Navel-gazing

So the Ancient Greeks thought they were the navel of the world. If that is not egocentrism (literally), then I don’t know what is.

Now, in this last visit to Greece I didn’t have time to go to Delphi, the precise spot where the belly-button of the world is supposed to be. But I did do a lot of navel-gazing nevertheless.

Actually, I’ve been doing an unusual lot of navel-gazing in the last couple of months. Not that navel-gazing is that unusual for me, but this time I’ve varied not only the amount, but also the type of umbilical awareness. I’ve been thinking about my physical centre of gravity, my creative core, my storehouse of energy. Whatever that means.

7 weeks ago I made a bold decision. I enrolled in three classes I knew nothing about. I started taking Pilates, Tai Chi Chuan and Nia. I had no idea what they were, but I really needed some motivation to go to the gym, and they were the only classes that fit my schedule. Turns out all the three of them make me focus on centre of gravity. Or my creative core. My storehouse of energy. That little area around that big scar in the middle of our tummies.

Believe it or not, this has huge impact on other things in my life. Like tango. For the longest time I have been trying to figure out what my teacher means by “remember to move from your belly-button, people!”. Belly-button, belly-button, how can you move from somewhere as small as that? But now all of a sudden it makes perfect sense, and it makes such a difference! It helped me to finally figure out how to pivot when I do my ochos! I’m very excited!

This navel gazing business even makes me walk faster, without any extra effort. I usually move from with my extremities, which is why I walk so slow. And by slow I mean really slow: it’s just too much work for my poor feet. Same is true of how much weight I can lift (whether you do it from your hands or from your trunk makes a huge difference). Now I feel I have all this extra strength I didn’t know I had.

So if you’re looking for more creative, energy-producing, grounding type of navel-gazing, maybe you might like to start by paying more attention to your belly-button… Seriously, this is the kind of thing that really moves the very core of my being… Whatever that means.

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