My unexpected experience with Belly Beads

Had I known what I was committing to, I may have thought about it just a little more. Although, perhaps thinking about it would not have been the best choice for me. I would have allowed my insecurities to get to my head and I would have denied myself this wonderfully unexpected spiritual experience. I would have missed out on something so divine and meaningful. Something I didn’t even know I needed until it was done.

“You mean to tell me that I’m going to be wearing these around my waist indefinitely? Like, never take them off… ever. Ever, ever?”

The most sensitive part of my body. The area I am most proud of yet most insecure about.

The part of me that created three beautiful little humans, but was left battered and scarred due to their healthy growth inside my belly. The area I often hold and get sad about because I just wish I could go back to the days when I had a smooth, flat belly. I honestly don’t even remember those days.

My youngest son likes to put his hands on my belly and tell me how much he loves this part of me because he knows that’s where he came from. It’s usually only in these moments where I can fully love and embrace my ever changing body. It’s in these moments when I allow myself to fully and truly, deeply love everything about my body. All that it is and all that it isn’t. He will likely never know the magnitude of his words.

You mean to tell me that I am to adorn this area with a carefully selected, hand strung ‘crown’ and put my most coveted secret on display? The stretched skin, scars, and stretch marks that I have dutifully tried to cover and hide for the last 16 years.

As a woman who embodies body positivity, who tries every day to love all her flaws and encourages all the women around her to do the same, even this was a lot for me to digest.

As I stood in front of the mirror in Odetta’s little studio space. My top hiked up to my bra line, my leggings folded down as far as they’d go. I stood in the mirror staring at myself, feeling the anxiety and body shame creeping in. Odetta carefully wrapped the beads around my waist and something shifted… her hands working away behind me, tying a knot so secure that it would stay put for as long as it was needed. My eyes and attention suddenly shifted to this beautiful gift draped across my belly.

Little did I know…

Putting these beads around my waist brought me new life and a new found appreciation for my body.

They made me feel beautiful and secure, grounded. United.

They keep me sitting up nice and tall. With good posture you just feel more powerful, more elegant. More fierce.

This small, but mighty string of beads has brought me a new sense of love and appreciation for an area of my body that, since childbirth, I’ve been insecure about.

The sometimes tight little reminder to breath… a small pinch when I lose my focus or body awareness. A poke to sit up, or walk, or stretch. All little nods from the universe to bring my awareness back in.

A gentle reminder to connect and ground, spiritually join hands with the sisters and women who came before me, who stand with me.

This little string of beads helps remind me and gives me comfort in the fact that you are not alone, you never were… but now this little string physically connects us all.

If you’re local to Niagara and feel called and compelled to pick up your own set of beads, please contact Odetta and setup an appointment.

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