Archive for April, 2010

Tonifying Our Ancestors

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

The egg that is now me used to be inside my grandma! That’s right – the egg that became me spent five months inside the womb of my grandmother as my mother and her ovaries were developing during her pregnancy. And the eggs that became my children developed during my mother’s pregnancy with me! Doesn’t that just send you back in time!

Chinese medicine has a beautiful process known as “Tonifying our ancestors.” When we get into the real depths of healing at our retreats, we have the potential to overcome even that which has been passed through our DNA from our mothers, fathers, grandparents, great-great grandparents, on and on. Not too many years ago I found out that my great grandfather was an alcoholic who killed himself. This was the deepest, darkest secret of our hidden but shameful past. And although I didn’t know about it within my thoughts, its message had been passed into my very cellular makeup, and came into this existence as shame.

Cellular biologist Bruce Lipton, in his book, the Biology of Belief, says that our thoughts and beliefs impact the functioning of our cellular makeup more than any other factor in our lives, and even overrides messages contained in our DNA. Dr. Candace Pert says that the Body IS the subconcious mind, carrying out and responding to the deep held emotional messages that we provide it. This new knowledge can feel overwhelming, but it can also liberate us from all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual limitations and place us in the realm of the miraculous, where limitless potential exists.

We are so much more than our habitual patterns; more than our life circumstances, roles, personal identify and point of view. Although most of us get lost in the trance of social, religious, and family conditioning, there is a part of us that is incorruptible, that resides in the place known as the unborn, where we have access to spiritual healing that goes far beyond physical adjustments and repetitive mental affirmations that merely make us feel better about our present conditioned lives. But we must have the courage to go into these places and stop the cycle of repetition before we can reach this place of divine healing.

This is also the place where life comes into existence in all forms, the place from which light, healing and wellbeing spring.  This is the majestic and timeless realm of unbounded potential, the primordial vibration where all true healing comes. This is the Source, where you are nourished by the primal source of all life where the energy of the life force surrounds you. Here you are entirely loved, entirely cared for, entirely supported. Energy, nourishment and life surround you.

When life feels overwhelming, and you feel like running away from the accumulated conditioning, we teach our patients to go counter to the habitual reflex, stop and go within. Move away from the reaction and return to the source. This is the place where my shame dissolved, where my ancestry was healed, and where the cycle stopped reproducing itself in my offspring.

Here we are freed from all limitations, existing in the timeless, beyond all boundaries. Beyond all thoughts, limitations, and perceptions. Return to the center. The womb of the universe, the inner structure of the mind, the power and source of what you actually are. The unified field of all that exists everywhere, before your grandmother was even born, and beyond the time when your grandchildren have passed.

Here you are connected to; in fact you are, the pulsing creation of all of life. You contain the pure essence of the creative power of the universe.
This is the place where true fertility resides. This is the place where the souls of your unborn children arise. You are always there, together.

This is your essential, original, highest self. Here you are perfectly as you should be. You are embodied potential, uniquely made to fulfill your distinct purpose. Your compelling task is to understand and fulfill this destiny. When you are aligned with your own highest purpose, the forces that structure all of creation are at your service. All powers of universal consciousness come to support your highest, most evolved self.

This primordial vibration is at this very moment waiting for your recognition within your own body. It pulses within your cells, beats through your heart, breathes through your lungs, digests in your gut, and resounds deep within your mind and your whole being; within your ovaries and deep within your womb. It is the silence beyond even your mind, the sound of all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be. This is the sound of creation, the sound of yourself.

Posted by Randine Lewis

Yin and Yang; Dark and Light

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

We discuss these opposing but complementary energies throughout our retreat process – yin (dark, feminine), and yang (light, masculine). Most Western civilization is drawn toward the light and away from the dark. This goes into our rejection of the feminine and glorification of masculine power. It plays itself out in the reproductive medical process, too.

Look at some of the damaging diagnostic terms that come directly out of womens’ medical files:

Infertility due to advanced maternal age;
    ”      ”    Hostile cervical mucus;
    ”      ”   Ovarian failure;
    ”      ”   Clomid failure;
    ”      ”  Poor ovarian reserve…

Even if fertility challenges are due to male factor (commonly known in the medical records as the impotent title “male factor”), it is still the woman who goes through the procedural processes, and it is she who ends up with further diagnostic labels:
    
Poor responder;
Poor quality eggs (not poor quality sperm or embryos; poor quality EGGs);
IVF failure;
Habitual aborter

These negative diagnostic terms leave women feeling quite barren, and men quite impotent.

Women are conditioned to be pretty, nice, quiet, subservient, and not show powerful emotions like anger. Men, on the other hand, are conditioned to be strong, to fix things, and not show “weak” emotions like sadness and sorrow. As such, both men and women become stuck in impotent roles where they are not empowered to reach into the depths of their real power to access their true healing capacity.

Women are most powerful when they can access their deepest power; not their pretty, subdued exteriors, but their inner volatility. And men can be most powerful when they can reach into the potent underbelly of their rejected softness.

I happen to think that we spend way too much time running from the perceived darkness, in our quest to move closer to that which is yang, active, vibrant, and light.

In our movement toward that which feels pleasurable and good, we reject and miss that which feels uncomfortable, scary, and dark, but that is where our most potent healing occurs – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I don’t believe we were put into this dual existence to only pursue the light. By seeking pleasure and avoiding pain we miss the secret entrance into the unborn, the place prior to light and dark, male and female, where our true potency, virility, and fertility reside.

And while many of us pursue our latent tendencies in the opposite gender, every one of us has the full complement of yin and yang within. We don’t need the other; we already have all we need within. But we must access our inner potency alone. We must courageously walk down the path where two cannot walk abreast, right into the void, where we experience the exquisite loneliness that our roles and even our connections don’t allow us to experience.

Although others can help you to reach the edge, nobody can actually accompany you in the leaping off place. Only when we realize we are totally alone, can we reach the place where our inner potency emerges and we realize that we can never be alone because we are that which is beyond otherness, beyond two-ness. We are the one itself, showing up as separate, as two, as three, and as the ten thousand things.

Here we are unconditionally whole, where we live in the divine paradox of the unknown. Yin is as good as yang. Together they make up the Tao, where all is perfect. Nobody is more or less special than anyone else. Here in fact, nothing is sacred because there is nothing here that is not sacred.

Posted by Randine Lewis

The Renewal Process

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

So, I don’t know about you, but I was renewed by all of you on the call. When I saw your names on the RSVP list there was such a sense of connection with all of you. It was like living the past five years and eighty-some retreats in a moment. The Fertile Soul journeys each of you have been on with us, with each other, at times by yourself… to connect with you all on the call was beyond what I could have hoped.

I know most of you didn’t get a chance to say anything, but your energy was part of the group anyway. I hope you will be able to continue here on the site. I know some of you have had biological children, some have adopted. Some of you are pregnant right now. Some are living fully without children. Yes, this is fertility – how life is expressing itself, richly and abundantly, exactly as it is supposed to be.

Some of the books we spoke about were:

The Body Is the Subconscious Mind, by Candace Pert
The Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton
When the Body Says No, by Gabor Mate, and
Is Your Body Baby Friendly, by Alan Beer

I hope you were able to feel a sense of renewal and whatever that means for you: Lighting your candles, renewing your meditations, getting motivated to detoxify, reconnecting with your Fertile Soul sisters, bringing yourself back to retreat (no matter how long it’s been; no matter what you are going through)…

Remember, the body is constantly renewing itself. With every breath you take, you are renewing yourself. How are your mind and emotions being renewed? How is your life being rejuvenated? What if you were nearing the end of your fertility journey? What would you do differently? What if you were nearing the end of your life journey? What would you do differently? This is about your one life, and living in the fullest, most abundant expression of your precious life. Remember that you are the miracle, you are the gift. Let the rest of your life emerge through that. We are here for you, and we welcome you wherever you are.

With so much love and appreciation for sharing your journey with me,
Randine

Posted by Randine Lewis

The New Renewal Retreat Format

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

The renewal retreat format will continue where you left off in the Foundations retreats. Now that you have the basics covered, and how to live a more balanced life, here is where we dive into the deep end, no matter what you are dealing with.

We continue to help you move out of struggle and survival mode, where conception is almost impossible for those who have been challenged with fertility issues.

You will receive restorative and transformative acupuncture, massage, and the ever healthy, ever popular spleen qi diet!

We use the Taoist alchemical process of the five elements as they pertain to body, mind and spirit, transforming stuck or held beliefs and limiting emotions into their highest energetic component:
Fear becomes wisdom.
Anger becomes compassion.
Worry becomes intention.
Grief becomes courage.
And lack of joyful expression becomes unconditional love for all of life.

We go beyond self help processes and “fix-it” mode into living in the space which never needed fixing.

Yet, we often have a lot of conditioning to undo first. So, we use a multi-modality process of group process, transformative inner meditation, therapeutic movement, body wisdom techniques, art therapy, dynamic qi gong, and then whatever else comes up.

Although we will have a set schedule, we will let the combined energy of the group dictate which processes we will use for the maximal benefit.

    Learning from our symptoms
    Rewriting the body’s messages
    Living intimately in relationship
    Shifting paradigms
    The energetics of emotional transformation
    Stress free living
    Dream share
    Using crisis as an opportunity for change
    Evolving to our pure potential
    Element Typing
    Inquiry for the soul
    Messages from the unborn
    A new map for living
    Transforming the self when things don’t turn out the way you had planned
    Recognizing life issues through the seven stages

Regardless of our life experience, we all intuitively know in our depths that life is inherently peaceful, and meant to be lived unconditionally. New life emerges when we can end the war within. Let’s stop the struggle. We all need renewal – a place to recharge our spirits, nourish the body, and replenish the soul. Your basic nature is an abundant wellspring of being. Let’s find it together.

How To (Not!) Enter the Battle Field Again

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

(Retreats, Lessons from Nature) 

One of our dear Fertile Soul sisters asked a very poignant question about beginning the process again. She has a beautiful son now, who did not come easily. The journey brought her to the point where it consumed her life – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The medical portion was traumatic as well, and was full of protocols, fear, and micromanaging anxiety. Her question was, how can she move from the memory of that trauma into welcoming a child into a life-embracing, no effort, miracle space. And further, what gives her the best chance being over forty with a history of high FSH?

Let’s comb out some specifics, so we can get to the real issue.

First of all, with high FSH as part of the history,  aggressive hormonal stimulation protocols are not recommended. Not only will your ovaries tend to remain non-responsive to the FSH, I think it would also bring back the physiologic reminders of shots, poor response, anxiety and fear. Perhaps trying naturally can become a process of moving into some non- or low dose stimulation protocols. Get as healthy as you can taking care of yourself with a toddler running around. I’d recommend the spleen qi diet, kidney tonic herbs, OPC, and fish oil to begin with.

Now, the bigger issue – when “trying” resumes, how can you stay out of the fight? Chances are, every step of the way may feel like a reminder of past “failures” and may pull you into anxiety producing places that you might not want to revisit. I look at this, though, as a chance to revisit the same place with a totally different, life affirming attitude. I imagine a battlefield where the ground had been trampled of all life and then lay dormant and fallow until new, fresh life emerges, regardless of what went before. Life still wants to emerge.

Everything that you experienced before will be held in the cells until it can encounter the same situation again, this time without the fight. So imagine going back to the field, where there is no longer a battle, inviting new life to emerge. What areas of your life need to be watered, aerated, nourished, or brought out into the sunlight? And every time you revisit a seeming “old” place in a new way, the old response can become compost for fresh growth.

If you come to a retreat we can work specifically with you on those issues, reprogramming the body into new life affirming approaches through our body wisdom groups. Every pregnancy is new. Every menstrual cycle is new. Every life is new. I hope we can welcome in another miracle with you.

With love and blessings,

Randine

Overwhelm

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

(Lessons from Nature, Other Stuff) 

An issue that has been surfacing for many Fertile Souls seems to be the tendency for becoming overwhelmed by “healing” options. Acupuncture, herbs, chiropractic, dietary interventions, nutritional supplements, hypnotherapy, homeopathy, yoga, healing touch, massage, mind-body classes… all these efforts to become healthier can actually cause more stress than they are trying to alleviate.

There are many fabulous services available to us these days, with relatively easy access. So, how do we know when to say no to too many adjunctive therapies? Even positive changes can be perceived as stressors as far as the body is concerned.

My rule of thumb – pick one or two outside services at a time. Give it adequate time to see if you are experiencing measurable, noticeable changes. If not, move onto something that resonates with you and gives you demonstrable levels of improvement. I used to check in with my patients each week with the improvements they were noticing. Were they feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally? Did they have a greater sense of wellbeing? More hope? Were there tangible changes that they noticed in their menstrual cycle? Were they experiencing fewer negative symptoms than before? If not, their body isn’t responding to the therapy. Time to try something else.

Also, regarding testing – lab tests are done for one purpose – to find what’s wrong and invite therapy or intervention. If you go to a practitioner who advises that you take blood tests, saliva tests, or some other tool of examination, it is your option to say yes or no. If you say yes, be prepared to follow up with the therapy they recommend, or else don’t take the test.

One of the reasons I was so drawn to Chinese medicine is that it was a full system by itself. Our tools for diagnosis are already within – tongue, pulse, appearance, and inquiry. The results of diagnostic tests provide recommendations for lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, herbal remedies, and of course, needles to adjust the energy. But I never institute a therapy that the patient does not embrace, or the results will likely be nil. In one of our classics of Chinese medicine called the Su Wen, it states in chapter 11: “if one does not accept being treated and cured, do not treat him.” Therapies cannot be imposed.

Another recommendation is that if there is any question about whether to move on to another form of therapy, don’t. Let it set with you for awhile. Bring it into the space of quiet within. When it feels right, it will reveal itself to you. The inner wisdom never lies.

Randine Lewis from the Heart

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

NATURE, NURTURE, AND THE POWER OF LOVE –
THE BIOLOGY OF CONSCIOUS PARENTING

I have been blown away by Bruce Lipton’s DVD, “Nature, Nurture, and the Power of Love.” This movie was recommended by one of our new Fertile Soul CEFP clinicians, and we purchased it to show at this last retreat. The retreat participants raved about the movie, so last night after retreat was over I watched it.

I had been aware of Bruce Lipton’s work in The Biology of Belief, but this movie potentized my previous understanding of his work and its relationship to fertility.
The most uncanny aspect was that much of what we had been teaching during the Fertile Soul Retreats was explained in this movie!

He gave a beautiful scientific explanation of how the potential for the upcoming life is predicted by chromosomal selection in the egg and sperm the few months preceding ovulation and fertilization. And the prime determinant is the parents’ perceptions of their environment.

The subconscious fears and negatively held beliefs become imprinted on the genetic potential of the upcoming life. These have been patterned in us by the unfinished business we inherited from our parents, grandparents, and their parents and grandparents. All of these subconscious programs are carried in our DNA, and held deep within in the most primal aspect of our brains; and we are completely unaware of them. They do, however project through our awareness, as how we perceive the world and respond accordingly. It manifests as how the world appears to us. It may feel threatening. It may feel as if we have to fight for everything we have ever had and ever will have in this life – including our wished for child. Then this is projected out into our environment and creates our reality. If our most primal programming includes deeply held beliefs such as:

I don’t deserve a child;
I must fight for everything I get;
The world is unfair and doesn’t cooperate with me;
I am flawed…

This then becomes authenticated in our life situation. The inviolate laws of nature again prove their wisdom – new life doesn’t tend to come easily to a body/mind littered with this programming. What we project comes back to us as our reality. And although we may remain unaware of these inner dictates, we are aware of the feelings they deposit: anger, fear, worry, and unrelenting grief.

Dr. Lipton went on to talk about how the fetal brain develops according to parental programming and sets it up for life. This then becomes reinforced during early childhood. And although he talked about how we set up the lives of our children through our own thoughts and beliefs, he didn’t delve into how this impacts fertility. He left us with the understanding that although we can’t reprogram these messages through force, they may be reprogrammed. This is where the movie ended.

My mind took over and filled in the blanks based on the work The Fertile Soul has been doing for years. Most of the people who come to retreat have been programmed to believe that they can deny what is hidden and overwrite subconscious programming through positive affirmations – I’m strong, I’m fertile, there’s no fear, I am not anxious, and that this self talk will create a new reality. And the sad truth shows up again and again and again that it can’t. The inner programming wins every single time. We may temporarily feel better by focusing on the positive, but until the inner work is done, true change isn’t realized.

The Fertile Soul body/mind/spirit process begins with our Foundations program where we look at how our conscious life expresses itself. We begin by taking stock of our lives. What are the physical manifestations of our life? How is our physical body expressing its health or lack of health? What do our symptoms and lab results indicate? How do we feel? What are the manifestations of our lifestyle, which appear as our present life situation? Then we learn to relate to our body and mind in new ways that take us away from our unconscious programming and literally begin to reprogram us toward more conscious and healthy ways of relating to life.

We uncover the residual deposits of subconscious negativity – showing up as negative emotional responses to life. This isn’t easy, but when an individual courageously goes within to challenge the subconscious, new possibilities emerge.
We can begin to see how we might be reacting to fears we weren’t even aware existed.

Taking fear as the example: we look at some of the fears that may be present in our body/mind. Through our group exercises, an individual might become aware of this internal message: “I don’t deserve unconditional love (of a child.)” This will manifest in their life as the inability to express and find unconditional love. Chinese medicine and Taoist approaches to healing recognize that deeply held fears are held in the hindbrain, and manifested internally in the lower body governed by the kidney system of energies where we choose between protection or an open receptivity to life. This is then translated into hormonal messages through the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal and gonadal axis and becomes the reality of the reproductive process. Modern medicine now can back up this premise of ancient healing:  we are constantly unconsciously choosing between protecting ourselves from life or becoming open to life.

The first way to overcome this programming is to recognize it and see it for what it is.  We see and experience the physiologic response to fear coming from an internal message of unworthiness. When it has been brought out into the light of awareness, it NO LONGER HAS THE POWER TO SUBCONSCIOUSLY CONTROL OUR LIVES! It has been made conscious. Now the higher aspect of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, governed in Chinese medicine by the heart system of energies, can actually rewrite the negative programming. The kidney governs fear and survival; the heart governs love, joy, and the expression of our highest functioning in body, mind, and spirit.

When the light of the heart fire shines into the recesses of the depths of the kidney energies, a new possibility emerges. The relationship between the heart and the womb forms the basis of our ability to bring forth life. With almost no regard for age, lab values or disease diagnoses, this process can reverse most any fertility impediment. We see it over and over again – women in their forties giving birth after all else has failed them – sky high FSH values, poor ovarian reserve, empty follicle syndrome, poor sperm morphology, endometriosis, autoimmune processes… these literally dissolve when life begins, once again, to abide by the laws of nature.

And, of course, we facilitate this process with acupuncture, herbs, qi gong and meridian movement therapy, meditation, and the support of the group.

During our next Renewal Retreat, our five day focus will be on recognizing and rewriting these internal messages using the powerful traditional Chinese medical healing modalities.

Posted by Randine Lewis