I called my blog Fertility Wave because learning to “ride the wave” was the biggest lesson I took away from my fertility journey. To me, riding the wave means rolling with whatever happens, instead of fighting it …aka going with the flow.
When I was told IVF was my only option, I painted a lovely picture in my head that looked something like this = drive to the fertility clinic a few times, inject some meds in my belly, let the doctors do their thing, and boom – deliver a baby 9 months later. But as I’ve come to learn, expectations and reality are often two very different things. It actually took me three start-from-scratch IVF cycles before I got my baby bump. Basically for two years, the fertility clinic was my home away from home and wearing a hospital gown was my go-to outfit. Then somewhere between “your progesterone levels are too high” and “your lining is too thin,” I started to laugh at the confusion and let go (of the illusion) of control.
If you’re on a bumpy road to pregnancy (or struggling with anything really), you’ve probably already realized that things don’t always go according to plan. But when we learn to ride the wave, our messy adventures get a little easier. Here I share with you 5 tips that help me roll with every challenge, in hopes that they can help you on your journey… whatever that journey is, and wherever it takes you.
Side note: With riding the wave as a theme, I’m going to go through the tips pretending you’re a pro surfer (because, why not?)
1. Expect the Unexpected
When you’re out in the water, you don’t get to choose the conditions of the ocean.You might sit there all day only to go home with a sunburn. Or you might hit a huge wave that knocks you off your board, leaving you bruised and broken. Or maybe, today will be the day you ride the perfect wave that makes you feel so good to be alive.
That’s the thing about life, no matter how much you try to control everything, you never know what’s coming. You can plan every detail in your head of how you want things to go down, only to be disappointed when reality doesn’t match up with your expectations, or you can expect the unexpected. By accepting the fact that life is going to unfold regardless what you think, you can let go, be free and just see what happens.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
2. Work With Whatever Comes Your Way
When you’re riding a 50-foot wave, you need to keep your balance and adjust your body to work with the wave or you’re going to take a gnarly wipe out (my attempt at surfer lingo… or maybe I’m getting it confused with snowboard lingo… anyways, besides the point…).
No matter who you are, life is always going to bring you challenges, but even though you can’t control what happens, you can choose to work with it. You don’t have to like it, but you have to accept whatever situation you’re in, because in that moment, it is what you have to deal with. Then, you can work with it by taking action, making healthy choices and deciding on the next step to take.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”- Eckhart Tolle
3. Know that Everything is Temporary
Okay surfer babe… take a moment and picture your life as the ocean. Now imagine that every wave is just one chapter that comes and goes in your life.
When we’re faced with adversity, we often feel stuck… like our situation is never going to get better, but if you look at the bigger picture; you realize that you’re just living one chapter at a time in the story of your life. If you constantly remind yourself that everything is temporary, you will naturally cherish the good times and make peace with the fact that the hard times always come to an end.
“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
4. Follow your Gut
When you’re out there studying the ocean, you need to trust your instincts to bring you to the right spot so you can hit that perfect wave.
Our thoughts are filled with so much noise, but the answer to the next step is always in our gut. When you set goals without a rigid plan, you can be flexible and move through life in the direction of your desires. You always know when something doesn’t feel right or when you have a strong urge to do something. Forget about what anyone else thinks. Rise above your fears and act on your instincts. Whatever you most desire in life, trust that it will come to you. Forget about how or when, and just do what you feel like doing in every moment to work towards your dreams (even if that means taking a much needed break).
“Believe that things will work out… follow your intuition and curiosity… trust your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path… You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
5. Enjoy the Ride
Life is short and there’s no telling when it will end. Every wave you ride can be your last, so you have to make the best of it.
Even when life is a mess, it’s still your life and it’s not going to last forever. Every day is an opportunity to appreciate everything you have, to spend time with people you love, to go on adventures and enjoy the little things that you’ll one day miss. When something happens that sucks, by all means, let yourself feel the pain, but don’t let it define you. One day, when you least expect it, everything will fall into place and you’ll look back with a smile because wherever you are right now is part of the adventure that brought you to the best destination of your life. The only regret you’ll ever have is if you didn’t take more time to relax and enjoy the ride.
“Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” Michael Josephson
So there you have it. To ride the wave aka go with the flow… all you have to do is expect the unexpected, work with whatever comes your way, know that everything is temporary, follow your gut and enjoy the ride.
Peace. Love. And baby dust.