Using Loving-Kindness Meditation While Facing Infertility
Infertility warrior and fertility counselor Amira Posner discusses how meditation can be a heartscape for deep healing.
By Amira Posner
When I was struggling with infertility, just one glimpse of a pregnant belly threw me into a whirlwind of emotions. Anxiety welled up and I became filled with grief for what was happening to me or in reality, what was not happening to me and what, I feared, could never be. I found myself withdrawing from friends, family and most importantly, from even myself. I was angry at myself and hard on my body. But then I learned loving-kindness meditation, heartscape meditation for deep healing of ourselves.
What is loving-kindness meditation?
One of the best tools in this battle is called loving-kindness meditation (LKM). With over 70,000 thoughts a day, our minds are surely busy. It is important to know that not all these thoughts are true and some are even damaging. Research suggests that a happy mind leads to a more successful chance at having a baby. LKM is a way to create a sense of calmness and find balance within.
Calming anxiety with LKM
The practice of LKM is rooted in Buddist tradition. Whether you meditate regularly or you are new to the practice, there are some simple techniques that will help you ground yourself and calm your anxiety. I know that they are useful as I have witnessed it both for myself and for other women as well. Here are a few techniques I have used to help in the process of reaching a state of calm and quiet in mind and body.
Whether you have 20 minutes or only a few, it’s important to find a place where you can be on your own. Close your eyes, relax your muscles and breathe. Deep conscious breaths calm the body and refocus the mind. Through slow, deliberate, deep breaths we can trigger our body’s natural relaxation response.
They say fake it till you make it and that’s key with LKM. Imagine yourself as you want to be, that is, strong, capable and complete. Thank your body for who you are and what you have been able to achieve along this journey. Your body is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Inhale love and trust, exhale worry.
Just like mom always said, “When someone tells you who she is, believe it.” We need to gain more control over our self-dialogue. It’s very easy to be critical of ourselves, but self compassion can go a long way. Repeat reassuring phrases to yourself. Messages like “may I be strong”, “may I be happy and healthy”, “may I be safe” are all affirming ways for you to get into the positive frame of mind.
Messages like “may I be strong”, “may I be happy and healthy”, “may I be safe” are all affirming ways for you to get into the positive frame of mind.
Take the time to rest in those thoughts and make them your very own here and now. I suggest that you try to stay with these feelings and let them envelop you for your entire meditation or you can expand your thoughts projecting love on those closest to you. Feel that same love for your spouse, parents or friends. Thank them for being in your life and for all they bring to the world. Picture them with good health, happiness, and peace.
When you feel your mediation is complete, open your eyes but remain still for a moment. Savor the feeling of your emotions, stillness, and peace and remember that you can revisit them throughout the day. Eventually, these feelings will become your home base, a state you can turn to in times of stress.
The journey of infertility can be full of uncertainty and heartache and it’s important to tap into gratitude and self-love. When we balance our minds and bodies, we allow change to flow. It may seem hard to contemplate that kind of change, but it can and does happen.
Amira Posner is a mother of three miracles and Social Worker in Toronto, Ontario. She works in private practice with individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. Amira facilitates the Mind-Body Fertility Group.