Making Your Abdominal Shield
Traditionally, shields serve several functions.
They protect the belly's vital organs from assault, fending off
swords and spears, barring injury. Ornamented with signs and
symbols invoking fierce protective powers, shields also frighten
off approaching attackers, undermining their will to fight. Shields
declare identity as well, indicating warriors' status or rank
and their affiliation with a family, clan, or tribe.
Even without the clash of hand-to-hand combat,
an abdominal shield may be a necessary accessory for life in
contemporary culture. Creating an abdominal shield is one way
to begin claiming our right to set boundaries, enjoy safety and
privacy, affirm our presence, announce our sense of belonging.
If we neglect to protect our core vulnerability
and affirm our existence in a conscious way, our bellies may
internalize the process in the unconscious, somatic dimension.
Our bellies may shape themselves to serve as shields: muscles
tensing to make the abdomen board-hard, for example, or fat accumulating
to create a thick buffer around the visceral organs.
When we attend to protecting our core vulnerability
directly, our bellies no longer have to cast themselves as armor.
Creating an abdominal shield, we externalize the process of protection
Steps for Making Your Abdominal Shield
Gather your art supplies, including:
glue, scissors, circular paper plates (one option is to use a
paper plate as the base for your shield), colored paper, markers,
glitters, stars, stickers, pictures from magazines, ribbons,
string, feathers, fabric, beads, gemstones...