Day 1 of a cleanse. Yet another cleanse. The latest in a long line of hundreds of them, stretching back over 25 years.
The first impulse was to deem them all "failed", but they all served a purpose. I dumped some of the toxic load in the body, heart, mind. Lost some weight. Gained a fresh perspective of food and eating and the emotional ties I have to them.
Yet none of them ever were part of a big breakthrough, a big enough breakthrough to hold and not go back to the patterns of dis-ease, the dark ignorance that lies between desiring a refined carb and putting it into my body. The Big Breakthrough where the light goes on and stays that way.
It seems like such a simple thing, and it is. But it isn't easy.
Just don't eat refined carbs.
But for 40 years now, I can only do that for small amounts of time.
I'm facing something at my current job that I faced in my holistic work: I can't go further, can't really do the work I was meant to do at the level I'm capable of if I don't break through this wall of illness, dis-ease, discomfort, fogginess, emotionality, addiction.
By most anybody's ruler, I'm doing good work, sometimes even excellent work. But I know this body-mind-spirit is capable of so much more, like seeing a door cracked, brilliant light pouring through. Would you be able to resist the urge to open the door, let the light fill the whole room?
And so: cleanse.
Yoga. Green smoothies. Green vegetables. Raw eggs. Herbs and supplements to assist - olive leaf and triphala, ground chia seeds and probiotics, green powder and digestive enzymes. This is the plan for this cleanse.
Will it work?
Even now, as I sit here typing this, it occurs to me that what I most want to do is go into town to try out that locally famous diner that serves amazing omeletes and home fries and coffee. Yes, that would feel good.
And it would. For a while. Til night time came and the desire for more hard core Up kicked in, and I moved on to key lime pie and gluten free pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms. And then wake up the next morning with heaviness in body and mind, a swollen face like I did this morning.
Food is my great comforter. My favorite thing to do is what I did last night: eat pizza and pie, snuggled in on the couch with the kitties, watching SG1 episodes, the sound of life in the country - trees and wind and small scurrying and flying beings settling in for the night too. My whole body and being relaxes. Kitties prrp. Daniel Jackson discovers the stories of The Ancients. Dinner is delicious.
But then, as I go off to bed, belly swollen and back aching, I get that this is just another favorite thing that comforts me that is rapidly reaching the critical point of having to be jettisoned. If I could just do this one night a week, maybe it would be okay. But I don't seem to have the desire, the will.
All I want is to hang with my fuzzy guys and snack, watch stories. Just drift.
During the day I do work that brings change into the lives of other people. I always have. I make big changes in my own living. I always have done this too.
Just in the past few years I went from being a feng shui consultant to academia, then to the state and social work while simultaneously working as a shamanic healer, now as a health care reform chronic disease research fellow. Since 2005 I moved from Chester, NY to Kent, OH to Pulaski, VA to Albany, NY to Troy, NY to Wilmington, NC to Chapel Hill, NC.
I'm as afraid of change as anybody. But I'm more afraid of stagnation, inertia, settling, giving up on having an adult life that is enjoyable to live inside of.
I'm grateful for the family I was born into, the life I've lived. So grateful for how strongly forged I am from living in such close proximity to roaring fires. And I've spent my entire life working so hard to shed the darker parts of my familial birthright: shards that reflect physical and emotional abuse, drug addiction and mental illness, ignorance and unwillingness, violence against self and others, a distaste, disdain for work and love and honesty and forgiveness and spirituality.
It's as if I looked around inside of me, my head, heart, body, life, and saw what wasn't Yes, what I could feel wasn't me, and I spent four decades aligning myself with people who could help me jettison those shards. But then I reached a place where the only person who could go on was me. The teachers and fellow students grew smaller and smaller in the distance. The solo journey began.
It all sounds so self-absorbed, so egotistical. And it is. This ego inside of me has grown monstrous.
But I don't know how a person could survive what I've been through without having such a huge, mirrored ego. Maybe it is monstrous and should die. But I feel grateful to it. From the perspective of inside looking out, it has a certain billion-faceted radiance, like an emotional prism. And it's carried me to the place I now stand.
Maybe other places have been more still and quiet, more fun, more "spiritual", more happy, but this life I now inhabit is more self-sufficient, more honest than any other. It's fierceness, it's utter coldness in divvying the landscapes - both inner and outer - into Me/Yes and Not Me/No has given me the gift of living with a lot less Untrue than probably 99% of the population. The sheer bullsh*t quotient is now so low in this living it's like an extended bass note of Yes as backdrop to everything.
Which is maybe why the ego now shows up in all its vibrant monstrous glory. The very vessel that brought me here, is now the vessel I have to move on from. Maybe ego is a boat and from here on out it isn't a journey by sea. Maybe I can break it down and use its components to build a nice house in this pretty land whose shores I now walk on.
Or maybe it's bonfire time...
And so this all brings me back to the cleanse. It's really so very basic, so very bottom line: if I don't empty out, there won't be the room, the energy to do the next part of this journey.
It's so simple. So straightforward.
Yoga and 5 Tibetans and Tabata to gently, fiercely break open the physical and energetic bodies from scar tissue and rust.
Clean, pure, vibrant, simple fuel to nourish the tiny organic machines and systems that power this living called Katherine.
Simple. But not easy.
Unless it's time. When it's time, the path clears.
Is it time?
I stand trembling at the gate. Scared, alone, but here. Scared, but standing at the gate.