The WHO in our fertility story encompasses all aspects of the Divine Feminine, including the Maiden, the Mother and the Wise Woman.
A woman may begin the process of exploring her fertility as a Maiden. While the Maiden is a valuable and important aspect of the Feminine, “Mothering Up” is crucial for every woman, regardless of whether or not she chooses to have children.
The Rites of Passage that historically supported a Maiden in her transition into Motherhood, guided by Wise Women and held in Sacred Sisterhood, have been stripped from our culture.
With “nowhere to go,” the Maiden tends to get stuck; when things become difficult, she may look outside of herself for answers and find that there's no shortage of advice (doctors, tests, experts) willing to tell her what’s wrong with her and offering to "fix" her "broken" body.
Even if it does "work," at some point in this process, unless the focus of her journey shifts inward, she may never really evolve to embody the Archetype of The Mother, the most enlivened version of herself.
If it doesn’t “work,” the Maiden has a choice: she can continue to seek answers outside of herself. More tests. More procedures. Or she can look inward.
We must explore our depths to truly embody our ability to create life.
For healthy fertility, we must honor and release the Maiden, see if any unconscious energies might be preventing us from fully allowing ourselves to transition to Mother and learn to receive the energies of both Wise Woman and Mama Earth.
The WHO is YOU… you now, you filled with the potential of your growth. You hold, within you, the Maiden, the MOTHER, the Wise Woman, Earth Mama and Sister.
The 4-Phase approach to a woman’s cycle focuses on incorporating both Yin and Yang, the energies required for all of our body’s functions.
Yin and Yang are like two sides of a coin. They depend on the other to exist.
Focusing on achievement, a destination and on what can be “fixed” or attained is a very Yang approach. While neither Yin nor Yang is gendered, Yang tends to include more “masculine” characteristics while Yin includes more “feminine” characteristics.
Yang is essential in everyone, including women. It’s responsible for our get-up and go, our drive, and even some of our body’s most basic functions like hormone balance. However, we ALL live in a society where Yang (productivity, accomplishment, DOING) is more valued than Yin (rest, reception, BEING), so many of us have supremely deficient Yin.
Too much "Yang" can create a situation where you're "doing all the right things" but still, nothing changes. You go to yoga class, change your diet, take supplements, but still are not able to conceive or carry a healthy baby to term. While you may even have some “explanations” like PCOS or POF, etc. nobody can really tell you why.
A "Womb First" fertility journey relies on you connecting with Yin. Yin fills any Yang action with intention and nourishment. Without the nourishment and sustenance of YIN, doing everything “perfectly” is kind of like having a perfect driving record but never filling your car with oil.
Healthy follicles, cervical mucus and a juicy uterine lining are all dependent on abundant Yin.
Fertility requires that we receive YIN. It’s not something we can go out and “get” by doing everything right. Yin must be received by dropping in, letting go and opening. It requires trust and vulnerability. To “hold” the Yang energy that is required during ovulation, conception and carrying a pregnancy to term, deeply nourished Yin is essential.
Embracing the “WHEN” was the first breakthrough in many of my patients' fertility journies.
Rather than focusing on the Western (Yang) idea of "finding what needs to be 'fixed,’" TCM allowed me to discover the “when” in women’s cycles.
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t “get” this until I moved to Colorado and began to spend a significant amount of time in nature. I started to absorb a deep understanding of the Earth’s rhythms, and to feel how my body resonated differently with each season.
The more I paid attention, the more I noticed that each season has different requirements to provide a healthy environment for the Earth to be plentiful and abundant.
We plant and nourish in the spring, bloom and fruit in the summer, harvest in autumn and rest/gestate during the winter.
Likewise, each of the four phases in a woman's cycle has its own energy that must be cultivated to create your own fruitful fertility story.
We release when we are bleeding.
We nourish when our follicles are developing.
We move and energize when we are ovulating.
We warm for implantation to occur.
When I started teaching my patients how to attune to the energetics of each phase of their cycles, more and more of them became pregnant.
I relate this element as being similar to caring for a newborn. Only when we know what to attune to can we know how to meet her needs. We aren’t going to change her diaper when she’s hungry, or play with her when she’s tired. When we know which phase we are in, and we know what is required during each phase, we can more easily meet our body’s beautiful needs.
The element of Where is all about Embodied Presence. "Where" is within you and all around you. It begins when we recognize that our body is a microsystem of the universe. And maybe we hold an entire universe within our womb.
"Where" is about connection. When we connect with our head with our heart, our heart with our womb, we can feel present. But when we connect our womb to the Earth and all the way up to the stars, to include the abundance of the Great Mother and the presence of our ancestors, that’s where the magic happens.
Honoring whatever you do or don’t believe in, this element is about recognizing the Sacredness of Mama Earth and our womb, and includes a deep reverence for both.
When this level of presence and intention is alive, we can tap into this wisdom anywhere: at work, standing in line at the grocery store, in bed, at the gym and, yes, even if you’re guided to explore the support of a doctor.
The decisions you make when you feel connected on all levels will come from a deep inner knowing, not as a fearful outreach for someone else to tell you how to ‘get fixed,’ but from an inner guidance and trust of your own internal wisdom.
You are more the expert of your own body than you may think.
Why is a question that you may find yourself asking often.
“Why NOT me?”
The WHY of your story also shares two sides of the same coin. There’s the physical why as well as the personal, intentional why. Both are essential in creating a fruitful fertility story.
It’s important to understand that infertility is just a symptom. Trying to “heal” infertility can be a bit like trying to fix a tree that isn't flowering by looking at the branches instead of focusing on the roots.
Whether you have high FSH, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fallopian Tube blockage, POF, or even unexplained infertility, it’s important to uncover the root cause in order to heal.
Each woman has her unique complex of needs required to bring her into perfect balance.When those needs aren’t perfectly attuned to, the resulting imbalances will contribute to her underlying root cause.
Band-Aid fixes like birth control or Clomid are kind of like taking Tylenol for a headache. It may “work” to cover up the pain, but it doesn’t explain why you’re getting the headache in the first place.
Exploring the WHY of your root cause, which often includes a very real, physical unraveling of old energetic patterns, is essential to understanding Fertility.
I also ask that you bring your personal WHY....
To be willing to explore what Motherhood means for you.
Sitting with the longing, simmering in the desire, while really feeling into your WHY is also part of the medicine. It can feel vulnerable and raw, but it often gets right to the feeling that will help you access the places in you where intention and healing may be needed.
The longing is your body’s wisdom, and often when we pay deep attention, right there… some magic happens.
Phew, I can stay in the why for hours, but...
Let's move on to the last Element in your fertility story.
The How can feel similar to asking “How am I showing up?”
In my relationships?
In my work?
In my fertility struggle?
It's important to recognize that how-we-do-fertility/ infertility is often how-we-do-pregnancy. How-we-do-childbirth. How-we-do-raising-a little-human. How we-do-mothering.
How do we MOTHER?
How we show up in our fertility IS how we are showing up in life.
When we explore this, it’s also important to explore our female lineage. We can begin to ask ourselves how our Mothers or the women who came before us showed up. How were they allowed to show up? We may want to begin to explore how the Archetypal feminine roles have been marginalized within the patriarchal system.
Trusting that when we heal ourselves, we heal our entire ancestral line, we will explore our own internalized patriarchalized feminine, to heal those wounds related to being a girl and a woman in this sometimes harsh but also beautiful world.
Honoring our Elders, we will become our own Wise Woman, and a Mother in the most positive sense of the word:
A woman who can embrace and create life.