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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 2, 2022

Do you know how good that feels for 60 weeks? I don't know if I've ever been so consistent about anything for 60 weeks, but it feels so good to show up here every week and connect with you.


And for those of you, you know who you are. It's people like you who are continuously showing up every week. Working to create a life that feels fulfilling and you feel like you're thriving again.  and you are the exact people that keep me fueled. The ones that want to move from this feeling of helplessness that we've all felt and this feeling of captivity and this life that is so different than you ever dreamed of.


And the fact that you show up here every week and share 10 or 15 minutes of your time with me means so much. I hope that you are getting exactly what you need out of this podcast. I know how I felt when I was going through infertility and my journey came to an end, and I felt like there were so few resources out there.


The more we can share this message with others, The more we can create a community of women that feel like they are thriving and feel like there is purpose and hope and fulfillment in this future without children. Let's talk this week about self-compassion last week's episode. If it made you cringe a little bit talking about self pity, if it made you feel at all angry towards me or a feeling that I might not be as compassionate as you thought I was, then you are listening to the right person.


Because I come here every week to share the truths of what it is like to get to the other side of infertility. I am much. Than a lot of people in the life after infertility community in the fact that I have done this work to get to a place that I truly. Feel like I can show up in everyday life and in this world that is full of people that are offering us suggestions and offering us hope, and offering us stories of people who have had this miraculous pregnancy years after their infertility journey ended.


If we are constantly. Worried or constantly beholden to the words of others, then we never truly know what it's like to live. That is exactly why the content that I present to you and the type of coaching and teaching that I teach to my students and in my community is significantly the hard stuff. The stuff that does not feel.


Sometimes like it's the stuff you wanna hear. That's the stuff I talk about. Last week's episode, we talked about having self pity and let me first say, I was not somebody who bypassed the self pity. The majority of the reason why I chose to get certified and chose to create this community is because I sat in that feeling of self pity for a very long time, and that was not a comfortable place for me, but I did not know that there was another option.


There was no one out there talking about how to live a fruitful life and live a fulfilled and purposeful life. And I just felt like I always had to exist with this feeling of self pity for my story and for my journey, and feeling as though everyone who I knew that went through IVF was successful except for me.


Let me tell you that if you are feeling self p. I am not judging you for that. I am just showing you that there is an opportunity to live differently and live with self-compassion and having self-compassion is such a more forward moving energy. Where self pity is something that keeps you stuck and keeps you retelling this story in your mind that is likely unchangeable, that your infertility is always going to be the cause of things that are holding you back, or things that are keeping you from feeling complete or things that are keeping.


From achieving fulfillment and happiness in your life, the option to move past that is there, and we all do it at our own pace. I just want you to know that it's possible because there are not a lot of people that talk about moving past. Infertility. When we talk about self-compassion, that might seem a little too fr for for you.


When I first learned about self-compassion, I was not aware of how useful it could really be. I thought it was babying myself and I was one of these people that was just nose to the floor. Get your work done, work harder, work smarter, be more diligent than the people around you to become successful. And I thought things like feeling your feelings and self-compassion were just way too soft for me, to be honest.


Cuz I wasn't soft, warm and fuzzy person. I was a kind person. I was a compassionate person towards others. I was a loving person towards others, but I was not familiar with how to put all of those things that I gave to others towards me. And when I learned the concept of self-compassion and how to act self-compassionate to myself, that's when I started to feel like things were unfolding in my life and things look.


There could be a future that felt complete to me. Know that I am not judging anybody who is feeling self pity because I know what it's like. I just want to show you that there are more options. If at all that peak to your interest, keep listening as I talk to you about what it is like to show yourself self-compassion.


And let me first tell you. The key to feeling self-compassion is to understand what it is you are feeling, and this is something that we're working on right now in the Thrive After Infertility Mastermind is feeling your feelings. We just want to know the roadmap to feeling better. We wanna know, Okay, how'd you get there?


What are the steps? What route do I need to be on? And what path do I need to follow so I can get there? And we want to just gloss over the feelings part when we work together, whether it's in my one-on-one container or in my group mastermind coaching container, we get really like dialed into feelings because in my opinion, that is where the understanding of your future.


We'll lie when we understand what it is that we're feeling and instead of judging ourselves for feeling as though we are an outsider or feeling as though we have this huge jigsaw puzzle of 5,000 pieces and there's always going to be 500 of those 5,000 pieces that are missing. And so that puzzle of ours in our life will never be complete as we work together.


And understand the, the true feelings that we're feeling, and we just allow ourselves to feel them and acknowledge that we're feeling them. That is the step one of self-compassion. If you remember back, I wanna say it was like episode 38 where I talked about noticing and normalizing our beliefs that.


What goes hand in hand with understanding your feelings? If I wanna understand what I'm feeling, I pay attention. We, we do our paper thinking, all the crazy ups and downs that go on in our day, the normal swirls that our brain takes us in. We put all that down on paper. We start to understand what it is that we're feeling.


So we identify certain feelings and then we go backwards from that feeling. What am I believing or what am I thinking? About my story or about my day or about my future that has me feeling depleted. Maybe it's believing that I'll never fit in or I'll never feel complete. If we  acknowledge that those are normal feelings that people have that have infertility, then we could just put that to peace and stop.


Feeling like we are the worst case scenario or stop feeling that we always have bad luck or that things never go right for us. When we let the self pity go and show ourselves compassion by noticing what it is we're feeling and then normalizing. And saying, of course, there are so many women in this community that know exactly what I'm feeling.


There are so many women who probably feel like their future seems so empty. If you're just let yourself be that loving spirit to yourself and let yourself just feel these feelings without judgment. , and I promise you, if you just practice not judging yourself when you feel this way or not feeling as though your life is always unfair, or that you are always the one to get the short end of the stick, you'll see such a shift in the way that your energy is moving.


Because when we constantly tell ourselves, That we are the victim of something, then we're always in that container of victimhood, Whereas listening to ourselves and acknowledging that we feel this way and that we're not alone, and even if I'm the only person you've ever heard that speaks to some of the stuff that you are feeling right now, just knowing that I exist lets you be not.


Lean into that part of it. Don't compare yourself to the people who get pregnant so easily, or the people who have kids and complain about them. Like that is not helpful information.  Recognizing and acknowledging how you're feeling is one of the greatest gifts of self-compassion that you can offer.


So here we are. We're at the start of a new month. Why don't we make November? Be our month to practice self-compassion and just practice reconnecting with yourself and explore the opportunity to. Notice and neutralize the emotions that you're feeling and understand what it even is that you're feeling.


And get curious. Don't just stop with, I'm feeling sad, I'm feeling depressed. Like really dig into that. Like that is some of the most useful work that we are doing in the Mastermind right now, and this is the stuff that really makes the change when we understand. The true feeling and not just the happy, sad, good, bad stuff.


I mean deeper than that, and then dialing it even further to say, Okay, what is it that I'm thinking about my future or thinking about my infertility that has me feeling disconnected? And let's take this month to allow space for all of it, and know that if you need to cry, cry, if you wanna write. Do whatever it takes to get those emotions out of you and realize that you might feel anxious and overwhelmed.


And that's okay, because that is what life is all about, and that's how you will get to the side of infertility that has you thriving and feeling fulfilled again, is if you allow yourself to just lean into this and do life and have the human experience. And it can be messy and it can be an ongoing struggle for all of us and myself too.


I mean, don't be fooled that I never have a bad day. I just know how to deal with my bad days so much better because I allow myself to have them and I don't judge myself and say that I should be further along and that I should never be affected by seeing a mom in a baby connect in the grocery line or walking through Target and going through the maternity section and wondering what I would've looked like pregnant.


Those things still run through in my mind. I'm not immune to them, but if I let myself just feel them and have compassion for myself and tell myself, of course you feel that way, and of course you're curious about what could have been. And I just let those things sit with me and I feel them. I am at such a more progressed place than I was feeling sorry or feeling, feeling victimized by my infertility.


I hope that this is something that gains more clarity for you because this is truly the foundation to creating a thriving and meaningful and fulfilling life. And I have some great news. I know there are many of you who are interested in working with me, and I finally have some more space available to take on some new students.


This is your time, ladies. If you don't do anything, things are not gonna get better, and I so want you to feel those awesome feelings that you deserve to have about your future and about your life, and about yourself as a woman. Let me know how we can help you. Send me a message. As you know, I changed my handle.


I'm now @lana.mankowski on Instagram. I will be switching to on my website, but for now, you can still find at But know that you can get to the other side of this. You can feel fulfilled, you can find your purpose. And remember, it is never too late to discover your meeting and I'll talk to you next week.


Love ya.