Softening Into Love

breathe into your bellyCheck your belly right now. How does it feel? Are you sucking it in? Is there tenseness in the muscles? If so, you’re cutting yourself off from the flow of love.

You’re probably thinking that your belly has nothing to do with love, and that’s what I used to think too. But the more I look at the way people in relationships connect, the more I realize that we don’t just connect in our hearts, we connect in our core as well.

Let me be clear that when I say to soften your belly, it has nothing to do with eating unhealthy foods and avoiding exercise. The type of softening that I am proposing has nothing to do with the amount of flab on your belly. What I’m talking about is softening the muscles of your belly so that you can breathe deep down into it. Breathing into your belly and into your core unlocks energy in your body and releases tension.

You Can’t Love Fully When You’re Sucking In Your Belly

Many of us walk around with our bellies clenched tightly. Our society values a flat stomach, so we suck our bellies in. With our bellies tightened we can’t inhale fully and deeply. This restricts the flow of breath and the flow of love. It also causes an excess of tension to build up and it increases anxiety. When we are anxious and afraid, one of the automatic responses is to tighten our bellies. This grip of fear in our bellies restricts our air flow. It also restricts our ability to give and to receive.

When we breathe deeply into our bellies we are able to open ourselves to love. By breathing deeply, we access the energy that is in our core and we can access our place of vulnerable truths. Communicating from this place of an open belly is a vulnerable and loving. It is communication that is filled with tender courage as opposed to communication that is laced with fear.

Try This One Thing With Your Partner

The next time you are in conversation with your partner, keep some awareness on your belly. Is it soft and open? Are you able to breathe deeply into it? When you are loving with your partner, how is your belly in that moment? When you are feeling upset with your partner, how are you holding your belly in that moment? If your breathing into your belly is restricted, are you able to love fully?

You might be surprised that by softening your belly, you become much more open and receptive to the love of your partner. Notice if there are things that your partner says that make you tighten your belly. If you can soften in those moments, how does it affect your response to your partner? How does it affect your partner’s interaction with you?