Often when I meditate, I try to “feel into my centerline.” By this I mean I try to observe any sensations in the front of my body, from my genitals up into my throat. Some people believe this is where we store a lot of our emotions, and I agree. When I get to my stomach area (or rather where my stomach used to be), I feel tightness, hollowness, stuckness. Emotions come up - feelings of guilt and anxiety. A friend who does body and energy work suggested there is blocked energy (which makes sense to me), and agreed that I stick with this practice. She also suggested I visualise energy moving up through this area to help it flow, and that’s what I have been doing.
After a yoga session today, while lying in savasana, I really began to focus inwards, and allow these emotions to come up. I began to zone in on these feelings of hollowness and tightness below my chest and tried opening up. I was hit with the realization that I had been subconsciously clenching the muscles below my sternum really tightly, I mean hardcore. Nothing was getting through. Since the surgery I have been unconsciously trying to protect the wound below my chest - the tenuous artificial joint between my esophagus and my small intestine because I was afraid that it would literally tear apart.
I tried relaxing these muscles, and they did - just a little. A whole lot of fear came up, and it sent waves of raw emotion up through my chest, shoulders and jaw. I shuddered. I was able to stick with it, and it felt like an exhilarating mixture of scary and amazing. It was a profound epiphany that I was creating all of this tension in my body, and I had the ability to let it go. This was coming from me, and I had the power to change it.
I’m still reeling from the emotions that came up, which is why I need to get it all out. My stomach area feels more relaxed but raw and sensitive, vulnerable. There is still more work to do. I know that the first hint of stress will send me back into protective mode, and maybe sometimes that’s appropriate! It is liberating and scary to have access to this “new” part of myself, but I will try to stick with it.