Sunday, my husband and I began The Master Cleanse, something we try to do annually. As I withdraw from the physical and psychological habit of eating food I am drawn into a deeper spiritual place. I suppose the spirit is what is left, kind of the point for me. I like the feeling of needing to turn inward all day long rather than choosing to when I can fit it in. Eventually I hope to be in a more grounded place that will make my access to my spirit second nature. Until then, my mind, body and spirit will be better at the end of this journey.
The principal behind TMC is to cleanse your body from the inside by drinking an “exfoliant” elixir of freshly squeezed lemon juice, real maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I think it’s delicious, but some people I’ve talked to are revolted by the taste. You are not aloud to eat any food, not a crumb or a sip of broth for 10 days, though I have done the cleanse for 2, 5 or 7 days as well and felt better. This allows your body to have a break and completely release toxins and old waste. The second part of the cleanse is the purge of all of that old junk and it is just as crucial as the exfoliation. You must allow your body to flush out all of the build up by drinking a laxative tea at night and then a full quart of salt water at sunrise. I know this might horrify you, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds. The idea of chewing food haunting you all day is the worst part by far.
On days two or three, the weirdest thing happens. You get to a point where you have little or no cravings for food. I didn’t believe it myself until I lived through it, but it’s true! There is the lingering habit of wanted to chew something or feeling like you “should” eat, but you are not physically or psychologically hungry any more.
The process of getting ready for the cleanse and then living through the first two days made me realized that this is truly a metaphor for life. We must cleanse and purge all aspects of our lives regularly. The more addictions and dependencies you have, the more entrenched you are in your toxic patterns, the more painful a massive cleanse will be. Regular maintenance of the mind, body and spirit will allow you to flow with the cleanse and purge process in a more natural way. If the cleanse and purge of an area of your life becomes traumatic or even makes you sick, then you can bet that’s an area that needs your attention. If we avoid the natural process of cleaning out and purifying areas of our lives we are not only avoiding growth but possibly creating disease. The funny thing is that when you create a healthy life for yourself, the old habits just die off and you won’t even miss them. Just like healthy diet and exercise, if you maintain a healthy spiritual and mental life by taking care of yourself, you will not find yourself slipping back into toxic situations or relationships in the future.
Take a few moments to reflect on your life. Where do you resist “cleaning” something out, letting the light in? What areas of your life to you avoid examining or dismiss too quickly as “nothing”? Maybe The Master Cleanse is not for you but I challenge you to do something in 2010 that will call you forth to cleanse and purge those unexposed areas of your life that you may have grown complacent in. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the end.