I felt the cold, dampness of the winter on my belly as I slithered around on the wood floor. It was a moment that I’ll remember always. I was in a somatic training, and the extra 15 pounds I’d been carrying since college was speaking to me. I felt like a sea walrus as my flab dragged behind my movements. “Why are you still here?”, I asked my fat. … “to protect you”, my fat replied. To which I replied, curtly, in turn…. “No longer necessary.”
I kept crawling on the floor, realizing that this “insulation” I’d had on my belly to insulate me from the world was no longer useful. I had grown. I had shifted. I had changed. I was more resilient and the “threat” that had been present all those years back when I needed to assure my sweet innards that I was safe from the men, from the pushing and pulling of others, from the meaningless directives…. those weren’t here anymore. I was still here. But those threats? They were not. Sure there were new things…. but the reason I packed on those extra pounds? Those reasons were Gone.
So I decided in that moment to “re-set”. Like when my laptop stops responding to me or gets slow and thick-headed, I just turn it off… wait a few moments and restart it.
In that moment, I restarted. I literally chose to reboot. It wasn’t anything magic. No lightening in the sky. Instead, it was a nod I gave to the universe. And it was pure, conscious choice.
I began to rise to my knees, moving from belly on earth to crawling, lifting my eyes…. shifting my weight as I felt the evolution… then, consciously placing my feet, one…. then the other… under my hips, raising my spine from horizontal to vertical… standing now, like a crouching monkey…. heart open, arms at my side… and then slowly, steadily standing in this very same life, anew.
Some might say it was just my body, moving like a baby moves from belly down to taking her first steps. But this was more than my body — it was my whole being — it was the evolution of me…. As I finally stood tall, and then walked the floor in this somatic practice… I looked out over the horizon of my life and said out loud to that extra little bumper of fat that circled around my belly — just above my pant line, and below my sports bra…. ‘You can go now”.
And it did. Within 6 months, and little effort, if any, the 15 pounds slowly dissipated…. leaving me uninsulated and fully able to feel what touched me… moved me…. drew me closer.
Fast-forward a decade….
I received an email from a student today…. a powerful, beautiful woman who remembered her own disconnect…. like mine. She spoke out loud how she had learned to go for walks and sit in nature as acts of self-care, but that when it came to exercise or eating right, as examples, something went awry, and she let it — as if to say, “you (world/doctors/authorities) cannot control me.” It was her little one’s way of granting herself sovereignty, protecting her own beautiful inner temple from anyone or anything “out there” who wanted to rule her, exploit her, use her. But just like me…. some 50 years later, she found herself placing her feet under herself and opening her heart, coming to standing and saying…. “ahhhh sweet girl… you are safe… you need not protect. yourself from the world like that any longer…. they can’t hurt you anymore… I’ve got you.”
Tending to your body, mind, heart and spirit is what makes you strong, Beloved. Strong and supple. Resilient and regenerative. Taking moments — the smaller and more frequent the better — to nourish your body, revere the one under your own skin, and to build a structure in your life that can withstand the most torrential of rains and whirling, debris-cargoing winds.
What are you holding onto that no longer serves you?
What did you bring into your life and your day to day practices that once came to protect you, and now holds you a safe and suffocating distance from your own sweet knowing?
What are you willing to surrender today… give back to the earth? So. you can rise again…. new, fresh, and read to face this glorious world and all it brings…. with eyes of acceptance, wonder, and joy.
Everything you want in this life can be found in one place and one place only: