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The "So Now What?" Podcast

I am a Fertility Survivor.  The kind you enter into treatments hoping you will never be... childless.  After several rounds of IUI and IVF, at some of the leading Fertility Centers, I was told I was no longer a candidate for fertility treatment.  It left me asking myself...

So now what?

For the years that followed, I tried to put myself back together and tell myself I would be OK, but I wasn't.  I was shattered - I felt alone and failed by the whole process and especially, my body.  I yearned for others that felt the pain I felt and someone that could help me navigate a life without a child. 

I didn't find it, so I decide to create it.  

Fast forward to today. I am still childless, but my beliefs about my life have changed.  I decided that I can create meaning and purpose in my life even though I am not a mother.  I've learned to love myself and the body I felt failed me as a woman.

If you've been on this journey, hop on and join me as we create something we were not offered.  Let's create a sisterhood for the bravest women I know.  We brush ourselves off and don't let terms like: Failed, Unexplained, Miscarriage, Not-viable or Advanced Maternal Age define us anymore.  


Nov 15, 2022

Are you starting to get these holiday blues that just seem to be inevitable this time of year? Cause if you are, you are in the right place. I am going to be doing a deep dive into the holidays, and I'm going to start off this week by talking about the holidays more on the podcast, but I'm also going to be hosting a free call this coming Saturday  November 19th at 11:00 AM Central and the reason I decided to put this call together is because  I know so many of us in the infertility community, we see the Christmas decorations coming out. We think about Thanksgiving and the US here next week about running into family members that we don't often see, and the anticipation of, oh my gosh ...What if Aunt Sally asks me what's going on and reminds me that my biological clock is ticking, or maybe I've put some weight on because I've finished my IVF treatments. I've packed the pounds on during my fertility treatments. And they just haven't come off. And I know I'm gonna show up to this event and I know we all have that one person in our family that loves to point out when we put a couple extra pounds on.


So maybe you're dreading showing up this year being a few extra pounds heavier than you were last time. What I want to show is that all of this is optional, and I know for you it might not feel like it is. What I have discovered has offered me the greatest amount of. Freedom. And the thing that I work most on with my students is learning how to be in control of how you feel.


It's not something many people talk about. A lot of people think that things happen, and our reaction to things is just natural and it is just uncontrollable. And I wanna point out to you that your reaction might feel natural to you right now. Because you've never been aware of this amazing superpower, you have to control your mind.


And to understand what it is that is coming up for you. And that's really the key to all of this. And the reason that the students I work with have gained so much more emotional freedom in their life and have such a better outlook on their future because we work on getting very in tune with what you're feeling and what thoughts are coming up for you when you're feeling a certain.


So I hope that you'll join us on Saturday. The call's free, and it is solely intended to be an open forum for me to offer you some tools that I have found helpful and that my students use, as well as giving you an opportunity to come online and tell me what it is that's coming up for you, and let's just discover how we can go into the holidays feeling.


Okay, about showing up to Thanksgiving this year, or the holiday parties that you're invited to that you probably don't wanna go to. Figuring out how you can create a plan of action for yourself before you even walk through the door. So join me on Saturday. Message me on Instagram @lana.manikowski and I'll get you the login information. So I hope to see you there on Saturday at 11:00 AM Central. All right, well, let's get started this week. Let's talk about the holidays and let's talk about. We make the holidays harder because of a story that we tell ourselves of how the holidays should be.


I don't know about you, but I think that there is a sensationalized expectation that society creates around the holidays when we judge ourselves for not. Festive or not feeling excited or feeling the magic that we think the holidays should create for us, We are basically creating so much anxiety for ourselves because we in our hearts are not feeling a way that we think we should be feeling around the holidays.


And so that's what we're gonna dive deep into this week. We are gonna understand that a date on the calendar is not a reason to feel joy or a date on the calendar is not a reason to feel sadness. We are gonna work on how to get into the crux of the thoughts that are whirling in your mind about a date on the calendar.


When we tell ourselves that we should be feeling a certain way, we're not giving ourselves the opportunity to celebrate the holidays as they are. And you'll notice I'm using a lot of shoulds. Maybe I should have a baby by. I should have a family that can go sit on Santa's lap for Christmas pictures. I should have a child that I could sit down and write a letter to Santa with.


So there are a lot of things. I should be stronger. I shouldn't be affected the way that I am about being childless this holiday, and people shouldn't be asking me questions about whether I'm gonna have a child. Or whether I'm aware that I have a biological clock. We are basically creating ourselves an expectation that we should be happy because it is Thanksgiving or because the holidays are amongst us and they're supposed to be this magical time that goes on because the calendar is telling us so.


But we haven't even asked ourselves, is that how we want to feel? Is that truly how we feel in our hearts? All of a sudden, do we flip a page on a calendar and then all of a sudden our feelings just are supposed to turn into a snow globe? And my answer to you is now, when we keep our definition of how the holidays should be in a way that they don't truly feel to.


We're creating anxiety for ourselves because if we're not feeling a certain way, we're telling ourselves something is wrong with us, and so we're buying into this old created story and that actually negates our ability to enjoy life where we are right now. Do you think that there's anybody who has no anxiety, no stress, joy in their heart all the time.


Happiness 24 7. Around the holidays. I don't know about you, but in my family there's a lot of stress around the holidays. There's the shopping aspect, there's the entertaining aspect. For me, there's the childless aspect. There are so many things people forget around the holidays or not happy around the holidays, and then they go on and judge themselves because they're not having happy holidays.


when you tell yourself a story of how your holidays should be, Basically confines you because your brain is getting overloaded, looking for ways that you haven't experienced the holidays in a way that you think you should. And when you allow yourself to enjoy or experience things the way that they are with who you are today with the definition of what your life contains today, or the reality of how your future is gonna look and.


You don't allow yourself to enjoy the parts of your life that feel good, and you are focusing on the parts of your life that feel lacking or maybe like you're missing out. You're preventing yourself and not giving yourself the space to take in things the way that they are in your life, and you actually limit what your life is about and what the holidays can mean to.


And the good parts and the happy parts and the joyful parts just get glazed over because you are being so focused on the parts that aren't good or aren't as you imagined in your life and for your future, you have the opportunity to walk into your gatherings and celebrations with who you are today.


What you aren't today, you have so much strength and resilience and power and courage you can be proud of. For some reason, we as humans, our brain just does not allow us to recognize that part of us. We don't give ourselves credit for what we've endured and how we still show up each day in our lives because, let's be honest, we have survived 100% of our worst days.


Think about the days that have been so hard for you and the news that has been so hard for you to bear, and the reality about your future. You've survived all that girl. There is not one person who is listening to this today who has not survived 100% of your worst days, yet we fail to give ourselves credit for it.


We have proven true that we can make it through the hardest times. The most amazing thing is we have the ability to feel. And experience any feeling that comes our way. And how do I know that? Because we're all here breathing, listening to this podcast, and we have felt and endured some really heavy feelings when we think about what we've gone through and what we've endured, and look at ourselves as though we are a champion.


And we are the strong one, and we are resilient and powerful and beautiful because we are here today and we have the courage to show up each day and try once again. That is, The type of story that I'm talking about, that you can walk into a situation or walk into a holiday where people maybe feel sorry for you.


They wish that you had a kid and they wish that your dream came true, but instead of you adopting their story of sadness and accepting it as just a gesture of love from them, you don't have to believe that you're weak. Your dream of motherhood didn't happen for you or that the goal that you started out working towards didn't end up the way that you wanted it to.


That doesn't mean that you are less than or lacking or not a valuable member of your family. What if it means that you are the strong one? What if you happen to be the one that everybody admires because what you went through, they just couldn't imagine showing up as somebody who is still strong and powerful and beautiful like you.


When we start to learn how to. Navigate the story in our minds. That is where our power comes from, and that is what I love to teach in my community. When we have a story that we are firm in with our minds, and maybe we have an idea of how we want our holidays to be, maybe we don't want to do the same traditions and the things that we did as kids.


That just seems to be on rinse and repeat every year because that's just your family tradit. What if you decided that you wanna create your own traditions as you this very day, as the person whose life isn't what it was like when you were 10 years old or when you were 20 years old? What if you decide with your partner that you are creating your own tradition?


And it doesn't have to be in accordance with the way that things have been done the last 50 years in your family. How amazing would it be if you decided that you want to create a new meaning of Christmas for you, or a new meaning of Thanksgiving, or a new way to celebrate or a new place to do what? There are so many opportunities.


Know that you can branch. And be the new version of you, and so you can show up being the most amazing person in that room because that's who you believe that you are. The other thing is that we can never make up for what we don't have. And there's no reason to believe that you have to. You don't have to show up, apologizing to people.


Or taking on other people's emotions. If they have sadness about what you've endured and you don't want to show up as somebody who is sad, then decide. You don't have to be somebody who's sad. You can be somebody who's brave and powerful and meaningful in the human body and the human existence that you have today.


So align yourself with what value and what you want to have. How do you want to show up and how do you want to be? Because grief doesn't have to. Define your holiday, and a holiday season is an opportunity for you to maybe take an inventory of what's important to you, what feels good to you this year?


What is your goal for Thanksgiving, and why are you deciding to attend? Do you want to attend? What are the good things that are coming out of attending? Maybe you're gonna see somebody that you only see a couple times a year and you really look forward to that. Maybe. There's this dessert on the menu or a food that you like to make, and you only make it a couple times a year, maybe there's an opportunity for you to bring something new to the party.


The holidays do not have to be ridden with sadness and ridden with things that you don't have and that you dreamed of having, and there doesn't have to be a sense of lack. When it comes to you and when you get on the call on Saturday, we are gonna create this whole new belief system about who we are going into the holiday season.


You do not have to celebrate in a way that you think you should be celebrating. You can celebrate from a way that you want to celebrate. There is so much more growth opportunity and. A sense of lightness when you show up being who you want to be instead of who you think you should be. So have an awesome week.


Can't wait to talk to you on Saturday. And remember, it's never too late to discover your meanng. I'll talk to you next week.