And, so it begins… We have just finished our preliminary week of our fall Ayurvedic cleanse and are starting the main cleanse tomorrow. So far, all I’ve done is give up my morning coffee and start my new daily habits of hot water with lemon in the morning along with Abhyanga – a super sweet, pre-shower oil massage. As of tomorrow, we’ll be gulping ghee and saying goodbye to many favorites – wine, bread and cheese are a few on the no-go list for the week.

Every time I start a cleanse I end up answering the question, “why do you do this to yourself?” Why do you give up coffee if you love it? Ditto the wine and bread? On the outside, I get that it seems weird to do something that is clearly going to make us grumpy – pushing up against our egos, our own understanding of who we are and how we eat and therefore feel on a daily basis. And, yet, the reason it is weird is also the reason we do it. To purify ourselves. As we clean out the clutter and the heaviness of over-labored digestion, we experience a brightness and clarity to ourselves. To quote on of my favorite authors, Deborah Adele, “Cleansing strengthens the body and insulates the mind, preparing us for the awakening of the energy within us. Cleansing prepares us for the greatness of our spirit. Cleansing lightens us to experience more of the divine mystery.” Seems worth a few grumpy days of detoxing to me.

Last week, we talked about Macrocosm vs. Microcosm – all that is going on outside in our worlds is also happening within our bodies and vice versa. Happily, this means when it comes to cleansing we can start super simple – clean your living and work space. Clear off the desk, fold the laundry, etc. Then we can clean the body, and finally, clean the mind. We don’t have to be pure and perfect instantaneously, but we can make steps in that direction. Making the bed each morning might be just the nudge you need. That one act might encourage you to add something simple like using a Neti Pot to your routine. This leads to another step and another until lo and behold, suddenly you are the one answering, “why do you do this to yourself?” as you talk about your seasonal cleansing routine. And, the best part is, you have the answer to that question.

“Being pure with ourselves means we are not afraid of our thoughts or our feelings, and we do not have to hide anything from ourselves.”