We’ve been doing a lot of work on ourselves lately as part of a seminar series we are doing through Landmark and have been discovering tons of insights about human nature, the mind, and our own unique patterns of thinking and behaviour.
The biggest learning that we’ve taken away so far is the power and freedom that comes with sharing ourselves authentically with others. Most of the time, we as humans are so obsessed with saving face that everything that comes out of our mouths has first been mentally scanned to ensure it’s in line with the version of ourselves we wish to portray. The problem is that this often comes at the expense of so many important things in life, such as self-expression, intimacy, fulfilment, freedom, happiness etc. The kind of things that makes life worth living!
We are privy to the fact that a lot of you share yourselves openly with us. The happy times, and the more challenging ones too. We are so moved when you do and are always left feeling more connected and inspired by the depth of our conversation. So we have decided that there’s something we’ve personally been going through that we want to share with you all too in an attempt to showcase the power of opening up and getting real. Here goes…
We are ready to have a baby. We started trying seven months ago and haven’t been successful so far. Up until a week ago, we hadn’t told anyone because to be perfectly upfront and honest, I (Nikki) was worried what people might think of me. You see, I pride myself on my health and wellbeing; I follow an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, I meditate regularly, I take herbal and mineral supplements…and so I perceived the fact that we have been unsuccessful as a failure in some way and I was embarrassed by it. What I’ve come to understand now is that it’s simply not true. It’s very common for people to be perfectly healthy yet it take one to two years to fall pregnant naturally. It doesn’t mean anything more than some people are naturally more fertile than others and it’s not a reflection on me in the slightest. Realising this for myself, and then sharing this with our families has been so liberating for me. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We no longer need to pretend and make up stories to everyone as to why we’re not ready for children yet. We also don’t need to suffer the emotional roller coaster alone anymore. And the best part of all is that in sharing this with all of you, we get to expose the raw side of life (not just the happy one that’s usually posted on social media), and in real time explain how we are using meditation and mindfulness to help get us through.
So here’s what we have learned these past months:
- There are some things in life that we just cannot control. Pregnancy is one of them. No amount of wishing, worrying, or wallowing helps. There are certainly actions we can take to best improve our chances but ultimately, it’s up to nature to take the lead on this one;
- Hope helps. In fact, humans are somewhat driven by hope. It’s what keeps us going and helps us stay positive throughout the process;
- Being envious of others doesn’t do us any good. It’s important to remember that everyone is on their own journey. We each have a unique subset of problems and challenges that come our way. And they all present us with an opportunity to learn about ourselves, grow as individuals, and become more resilient as a result;
- People aren’t inherently offensive. It’s up to us to choose whether to take offense or not. Let’s face it, people like to give their opinion. They’ll say things which seem insensitive at times. But it’s vital to realise that most of the time they aren’t trying to hurt us, rather they just don’t know what’s actually going on (especially if we haven’t told them)!
- Mindfulness is key. There’s that dreaded moment that comes when the last flicker of hope is extinguished. Final confirmation that we weren’t successful. It’s this precise moment when all the tools and techniques we’ve learned over the years come into play:
a) We simply pause and observe; We observe the physical sensations of our emotions rushing through us and the thoughts that inevitably come flooding in.
b) Then we feel; We take a moment to actually feel the raw emotions and experience them for what they are – mere sensations inside of our body.
c) Next we bring our attention to our breath; Our mind tries to tell us stories of what it all means, but we acknowledge them as mere thoughts (a series of electro-chemical reactions) and focus on our breath instead;
d) Finally, we re-affirm to ourselves that there are some things in life we cannot control, everyone is on their own journey, and next month is only a few weeks away.
We understand that in sharing ourselves with others, it can often create a space whereby the receiver feels the desire to enter into that space and open up too. We also respect that not everyone wants to share everything with everyone, which is perfectly fine too. Please know that we are always here to lend an ear should you wish to share any challenges you might be facing in your own life. Feel free to call, email, or come and chat to us in person. We will continue to treat anything that you share with us in the strictest confidence.