There are a lot of things to work on in this life. Love, connection, balancing self care with a sensitivity to others…..
Right now, as I write this, I’m in the middle of working on clearing toxins. My history – gentle as it is by many standards – has still lodged within my system toxins. Habitual thoughts and perspectives, relationships that function to diminish life rather than exalt, sickness in the body and spirit that really could just use a good scrubbing.
If a person starts cleaning up one area of life, the rest of one’s life will beg for attention, too. Clean your room, and lack of respect with someone is less tolerable. So we clean that up. We say no to the behavior, leave that relationship, or even better, figure out how to change it so it can continue with integrity, clean.
Maybe next, we realize we have shown a lack of respect to our bodies, been cluttering it with acids and mucous, things it can’t metabolize, like metals and chemicals it can’t expel. So we start feeling the buildup, and hopefully, become intolerant of that as well before it’s too late. In Aikido, students practice misogi (cleansing) in a regular basis. The practice stems simply from a realization that we all can use some polishing. No judgements about what the grime looks like or where it came from. Everyone has it. There is no good or bad about it. No one escapes picking up some ick along the way in this life.
But for many of us, it’s the choice to clean and the action that follows that is the most difficult. We know we shouldn’t have that maple donut and coffee at 3 in the afternoon, but “I’ve worked hard all day and I deserve a pick-me-up.” … or, “I know I shouldn’t call him back, but hearing his voice sounds so good to my ears… oh, his lack of respect for me? Oh, I can take it, I’m young….”
But when is when? When do we finally say “No – I want to eat meat without the growth hormones.” or “Hold the extra mercury in my fish, please.” These toxins are in there, and we are not even aware of them. It is my goal to ferret out my own misconceptions, about myself, others, life…. messages laid in place a long time ago that my spirit did not know where to place it. Extra metals. Metals per se are not “bad”, but our body we can’t use all of them. Iron – good. We like iron. Trace metals get in there. Some we can use and others we can’t, but they still get in. Mental messages aren’t bad, but we can let go of the ones that block our healthy rhythms.
If there was a way to ensure blockages to maturity would never occur, the word narcissism would not even exist. What about connection? What dust is caked over our compassion, allowing entitlement to skid across the floor with ease and unchecked? If we could clean out the pessimism we inherited from a world that continues to operate on the failures of the past lost relationships, we might expect and then co-create a more positive future – for everyone. Cleaning house is important! If everyone swept up around the litter box, think of the world peace that might ensue!
I must admit I am not thinking about all the serious troubles of the world as I look in the mirror and see how toxins have worked their way into my body and stay there. 20 pounds heavier in 2 months, I am at a standstill in terms of matter/energy exchange, brought on by a year without food. Now I’m eating, gratefully so. Besides being painful and messing up the metabolism of the body, going hungry leads to a family of other symptoms: lack of sustainable sustenance for the mind, nutritious nurturing for the heart, missing the Source for our spirit. It is no wonder the reason most food and hunger organizations around the world are religious and faith-based organizations. They understand that the body and spirit are inextricably linked. Aside from the sympathetic response elicited by watching a population starve, the massive loss in spiritual connection must also be felt by those whose bellies are Full.
So I am eating, but obvious not back in healthy balance yet. My physical reaction now is to resist losing weight. There’s nothing wrong with my body’s natural reaction to recent famine. But I have to wonder, am I at risk of hoarding now? Will this unfortunate lesson transpose to holding onto relationships out of fear that, right around the corner, there might be a drought in human connections?
I talk to plants. I talk to animals. I know they understand the human language. It doesn’t take a great deal of translating. At some level there is understanding between living beings. So why not speak to the living being that is your body? We I can say, “Hey there. I know you’re reacting No one’s in trouble, but the war is over. No more famine. You can let go of the stores and share your energy with others.” And to your heart: “Hi there. You can let go of that forlorn relationship now, because there is a healthy cornucopia of vitamin-rich relationships on the table for you.”
But if I’m full of the maple donuts, there’s no room for spinach and zucchini lasagna. My body and spirit will take in what I choose to put in it, even if it doesn’t know what to do with it. My body does know what to do with healthy foods, respect, and connection to the universe. I gotta have faith that my spirit will know what to do with healthy relationships if I can bag off the unhealthy ones for a while. Going forward, that means not storing them in fat-prone areas, but metabolizing the goodwill that comes from shared experiences and mutual regard towards a healthier and more energized society.
…… Let’s see…. integrity, joyfulness, discipline, letting go…. What room do I clean next?