It’s time for fall cleaning in my household. Every spring and fall I do a major cleaning and organizing of everything in the house. I get rid of anything that is not necessary or isn’t being used, and I clean every corner and cupboard. I know it’s time to do it again because I feel like I can’t get on to any new projects until I clear out the clutter from the last four busy months of summer activity. Spring and fall cleaning help me to feel clear and focused so that I can put all my energy into manifesting my visions (summer) or planting seeds and sinking into potent stillness (winter). Fall and Spring are relatively short seasons that are characterized by movement. I love the vitality and excitement that each of these transitional seasons offer and I have found that the ritual of cleansing is key to getting the most out of them. So this week I will begin my autumn cleansing of my household, and in a couple weeks I will begin cleansing my physical and mental bodies as well.
I have been doing nutritional cleanses during the spring and fall for years and they have always helped me to maximize my health and get back on track with nourishing routines, but the last couple years I was feeling a lack of inspiration in regards to my cleansing practice. At the same time I was really getting into the practices of Ayurveda, inspired by my dear friend Kimberly Loeb. So when I discovered Cate Stillman’s Yogi Detox last spring I knew it was exactly what I needed to re-inspire my commitment to healthy living. How did I know it was what I needed? I felt the same way I do when I open up a cupboard in my house that I have been stuffing things into for too long. I felt ready to get in there and organize, prioritize, and stop putting it off. I knew that if I took care of optimizing my daily routines I would be more productive and grounded in the same way that cleaning my desk of the last four months of paperwork will allow me to be more creative. It’s a knowing I can feel in my gut, more than in my mind.
What is a cleanse and what does it do for you? I think the straightest answer to that question is that a cleanse brings more simplicity and clarity into your daily routines and your life. A cleanse is about letting go of anything that no longer serves you and welcoming in more of what nourishes and inspires. A cleanse is about slowing down, listening deeply, and entering into a more intimate conversation with yourself- mind, body, and spirit. So often we are just operating from a place of habit and convenience when it comes to our daily rituals. During the period of a cleanse we bring a high degree of intention and awareness to everything we do and so we become very conscious of what we are ingesting- this includes food and drink, media intake, the books we read, and the company we keep- we take the time to ask ourselves “will this nourish and support me?” before we ingest it. During a cleanse we also place extra emphasis on creating or re-establishing practices that support our evolution. We make time for meditation, conscious movement, self observation, mindful food preparation, and loving connection with our family members and the people in our lives that support our forward growth. And we have more time for these nourishing practices because we make space in our day by letting go of all that is not needed.
What I have discovered is that this feeling of spaciousness is increased the more I prioritize the rituals that feed and support me and release those that drain me. If I don’t make the time early in the day to drink a green juice, do my daily oil massage, practice some gentle asana and breathwork or sit in stillness- then the rest of the day feels crowded and hectic and I am more likely to make unhealthy choices. I have learned that by creating daily space for nourishing routines I access a reservoir of spaciousness and vitality that supports me in a much deeper way than my morning Matcha (or coffee) ever did. That by attending to my body and my mind in the stillness and silence of early morning I can be more productive and feel better at the same time- much more so than if I just get up and go straight to the emails or run out the door before I’ve had time to check in with myself. So I’d say cleansing is about making space to access greater spaciousness. And out of spaciousness arises clarity, vitality, insight, and truth. Your truth. Through cleansing you discover what works for you, and what doesn’t.
So today I am going to enjoy my day off from teaching by clearing physical clutter from my living and working spaces and getting ready to dive deep into the essence of the autumn season. I am going to clear the space around me to that I will be more able to sit still and do nothing dream, breathe deep, and listen out for what is waiting to be revealed.