Updated: May 6, 2020
If you tuned in last month you know the theme was all about purging, purifying and letting that shit go! I’m nothing if not a student of my own teaching, and I don’t like to share anything I wouldn’t, or don’t, do for myself. In keeping with that, I had planned to do a 10-day cleanse last month, but some friends were trying out a 3-day fast, so I ended up doing that instead. What an experience! Nothing but juice, vegan broth (recipe from Wallflower Kitchen), water and lemon water for three days. At first you think, will I survive without food for that long? The answer is yes, and it will push you to every edge you have. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. You’re not too late to grab the season change, which is the best time of year for it. It got me in touch with the many triggers and places that I reach, just to reach, not because I actually need something. And without that reaching in tact, let me tell you, my basement looks amazing! I had to channel that energy somewhere, and it’s also a great time to purge and let go of physical things too, so I put it to good use.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back and read May’s blog — Let That Shit Go! — to get you up to speed. One of the critical things I learned is that we actually need a lot less than we consume. I know we can understand that on a cognitive, theoretic level, but in the mental haze of not consuming food, it becomes much more tangible as a lived experience. And this can translate to all types of consumption, not just food. It could be drugs, sex, alcohol, shopping, work, stress, anxiety, even exercise or starvation (and if that’s your pick, I don’t recommend a fast), or anything that distracts you from feeling what’s underneath the reaching. So the process of cleansing, whether it’s your body, your house, your car, or your relationships leaves you with two, often conflicting, outcomes: 1) gratitude that whatever was clogging up the drain is now gone; and 2) often the more painful side of that coin, is the question, how did it get here in the first place? What tendency do you have to fill space out of comfort? We live in a culture obsessed with consumption — and we’re bred for it, even! Advertisers get paid very well to make us believe we need things we flat out don’t, and that external focus takes us away from what truly is important: connection, experience and relationships — the heart of why we’re here.
We feed ourselves to numb what we don’t like about our lives, or how we’re showing up in them.
By the third day of my fast, the discomfort had really reached a peak and I needed some guidance. I turned to shamanic journey to get some clarity. The teaching was so powerful that I’m going to share it in this month’s meditation. But here’s the gist in a nutshell: we are all energy, we move from one form to the next seamlessly. It’s only when we become human that we resist this energetic evolution, the form we are being changed into. We think something is being taken away from us and we struggle to keep what we think is “ours,” but it’s just energy shedding off. This month, try letting go in some other way: to an object, an argument, a resistance to what is — and see what that yields. We think we are going to die when this happens. It sounds silly but there’s a part of us that really thinks we will die — and at the same time — there's a part of us that is dying. This is because we mistake our energy for our matter. In other words, we mistake our emotional, mental and spiritual body, with our physical body. We are such sentient beings that we think those things are us, so of course the natural reaction is to grip with all our life force. In fact, it is the gripping that suffocates life. Imagine how free you would be if you didn’t care about losing whatever you feel threatened to lose? So in an argument, what if you let go of caring who was right? You can move freely without being held down by the belief that you must fight, grasp or cling to what is yours, even if that yours is just and idea, just energy. It follows the spiritual teaching: “If you die before you die, you will not die when you die.”
As painful as it is, we must constantly allow ourselves to let go of how we want it to be and surrender to what is. A mini death as it were, that death allowing us to evolve and be changed by life, which actually brings us closer to ourselves.
Perhaps that friendship, relationship or job isn’t suppose to last, and by clinging to it we keep ourselves from evolving. Maybe there’s something sweeter around the corner but we will never know if we don’t let go.
I’ll share a story that is more personal but it gets to the heart of this teaching. I quit my job last year to take a break from the hamster wheel and to open a healing practice. It hasn’t been an easy road by any stretch, but sometimes I think my guides have it in mind that I must experience it to teach it — so that’s been my last year. Starting and stopping, doors opening and closing, and much of it not making sense along the way. But it’s taught me two things: 1) trust in your guides and the universe, they always know more than you can see; 2) we need a LOT less than we think we do. When I was working a regular job with a regular schedule, I spent way more money than I needed to and was completely unconscious of it. I thought that I was just tending to my families everyday needs and caring for myself. But when we’re unhappy we fill ourselves with senseless things because we are coping with all that we hate about our lives. And this isn’t to say anyone with a 9-5 job is miserable and should hate their lives. If you’re at a job you like and doing what you love, good on you. But I’m talking about the folks that aren’t happy, whether it’s in their job, relationships, or with their life choices.
When there’s a sense that your talents and dreams are being left dusty on a shelf, it gnaws at you. So even if you don’t quit your job and go rogue like I did, see if you can tap into that this month. What could you go without in exchange for honoring the calling of your heart? Is it cutting back your hours to spend more time with your family? Is it taking a vacation with all those unused PTO hours? I can tell you they’re not going to pay you for them when you leave, so enjoy them now! Is it cutting back expenses to pay for something you’d rather have, or to create the security of a savings account? Is it letting your friend have the last word? Is it not responding to a criticism? Make some shift in how you're doing things, and it will likely be uncomfortable, but you’ll be so much happier to discover what truly matters. Maybe try volunteering to get out of your own way and focus on others, or donate if you truly don’t have time to volunteer. Get out of the consumerist cycle and offer your time because it’s what you love and care about. We have to get in touch with our hearts here, our heads have a much harder time letting go.
If you missed last month’s blog, catch it here. If a cleanse or fast is too much, try letting go of something else and see how that works. For fun, listen to Florence + The Machine’s new song