TTC: Being aware of how you pay attention is a powerful practice. It can be a shock to realise how much your ‘take’ on situations can affect your reality.
When we’re having a hard time, we often start to identify with the struggle. For example:
- ‘This situation isn’t going to work, therefore, I don’t work.’
- ‘My last cycle failed, therefore, I am a failure.’
- ‘My eggs are bad’, therefore ‘I am bad.’
Awareness – above or below the line?
But here’s the thing I’ve found. If you can deepen your attention and notice how you are thinking it allows you to bring your awareness ‘above the line’. When you’re above the line you’re much more able to notice what is going on, and if necessary, make change. Awareness means you aren’t identified, you have choice, and choice is power.
When your awareness is ‘below the line’ you are not so aware, and because of this you keep repeating the same patterns. Ask yourself, ‘How quickly do I turn on myself when things go wrong?’ ‘How often do I feel that I’m ‘falling short’ or ‘not enough’ as I ttc?’ Many of us feel this way all the time. The gap between where you think you should be and where you actually are can feel more like a gaping chasm.
Next time you’re down on yourself, see if you can notice it, and without adding another judgement, bring it above the line. If you can catch it, you can work with it to release the pain. And this is so important, because if these feelings of unworthiness go unchecked they can affect us for years and years. Let’s stop this cycle of negativity right now.
R.A.I.N. – How this mindfulness tool can help
Next time you get triggered by something or someone, see if you can bring your awareness above the line and notice how you are feeling. If you’re struggling, this mindfulness tool, R.A.I.N., can help. It stands for:
- Recognise: what is going on and name it eg. I am freaking out’, ‘I feel so frustrated/angry/sad/hurt. When you name what is going on it stops the mind going into the next worry and the next.
- Allow: Let it be there. It doesn’t mean you like it or want the situation go on. It just means that you’re not going to fight, pull away or fix it. For now it belongs.
- Investigate: See if you can feel where tension sits in your body – for example, notice your dry throat, tight jaw, sore shoulders. Ask yourself, ‘What do I most need?’ If you don’t know, that’s fine, instead ask, ‘what do I most need today’, ‘what would help me right now’. Break it down. Make it manageable.
- Nurture: Sense what this hurt part needs. It might be to know it’s going to be OK. Perhaps you need to hear that you’re loved, or someone you care about is there for you and not leaving. Keep your eyes closed and get a sense what you need and if anything has shifted.
Accessing your intelligent mind
If you can practice R.A.I.N. regularly, the easier it will be to come above the line. When you next hit a bump in the road, rather than trying to avoid it, could you soften and allow it to be there instead? You may have to do many rounds of R.A.I.N. for things to properly shift. But over time you may find that the old stories you automatically thought, you don’t have to believe. You are not the story you’re telling yourself.
If the most loving part of yourself could offer words of wisdom, what would be helpful? Whisper these words softly to yourself. Let the message in. How would it feel to let light and tenderness wash through you? Allow your heart space to soften towards who you really are so you can start to move from fear towards freedom.
ttc: trying to conceive