Destiny – Feet, Hands, and Heart

October 10th, 2012

Eastern philosophy holds a different view of destiny than the typical Western view. The science of Western medicine seeks absolutes in how matter behaves. Chinese medicine holds paradigms through which behavior manifests.

Thus, when we look for meaning in things, which are elusive and dynamic, we will become lost and confused. When we find our purpose in a broader paradigm, a larger view allows many different possibilities to manifest.

According to one of the most ancient books of TCM, the Su Wen, there are three prerequisites for the existence of humanity: survival, movement, and differentiation. Survival is our most basic, lowest prerequisite for existence. Yet, beyond survival we move among and interact with life. Finally, we provide differentiation based upon this interaction. It is this most refined aspect, differentiation, that allows the individual to move into higher aspects of his or her destiny. It must begin with a “yes” to life, as it is. For Life gives us destiny through our existence, as it is.

At the most basic level, we need to have that which we need to survive. Food, shelter, water, air, and freedom from disease. Then we interact with life, as it is. Our feet are on the ground; our hands exchange with the essential movement of our daily life. Our heart and heads then can allow us to view the feet on the ground and hands interacting from a higher perspective. Do we experience harmony in life? Does our present view feel limited? Are we in alignment with our life as it is? Are we fighting anything internal or external? Are we conflicted? When we find the level of conflict with life as it is, only then can we uncover it, bring it back to the place of acceptance (feet on ground) and allow a new possibility to emerge.

Destiny then, is seen as the highest unfolding of life as it is. Only then can we allow new possibilities to manifest. When we are conflicted with our lives as they are and think something in the future can make it better, we are viewing life from a distorted lens. This view can never fulfill our destiny, as our feet aren’t ever on the ground. It is as if we are always scurrying forward to try to make life better, missing the view in the present. Our hands are then trying to manipulate things, as they are, in order to make our hearts ok. This defies the laws of nature.

“I need a child to make my life complete” is upside down destiny, where we are playing God, trying to control the future.
“My life is complete as it is.” has the view of feet on the ground. We interact with life as it is. Then a new view can enter – “I yearn for a child.” As long as our feet aren’t misplaced, and our hands are interacting from this grounded stance, we can keep moving toward the emergence of new possibilities to fulfill our destiny.

Free Conference Call Tomorrow – Tuesday, April 3 @ 9 PM EST

April 2nd, 2012

Free Conference Call Tomorrow – Tuesday, April 3 @ 9 PM EST

Pregnancy Enhancement during PeriMenopause

Q&A with Dr. Randine Lewis

This daunting term is almost meaningless. It simply means that hormones are fluctuating in women during their later reproductive years. Perimenopause can last for many years, during which time a woman is still capable of conceiving.  One study reported that when a woman enters perimenopause, she still has, on average, ten thousand eggs remaining.  It isn’t until a woman has been without a period for one year that she is considered to be in menopause. Then she is no longer capable of bearing children with her own eggs.

This transition occurs at multiple levels – ovarian output fluctuates; blood flow to the ovaries diminishes, and the biopotency of the FSH molecule changes. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis becomes more delicate.

According to Chinese medicine, this is one of the most rich times in a woman’s life. Although she may experience symptoms of this transition – like reduced libido, decreased cervical fluid, irregular menstruation, moodiness, insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats, these are not considered symptoms of disease. They are an invitation as the energies shift from a focus on lower reproductive output to one where the spirit dominates.

Most all energetic transitions will produce symptoms. When you know that they are natural and necessary, they will become less problematic. When they are resisted, it exacerbates liver qi stagnation, aggravating the symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help ease this transition and reduce symptoms, while one is trying to conceive.

Reducing sugar, wheat and refined carbohydrates helps the metabolic changes. Supplement with essential antioxidants, minerals, CoQ10, and fish oil. Light exercise like walking, biking, or swimming helps reduce depressive symptoms, especially when performed out of doors. Inner body meditations can help ease symptoms of anxiety. Perform the femoral massage daily before ovulation if you are still trying to conceive. We also have formulated a Fertile Soul herbal blend to assist and enhance fertility during this time.

I Love My Work

March 5th, 2012

I love the work that I do. Chinese medicine certainly sparked a deep and passionate well of healing that impacted me deeply, personally, and also professionally.

Most people look at me either as a doctor who treats people, or as a teacher who imparts knowledge to others. While I have undertaken those roles, and occasionally serve in the role of doctor or teacher, that is not the work I am most passionate about. That is not how the juice flows for me.

My greatest outflow of inspiration comes when I can share in someone’s life journey, and walk with them on this path toward greater inner peace, finding the expression of their highest purpose; and coming home, so to speak, to give birth to their true selves.

Some come to The Fertile Soul to learn the Chinese medical approach to fertility, and to be treated. This is one level of healing in which they experience a shift from their previous approach of trying to conquer their infertility to one where they learn instead to nurture their fertility. Radically different approaches at one level. Yet others come to share at a deeper level. They respond to a call from the depths of their souls, which are begging for a new way home, a new way to tap into the life giving powers of creation. And this is radically different still from simply learning to nurture one’s physical fertility. It asks for a total immersion in the self, turning away from all aspects of one’s life which are no longer serving their highest good.

Women leave jobs, turn away from relationships that no longer serve them, and pursue all kinds of new and creative endeavors. Some women I have worked with have recognized that their present partner is not the one they were meant to have children with, and that contributed to their physical obstructions. Others have turned from careers in law, finance, or medicine to pursue paths of healing.

Wherever their life path takes them, I am so deeply honored when they ask me to accompany them. While I don’t care much for emphasizing how to manipulating the physical form (you can find those doctors in abundance!) I will walk to the edge of their comfort zone and beyond with them when they are willing to live their lives differently in order that life can move through them in an authentic way.

I thank all who have attended retreat, but I especially am grateful for those who will give it their all- body, mind, and spirit, nothing held back. It is an honor.

Free Conference Call – Monday January 30th at 7 p.m. EST

January 24th, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Free Conference Call Next Monday

The Basics of Fertility Enhancement

Q&A with Dr. Randine Lewis

Monday January 30th at 7 p.m. EST

I strongly believe that even just finding out about The Fertile Soul has a powerful, ripple, helpful effect, especially for those who cannot travel, but who nevertheless read – and listen– ask questions, wonder, benefit, and grow, grow, grow. L.H.

I am looking forward to a rich retreat in January, where we will focus on aging, overwhelm, and turning into the wellspring of deep inner guidance. In this inner sanctuary there is no aging or overwhelm. When we can reside in this place, a more fertile response to life is possible, which of course, is reflected in our reproductive response. Our New York session filled up quickly, but we do have openings in February in my hometown of Asheville, NC, February 17-20th, where our focus will expand to include welcoming in the year of the Dragon, a powerful and dynamic expression of the Chinese New Year. We will use this power to deeply connect with the life-giving source within. I love witnessing the power of retreat participants as they learn to live the miracle!

We will also offer a free conference call on Monday, January 30th at 7 p.m. EST. I will go over some fertility basics and open the call up to your questions and answers. I hope you will be able to join us – whether you are new to the Fertile Soul or have already embraced this process. I look forward to connecting with you.

To Join in dial 605-475-4000 then access code 794774#.  Those calling from Canada should call 805-360-1075 and then you will be prompted to enter the original number and access code.

The Pain of Birth

December 15th, 2011

In order to gain everything,

You must first lose everything.

Have you ever experienced a birth? Not the way they are depicted on the movies, where a woman grunts a few times from her hospital bed, and then is seen holding her newborn; but the agonizing cries of bringing life into existence. Life comes into being through pain.

As the seasons turn to winter, and the earth hibernates, we witness the slow dissolution of the earth’s manifestation. The sun lowers. Leaves fall. Temperatures plummet. Snow blankets the ground with the promise of things yet to come. And with spring, it breaks free again. Sounds come to life. Birds sing, insects sting, and buds push their way into manifestation again. We don’t witness the pain of emergence, but it is there.

Like a limb that has fallen asleep, when sensation returns, there is a tingling discomfort. The longer it has been asleep, the more pain there will be when blood reinfuses it with feeling.

The Taoists have a concept called the Mysterious Pass, where the energies of metal (death) turn to water (hibernation), and emerge through wood (rebirth.) This is the path of our greatest sorrow, fear, and anger. And we must go through it in order to be reborn into the fullness of our awakened existence. If we don’t, we remain caught in the wheel of never-ending sameness, much like the movie Groundhog Day.

In the fertility arena, or any other area of healing, death comes through letting go of the things that are no longer working in our lives. Sometimes these are certain patterns of relating with the world. Sometimes they are old, conditioned habits that are no longer serving us. Sometimes it is meeting the death of a fantasy, face to face. And in the depth of this death, there is great fear of the unknown. What will life be like if I let go of the way I had pictured my world to be? As we stand in the power of the unknown and face our fears, the tingling discomfort awakens us from our depths, and we can emerge anew. The aspect of our soul called the Zhi germinates from our spirit and we are born anew.

This isn’t merely a conceptual process – it is real. Time and again I have seen courageous individuals allow themselves to go through this journey, and their whole body, minds, and lives are restructured around this reemergence. They give birth to their true selves, and in the process, have new potential for life.

Giving Up Hope and Prayer

November 28th, 2011

So, I happen to like the shock value of the title. We love, honor and cherish hope. We pray for more hope. The worst thing most of us can imagine is giving up hope. And whether or not we are religious, we like to pray to whatever God we believe in to get what we want. We may pray to the internet Gods that we find the right answer to our dilemma. We might pray to the medical Gods that our IVF be successful. We might look up the sky with our hope on display that the power that lights the stars grants us our wishes. Or we may pray the traditional way, hands folded or on our knees, head bowed, Dear God, please grant me my heart’s desire.

I suggest giving up the beggarly quality that is associated with hope for something in the future. I suggest giving up the groveling quality that we often bring to prayer. Asking or hoping that some future thing out there be granted is about as effective as Sit and Be Fit exercises for cardiovascular health.

Oh, did I pray and hope and grovel and beg. And search and research and beg some more. And I could feel the almost palpable recognition that I didn’t have any faith in what I was doing. A mere shred of weak hope, which kept me begging for more. Only to be disappointed again, and back on the neverending ycle of hope and despair.

So, if we give up these weak ideas of hope and prayer, what is left? True hope. True prayer. It doesn’t come out of the brain, but directly out of the heart. It does not project itself in the future, but emerges right now, in all its power and glory.

Finding True Hope and True Prayer

The heart holds a wisdom that the Chinese call Xin. It surpasses the intellect many-fold. The way it manifests best is like this:

Trust with all your being the highest power imaginable, and give yourself totally to it. Your life becomes the prayer. Hold in your heart the feeling of your greatest desire, and prepare to do anything and everything to allow its unfolding. Hold this feeling between whatever thoughts cross your awareness, in the moment, all day long, and you transcend the limited paradigm that makes you feel you have to beg for your birthright.

Hold this intention with gratitude, confidence, and indifference, and you open the door to creation itself.

Friction of Opposites

November 21st, 2011

Life is created by the friction of opposites. Egg, sperm; proton, electron; sunlight, water. Most of us are aware of these opposing forces, but aren’t that comfortable with the idea of friction. We prefer love over fear; joy over sorrow, peace over violence.

Have you ever witnessed a woman giving birth? She is usually not in a state of peace and joy. There is often screaming pain, agony, and a violence inherent in the process of new beginnings.

Yet, how often do we try to find a way to live that only includes peace, happiness, and joy? We don’t have the luxury of living only on the light side of the spectrum. Life emerges from the dark. There is no escape from this fact. In order to live life fully, we must face the darkness. Our darkness. The place inside that scares us.

The S-curve in the center of the yin-yang symbol represents the ever-changing dynamic flow between the positive and negative forces. This represents harmony. I don’t see harmony as a static, stoic state where these forces are balanced as if one is tip-toeing on a tight rope trying to maintain control, but where the life forces are ever calling us to expand to encompass them all. Equanimity might be a better word. I like to think of balance or equanimity as being able to wear the entire spectrum of life’s experiences loosely. If I’m happy I can be fully happy until the happy mood passes. As well, if I am sad, I can fully grieve and cry until the mood passes. There is nothing static about it. It is dynamic and full.

I met with someone earlier this week who told me, “We’ve done everything right. We’re good people. We live good lives. We help others. Why can’t we be blessed with a child?” I immediately felt the heartache of this common misunderstanding: that if we live according to the rules of our church and society, we should be rewarded.

Yet life does not endow itself only to the good. Life comes through the courageous spirit. It does not sit around waiting to come through the faint of heart do-gooders. The earth is more fertile and brings forth bounty even more fiercely after a forest fire or flood.

I watch women step out of the conditioned rules of their upbringing in order to transform their lives into their highest expression possible. Believe me, this is not a sweet little process of positive affirmations. It often involves heart wrenching realizations and snot slinging cry sessions. But in the end there is stillness. There is the dynamic interplay of the positive, ready to take over when the negative has been faced. Life embraces the full spectrum of the living.

Fitting In

October 24th, 2011

Somebody asked me recently, “Where in the world do I fit?” She had just experienced the shocking realization that IVF may not be her answer… a baby may not even be her answer. That, in fact, living the family life may not be her answer.

Most of my early life was spent trying to find a place where I fit. I believe I have lived in about 34 different places now. Scanning back over my past, it seems like I have lived many lives in these 52 years. I’ve had multiple career paths, relationships, husbands, children… chapter after chapter, none of them made me fit. My children have often commented how I am not the typical mom. I don’t hang out with other mothers. I never did the playgroup thing. I don’t like parties and large social gatherings. And yet I anguished over the fact that no matter where I went or what I tried, I didn’t fit in. It seems that I dance to music that the rest of the world doesn’t hear.

One day I realized the most obvious thing in the world: “I don’t fit.” What a relief!

A friend pointed out a biblical conveyance of this understanding:

“The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head.”

Now, I know this wasn’t talking about not fitting in with cultural or societal expectations. It is referring to a much deeper truth that the essence of what we truly are, at the core of being itself, cannot be contained. It has no home upon the earth. It will not fit into roles. Yet, do I live this every waking moment? No. I still try to find a place to rest my head. What life situation is going to give me everlasting peace? None. No relationship, no child, no health condition, no financial situation will ever give me rest. Because what I am at the core of my being is peace itself.  It doesn’t need a place to rest its head.

Without looking one moment into the future, where do you fit, right now?

Without the child, the happy family, or the image of a happy future?

Can you notice that even the attempt to make yourself or your life fit into any prescribed image makes you discontent?

Again, I am reminded of the Descartes’ philosophy, “I think, therefore I am,” which I could never wrap my mind around. When I don’t need to think or imagine my life into a particular way of being, I can rest in the realization that I am. That’s enough. I don’t need to fit.  When we aren’t trying to fit into the world, perhaps life has an easier time coming through us. After all, children aren’t little pre-existing beings looking for a place to fit in. They are the unborn expression of that which is uncontained.

Living the Dream

October 20th, 2011

I grew up with the notion that we were born into our circumstances; and it was up to us to make maximum use of them to create the life we wanted to live. If there was anything in my life that was unsatisfactory, it was my job to fix it. With this type of attitude, unfortunately most of my life was seen as unsatisfactory. I had a lot to remedy.

I did not want to be held by the geography, religion, or familial expectations the way my forbearers were. I lived following this restless urge to find something, live something, do something useful with my life, and I did. I left home at 18 and with great vigor, attained a couple of professional degrees, husbands and kids. I created the life I wanted, and created a vision of myself along the way. And yet, it left me unsatisfied. None of these things could satisfy the urge. Each attainment would leave me in pursuit of what was missing. The pursuit was exciting, however. I loved the seeking, finding, attaining and moving on. I travelled and lived around the world, never finding home.

Recently, however, my life circumstances halted me. And in the stopping came the recognition that nothing was missing, except the feeling that something was missing. Now, instead of creating my life, I am letting life create itself through me. Paradoxically, the more life circumstances are seen just to be present circumstances, the more they transform themselves into a reflection of me.

I don’t create my life anymore. Standing naked and alone, it is as if an ease of being that was always present can finally express itself, unimpeded by my attempts to fix it. I don’t fix myself anymore, either. After years of trying to purify the body, perfect the mind, and rectify psychic and emotional disturbances, I can see that like the rest of life, it is all just fine the way it is. The Randine project is over. What a relief. Now I can attend to life as it comes. When my attention needs to be brought into recognition of something to tend to, it is effortlessly there when it’s needed. There is no more need to figure it out.

When the body moves into disharmony, an effortless awareness tends to bring it back into harmony. When thoughts agitate the mind, they are seen just to be passing thoughts. When any emotional disturbance asks for attention, it is there. Life is an ever changing, ever self-correcting mechanism where I am merely a participant. And yet, I help people to heal for a living. It can seem confusing that when we stop trying to manipulate life, it comes through unimpeded and bountiful. So what is healing about? For me it is the deep recognition that there is one source of healing, and it isn’t me. My job is to follow it, help others tune into and follow it, and let the miracles flow.

Winds of Grace

July 27th, 2011

My husband and I sat waiting for Dr. X at XYZ fertility clinic for our consult. XYZ is revered as one of the top three fertility clinics in the world. The meeting was a regroup after the third of three failed IVF rounds. I was 42, we had had 3 late first trimester miscarriages, 3 failed IVF rounds, and more medical and health interventions than should be recounted here.

I sat at the consult table feeling deeply flawed somehow, a failure, and like a walking infertility diagnosis: age-related elevated FSH, decreased ovarian reserve, Luteal Phase Defect, MTHFR, miscellaneous autoimmune and blood clotting disorders, impaired adrenal function…  The message from Dr. X was definitive: “your FSH is too high, there is less than 1% chance you will ever be able to have a healthy baby using your own eggs, and XYZ clinic will no longer work with you on your fertility challenges if you insist on using your own eggs.”

My husband sat there numb as Dr. X left the room. We felt like we’d just been delivered a death sentence. Desperation, sadness, and hopelessness filled the air. Yet from deep within me, every fiber of my being rejected the doctor’s words… It took all I could not to scream out loud “I AM fertile, I CAN have a baby on my own using MY OWN eggs, and I don’t believe anything you just told me!” I walked out of the clinic feeling the fierceness of my own truth and KNOWING that our child was waiting to join us. All I had to do was get the recipe right. I resolved that day to find another way.

A month later I attended my first Fertile Soul retreat with Dr. Randine Lewis. While I kept getting treated for various Western medicine-diagnosed fertility challenges, I embraced the Fertile Soul method. I devoured Dr. Lewis’ books, integrated her teachings into my daily routine, from food choices to fitness to TCM. My spirit shifted from “trying to conceive” to “receiving,” as I opened myself to the gifts the universe was offering. During a meditation at my final Fertile Soul retreat, Randine whispered in my ear, “You already have all you need.” It was exactly the message I needed.

One year later we had a healthy pregnancy. Our son George, the love of our lives, an absolute miracle too good to be true, was born in May 2010. I was 43 years old. He is now 14 months old and more perfect than we ever imagined. We are madly in love with our little boy! Dr. Lewis’ teachings and the practices I learned at Fertile Soul retreats were essential in enabling us to have our little miracle baby. And The Fertile Soul restored in me a sense of hope and possibility about the future, no matter what it held. We do not have adequate words to describe our gratitude for the love and support we received from The Fertile Soul team and for the role they have played in making our most precious dream come true. The trials, tribulations, and heartbreak we experienced over a 8 year fertility journey have disappeared into the past and our new reality is one filled with joy, love, triumph, and wonder. During one of the Fertile Soul retreats I attended, all of the attendees took a moonlit swim in the lake behind the retreat center. My heart was so full from the beauty and hope that surrounded me that I wrote this poem that night:

The Winds of Grace

The winds of Grace are always blowing

The Goddesses dance in the sacred lake

Calling your name

Come to me

Come home, my Precious Child

Let the Angels be your guide

Your laughter and music Echo across the firmament

I can hear you!

I raise my sails high to meet you at the gate with my heart open and my arms wide

Provide safe passage Holy Mother, Blessed Creator

Open the gate wide and light the way

The winds of grace are always blowing

The Goddesses dance in the sacred lake

Calling your name

Come to us

Come home to us Precious Ones

Let the Angels be your guide

To anyone considering attending a Fertile Soul retreat, all I can say is: don’t wait another day! It will change your life.

Kim C.