October 22, 2012

What Cleansing Taught Me. ~ Dani McGuire

Source: google.com via Maddie on Pinterest

Do you use indulgences to get through the day?

My yoga community and I are in the beginning of a 15 day cleanse.

We have committed to cutting out all processed foods, even the so called “healthy” ones that I rely on much of the time (like the little piece of dark chocolate that Dr. Oz recommends). So after the first day cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, chocolate (even the dark stuff), wine (oh, I keep forgetting that is alcohol), meat, dairy—blah blah blah, it has been going pretty well, other than a little caffeine headache.

I wonder when I became addicted to caffeine? I don’t consider myself a coffee drinker. Well, not since I was six and my grandma would let me and my cousin stay up all night drinking half coffee mixed with half milk, as we played “Bank.” Turns out my cousin is a huge success at the bank she works at. As for me, I am just a little shorter than I should be.

Anyways, my husband and I decided that we were not going to let this cleanse bust date night, which is a necessity when you have two children under six. We go to yoga and then out to a fancy restaurant that my vegan friend recommended to me because they are fairly accommodating at modifying for her.

We get a table in the bar. (Sure! Torture the people on a cleanse, I thought.) They looked at us like we were crazy for being there as we asked them to prepare something with no meat, oils, dairy and mild spices. As we waited for our bewildered waitress to return, I imagined us going to every restaurant that evening just trying to see who would take us up on our ridiculous request.

The chef actually prepared a wonderful steamed rice and veggie dish with a bit of a kick. It was something I would have ordered anyways. I was thrilled!—except for the tall glasses of wine and frosty martinis that kept passing by our table in slow motion. This was the hardest part, going to dinner without ordering a drink.

Had I become a coffee drinker with a drinking problem!?

I also knew there would be no hitting the co-op for a piece of gluten-free chocolate cake after our boring meal together. I know some of you are thinking, those vices aren’t that bad!

Good or bad is not the question; the question is:

Have these luxuries become a part of your daily ritual or do you use them to get you through a stressful day?

This cleanse made me realize that I depend on many pleasurable things to get me through the day because when I do without them, I don’t work as hard. I am actually a little lazier and less motivated without these rewards—like Scooby without his Scooby snacks.

I am in the business of yoga. Yoga is relationship, awakening… and it is endlessly fascinating. I am in the business of consciousness.

Why then was it so strange to sit in a restaurant across from my beloved and feel like I was missing something just because I didn’t have a glass of wine to sip? Ayurveda teaches us that daily rituals are healthy, but yoga teaches us that habits and attachments will keep us stuck.

Indulgences are there to enhance our lives but we often make them a part of our daily routine to get us through our lives. Thankfully, this cleanse is detoxing more than my habits and toxins in my body; it is cleansing my toxic thoughts as well.

Why would I ever want to get through the day? I want to wrap my arms around it and embrace every moment.



Editor: Sarah Winner

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