18th February 2014
(photo by elleluna)
It’s hard to let go of the things we love.
That third glass of wine. Hurtful lovers. Amazing lovers who just aren’t the right fit. Stories from the past that keep us safe. The this-will-relax-me smoke. That gluttonous dessert. Remaining content for fear of not knowing.
For the last 10 days, the man and I have abided by a long list of “Yes” and No” foods, giving up caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten grains, dairy, eggs, soybean products, shellfish, high mercury fish and more.
We’ve done this both as an attempt to get to the bottom of my food allergies, and also to give our bodies a reset. While I’m a fairly clean eater, there are three indulgences that keep me relaxed and cozy: wine, cheese and dark chocolate. Before starting this cleanse, the whole idea of no wine for fourteen days seemed absurd. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try.
In the first few days, I found myself wanting to buy all the dark chocolate when I passed by that aisle in the organic market. Every wine shop spoke to me, inviting me to come in and try their newly featured wines. Anytime I saw someone drinking a glass, I felt drawn to have one with them. It was especially difficult on Valentine’s Day to not share a delicious bottle, and we actually both tasted two sips before deciding to go instead with sparking water.
With each impulse, an opportunity presented itself. The opportunity to go within, hear my inner voice, listen to the emotion, and get in touch with what I’m really craving.
"Do I really want that chocolate?" led to "No. You’ve been working non-stop all day and you’re feeling a little lonely right now. What you really want is a cup of tea and thirty minutes of deep connection."
"I want wine! I want wine! I want want!" turned into "Actually you really don’t want wine. You want to slow down your thoughts and some yoga stretching is the best way for you to do that."
The biggest insight so far is this: Letting go gets easier every day. As I become increasingly aware of my attachments, I’m able to navigate them and choose for them not to control me. And the more I tap into and listen to what I really want, the better my decision making, and the more fulfilled and productive I feel.
After ten days, I feel clear. Focused. Highly productive and effective. I feel like I’m growing and glowing on the inside. I need less sleep. I’m in bed by 11:30 and awake earlier than 7. My ideas are flowing and my creativity is being channeled in a way that feels even more cozy than that evening glass of wine.
While I imagine myself bringing wine and some of these indulgences back into the picture (hello moderation!), this break has given me greater insight into what’s below my cravings, and how—when I give myself the chance to really listen—saying “No” actually feels better than saying “Yes.”
So let me ask you: What one thing do you feel drawn to “cleanse” from your life for a set period of time? Is there one thing you feel scared to give up, but know it’s time? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
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Thanks to morning pages for inspiring this post, and elleluna for the image.
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