Is there a Fertility Life Balance? And if so how do we achieve it?
We often hear about work life balance, but getting a balance with life and a life affecting issue is key. This potential imbalance can lead us to the control itself.
When you look at how something is affecting your life, you tend to look at it as a whole. This then becomes really hard to consider how you could possibly change anything, this feeling of it being beyond your control.
The wheel of life
In this weeks episode I discuss a tool that is used in life coaching called the wheel of life. I look at how the different areas of our life are represented within this wheel, how we may have an imbalance or a possible lacking in some areas and perhaps our current or past fertility experiences may be affecting it.
This is a well used tool an score overall levels of satisfaction and dis satisfaction that may be being affected by many things
But I start to unpick what the impact of fertility itself is on these areas both positive and negative and how this can lead us toward change, perhaps even to a point of gaining some control.
The life wheel is a commonly used model that enables you to look at all aspects of your life and score them in terms of how satisfied you are with them. Its called the wheel of life
There are 8-10 segments representing different areas of your life and each segment comes with a scale of 0-10 where you rate how well you are doing in it right now.
0 is the lowest score and 10 is the highest score.
After you rate each segment, you mark out your scores on the wheel and connect the dots. At the end, you will get a web-like diagram that gives you a visual representation of how you’re doing in life.
The life wheel lets you spot gaps in your life right away so that you can intervene and work on the low scoring areas.
It’s a visual representation of how you are doing, what you might be putting on hold or areas you are lacking or excelling. Are you excelling at the expense of other areas, can you achieve more balance? Does it matter?
As a result, you have a real call to action.
So when you're trying to get pregnant, whether that be at the start or further down a journey that could be long and up hill, or have twists and turns and obstacle, it can be an incredibly useful tool.
The life segments
The areas vary a little in terms of wording depending on the source, but maintain the same meaning, some models are 8 others are 10, but they generally fall into the following categories
Romance, partner, love, the level of satisfaction you feel in your relationship, if single, the joy you feel, the vibrancy in your single life
Personal growth, development, self image and self esteem are other names, but all I feel included in personal development
Fun and recreation, sport, do you have space for them outside of work?
Business / career, Finances, but can be separate. How are you doing?
Spirituality, which can include morals ethics, your life purpose, religion, or wider spirituality,
Health, physical and emotional, diet health sleep
Family and friends , can you talk to them? Do you feel included, supported
Life planning/ goals, what is it you are working for? Dreams, ambitions, Goals?
Contribution, social, how much are you giving back, what are you doing for the environment, are you involved in social causes?
Its ok as an exercise to look at each individually and see how things are, and let me be really clear at this point no one is expected to be scoring evenly in all areas, all of the time.
It can show us what areas are perhaps lacking right now, and at this point we can decide if this is an issue, perhaps certain areas aren’t that important at this point in your life.
My recent experience
It’s an exercise that I have done many times and interestingly I did again recently. I’ve been feeling a little challenged physically, I knew a big part of it was the food choices I was making, but I just couldn’t get back on it.
I’m working hard at the moment on the fertility rewire program, the podcast, the online course that coming very soon. Trying to get my head around technology. The internet want around when I was at school or studying, its remains a revelation at times, and coming up with excuses like that too!! I’m running a house, school stuff to keep on top of, family time.
So health was low, career high, life planning low, social there but felt quite obligated and mind elsewhere so score low, what was low also was my personal development outside of work, I was catching every spare minute to focus on the work elements, my morning routine had changed, journaling was less, meditation was less, I haven’t exercised and when this drops, my self-care, which a huge part of is food choices goes haywire. And of course I knew this, but I was looking at it as just diet, just health and not seeing how everything else was interplaying.
What I find with a lot of my clients is that Fertility becomes all consuming, it starts to have an impact on different aspects of their lives. they can be small, or large, but it can start to affect other aspects
How can Fertility impact?
But, what is really interesting is how Fertility starts to impact these areas, some times positively, sometimes negatively. When you start to score the impact fertility is having on these areas it can be surprising. Remember that the score can be high or low so its not always a negative impact. I think sometime when we talk about fertility its focus becomes on the lack of fertility and the fact that you have been unsuccessful in starting or continuing your family. You could just ne starting out.
What it allows us to do is look at how we can make changes in these specific areas.
Romance, partner, love – we know that is you have been trying for some time, this can loose its lustre, perhaps relationships are becoming strained, perhaps there are elements of blame, or guilt. Perhaps your relationship has never been better, perhaps this has increased a level of intimacy,
Personal growth, development, self image and self esteem, personal growth is an area that can be hugely affected by fertility. How is your self esteem, what is it that you are feeling about yourself at the moment. Is it fertility that is having an impact on you? Perhaps you are feeling less than you feel you should or did, perhaps you are feeling empowered, energised positive. What’s interesting also is to see how these feelings may change over a period of time
Do you respect yourself, do you love yourself? What is your self care like, and I mean self care, not self soothing, how much are you taking care of your fertility health? And what feeling does that bring up? Where’s you score
Fun and recreation
Fun and recreation, sport. Have you changed your activites due to he ‘trying’ have you changed the sport you do? Are you socializing less and you feel that this makes you visible and vulnerable. Are you avoiding social circles that involve children? Perhaps you still attend but feel wretched aferwards, perhaps the smile is getting harder, the positivity, or maybe you were never positive. Or perhaps it impacts you positively, increasing the feeling that this will be you soon
Business / career
Career, are you distracted at work, are you perhaps ony staying in your current employment to ensure the maternity pay, this is something quite common amongst many of my clients, feeling restricted tied down, another factor about fertility that negatively impacts them. But a number of my clients have gone for the new job, because what if it takes another year? And the majority that did got pregnant, its lie a mindset shift in some. This mindset of not holding oneself back for what ifs.
Spirituality, which can include morals ethics, your life purpose, religion, or wider spirituality, This doesn’t have to be as complex as it sounds, do you have faith, is this being challenged or questioned in any way or are you being drawn closer to your faith? Do you feel fate, luck or the universal energy is playing a part. For me, connecting to my higher self, my true self is really important and when I have fallen away fro my meditation practice, or taken the time to spend some time in nature, I feel a huge negative impact on my mood, emotions and as a result my health and positivity.
Health, physical and emotional
Family and friends
Family and friends, this can be huge. Often people don’t share that they are trying, why should you? If you do ae they going to ask every month? Give you support? Or perhaps pity? Do you worry about upsetting your parents? Does their yearning to be grandparents impact you?
Questions about starting a family, it’ll be you next, do you not want children? Are you a career girl? Its amazing what assumptions people make. I do find it odd that people ask you about reproduction, they are basically asking if you are having unprotected sex.
People seem to want a part of someone else’s parental state. Through fertility, with questions, though potential pitying looks if they know you are trying or through exclusions, to protect you, which in effect has alienated you.
I have spent a huge amount of my life people pleasing, going through the expectations of others so as not to appear rude, pitting my feelings aside at the risk if being vulnerable, but this has changed hugely for me as ive got older, but its hard, I know
This need to a part of it continues through pregnancy and a big part of my work with pregnancy and hypnobirthing is about releasing the fears that others have put upon you.
Life planning/ goals
How is fertility affecting this? Lets look at the positives, buying a new house suitable for a family, a car? Getting some big holidays in now while you can
Then conversely, not doing things or arraging thismgs because if you are pregnant you wont be ableto go. When this comes up with my clients, we talk about the missing out. So if you turn something down, and don’t get pregnant, you will have such regret. If you don’t tur it doen but have to cancel because you are pregnant, will that be so bad, We have holiday insurance, we can sell things on. When we started trying again after the miscarriage, I was offered tickets to see take that (the first time they got back together). I had been a huge take that fan back in the day, yet another reference to 90’s music. I di that last weeks too I think.
So initially I said, well no, because if I am pregnant or have a new born, I don't think I'll want to go. But after a rethin, I said yes, lets do it and the cncert was on when I was 38 weeks pregnant and I didn’t go for fear of going into labour, 2 hours away from home. As it turnedout by boy didn’t arraie until just shy of 42 weeks, but I was so chufed to be cancelling for the reason I was. The tickets were sold, someone else gt to go, it all turned out well.
So are you putting your planning on hold, just in case,? If so is it an issue?
I could go deep with this one. Looking at your contribution to society can be as surface level or deep as you like. Is fertility affecting your contribution? How could it affect it? Are you having a positive or negative effect with your giving back?
using the reults
What this really allows us to do is make change so you can look at the areas again and make changes, what can you do to increase your score?
So you can give this a go and either see how the areas of your life are and what hat brings up, what do you need to do to make improvements.
As ever within the work I do with clients, it comes down to differebt levels for indviduals.
It may be that there is a need to change, but, you may not recognize what it is and that’s where knowledge and help with the potential overwhelm is key.
Once you have identified the changes either by yourself or guided, you may need help to put those into action or your all good to do this.
Or you may have some blocks to making those changes, emotional triggers of why should I have to, of self sabotage, or deep subconscious core beliefs and need help to clear the blocks and to come up with a plan
Another way to look at the wheel is to see how all these areas are potentially impacting your fertility
It’s a really useful exercise from both viewpoints, but its really important to see how fertility is impacting your life and potentially having a knock on effect on the instrinsic design of fertility.
You may not think you are in control of many aspects, ad fertility or lack of fertility has a massive impact on the feeling of control or lack of it, but you can control you, you can control smaller aspects within you, your choices, your mindset and your thoughts, but you may need some support in doing so
When we look at tis instrinsic design, Remember its about safety, sustenance and procreation, is it time for a rewire?