Saturday, May 5, 2012

How to Think Like a Yogi During the Two Week Wait

A peony in Lincoln Park (Chicago)
When it comes to trying to make a baby, the negative mind sometimes takes over. Fears, worries and feelings of doubt can seize the mind especially during the two weeks of waiting for the pregnancy test results.  But then there are all these books and movies that say it's important to remain positive, which can create a lot of pressure, especially when you're feeling so anxious.  This tug of war inside the mind can leave your body exhausted.  

According to the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, the mind is made up of three parts; the positive, negative and neutral mind.  The positive mind is like a parent who thinks you can do no wrong.  It's the optimistic part of our thinking, it collects information about your life and figures out ways to project your goals forward into the future.  The negative mind is like an overprotective parent, it helps you see what you need to avoid in order to progress.  We need both perspectives in order to make sound decisions, however usually one is dominant.  The neutral mind is mindful of both the feedback from the negative and positive minds, but is unattached to the outcome.  It's a more balanced way of looking at life, a more yogic perspective.  

For someone trying to conceive, the neutral mind would sound something like this, "I may be pregnant and I will be fine and I may not be pregnant this month and I will be fine."  Can you even imagine this?  It takes practice to achieve a neutral mind.  Just having an awareness of where you're coming from can create some peace.  You might find yourself thinking, "Oh, I see that I'm coming from the negative mind and that's ok at least I noticed it."  This is a great step towards the neutral mind.    

How do we experience the neutral or yogic mind?  Through the practice of meditation.  Any form of meditation works.  You could even start right now.   

Practice:  Read through to the end of the paragraph.  If you have a phone that has a timer, set it for one minute.  Open the nearest window and focus on the sounds outside.   Some of the sounds you hear you may label as negative, like an airplane flying overhead or a garbage truck in the alley, and others you may label as positive, like the birds chirping or a couple laughing.  See if you can focus on each sound without labeling it and just have the experience.  Breathe nice slow breaths the entire time.

How do you feel now?   Did you have trouble focusing on the sounds outside?  It takes practice.  Keep trying this for a minute and then eventually increase the time to three or five minutes and see how that feels.  As you focus outside your mind, you create some distance from the constant chatter of the negative and positive minds and connect more deeply to the neutral mind.  When you live more of your life from the yogic mind, you feel more centered, balanced and calm.  Then when you're in that two week waiting window, you feel more relaxed along the way.   What practices do you have that calm your mind? 

For another article on a similar topic, click here for The Negatives of Positive Thinking-denial, optimism, and pragmatism in infertility treatment.  Dr. Lisa Rouff, a therapist who specializes in fertility, talks in her blog about the power of practical thinking over positive thinking. 

Seibel, Machelle M. and Hari Kaur Khalsa.  A Woman's Book of Yoga. NYC:  Penguin Putnam Inc., 2002. Print.


Amy Green said...

A neutral mind - I didn't know that was what it was called. I call it acceptance. That was exactly where I was when I got pregnant. :) It seems to work!


Jenilyn -Holistic Fertility Coach said...

Love it, thanks for the tip Amy! Jenilyn