July 25, 2011

Take a Few Minutes to "Exhale"

"Just relax."

Quite possibly my least favorite sentence in the English language. That said, there is something to be said for the power of controlling our breathing, of quieting our mind, of letting all the mental clutter and constant running inner monologue flow out of our minds through our breath.

Photo by Shelby H. via Flickr.
Inhale - 

We set the stage for inner peace.

Exhale -

We invite that peace and stillness into our heart and mind.

I recently discovered Exhale Magazine, an entirely volunteer-run online literary magazine for the ALI community. From their About Page:

Exhale is a unique quarterly literary magazine written for and by ordinary people who have faced extraordinary obstacles to getting (or staying)  knocked up, or who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.Founded in 2008 by Monica LeMoine, Exhale has become a space for creative expression. We seek out the gritty humor and complexities of discovering that producing a child isn’t as easy as our society would have us believe. Without succumbing to the belief that a person’s self-worth and happiness are defined by reproductive achievement, we recognize and validate the vast array of perspectives and emotions associated with pregnancy/infant loss and infertility issues.

I had the unique privilege of being interviewed by their editors for their Summer 2011 issue whose theme focuses on time: Time as the Enemy. Time as the Friend. The essays and prose are just stunning. As they speak to this theme of time, especially with my thoughts lingering on my post from Saturday about fate and chance - I find the poems particularly haunting.

Especially this one, Veil: what it lacks in length it makes up for in an emotional sucker punch.

And then there's the essay, When Time Stands Still, whose narrative reads like a heartbeat, a steady breathing. It is a moving essay, one that gets caught up in your thoughts but is strangely calming.

You should also most definitely read Kathy's review of Inconceivable. While I've reviewed it before, she provides a unique glimpse into the Savages' story as she actually knows Carolyn Savage; it's fascinating to read about their story from someone who actually knows them.

Here's an excerpt from my interview, on my dawning realization that I was meant for infertility advocacy:

I’ve struggled with the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my entire life. Part of it stems from a short attention span and an ability to not only quickly master a given subject but become just as easily bored by it. I don’t say that to be haughty, it’s just fact: I go through hobbies and interests like most people go through shoes.

In the year plus since my video, I finally know (now that I’m approaching 30) what I need to do with my life. Dreams of parenting aside: I need – no I have to do everything I can for this community.

You can read the rest of the interview and Exhale Magazine's Summer 2011 issue here.


Kelly said...

I didn't know about Exhale! Thanks for sharing with us!

Kristin said...

You are an amazing advocate and I'll head on over there to read your entire interview.

ExpiredEggs? said...

Ooh, thank you for sharing! I love having eloquent and applicable things to read (in addition to your posts, naturally).

TeamBabyCEO said...

Thanks for the link Keiko!

Esperanza said...

Oh Keiko, how do we adequately thank you for finding (and participating in) all these amazing projects. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Chickenpig said...

Thank you for the link, Keiko! There is some beautiful stuff over there.

Mommy ToBe (I hope) said...

I've just started reading your blog - thanks to ICLW! I think you are an amazing advocate. Thanks for introducing me to Exhale.

Edenblossom said...

I'm going to go read it right now. I had to leave a comment first. Because I just found out that my sil is a regular writer to exhale. She's currently 20(?) weeks with her DEDSIVF. I'm happy for her but her articles reveal things that leave me with many things to think about.