the spring (or vernal) equinox falls on march 19th this year, which is earlier than it has been in over a century. this marks the first day of spring, when we begin to enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.
the vernal equinox signals new beginnings and nature’s renewal in the northern hemisphere. as the grass starts to appear under the snow’s cloak and the birds sing us a song, our bodies yern to get outside and feel the warmth of the sun.
i like using the equinox as a time to cleanse. the changing of the seasons reminds us that things come and go naturally and what better time to shed last seasons worries (and victories) to open new doors for the next season’s bright future. and cleansing isn’t always about dieting. i’m talking about mind, body, spirit cleansing.
during this time, take a moment to go inward and reflect on all the good and the bad this past winter presented. write it down. make a list. smile and cry if you have to. remember all the little things you stressed about that surmounted to nothing to stress about at all. remember the little brave moments and choices you made that could change your life forever. remember the special moments but also the ordinary moments. create a picture of this winter and pack it away. it’s time for spring. which brings me to one of my favorite joseph campbell quotes.
don’t get me wrong, planning can be a good thing. planning to go to college, planning a vacation, planning to buy a house. these are all major life changers that must be well thought out. however, planning each and every grand moment and only living for those times will lead to a life of longing for more. planning for who you want to be, where you want to be, and who you want to be with can lead to expectations not met and ultimately disaster.
instead – set intentions and make goals. setting an intention of self-compassion with goals to get there is much more likely to bring about important lessons that need to be learned. so think about what sort of intentions you have for this spring. maybe you want some more meaningful friendships. are your old friendships holding you back? are you keeping yourself inside and not allowing yourself to be seen? are you opening up yourself in conversation or just trying to fit in? think about baby steps (goals) that can get your closer to what your intention is. letting go of the planning aspect of our lives will allow us to be more present so we can allow doors to open in front of us. set the intention and see how the world opens around us.
CLEANSING THE BODY
- eat simple whole foods in their whole form. processed foods are depleted of valuable nutrients and packed full of chemicals and sugars. retrain your taste buds to enjoy a fresh carrot or simple slices of cucumber with lemon juice and sea salt.
- staying hydrated stops you from overeating. very often when we feel hungry, it is often a sign of dehydration. it is best to drink lots of water before and after meals but not during.
- eating high fiber foods helps the body stay full. fiber increases the calories spent breaking down the actual food and helps create a sense of satiety. fiber helps the body eliminate toxins and keeps the digestive system healthy so that the nutrients can be properly absorbed into the body.
- eating healthy proteins has been shown to increase levels of satiation. when cleansing and trying to lose weight a diet high in protein and vegetables has shown to be ideal.
- breakfast and lunch should be focused on protein. when we start off with a blood sugar blast (from refined carbohydrates and sugar), we crash and get hungry again. eating protein, high-fiber vegetables, and healthy fats will help us feel satiated for longer.
- dinners should focus on vegetables with lots of leafy greens. the meals here are designed to control blood sugar, with lower glycemic index foods and limited protein, as this is harder on the system at night and should be restricted to the day.
- every morning drink 1½ cups of warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and take a probiotic.
- if you have a bathtub add 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes at the end of the day. add lavender oil, or 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar if you have it.
- get more tips like this from thenewpotato.com
- exercising, sleeping, and not stressing are all unbelievably and equally important and can all help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for fat formation in the body.
- be in bed by 10 pm at the latest when cleansing. give yourself a gentle foot massage before bed to ground your energy and help you sleep.
- detoxification can be aided by dry brushing, saunas and steams, detox baths, and cold showers. they are an excellent way to help release toxins.
- move and twist your body between 6–10 am to get your energy flowing at the start of your day. oxygenate your entire body and squeeze out toxins practicing more twist poses.
- do yoga at home, hold the poses for a longer duration (at least 10 breaths), and infuse them with breath.
- take walks every day, giving space to the mind and the body.
CLEANSING THE MIND
- know yourself – when it comes to letting go, are you able to drop habits cold turkey or do you prefer gradual change? can you cut out caffeine and never look back or will you ween yourself off coffee and move to green tea first? “knowing your type will make the way you approach all needed changes a lot easier,” Dr. Sabnani says.
- get rid of the poison -think about the most toxic habit, thought, person, or food in your life right now. what’s the number one thing you want to stop, know you should stop, and try to stop but keep doing because it’s hard or feels good in the moment? whether it’s late-night snacking, too many hours on your phone, or a job you hate, this is the best place to start. “focus all of your energy on your number one thing and learn ways to either cut it out or to take steps to ease it out of your life,” Dr. Sabnani says.
- identify what you love -imagine if everything — and everyone — in your life brought you joy and excitement. apply this to your closet, refrigerator, friends, and even your job. “get rid of food, clothes and people you are ‘allergic’ too,” Dr. Sabnani says. “listen to your heart, surround yourself with what you love, and watch yourself come alive.”
- detox your self-talk – what conversation do you hear on repeat in your head? check in with yourself when you wake up and before you go to bed. when you’re silent, what do you hear that you usually try to drown out? jot down the top three statements that show up in your thoughts each day. if these thoughts are not moving you forward toward your goals, make a point of changing your thinking and how you speak to yourself.
- identify the toxic people in your life – do any of these types sound familiar?
- an ex-partner or lover you obsess over
- someone in your life who is hypercritical, judgmental, or abusive
- someone you dread speaking to or meeting up with
- an employee, business partner, or client who brings negativity and stress to you and your work on a regular basis
- a family member who drains your energy or puts you down
take steps to cleanse the toxic people out of your life (when possible)
- don’t talk to the person – if not possible permanently, do it for a set amount of time and figure out a plan to reduce contact on a longterm basis.
- don’t talk about the person. you are trying to set a new pattern. if this is too difficult and you need support, talk to only one trusted friend or therapist.
- avoid places frequented by this person. avoid places that make you nostalgic about the person. avoid any toxic environment period.
- say yes to new people and new situations to refocus your mind in a different direction. make new friends and find new people to work with.
- surround yourself with people and places that love and uplift you.
CLEANSING THE SPACE AROUND US
- cleanse your home – create the following piles for everything in your home and office: 1. trash/recycle; 2. donate; 3. keep. create a new place for everything you keep. play music you love while you clean and make it fun. see also Minimalist Living: Learn How to Declutter Your Home
- cleanse your products – rid your cabinets of chemical-laden supplies and replace with natural options. throw out expired makeup and medication.
- cleanse your kitchen – remove old expired foods, clean out the refridgerator, reorganize the pantry
- cleanse your devices – delete outdated contacts on your phone. rid all your electronics of unneeded apps and documents. do an image dump onto your computer.
- reorganize your plants, book shelves, and possibly furniture to give your space a fresh look (not to mention fresh dusting)
- wash, scrub, and polish those things you forget about like your furniture, floors, bathroom walls, kitchen cabinets, etc.
- recharge your crystals under the full moon – next one is this monday, march 9th. leave them out on a windowsill for the full moon to bathe old and stuck energy they are holding. if you forget, you can cleanse your crystals by smudging them.