I remember after having my children that I had to work hard to find my core again. When I write the word “core,” I refer not only to the body’s solar plexus, but also to the core of who I am.
After stomach muscles have been stretched in order to carry a developing life, new mothers often feel that they are out of touch with their own bodies. The weight of the child has literally thrown them off center. Reclaiming one’s body after that process is often particularly challenging because following childbirth there is breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and all the demands that children bring in general. However, mothers who don’t make this post-birth rediscovery will find themselves lost in years to come.
Of course, those who haven’t actually given birth may relate to the challenges of having something intersect with their life which requires a strengthening from within. It could be perceived as something positive like a love affair, a transatlantic move, or the purchase of a dream home. It might also be something that feels unwanted, such as a bankruptcy, a breakup, or a chronic illness. At these times we can either give up, stop participating in life, or we can dig deep.
Many of us have had the experience of having survived something and gone on without carrying it with us. The longer I live, the more I appreciate how connected we really are to each other. At some point, we all face trauma, challenge, and death, and we are called on to find that sacred center.
After an upheaval we may have to start simple and ask ourselves, “What do I need to do/be now to nurture myself?” We might also ask, “What can I do to make the most of the situation?” If we are able, we might even take that question to a quantum level and ask, “How can this current challenge radically enhance my life and those lives around me?” What empowering questions might you ask yourself to engage your core?
When I was an aerobics instructor, I used to love to teach ab classes. There was something very invigorating about placing that amount of focused attention on one’s core. We would exhaust one aspect of the abdominals and then shift to another part of the abdomen. In terms of finding our sacred core, we may have to do the same thing. When we are relying on a certain aspect of our strength to cope, we may find a shift to another healthy coping mechanism will give us a fresh perspective.
Emotionally, we may find our center through prayer, meditation, or a loving connection with someone who is willing to journey with us and remind us that we are more than anything that we are experiencing, that we are essentially strong, and that we are not alone.