Why I'm cleansing (and so should you)

Although the cleanse doesn't officially start until Monday, already having given up coffee officially — and honestly, one of the only ways I'm staying accountable is by reporting back to you AND the fact that I can't get Terri's "next right action" motto out of my head — I'm finding uncomfortable emotions and thought patterns arising, likely just the tip of the iceberg. I was about to give in and make myself a cup this morning to take with me in the car. A to-go cup. I associate comfort and good feelings with coffee and tea in to-go cups. I wanted that warmth, familiarity, routine and comfort. But a tiny little voice inside me, the same voice that almost felt stupid for giving in and doing the RIGHT thing, said No. You won't feel good after that cup of coffee; you'll feel guilty and regular coffee with milk lately has been upsetting your stomach anyways. So since I didn't have any maple syrup left for a mock mocha, I let it be. I took the next right action. But I fought myself for hours about it, nearly giving in a few more times.

If you aren't familiar with these feelings yourself, this will sound waaaaaay too out there for you — but it is my truth. I was suddenly reminded by the fact that no external anything can really give me comfort; the feeling of peace, calm and comfort I seek in a cup of coffee (and never find there, truthfully) has to be found internally, not externally at any source. The real question is HOW to create that feeling, how to be okay on the inside and how not to turn to an external source for that feeling...eventually, to not even want to do so. For that to not even be the slightest inclination.

I can only imagine how this will increase when I enjoy my last glass of wine on Sunday night. Poor me, pity me. I can't have coffee any more. I can't have wine any more. Will I resent it? Will I experience anger? This is just FOOD. Isn't it all a bit ridiculous? To an outsider, perhaps, yes. But to someone in my shoes — and there are thousands, perhaps millions, like me in the United States alone — food is not just food. It is all tied up in emotions, recollections, memories, sensations, wishes, desires, wants and needs. Do I really think that this time something will be different? The coffee won't make me feel physically ill? The M&Ms won't make me unbearably nauseated? I won't be reminded every 5 minutes of the handfuls of potato chips I ate midmorning? Why do we do this to ourselves?

There are root causes and feelings at the heart of all of these strange behaviors, and it is our duty to sit and be with the feelings, identify them each time they happen, get quiet and recognize the stories behind them. This is a long, slow process tailored to each individual. Although it may not sound like it, I'm happy I've been given the opportunity to do this cleanse so that I really can sit with these feelings and start to address them; it may be uncomfortable and unpleasant in that sense but the end reward is knowing yourself a little bit better. And you may ask what the big deal about that is — it's this: when you're aware of the motives behind your actions, you can change your actions. You can be a better you, not just to get the most you can out of life but also to be a better you for those you love. Friends and family will benefit from you taking care of yourself just as much as you will.

That could be taken as quite a lofty goal for a cleanse, and I'm really not much of a goal setter in general. But if just opting out of one cup of coffee this morning can scratch the surface in this way, I will gladly dive in. "If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place."

Moving forward is exactly why you should cleanse. Yes, it's also about removing toxins and creating an amazing new baseline of energy, feeling good and creating healthy habits. But really, it's that physical cleansing that will allow you to start fresh mentally and emotionally also. Clearing all the channels and healing all the wounds. And so it bears repeating: Moving forward is exactly why you should cleanse.

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  • I cleansed last April and am still coffee free. It is hard, but everyday gets easier.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    Not even the occasional coffee? I'm really not sure if I can give it up forever...

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