by Karen Palaszek

The appearance of spring is traditionally a time to look at diet and lifestyle and make seasonal adjustments.  We innately gravitate to reflect the earth’s own cycle of renewal and rebirth.  To feel renewed energy in body and mind, spring calls for lighter, fresher foods like fruits and vegetables and less of the heavy, comfort-foods. We can bring honor and intelligence to our transition, by gradually remodeling our winter habit patterns just as we see nature do it—and there is no rushing that process.  Many cleanses can be extreme, like fasting or only drinking juices.  Monitoring your intake of food and drink can definitely be of help, yet you can detox and renew without drastic measures.  How?  By mindfully and compassionately addressing and eliminating some things that surprisingly, may also be muddying your system.

Imagine an aquarium or a pool.  Now imagine that same enclosed body of water without a working filter.  It doesn’t take long for the water to get green and murky.  Think of your liver as your body’s filter.  You are only as healthy as your filter!  Eating more dark green leafy vegetables, incorporating some roasted beets and drinking warm/hot lemon water, all invigorate the capacity of the liver to transition from the heavy foods of winter.  Yet, you may be surprised to learn that in many Eastern systems, the liver is also thought to be the organ that holds our anger.  These systems suggest, that even if you are eating all the right things yet are still quick to anger, hold on to your anger, or have difficulty forgiving, you are in an esoteric way putting your liver at risk.  The energy of food must be filtered and digested and so must the energy of our emotions.  There are also many other areas where we can engage our minds to help us “lighten up.”  We can filter our thoughts, our vocabularies, our impressions, i.e., everything we take in through our senses, listen to and watch.  Just as unresolved anger and junk food can congest the system, poor quality or lower calibrating activities and entertainment can do so as well.  Keep in mind EVERYTHING needs to be digested.

What would a moderate “sense cleanse” look like?  The first rule: begin with small,consistent changes, always key to the most sustainable, powerful gains.  Consider turning off all technology/devices for a short period of time each day, a brisk 5-10 minute walk in nature or making time to simply sit in silence, consciously observing nature’s quiet beauty.  You might just take 10-15 slow, deep belly breaths to clear and settle your system.  (We detox more than 80% of our bodily waste through exhalation.)  It could mean a mini-fast on violent movies or television shows.  You might decide to bring compassion and resolution to a destructive or stuck emotion; forgiving instead.  It could even mean creating or reinvigorating a meditation or spiritual practice. I like to call these lifestyle cleansing techniques, that when combined with moderate improvements in diet, have the ability to supercharge your capacity to feel energized, refreshed and renewed.  Releasing habits that create inertia, we automatically rise.  We are indeed magnificent, complex, multifaceted beings, not just containers to be filled, emptied and pushed around.  Choosing to bring honor to what truly nourishes us is a “coming home” of sorts; where we wholly and inevitably return to feeling cleaner, lighter, healthier and happier…our true nature.

Always for You, Karen