“Navel gazing” is an amusing term for the excessive side of what is really a good thing. It's a good thing to know ourselves. We go to therapy to gain self awareness. We turn to religion for help in getting the mote out of our own eye before trying to get it out of someone else’s. To know ourselves is to be emotionally mature. It’s interesting that we use a part of the body – the navel – to represent excessive focus on ourselves. If we take the term literally, it also seems to say something about our culture’s excessive focus on body image.
Yet it's rare that we let the body be a barometer of what’s going on with ourselves. I am my body. My body houses everything I am, have been, and will be. Without my body, I am not. But it's easy to imagine it as separate from the real person, the real “soul.” The soul in the sense of soul food – like heart, like guts. All language of body but body as “just” a metaphor for the real thing. Maybe those many times we imagine ourselves separate from Spirit are related to this sense of body and mind separation.