What’s Mindfulness Got to Do With It?
In September we’re devoted to mindfulness, to being present in every moment, every breath—even the ones that are truly painful, because there may be something vital being conveyed in those moments that needs our fullest attention. Mindfulness itself, though, takes work, time, and energy—aspects of our lives that often feel in short supply while trying to conceive and during fertility treatment.
Why Put Mindfulness Front and Center?
Especially when there are so many other attention-grabbing items on your list that absolutely must be done, typically right now?
One way to engage in mindfulness is through meditation. It reminds us the present moment is the only one we have and it’s intricately connected to the ones before it, the moments that comprise our past. The past is our teacher; it informs our present and future but it does not dictate them.
According to Harvard research, our minds are lost in thought 47% of the time.
Another reason to be mindful and to breathe is that the present moment is also inherently and irrevocably connected to the future moments: the ones that haven’t happened yet. How available we are at any given moment affects our future. What have our five senses brought into our present? Have we heard what was said, seen what we were shown, truly comprehended what was discussed? Yes or no, our future is now guided in a certain way.
Infertility Mindfulness and Meditation: A Way to See a Different Perspective
Things aren’t always as they appear.
Mindfulness and quiet is also an effective method to facilitate hearing more clearly. “It keeps the mind from whizzing away like a washing machine,” says Andy Puddicombe. In his TED talk, 10 Mindful Minutes, Andy, now a monk (but don't worry, you don't have to take it that far), delves into the benefits of meditation. He talks about how refining your attention balances your focus—being relaxed enough with just the right level of intensity that our minds are available for what is happening right in front of us.
Being mindful takes work: finding the right resources for guidance, carving out the time, prioritizing the effort, being aware, and ultimately, paying genuine attention. If we’re not hanging around in the past, nor rushing into the future that hasn’t occurred yet, we have the key to becoming more self-actualized—being mindful invites you to be more connected to your own life.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.