Sunday, March 6, 2011
Why I'm doing a four-day cleanse.
On Monday I am starting a four-day Ayurvedic cleanse. I will be drinking ghee in the morning and eating kichardi for every meal and taking Ayurvedic supplements and drinking tons of warm water. There is more to it than that, but that is definitely the gist.
Yes, I am crazy.
Okay, no, I am NOT crazy, but I've been struggling with the winter blues as of late, feeling a little bit yucky and lethargic, and I'm ready to do something to jump-start my system. Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, and I've said over and over I want to learn more about it - what better way than to DO an Ayurvedic cleanse? I am also combining four days of physical detox with something along the lines of a personal work retreat, the work being the Job of Being Me. I guess that could sound ridiculously selfish and narcissistic, but I trust that people who truly know me know that it's been a long time since I've done something like this. (Have I ever done something like this?) I was thinking about the retreats we used to go on every year when I worked in college admissions. At all three of the institutions where I worked, we would go on these retreats to take stock, set goals and make plans. Sometimes they would be all-staff events, sometimes it would just be the counseling staff, (I spent 10 years as an admissions counselor - yes, I may or may not be the one who dashed your admission and scholarship dreams...or, perhaps I made them come true? Heehee!) and most of the time it would be some combination of work and play. Usually it was off-campus because a change of scenery can change perspective (and also limit distractions). At one school we went up to the Wisconsin Dells for three days and combined team-building activities with meetings, strategy sessions, touristy activities, nature hikes and great meals. At another school we'd go to a state park for an overnight, but spend most of the daylight hours in a windowless boardroom. I even planned these types of things for the Tour Guide program that I ran. We'd spend a day at a restaurant playing silly (but fun!) get-to-know-you games, eating yummy food and having training sessions. The common thread was always a combination of taking stock and then planning and setting goals, while LEARNING, all in an intensive environment without distraction.
I think there was a point in my life when I was much better about personal planning. In my mid-20s, though, I went through a period where I didn't even have life by the tail, but instead it had me by the back of the neck, and I slowly gave up on making plans because it just seemed as though there was always something that would throw itself in my way at the last minute. Let's face it - life is hard. Bad things happen. The best laid plans, blah blah blah. I started being way more go-with-the-flow, and, if I'm being really hard on myself, I'd say that I stopped actively participating in my life. I suppose I got used to just letting things happen to me as opposed to making them happen.
No more! If companies spend big bucks sending their employees to retreats (now that I think about it, I did have a boss who called them advances - he liked the idea of moving forward better than retreating...hmm, perhaps he was a yogi?) to figure shit out, well hell, we should all care about ourselves enough to do the same thing on a personal level. So I'm diving head first into four days of FIGURING SOME SHIT OUT. FOR ME. And it couldn't come at a better time; today I managed to let go of something that has been weighing heavy on my head and heart for a long while in a way that felt incredibly authentic and like the best possible outcome.
Now, given that I'm (finally) combining career with passion - these four days WILL include a lot of professional work. But they will also include even more personal work. Intentions, goals, ideas, a lot of self-care: massage, baths, gentle yoga, long walks, and, as it turns out, a few teaspoons of ghee in the morning and a bunch of beans. Sounds like a recipe for...well, we'll see. (Yes, I'm aware that there are some GREAT JOKES waiting to be made right now.) I'm completely open and ready.
Jai, Jai, Jai, Jai!!
(photo credit: Mangosteen Resort)