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Our Childhood Language

By John Ohm

The importance of reconnecting to our solar plexus reaches far into the depths of our well-being. Within our navel center there exists an entire mechanism for understanding the world and for coping with the physical stresses of life.

Young children seem to recognize the importance of the navel center. They display a strong connection to it in many ways. When they draw their “first pictures” of people, they often emphasize the navel by drawing a large belly with limbs connected to it. With their hands they clutch this center in times of stress or intense joy. When they sleep they breathe air into it effortlessly with each inhale. While sitting, they poise themselves so that the belly rests comfortably out in front of their body— a counterbalance to maintain their perfect posture—like the Buddha. Even when they walk they seem to lead their bodies with their navels, charging from one end of the room to the other.

In the first few months of life, the infant bonds to the parents through a mirroring relationship. This nonverbal and intensely emotional experience outside the womb nourishes the baby’s solar plexus and keeps it very much alive. From infancy into childhood, this center becomes the child’s mind and for the first stages of life that child learns to interpret the world through his feelings.

Somewhere along the road of education and imitation children start to develop a “critical” mind and soon this new mind attempts to overthrow the Buddha from the belly. The activity of the navel center diminishes like a native language that is no longer practiced. Some consider this a triumph of rationality, the intense focus on the development of the brain. But without active support from a foundation below, the rational mind will never make sense of the whole. Detached from a fundamental source of power, the distal body parts (arms, legs, and head) become chronically tense and we struggle to perform basic tasks of movement, such as sitting upright.

The good news is we can reawaken our solar plexus and reinstate our fundamental power through conscious attention. And the results are astounding!

But first we must learn to imitate children, because they offer us a keen insight into this core connectivity. First and foremost, learn to breathe into the belly! Not a single activity will activate the navel center faster. Breathing into the belly nourishes the countless number of cells and nerves within the solar plexus. The internal organs decongest and a pathway opens from the navel center to the thinking mind where we can transfer, as much as we wish, the chaotic energy of the brain down to the solar plexus where it can actually be utilized for our understanding.

When we are sufficiently aware of the presence of our navel center, we can begin practicing the art of core-distal connectivity, or navel radiance. This practice consists of moving from our core, allowing the navel center to do the work for us, whether that work be sitting, eating, walking, cleaning, or raising a child.

The key is attention. Although this practice occurred naturally for us as children, now with the constant activity of our thinking mind it is impossible for navel radiance to happen automatically. We must remember to be aware of our solar plexus, to consciously breathe into it and be moved by it, all while in the midst of our daily activities.

The greatest gift of navel radiance isn’t the physical ability but the revival of our childhood language. Some people wish they could go back to their childhood knowing what they know now. As adults we have passed through many years of time but our childhood is not closed off! Rather, it appears that our adulthood has never really opened up.

Children urge us to open up and to radiate out from our core. This seems to be the gift of parenthood, having little ones who see. Content with this little recognition, we relax back to our habitual selves. But it is not enough to be contented. We are our own beings. We must learn to enjoy the gift of our own radiance for ourselves. We must prove to ourselves and our children that the fire never has to die out.