May is Mental Health Awareness month. Depression and anxiety can effect anyone, but
people experiencing difficulty in conceiving are at an increased risk for developing
symptoms. The pain of infertility is so pervasive one hardly knows where it starts or where it
ends. The pure biology of trying to conceive lends itself to vigilant awareness of one’s
cycle. The mind becomes consumed with counting days, the “two week wait” and the
anticipation of disappointment.
In yogic philosophy, there is a term “chitta” which means “mind stuff” or the memories and
templates we unconsciously make from our experiences. All of the thoughts that come up
each month you are not pregnant go into this chitta record. They may sound like, “I’ll never
get pregnant,” “I’m not meant to be a mother” or “I never should have . . . “ along with many
other negative thoughts that cumulate to create a lot of negative chitta or background
chatter. Not to mention the constant searching for answers, which creates even more
unnecessary chitta in your mind. All of the statistics from websites, personal stories and
information may or may not apply to your particular situation, but it gets embedded in the
memory banks. Without realizing it, this chatter becomes a constant backdrop for everyday
activities, influencing the way in which you feel or act.
So, how can you quiet or shift this chitta? There are several ways:
▪ Practicing mindfulness can be a great exercise for the mind and a way to soothe
negative chitta. Mindfulness means doing one thing at a time without judgment,
bringing gentle attention back to your focus.
▪ Meditation is another way to notice and let chitta pass. There are many types of
meditation, but an accessible way to begin is setting aside time to notice thoughts and
let them pass. Working with a practitioner who is experienced in meditation is a good
way to get started.
▪ Pulling Down the Moon’s Yoga for Fertility is another way to manage negative chitta.
This 6-week program not only teaches yoga postures supportive to fertility, but
teaches ways to quiet the mind and observe chitta, letting it pass by like clouds in the
▪ Connecting with others is another way to de-clutter those negative thoughts. Find
support in friends or family to talk through some of the clutter. Or seek out
a counselor trained in infertility or an active Infertility Support Group.
The weight of infertility is heavy enough without the weight of negative chitta or chatter in
our mind. Learning to let it pass can be a welcome gift to anyone struggling with
Julie Luzarraga, LICSW, DCSW, is the owner and founder of Omaha Integrative Care. To learn more about Julie and OIC, visit: http://www.omahaic.com