When the news of Bowie's death reached my world I did what probably many people did. I turned to the internet and read many heartfelt tributes in my FB newsfeed from friends and strangers. Each post, each person, offered up what he meant to him and her and what he brought to their lives. I followed the links that some of them posted to a news story or a video.
Many of those posts led me to the mind boggling and fabulous video archive, YouTube. There were songs I hadn't heard before. With the exception of The Labyrinth, I hadn't ever really seen him perform. He was so young when he launched his career. It spanned decades. In one day I got to see the entire span of it. From baby face Bowie singing Space Oddity to cancer laden Bowie singing his final Lazarus.
Next to his creativity, there was one thing about him that I could not get over. His Abs.
His long, lean frame revealed an important human physical element that I had not noticed before. Abs. Abs hold in our guts. Abs hold us upright. With weeks of reflection I've come to realize that Abs directly reflect how fundamentally safe we feel in the world. They are a mirror for our fundamental trust in ourselves and our ability to earn money, to have meaningful friendships, and a sense of belonging.
I looked at my own abs. My sweet belly poking out. My over worked diaphragm working to "suck it in." Suck that belly in. I squeezed the whole lot tight then breathed out and pppppffffffff. It was like emptying the air out of a balloon. Only this one was still round and soft.
I was nothing short of perplexed. Over the last four years, I've done thousands of crunches. My abdominal muscles are healthy and strong. But they weren't engaged.
I took this insight to my chiropractor. "So you want abs," she asked? "Yes."
Then she went to work on my tongue.
I was tongue tied. (It turns out, literally). I mean, what does my tongue have to do with my abs being toned and engaged?
That's another newsletter but she discovered a tongue tie. I have an extra ligament holding my tongue to the floor of my mouth. It prevents me from fully using the front half of my tongue. She was amazed that I could even talk. The gorgeous "work arounds" that my body had to do in my early development to allow me to speak left some confusion downstream, namely an overworked diaphragm and under worked abs.
Do you know what this means??? This is HUGE!!! I'm doing back flips here. It means that there's nothing wrong with me!!! I don't have a fat stomach. I may be to roll my Spanish r's someday. When I get back to more active sports like horse riding, running, and distance walking, my abs will support my diaphragm so I will no longer be holding my breath to breathe. All it will take is some time with my chiropractor and a simple little laser procedure and I will open up vast terrain in my body that I've never had access to until this point. It's like skiing off the back side or out of bounds for the first time. What a rush............
My message to you...There is nothing wrong with you either. I've believed this for a long time about all of us but this is just more proof that the things that we can be most critical about with ourselves can have very real explanations for them.
How do we discover what those are without ripping our souls apart with self-criticism?
Here's the recipe.
It takes an open mind, curiosity, and action to unravel the mysteries within ourselves. What we are really doing is asking our inner critic to offer up useful insights rather than destructive digs.
I like to call it mystery because that word softens the spotlight on your inner self. It softens the edges of your inquiries. It makes your inner critic a loving member of your team.
For 30 days.
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Wishing you joy,
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Welcome. This is where I share what's on my mind and in my heart. You'll see that there's an offer to work with me in every letter. I'm shifting that as I go. Whether the offers excite you or turn you off I hope you find a juicy nugget or two in here that infuses you with more of you. Be kind to yourself because you rock. - Kate