At Iyasu, we don’t believe that cleansing has to be a negative or stressful experience. We understand and acknowledge that cleanses can be intimidating to begin with and may feel intense as the cleanse progresses. This can be true because when your physical body detoxes, it can bring to the surface unpleasant physical symptoms. Also, when the emotional body detoxes, it can release repressed emotions that may feel terrible coming up. It’s natural that human beings would prefer not to feel pain, physically or emotionally and turn their attention away or look for distractions. Not every cleanse will produce “negative” feelings but if some come up for you, take heart..there is good news! Below outlines certain perspectives you can choose to see or things you can do that may help make the cleansing experience more pleasant.
When we begin a cleanse, how we approach the cleanse plays a big part in what we experience. If we have expectations that we should do it perfectly, we might struggle more than we really need to. It’s great to have a goal in mind but I find that flexibility is helpful, especially if we encounter a challenge. For example, let’s say we are doing a juice cleanse but we are so hungry or angry that we are having difficulty functioning or keeping peace in our relationships. i feel it’s ok to add a piece of fruit or a small salad with a little lemon. Or if we are doing a food cleanse and we “slip”, no need to feel guilty. If you go off your cleanse and beat yourself up – forgive yourself and get back on the cleanse. We are all human and self-compassion might be one of the gifts the cleanse may be offering you.
What if you want to achieve a cleansing goal but can’t seem to follow the cleanse as written? If you have had any experiences with children, then you know that they tend to respond much more positively with encouragement than expectations. I am grateful that I have an open and loving relationship with my children and they feel safe to express their feelings with me. Last year my son expressed that he is afraid to make mistakes because he felt I expected him not to. Yikes…that was not easy to hear but I was grateful for the information and also that he knew I would be able to hear him. I apologized to him for my part in this and explained that I have high expectations and perfection issues within myself so naturally I put that on him, which was not fair nor correct. Since revealing this to me, I now listen more carefully to him and validate his feelings while encouraging him toward his goals. He feels better about moving into the unknown parts of life and can take bigger risks because of it. I am very proud of him for sharing his feelings with me. I am also proud of myself for admitting my fault and taking action to rectify it. It was such a great lesson for me to see where I am very hard on myself (and my children by extension) and have learned to be more self-loving.
I want to encourage you to allow yourself not to have high expectations of yourself while at the same time encouraging you to keep moving toward your goals. I believe that whether it is completing a cleansing goal or any other goals we set for ourselves, taking it one day at a time helps us avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated. I believe I can do whatever I need to when I see that I only have to do it for one day.
Self-criticism is not helpful in any areas of our lives. When we beat ourselves up because we didn’t fulfill an expectation that we had for ourselves or that someone else had for us; it isn’t productive, we feel badly, and it causes unnecessary internal stress. How can we lead with self-kindness? By choosing to look at everything that shows up simply as information. For instance, let’s take the above example: let’s say that you start a cleanse and you are having a hard time following it as directed. Perhaps you eat something not on the list and it begins with you feeling guilty and then spirals downward to a place of self-loathing. Pulling out a notebook at this point can be very helpful. Try to avoid going into any self-judgment and start writing about what you are feeling. Keep writing until the discomfort passes and see what shows up. The information that you gain from the “slip” could be multi-layered. Perhaps you are able to view your relationship with food from a different perspective. As a result of the “slip” and your initial response to it, you might connect with how food was seen and handled within your family of origin. Did anyone in your family have a difficult relationship with food that you took on simply by being a part of the family? Was food used as a way to control either the person themselves or others within the family? When we look at the gifts the cleanse is offering, we can see that it may be helpful information. From this perspective, there is no need to turn on ourselves, and conversely it might even help us to step into some much needed self-love.
We can use this particular perspective that “everything is information for my highest good” in every area of our lives. When we choose to see that all our experiences are there to help us connect with the part of us that trusts – thereby releasing fear – we can stop personalizing the experiences with others and use the information we discover to support and encourage our own self-growth.
Usually most people choose to cleanse their body because of a particular intention. Some want to use it as a way to get back on track; to start eating more healthfully and jump start their diet. Others may choose cleansing as a way to heal from an illness or disease that is problematic. Still others may cleanse as a way to maintain good health. Whatever your intention, I am encouraging you to allow yourself to remember that you are choosing to cleanse because you care about your health and yourself. What a beautiful expression of self-love! When we connect with this self-love intention that initiated the cleanse to begin with, we can hear more clearly the pearls of wisdom our body is giving us.
When working with clients, I often ask them to slow down and listen to what their body is telling them. This isn’t an easy task for some people so I thought it might be helpful to give some tips on how to accomplish this. The first and most important piece is to believe in the wisdom of the body and trust that it loves you and wants you to heal. Second, trust and believe that you can and will hear what your body is telling you. We embrace what we believe and this goes both ways – positive and negative – so what we believe to be true, is true! Third, start a dialogue with your body. Create a quiet space for yourself and then either talk directly to your body or do so in writing. If you have pain, let the pain speak – what would it say if it had a voice? If you feel discomfort, give it a voice as well. Be patient with this process. It can take some time but once you really connect with your body, it can change your life. You can ask it how it feels if you eat a particular food before you eat it. I’ve done this before and my body starts to bloat right on the spot! It’s so interesting.
On your path to healing through cleansing…have fun, embrace whatever shows up and trust in the wisdom of your body..
“If you’re looking to go deep on many levels, this colonic spot incorporates energy work, essential oils, crystals and aromatherapy.”Goop’s Beauty & Wellness Detox Guide