Detox. This word is probably the most abused word in the “health and wellness” industry; you have detox tea, detox juices, ayurvedic detox, water detox, mental detox, electronic detox, you name it, it has a detox! But what is really a detox?
A detoxification insinuates that whatever you were consuming, be it food or behaviour, has become toxic for your life. Most of the time this is true, but to assume that doing a 3-day juice cleanse will cancel out the effects of a weekend of binge eating is very naïve.
To start my detoxing journey, because it truly is a journey, I had to plan it out. You see detoxing isn’t limited to your body, it should also include your environment, the people around you, and your habits; all that needs a plan. Not only that, you need the patience and an open mind, detoxing will bring up things you probably don’t want to deal with (hence storing them), and to truly free yourself you have to face them.
So where do you start?
The first and probably the easiest step was to declutter and organize my environment, mainly home and the office. I say the easiest because once you get to the next step you’ll find that decluttering was a breeze. It all started with things that were in storage, which have been in storage for so long I forgot I even had them. You see I am a person that keeps things “just in case” I might magically need them sometime in the future; so far that has never happened. Anything I kept because maybe one day I will need it was either donated or recycled, anything I kept for when guests came over I took out and started using for myself and family (you deserve the pretty things more than guests)
The second step was the people around me, although it’s unfortunate that you can’t change family, you can limit your interactions with them and the kind of conversations you have with them. I started by not participating in discussions that I felt passionate about because most of the time some family member would try to undermine my passion or call it a waste of time. I learned to ignore and move on even when I am itching to correct someone, sometimes you have to realise that people want to react more than understand, and that’s on them to sort out, not you.
I also started adding people into my life, which sounds funny but thanks to the internet you can be surrounded by great people without actually meeting them! YouTube became my source of inspiration, I would watch videos of healers, thinkers, and YouTubers that have reached my goals and now explain how they got there. This is the same as surrounding yourself with people that are aligned with what you are trying to achieve. I have already noticed a difference in my thinking just by watching videos and doing nothing else.
This might have been the hardest to do, as for me mental clutter is also habits I grew accustomed to. Trying to break those habits depends on the previous clutter methods, because you cannot change a habit if you do not change what you do everyday, and to change what you do you have to change your environment. I created a space for my meditation practice separate from other spaces; I start my day with affirmations; I stop checking my phone and social media incessantly; and so many other small habits that I started to develop I’d find that they compound in effect.
I don’t call myself a negative thinker, I am more of a worrier, which to me makes a difference. This way of thinking became more common after becoming a mother, where every scenario came to mind was to keep my kids safe. Is that considered negative thinking? I don’t know, what I do know is that it comes from a “I want to keep them safe” state of mind rather than “everything is going wrong”.
Lastly, journaling helped me a lot to get my thoughts together, I don’t do it everyday but when I feel conflicted I write everything down so that my brain can process it. It also takes away from the energy of all these thoughts swimming in my head.
After months of going through all these clean ups, I decided it’s time to do a physical detox. Before beginning I made sure there would be an emotional outlet for me to deal with whatever comes up, this was the connective breathing sessions. You see, when you let go of toxins what usually comes out with them are strong emotions that we stored in our body. Either we weren’t able to deal with them when an incident happened or we decided to ignore small things for a long time, things accumulate. While it would have been easier to deal with them on the spot, when you gather a mountain of sand its harder to deal with than a few spoonful’s.
I did the vegan food detox which was supported with massages and sauna therapy. With it I took a few supplements that help the liver detox, I know I have a lot of anger and it’s the liver that holds on to that energy. For a whole week I ate vegan food, meditated daily to tell my body it’s ok to release anything it needs to, and did breathing sessions to push things along.
Did this work for me? Absolutely! But here is the thing, nothing will change overnight, and wanting to change what you’ve accumulated for YEARS in a month is ridiculous and silly. This process is ongoing, it never stops, there is always something you need to work on, but if you deal with emotions early you wouldn’t have to deal with their mountain later. Food, while very important to your health, is probably the easiest to deal with. I found this quote that sums up everything I found out the hard way:
I still work on myself to this day, and every time I tell myself “yes, I am nearly there!”, I uncover something new that is usually bigger than what I have overcome. That’s the wisdom in your body, it won’t give you more than you can handle, and you have to honour that by not speeding up the process for convenience. Understand your body, work with it, all that it does day in and day out is give you the best is can, so why are not mentally, spiritually, and physically feeding it well?