This year I tried my first gentle Ayurvedic cleanse. It calls for stewed fruit in the morning with cinnamon and nutmeg. Then kitchari (basmati rice with mung beans and spices) and vegetables for lunch and dinner. Adding some fish or chicken with dinner is suggested. The general idea is that eating simple, cooked foods promotes smooth digestion and allows the body time to heal and detoxify. I loved the sound of this healthy, moderate cleanse.
To say I failed would be both true and false. I failed to stick to the guidelines because they didn't fit my body. I was starving, anxious and constantly preoccupied with food. I'm used to eating small meals and snacks every few hours. To change my diet to 3 meals while simultaneously eliminating coffee and chocolate was just too much for me to take! I was trying and resisting and determined to make this work, but my gurgling stomach, emotional outbursts and uncharacteristic behavior demanded a change.
On day two my boyfriend asked me, "What's your motivation? What are you hoping to get out of this?" I guess some part of me believed that in order to be a healthy and spiritual person, things have to be hard and sacrifice has to be involved. This cleanse taught me that's not the case. My regular eating habits are very healthy and many people in the world would consider me to have "optimal health." I'm living in my ideal weight range, with high energy and good digestion. I do not struggle with illnesses nor body aches. I'm active and able to do the things I want. I had to stop and ask myself, "What more to do you need to finally feel at peace and be happy?" The answer: nothing. I just had to make the conscious choice to feel satisfied and appreciate all of the abundance and goodness already in my life. That's it. This theme keeps popping for me. The more I focus on (and talk about) the positive aspects of my job, health, relationships and life, the more calm and happy I feel. It sounds obvious, but my thoughts and words have a way of running away with me. So today, now, in this moment, I declare a renewed commitment to gratitude. I'm loving and appreciating the many gifts already within me and around me. In the end, this experience turned out to be more of a mind-cleanse than a body-cleanse. And THAT was just what the doctor ordered!