It is Lesson 11, and today we are discussing the practices of dietary cleansing and fasting and how through our body we can find deep, spiritual connection.
In many, if not most, religious traditions, the body is seen as LESS than the spirit. The body is normally portrayed as dirty, base, even sinful, in contrast to our spirit or soul being somehow higher, or better. Earth and 3D reality is something we should be trying to transcend, because there is a more ‘heavenly’ place somewhere else.
Well, I do not approach my life or my teachings from this perspective.
Been there, done that.
Validating the Body
In my reality, the body is a GIFT, and this 3D reality we call life a PLAYGROUND of experiences. I can’t eat, and dance, and love, and hug, and run, and play, and create when I am just essence and energy. I need this vessel and this dirt in order to create and evolve!
You can see so far, many of my Soul Flow practices revolve around the body, and physical, “real,” life.
As I intuit it, unless our body is nourished and cared for, we can’t even begin to focus on our spiritual development.
We have to be grounded, physically secure, and nourished before we can climb the ladder into more transcendent, spiritual realms.
Dietary cleanses and fasting are two ways we can care for our bodies in a meaningful way, yet also reap powerful benefits on a spiritual level.
My First Cleanse
Two years ago I participated in my first dietary cleanse, and I am not exaggerating when I say “It changed my life.”
Truly, it did. That first 10 day cleanse set off a positive chain reaction that continues to shape my nutritional choices and my physical health to this day.
Here are 10 unexpected things that happened for me when I first embarked on a dietary cleanse.
1. Real Nourishment
Right away, I noticed that my body felt FED!
Before the cleanse, all the energy around my eating was centered on the mouth and the stomach. Food tasted good and I felt my stomach get full.
But the cleanse experience was different. I started feeling my cells getting nourished ~ energized by the quality of food I was eating. It wasn’t subtle, either.
You know how when you have a drink of alcohol… or two… how the feeling of intoxication moves into your limbs and muscles?
That’s how my body felt after my green juice on the second day… only in a good, present, energized way!
I was like Popeye, after eating a can of spinach. It was like “Yowza!”
2. Improved Basic Bodily Functions
Yep, I’m gonna go here–right from the get go:
Poop and Sleep.
You know I speak the truth when I say, if you don’t poop good or sleep well, your day is shit. **Pun intended**
There is a reason those “I pooped today!” t-shirts exist.
If you don’t get those two things on lock, you might as well forget feeling good about anything else, especially if it is spiritual or enlightened.
Obviously, a cleanse is going to handle the poop factor, but the surprise for me was how incredible my sleep space became!
Getting off the sugar and caffeine roller coaster, and balancing out my body chemistry worked wonders for my sleep!
3. Improved and Balanced Mood
Most of my life I have struggled with mild depression on a frequent basis.
I never realized how much the food I eat contributes to my emotional well-being. During my first cleanse, by day 3, I was waking up feeling positive and happy ~ and I maintained that upbeat energy easily throughout the day.
Because of the changes I made after that first cleanse, I have not had a “down” day or suffered from the blues since.
I also noticed my ability to cope with stress improved.
You see, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine contribute to adrenal fatigue. Our adrenals help our minds and bodies deal with stress without getting overwhelmed. Eliminating these 3 items during a cleanse gives your adrenal glands a break and allows them a chance to reset.
Healthy adrenals = Better stress management.
4. Conquered Fear
Before I began my first cleanse, I was petrified. I literally could not sleep for 2 nights because of the anxiety I felt around eliminating certain foods from my diet.
What was I going to do without my nightly glass of wine?!
My morning coffee?!!!!
But once my body was balanced out by the food I was eating, my cravings for these things virtually disappeared. In fact, the thought of coffee made my body cringe! I know, I could hardly believe it either!
My fear around losing my food crutches vanished.
5. Confronted Emotional Baggage
Throughout the cleanse I would have moments where I would feel a wave of emotion wash over me. It was like my body was a store house of memories, and as I was cleansing it out, feelings and memories would come back to me. They weren’t all pleasant.
I felt like I had literally “stuffed shit down” inside my flesh.
You will find, as your body releases deep-rooted toxins, it also begins to release deeperlayers of emotions. Toxic feelings such as fear, anger and anxiety surface.
This is an opportunity to deal with your baggage for good. Painful, unpleasant emotions and trauma that you store in your body can manifest into physical aches and pains, and disease.
Practicing good self-care during a cleanse will help you process these feelings as they come up.
Take long baths, walks, sit in comforting yoga asanas like child pose or corpse. Spend time in nature, keep a journal, or do some deep breathing meditations.
Healing of these long-held, often ignored, issues is one of the most rewarding parts of the cleanse or fasting process.
6. Healed from Food Traumas, Confronted Addictions
I have suffered from lifelong shame around food and my body. I judged everything I put in my mouth, calculating its cost to my caloric intake limits. I have felt guilt nearly every time I put something in my mouth, fearing that it would increase my butt or thigh size.
I have come to realize that I have been completely oppressed by this mind-set ~ something I do several times a day that I felt fear and anxiety around each and every time!
During a cleanse, everything I put in my body is good for me. There is ZERO shame or guilt. The relief from those oppressive thoughts and shameful feelings was incredible. I felt free for the first time in my life. I could eat with joy!
I also discovered that when I craved something, it was usually in response to an emotional reaction. When I was stressed I craved potato chips or alcohol. When I felt depressed–I wanted sugar.
Cleansing and fasting diminished my emotional reactions significantly, and when they did come up, it forced me to have to deal with the actual issues causing my duress, rather than run for the Ruffles.
It also made me conscious of how I was choosing food most of the time.
7. Developed a New Relationship with Food
Cleansing forced me to be mindful about my food choices. I had to think first. I had to select the proper foods. I had to prepare my meals. The effort I put into preparing meals made me appreciate them as I was eating. And I felt so nourished and good about what I was eating.
I developed a love and appreciation for nutrition, and what it was giving to my body, mind and spirit.
A communication began to develop between me and my body. There was a dialog that wasn’t there before.
Before, if I felt hungry I’d scrounge through the fridge, pull something out of a box, and nuke it in the microwave.
Or I’d follow a craving and mindlessly stick something in my mouth before I realized what I was doing.
A deeper connection developed between me, my body and my food. It tells me what it wants in a different way. Instead of a craving in my mind or belly, and can feel my cells need water, or greens, or protein.
Two years, after my first cleanse I have continued to evolve. I am becoming a vegetarian. I want to start growing my own vegetables. I want to start composting and minimizing the resources that I use. And I want to start caring for my planet better.
It’s crazy to think all this started because of a 10-day cleanse.
8. Increased Mindfulness
Taking the 10 extra seconds to make choices about my food and the extra time to prepare it for myself, bled over into other areas of my life.
I started thinking before I spoke something I would regret. I started thinking before I said, “Yes” automatically and started saying “No’ because I really didn’t want to do it.
Mindfulness in one area, created mindfulness in all areas.
9. Increased Vibrations
You are what you eat.
When you start loading up on whole, enzyme-rich foods, you start vibrating at a differnet level and become more attuned to higher vibrations.
This is pretty “woo-woo” right here. You have to experience it to understand what I mean.
The shorter the time from the garden to your table, the higher vibratory energy contained within the food. When our bodies receive this high vibration energy from fresh, organic foods, it floods this energy throughout our bodies.
My body and mind literally hummed with energy. I could feel it coursing through my veins.
My dream space expanded, my intuition increased, a got in the “flow” easier and stayed in longer.
10. Self Love & Deeper Consciousness
Cleansing and fasting require us to slow down and pay attention. To hear our true selves, we have to become quiet. We turn our attention inward. When you allow this to happen, you will feel an overwhelming connection to your inner being.
Cleansing and fasting purify the body, release stagnation, and establish an increased flow of revitalizing energy. You will feel more alert, awake and alive.
You will feel nourished and the act of nourishing yourself on such a high level will make you feel nurtured and loved.
Loving and supporting yourself in this way opens up new pathways of communication to deeper levels of who you are. Don’t be surprised to hear deeper messages about your life’s purpose and calling.
Doing a cleanse or fast once or twice a year is like hitting a reset button for your body. It will help to increase your energy levels, balance your hormones, improve digestion, give your adrenals a break, and help break cravings and addictions.
And, as you can see, cleansing can go beyond just the physical perks. If you slow down and tune in you will experience the emotional and spiritual benefits, as well.
There are many types of cleanses out there. The coach I go to is Joy Smith, with Growing Wild. She is starting a Session on September 19th if you want to check it out: JOY SMITH – SEPTEMBER 19th CANDIDA CLEANSE
I am not an affiliate, I receive nothing for sharing her or this cleanse with you. This where I got started, it truly changed my life, and I feel it could benefit anybody.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email. DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of my ebook, “Soul Flow,” and get started creating finding flow and making meaning in your life!