inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

on fertile ground – september 2009


When I was a child my parents had a classic style picnic table at the front of our house. It was originally painted green and then later painted over to be white. Over the years as the white paint peeled back you got a glimpse of the deepest hue of green like a hidden forest covered by fog. On quiet afternoons, I would gather up my sister and our friends and drag one of these long benches under the Maple tree outside my bedroom window. There was shade here and I remember how the light softly pulled through the bright green leaves. Surrounded by forest, there was a kind of stillness that led our minds towards magic. With careful instruction, I would line up the children at the end of the bench and then begin to teach flying lessons. The instructions were pretty simple. Step up on to the bench, walk slowly across the top, grab on to a Maple branch, swing and let go. Many times I was asked, “But, when do we fly?” and I would answer, “In the moment that you let go.” In the past two months, I have been reminded of this little jewel of wisdom that came naturally to me as a child, but that as an adult is so easy to forget.

Earlier this year, I came to a place in our journey to conceive a baby where I didn’t know where to turn. It had been three long years of trying with no result and I found myself in a state of veiled pain. After so many months of disappointment, I began to tell myself that I knew it wouldn’t happen and not to get my hopes up. I started the game of managing my and Peter’s expectations by setting them lower. For anyone who has had a dream they have struggled to reach, you know what a painful exercise this is. Trying to trick the psyche into believing that you are okay with your set of circumstances when actually there is a mountain of pain, is a costly game. In May of this year, that game was up. A kind of courage floated to the surface that was new to me. I came to a place where I was ready to ask for help. A year previously we had looked into assisted fertility options in Australia, but because ours was a case of unexplained infertility, we weren’t ready to embark on them at that time. Now we felt we were.

I rang up my health insurance provider and found that the cost of assisted fertility in America was nearly six times as high as it was in Australia. As the secretary told me the numbers, my breath was literally taken from me. I felt at once, incredibly fortunate to have citizenship in Australia and incredibly angry at a health system in America that created an impossible choice for those already in difficulty. The option for assistance in America was now ruled out, so I moved on to exploring the possibility of being an international patient in Australia. To my relief, the fertility group that we had spoke to before we left in 2008, had a doctor that not only worked with international patients, but also specialized in unexplained infertility. After many calls back and forth, we arranged for a middle of the night phone appointment, due to different time zones, with our new doctor in Australia.

We don’t take many calls at 2:15am, but the appointment went well, and although talking about your fertility in the middle of the night is not something I would recommend, we felt an immediate connection with Dr. Gavin Sacks, who was both honest and had a sense of humor. During the call, we found out that after trying for a baby for three years, there is a three percent chance of becoming pregnant naturally. Hanging up the phone that night, we had decided that on our six week trip back to Sydney this summer, we would do one round of IVF and if that didn’t go well, I would have exploratory surgery to see if they could find a problem. I would head out two weeks before Peter as he had a work conference to attend and start preparations with the clinic. Going to bed that night, I felt three things: terrified of the unknown, hope for the first time in months and thankful for our support network in Australia that I knew, no matter what the result, would support us well through this leap.

In June, we began the unbelievable task of packing up our house again. We would put our things into storage so that in returning to America after our trip, we could then move the two hours south to where Peter would begin his new job teaching fourth grade. Our world was on the move again. Peter was ending his current job, the house was in boxes and I was saying farewell to the beautiful yoga community that I had created in the Napa Valley. Life felt full. We were hurtling forward and checking in with each other on our regular morning walks through the vineyards behind our house. On these walks we would vocalize our fears and hopes for the future. Again it felt like we were spilling our lives out on to a blank canvas waiting to see how the colors would mix. I was so grateful to have Peter’s steady and optimistic hand to hold through this time.

On the Monday after a full weekend of hot air balloons, friends, family, brunches and walks, I felt full and centered. I started getting out more boxes and began packing books and clothes. But it was slow going because I was preoccupied. For the first time in years, something strange had happened. I was late. I went through all the rationalizations to keep my emotions safe, but something in me knew that this time it was different. I sat down and had a big cry as I drew hope up and into my heart again. As I cried, I remembered how a couple of weeks before I had woken at 5am and been drawn to walk outside. It was dawn and I gazed out to the tule fog hovering over the vines and the fields. I stood there for ages, the cold air of morning surrounding me, feeling awake to something new that I couldn’t put my finger on. I believe now that my body had awakened my heart in a way that my mind couldn’t understand yet.

That Monday afternoon when Peter got back from work, I did a pregnancy test that had been shoved to the back of the cupboard. And on that ordinary Monday afternoon, in a state of absolute awe, we found out the extraordinary news that for the first time we were pregnant. Even writing these words, now fifteen weeks along, I can hardly believe that they are true. We protect ourselves so well when we believe that our dreams won’t be realized, that when they do, the magic is simply overwhelming.

Sharing this unexpected news with the many individuals who had known of our journey, continues to be one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. In these moments, a kind of love covered disbelief and pure joy has embraced me. And as we shared this news, I’ve felt that not only were we celebrating in the beautiful news of this baby, but also in the mystery of dreams, against all odds, somehow unfolding.

The day after we found out, we walked in the vines just like any other day, but I felt that my pockets had been emptied of heavy pieces of emotion that I had unconsciously accumulated. My body felt so light and spacious. I had no idea how much space, my fear and my grief, had been taking up in my physical body.

Looking back on the many gifts that this difficult journey has bestowed on me, I feel that one stands out from the rest. Ironically, this is the lesson that my eight year old self could have taught me. To let go and believe in those things that you cannot yet see. As a child, the moment between letting go of that slippery course branch and my red soft soled Keds hitting the ground, was the moment that I was flying. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it. I didn’t need to prove it to anyone because it was something I simply knew to be true.

This month, I encourage you to begin believing in a dream that you cannot yet see. This may be in relation to a job, a relationship, a home or a pursuit that by now you can hardly believe will ever come true. Start by airing this dream out and dusting it off. Sometimes, we hold on to dreams for such a long time that we lose touch with what they mean to us. Take some time outdoors. Perhaps, take a walk or go sit somewhere that soothes you and revisit in your journal or in your heart, what this dream feels like for you now.

Try to stay away from “how” you think this will manifest itself and try to reconnect simply to the importance of it for you. Allow yourself to open to the possibility that even though you cannot see it, there is support for this dream all around you. It may be in your friends belief in you, in your spiritual practices or just a sense of knowing that comes solely from inside yourself.

This month, nurture this sense that although you cannot be sure the path towards this dream or what it may look like, that there is the true possibility in its unfolding. While the world is turning and days run busily by, imagine threads to this dream weaving themselves all around you and let go of the need to hold on so tight. While this dream is being woven, dig into life like you would into your garden. Make plans, taste new foods, celebrate milestones with your friends, and try something new. By living each day in a way that feeds your soul and nourishes your relationships, you are one step closer to your dreams. Some of those dreams may be familiar and others haven’t even been conceived yet. Live in a way that conceives beautiful dreams, those you feel close to and those you can hardly believe could ever come true. Go on, reach for that branch and let yourself fly.

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This is a monthly inspiration piece brought to you by author Christina Adler at ‘everyday balance’. If you would like to share your experience with these tools, please feel free to email me by visiting the contacts section on the home page. To subscribe for a monthly reminder for these inspiration pieces, simply fill in your name and email address on the home page under “subscribe to everyday balance.” For information regarding life coaching appointments in person, by telephone or online, visit the ‘for life coaching’ section of this website. Photo taken by Peter Moore near the Pali Lookout, Oahu.

posted under 2009 life balance