….. lose my appetite.
I’ll be honest: I’m one of those people who eats rather than abstains in stressful or emotional situations. Nervously, I can nibble my way though a bowlful of cherries (or, to be more honest, a bag of chips) with hardly a tummy rumble. So when I started getting heavy pains earlier this year, and began taking painkillers while waiting for an operation, I was a little surprised to find that my appetite had disappeared. And so did a lot of other things along with it.
It is a common but mistaken notion among us human beings, that our lives are ruled by our heads - I think, therefore I am etc. - but over the years, I’ve discovered that my belly has a lot to do with who I am and how I move through life. I usually forget about this until, for some reason, my gut is upset and I go to reach for something: physically or emotionally, only to find that there’s not much for me to pull from.
People who study yoga may know what I mean. And those who practice meditation and have learned about the hara (the area centered between the groin and navel) may also understand this. Physically, our gut is our center, and all of our movement originates from this place. If you’ve ever had surgery in your abdominal region, you also may understand how much we use this part of our body to originate movement.
I also find that a distressed belly distracts me in other ways. It’s hard for me to focus, and I get upset, frustrated, impatient and altogether impossible - best to stay clear of me on days that I’m off my feed. Thankfully, as mentioned, this is rare.
There’s a kind of wisdom, too, in our bellies. This is where we locate our sense of instinct and intuition, where we know and understand things that our heads can’t seem to take up - feelings are more gut-based as well.
As human beings, we are a rather amazing and intricate collection of body, heart and mind. Since our minds are so powerful, we sometimes forget how essential the body and heart are to live an engaged and balanced life, and unfortunately, it sometimes takes a measure of distress for us to be reminded of this.
So please hurry to complete my treatment, Madam doctor. I want my peaceful belly back!