Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My body, my spoon

While I was pregnant, of course I thought about how my body would change in appearance--how my belly and breasts would grow, and my hips would spread, and then after birth, once all of the extra fluid and fat reserves of pregnancy were gone, how everything would look a little softer.

And while I was pregnant, I also noticed how my body felt different.  I still remember the first time I caught myself leaning back slightly, my palms spread across my lower back, supporting the extra weight in the front, just like I had seen other pregnant women do.  And I was very conscious of all the energy that I held in my belly, where a baby was growing.  This made the practice of meditation, at the end of yoga classes and as part of childbirth preparation, very simple.  It was easy to sustain focus on my belly.  I was a spoon, holding an egg.

But I'm not sure that many women give much thought to how their body feels (as opposed to looks) different after childbirth.  At least, I didn't.  Until last night, when I was deep into an hour and a half meditation (for a mindfulness class at school), and it really did feel like the front of my abdomen was simply...gone. There was nothing there, just as though my center had been scooped out.  Maybe you've heard of how amputees can have ghost limbs, sensations of pain or itching or tickling where their limb used to be?  This felt like it might be akin to that, but the inverse.  I couldn't feel something that really was there.

I felt like an empty spoon:

Although I found this sensation intriguing, and even lovely in a haunting kind of way, I think it might also be a problem.  It's my body, after all!  I shouldn't have to feel lonely in it, or as though I'm incomplete, when I'm not holding a baby.  Being a vessel is grand and all, but I think it may be time to reclaim my center for myself.  So I'm trying to think of an image to focus on for my next meditation.  Something that is whole and complete, with no emptiness.  Something that is not a spoon.

A candle?  A tree?  Perhaps I'll just wait and see what arises.


  1. I'm a new follower and just love this post. I look forward to reading about what imagery comes to you!

  2. Thanks Joella! Right now I'm imagining a nice, big cup of coffee:)