We’re over a year into this global pandemic and if you’re anything like my clients and patients,
You’ve been feeling a little less sparkly than you’d like.
You’re tired of being stuck in this holding pattern and the less than stellar habits that have crept in (when will we be “back to normal?”)
You’re ready to get onto a NEW normal – one that has you feeling a little less like face mask that hasn’t been washed in 10 months and a bit more fresh and vibrant.
You’re can kinda make out the light at the end of the tunnel, but still kinda dragging a$$, leaning hard into the coffee and comfort food.
It’s understandable. Pandemic fatigue is real.
A great way to press the reset button is through a seasonal cleanse. And spring is a great time for it according to Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Like spring cleaning from the inside out.
I resisted this concept for a long time, because I “tried that already” back n my early twenties and “it didn’t work.” In fact, it had the opposite of the desired effect.
From my own failed attempt, and watching my friends, my understanding of how a cleanse worked was something like this:
Step 1 – Buy a bunch of random detox supplements from the natural food store
Step 2 – Not knowing what was OK to eat, I go with the spicy maple syrup lemonade all day (remember the Master cleanse, anyone?)
Step 3 – Despite drinking 2 liters of the lemonade, feel dehydrated, spacey, cold, and weak by mid-afternoon.
Step 4 – Sit down to a salad for dinner, feeling cold resentful. Angrily eat the salad. Feel unsatisfied (physically and emotionally).
Step 5– Push myself to continue for 5 more days, because I’m disciplined and this is supposed to be good for me.
Step 6– Promptly get a cold and give up.
My misguided, ill-informed approach to cleaning left me cranky, exhausted, hungry, frustrated, sick, and guilty all at once. Which led me to
Step 7: conclude “this isn’t for me“.
Can you relate?
I’ve heard some pretty alarming stories about cleansing.
Friends who starved themselves for days,
suffered immense full body aches, headaches, and felt out of their bodies.
Folks who took way too much of the wrong supplements and couldn’t poop for days.
And of course, those who have been stuck in the potentially dangerous cycle of dieting under the guise of detox – yo-yo-ing between the disordered eating patterns of bingeing and starvation.
Without the right support, and the right structure, cleansing can mess you up.
But done correctly, it could well be exactly the thing your body is craving right now.
My friend Carly is leading an Ayurvedic cleanse that lasts 3 weeks. (So I don’t have to! Yay!)
And this isn’t a 3-week “take these vitamins and starve yourself, then go back to what you were doing before and promptly feel like crap again” detox.
The 21-day Ayurveda cleanse will teach you a ton of simple daily tools for every day self care, that you can use all year-round.
The kind of simple tools that:
- Give you all day energy + solid night’s sleep (no more #zombiemode) without relying on caffeine and sugar.
- Get your digestion right, and your bowels moving healthfully (tmi I know, but healthy poops matter.)
- Help you kick unhealthy cravings to the curb (buhbye blackout snacking, it’s not me it’s you).
- Improve the clarity of your thoughts (as well as your skin!)
Here’s how this kinder, gentler, cleanse works:
Week 1: slowly dialing back the heavy stuff, removing some of the poor quality foods and other energy drains currently burdening your system
Week 2: a week of plant-based cleansing (but still completely delicious) foods, and specific practices to moving toxins out of your bod,
Week 3 a week of easing back into a new version of normal – lighter, clearer, happier.
It all starts April 9.
Cleaning is really about simplifying digestion enough so that we can let go of the undigested crud that’s been gunking up the works. In Chinese Medicine, we call this “dampness” or “phlegm;” in Ayurveda, it’s “ama,” stemming from improper diet, mental and emotional overload.
Carly gets that we need time to process all of this, so she’ll encourage you to take time and space to digest the old stuff while you simplify your nourishment.
You’ll get a 60-page recipe guide, grocery shopping lists, group calls for community support, and even some Emotional Freedom Technique / tapping practice.
Not having to worry about how about what to eat for three solid weeks is its own form of simplifying.
Spring is Liver season in Chinese medicine, which means it’s a great time to lighten up your diet, but also time to detoxify your life from what’s no longer working. This allows your qi to funnel into what you want to grow in your life. For me, what hasn’t been working for a long time is pushing myself to do too much. More on that next time. What are you ready to let go of? And what plants in your life’s garden do you want to grow?
Note: I only promote other people’s programs who I know and trust and would participate in myself. I’ve known Carly for years, had her on my podcast, and am so grateful that she’s leading this thing because I don’t have the bandwidth for it. If you sign up through my link, I’ll get to share in the profit at no extra cost to you.
There are ZERO daily push-ups or ice buckets involved, I promise.
My challenge to myself, and to you is this:
If you’re like me, simply DOING LESS is wicked hard because
A) I pride myself on getting things done and
B) Overfunctioning is how I manage stress: it’s a survival strategy I adopted early on
C) Staying in motion is often easier than resting and feeling what’s there to feel: the worry about the upcoming election, the gross mismanagement of the pandemic, the wildfires and the climate crisis they represent, all the things that are scary, maddening, frustrating, and heart-breaking.
Yet it’s critical that we not be in go-mode all the time. There are limits to our reserves, and yet most of us have been tapping into these reserves to adapt to this unprecedented year again and again.
When those reserves start to run dry, we experience burnout. In Episode 200 (yes, 200!!!) of my podcast, A Healthy Curiosity, we talk how to move from burnout to breakthrough. I share some of my own story about burnout prevention and recovery and cultivating resilience.
It’s especially critical NOW, at this stage in the pandemic that we stop operating in varying degrees of overwhelm and overwork, as it’s become clear that we need to stay the course not for a few weeks or a few months, but for the indefinite future.
And while you might have initially jumped into Emergency Mode reconfiguring your life back in March, continuing to operate in this gear is untenable: your hormones, digestion, sleep, immmunity, pain levels, and mental/ emotional state could all be adversely impacted.
One way I see this showing up for my clients and patients is acedia: spiritual apathy, numbness, lack of care about one’s self, soul, and purpose. Pausing long enough to recognize and experience what it is we’re feeling can help snap us out of acedia, and the numbing behaviors that perpetuate it.
What does this have to do with fall, you may wonder? Because this is the season where nature moves from yang mode (busy, active, hot, moving, expressive) to yin: restful, quiet, cool, still, inward, conserving. If our ancestors didn’t start conserving food, fuel, and energy, they might not have survived the winter.
This short video I created a few years back offer some practical tips on how to do that. It still applies, with one critical exception specific to our Covid situation: we need to counterbalance the natural downward-inward tendencies this time of year with our very real need as humans to stay connected to each other.
Creating new habits and routines that can help you fill up the well to feel calm, confident, content, and energized can be especially tough if you’re already stressed or suffering from acedia. It’s way easier with help.
As always, I’m here to support you in taking good care of yourself on all levels: body, mind, spirit. I’ve added additional hours to my acupuncture clinic schedule: call 541-757-4868 to get on it. And I have room in my coaching calendar for two people looking the upgrade their energy, confidence, and daily routines. Hit reply to raise your hand if that’s you.
Me, doing less, outside
Grab my free ebook: 5 Biohacks to Relieve Stress and start letting it go. You’ll also get other self-care tips and inspiration, just a few times a month.