Loving My Belly

I LOVE how stuff works out…

At the beginning of January when I wrote my “who is Kasey to be,” manifestation…and it was, “Being a vibrant, prosperous, inspirer,” I KNEW that while I might attain some level of that, I would definitely hold myself back due to the damnable voice in my head, convincing me not to try.

So I immediately set forth with a different manifestation…to nurture my way through my old stories; constant companions ever since I was a kid.  “You’re different, you’re weird, you’re going to make a mistake, you’re going to mess up somehow, no one will want to read your writing, no one will want to be coached by you.  You are NOT inspiring.”

“You are an imposter.”

I’ve set out on my journey, just like Frodo did with The Ring, to rid myself of what’s been hanging around my neck, holding me down, and back, the weight…it’s there.  And it is heavy.

By the way, if you don’t know who Frodo is, well, he’s from my favorite trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.”  He had a “magic” ring, that while rendering him invisible when he put it on his finger, had been forged by evil and as he wore it on a chain around his neck, he’d started feeling the weight of it, pulling him down.  His quest was to take it to the original fire and throw it in.  The only way to destroy it.

By the way, I recommend it, if you’re a fiction and fantasy lover. The books are amazing and so are the movies!  And if you’re a LOTR geek too, I’m glad you’re in my world!  I’ve even got a JRR Tolkien tattoo on my back.

I digress…back to the manifestation.

How do I quell that voice?  How do I change a habit, perfected for more than 50 years?  I don’t have a fire to throw these old stories into.* (see appendix at the end).  And since love always wins over hate, I’m opening up to ways of loving myself.

The thing about setting a manifestation is you’re never sure how things will show up to support you.  It’s really important to stay flexible and keep your wish fairly broad so the Universe has room to work.

Let me tell you this story.

I met a young woman through an Enneagram 4 discussion group in the fall of 2020.  We talked together several times after, chatting about being 4’s as we’re in a special club.  During one of our calls, she mentioned how her mom had taught her some good breathing techniques.  Recently, I asked her if she’d connect me with her mom as I wanted to work on my breathing due to my abdominal issue following my kidney transplant.  Besides, I’d been a lousy breather in my life.

When I’m concentrating, like when I’m writing, I….hold….my….breath.  And also, since I’m not so good with diaphragm breathing, I thought it would be a good thing to check in on.

Actually, the biggest reason I wanted to work with her was because I felt awkward that my abdomen was ugly and bulbous due to my 2 kidney transplants.  Having taken prednisone for most of the last 26 years my muscles in my abdomen had thinned.  And at 59 following a big abdominal surgery (they put a transplanted kidney into the abdomen) my muscles just didn’t know what to do with all the extra pressure.

I met with Jennie the first time, sure I’d love her, as on her Facebook page and website, she refers to herself as Soul Hearer.  Turns out she’s an accomplished singer and as such knows a thing or two about breathing.  Our appointment was an hour and after sharing stories and getting to know each other for the first 30 minutes, we started doing breathing techniques.  I learned so much about breathing and how to do it in our remaining thirty minutes!!!   This was going to be a hit!

We set up another appointment for this week.  And we got into self-awareness, self-care and self-love in this session.  With a breathing coach?!  But remember, she’s the self-proclaimed, “soul hearer.”

She asked me to put my hands on my belly and laugh.  I didn’t like how it felt.  I was reminded of an old friend of my mom’s.  He had a huge belly and pulled his pants up over it.  While I was laughing with my hands on my abdomen, which felt full and tight, I was “seeing” Nate’s enormous belly, complete with those grey pants and matching belt.

After she assured me what I was feeling was indeed the proverbial “belly laugh” and it was completely natural.  And I guess because she’s a “soul hearer,” she picked right up on me feeling like there was something wrong with me!

Wrong.

With my belly.

At 61, I come from the generation who had to have a flat stomach.  My mom was constantly reminding me to stand up straight and hold in my stomach ever since I was about 12.  The minute I woke up from my operation on 4/19/19, I realized something really awful had happened.  My abdomen was protruding.

Being me, and always dedicated to learning, I quite quickly determined, that I needed to love my belly rather than hate how it looked.  Always looking for the lessons provided by challenging circumstances, and knowing that loving what is, is the only answer, and that what you resist, persists, I set about loving my belly.

And then, since part of it is herniated, I had sought medical advice back in the summer of 2019.

My surgeon at Barnes wanted me to get an operation, he was ready to plop in some mesh from hip bone to hip bone to hold everything in.  NO WAY, I reacted, having just seen a documentary on the horrors of reactions to mesh!

Feeling like the opportunity was my own now, on top of loving myself, I’m making sure my hormones are balanced as women my age often have abdominal challenges, eating and taking supplements for a healed gut, and I’m learning to breathe!!!

Little did I know that Jennie was going to lead me right into loving what my body is doing when I breathe.  Little did I know, but I should have figured, that the Universe was going to send me a “Soul Hearer” to recognize I needed some self-acceptance and self-love in my life right now!  She sent me on my way, promising to give myself full permission to laugh, forgive myself  for having such a body, to recognize I’m not my body, refer to my belly as the “beloved zone,” and embrace that I’m actually playing my own instrument when I’m talking or laughing.

Loving what is…

I’m beyond thrilled to have met Jennie and I’m so delighted that I’m open to how the Universe wants to help me get past my inner voice by sending me an unlikely angel. I’ve had some other angels come my way in the last week or so.  I’ll be writing about them soon.

But right now, I’m practicing letting my ribs move as I breathe in and breathe out.  And I’m embracing my belly as I feel what happens when I laugh.

*Appendix

*When I was a baby, I was fussy from colic.  Well, I cried for 9 months straight to be exact.  And I evidently fussed after that too and my pacifier, or as I called it, “fire,” was pretty much the only thing that could calm me down.

In the summer of 1962, we went to Michigan.  We were out in our boat and I took my pacifier out of my mouth and threw it into Lake Michigan.   And said, “bye-bye fire!”   My mom and dad were beyond horrified as they didn’t have another one and they had NO idea what to do.

I never asked for it again.

So maybe there is something symbolic about that old story and how I threw my “fire” into the water.  I have lots of old stories that I need to dispose of.  As I continue loving myself and establishing new stories, I’ll find some fire or water, into which I can deposit my old stories!

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