He'll Do It Again

I’ve seen You move… You move the mountains. And I believe… I’ll see You do it again.

You made a way… where there was no way. And I believe… I’ll see You do it again.

I’ve been listening to this song over and over. I usually end up in tears as it amps up with this chorus.

We often hear how we need to ask God to move our mountains and we must also tell the mountains in our lives how big our God is.

He made a way, when there was no way for me in many ways throughout my lifetime. The biggest though was just over three years ago when I began the mighty faith wrestle into His waiting arms.

A wrestle that was only the result of the gift of my three. The old me would say it was when He took my three away. I suppose it is only a difference of semantics, and many could say both are true.

Five years later, I choose them as gift.

It was only in the darkness of grief and loss that I found the light, His and mine. He made a way for me to Him, when there was no way. Three lost babies and accepting life without children…only God can create such a mess. Five years out of our failed infertility journey I can say it has all been a beautiful mess – a true gift.

Because I am a daughter of the King, He loves me, I trust Him, and so I trust it.

Does it still hurt like hell? Yep.

This is the permission of The And, and it allows me to feel that sadness and the trust all at once, because therein lies my healing.

Friday my The Permission of The And TEDx talk officially hit the TEDx YouTube channel with over 9,000,000 subscribers.

And thus, comes another mountain.

Since the publication of Ever Upward, almost three years ago, the constant mountains in my life seem to be book sales, video view counts, and shares and likes. Now that both of my TEDx talks have posted, it seems like I have another gigantic mountain in front of me, to get enough YouTube views and likes to be featured on the TED website.

Except it finally feels different.

I want this bad, more views and likes means more people reached. More people reached means braver people living in this world and rewriting their stories of shame.

This is my purpose on earth – the mother He made.

But I no longer want it more than my own well-being and happiness. I no longer believe that the success of my work, paid or otherwise, has anything to do with my worthiness. I am putting it down at the foot of the cross once and for all.

I am enough and He’s got this.

No more hustling, no more begging. I will continue to do my part – creating life changing content, loving well, teaching those who are ready to receive, and finally having fun while doing it.

My belief is that it will grow.

How big? Only He knows that part.

And finally, I am going to let that be enough.

~~~

You are enough too. If you are ready to begin the work to believe this, I’d love for you to grab your brave and come do this work with me. Whether it is through my Therapy Thursday videos on Facebook or joining my Rising Ever Upward Video Course or attending a workshop or intensive, choose you, do this work, and rewrite your story.

The Heartbeat of 9 Million

The email was short and sweet,

It’s here!

Followed by the link.

A link to one of my dreams come true, the hardest work of my life, and a story of my sacred truth all there for an audience of over 9,000,000.

Whoa!

My hands shook and my heart pounded so hard and loud I could feel it pulsating throughout my whole body.

Fear and trust, excitement and surrender.

The And.

As I sent the link to everyone I know and refreshed the YouTube channel my pounding heart skipped a beat as I saw my other TEDx go live right before my eyes.

Two TEDx talks, both live, to over 9,000,000 in less than three hours.

Holy shit!

A squeal and a jump followed by an immediate hitting of my knees in gratitude and asking for protection, I felt washed over with a sense of knowing and unknowing all at once.

The And.

Here you go world, my two TEDx talks (The Permission of The And and The Donut Effect). Watch, share, give brave feedback, and share again. And, most of all, thank you.

 
 

The Moon of Fair and Prayer

I’ve had this post in my head and heart now for almost two weeks. I’ve sat down to work on it no less than 20 times in those weeks. Let’s call it the endless to do list of building my wholehearted empire, denial, grief, or fleeting creativity, it has not been penned until just now.

In which, I completely trust, this is when the words will be gifted to me.

It all started on a drive home two Sunday nights ago after a great dinner with some of our chosen family. Dinner conversation with three of my favorite boys about the movie Wonder, who their best friends are (I made the cut for Evan, that boy knows his audience), and then too much yelling and laughter about which girls they all like.

“Look at the moon,” I said to Chad as we were driving home much too late for a Sunday evening.

“Whoa,” he said with a catch of awe in his voice.

“Have you ever seen it like that before? The half on the bottom and not the side?”

“No. Kind of weird.”

“And, beautiful,” I reply.

We spend the rest of the drive in silence with worship music playing – grief and God wrestling in my head and heart.

My day had started with church, where as usual, I cried during worship, mostly tears from undone-ness in gratitude. Then, after weeks off due to tour and TEDx, I served in the 3rd to 5th grade room, where I ran the 3rd grade boys small group. The verse for the week was, 1 Thessalonians 5:18:

Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:18

We began by discussing the worst things that could happen at home, school, and their sports or school activities . Most of their answers centered around peeing or pooping their pants or barfing, because… boys. Then we got to the tough part, how to still be grateful even when you’ve shit your pants at school.

Their answers of gratitude were so refreshing. Nothing from comparison or scarcity like so many of us adults do. Just true gratitude of what good could come from pooping your pants at school – like a new pair of pants and getting to talk to the really nice nurse.

Gratitude even in the shit.

It’s the holidays.

It’s no secret I struggle with the holidays.

Last year we only put up a tree. I managed to string lights on it, and still couldn’t bear ornaments because… grief.

They’d be five this Christmas.

How much fun would that be?

Chad asked if we could decorate just a little more this year and said we could go get a new tree of my choice if that could help. We settled on a small pencil tree, pre-lit and with ornaments already attached.

Because, that is where I’m at this year, and it’s progress.

And, I only cried in Menards once.

That weird half moon, with the half somewhere it didn’t really seem to fit and yet it shined brilliantly for all the world to see, felt like looking at me that night. Most days, especially during the holidays, I feel like that moon, never fitting in, a little off, and still brilliantly shining.

The moon is always a reminder of God’s grace for me, as are the sunsets, sunrises, basically anything nature.

But that night was different, maybe it was the song playing on the radio, saying something to the effect that it is all for God’s glory…even the hard, dark parts, even the shit I suppose.

When you don’t get to parent your children here on earth and grief is a part of your daily life, the holidays are hard for obvious reasons. It also really makes you wish that people would remember what Christmas is really about.

There is also another reason it is difficult though.

There are a ton of adorable pregnancy and birth announcements, and lots of them say what a miracle it is and how God answered prayers. Not much unlike the miraculous conceptions of Jesus and John, because sometimes even the Advent reading plans can be tough.

I love seeing the joy of my loved ones’ families growing. And, the enemy will never miss a chance to have that small voice torture me.

You didn’t pray hard enough.
You don’t deserve to be a mom.
You weren’t faithful enough.
You’re being punished.
It’s not fucking fair.

Here’s the thing, I know better now.

This is not about fair, or really prayer, for that matter.

Sure, God hears our every prayer. Hell, our prayers can even change His mind I think. At the end of the day, though, I don’t get to say which prayers of mine He answers. And, I for sure, don’t get to say how He answers them.

Now to the toughest part, because all you have to do is read the news to get a sense of how unfair it can feel that Chad and I don’t get to be parents in the traditional sense of the word and a bunch, like a freaking bunch, get to. Bottom line, fair or unfair, that shit is above my pay grade. I doubt I will ever get the answer as to why I don’t get any and why someone else I have deemed undeserving gets four. I know my clarity and full healing is waiting for me when I get to meet Jesus face to face one day.

In the meantime, I praise God for giving His only Son for us. I know in Him, because of Him, and through Him I am whole, loved, okay, and a message of grace for this world.

As I have wrestled with so much of the new teachings that have been brought into my life and reading more and more scripture, and wading through the glittered difficulty of the holidays, I was brought back to the moon just this past Sunday, a week after the ‘little off’ half moon.

I remembered just before bed that I had to go see the Super Moon. In my pajamas and socks, I ran out to the driveway to see the moon, something I actually do on a pretty regular basis. At first, the big, bright full super moon was behind a veil of thin clouds. Even veiled a bit, it still reflected it’s shining glory onto everything.

With a deep breath, I prayed,

Lord, Help me to lay it down for good this time, I don’t want this anymore. I know it was, and is, fair. Because you are good and I am your loved daughter. My sadness and grief can coexist with my trust in your fairness, because when I live in the permission of The And, I honor you, me, and them. It is all for Your glory, and you love me so much, it is also for mine.

And then, the clouds floated over the moon to reveal a perfect opening for all His glory to shine in and on.

My story is hard and it is beautiful. It is my message of grace and I will never stop loving it, trusting it, and speaking it.

It has nothing to do with fair.

It is the story He has written for me and for Him.

And, graciously, it has given birth to me.

~~~

Exciting adventures: My new newsletter is short, sweet, and full of great content, make sure to sign up here. I have a new prayer plan over at Reflective Prayer, use coupon code JustinePrayer for 15% off! And finally, my Rising Ever Upward for Network Marketers video course is now available!

A Workshop and Dream

Tomorrow kicks off my Rising Ever Upward Tour, and there are not enough emotional words to type to accurately describe how I am feeling. Thank God I have this work to help me navigate it all.

Tonight I am offering a FREE workshop as I wrap up my 7 week Mini-Course, I'd love for you to join me. I'll be sharing a glimpse into what this work is all about and much more. You can read more about it here.

 
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I feel a lot of writing coming from me while on tour, some for the next book of course, and some for you all here. Thank you for your patience as I enter into this new stage of my career. I cannot thank this community enough.

Another Round

Sitting on my orange couch flanked by all three of our dogs, I giggle to myself as Cassandra, my coach, continues on, "How did that turn out?" Unbeknownst to her, her face has been frozen for the last 5 minutes of our conversation; and yet her question, both powerful and one she already knows the answer to, hits me to the core.

"It didn't work out how I wanted," I reply with just the slightest annoyance in my voice.

"And, how did that turn out?" she asks.

"I created and have received this incredible and fucking beautiful life," I state back with a clarity and a knowing, though a catch of my voice and the tears in my eyes reveal my truth that this life has not come without years of loss, work, and trust.

It was just a minute before, on our call, that I had come to realize that the risk I am taking in going out on tour, offering my workshops and intensives, is not much unlike the risk we took 6 years ago in doing IVF.

Financial sacrifice?

Check.

Paralyzing fear?

Check.

Doubt, our own and that of many, many others?

Check.

Hope?

Check. Why else would we sign up for it?

So much the same, and so much, so very different.

Going through the infertility journey six years ago, I was a completely different person.

Back then, who I was with the addition of financial stress, waiting games, synthetic hormones, and no babies was the perfect storm for the deepest darkest crash of my entire life. I was, in many ways, living my life from the place of shame, scarcity, comparison, and with my weaknesses in total control.

The darkness left behind by our infertility journey that ended without kids, was the ashes from which I needed to rise.

And now, to leap into another unknown.

I needed to choose myself, to do the work, and to rise into this incredible person I am and into this incredible  life I have now.

I am preparing to leave for tour in less than two weeks, which means the talons of PTSD clutch every organ in my chest and stomach often, as if we are doing another round of IVF. This PTSD triggers overwhelming fear that could easily take over every thought and my entire body if I let it.

I find my breath stolen from me in a second, without so much as a trigger - the fear, doubt, anxiety, shame, and comparison charging up my physiological response to emotion in my pounding heart and shortness of breath.

Yet, I stop myself.

It's different now.

It has only been with this work, the work I am fighting so hard to bring to my community on tour, that I recognize the symptoms and then refuse to attach to the drama. It is in this choice that I give myself the permission to rumble with what is really going on. It is through this rumble with my shame shit that I choose to cope, to be always rewriting my story, and standing in my sacred truth.

With this work, and my team and community rallying and surrounding me, those PTSD talons are no match for this person and life I have created, fought for, and done the work to receive these last few years.

Most of all, it is no match for my level of faith. Sure, I am quite possibly the literal poster child for when things don't turn out how you hoped, dreamed, and planned. But...

I am also the flawed, full-of-grit-and-grace badass who rises from those ashes a better person, one who loves harder and shines brighter. It is within this hard that I help others and with that light that I am able to see how beautiful of a life I have been given.

I go into this unknown from a place of self-love, passion, and a burning desire to heal the world.

I eventually took a picture of Cassandra and sent it to her on Messenger. We both laughed and we ended our session in our usual way: of her palpable excitement for what is and what is to come, my complicated gray of excitement and fear, and both of our's full knowing that whatever is to come of this incredible work we are doing together, we are both certain that it far exceeds our wildest dreams.

I don't know what God's plan is for this tour. Just like I didn't know what God's plan was for our three.

 
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I know it will be filled with people who are ready to heal and courageous enough to do this work with me. I know it will change their lives, my life, and therefore, the world. I know that no matter if every registration is booked, and no matter how much money made or lost, that it will be God-willed, God-filled, and amazing.

Because unlike the 30% odds of the "successful" outcome with an infertility journey, my odds are 100% when it comes to who I have become, the work I am willing to do on a daily basis, God's grace, and my badassery rising.

Called

I am just a couple of weeks out from the kick off of my Rising Ever Upward tour. The registrations are starting to fill my inbox.

People are sending messages.

They are engaging with my Mini-Course and Facebook Lives.

In fact, 22 people took advantage of a last minute pop up class last night for FREE (a $200 value).

A couple of them even registered to come do this work with me in a city near them.

Clarity took root last night for me... I am doing this. I am supposed to be doing this.

And, I am super excited and oh so grateful.

Make sure you have subscribed to my subscriber list, as we still have 2 weeks left of exclusive content coming, along with following along at Facebook.

And, have no doubt, I have a HUGE and AMAZING close planned for this 7 week Mini-Course!

Thank you for your support!

 
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The And of Fear and Faith

The pump you up memes say, “Be fearless!”

The personal growth gurus say, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

Some religions say, “There is no fear with faith.”

Therapists say, “Identify the fear, feel it, talk about it, cope with it, and allow it to move through.” (We therapists can be wordy.)

My new coach Cassandra is teaching me, “Feel the fear, do not attach to the drama of it, and choose faith.”

Crap! So which is it?

Click here to continue reading over at The Huffington Post.

 
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FREE 7 Week Rising Ever Upward Mini-Course

Last week I kicked off my FREE 7 week Rising Ever Upward Mini-Course on Facebook and at my Ever Upward subscriber list. I will be sharing unique and exclusive material at both platforms as I lead up to leaving on tour in July. Make sure to follow at both platforms so you don't miss anything, and of course, a share goes further than you think. Thank you in advance!

The Rising Strong™ work has changed everything for me and I am so excited to be able to offer my workshops and intensives in a city near you this summer! I'd love to see you on tour!

For now and this one time only, I thought I would share Week 1 from the email list here for you to get an idea of this incredible work for yourself. Make sure to also follow along on Facebook for a weekly challenge, live video and graphic!

 
 

The Rising Ever Upward Tour

 
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If you seek a life lived more authentically... 

If shame keeps you from living and loving fully...

If you want to build shame resilience and courage practices...

If you want to learn how to live more bravely in the arenas of your life...

 If you simply want to learn how to live, love, parent and lead more wholeheartedly and with deep courage...

The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ work is for you.

Join me on tour this summer,

full details at www.daringinstl.com.

Silence in Infertility: The Race Gap

Because infertility knows no bounds of ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. Because the silence is destroying us.

Because it is important to circle back.

Because we desperately need to have these conversations.

Honestly, it is best explained here...

 
 

The Ever Upward Blog Tour starts March 27th right here!

 
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Do You Think She's Brave?

I am not sure I have ever been so scared for a piece to be published... Here we go! I am practicing my badass bravery even though I feel like I may vomit. Thank you also to my amazing friend over at Bent Not Broken for her editing help on this one! ~~~

Is She Brave?

We hear it growing up and even more as adults: never give up, good things come to those who wait and work hard for your dreams.

Then one day you walk out of a florescent lit doctor’s office as a shell of your former self after receiving life changing news because now you must pick up the pieces of what you thought your life would be.

She received the diagnosis several years ago.

Click here to continue reading over at HuffPost.

A Story the World Isn't Ready For

I sit at the dining room table. The slightest glimmer of the rising sun brightening the sky outside the floor to ceiling window as I take the first drink of my yummy, albeit nutritious, breakfast smoothie. My usual songs of rising playing and my coloring journal in front of me. Oftentimes my morning writing turns into written prayers, as if talking to Him helps to clear my head while also making it all the more real. The work I am doing. The words I am speaking. The fight I am fighting.

I know He is listening, and yet I often have to remind myself I am not alone in this.

When suddenly I am surprised by the words I am writing, my own words, in the chosen color of pink for today,

Why Lord did you write this story for me if you aren't going to give people the ears and hearts to hear it?

As soon as I see the sentence, the prayer, it does not take but a half breath for the next sentence to come out of my hand,

 
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Give ears to the earless.

I close my eyes as a exasperated breath escapes my lips, damn it.

Yep, I curse, even when I talk to Him. He knows I am thinking it anyways. And, guess what? He loves me anyway.

Please God, help me to find a way to do this. I pray for clarity, creativity and courage to create the openness...

Perception may be that I am uber successful, the emails I get each week thanking me for my work and also asking to take me to lunch to learn from me speak to this. And yet, most days I feel as if I am jumping up and down, waving my arms desperately and screaming, "Does anyone see me? Can anyone hear?"

I have come to realize I am in the business of the invisible unspoken; I speak my life into a world of people who don't want to hear my story, in fact some of them actively deny it.

Let's just start with therapy. The stigma is changing as people begin to not only admit but boast that they see a great therapist and you should too. Yet, mental illness is widely misunderstood by both the general public and I am finding even more so by the medical community; let alone, that happiness is a choice and takes intentional daily work. I am a therapist. People love my resources, my education and inspiration. Yet, they struggle, and sometimes even refuse, to do the damn work themselves.

Then we've got my side gig in network marketing with a supplement company that I am very proud of, whose products have changed my life and an industry I love more and more each day. The misconceptions on network marketing and supplementation are endless. People question my motives, products and the industry daily. When all I am trying to do is help myself and others find freedom in their health and finances. Rather, than open up to a different way, what I think is a better way, many choose to stay in their known misery (not much unlike my daily work as a therapist).

Finally, my purpose and calling here on earth; my motherhood, although most won't call it that. My story scares most people, I am the epitome of life not turning out how you planned, hoped, dreamed or paid for. I am the worst case scenario: tried to have kids, paid a lot of money to have kids and ended the journey without them.

I am childless and a mother.

 
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I am the case who lowers the infertility clinics statistics because I did not get the baby and I am the therapist who is helping women thrive through and after this journey no matter what they get. Because despite what the media and the average clinic wants you to believe, not all of us end up with babies; yet there are many versions of the happy ending, I promise.

I am the infertility community's black sheep and one of the hardest working advocates for anyone no matter where they are in the journey. I know my narrative scares the shit out of most and yet it is my scary story, the permission to speak the unspoken and to say enough that helps so many thrive no matter what they get in life.

I am the general society's unacknowledged unsuccess story and a change maker, even if only on the tiniest of scales. People want the story of someone who never gave up and got the traditional happy ending. When in reality those stories are actually few and far between because none of us get out of this life without having to redefine something and choosing to thrive thereafter. My truth is about thriving when life did not turn out, and despite what is shared in the media, or even in my own community, I have one hell of a happy ending. I fight for it, create it and receive it every day.

I was made the mother I am to teach and model it for you.

Now sitting on my orange couch flanked by three little dogs, I take a sip of my steaming decaf coffee. I set the timer on my phone for five minutes for my creative writing which begins as a continuation of my earlier written prayers. My handwriting slows down and clears up after I write again, why give me this story if no one is ready to hear it?

Because, my child, it is not about you, it is about them. It is about Me. Therefore go out and love like Me. Walking in the grace and the mess of truth in love and the complicated gray. I promise, you were made for such a time as this and they are listening.

A Review and Resource: The Two Week Wait Challenge

I met with fellow blogger and author Lindsay Fischer last week for lunch. Two hours later I walked away with a new friend, the knowing of a fellow warrior and a comrade in the trenches of being an author and blogger. In other words, I think I may have just met my best friend...even if she doesn't realize it yet.

We exchanged our books, including Lindsay's soon to be released The Two Week Wait Challenge: A Sassy Girl's Guide to Surviving the TWW. I was excited to read this little guide for the arduous TWW that I see so many clients through, and survived myself a couple of times.

I loved it and have added it to the Ever Upward Resource page. Please see my review below that I will also be posting to Amazon once the book officially comes out.

~~~

 
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As a survivor of a couple TWWs myself and a therapist helping countless clients through the process of TTC, infertility and loss I found Lindsay’s survival guide to be a truth salve to my soul. This guide is refreshing, engaging and full of helpful ideas and resources. Lindsay is sharing what I have been teaching my clients for years and so much of what I am finding helpful in guiding women through the TTC, infertility and loss journey. The tools she shares are part of how we will all thrive and not only survive this  journey. Lindsay’s humor makes you feel like you have a nonjudgmental best friend by your side through the arduous wait of the days leading up to testing. Her daily challenges and assignments provide a easy and tangible framework for the reader to wrap both their heads, hearts and hands around in order to prevent being completely consumed by worry, anxiety, anger and anything else that pops up in the clomid crazy train of infertility treatments.  I highly recommend this book to anyone going through the TTC journey, no matter where they are in it. This guide combined with speaking your story and seeking help will help you to define your own happy ending, no matter what you get from the journey. Lindsay and her work are great examples of the Ever Upward life.

A Tale of Surviving and Thriving - What's Yours?

Silent Sorority

was the first book I ordered when searching for infertility books on Amazon five years ago. It was one of the only books I could find with a healthier message. It also inspired me to write

Ever Upward 

to join Pamela in shouting our missions of difficult conversations and healthier messages into this world. Little did I know the fellow warrior I would come to find and know in Pamela. I am excited and honored Pamela agreed to share her

#MoreThan1in8

submission with you all. We have a little less than two weeks before National Infertility Awareness week and I need more courage, more voices and more support. You can read more about the project

here

, I hope I squash any qualms you may have about going public there.

If we want more understanding and compassion from our world, we must tell our stories and ask for what we want and need. Help me to end the silence that surrounds infertility and loss by participating in this project.

Because together, we are #MoreThan1in8.

~~~

A Tale of Surviving and Thriving - What's Yours?

We live in an era where scientific and medical breakthroughs in the fertility world are a double edge sword. While we instinctively cheer for fertility successes, society -- and the medical community in particular -- lack a framework to help process the losses when success is elusive.

Nothing in our otherwise modern life fully prepares us for an infertility diagnosis. For those in the confounding 'unexplained infertility' category it can be particularly difficult to pick up the pieces and imagine surviving, let alone thriving. Those of us who have lived it know all too well there are no clear instructions on what it takes to embark on a life path that doesn’t involve parenting following fertility treatment losses. As I look back on that difficult period of life, there were many emotional and practical considerations that led us to acknowledge that it was time for us to find a way to move on.

In 2007, I began the long, slow process of healing and surviving by creating a safe place for me and other women embarking on a new life after confronting infertility. My first blog was appropriately titled Coming2Terms. An added benefit to opening up about the personal challenges that infertility inflicted has been exploring a universe of ideas and connecting with a remarkable set of women and men who are also busy healing, surviving and reinventing themselves.

My blog -- and later books and advocacy work -- have brought forth new understanding about the complex effects of infertility and catalyzed an important cultural discussion. Together with women like Justine and others around the globe, we continue to foster support and further education about the infertility experience. The stigmatization and pain is further complicated, we've learned, by an avoidable trauma:  abandonment by fertility clinics more interested in securing a new customer than in providing compassionate care to those grieving when science and Mother Nature don't result in a pregnancy or live birth. The lack of palliative care is particularly harsh for those reeling with complex emotions.  Sadly patient abandonment is prevalent in the fertility industry. In the past decade a chorus of voices has emerged calling for change.

In sharing what we’ve learned we not only offer camaraderie and celebrate new beginnings we ensure the next generation will be well informed and benefit from lessons learned.

To those just embarking on the path, I can assure you that after my grieving ended a lightness, an effervescence returned not only to my marriage, but to my friendships and relationships. I’ve tapped into a well of strength and resilience I didn’t know existed.  The love, acceptance and compassion have nurtured hope and happiness in a different form.

Pamela
Pamela

In thriving we have helped to showcase families after infertility in a new light.

We continue today, my husband and me, to push forward, to shape and define a life outside the more conventional path of parenting. We challenge each other to uncover new possibilities, to seek new adventures and discoveries that will enrich our understanding of the world and our place in it. That’s exactly what we would have encouraged our children to do.

~~~

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos is the author of the award-winning memoir Silent Sorority. Her latest ebook is Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice.

In July 2015 her blog earned at Top Health Blognod from Time, Inc.'s Health Magazine. For more of her writing visit: Silent Sorority.com

#OnComingAlive: Becoming a Gift

Today I'd like to share with you an original piece I wrote for the #OnComingAlive project through the amazing blog Scribbles & Crumbs. I am so honored and thankful Lexi ran my piece. ~~~

Sitting over tea in a dimly lit coffee shop she asks, “How often do you think of them?”

I shift my eyes to notice how many moms and babies are in the bustling shop. “Every day,” I respond.

“How?” she asks.

“I wonder how different our lives would be. I wonder what they would be learning and what we could be teaching them. I wonder who they would have been and who we could have been.”

She looks down into her steaming cup of tea and she adjusts her body as if feeling uncomfortable in the booth. “It lasts forever doesn’t it?”

“I think so.”

“Does it get better?” she asks. I know she’s hoping I will say that it does.

“It gets different,” I respond.

I glance down at her very pregnant belly and ask what must become the most annoying question for pregnant women, “How are you feeling?”

Jump over to Scribble & Crumbs to read more here.

 
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Breaking the Silence: Don't Talk About the Baby

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and beyond honored to be included in the documentary film Don't Talk About the Baby. Friday night we launched the all or nothing campaign to finish this important film in honor of our babies and to open conversation. Please help us by donating what you can and especially by sharing far and wide.

Help us to break the silence.

Help us to honor our babies.

Help us to shine the light.

Help us to rise ever upward.

 
 

Petite Post: Mustered Grace

This month, as most of us know is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And, only eight days in I am working hard to hold the space to honor the paradox of the sadness and the pride I feel seeing so much talk about pregnancy and infant loss in the media and on my social media walls. Because there is enough room for both.

Infertility, pregnancy and infant loss have lifelong costs.

We will spend the rest of our lives continually moving through the grief with whatever grace we can muster in that day.

Choosing to give ourselves permission to embrace the enigma that is defining our happy ending within the arms of lifelong loss.

 
 

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Use coupon code OCT15 here to get $5 off your signed copy of Ever Upward and support Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support!

When Hope Grows Up: Part 5

Part four here

 
 

The woman who did not try hard enough or long enough.

The woman who gave up on her dream to be a mother.

The childless woman.

I suppose I may live the rest of my life proving these judgments wrong, but not to you or for you but for myself because they are not my truth.

My hope, especially my hope for the future, has meant finding the peace and clarity within the lifelong losses of infertility and my work of being okay.

I do not honor myself, especially my babies, by allowing my whole story to be my struggles and loss. I only honor myself and them by doing the work of forever healing.

This is the work for all of us who have survived any struggle, trauma, loss or tragedy in our lives.

We choose to do the work. We choose how we are forever changed, and yet, always healing.

What I do with my life is my legacy on this earth. And the same is for you. Our legacy is left with every breath we take on this earth. By the love we share with others, how we walk with nature and the work we do, but most of all in the connections and relationships we have with others in our lives.

My legacy will not be in my own biological children or in how many books I sell or how many clients I see.

My legacy is left in how my soul transforms your soul, in how my light shines into your light and how my love influences even just a tiny bit of your own metamorphosis.

My legacy is my choice.

When hope grows up we choose the legacy we leave.

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“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~ T.S. Eliot