Adventures in “New Age” philosophy

August 13, 2007

Saturday night, G and I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum, which was amazingly entertaining, if terrifying–it really highlighted the ability of the powers-that-be to track our every move, via increasingly ubiquitous public surveillance cameras, as well as ever-improving technologies for tapping our cell phone calls and email messages. Scary. Maybe that wasn’t the message I was supposed to get from the film, but it’s certainly what I noticed most. Well, that and the little mole above Matt Damon’s lip that stands out when he is looking particularly serious and emotionally tortured, as he did most of the movie. Mmm.

Ahem. Sorry, I may have drifted off there for a minute. I’m not even a Matt Damon “fan” like that, at all, but something about that controlled-yet-vulnerable Jason Bourne character really gets me going. How COMPLETELY embarrassing.

Of course, the actual point of bringing up Bourne was just to say that the 8:30 show we’d planned to see was sold out, so we had some time to kill until the 10:15 show–part of which we spent in good old corporate book giant Barnes & Noble.

While in B&N, this book caught my eye. For some reason, it was displayed on one of those tables near the entrance, where the New Fiction and New Non-Fiction, or the seasonal table displays (“Back to School” or “Mother’s Day is May 15”) usually are. Although I can’t imagine why it was there, this particular table display was all about New Age philosophy–I recall seeing a couple of books on Tarot, some on meditation and visualization, including a reissue of a favorite of mine from college, Shakti Gawain‘s Creative Visualization, and even the downright ancient classic Think and Grow Rich on one corner of the table. Maybe August is kooky hippie month.

I was big on New Age stuff when I was younger, but for a number of reasons have drifted away from conscious practice of it in the past six or seven years. Something about the Hicks book stood out to me, though, and I was moved to pick it up and flip through it. One of the first passages I read was this one:

We would describe the sensation of desire as the delicious awareness of new possibilities. Desire is a fresh, free feeling of anticipating wonderful expansion. The feeling of desire is truly the feeling of life flowing through you. But many people, while they are using the word desire, feel something quite different. Desire, for them, often feels like yearning, for while they are focused upon something that they want to experience or have, they are equally aware of its absence. And so, while they are using words of desire, they are offering a vibration of lack. They come to think that the feeling of desire is like wanting something that they do not have. But there is no feeling of lack in pure desire.

Now, I don’t think I have to tell you what this got me thinking about. I can’t remember clearly what my feelings about having children were when G and I started TTC in October of 2006, but I do know that as time passed and we didn’t succeed in our efforts, I definitely began focusing on NOT being pregnant, and on what we didn’t have–namely, a healthy embryo growing inside of me, on its way to becoming a child of our own.

As I continued to think about this, I even realized that I recently had stopped believing that pregnancy is in my future–every time I would fantasize about, say, getting a positive pee stick, a voice in my head would remind me not to go too far, would state almost audibly that “this really may never happen for you.” Seeing a visibly pregnant woman wasn’t an opportunity to remind myself “that’ll be me soon!” so much as it was a chance to feel frustrated, by focusing on the fact that I wasn’t there yet and might never be.

So I tried an experiment, standing there in B&N–I tried to imagine myself pregnant. Not just pregnant, but very pregnant, about to pop. I even tried to imagine going through the pain of childbirth, and the exhilaration of meeting our child for the first time. Further, I attempted to think of that imagined pregnant self as someone I genuinely expected to become, rather than someone I feared was not in my future.

I was surprised to find that this little bit of visualization felt not only refreshingly new (obviously I’d never let my mind go there before) but incredibly joyous and peaceful. It made me smile! At the movies, later, when I saw the inevitable baby bumps on women in line with us, I tried again, this time to think along the lines of, “wow, I wonder what I’ll look like when I’m that far along?” and “I’ll definitely be bigger than that when it’s my turn”–and again, I felt a thousand times better than I normally do when I see pregnant women and look away in envy.

Believe me, I know it’s completely Stuart Smalley of me to stop and read this book–especially since I eventually decided to buy it–but something in what I read in the store rang true, at least for me. I guess I haven’t entirely grown out of my attachment to New Age philosophy.

Of course, who knows whether changing my thinking to focus on expectation and anticipation rather than lack will have any effect on my fertility, but it seems like a worthwhile thing to try, given how much happier even the most basic experiments in it have made me feel. Since I seem to have never stopped believing that “thoughts are things,” I might as well start thinking something good.


2 Responses to “Adventures in “New Age” philosophy”

  1. Just wanted to say hi – your writing is very refreshing and funny with a lovely personal style.

    Not that common I must say, many people write on and on and… 🙂 but they never catch your interest.
    But you caught mine!
    Good luck!


  2. cityprof Says:

    Hey, I’m glad you liked the post–thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s