How Dr Lewis' Retreats Alleviate the Pain of Infertility

The first order of business for those who are having difficulty conceiving is, of course, to remove obstructions to reproductive health and to enhance fertility. When I started the Fertile Soul retreat process, this was, of course, our primary motive. Over the years, however, it became abundantly clear that there was a secondary issue that could not be separated from the first. The pain of not being able to conceive is intimately intertwined with the fertility difficulty. I have found that when the suffering over the issue is alleviated, the obstructions are easier to rectify.

Imagine that you are having a challenge with your conception efforts, but there is no pain and suffering over it. Life goes on, with the same loves, joys, challenges, and richness. The agonizing sense of failure is not there. You love your life, your partner, and experience the beauty and abundance in all of life. One of the best pain relievers is a drug that helps you "forget" the pain pathway, even while the painful stimulus is present. This isn't about denial; it's about the healing strength of our attentive powers.

I remember a woman who came to retreat last year making this recognition. She said, “I have come to accept that I may not be able to have a baby. But what I miss most of all is being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life again.”

We all have the source of life within us. We haven’t lost it, no matter how far off it may seem. If you can imagine your mind letting go of the “infertility” story, if only for an instant, you may be able to be struck by the awe of witnessing the miracle of a sunset again. Of feeling the chill of the winter air and knowing that it doesn’t mean the warmth of all of life is over, just that there is a chill in the air. Spring will come again.

Imagine looking in the mirror and liking what you see; witnessing hope in your eyes again. Imagine experiencing your body as the most wondrous miracle in existence. Imagine being in awe of the creative power that you embody. The story of “infertility” would be just that – a chapter that you are no longer interested in reading.

You may even be able to enjoy holiday gatherings. You may be able to make new traditions that do not center around the scarcity of your “infertility” story, but instead embrace the creative power as it is still expressing itself. Allow yourself to feel the hurt, anguish and loss. Don’t push any of it away. Only then can you rise above it. Have the courage to stand in the midst of the pain and let it dissolve. Have the courage to cry, and still show up for life.

In the dead of winter, there is a call for life to emerge. That which we resist (infertility), persists. That which we attend to (the Life force) grows stronger. Where is your focus going to be this holiday season? On scarcity or abundance? The choice is yours. As you show up for life, acknowledge your pain as you enjoy the smell of holiday fragrances. Experience gratitude for what you already have, and share in the gift of giving. The lives of those we admire most were not one sided - they did not hide out from their pain. They stood in the midst of the pain, and found in it the greatest gift life has to offer. The gift of life itself. All of it.

With gratitude to our Wellness coach, Michelle Galatoire for inspiring this topic.