Last weekend I decided I was ready for a cleanse! I was so ready I gathered up all my cleansing foods and herbs and containers, I checked my schedule and had 10 great days to do it, I wrote a list and a chart and got a great 3.5 days into it. Then it totally fell apart and I find it so very interesting.
The first three days I had a regular schedule with even some extra free time because the skiing sucked. Day four was a much different story: I had to work at Targhee. I thought I was well-prepared for that. I had a green smoothie (with no sweeetner) and some goji berries and 4 thermoses of tea and 2 water bottles. I drank all the tea, ate all the goji berries, drank 1.25 water bottles and some of my green smoothie. That was the problem. The green smoothie was so bitter it made me gag to drink it. Then the catered Targhee lunches came. I put mine in my bag, thinking I would eat it next week after my cleanse was over. But I was hungry. Then the crankiness started setting in. While looking for a bandaid, I noticed a Kate’s Real Food bar in my bag. I put it in my pocket and went for a short walk. Then I ate it while looking out the window at skiers on the slushy snow. Then I went upstairs and proceeded to eat all of my lunch (except the turkey because I don’t know where it came from). It was conscious eating, although I did realize that by eating one thing, I was very excited and interested in eating more.
But I digress. What was most interesting to me was the change in my psyche after eating. Surely, I had a gut ache from eating Targhee food, but after that, and even underneath that, I had a conversation with myself. Myself said, “Stop trying so hard.” Now, that can be interpreted many ways, but I know what it meant. It meant that just because you hear someone say that most people’s livers and digestion are all fekakteh, that doesn’t mean you necessarily. It might include you, and it also might not include you. And even more essentially, “Stop trying so hard” said to me, “Please relax. Please release. Please stop trying to “do something” all the time. Just be.”
This was apparent to me at another time recently; I was so frustrated that I got stuck in the snow in our driveway, so worried that my housesitter Sara would get stuck, so worried about coming home and getting stuck or ruining my car, and then worried about Dave getting stuck when he came home, worried, worried, worried ad infinitum.
And so, I made phone calls, asked questions, sent emails, fretted, thought, wondered, meditated, prayed, pondered. Then when I did get a good idea (a mixture of ideas from all of my inquiries), I promptly went to ACE, bought sand and salt, spread it out, and chipped away three times in 24 hours. As I was chipping, I realized how much better I felt. It was then that I realized my need to “do.” Surely, the driveway/ice situation would have been rectified in one way or another (and it was, as it turned out, the weather turned so warm that now, less than a week later, the entire driveway is either mud or puddle), but I could not be at peace until I was doing something to help it along.
This reminds me of when Enrique was sick and I would constantly bring him water or tuna juice or yogurt or make a bed or sing to him or look for him or pet his paw or stare at him or sit near him or something, anything, something! My nickname became “The Hovercraft” and one day, when I was especially heartbroken and frustrated, Dave said to me, “I understand. You just want to do something because you know that you really can’t do anything.”
And so I see now that my cleanse was in part due to my crazy toxic diet the week before I decided to cleanse (lots of coffee, sugar, and snacking - a great sign that I need to rein it in!). And I also see (and hear from my inner guidance) that the cleanse is done. It played its part and now I can reflect on the lessons. The first one is to stop trying so hard.
Thank you, Universe. I will stop trying so hard. Instead of distracting myself with menial tasks or packing my schedule so full that I don’t even have time for menial tasks, much less a great breakfast with Bus Driver Jim, I will do what is necessary, what is my duty, and I will let the rest go.
In India, there is a stunning fire ritual in which someone spoons a ladle-full of ghee into the fire to the pace of a beautiful chant for many hours. With each offering to the fire, the word “Swaha” is spoken or chanted. I love this word. My personal translation of it is much like the 12-step adage “Let Go and Let God.” At the end of the day or the end of anything, really, you just pick it up in whatever neat or messy package it ended up being and you toss it into the fire. You clap the remaining dust off your hands and you let it go. “Swaha!” you say, “Swaha.” The remainder is smoke, ashes, and bright, sweet light!