Guest blog by Monica Bivas, a holistic fertility coach.
My name is Monica Bivas and I’m a Mindset & Holistic Fertility Coach. I am not a famous individual or influencer. I’m just a regular Latina woman who went through a long, bumpy fertility journey which I share with you today in hopes to inspire other women and couples struggling to conceive. My story has lots of ups and downs, and many tears, but thankfully the ending is beautiful with the birth of my children and a journey that inspired me to not only become a fertility coach, but also an author. Yes! I have written the book The IVF Planner, and will be launching my coloring book Ranting Doodles, very soon.
My journey helped me to discover that during infertility, we must create or find a (in) fertility toolkit for ourselves to navigate the twists and turns. My personal (in) fertility tool kit included coloring books and journaling, which truly made my journey a bit easier by helping me in my own self-discovery through my struggles. As I tell everyone, my pain became my purpose, and that’s why I’m here to talk to you about the benefits of art therapy and journaling while TTC (trying to conceive).
Art and journaling while TTC are empowering and supportive tools that can be used whenever you feel stress in your life – whether your TTC or not. From my own struggle towards motherhood, I realized that anything related to creativity was extremely helpful with stress and anxiety during my journey. When TTC is taking longer than you expected, or if you are going through ART on your journey to motherhood, your stress and anxiety are thru the roof along with an overwheling feeling of self-doubt. From my own experience and difficulties during my journey (5 cycles of IVF to be more exact), I realized that one of the tools I could count on to relieve stress and keep my mind occupied with peace and some ease, was journaling and art therapy.
Art therapy can be anything from coloring pages, to knitting, to oil painting, to pottery or anything that can wake up the creative side of our brains. For me coloring and writing in my journal would excite my creative juices. The IVF Planner I created includes journaling space and a Two Week Wait (2WW) chapter that has a mandala for each day of this crucial and stressful time.
Art therapy and journaling are a form of mindfulness and meditation that can be very effective for stress relief. Creating a mindful and meditation space will allow you to escape from your anxieties and allow you to take a moment to look within your heart and your sacred core.
Art therapy and journaling help us visualize the beauty of creativity tunned into our intuition and unique core essence. By dedicating space for yourself to focus on creativity by itself will uplift our physical body, our mind, our emotions, and our spiritual side. By being creative, this helps you to release serotonin, our happy hormone. And guess what? A lot of people think that the biggest amounts of serotonin are in our brain, but that is not the case. 70% of our serotonin is released in our gut. Imagine how much we can help our reproductive organs (which are located in our abdomen where the gut is) if we are happy. The serotonin releases there, and by default I believe, our womb, ovaries, and sacred reproductive part, will be happy too – ready to receive and ready to conceive.
Art therapy and journaling also helps to keep us in the present moment. It teaches us to be aware that we can’t control the situation and helps us stay grounded. In other words, these two tools are a great support to lean into when any situation is out of our control, and we by default start to have fears, worries, anxiety and desperation. Remember, we must be aware that most difficulties are out of our control. But what we can control is the way we react and take action upon those situations and difficulties we can’t control. So, why not use tools and resources that help us to feel uplifted? Then our way of reacting will be uplifting as well.
I truly love what I do so much that I’m working in my second edition of The IVF Planner to make it even more colorful. I firmly believe that we can manifest and create a lot of the situations in our lives, and why not start with allowing ourselves to feel, and be aware that life is complicated. Especially for us walking a fertility path. Life is something we can create and make a little better, and I know it is easier to say that and very difficult to take action upon it. But with practice we can begin to make a change in how we take action.
Try to stop and quiet your mind when you feel stress. Give it 15-20 minutes to process all your thoughts, no matter if they are negative or not. Its ok to feel like you want to cry, scream, rant, vent – please do so. The best way to bring positivity and creativity to our lives is by being aware of what we are feeling when we are feeling them – not burying them away. We are recognizing that we are vulnerable, and once we allow ourselves to feel and express all of that we feel, it can create a building of emotions that are invigorating to let go of. By letting go of those feeling you will realize the space you can now create for yourself.
So, give yourself a hug. Nourish yourself. Look around you and wake up that little child we all still have inside. And start creating.
Monica Bivas was inspired by her own experience with IVF, her road to motherhood was not an easy one and she knows what it is to walk in the shoes of fertility issues, and she now works with couples on their own IVF journey. She promotes love, positivity and her main mantra “Where your thoughts go, energy flows”.
Monica coaches and mentors women and couples all over the world going through IVF. She offers three different 1:1 programs on IVF depending on what fertility journey you are on, as well as group programs. Learn more about Monica by visiting her website.