You know how you don’t really pay attention until something happens for the 2nd or 3rd time that day? That happened to me last Friday. You see, there’s a global phenomenon on Instagram called #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday where you post a pic from your past on your profile.
An old dance buddy of mine tagged a pic of us posing post performance and titled it ‘Dem Effortless Abs’, as both of us sported a well defined 6 pack in the photo.
But it wasn’t my toned torso that got my attention.
I was taken aback at my sunken expression and the dark circles under my sad eyes that my fake smile didn’t manage to hide very well.
The ‘abs’ were an external representation of how undernourished I was at the time. I’m sure the convicts that suffered from scurvy during the First Fleet had a better diet than I did – and judging from my pic, MUCH better posture.
I felt a pang of sadness at the memory of how unwell I truly was, despite the smoke and mirrors represented by my false eyelashes, sparkly sequins and glitter shoes.
A minute later, a client emailed me and asked ‘Hi Patty, will you be giving tips on how to lose excess weight around my belly in your solar plexus workshop next Sat? – Clare’
Oh Clare. No. No I won’t. Because having very little fat around your mid section does not always mean that you are strong and can stand confidently in your own power.
Having a 6 pack does not necessarily mean that you will not be crushed when someone (gasp!) disagrees with you, or (sob!) tells you that you are not good enough.
And ask any woman that’s given birth – it aint the 6 pack that pushed that baby out – it was (among other things) the sheer grunt of that mama bear who pushed with all her might.
Those lithe little lines around your transverse abdominals do not give you a get out of jail free card when your pancreas keeps craving the sweet stuff and affirms that you are craving sweetness externally, as you don’t feel that you have enough sweetness in your own life
And showing some fancy muscles across a svelte midsection will not stop you from seeking external validation from others, or attracting people into your life that constantly bully you, until you finally learn to stand up for yourself.
My response to Clare’s question ended up being very cathartic for me as it gave me an opportunity to write a little love note to my 23 year old dancer self and her deficient solar plexus chakra.
Dear Patty Cakes,
The lines across your belly do not define you. Your ability to stand up for yourself and take responsibility for the part YOU played in that relationship does.
If it doesn’t feel right from the beginning, it’s not likely going to end well. Those niggles you feel in your gut? Listen to them!
Those butterflies you feel just before a show? They’re the good guys! Make friends with them because they keep you focused and they stop you from becoming complacent.
The circle of friends you hang out with doesn’t know this, but you’ll soon meet people who will tell you that your gut actually has a brain.
I know. Mind-blowing huh?
So the fact that you eat a block of chocolate every freakin’ day without putting on weight, has more to do with the fact that you are OVERUSING your adrenals, than your perceived notion that you have a fast metabolism.
If you want to avoid that 8-year period of suffering from migraines and wondering why the hell this is happening to you, start eliminating sugar slowly but surely, otherwise kicking the habit is almost as much of a bitch as you’re going to be when you have to detox.
In 13 years you’ll be living by the beach in Bronte and rocking it as a yoga teacher and energy healer. Yes you’ll still have abs, but they’ll be more pronounced in the morning. By mid afternoon you’ll have nice round little podge that you’ll proudly show off to people as you demonstrate your powerful breath of fire skills – kundalini yoga style.
Love you very much, Patty xx
Patty! Just came across this in BE & BH! And so, so glad I did. This post is absolutely beautiful! Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Love Meg xxxx
You are SOO welcome beautiful girl – I love that we’ve connected 🙂 xxxx
Patty, this is such a beautiful thing to read and soooo true! I’ve only recently ‘got it’ and I’m so grateful….for that little bit of covering on my belly and the fact that I’m so much stronger than I ever was (without my ‘six pack’ being visible).
Yes, your gut has a brain! There’s actually a book on it “The Second Brain”. Fascinating stuff. Can’t wait to do a workshop with you and thank you again for that awesome post. xx
Thanks Nikki!! It’s an awesome book isn’t it? Can’t wait to share a workshop with you soon! Lots of love! xx
I love this Patty. I need to write a letter to my younger self. I love the in 13 years paragraph especially. <3 Kelly
Thanks Kelly – always a work in progress! 🙂