Unwinding from the gut

So I decided to start voice lessons. We have met twice so far and are working on some toning, getting me familiar with my new deeper range. This is great – but what is striking me as even more profound – is the working with my breath and diaphragm.
I keep having these memories, I was around 10 or 11 years old, my boobs were sprouting larger that all my friends. I was struggling with this which threw me into a generalized struggle with my body. I do not remember how I learned this, but around this time, I started the sucking in of the gut that girls in our society are taught to do. To be less fat, to look more appealing to guys etc.. So for 38 + years, I have been unconsciously sucking in my gut. Oh yes I have worked over the years to change the pattern but it takes vigilance that I did not have or maybe a commitment to the vigilance. Regardless, now with the voice lessons I am bringing a new consciousness to this.

It is rather amazing all the little micro muscles surrounding the diaphragm that play a role in this holding pattern. Like the intercostal muscles of the rib cage. All the attachment points below the rib cage. As I learn to breath differently, my belly opens, I feel an expansiveness in my belly and lower rib cage that I am sure I had as a young child. It is unfamiliar and also comforting. The more I relax and open the more energy flows through my whole body. I literally feel a tingling move through me from my solar plexus radiating out, as cells open and receive flow that the constriction doesn’t permit.

I allow myself to breathe even deeper into the opening, subtle breathes yet profound. I place my hand on my belly, thumb and index fingers pressing gently into the attachments at the base of my rib cage and the lower intercostal muscles. I feel the letting go. There is a familiar sense initially of vulnerability as I relax and open, but the more I allow this and breathe into it, the vulnerability changes to energy flow and power. I feel the power of life force energy moving through me that cannot happen in constriction. I feel creative energy flowing. I feel sexual energy flowing. Nothing is held back. It is all there, available and moving. As my center opens I experience this holism inside. I have always experienced the notion of “as above so below” being from the heart center as the line of division. But I am discovering a whole new sense of “as above so below” in the opening of my belly. The connection with the earth rises up vibrantly from my feet and I feel it throughout my whole body reaching to the heavens. When I am tuned in I then feel the heavens (universal flow) coursing down through the top of my head, through my whole body down to the earth. I feel this circular flow of energy moving though me.

In this I feel alive, unencumbered, free.

I wish every human who holds in their bellies to experience this expansiveness, this liberation. I wish that girls were taught to embody and embrace themselves in all their shapes and sizes, so all their energy can be used to live wholer freer lives. I wish for the trans folks out there searching for a sense of self empowerment, to breath into their guts and see what is there blocking them. To find the freedom that can come by unwinding all that is held in the gut.

If you are curious who I am working with, here is her website: http://www.lynnskinner.com/ – she is awesome.



  1. Jamie Ray – Lynn is a voice teacher, singer/songwriter. I met her through a colleague of mine, another therapist working with trans folks. Lynn works a lot with the trans community on embodying their voices. Apparently presents at some of the conferences as well.

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