Starting to observe and chart can be overwhelming. It is can feel impossible to keep charting especially when life gets busy or something new comes our way. Getting thrown out of our routine is easy especially during the summer when we're traveling more. It can be easy for things like observations and charting to go out the window. I don't know about you but when I start getting lax on any goal or routine I've set out for myself, I jump to the internal coach voice. It sounds a little like "get up and just do it." It's the "don't be lazy/complacent" voice. It's so easy to jump to the internal coach voice. And it seems so helpful. Isn't this just encouragement to try harder/do better/strive for greatness? All of those things are well and good, but I want to invite you to try something different. Try being gentle and compassionate with yourself.
I learned about self compassion a few years ago. There's a lot of beauty and a great deal to learn from this approach. What if we treated ourselves the way we treat our loved ones? That is an essential starting point for this approach to how we talk to ourselves. We can feel the pain, even guilt, of not meeting our goals, but then we can be gentle with ourselves as we strive to make the changes we and God desire for our lives.
How is this related to NFP you might ask? Good question. Getting into the observational routine and charting can be challenging. Some people get into the routine very quickly, usually my fellow type-A ladies. But some people really struggle with getting to 100% observations. Others may struggle with maintaining 100% observations in particular seasons, such as infertility or postpartum. 100% observations is part of using the Creighton Model System; there's no getting around it. However, the way we talk to ourselves can be the difference between feeling beat down and defeated and feeling energized and ready to recommit to using the system the best we can. To start, we can acknowledge where we need to improve in observations or charting. As Creighton Model practitioners, we are taught to manage from simple to complex. So start simple. Set 2-3 goals. Tackling everything at once can quickly get overwhelming. Start with the essentials, a solid observational routine and go from there. Your Creighton practitioner is here to support you. We have all sorts of tips and tricks up our sleeve and can help you troubleshoot.
Sometimes slowing down enough to do all the observations and chart before going to bed can feel impossible. It might feel like you just don't have time and are too busy. But at the risk of sounding like a self-help book, your health and your fertility are worth the extra 30 seconds added on to the bathroom trip. You are worth pausing to get in solid observations. The knowledge of your fertility is worth getting an accurate stamp and complete observation written down on your chart. It can be so tempting to put off charting until the next morning or to chart a few days at once. But this is not going to be as accurate as charting each and every night. Knowing your body is powerful. We get a glimpse into the wonderful design that God has for our bodies. We can become advocates for our own health. We can see how stress affects our cycles. There is beauty in slowing down to take care of ourselves and to take the time for what we value. But in a world powered by busyness, it is challenging. That is where self compassion comes in. I invite you to treat yourself with kindness, gentleness, and patience on this journey of learning about and understanding your fertility. You, dear sister, are worth it. Reach out to one of our practitioners to get started.