Negative emotions and stress can be detrimental to fertility. Three scientific studies showed that when couples are trying to have a baby they have a harder time achieving this goal if the woman is depressed. Also, if the unhappy woman does succeed in becoming pregnant, she is more likely to have a premature and low birth weight child, both of which are strong risk factors for infant death or an abnormal child.
Dealing with your emotions is an essential part of making your body ready for pregnancy. I received the following email from one client who dealt with her trauma following the Christchurch earthquake.
Dear Karen, I’ve been meaning to email you for weeks and tell you my news. I’m now 23 weeks pregnant! The IVF worked the first time which was incredible. We have found out that it’s a girl and I’m very excited to meet her in 4 months. I really want to thank you because when I think back to this time last year when I had post traumatic stress disorder – I was so unhappy. I know that my body and mind was in no shape to carry a child. I know that some people take years to get over PTSD (if ever!) and I felt back to normal after 2 sessions with you! I don’t think I would be having a baby in 17 weeks if it weren’t for you and EFT. Thank-you so much! Jo Looij
Happiness, in psycho speak, is called ‘subjective well-being’ and refers to people’s sense of wellness in their lives. A person high in well-beingexperiences satisfaction with their lives, feels pleasant most of the time, and only experiences occasional negative feelings. I find this description of happiness really good. It says ‘feels pleasant most of the time’. What it doesn’t say is a happy person is jumping with joy, smiling and laughing all the time. That’s a personality thing. Many people are not the types to walk around with a big grin on their face, but they do feel happy inside. The other thing I like about this description of happiness is that it doesn’t say happy people don’t feel negative emotion. It says they ‘experience occasional negative emotion’. Happy people experience things that make them sad (or any other negative emotion), but that sadness doesn’t encompass their whole lives. They have a way of sectioning it off. Right now my mother is very ill and it’s been a worrying time, but I see it as a pocket of sadness within my overall sense of wellbeing. I can still feel happy, even though I have a pocket of sadness in my life. Studies show that happy people see bad events as a small part of their life, whereas unhappy people see bad events as universal to their whole life. Happiness is a learned skill and one I teach. It is very much about the way you think about things. Change your thinking and your feelings will change too.
One research study found that 50% of our happiness is genetically predetermined, 10% is due to life circumstances (money, relationship, job etc) and 40% is the result of your own personal outlook. It’s that 40% that we have so much power over. I can actually teach people the tools they need to be happy and have complete control over that 40% (assuming that study is correct because we all know from Dr Bruce Lipton’s work that genetics control nothing and the likelihood is that we have control over as much as 90% of our happiness). Happiness is a learned trait and is very often a choice, once we know how to make it. If you’d like to learn how to be happy, because no-one teaches us that in school or in life, let me know and I’ll help.
I find a lot of my clients set higher standards for themselves than they do for others. Their expectations for themselves are much higher and they are harder on themselves if they don’t achieve what they set out to. Often I’ll ask someone “would that be OK for someone else” and the answer is nearly always “yes”, but it’s not OK for them to have fallen short. They can easily forgive someone else for making that mistake but not themselves. In the same way we talk to ourselves (with our thoughts) in a far harsher way than we talk to others. Would you consider for instance telling a friend “you’re looking really fat today”? Of course not, but you tell yourself that with your thoughts. We need to start being far kinder to ourselves and more understanding, as we would for a dear loved one. Take a look at how high you’ve set the standard for yourself and lower it a little. It’s the most loving thing you could do for yourself today.
A friend of mine is a self publishing author. She received mixed feedback from some people about her first book which was challenging for her to deal with. After reading it, I sent her an email to say something nice about it (that I meant, because it was actually an amazing book and I don’t think some people understood it). Today, a few months later, she told me “I have your words tattooed on my heart”. The encouraging words had helped her and continued to help her as she published her second book. I mention this not to uplift myself, but because it reminded me I need to encourage people more often. To remind myself that a kind word can make the world of difference and it costs so little.
I love receiving the daily quotes from Neale Donald Walsch. A few days ago I received one from him that said “On this day of your life, Karen, I believe God wants you to know….that to find beauty in everyone you must see beauty in everyone, then announce that you see it, for in announcing it, you place it there in their reality. Do not miss a single chance — not one single opportunity — to tell someone how wonderful they are, how special they are, how important to you they are, how incredible as a person they are, how beautiful they are inside and out. Do not miss a single opening in which to insert such a comment, genuinely felt and genuinely meant. Make it your life’s mission today to bring to the attention of another just how extraordinary they are. Say it. Say it. SAY it. Their heart is waiting to know that their own best thought about themselves can be believed.” I think with these two messages coming in the same week it really is a reminder to me that I need to do that more. How about you? Don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone how wonderful they are today. I just stopped writing this to do just that and it felt good.
I wanted to share my thoughts about risk and fear, formed from a recent holiday and subsequent conversation with my mother. I just got back from two weeks in the Northern Territory of Australia, hiking in the ‘outback’ where crocodiles were something you had to be constantly aware of and their presence severely limited your use of rivers, billabongs and rock pools for swimming etc. They had areas though that they considered safe-ish for swimming because they were ‘crocodile managed’ i.e. they removed any crocodiles they found there after the wet season and had techniques to let them know of any that arrived after the clearing had taken place. Crocodiles do move overland however so the fact there were none present yesterday did not necessarily mean there were none today. Given that risk, we swum many times in ‘crocodile managed’ rock pools and small rivers. I’m not a person who takes risks, but then again I refuse to live in fear so there has to be a line somewhere between the two that each of us finds for themselves. I was talking with my mother today who seems to live at the fearful end of that spectrum. The earthquakes yesterday in Wellington have made her very afraid that we will experience more here (Christchurch) ourselves. She was nearly crying as she told me how afraid she was. I think the experience of our earthquakes has made me less fearful in general as I live despite the risks and the ‘might’s.
I’ve moved further away from the fear end of the spectrum than I ever was previously, yet Mum has moved closer than she was and is more fearful than ever. My mother aside (I don’t have my therapist hat on when with family and don’t attempt to treat them) one of the things I do is help people to live in the ‘now’, to expect the best, to let go of fear and to be happy despite the circumstances. If you are closer to the fear end of the spectrum and aren’t living life to the fullest contact me for a chat about how I can help.
I always encourage my clients to think big when it comes to setting goals. In the words of Abraham (Esther Hicks) it is no harder to attract a castle than it is a button. The only difference is whether you are focusing on a castle or a button. I like to ensure that all my goals are big ones and I believe and expect them to be manifest. However I sometimes catch myself thinking small. I think it’s ingrained in us to a certain extent and it’s a constant journey of recognizing our own blocks because they aren’t usually apparent. It’s not like we think we can’t have something, it’s just that we aren’t imagining ourselves with it or expecting to have it. I think once a month we should check our expectations and try and up the ‘best case scenario’ we have of our lives. We need to check in with our expectations and beliefs just the way we check our smoke alarms because they do need re-powering every now and then.
Being the person you want to be is a continual journey. We are never ‘there’. Over the past few years I’ve worked on being more loving, more patient, warmer and generally nicer. Much of the time I achieve it but sometimes I don’t even come close. It’s immediately after those times that we need to be most forgiving of ourselves. We just need to set ourselves back on course again and keep trying. It reminds me of autopilot in aircraft. When a plane is on autopilot it’s only on course 3% of the time. That means it’s off course 97% of the time! The pilot doesn’t give up and turn back though. Autopilot just corrects back on course again. It spends most of its time correcting, but gets there every time. That’s what life seems like sometimes. Don’t give up, don’t beat yourself up, correct, correct, correct and don’t look back.
What in your life deadens you? Whatever it is, stop doing it because your body will follow your thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself also ‘what can I do today that brings me joy’? Try to find something in every day that brings you joy because Joy is life giving. Something either gives you life (joy) or it deadens you. Another good question to ask yourself is ‘what can I do today that proves I love myself’? Love is very powerful. I read of a study on people that had had heart attacks. One year after their attack on average only 6% of people were still alive EXCEPT for those that had dogs. On average 25% of them were still alive. I believe that has to do with the love you both give and receive when you have a dog. Fill your day with joy and love and if you don’t have a dog or a significant other then love yourself. One way you will know if you are doing this is you will be doing lots of things that bring you joy.
I’ve started reading Love, Medicine & Miracles by Dr Bernie Siegel. He talks about what makes someone die or survive a serious illness. He says “Patients vary enormously. Some will do almost anything rather than alter their lives to increase their chances for a cure. When I offer them a choice between an operation and a change in lifestyle, eight out of ten say, “Operate. It hurts less. That way all I have to do is get a babysitter for the week I’m in the hospital.” I find that to be true of most people – they want the quick fix of a drug or an operation and aren’t prepared to make changes to themselves. My mother has cancer and was advised by a natural health practitioner to eliminate sugar from her diet. She has been unwilling to do that, but is quite willing to undertake chemotherapy. Lifestyle change or serious drug that will nearly kill me……… oh I’ll take the drug thanks. The choice is incomprehensible to me, but it seems its the one most people take.