Interview with Julia Indichova
Your first book Inconceivable was based on your personal experience?
Yes, in 1992, at the age of forty two, I was diagnosed with an allegedly “untreatable” hormonal issue. At the time I went to see a number of reproductive endocrinologists and pretty much all of them agreed that my that my last good egg was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. I think the most upsetting part was that they said it with such certainty. It paralyzed me for a long time. But looking back, in many ways the fact that the medical world pronounced me untreatable, was really my saving grace.
What do you mean?
It was the first time in my life that I dared to have an opinion on a medical condition that was different from that of the authority figures, experts and even more importantly, I followed through on that opinion by acting on it. In some way it feels as though that was the first time I really started to do my own thinking. And soon enough I was immersed in the most exciting research project in which I was the lab and the subject of the experiment, and the head of the project. In Inconceivable I wanted to take the reader through that experience with me, of the progression from total despair to a place where I started to trust myself, and how that eventually led to conceiving my daughter without medical intervention.
Could you describe some of the things you did that helped you conceive?
It began with experimenting with food. Pretty much overnight I went from being a sugar and caffeine addict to juicing every morning. I started to become more and more aware of what I was putting in my mouth, and why, whether the food on my plate was going to help my body get stronger, or was it something that will deplete me of energy. That part was easier than I would’ve thought, mostly because I could see changes almost instantly. The emotional and spiritual piece of the work took a lot more courage. It meant admitting to myself that as much as I longed for another child, I had a lot of “inner orphans” that didn’t think I deserved to have what I longed for, orphans that I later realized have been stopping me from moving forward in my life for as long as I could remember. I did a great deal of soul searching and later developed specific imagery and body work, that helped me change those self-defeating inner images I’ve lived with for so much of my life. And gradually I changed my views on what was possible. I realized that I had a lot of power to create changes in my body and in my life. And amazingly later I found that the same tools helped hundreds of other women to work through their inner obstacles.
What prompted you to write the Fertile Female?
After Inconceivable was published, women from around the world – Australia, South Africa, Denmark – began to write to me. Many of them used Inconceivable as a guide and now had miracles of their own and many others were asking for more guidance. The Fertile Female documents the work that emerged in response to those letters. It’s an in depth exploration of the tools I teach in the Fertile Heart ™ Ovun workshops and weaved into the narrative are the many stories of the women I worked with. In the last eighteen years. The book also has a detailed practice section with recipes, imagery exercises, guidance for dream reading, and movement sequences.
Where do you teach the workshops?
I do a one day workshop about every six weeks here in Woodstock New York, we have couples and women flying in from all over country to attend, we’ve even had some Europeans and Canadians who had scheduled their vacations around the workshop. So it’s a very beautiful, experiential introduction to the work. I teach in New York City on a regular basis, every two weeks I run fertility support teleconferences for Europeans and a separate one from North American and other international participants. And from time to time I also travel to teach in other cities.
Could you give us an example of working with some of the Fertile Heart Ovum tools?
Fertile Heart ™ Imagery is a very specific way of working with images, quite different from the popular “visualization’ techniques, many of which are focused on relaxation. .
The Fertile Heart Imaginal medicine is about using images to identify the inner obstacles that contribute to our difficulties. It’s an effective way to change our inner reality, to recognize destructive behavior and self-defeating beliefs that so many of us live with without realizing it. For example, there is an exercise I call The Room of Fear, which helps people access hidden fears of pregnancy, or parenting. One of my clients who was adopted at birth, found that she had a lot of unresolved painful feelings about her own birth. As she allowed herself to move through those feelings and started changing her inner reality she conceived naturally after five years of unsuccessful medical treatment.
Another tool, Fertile Heart™ Body Truth is a Movement Practice which evolved in the course of my own journey and deepened through work with others. It’s a tool that is meant to encourage conception in a few different ways: it helps people access painful, conflicting feelings about parenting, or giving birth, perhaps their own birth, or about being pregnant. These feelings might be buried deep within the tissues. and this practice allows them to surface in the form of images, sensations, memories. Body Truth is also about physicalizing inconvenient feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, because it takes a great deal of energy to keep such emotions from surfacing. Sometimes we need to experiment with the movement before we can access the feeling. We ‘ve been conditioned many of us, to view anger, rage as unacceptable feeling As they get expressed and released, a great deal of energy becomes available to create new life. .
The ideas of the mind body connection, of staying positive and reducing stress have become very popular. How does the Fertile Heart Ovum work incorporate those principles?
There seems to be a great deal of confusion around the principles of mind body connection, and positive thinking. The term itself is confusing. There really is no mind body connection because there’s never been a mind body separation. So many people I meet say, I know I’m suppose to be positive but I can’t help feeling this treatment isn’t going to work and it’s going to be my fault. Real healing happens when we create a safe space to hear whatever truth rises up in us at any moment. Labeling our feelings as positive and negative means that is some way we are going to stop ourselves; that we will censor what we feel. If we are scared we need to first compassionately allow those fearful voices to surface and hear what they have to teach us. The Fertile Heart work is about allowing ourselves to be as truthful as we can and then choosing to act in our own best interests, to be militantly on our own side no matter what. When we don’t do that, the Truth will find expression through our dreams, or through physical symptom, or through events that will suddenly present themselves. And the treatment might fail in part because we become so “clenched” and spend so much energy on pretending that we’re “positive” thinkers. It’s true that we have enormous power as co-creators, and it’s important to harness our co-creative ability, but it’s a much deeper and more mysterious process than just “being positive.”
We’ve been hearing a great deal about the fertility industry, any comments?
Technology is an immensely powerful tool, but like any tool, it depends on how we use it
In what I call the “Infertility Industrial Complex” the line between medicine and business is obscured. Almost daily there is some new “breakthrough” procedure that lures people into thinking that it will save them. The promise of a ‘quick fix’ from an outside powerful authority figure, and the panic of the racing biological clock drives women toward desperate action. They’re reaching for a miracle cure, without truly understanding the myriad of causes that can delay conception. And when the first treatment fails, what they walk away with is “wow, if I couldn’t get pregnant with all this help, there must be something really wrong with me. Very often it’s a message that’s reiterated by their physicians, and gradually it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I see women taking hormone stimulants for as many as seven, ten, even twenty treatment cycles. They keep thinking the next one will work. The long term effect of these drugs is still largely unknown.
How do you explain the fact that so many of the women you’ve worked with conceived naturally after years of failed high tech treatment?
A desire for a child is also an immensely powerful motivator. The baby is for many of us that one shiny apple we will do anything to reach. What I aim to do is encourage people to directly experience and observe how much power they have to create change in their bodies, and how much the hidden images they carry, influence their hormone levels and biology. Once they begin to really see it for themselves, they become inspired to do more. And many of them overcome incredible odds, often after years of failed treatment. But as wonderful as it is for me to see women conceive, the essence of the work is to make sure that this challenge doesn’t leave them feeling victimized, or bitter. The central piece of my work is to inspire people to discover that they can turn this difficulty into the absolutely best thing that ever happened to them, regardless of the outcome.
You share brief anecdotes about your childhood throughout the book. Tell us more about it, and what kind of bearing it has on your life today?
I was born only a few years after the end of World War two in former chechoslovakia. Close members of my family were murdered during the war, a brother I never met was killed when he was nine . My mother and father were both in a concentration camp. So there was a lot of grief but also tremendous gratitude for the gift of simply being alive. I think that’s always been very real for me, this idea that life is a gift and that I was meant to use it well.
It sounds like the tools you describe can be used to birth not only a child but anything?
Absolutely, these were the same tools that helped me birth the two books, and the website, and pretty much everything else in my life. A few years ago, I began to teach workshops that are about other creative endeavors. We humans are the greatest untapped resource on earth, and this is the time when we can no longer allow it to remain untapped.