TTC: Soften. If you read my posts regularly you will know that I speak about this a lot. The reason is that this journey hardens us up. Where sorrow meets joy and darkness, light we need to bring this quality of softness towards us to balance out the harshness of our experience and find equanimity. But how do we do this? If you’re deeply stressed. If your journey isn’t going the way you would wish. If you’ve suffered loss, then how is it possible to soften when all you want to do is tighten up and close down?

My student Janice told me ‘I’ve been trying to get pregnant naturally for just over a year and a half. I found myself gradually becoming more anxious and irritable. I would quarrel with my partner, my mother would come over and I’d cause an argument with her for no reason. I had a big disagreement with my manager at work when she gave me some feedback which I felt was unfair. It was like I was on tender hooks and at any time I would snap. I knew I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what’. Soon after Janice came to one of my classes and I taught her the Adi Mantra: ‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’ that I practice every morning. For me the key of this mantra is to keep a quality of softness to your breath as you practice it. We talked about making this part of her morning routine, just 5 minutes to start with and to notice if there were any changes to how she’d react when difficulties came up in her day. After a few weeks I met up with Janice again to see how she was doing. She told me ‘I like having something to chant when I sit, it helps me to stay focused and not wander off with my thoughts. When I chant it makes me feel calm. My mind feels less agitated and I’m able to tune in and slow down. I didn’t think it would change how I felt when something annoyed me, but it did’, she recalled. ‘I had some blood tests at my  GP’s clinic and the nurse bruised my arm. Rather than freaking out and getting upset I found myself being able to tell her in a nice way to be more gentle. It was probably how the old me would have reacted before my failed cycles had hardened me up’.

I love this awareness. So often we know that we’re not acting from our highest self but we don’t know how to change. Techniques like Adi Mantra will help you do this. Our tools and techniques can help us when we need them the most, but only if we practice them.  If you practice you might find that next time you want to blow up you’re able to pause and take a moment without reactivity instead. It’s in these small victories that we realise that how much we’ve grown to harness and soften the madness in our heart as we try and conceive.