I am half way through a 4 week cleanse organised by my fav naturopath Emma Sutherland, and I have to say I am feeling pretty damn good. Sleeping soundly, waking naturally and easily by 6, no more 3pm slump and overall feeling pretty damn good. I highly recommend a regular cleanse to give yourself the gift of goodness. It really is amazing. I remember the first cleanse I ever did, it was one of the most life changing things I have done….big call I know, so what made it so revolutionary you might ask? I learned what it felt like to have my body operating at it’s peak. Sleeping like a baby, bounding out of bed, endless energy and man, that positivity and clarity of mind. You know those people that always seem to be on? I became one of them. I had experienced the goodness and began to adopt some of the principles into my everyday life, as I had a taste for it, I wanted it all the time. And for the most part it worked. I still drank coffee, and alcohol certainly creeps back in, but I maintained some basic principles that when in 6 months I did another full cleanse, I was left feeling disappointed. Where was the massive change I had experienced last time? Why wasn’t I seeing a huge shift in my overall well being? My naturopath laughed at me, of course there was not as much to gain this time round as I was coming from a much higher base. I had made goodness normal.
This time round I am noticing the similar effect of having cleansed in October last year and maintaing some habits since then (like cutting down my large coffee to a small and cutting out the additional cups of tea). The February cleanse has been much easier to slide into. Interestingly I don’t feel like I am depriving myself of wine or chocolate or coffee (ok, maybe just a little of the coffee) I feel like I am treating myself to a whole lotta goodness. The beautiful organic food that I get to prepare and share with my friends and family, the time away from devices and tv, the space for me to take a bath, read a book, and even write a blog. I realise though, that this is slowly becoming my normal. Rather than deprivation, or even a treat, these healthy new habits are becoming the norm in our house. It was interesting listening to Kira Sutherland an amazing sports nutritionist speak the other day about the latest trends and fads in food and her thoughts on the benefits, she said something that really resonated with me. She felt that following the latest trends in food can be fine, and I think this applies to any kind of lifestyle practice, but the problem exists when you have to have a cheat day. I see that being like how we might categorise our “good” days and then the pressure becomes so much that we have to cheat and have a “bad” day. She also went on to say, that following anything to the extreme is not healthy, as it is a form of obsession. And we all know that is not so useful (think obsession = addiction).
So how do we make goodness normal? How can we truly change from even categorising things into good and bad? It can be a massive mind shift, one which I am constantly working with. But for me, it really starts with understanding what your goals are in life, what is the life that you want to be living. Then you look at your life right now and notice the things that support those goals, and what are things you are doing that perhaps prevent you from achieving that and then set some lifestyle practices around that. I can give you an example.
What do I want? For me this year I really want to feel connection – to our new home, my friends, my family and even to myself.
I can then break that down, what do I really want? Love
What helps me achieve that? In order to feel connected to others I need to feel connected to myself.
What helps me feel connected to myself? Being in my body and exercising, being clear in my mind and meditating, and feeling energised and eating and sleeping well, being connected to my heart and listening to my intuition and being out in nature.
What takes away my ability to feel connected? Distracting myself with tv and devices, wine, stimulants like sugar, gluten (hard to feel connected when you are bloated like a balloon), lying on the coach doing not much
What are the things I need to add to my life to help me feel more connected? ………I think you might get the point.
Making a slow and steady change now can lead to significant and transformational changes in the future. Making goodness normal is about finding that special mix of things be it diet, exercise, mindfulness, that work for you and what you want out of life. Don’t get caught up in categorising into good and bad, but simply useful and not so useful. Recognising the habitual pattern to fall into not so useful, see it, and move on. No need to cut yourself up over it, as the guilt and shame you will most likely feel is actually 10 times worse than the block of chocolate you just inhaled, but knowing your goal, knowing what helps you get there and doing one small step towards that each day is a certainly a great way to start to make goodness your normal. After all, life is too short not to be the best version of you.