The word trying inherently also brings up the two binary outcomes: succeed or fail. I've been thinking a lot about this lately as I'm in my own preconception open space. I often hear "trying to conceive" and feel the effort behind it, the fear of failure, and the expanse of doubt. I also often hear stories about when they "stopped trying" they got pregnant just like that. It usually accompanies a trip to Hawaii or a weekend staycation. Enter: flow state. Flow is something we think of as ease, natural, and genius.
Flow is a state of being that can occur when we become completely absorbed in something. It's as if we enter a creative, focused world of our own, where time seems to fade away. This wonderful experience can happen during learning, creativity, sports, or anything that fully engages our attention. When we're in flow, the outside world and its distractions melt away, and all that exists is the joyful present moment. Our minds seem to dance gracefully, entirely focused on what is before us.
I love applying this ideology to the conception of a child. Of course there are plenty of unique and differing paths for everyone who wants a baby to become pregnant and I have personally been a postpartum doula to many of these different paths. I've had clients in same sex relationships, clients who have undergone IVF with a partner or on their own, clients in heteronormative relationships, in their twenties, thirties, and forties! I know these paths through my own intimate lens in my career. I've had clients who are completely surprised by their pregnancy test because they weren't "trying" and clients who had a winding road to that positive reading. The nuance here in every single one of these situations is bringing some of that flow state energy to the equation.
When we bring pressure and intensity to sex, per se, it can become chore-like and passionless. When we hold tight to our own expectations of timeline we can build our stress levels which is not advisable to this season. When we grip so tightly we don't have open hands to receive, metaphorically speaking.
I think there is no "right" way to mother, birth, be pregnant, or conceive. I think that the childbearing years are radically intimate to you and you alone. You are not a replica of anyone else in this world and you must go about this your own way.
Here's a list of ideas to apply more flow energy to your conception journey:
- Fill your cup up: What do you LOVE to do? Do more of that. Take some time alone to really nurture yourself.
- Set boundaries. What is no longer serving you in this chapter?
- Nourish yourself! Eat healthy fats, drink nettle infusions, read your favorite book, eat seasonal produce!
- Pour yourself into learning something new to create new neural pathways.
- Engage with more art. Did you know that having one art experience every month has been proven to increase lifespan by 10 years? I imagine this would lend it's vitality to conception as well.
- Move your body! Find movement modalities you love. Walk, hike, swim, bike, dance -- whatever it is, you must love it.
- Play with beauty. I think beauty is a pathway to healing and vitality. Whatever beauty means to you, act on it, play with it. For me it's a good outfit, a nice eyebrow gel, a wax, a pedicure, a bath. Whatever it is for you, tend to it.
- Experience community. Go out to dinner, join a book club, go to the museum with your bestie.
- Spend some time with mother earth. Go to the beach, park, or take a hike.
This list doesn't have a lot to do with what you'd think it would outline, but that's because I believe everything is connected. We're a part of the interconnected whole. Our bodies are very intelligent. Nature is too. Give yourself as much grace as you can and then flow.