Spring Cleansing

It’s clear to me that I don’t have the most altruistic and / or spiritually-enlightened reasons for doing this cleanse. Deep down inside, I’m hoping it a silver bullet to drop 15 pounds (very unreasonable over 10 days) and a kick-start to a life of healthy habits. If that was true, why am I doing it a second time? Shouldn’t the yogic living already be ingrained in me from the first time around? Why am I so upset by numbers on a scale? A scale that I have read (and experienced personally) to be inconsistent in reporting numbers. Nonetheless, I am. I know that doing this reflects a deep unsettled feeling or inadequacy in my psyche that I am attached to. Maybe I can just work on letting that go and let this be about 10 days of trying something new and developing a closer relationship with my body and learning how to listen to it more closely.

Heading over to the first class for the cleanse, kind of an intro meeting / dinner / mini yoga class, I was very stressed out. Of course I was running late, but the reason I was delayed was I had misplaced my wallet. Even upon calling the place where we had lunch, then figuring out it’s possible I left it at the coffee place, I felt unsettled, upset and not wanting to be there. I knew there was nothing I could do about my wallet at that moment and that I wasn’t going to devote the time to call up the credit cards to cancel, but still I was stressing. (Not to worry, it was found at the coffee place and they tweeted my dog to let me know.)

Walking into a yoga studio can either be calming or nerve-wracking. It could be a blissed out intuitive sanctuary. Or, it’s a new space, where I am not a regular, so I don’t understand how the flow of traffic, I can’t figure out where to put my stuff and change. Because of my own mind state and the oddly curtained narrow hallways and multiple doors to bodywork rooms, I was more of the later. Even before stuff began, I felt like I was wasting my money. That I would just fall off the horse again. That I was fooling myself and not really going to get a lot out of this because look at my life: it’s a series of failures and things I have quit. (I know none of this is true, but that’s how my mind works.)

That all said, when we stood up on our yoga mats, even in my jeans, I had a moment of feeling home. Look, I know I’m a honky who grew up in an evangelical Christian background, and that I dabbled for ten years of (really good) yoga at work, but never sustained a home practice. So it wasn’t so much that the yoga studio or the modality of movement (and we did minimal stuff) was perfect. My body was just really grateful that I was moving a little. It gave a little grin when I ate the dinner of rice, mung beans and simple salad. A whispered, silent “thank you” for doing something good for me on a deep, no, deeper level.

I still haven’t shopped for all of my groceries for the next four days of gentle eating. I’m relying on the crutch of the eating plan to drive my consumption. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to be holding onto a hope that this is temporary and that I’ll see infomercial-type results in the next two weeks. I’m already looking forward to a return to pizza, burritos, nachos, beer and bread. I don’t feel like I’m 100% ready to follow this to the letter of the “law,” and I’m afraid of doing this alone, without the support of my coworker Michele, like last time. Heck, I’m not even faking it until I make it.

But somewhere deep down, there’s that quiet voice. Maybe it’s even an invisible nod. My true self’s approval of living a little more in my body. Not going for the quick hit of superficial pleasure, but instead orienting myself on a path that is just a little more right. It’s not really about losing weight or cure-all’s. It’s a nudge towards more balance. A meaningful gift to my body and mind. A break from the easy way out and a moment in something truly better. It’s too soon to say whether this is going to be a miraculous transformation or the theme of my 38th year on the planet. And it may never be said. I’m just going to hop out of the way of indulgence and try to savor the joy and satisfaction and fulfillment mindfulness can bring.

I’m sure there’s a way to mindfully enjoy a beer, once a week. But that’s not part of this here and now. Not for the next two weeks, at least.

4 Responses to “Spring Cleansing”

  1. Darcy Says:

    I hope you don’t mind me applauding you for even committing to a 2-week dietary change. Man, I haven’t had a mung bean in years! Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

  2. Janice Says:

    Good for you for walking into that yoga studio — I get it, that’s how my mind works, too. Moved back to the bay area a year ago and still freaked out about going to new places (what a weanie!) Trying to work myself up to going to Rachel Herron’s reading at Verb on Friday and hoping to avoid the last minute chickening out! Good luck with the cleanse. Oh, and there MUST be a way to mindfully enjoy a beer once a week . . . because avoiding it altogether would just suck.

  3. Wendy Says:

    Oh man, you’re a better person than me. I actually had to quit yoga because it stressed me out too much (the folks there were so addicted to their Blackberrys that they refused to leave them outside). Add a *diet* to the mix and I’d be on the floor gasping.

  4. steven a. Says:

    15lbs? how thin do you need to be?!