Last week I went into a health food store and ended up walking out with a 15-day cleanse program.  Have you ever done a detox or cleanse? I never have, but they’ve always intrigued me.  I know that the subject has been debated many times over, with some people supporting them wholeheartedly and others maintaining that they are nothing more than a marketing ploy. Some people believe that if one eats well and exercises regularly, they will never have to worry about a detox.  Others believe that a detox is necessary to eliminate toxic build-up and strengthen our organs.  I’m somewhere in the middle of the spectrum – I believe that our bodies ingest so many chemicals and toxins on a daily basis through our environment and nutritional choices that sometimes a kick-start is very helpful, and then maintaining those positive changes through diet, exercise, and lifestyle comes into play.  Does that make sense? It’s late and I’ve had a long day so I hope so.

Anyways, the point of my rambling is that I’m going to be starting my cleanse tomorrow morning. In preparation for it, I was reading the “directions for use” pamphlet that is included with the kit .  According to them, I’m supposed to do the following things while cleansing to “increase the success of the program” (I kid you not; this is what they suggest):

– reduce stress where possible

– exercise, even if its only a 30-minute walk

– get plenty of rest (7-8 hrs)

– drink 8-10 glasses of water per day

– eat fresh fruits and vegetables, organic if possible

– eat fish, free range chicken, turkey, or eggs are all fine protein choices

– eat well-cooked grains (millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, spelt)

– eat raw nuts and seeds

Well, surprise, surprise.  I didn’t need to purchase a cleanse to have someone tell me I should reduce my stress load, get plenty of sleep, exercise daily, and eat well, but yet I did. I know that detoxing is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, thank you very much! The cynical part of me thinks that if I did all of those things on a daily basis than I would never have a need for a detox, but that’s not my reality at this very moment.  The truth is that these days I have more stress than I’d like, less sleep than I’d like, and exercise mainly when I feel like it or have the time.  At least I eat pretty well and drink tons of water so it’s not as if I need an entire lifestyle overhaul! I believe in celebrating the small victories, apparently.

In light of my beginning a detox, I was thinking earlier this evening about what it means to do a detox from things in my life that are negative influences.  Just like eating too much refined sugar prevents me from operating at my optimal levels of effectiveness, so does spending time with the wrong people, exposure to negative influences (i.e. media), and ingesting things that don’t serve me. The rewards of living a “clean” life are enormous, and the chance to eliminate pollutants and toxins is one that I need to take more often….but so often I resist.  I have the keys to a better life, but I tend to hate taking the first step.  I’m a slow learner, apparently.  Or maybe just dumb.  The dangerous thing about this game of life is that so often we adapt and conform to operating at less than our best, until it becomes our new normal.  The shift can be so gradual that we don’t always know it’s happening until we find ourselves in a seemingly inescapable hole of danger and destruction, and I hate that.  I hate that I’m not living my best life.  Don’t get the wrong idea – my life is pretty amazing, but I know it can be better.  I know this because I know that I have a lot of room for improvement.  I’m still learning, still growing, still figuring things out, but I do know that I was made for greatness.  I know that you were too, by the way.  Yes, you!

So, since I want to thrive in all areas of my life (not just survive) I know that detoxing on a few different levels is just what I need. Just like I expect the detox I’m about to start to improve my mental clarity, focus, and energy, a life detox will do the same as I embark on the process of sorting through limiting beliefs and addictions of a different kind…like addictions to comfort and approval, for example. Will this process be fun? Well, I’m sure I can think of a few things that would classify as being more fun than this, but I do think its necessary which is why I’m doing it.  Is it weird that I’m looking forward to the journey? I suppose that was a ridiculous question because whether its weird or not, I’m still doing it.  Speaking of this journey, what does that look like for me? Off the top of my head, it means being here, in the now.  Being aware of who I’m spending time with, and how they make me feel.  Being aware of how others feel when they’re around me. Limiting exposure to media, since its negative more often than not.  Focusing on my goals, dreams, and how I’m going to help more people achieve theirs. Spending a serious amount of time working on me on a deeper level than I’ve done in a while. Being more grateful and appreciating what I have. Controlling my environment. Behaving, thinking, and acting like the person I want to be.   I’m sure I’ll think of more things later, but at least this is a start.

If you’ve made it this far and am still reading…I don’t know whether I should congratulate you or shake my head in amazement! Perhaps a bit of both. Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out, so thanks for listening/reading even when I don’t make perfect sense.  I appreciate you.


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