How having unshakable trust supports health and fertility
It is easy to feel strong and confident when things go well. However, when things seem to go wrong, it is easy to lose it and drop back into fear and doubt. Yet it’s the moments when things are being shaken up that we need to trust the most.
In one of my yoga classes we were introduced to vajrapradama mudra: unshakable trust. It’s basically about interlacing your fingers – as if you were going to pray, but with your palms apart from each other. This posture of the hands is used in many yoga poses, sometimes facing outwards, stretching your arms away from you, sometimes facing inwards as a recipient to take in new energy or as basket to rest your head in. But it always stands for unshakable trust. Unshakable trust in yourself, your body, your mind and their respective capacities, and unshakable trust in a Higher Power to always love and protect you. In other words, it stands for unshakable self-esteem.
According to Nathaniel Branden, self-esteem is made up of self-efficacy on the one hand (trust in your ability to use your body and mind to face the basic challenges of life) and self-respect on the other hand (feeling of being worthy of love, friendship, success, happiness and expecting those things from life). Can you see the parallels?
When my first pregnancy (that later ended in a miscarriage) had just been confirmed, I got the bad news that there were bacteria in my urine, indicating an infection. I felt afraid. And also angry. Angry at the Universe, that seemed to be punishing me, although I had so hard tried to do the “right” thing. I could see a very old and very familiar belief coming to the surface again, namely that no matter how good my intentions, things never turned out the way I planned or would want them to. And then I started to beat myself up: I must have tried too hard, I must have tried to be “perfect” again - and this is now my reminder, that perfect doesn’t exist and that I have to keep the balance...
That was my first reaction. The only difference now was, that I was aware of it happening. I could see and observe it. And the adult in me could intervene. I reminded myself of being my own best friend and being compassionate with myself. I had acted responsibly and with only good intentions in mind, so there was nothing to blame myself for. I reminded myself of all the times that things had seemed to go wrong and eventually turned out to be for the better. I reminded myself to trust in my body’s strength. I reminded myself that the Universe did not mean to punish me, but only to help me grow and learn important lessons. I reminded myself to trust no matter what. I reminded myself of unshakable trust. Like a mantra I repeated these two words in my head: Unshakable trust. Unshakable trust. Until I really felt it in all my cells. And guess what, suddenly I could see the benefit of the situation and how it might all just be a genius attempt of the Universe to actually protect me and prevent me from making a major mistake.
Even though the situation did not change, I feel very differently about it. Instead of feeling anxious, afraid or angry, I felt relaxed and confident, that it would all get sorted out and that all was well. Knowing the negative impact stress physiology has on our metabolisms, this makes a huge difference. If we are anxious, afraid, angry or feel like a victim, when we feel unsafe or threatened, in other words, when we feel stressed, we might be creating or reinforcing the exact thing we might be stressed about. For example, if I am afraid that a certain medical condition I have could make me infertile, the very stress I am feeling actually increases cortisol (a stress hormone), which in turn suppresses sex hormones and as such contributes to infertility.
The only antidote to fear is trust. Unshakable trust.