Welcome to Part Two of the “Detox Series”. Back in August I started a post about how to detox your body and reset your digestion and establish a healthier pattern for our diets and exercise. So…how are you doing? I hope you have found a healthier balance with your food and fitness routine. Me…well, I’d love to tell you that I completed the detox perfectly and I’m just humming right along in perfect synchronicity…but that would be a lie. I have to be honest and say that I am now into early Fall and feel that I actually need to start again. Perhaps it’s because I have yet to really embrace the full circle of detoxing.
In this article, I’m focusing on the last two aspects of my detox program…the mind and spirit. This is truly essential for complete wellness. The world we live in is so busy and often fast paced that we just search for a quick fix to feel better. A diet, the latest exercise craze, counting the likes on our social media posts, how many followers and friends you have collected online… I’ve come to realize that all these quick fixes are just like band-aids, and cheap ones at that, like the ones that rip in half before you can get them out of the wrapper. What paves the way for real wellness is to clear out all the external clutter and look at what is really going on in our daily conversations with ourselves. We all know deep down that it is impossible for anyone or anything to make us happy or bring us the peace we seek. For some reason though we prefer that route to the difficult task of sorting through our own mental closet and clearing out what we don’t need or like. Why? Because it’s damn uncomfortable and who wants that!
I encourage you as I am encouraging myself while writing this article to allow a little uncomfortable space for yourself to sort out the items that are causing you to feel mentally yucky. We have to clean our mind and spirit just like we clean our cluttered house. I am certainly no expert on mental health or a doctor of psychology but I have in my 44 years started noticing a pattern in myself and some of the clients I work with on a daily basis. Two words pervade our thoughts and exert great amounts of control over our daily lives. What are these two words? PERFECT and BALANCE.
So many of us strive for perfection, whether we know it or not. We only feel “good” or “happy” when we perceive that we have everything perfect. Well, imagine how difficult that is to maintain in real life. The fact of the matter is that perfection is basically unattainable in most cases, yet we ,strive for it and admonish ourselves if we don’t think we’ve achieved it. I’m talking all aspects of perfection from our physical appearance to your home, your job or salary, the success of your children, how well you stick to your diet…lord, it is really endless. For me, it’s always been really important to do my best and work hard to succeed at the challenges life throws my way. I like a challenge, I love to problem solve and for heavens sake, I am a FIXER by nature. I don’t think any of this is bad. We should always strive to be our very best and work towards our goals. That being said, when the view of perfection becomes so tiny and narrow that it is unachievable then we are completely self defeating. Being overly critical of ourselves or using others to measure our own self worth is a PERFECT recipe for failure and quite honestly disaster. There has to be acceptance and tolerance for our human-ness and a realization that everyone is in the same boat. There is no perfect in some sense but at the same time everything is perfect. Mind Blown! It’s the Yin and Yang of our existence.
That brings me to the second of those words I spoke of, BALANCE. As I write this, the Autumn equinox has just passed. It is literally the universal moment of balance. As I sat on my porch in a quiet meditation under the harvest moon this week, I heard inside myself over and over the word “balance”. What does that feel like? How does it resonate with you when you say it out loud? I know that what I am creating for my self on a daily basis right now is causing a lack of balance. I work way too much, I give too much of myself away to others, I don’t eat well at times, I cannot accept that “I can’t do it all”, and I have zero forgiveness of my own short comings. WTF! Now, if you are a client, friend or family member you have probably just choked on your tongue because you know that this is 100% the opposite of how I treat others. I offer unlimited encouragement, support and hope to everyone I know. I always believe you can do it and I truly mean what I say. It isn’t just lip service. So what I have recently come to understand is this… My own personal drive and desire to be perfect has caused a huge imbalance in my mental and spiritual wellness that leaves me feeling like I am constantly failing. I’m creating this in my own world. Are you guilty of this? Do you allow yourself no slack, no forgiveness but only are satisfied when you deem it perfect? Well for heavens sake, keep reading. We have got to resolve this…and we can!
Every day we are surrounded with images, news casts, conversations and personal interactions that leave a mark of sorts on our mental and spiritual state. So what I am consciously choosing to do is filter out all of this stuff. In our country right now we have been in a nine month pandemic, we have unbelievable civic unrest, daily protests, violence and presidential election chaos going on. It’s a constant stream of negativity. It’s just too much. So as part of my mental detox, I am making a concerted effort to only allow into my daily “news feed” that which is healthy. If I’m watching the news or reading it and it is all negative or I feel stress building then I will turn it off. I will not look at my phone as soon as I wake up. Maybe a cup of coffee and a mindful few minutes of meditation or exercise instead. As I chat with clients and friends and it turns the corner to negativity, I am just politely going to say I’d rather change the subject. I’m just getting in my happy little bubble for a minute. Now, listen…I live in the real world and I run a business and am very active in my community…this is not long term reality. Think back to when we worked to detox our body. We drank a detox tea to support cleansing, green smoothies to feed our body highly nutritious fuel and exercised regularly for a couple weeks. Just to clear out the gunk and refill the space with goodness. That’s exactly what I am suggesting here. You can’t stick your head in the sand forever, but why not just turn off all the outside garbage for just long enough to really decide what it is that really brings you joy, peace and most importantly, balance. The saying goes, “if it doesn’t serve your greatest good then let it go”. That’s what I am suggesting. In this time of new found quiet, get in your own head. What conversations do you have with yourself. What language do you use when you talk to yourself? Are you kind? Are you overly critical? Are you loving and gentle or are you judgmental and hateful? Start there. Start speaking to yourself in a kind and gentle way. Let go of those negative statements about your body, your career, your whatever…be nice to you. That’s the detox part. Now, when you get it all cleared out it’s just empty. Empty doesn’t feel good. We must fill that space back up with good stuff.
This is where the balance comes in. Make a conscious effort every single day to discern exactly what you will allow back in. I caution you to be really choosy here. If you don’t feel real good with something then don’t hold on to it. We are the only ones who have total control of what gets through our filter. Maybe journaling is helpful. Obviously, writing is helpful to me in sorting things out. Meditation is good for the spirit. Quiet stillness in itself is very therapeutic. Make time for yourself. Love yourself just as you love others you value in your life. Yeah, I know…I almost lost ya there. Time for yourself…don’t roll your eyes. I’m busy too. I mean just one thing per day if that’s all you can manage at first. Make yourself a cup of tea, read a chapter of a nice book, take a walk, sing to the top of your lungs in the car to your favorite song…whatever it is, just do it. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Think of it like yoga for the spirit. You oughta see me in my basement doing Warrior III…but I don’t fall over anymore. I just keep practicing. I can’t tell you how to do this part for yourself but I can promise you that anytime in my life when I stop trying to be everyone’s everything and do it perfectly, and I just slow down and embrace my own “awesomeness” and create space for me to just BE…man those are my healthiest times.
So….here I go again on this journey of BALANCE. I am however choosing this time to go forward towards it with a sense that it is a process not a defined achievement or failure. If I slip, I’ll get back up, take a deep breath and move through the stumble right back on to the path of a healthy balanced ME. A work in progress…that’s literally life.
I’ve got a few herbal allies that I go to during times like this so I will share them with you here. Look also, for your own allies that support you mentally and spiritually in your quest for balance.
Chamomile Passionflower Tea
Mix equal parts of dried chamomile and dried passionflower in a mason jar. When you need a little soothing gentle herbal hug just add the blend to your tea ball and steep. A little honey and sip slowly and mindfully. Both of these herbs are soothing to the nervous system. Pasionflower is also naturally balancing to our mood so keep this blend handy.
Apple Blossom Flower Essence
This is a lovely gentle herbal medicine that everyone can take. Flower essences work on a subtle spiritual energy that some refer to as our aura. They do not interfere with any medications but if you are uncomfortable ingesting the essence you can simple massage a drop or two into the skin mixed with your favorite lotion. This is a vibrational type of medicine so topically is as effective as internally. Apple Blossom bring us the energy to awaken the internal “star” that shines within all of us. It will assist you in getting to the core of an issue and allowing transformative energy to come in. It’s great for new beginnings, generosity with self and others, fostering trust and for new beginnings. Apple blossom is helpful in balancing thoughts and emotions and in self care practices. It also brings a positive outlook to life. Just 3-4 drops in a glass of water about three times a day. This is a profound medicine to assist this type of detox and I encourage you to give it a try.
What a true healer. If you have jewelry made from this stone or have a small tumbled stone, I encourage you to keep it on your person during this period of detoxing. Hematite is associated with the root chakra and is a superior grounding stone. Just the weight of the stone feels healing. Not only does hematite absorb negativity, it provides calm during stressful times. This is a most useful stone when working to become more grounded, more balanced, and is helpful in transforming negative vibrations into more positive energies. Think of this stone as supportive to the root chakra as you work on becoming more stable and nurturing your most basic needs of food, water, shelter, safety and emotional stability.
I wish you…and me, well on this more challenging detox. Strive for your perfect balance. Perfection is in your perception. Try looking at “perfect” in a more balanced way and success is sure to be yours. Blessed Be!