Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.  


Oct 27, 2021

You will never know love until you are a mother.

Any baby news?

Just relax and it will happen.

Don't you want kids?

When are you going to have a baby?

Oh, I am so sorry.

Do you have children?

You can always adopt.


These are just a few of the words, phrases, comments people say that are huge triggers to women who have gone through infertility treatments and never had a child.  For a really long time, I would be furious when these words were spoken to me.  I called people heartless, mean, insensitive for saying these words to me.  They’d bring me to tears and anger me to the core.  But then, I discovered coaching and was made aware of an alternative way of thinking.  I’d like to introduce you to it in today’s podcast.  


Okay, so brains are dramatic. I like to imagine my brain as various dramatic characters. Sometimes I'm in a lead role, sometimes in a supporting role.  our brains are very dramatic – capital V, capital D. And that’s because of evolution. There’s only two settings that your brain really has. Primal (reactive) Adult (deliberate).  I know for me, I functioned in the reactive state.  

Everything is fine and dandy, I am making it though my day just fine and the BAM

-insert question from list above.


And now I am in a tail spin about how awful Sally Jo is.  Not because 4 words came out of her mouth, it’s because we aren't managing our minds.  And not because we don't want to. Not because we like feeling kicked in the stomach by someone’s words, it's because no one ever told us we had an option This was seriously the most mind blowing concepts that was offered to me.  Some of you listening today may be skeptics.  I get it.  .


One of the reasons that it’s so fascinating to me when my clients are really committed to the idea of their story around their infertility more than if they come up with something you want to think on purpose, your brain is just a story-making machine. It’s constantly filtering out everything around you.


So managing your mind is like taking some ownership over it. And your primitive brain - the decision-making question it basically uses is, is this life or death? Anything that seems jarring, startling  like it might relate to me dying, I’m going to pay attention to and I’m going to ignore everything else, which means that your primitive brain is a drama queen because everything is either fine or life and death. Those are the only two settings it has. But we seem to tap into the primitive part of our brain more than the adult part of our brain.


So our primal, drama queen brains, they’re still in that day and time where it was just like, things were life or death or not. And that’s why our brains are constantly telling us that everyone hates us, everything’s a threat, life is terrible, we’re going to die alone, right. It’s like, constant life or death. 


So that is why your primitive brain interprets things so intensely. But what’s ironic is that we think that other people have the ability to cause our drama. It is so common to hear this term these days. I just can’t - There’s too much drama. She always causes drama. I don’t want to deal with the drama. 


You know what drama is? An expression of art. It generally happens on a stage. It’s part of an art form. That’s what drama is. But we just take human interaction and we call it drama and our primitive brain loves this because it likes life or death things. So your primitive brain is like, yes, drama, life is so dramatic. I could die at any moment. Primitive brain loves this.


But the truth is that drama is only ever in your brain. No one else can cause drama for you. Did you know that? 

You probably did not know that. well if you’re one of my clients, you know that.

 Otherwise, you may think that other people can cause drama for you. Other people can be toxic. Other people can say the worst things. Other people can be draining. That’s what you think.


Many people think that they can only be in harmony if they surround themselves with kind, compassionate, butterfly loving, high-vibe people because they affect your vibe.” No. No. No.


Other people don’t affect your vibe. Other people don’t cause drama. Other people are not toxic. Other people are not draining. It is all in your brain. It does not matter what they say. It doesn’t matter what they do. It doesn’t matter if the other person tells you they are pregnant and invites you to their baby shower.


It doesn’t matter what they do; no one else can cause drama for you. Only you can cause drama for you because drama only exists in your own mind. What other people say and do are neutral circumstances and your thought about them is what causes your feeling. So no one else can cause drama for you because drama isn’t a real thing that exists.


Like sometimes in the beginning, I have my clients look at a feelings chart to learn how to identify their feelings; drama is not and option on there because drama is not an emotion and it’s not a real thing. Drama is just an interpretation. It’s an opinion. It’s a thought you have. Drama is a label that you apply to someone else’s words or actions. It’s not an objective thing.


So no matter what someone else does, it isn’t drama. There’s only drama if you decide to have the thought that it’s drama. When you think something or someone else is drama or dramatic, how do you feel? Well, you feel all riled up. You feel stressed out and overwhelmed and out of control. So who is really causing the drama?


Your brain is the only thing capable of causing drama for you. Other people’s words or actions are not drama. They don’t cause drama. The drama is your own negative thoughts that you don’t have the ability to manage yet. So what happens is you try to avoid the people you think set it off because you’re blaming them for your feelings. You decided to cut Sally Jo out of your life because she is an asshole for telling you to stay calm as you enter into your 4th IVF cycle.  We think that she causes drama and the best thing to do is avoid them. And this is just like those people who are obsessed with high-vibe living.  And I am not saying that you should never take someone vibe into consideration of with whom you want to spend your time, I am just saying that shit-talking them for questions or words they spoke is a great opportunity for you to lean in a bit closer and start to get curious about what that strikes up in you.  What thoughts do you think when someone tells you “You can always adopt” or asks “any kids yet?” You should think about this.


Other people don’t cause our vibes. Other people don’t cause our drama. So when you try to avoid drama by avoiding those people who cause it, what you are doing is abdicating emotional responsibility for yourself, and the same is true when you try to not be around people who don’t have high vibes.


You are just acting like a toddler who’s like, well if I turn around, it’s not there and I don’t see it then I don’t have a problem, right. It’s like shoving all your junk in a drawer or in a pile.  You have a pile of stuff that needs to be addressed, but you just dont have the mental energy to complete now, so you will stuff it away until you either stumble upon it again or the deadline is up to turn it in and then you are rifling through shit asking youirself why you always do this.  And that’s what you’re doing when you try to just avoid people who you think are drama or who don’t have high vibes or who are toxic or whatever adjective you choose.


You’re like, okay well I’ll just shove this person in a drawer and then I don’t have to deal with this. But other people don’t cause your feelings -  your thoughts do. So this is one of the tactics that, fine, it works as long as you can control it, so maybe you don’t need to hang out with that woman from your book club who causes drama, but soon enough, there’s going to be someone in your life who you can’t avoid.


My clients ask me this all the time. They’re like, it’s easier if I just avoid this person or quit this job or whatever, if I change my circumstance, I don’t have to manage my mind. The sad truth is - your thoughts are going with you. There will likely be someone who will ask you When you are going to have a baby at your next job.  Are you going to quit that one too


But even if you could, even if it was easier to just change the circumstance, it’s only easier as long as the world cooperates and soon enough, you’re going to hit a scenario where you can’t change the circumstance and then you’re going to be sorry that you don’t know how to manage your mind. So you can avoid the drama book club woman if you want, but eventually, there’s going to be someone in your life who you can’t avoid.


You’re going to have a colleague who you think causes drama or you’re going to have a mother-in-law who you think causes drama. And if you believe that they can cause drama, then you are always going to feel stressed and out of control around them and emotionally exhausted from interacting with them.


So when you cut people out of your life or you avoid them because of your own thought in your brain that they cause drama – which they do not, that’s a total lie, your brain causes it – when you cut them out of your life so you don’t have to manage your mind, number one – you’re just going to feel drama about something else because it’s your thoughts that cause it. But number two – you’re never going to learn how to deal with it. So it’s like a shortcut that ends in a volcano and you die. It doesn’t actually help you. It doesn’t serve you.


So I recommend the opposite; don’t avoid people who cause drama. I think you should spend time with them. The people you think cause drama are your greatest spiritual teachers because they trigger all of your negative thoughts and because you’ve completely abandoned your emotional responsibility for yourself around them.


So by spending time with them, you will get access to the thoughts that are causing the negative feelings that you are labeling drama and blaming on them. And that’s true for anyone you think is toxic also. Like if there’s any word that’s used more than drama these days, it’s toxic. It’s such a common term in the self-help-light world, I think, and so misleading, right.


There is no such thing as a toxic person because toxic implies that a person can poison you, that they can cause your negative emotions and be bad for you emotionally, but that’s not true.


Your thoughts cause your feelings. Other people don’t cause your feelings, even the ones you don’t like, even the ones who you think cause drama, even if all your friends agree that they’re toxic. A toxic person is just someone you aren’t managing your mind around; that’s it. What causes stress is your thoughts about you when you interpre t the words they say to you.


When I tell someone I went through 7 IUIs and 4 IVF cycles and didnt have a baby and they lean in and softly say “ I am so sorry”.  That used to bother me so much.  Them showing pity made me think - they must think I am shattered and that made me feel weak.  And then the drama would ensue in my head.  I am weak, people feel sorry for me.  I am a downer to be around, blah blah


So I now think of this person as someone who causes drama, but it isn't true.  It is just someone that you are not managing your thoughts around. If my clients tell me that someone they know is toxic, I know what that means is they have surrendered their emotional responsibility for their interactions with that person.


Or the person that says, you can always adopt…. How dare she suggest that.  Does she think I didn't try hard enough to be a mom?  That the thousand I spent and headache I suffered aren't worth anything because adoption wasn't for us?


It feels empowering because you’re like, I have identified the problem. I’m not the problem; it’s you. You’re toxic. But it’s not empowering because you’re putting yourself totally at that person’s mercy and you’re telling yourself you can’t control your own experience.


You’re telling yourself that someone else is being whoever they are, just saying and doing whatever they do, like literally just them making sounds with their mouth are dangerous to you. .


So if you call someone toxic or insensitive, you’re telling your primal brain it’s a life or death threat. And then of course, your brain becomes obsessed with it and fixates on that person. And the fixation causes a lot of rumination and negative thoughts and those produce anxiety, fear, or dread. So guess who is the toxic one here. 


Yep,  it’s you.


Your brain, your thoughts, you are the one who is toxic to yourself. You are the one who is creating drama. No one else creates drama for you. No one else is toxic. And, by the way, that is also true of places and environments. Your work place is not toxic, a baby shower is not toxic.


You just aren’t managing your mind about other people being less than the ideal perfect people you’d prefer. Okay, and now some of you are really bristling as you listen.  I get it.  Before I learned more about thought management, I would have too.


But why would you want to believe that somebody else can control your brain more than you can? It may make sense to us because when we’re not managing our mind, we’re like, yeah, well someone else must be controlling it because I sure as hell don't have control over what’s going on up there.  I can’t manage this thing at all. Someone else must be doing it.


But it’s just because you’re not making the effort to do it yourself. When you take emotional responsibility for yourself and your thoughts, you don’t have to fear any kind of pregnancy announcement or toxic baby shower or friend or great aunt or anyone else because you know that you’re in charge of how you think and feel, no matter what.


It’s so interesting because even just the phrases, causes drama or insensitive person, are going to stress you out. When you think, she causes drama, you feel the negative emotions you associate because of drama. But people are pregnant and have baby showers. It isn’t toxic. It’s your thought that it is toxic that causes so much suffering.


So it’s very all or nothing, black and white thinking, both emotionally and in the way it shows up and the results in your life. So that’s what happens when we call someone dramatic or insensative; it doesn’t motivate any action unless it’s to just completely cut them out if we can, but then if we can’t, which is often, we don’t have any recourse. We don’t have anything we can do.


We just tell ourselves we’ve got no power and we feel helpless and we don’t take action. So I want you to pay attention this week and notice how often you are telling yourself that someone is insensitive or causes drama or someone or something is toxic or draining or has bad vibes. Like, notice how it feels to label it that way.


Other people exist. Your workplace exists. Your book club exists. Your in-laws exist. But you get to choose what label to put on that container. Like honestly, imagine them each in a glass container and you get to decide which label to put on it. Do you want to label it insensitive? Do you want to label it drama?  Toxic?How does that serve you?


If you want to create less emotional drama, stop telling yourself that other people cause it for you. You’re the only one causing your own drama. They’re just other people who have said words or sent you an invite to a shower. It’s your thoughts that are poisoning you. And ironically, if you stop labeling them insensitive, you will actually feel more empowered.


So, that’s what I want you to pay attention to this week.