that you prefer.
As you become more used to repeating positive affirmations, you will feel calmed and soothed.
Ten Positive Affirmations to Try
- I hold myself up tall, with pride, for who I am in this moment: a beautiful, strong man or woman;
- I think well of myself and of my partner if I have one;
- I remember that I am a whole person, not an infertility diagnosis or a sperm count;
- I remind myself that I have value and worth, whether I am pregnant or not, whether I am a parent or not;
- I remind myself that I learn something about myself every day and that what I have learned about myself because of infertility is that I am strong and courageous. I know how much easier it would be to accept my infertility and remain childfree. I remind myself that I am brave enough to move forward and farther than I thought I could in my goal of becoming a parent;
- I remember the health and wellness that I enjoy in so many areas of my life;
- My gratitude towards the beautiful things that I enjoy in my life fill many moments;
- I know that when I become a parent I will hold it even closer to my heart because of my present experiences;
- I embrace my life as I am, knowing that my truest self is revealed through the hardship of this experience;
- I love myself--my body, my heart and my soul.
How to Use Affirmations
If you are creating or using your own affirmation, use it in the present tense, not the future tense. If you use it as a mantra, to repeat over and over again, let it warm you from the inside out. If it doesn't do that, try another one. And please share any affirmations that you like to use with us. I could always use a new one.
Here's a bonus, a long-time favorite of mine that my Fertile Yoga students are familiar with:
- I am beautiful, I am graceful, I am whole and complete.
Positive affirmations. Try one.