My partner and I just completed a four week cleanse over the month of January. Although we've done these for many years, this was the first time we did so through our business or in the public eye of social media. We kept it simple: one week of binge watching food films and then three weeks in which we eliminated one thing each week from our diet or lifestyle that was't serving us and replaced it with something that was. I tackled the usual suspects like sugar and beer - but the most interesting thing that happened to me along the way didn't really have anything to do with food at all.
I recently watched a TED talk by Graham Hill titled Less Stuff, More Happiness. It's about taking up less space and editing down your life. "Make room for the good stuff," he says. One thing I've learned about myself whenever I cleanse is that I have what I call a "scarcity reflex." The moment I feel deprived (of food, sugar or that nightly beer I've become accustomed to) I start to grip. It's the same reason I have jeans in my closet that I haven't worn in two years. There is something inherently difficult about letting go... it is the unnerving fear and uncertainty of being without.
It doesn't really matter if it's food or jeans or the papers in the basement I've been saving for decades. Scarcity is unbiased and it's grip deceiving - as if our accumulations will somehow provide us with security, fulfillment or happiness - when in reality it leaves us quite literally heavy. So I started letting go... We dug up the basement. We got a paper shredder. We rewrote our budget. We donated clothes we didn't need. We bought beautiful food. We stayed home and cooked. We went to more yoga. We even bought a few great pieces of clothing - because it's not just about letting go. It's about making room for the good stuff.
Tomorrow is a new month and I'm starting it feeling stronger, lighter and happier than before. Don't get me wrong - I still have plenty of work to do with my body, heart, mind (and closet). But I can tackle each of those things knowing that I am not without. I am already enough. And if I clear out more room, it will be for the good stuff...