Don’t Sweat the Change: The Raw Truth and the Chaos of My CleanseJan 21, 2014 2014-01-21 16:41
Don’t Sweat the Change: The Raw Truth and the Chaos of My Cleanse
Don’t Sweat the Change: The Raw Truth and the Chaos of My Cleanse
It always feels like a good idea, come January 1st, to restore balance in my body by cleansing from all the wonderful gluttony of the holidays: The champagne and wine, the cheese and crackers; and yes, even the yummy lasagna and Christmas treats. I have to say, though, this month’s blog has turned out to be quite the surprise! Here I thought I was merely cleansing my body of refined sugar, alcohol, gluten, and dairy… and, of course, I thought I would be writing about the details of the cleanse from that vantage point. But, no! What I’ve realized is that walking the tight rope of discipline during the systematic removal of all these things (the wine, the cookies, the bread and chocolate) has humbly placed me in the mess of chaos and into a process of transformation brought on by change. Not only do my insides (my gut and stuff) feel like the heavy load in a washing cycle, (which is not at all a pretty beginning but the raw truth of physical cleansing and internal combustion) there is a catharsis happening at a much deeper level as old emotional patterns related to food come up. Alas, this is always the beginning of the birth of something new… that is, finding the message in the mess before real change can happen.
In the brain, what fires together (neuron wise) hard wires together creating urges and patterns that shows up in behavior. A long time ago, twenty some years now and what seems like another life, I recovered from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are complex, but women who have struggled, well, one contributing factor I’ve read is that somehow we crossed our wires in the pleasure center of our brains, and instead of choosing sex (at a tender age and far before we were ready for that part of life) for our pleasure, we chose food to fulfill our sexual gratification. I’m only surmising by my own observation of myself when I say that young girls who struggle with eating disorders during puberty are likely also struggling with hormonal urges to satiate a ravenous desire for sex that they don’t at all understand. During those tween and teen times, though, ‘back in the day,’ it was not only forbidden, but it was very unknown territory to discover my sexual needs and nature. I noticed in my own pattern, as I matured as a young woman and college student, the more I explored sex, the less I felt the need for food binging, hence I began to heal and new neuro pathways were likely formed allowing for more possibility of pleasure. As my love relationship with Richard flourished in college, my need for binging and purging lessened and eventually, thankfully ended.
Honestly, it surprises me that I still have any issues come up around food, because my recovery has felt so complete. Yet, the chaos I’m feeling tells me I do. For many years, I’ve exercised discipline and healed through changing my relationship to food and my eating habits were not too stringent because I couldn’t risk igniting that lethal switch of control vs. being out of control. But, these things are like peeling back the onion to get to the core and root of something deep, and I’m grateful to cleanse the emotional toxicity that has come up. Even though there is no purge cycle for me here, my ego says: Wow, Kris, this is a really old pattern; really old, let’s be done with it! Simultaneously, my true self screams: Hurray for growth! Brava for change and knocking down anything that keeps me from the wealth of my health and true vibrancy!
At this stage of life, I cannot hope to rediscover who I am now without clearing out all the old stuff in order to make the journey “Home” to my true essence. The journey home happens in releasing the old regime and giving it a makeover by doing things differently. And, truly, cleansing is a bit like home remodeling.
My body is the house—the great temple for my spirit. But a curious thing is that the more control and discipline I implement in the rules I have for eating, well, the hungrier I am. That’s, of course, why it’s important to be very clear with myself that “diet” is not always about weight-loss but is about health, and cleansing is about giving the major organs a respite from working over time. At this point, I’m so happy to be feeding my body generously all the good vitamins, nutrition and fiber, as this cleanse is about starting over with a clean and organized house. The paradox for me is the new paradigm it presents for me to live by. I’ve now given myself permission to binge on goodness – changing the negative connotation of the word “binge” here. Maybe, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that? Maybe, it’s perfectly all right to gain something, even weight, while shedding an old pattern. The more permission I give myself, the more I see I have enough; I am enough, and all is well. I am breathing this into my bones and into my psyche. I am loving myself. It’s really ok to have too much of a good thing. Aha! Because “eating as much as I want” has been forbidden in my mind because of the binge/purge cycle that was so challenging to break and overcome years ago. The real shift for me is in letting go of the fear that I will be swallowed whole by something I cannot control. Instead, what I return to is a mindfulness and giving myself permission to explore what it means to be hungry for all the goodness and be ravenous for more life.
Of all the things I value at 5o years of age, the most important thing to me now is my health, and optimal health is a lifelong study for me. My body is still strong and getting stronger all the time – mostly because of my awareness and commitment to self-care and my ability to change my negative habits.
It’s a whole lot easier feeling clear and happy and having plenty of energy to do my life when I’m feeling good. What is being revealed to me in this January cleanse is that when I allow myself to binge on all the good stuff – eating as much as I want: soups, veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and lean meats – I feel energized, passionate and alive and the results of this spills right on over to the rest of me—mind, body and spirit.
My big reveal is to embrace abundance while feeling ENOUGH as I desire MORE of all the good stuff of life – great experiences, good food, more passion. And, all of that comes from making the choice to let go of some things, cleansing old patterns, to make space for something new to emerge. This cleanse is as much of a cleanse of my spirit as it is my body and isn’t that just delicious?
In our next Don’t Sweat Sisterhood call, let’s open up the conversation to reinvent our bodies together and rediscover our optimal health! Come along with me on this amazing ride as I dive in more deeply in one mind/body/spirit hour with Certified feminine super power Nutritionist, Laura Halpin, as we talk about cleansing and the optimal nutrition for the feminine body (pre-menopausal, post menopausal and any age) this month on the Don’t Sweat Sisterhood call: January 23 at 6pm. If you can’t make the live call, no worries, as part of the program you will receive the recording of the call in your inbox along with a lovely PDF of my notes and some journal questions for you. Join Now for $9!