Hi Friends!

Hope you’re all having a good Feb so far. This week I have another fabulous guest blogger, my friend and fellow Fertility Mentor, Stephanie Roth. Stephanie can be found on her website, Your Fertile Self, or over in her private fertility Facebook group where you can discover the path to your fertile self. Alternatively she writes a blog B Fit, B Fertile for Conceive Fertility Hospital. She has an exciting personal challenge coming up in a few days and here she is to tell you more in an open, honest, raw and self-reflecting manner woman to woman….

 

How does spending a week doing quick, easy, fun activities that nurture your very special connection with yourself sound?  

It sounds like just what the doctor ordered, right?



 

I’m giving you the opportunity to do just that, beginning next week, February 11, with my free Love Yourself Challenge.  I offered the free challenge last year and I’m doing it again this year – I’d love to have you join the challenge and go on the self-love journey with me!  

First, a little bit about the challenge.  Every day for 7 days, you’ll do a Self Love Activity to nurture either your physical body or emotional well-being (or both!).  We explore topics like our relationship  with our bodies and journaling to bring ourselves back to our core essence of being.  Nothing takes more than 30 minutes to complete and the challenge is FUN, not intimidating or stressful.

There’s SO much more to it for me, though.  I want to tell you how the challenge came about, and why I’m offering it again this year.

I don’t need to tell you that the fertility journey is all-consuming.  Between all the medications, shots and monitoring appointments there’s an awful lot to keep track of.  Not to mention managing your emotions, and keeping from going utterly insane.  I’ve often said fertility treatment is a second full-time job, and one that no one ever wants to apply for.



I didn’t do IVF to conceive, but I still lost so much of myself along the path to motherhood.  And the thing is, I never really realized it amid the daily grind of working 2 jobs, caring for my son, running my household and tending to other family obligations.  I was at a Bruce Springsteen concert in the fall of 2016, four YEARS after my fertility journey (and 3 years after giving birth to my son), when it hit me like a lightning bolt that I never did any of the things I loved anymore.  I’d lost myself in my quest to become a mom.

So I started dedicating time each week to doing at least one thing that I loved, and when February 2017 rolled around, I offered the Love Yourself Challenge to help myself, and 30 other women from around the world, get back to our essence by rediscovering our own selves.  It was wildly successful! 

But since last February, I’ve been continuing to do things I love, and do feel like I’ve been getting back to who I am.  But mysteriously the struggle of having a healthy self-esteem continues.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that even though my journey through fertility had ended happily with a successful pregnancy and birth of a healthy baby boy, I still grappled with self-esteem issues.

I discovered that while the fertility journey magnified my issues of low self-esteem – feeling like my body was broken, feeling like less of a women, feeling barren – it didn’t CAUSE them.  I’d have to go deeper and look to other areas of my life to figure out where these feelings came from.

I’ve unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) had the opportunity to do this over the past year as some things have happened in my life that have caused me to re-evaluate the entire question of self-esteem.

I’ve learned that cultivating self awareness, finding and nurturing those things in your life that you love, is only part of the picture where self-esteem and self-love are concerned.



It’s also about liking yourself.  While I’m getting the self-awareness part down pat, I have made absolutely no progress in liking myself more.   And that’s a much bigger piece of the puzzle.

Do you like yourself?

I know it can be a loaded question. 

For me, the answer is – sometimes.  Not all the time.

I base a lot of my own opinion of myself on my perception of what others’ opinions of me are.  I look to others for validation of my own sense of self.  And most of the time, I feel like other people don’t like me.

Over the years, since I was very young, I’ve always been prone to putting myself down.  Thinking I wasn’t very smart.  Thinking I was boring to other people.  I was never part of the “popular kids” at any of the schools I went to, and never fitting in.  I moved around a lot and often found myself in situations where I was having to make new friends.  This is probably a story most adolescent girls can relate to.

But I’m almost 48 years old now, while I stopped trying to fit in a long time ago and now happily “fit out”, I’m still struggling to find “my people.”  And I’ve had a couple of big blows over the past year in my relationships with other people.  One was with someone I don’t know very well, the other was with someone who’d been one of my closest friends for more than 20 years.

While both of these relationships were very different, the end result was the same for me – pain, sadness and a huge blow to my confidence and self-esteem.

 

So I still have a lot of work to do on my self-esteem, and it goes way beyond pursuing my hobbies again.  It’s about cultivating my own sense of self worth, so that I’m not so shaken when relationships in my life end – as relationships do in their usual ebb and flow.  So I don’t take it so personally and so I find strength in moving on to find my own “people”.

And that is why I’m offering the Love Yourself Challenge again this year.  Last year, for me, it was about reconnecting with myself.  This year, it’s about having the strength to seek closure in the things that no longer serve me, and feeling more worthy of having good things in my life.  It’s about no longer being desperate for acceptance.

That’s the beauty of a challenge like this one.  It can mean whatever is most important for you at a given point in time.  Because self-love and self-worth affect us in so many different ways and on so many levels.

I’d love to have you join me on the challenge and we can help each other on this journey!  Sign up here: https://www.yourfertileself.com/love-yourself-challenge-2018/

 

Le’ts connect!  Find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter

 

 

 

Have you explored my IVF guide book?

 

    It is available on Amazon in eBook, Paperback and Audio! Click here for my book on your country’s Amazon page 

 

A compilation of beneficial information on trying to conceive with fertility treatments, specifically invitro fertilisation and will guide you step-by-step on a journey through:

The things to consider and the tests to do before deciding that you need fertility treatments,

What you could expect at your initial fertility consultation,

Tips on how to choose the clinic that’s right for you,

The stages of a standard IVF, frozen and natural cycle,

Suggested activities during your 2-week-wait,

Additional genetic tests to consider after repeated implantation failures or miscarriages,

Finding an IVF support group where you will feel comfortable as well as explanations of the many abbreviations used within them,

Notes on alternative treatments to support IVF, such as acupuncture and fertility massage,

Advice on how to keep it together when the hormonal medication is trying to drag you down,

Fertility friendly recipes and a collection of 125 valuable tips on everything from administering shots, to maintaining your relationship, nutrition and much more – both lovingly put together by another IVF veteran, Rachel Campbell of Sprout & Co. And much more!