Today’s Nag inspired by #healthybellyselfie with maha gratitude to @elenabrower for this one. I have been seriously self conscious about my belly my entire life. For reals. Despite being a small, mostly thin person, it has always had a pooty-out quality, what we call in my family “midriff bulge,” that made me unhappy. Even prior to babies. I always wanted a flat belly, as some of my friends had. Not necessarily abs of steel but a flatter shape. I once admitted this to a girlfriend. I will never forget her response: “Anyone can have a flat belly. Your belly is like beautiful sculpture.” I still hold that sweet offering in my heart when I think of my belly. Being a mother transformed some of my belly woe. My belly grew and grew and grew, twice, first home to 1 baby, then home to 2 at one time. Twins. Miraculous. Afterwards, my belly deflated, slightly pootier, definitely saggier, with a lot more skin. Yet, somehow those pregnancies—the miracle of housing babies, delivering babies, nursing babies—helped me realize the wisdom and beauty of this body and yes, this belly, of mine. My beautiful husband made me clip-on belly button rings, long dangling ones, after my first baby, to encourage my belly love. Thankfully #yoga has also helped me realize how powerful this belly actually is and can be. Yet I still have self conscious moments. Down dog isn’t my belly’s most flattering position. And I don’t strip to my bra in hot yoga classes. That will not happen. Some days I still wish I had a different belly. I know this is not my best self. I know others may find this crazy. But it is true. However, I simultaneously know that this body of mine is not meant to be an object for my or anyone else’s viewing pleasure. Or not only that… It is not meant to be a particular shape or size. My belly has amazing function. It is magical. It is soft and sweet. It folds, even flops. It bloats some days, and has other more slender days. It can be sad and hurt. It is strong and resilient. It works very hard to support me. And I will keep working on my #bellylove. It is a key part to my recent #selflove and #selfcare work.
What about you? Where’s your #bellylove? How do you love your belly?
Do #yoga. Today. Everyday.
Peace and pause,