The whole idea of cleansing is a mental one. Amassing stuff, weight, debt – all stemming from the same root cause by the way – happens first in the mind. We feel a sense of lack on some level so we eat, purchase, expend undue stress and energy.
Your mind created it. It can fix it.
If clarity is what you’re seeking a dedicated meditation practice is all you need. Really.
But if your mind is so occupied with thoughts about work, the kids, aging parents, cleaning, cooking, laundry, car trouble, illness, I forgot to exercise again, etc. how are you expected to quiet your mind enough to meditate?
If losing weight and getting healthier is your focus, simply changing how you eat, what you eat and moving more should take care of that.
But if you are stressed and your body is constantly “on” in flight or flight – and believe me it probably is – the weight will be stubborn. It’s quite comfortable right where it is. Giving up often seems like the only clear option.
If creating more physical space by decluttering and purging your stuff is your goal, that’s simple enough. Go through your things and get rid of whatever you no longer need or want.
But what if you uncover some attachments to weird things. An old handkerchief becomes a memory of a long passed grandmother, the broken chair was the one your dad always sat in. How are you going to release anything at that rate? And what if your partner, kids or other housemates just keep bringing more stuff home?
The reason behind the purge has to be solid; it has to be enough to keep you going. You know you will feel lighter and more open to possibility if you have less stuff, more time, and get healthy. That clear picture of the results – the space – has to become crystal clear to keep you moving forward.
Start slow but steady and determined. Habits will try to remind you how everything was just fine the way it was.
This is ultimately a mental cleanse; the clearing out of old habits and they will fight back.
I highly recommend meditation, yoga, walking, juicing. They’re all powerful tools for clarity.
We have 12 full months to turn this ship around. Just take one step today. Just agree with yourself that you are going to create space for clarity and magic then let the ‘hows’ unfold.
Still chomping to get started or whining a little?
If you did a little internal groan at meditation might I recommend Yoga Nidra? It is a meditation practice that is guided. You are laying down and simply listening. Doing this practice everyday or even twice a day for a month, or less, will change everything. Well, it will change your perspective of everything.
If yoga or walking prompted an eyeroll, just do some research on your local studios first, find a truly gentle class and start there. The big secret: Yoga is less about physical flexibility and strength (although that naturally comes) and more about mental flexibility and clarity. Or go for a walk. In regular old street clothes and some comfortable shoes. Take your phone – not to talk, try to be completely present to everything around you – to take photos of magic. You’re bound to see a beautiful flower, a bird, a sunrise. Capture it, it’ll get you back out there tomorrow.
If juicing sounds like yesterday’s hot thing or pure quackery, give it another chance. It takes a little more work. First you need a juicer and lots and lots of raw veggies and a few not too-sweet fruits. Or do you? There are some high quality cold pressed juices out there. I’m a big fan of Suja. I’m a bigger fan of juicing myself. Smoothies are great too, but with juicing you get a shot of nutrients right to the blood stream without the time it takes to digest the fiber of eating a whole bunch of kale or a carrot. If you don’t have a juicer, start with the store bought variety or make yourself a healthy smoothie in your blender. Just get some more high-quality raw veggies in that amazing body of yours.
“What about all my stuff?” you may be thinking. Take that one step at a time as well. We’ll be talking in great detail about physical objects and clutter. For now take a look around your home and determine where to start. For most it will be inside something. My own home neatly hides tons of mysterious secret stuff: drawers, closets, desks. Maybe start somewhere simple and mostly neglected. Or maybe you’ll choose to start with a category of things like clothes. There are as many techniques out there as there is stuff, we’ll go over a few that seem to be gaining some traction in the coming weeks. For now, just observe. Notice how things make you feel.
None of this has to be started today. Or ever. Remember your goal? Your reason? It’s yours, it’s personal. If any of these things can help you get on your way to more clarity give them a shot.
There will not be just one answer, one solution. It takes a village of ideas and practices working together – along with a support system – to feel safe enough to drill down and begin to create a shift.
With clarity comes enchantment, freedom and purpose.
Wait, purpose, what?