A few months ago in a group that I’m part of, someone asked what conscious conception was.
Here is what I said:
“To me, conscious conception is about approaching the time before you start trying to conceive as a sacred time of growth and preparation.
As your baby’s first home, there is much you can do to ready yourself – emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
So often the conversation begins once you are ready to start trying to conceive, or even more commonly once struggles arise or you become pregnant.
There is so much beautiful and transformative work that can happen before that point that can open up the entire experience on an even deeper level.
It’s a really magical time.”
This is my invitation to you to get curious about what your journey could look like if you brought consciousness and awareness into your life starting right now.
What would you keep exactly as it is?
What would you tweak so it felt just right?
What would you want to completely overhaul?
How could you be okay with where you are right now?
How could you make this moment the place of shift?
How could you see yourself now as this sacred vessel?
Your future baby is already growing in your heart. Why wait to create the perfect first home for her?
I’d love to hear what conscious conception means to you. Please join the conversation in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
Whether we love the pose or we try to avoid it as much as we can, each pose in yoga has something special and important to offer us. I was recently at a yoga teacher training info session and when this topic came up in conversation, she assured us that it is in leaning into the poses we like least where so much growth happens.
In a recent early morning home practice, I found myself re-discovering a lesson from one of the poses that is most difficult for me – savasana, or final resting pose. I was revisiting a similar lesson that I learned many years ago (that I wrote about here). Savasana brings up a conflict for me between my expectations and my reality. This happens a lot with me, and so it is no surprise that it plays out on my mat.
In savasana, when I want my mind to be still, it starts dancing. My asana practice acts as a great distraction from thoughts as I’m so tuned into what my body is doing in the present moment and how it feels. When given the chance, my mind activates again.
Savasana, I realized on this recent morning, offers a great gift. It allows us to experience something we often forget to give ourselves – it allows us to be held.
Sometimes, amidst all the craziness that comes in and out of our lives, that’s all we really need – just a few minutes to be held.
Embrace that gift when you give it to yourself.
What’s your experience with savasana? Please share with us in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I held her in my arms and she felt safe. As I slowly lowered her into the water, I could feel her excitement and trepidation build.
“This is funny but I don’t like it,” she said through nervous laughter, and I picked her up again.
“This is funny but I still don’t like it,” she said when we tried again.
“I can do it!” she said with excitement, and by the next day, she was walking around the pool without even holding my hand. “I just learned how to do this yesterday!” she exclaimed with pride.
New things, especially when they involve water up to your chin, feel scary at first. It is the trust and pushing through the fear, which allows you to experience the empowered excitement of accomplishment.
You grow when you push your edges. You stay the same, and sometimes even wither, when you stay in the safety of the arms you have always known. I wrote about this last year and it’s a lesson that I try to teach my clients and myself all the time.
This can be a hard lesson when it feels like the ground is shifting underneath you and everything feels like it is somehow outside of your comfort zone. It can feel easy to run back to the things that give you comfort – old patterns, safety nets that you know are holding you back, and decisions that seem okay in the moment but that you end up regretting.
So what can you do to keep stretching yourself without feeling like you are about to drown? You reach out for someone’s hand, hold on just as long as you need to, and then let go so you can experience your own freedom.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
It’s really all about simplicity. When I interviewed Dr. Laurel Standley for the Creating Fertile Ground Conference, she shared that even as a scientist, she doesn’t know what all of the ingredients in our products are. After all, there are over 6000!
So what are we supposed to do?
Memorize lists of ever-changing chemicals to be concerned with? I tried that; it’s not so easy.
Ignore the issue and hope for the best? The stakes seem too high for that, as we’re talking about not just our health, but also the health of generations to come.
As I’ve learned more and more over the years, especially when it comes to toxins and the childbearing years, I’ve come to discover a way to do the best you can without getting yourself overwhelmed by tons of information – keep it simple.
I recently had an in person session with a client. She and her husband are planning to start trying to conceive soon, and she is thinking about what’s in her products in an entirely new way now that she’s thinking about her future baby. It was a deep dive into this topic, and after our time together she said, “Thanks again! It was all really helpful and encouraging.” Encouraging. That’s key. You can gather all the information you want online, and you’ll likely find some of it to be helpful and much of it to be scary. That’s not really my idea of helpful, simple, or empowering at all.
Here’s what I taught her about simplicity when it comes to the products we’re using on a daily basis:
Use fewer products. On average, women use a dozen products daily. How many do you use? Often, many of them are ancillary to our needs, and they come at a huge price. One thing that my client realized was that she was seeing the same ingredients again and again as she checked her labels. Not only are we exposing ourselves to these chemicals, but we’re getting exposed multiple times by our products. How can you use fewer products in your routine?
Keep the ingredients list short and readable. One exercise that I have my clients do is you write out all of the ingredients that are in their products. For each one, they make two columns – the ingredients that they recognize and know what purpose they serve and the ingredients that they don’t recognize. The same reaction comes up again and again – so many of the ingredients are difficult to spell, let alone understand. Looking for products that have simple ingredients (ideally 10 or fewer ingredients and that you can recognize) is a great way to release the fear and overwhelm about your products. Check your labels. Do you know what you’re putting in and on your body?
Don’t feel like you need to do all the research on your own. We are surrounded by so much information these days, much of it full of unnecessary fear, much of it contradictory, and it can easily be overwhelming and confusing. Getting lost in a sea of information is not my idea of simplicity. Is it yours? If not, choose simplicity by starting where you can and finding support from those who have a passion for digging for the information and sharing just what you need to make this journey an empowering one. How can you reach out to get support so you can find more simplicity?
I’d love to know what was most helpful and how you plan to bring more simplicity to your daily routine. Join the conversation by sharing in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
This week in my love note to my email list I’m talking about simplicity. Here with you, I am going to share what I do on a (mostly) daily basis to invite simplicity into my life, and to try to encourage it to stay.
When you’re first getting started with practicing simplicity, it can feel hard. If you’re anything like me, you can pause now, look back over your life, and realize how unnecessarily complicated you’ve made most things.
Simplicity allows you the space to focus on your desires without getting tangled up in overwhelm, fear, and anxiety. Simplicity is a breath of fresh air. It opens your eyes to what’s most important because your vision becomes less clouded.
When you can infuse your journey towards motherhood with simplicity you create more space for empowerment, ease, and enjoyment.
As with most things, simplicity is a practice, and to keep it going strong, to weave it into the fiber of who you are, it can help to have a few guiding practices. Here are some of mine.
Start small :: Make the bed. Morning pages. Lemon water.
Create space :: No technology for the first and last 2 hours of the day. Clear clutter.
Be grateful :: Remember the good. Release the not so good.
Nourish :: Whole, fresh foods. Uncomplicated and delicious.
Move your body :: Walk. Sun salutations. Dance party.
As you ease into your day, begin with the things that make you feel amazing. Be fully present in the moment. Enjoy the warm water rushing over your body. Hold that hot mug between your hands. Feel the cool breeze on your face.
Simplicity lives in the moments. That means that at any point, you can begin again. You can choose simplicity right now and know that you are giving yourself the gift of a simplicity practice.
How can you choose simplicity today? Share with us in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I was so excited when my friend Alison Marra of True North invited me to participate in the #mywritingprocess blog tour. Alison and I met through the incredible Hannah Marcotti and are deep in exploration together in the Magic Making Circle. Alison’s writing is soul stirring and inspiring, and you can learn more about her process here.
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember (I still have stories that I wrote when I was 5), but the world of writing for others has been an interesting shift, and I’m excited to explore these questions and share my answers with you.
So here we go!
What are you working on?
This question makes me laugh because I could answer in so many ways. Concretely, these days most of my writing revolves around this space, my newsletter, and content for upcoming programs. I’ve also been doing a great deal of personal writing again recently, through morning pages and beyond, which always feels good to come home to.
The dreamy answer includes ideas for books that have been floating around in my mind for many years that have yet to come to fruition. I’d love to revisit the poetry I wrote in massive quantities when I was a teenage and either annotate it or take the best of it and polish it. That involves returning to that time in my life though, and I’m more of a forward thinker these days.
The history major in me has had plans for more than 5 years to write a book about one of my favorite places in the world, but other passions have pushed that project to the side too.
So there’s always something going on, both on paper and in my mind. 🙂
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There’s so much fear and overwhelm out there, and I try not to be part of that. I strive to come from a place of love and ease because I feel like that’s where you can really discover what works best for you. I don’t want to scare you into change – I want you to want it so much that you see no choice but empowered action.
So much in the health, wellness, self-care and baby-making world is direction based (do this, don’t do that etc) and I really don’t see my message fitting into that. I see myself as a guide for women, helping them to explore and uncover what they need most. Sure, I could fill my newsletter and blog with the top 5 foods to eat for fertility and the top 10 things to avoid when preparing to conceive, but that’s just not my style. You’ll get that information, but in a more heart-centered way. You might notice that my opt-in gift is currently 30 Tips to Boost Your Fertility, so that might seem contradictory, but that’s just the title. It’s really a beautiful little e-book filled with ideas to inspire you. So many of us like lists, but we like to find ourselves in those lists, not feel directed to what we’re “supposed” to. My hope is that my writing encourages you to discover the choices that feel like deep yeses in your soul.
I’d say just about everything that comes through my writing has come directly from my own experiences (how could it not), so it’s constantly evolving because so I am, and so is Womb to World Wellness. Just as I seek to support the women in my community with this, I am also constantly journeying towards a more empowered and authentic version of myself, and that journey shows up here.
Why do I write what I do?
This question had me at a full stop for about 24 hours. I’ve been thinking about it during that time and I don’t know that I’m any closer to being able to put it into words – funny for a writer, isn’t it? I write what I write simply because I do. There is no other choice. There is no other way. Like I mentioned in the projects that live only in my mind – I can’t write those right now because this is the writing that is bursting out of me in the present moment.
Writing to me has always been a way for me to communicate what usually lives hidden deep within us. Whether I was sharing it with anyone or not, writing has been an outlet, a friend, that I can always count on, and I see this space a bit like that sometimes.
I aim to write to the Womb to World Wellness community as if I am writing to a friend, because I believe I am. I am writing to each and every woman who holds the dream of a baby in her heart, and I am here to create sacred space for her desires to bloom and grow. So why do I write what I do? I guess it’s to open up that conversation, and to let women know that it’s a safe and important conversation to have.
How does my writing process work?
For a long time, my newsletters, which go out early Tuesday mornings, were being written late Monday night. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to write them sooner, I did. Sometimes they would be completely written and formatted days before and then bam at 10pm (almost always on the dot), I would get the idea and I’d find myself starting from scratch and staying up much later than I wanted to.
I’ve tried to train my brain to get that hit of inspiration earlier, but here’s the thing – you can’t control the inspiration. When I try to write, whether it’s a newsletter, a blog, or even just an email, it takes so long. It feels like struggle. When I release the expectation of when, I always manage to find the flow, usually just in time.
I was like this in college too. I remember in my senior year I was taking two classes with the same teacher and a few us of convinced her to let us write one longer paper combining the themes of the two classes instead of one. Capital by Marx and Colonialism. Through many discussions, with just a few days left until the papers were due, it became clear that I had one amazing paper, if I cut out the colonialism piece that I was trying to fit it. So now I needed to come up with another paper topic and get it all researched and written. She offered me an extension. I got both papers in on time, and I aced them. I guess that’s just how I roll.
It also depends on what I’m writing. A change of scenery always does me good, and this piece is a perfect example. I was getting there, but wasn’t quite in the flow until I left my house and came to a coffee shop. Sat down with my tea and the flow found me.
I think finding flow is the most important element to my writing process, and what brings me to that flow often changes, but here are some ideas that I can usually count on to get me back into the flow. May they serve as inspiration for the writer in you.
- A hot shower
- A change of scenery
- Free writing (often starts with, “I have no idea what to write but I have things to write so here I am….”)
- Visioning (I often start cutting things out of magazines and pause the visioning process because an idea strikes)
- Writing from the heart (works every time)
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with me through a bit of my process and I hope that you’ll continue to return and see where the flow takes me in the future. I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most while reading this, so be sure to leave a comment below!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I am excited now to share 2 more amazing friends and writers with you so that you can learn more about their work and writing processes.
Melissa Mulligan is a vocal coach who believes in passionately creating the lives we are meant to live. She is a permission-granter of unbridled dreams and a believer in the healing power of self-expression. Melissa is the owner, lead vocal coach and head of Artist Development at MMVS: Melissa Mulligan Vocal Studio, LLC in Connecticut, NYC, California, Boston, and online. mymmvs.com Facebook : MMVS Vocal Coaching Twitter: @melmulligan Instagram: @melmulligan YouTube: MelMMVS
You can check out Melissa’s blog here, where she’ll be sharing her own process next week.
Dawn Renee Webster is a natural born decorator & organizer. She strives to ‘reclaim your space’ by providing you with some soul food to nosh on. Are there certain styles of design that you are drawn to, gorgeous meals that you want to re-create or do you yearn for tips on organizing your home life? Trust her. She is a mother of 3 and enjoys the delightful challenge of making each day more beautiful for the environment that surrounds her family. Dawn notices the details and believes in the simple things. Her talent is in repurposing what you already have within the bones of your abode and listening to the whispers of your heart. You can do this. Visit…her door is always open. You can learn more about Dawn and her writing process at www.SassafrasElements.com. Got questions for her? She loves receiving your emails at SassafrasElements@gmail.com.
I create vision pages in chunks. When I participate in one of Hannah’s programs, I find myself catching up with 10 prompts in one night, scraps of paper flying, recycling bag filling, as I rip, cut, glue, repeat. Again and again. And then, when I stop to take a breath hours later and look back at what I’ve done, I’m in awe.
Sometimes it’s a few days later, sometimes a few months, that the messages on the pages begin to have meaning for me. During the recent intense full moon energy (did you feel it?), I didn’t know what the messages coming across meant. At one point I did something unusual for me – I pulled off some words that I had glued down. Suddenly, they didn’t feel right.
The next day the energy was still with me, and two more pages came out, in black and white, and they terrified me. I’ve kept them open on my desk. As I shared with friends my fear in these words, they helped me peel back the layers so I could begin to uncover the meaning. I was scared because of what I thought they could mean. Then I opened up and accepted what they did mean.
“Look, it’s hard to let go, take the leap…”
And just like that, I hired an amazing virtual assistant (who I know in real life) to help me with parts of my business that drain me so I could let them go.
“The making of magic, search for excellence…”
And then I had a conversation with an incredible woman who has worked in the infertility field for 30+ years (and probably held me in the NICU when I was born) and we are meeting for lunch to discuss how we can work together to support women during this incredibly intense time.
“Authentic life, designed by you.”
Another women signed up to work with me and I was so aware of how freeing it feels to get to create my own schedule and work with women who are ready to do what it takes to see their dreams fulfilled.
This all came just from the last two pages, black and white, from a couple of days ago.
I’ve been so enthralled with these pages that I have barely begun to comb over the 16 pages that led to this. Well, except for my favorite. Here’s C.C.:
And here’s one that I created a while ago for you but finally glued down the other night:
When we open ourselves up to the process of visioning, we get to imagine and begin to create the life we want to be living. We get to breathe life into our dreams.
The soulwork around visioning is an incredibly powerful place to start your journey (or the next leg of your journey) because you get to throw out all of your preconceived ideas, what you think you should be doing or thinking or feeling, what others think you should be doing or thinking or feeling, and you get to play. You get to step into that place of possibility and say this is what I want. You get to claim it.
When we gather for the Creating Fertile Ground Circle at the beginning of June, our first month will be all about stepping into the vision. From there, we’ll get to explore how to bring that vision to life, bit by bit, as we explore deeper each month.
Visioning will continue throughout the 6 months because there are always new messages, new layers to uncover and explore.
If you are ready to begin to breathe life into your dreams, if you’re curious about what creating a vision for your future can help your manifest, I encourage you to join us for the Circle.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
When I started Womb to World Wellness in 2011, I already knew the feeling of desire very well, as I had experienced it through the desire for a baby. I learned a lot along that journey, but sometimes we need to learn lessons more than once before we can fully begin to integrate them into our lives. As I open the Creating Fertile Ground Circle, some of that vulnerability comes back for me, and I wanted to share that with you today.
This is not the first time I have launched a group program. I have now run a few successful programs (my favorite until now being Growing with Gratitude), but back in 2012 I tried for the first time, and what felt then like failure left me feeling raw and unsure of myself.
I had just run I Want One (or another one) for the first time, and it was amazing. More women than I had expected joined me for that week of gentle emails, welcoming them to see what this journey could be like. I was excited at the idea of having some of them join me as we dove deeper into that content, exploring and beginning to flesh out how they could start creating these changes with ease. So I opened registration, spread the word, and waited. Crickets. Nothing. Nada. And as quickly as my excitement had risen, it deflated.
I questioned myself, I questioned the work I was doing, I questioned my business, and I looked for new paths to travel. I ran a couple of programs geared towards mamas instead of those dreaming about becoming mamas, and while they were well received, they didn’t light me up like this preconception work does.
As I just shared with my mastermind group, “we drive ourselves crazy with expectations.” This is true whether our expectations are about our businesses, our future babies, or simply our daily lives.
Everything shifted for me when I surrendered, released the expectations and let myself be guided by my passion.
Surrender means to cease resistance. Do you often find yourself fighting, struggling, and working what feels like too hard to reach your dream? That is the resistance, and I can promise you that most of the time it will keep you stuck. When you surrender to what is, you gain a clearer vision of what is possible, what needs to happen to get you unstuck and moving with flow towards your dream.
Releasing expectations means to open up and let go. Let go for a moment of what you expect this journey to look like. Let go for a moment of what others expect of you. Open up to understanding that your path is unfolding as it is for some reason. It might suck. It might hurt like hell. It might make you question what you’re doing right or wrong. And I’m sorry if you’re feeling that – I know those feelings too. It is about trust.
Being guided by your passion means focusing your energy on what makes you thrive. When you create the space to fill your life with what lights you up, what brings you joy, and what brings you happiness, you create an energy about you that attracts what you most desire, because you are in flow.
It was awful when I put myself out there 2 years ago and heard crickets, but you know what? I wasn’t ready like I am now.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to hold space for those women.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to run a program that feels completely in flow.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to surrender to the process.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to release the expectations and enjoy the journey.
I wasn’t really like I am now to trust in my passion and let it guide me.
I just spent a day at a mini-retreat, creating much of the content for the Creating Fertile Ground Circle, and let me tell you, it’s nothing like I could have created two years ago. And I’m so excited that you’re here with me now to have the chance to experience it.
I know now that the women who are meant to Circle together in this group will be drawn to it and know that it is what is the right next step for them. If you are one of them, I look forward to connecting with you more deeply soon! You can learn more and join us here.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
This weekend was going to be about leading a visioning workshop, spending time in the woods eating healthy food, practicing yoga and mediation, and connecting with a group of women. Instead, it ended up being about trusting my intuition, practicing intimacy, growing connection, creating space, middle of the night epiphanies and spending time outside but at home instead of in the woods.
In the end, it was a soul-filled weekend, but it was a long road to get there and the path looked completely different than my calendar told me it would.
It all started a month or two ago, and it was felt full-force last week through a series of panic attacks that served to bring me back to center in what felt like a painful, confusing, and roundabout way.
This lesson had a $368 price tag that I agonized over, but in the end, what I learned was priceless and it’s important for you to understand on your journey, wherever you are as you travel closer to your dreams.
Here’s what $368 got me in the end:
A reminder that it’s sometimes important to say no
When my friend asked if I’d be interested in leading a visioning workshop to kick off her yoga retreat, I thought it sounded like an incredible opportunity, and while I thought about it a little bit before saying yes, I now realize, I didn’t spend enough time listening to myself while I was trying to make my decision.
A visioning workshop is a big and heartfelt yes for me. A retreat in the middle of the woods with mostly women I don’t know is a big and heartfelt no. As I came to realize during last week’s panic attacks, there were many possible reasons that I was feeling anxiety, but the bottom line was that the event itself wasn’t lighting me up inside.
I love the yoga teachers who ran the retreat, they are two of my favorites, but the atmosphere was not conducive to me being me.
If it doesn’t light you up from head to toe, it’s okay, and probably best, to say no. Tweet This.
The realization that it’s always important to trust your intuition
As the first wave of panic came over me last Monday, I just felt a big no in my body. Has that ever happened to you? Even if you don’t know why, you can feel that something is off. For me, it felt heavy and restricting, and as the panic attacks kept recurring throughout the week, I kept trying to figure out why.
As one of my coaches reminded me recently, I tend to over think things, and this was a perfect example of that over thinking in action.
What I eventually realized as I rationalized my fears away one by one was that the why didn’t matter. What mattered that there was something within me saying no. Once I listened to that inner voice and surrendered to its message, the panic attacks ended and peace and calm returned.
Sometimes you just need to create space
The decision to stay home this weekend, despite already having paid for the non-refundable retreat created space in a variety of ways that would not have happened if I had been away for the weekend.
I created space for open communication and flow with my husband as I gave up my “me time” for the weekend to allow him to accept a great opportunity, and in return, I got that much needed time for myself and my creativity rescheduled in a way that feels much more authentic to what I need right now.
I created space within my home as my daughter played a new game, “From Wall to Window” in which we completely cleaned part of our living space and created an environment that truly feels like home, and that gives us space to be present with one another in ways that we couldn’t have been previously.
I created space in myself by getting to practice trusting my intuition and to honor and care for myself even when I was coming up against feelings of shame, embarrassment and confusion. I also created the opportunity to realize that my needs are valued at much more than $368. That is no easy lesson.
So what does this have to do with your journey through conception, pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood? Everything.
It comes back to the idea of trusting yourself, your intuition, your body. When you learn to use your body as a tool to deeper understanding of yourself, you can release a lot of unnecessary anxiety, but you have to be aware of it.
I had to go through it to be reminded of that lesson this week, and I hope that in sharing this part of my journey with you, when you notice your body saying yes or no, you will be able to honor that, release the why, and let it guide you.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,