Ask women which part of their body they dislike the most and the belly is usually near or at the top of the list.
Distorted images in the media of flat, washboard stomachs set up false and unrealistic ideals, leaving many women feeling inadequate. In some cases, this can even lead to self loathing.
How many times have you tried to suck in your belly or squeezed yourself into too-tight trousers? But did you know that when you do this, you are literally stopping the flow of energy into a powerful portal in your body?
Be like a baby and let your belly be soft and natural
Your belly stores the life force you were born with. It also receives and accumulates the additional life force you take in through food, water and breathing.
When you breathe deeply, you’re sending soothing signals to the whole body, allowing it to relax and let go into itself. When you allow yourself to be nourished this recharges the vital energy in your body’s core.
The womb and its creative potential
In the past, women have known that the womb houses the greatest power a woman possesses – the power to create. The womb has a strong relationship with the heart. When these two centres are aligned, it is a powerful place to move from.
Your womb lies within your belly. As well as it being a place to grow a baby, it is also a place where we can birth new ideas, projects, careers, personal healing and relationships.
It is a place of deep transformation, potential and boundless wellbeing. So if you are feeling ‘stuck’, you can make a connection here through breath, movement and awareness and see how the energy starts to flow freely, recharging the central power source and giving you more impetus to make those necessary changes in your life.
This is why activities such as yoga and belly dancing are so powerful.
Your centre of intuition
We can feel deeply in our belly. Sayings such as ‘I had a gut feeling about it’ or ‘I can’t stomach it’ all point to the extreme sensitivity in our centre. This area of the body has also been called ‘the second brain’. The enteric (or intrinsic) nervous system is here, sometimes known as your ‘gut brain’.
The Eastern approach
The Japanese use the word hara to name the belly. Within this region, just below your navel, is your belly centre, which is referred to as dantian or tanden.
The Chinese name for dantian literally translates as ‘cinnabar field’. Cinnabar is the metal that the ancient Chinese alchemists chose to transmute into the elixir of immortality.
So this implies that the belly is a field to be cultivated. This is supported by another ancient Chinese name for this point, which translates as ‘Gate of the Mysterious Female’.
Rebalancing your life
We live in a world of constant busyness. Mental intellect, drive and determination are given precedence over stillness, softness, being, listening and gently unfolding.
But we need balance in all areas of life, and aligning from your centre rather than the head is a more potent way of living. It allows you to get off the rollercoaster of the expectations and demands of the world and start to live your own life, based on your own truth.
Unlock the power within yourself
- Close your eyes and sit or lie down comfortably.
- Loosen any tight clothing around your middle. Place your hands on your belly and breathe.
- Listen with your palms, your fingertips, your gentle awareness and your feelings. What do you feel? Does the breath feel restricted or flowing?
- Stay there for at least two minutes, let everything soften, and smile.
- Make circular clockwise movements with your hands, spiralling inwards to your navel. Rest here. If this area of your body could give you some guidance for you and your life right now, what would it be? Write it down and put it where you can remind yourself.