When my alarm went off at 3 a.m. yesterday, I gradually came to and inside my head I sort of heard Bobby McFerrin humming “Don’t worry, ghee happy.”
Must be cleanse time.
Last October I went through my first Ayurvedic cleanse, the transformative effects of which I’ve written about quite a bit on this blog. In April, I went through my second cleanse and realized how much had changed in six short months — my habits and cravings would have been unrecognizable to my former self.
And here we are, my third cleanse. I decided that given my my long apanic summer, I wanted to do a slightly longer cleanse this time. So rather than the four- or five-day main cleanse of ghee in the morning followed by three meals of kitchari, I’m doing seven days. For one thing, it means bigger doses of ghee than I have done in the past — and the cumulative effects of all this means that I need even more down time this time around, especially in the first half of the day, when I have been especially tired (the second half of these past few days have felt fine, which is interesting).
I was surprised that I was able to give up snacking after the first cleanse. And totally renovated the contents of my pantry and fridge, booting foods that worked against me.
What I wasn’t able to do was to stop multitasking while eating meals — but a year out, this new habit of just eating while eating has started to stick. I’ve also been a lot better about being outside with nature and taking walks; the evening walks I take with my husband are such special times for me.
Another big change I have noticed is that since my miscarriage and since I have spent more time on the cushion in a daily meditation practice, I have finally started to genuinely invite more spaciousness into my life. My calendar is still crazy, but I feel less boxed in by it all. And I routinely make the choice to not to something if I absolutely don’t have to do it — with more frequent blogging being one of the chief habits I’ve let go of. I miss it, don’t get me wrong, and at any given time, I probably have two or three ideas for posts floating around in my head. But I’ve keenly felt how much more valuable even 20 or 30 minutes of quiet time are to my psyche.
It’s a work in process for sure, but it is probably the first time in my life that I feel I have the right tools to help me slow down. Since high school, probably, I’ve always said I wanted a less hectic schedule, but I never knew how to make that happen, and maybe I was not fundamentally open enough to the concept either. Now I feel like I naturally gravitate toward space and quiet.
A few articles have been making the social media rounds lately that espouse the benefits of stepping back:
- Buddhism vs. Speed: Busyness is Laziness
- Activity Does Not Always Equal Productivity
- The ‘Busy’ Trap
And for the people who grind in the communications world, there is this new post on 10 ways you know you’re working too much. No. 10:
10. You’re at a major league sporting event, supposedly enjoying the game, but are instead coming up with “Ways you know you spend too much time working” blog posts.
So I admit that I am at a Detroit Tigers game right now as I wrap this post up. I wrote most of it on the drive here, as my husband drove. I know, with five tablespoons of ghee down the hatch this morning, I should probably be doing my wind down to bed right now. But it’s the post-season, and this was the only game against the Boston Red Sox my husband and I could make. So I edited the rest of my day to try to accommodate this quality time with my husband.
Like I said, making space for spaciousness and down time is a work in progress. I may not be going to bed, but my phone will be hitting the sack as soon as I hit “publish.”
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