I remember very clearly what my mind was like when I was struggling with infertility six years ago. My thoughts were only focused around anything to do with getting pregnant and having a baby. I had tunnel vision; nothing else mattered. Each moment was totally absorbed on how I could achieve pregnancy. I was completely obsessed. Living in this state of mind is difficult for one day but, my journey took two years. For some women this time frame is much longer. I lost out on many things during those couple of years because my vision was so aimed at one specific goal. At some point, very close to our first IVF, I received a wake up call. I was walking in Kensington Market in Toronto with my cousin. He pointed out a sign to me that read, “Wake Up Amika!” Ok, so it wasn’t the correct spelling of my name, but it got me really thinking. I am not living, my life is passing me by and I am missing out. I wanted something more than this suffering. However, I was confused because I also really wanted a baby. How was I going to continue through this fertility journey while re-emerging myself into life.
That very same day, my cousin and I walked into a local community centre to hear a dharma talk. Lo and behold, the topic was on the conditioned grasping and clinging mind, the very thing I was experiencing. I realized that I was trying to take control over a situation that clearly was not in my hands. The more I grasped, the tighter I became in both body and mind. Let’s be clear, the desire for a baby is a primitive urge, but when our happiness depends on it, it shifts into something else.
As human beings we are conditioned to grasp. We are also unfortunately rigged to push away anything that feels painful, either physically or emotionally. The problem with clinging and grasping is that it creates tremendous amounts of unhappiness and suffering. When we are able to go deeper inside ourselves, we find that the roots of clinging are emotions such as fear, jealousy and anger. We can see that our minds are on the loose, trying to gain control, when really all we need to do is let go.
Meditation is a powerful tool to assist in the letting go process. It is a technique that helps cultivate the belief that real happiness is not dependant on having a baby. It is a simple technique where we just sit and observe the monkey mind. Initially it is chaotic and all sorts of scary thoughts occur. Breathing through them and just being with them eventually shifts them outside of our mediation in our day to day life. It’s a subtle change at first but over time, you will notice more space in your experience, be less reactive to stress and suffering. Behind the clinging mind there is so much more that can be tapped into regularly. Gradually the tunnel vision opens a bit more and more until our grasping has relaxed and we can unclench our mind and body.
If you can relate to my mind on infertility, I encourage you to learn more about meditation as a tool to help you broaden your perspective and experience. We offer ongoing Mind Body Fertility Groups. Check our website for upcoming dates.