Anyone remember this ad?
Ok, I’m not going to comment on the best lawnmowers on the market, or indeed gender stereotypes. Those are not my point here. But the ad has popped into my mind recently.
“If it’s really important to you, I won’t be offended if you go ahead and cut my grass.”
This is, wait was, the standard response I gave when someone commented on their perceived need for our lawns to be neater, tidier, mown, manicured and…well, less of a shameful blight on the street!
The truth is, it’s just not a priority to us. And even further than that, I think it’s possible that it might even be a better idea to leave it long. After all, the cats enjoy playing in it, longer grass goes to flower and seed, allowing insects to enjoy it’s pollens and nectars (or whatever grasses produce). But most importantly I feel my time and attention is much more vitally spent doing other things that are frankly far more important, in my humble opinion.
What does this have to do with health, happiness and fertility?
I just wanted to share that over the past months I have been contemplating the importance of following one’s gut instinct. In times past my internal response to a comment about our lawn would have been shame.
Shame? Really? …I hear you gasp.
Brene Brown, a leading researcher and storyteller on shame and its ill-effects on our wellbeing, defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”
See I would have taken the comment as a criticism, of me as a mother and home-owner and us as a family unworthy of love and belonging in our neighbourhood community. It seems hard to believe over such an insignificant comment, but I would have experienced what Brown calls the “warm wash of shame”, that powerful body-response when our shame triggers are sparked.
I can happily say that I can laugh with my neighbours now at the state of our yard, without taking anything too personally! Phew!
Coming to a place where we love and respect ourselves and believe in our ability to know and choose the right way to live our lives is possible. I am not saying I’m there yet! But I believe now that I’m on the right path. I don’t feel the need to outline the priorities I feel are superior to lawn mowing. I only wish to use this small example to make an important point.
Finding the path of self acceptance, strength and trust in my ability to care for myself, my family and my environment has drastically reduced my personal levels of anxiety, stress and constant overuse of my body’s fight or flight syste
If this rings true for you – if you feel like you’re always running, hiding or freezing like a deer in the headlights – and you are struggling with your physical or mental health, or your fertility (or all three as the case will likely be), then I urge you to consider: how can I find the path to a peaceful lifestyle?
Stress does indeed profoundly impact fertility and the ability to conceive. And although having a baby is never a guarantee, I believe that a balanced lifestyle can be the answer for some couples trying to conceive. I believe that you, me and every person have the innate ability to heal and find health, happiness and wellbeing. Really, I do.
An encouraging quote from Mark Twain:
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life…most of which never happened.”
…a reminder that this present moment is the only moment we have.
So no, I’m not worried about the state of my front yard, I’m happy with it. It represents my true priorities, and the love and care that I’m learning to share with my children, husband and self, each and every day. Come to think of it, perhaps I’d rather you didn’t go ahead and cut my grass… I’ll do it myself, if and when I’m ready.