One day a week I try to do a cleanse to give my body a break from all the things I put it through each week. I use a program called Isagenix, there are many others on the market, which has products to purify your body of the toxins it collects from food, water, even the air we breathe. On these days, I find myself feeling more contemplative and more in tuned to myself, all while wanting to scream for a latte or something sweet or salty. I know it is good for my body because it is on these days, I have no indigestion, no bloating, and fewer aches and pains. Yet my mind rebels because I am not habitually using food or drink to procrastinate what needs to be done or to feel what needs to be felt.
It is on these cleanse days that I most need my yoga and meditation practice and all that I’ve learned from them. Be present. Be calm. Be in the here and now. Feel what comes up. Watch what presents itself and be aware of it’s value. No judging. Just let it in and let it go. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I think I want a cup of coffee. Then I realize that what I really want is to take up time to go to the coffee shop so I don’t have to sit at my desk and write. I feel like I want a sugary sweet, but what I really want is to not be thinking about the project that is due tomorrow or the argument I had with a friend.
I don’t get hungry on these days. I drink eight servings of a special mixture throughout the day that hydrates and nourishes my body. I eat a few chocolate wafers that curb my appetite and I can even have a few one-inch square dark chocolates infused with green tea, so my stomach never feels empty. What I feel is that place in between the escape that food can be for me and what I am truly feeling. What I feel on cleanse days is the wide open space I like to call my true and whole self.
Sometimes on these days, I don’t like what I feel. Other times I feel ecstatic. Sometimes I can tune into my creativity with a keener, sharper edge and other times I dwell on what’s not working and just feel depressed. But as time goes on and I do this more often, I feel like I belong in this wide open space more than I do not.
I like my true and whole self and this open space is one way to find it.