I’m completing day 5 of the master cleanse, so I thought I’d write a bit about it, what I do, and why.
there are a lot of ways folks do it. the way that works for me is to just jump into it one morning, shifting from eating full meals and drinking scotch to living on a lemonade.
I make my drink as a concentrate each morning from 3 lemons, 2 tbsp of grade b maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper fused with a detox or fasting tea. throughout the day I keep a mason jar going with 1/4 part concentrate in 3/4 part water.
on the second day I start doing a daily sea salt flush, which is dissolving a tbsp of sea salt in warm water, tossing it back like a shot and then chugging a jar of cool water. the salt moves through the body like liquid plumber, truly magnificent. you can’t leave the house for a couple of hours.
the first day I usually feel a little hungry, the second day I feel very hungry, and then I slip into a space that feels like heaven, where food is not on my mind.
y’all know how much I love food, cooking, feeding people. i have come to believe that delicious meals are central to a good life…
but I also wrestle with food.
for my adult life i have often used food as a way to process my emotions and shield me from attention. when I’m at my worst, I am thinking about food obsessively, eating for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. when I’m at my best, I am thinking about food generously, creatively, as sustenance and blessing to my body.
lying about food is the major area where I catch myself in a lie, hiding chocolate wrappers and sneaking junk past even my own awareness.
the master cleanse gives me a vacation from thinking about food, gives me space to be present in life in a different way. my other senses come alive, especially my sense of smell. it’s a reset, a clearing.
by day 3 my body begins to feel light, liberated, open.
I don’t eat a lot of toxic foods these days, which is evidenced by how quickly the cleanse becomes normal. I’ve been doing the cleanse annually for years, and it used to run me through changes as what appeared to be detritus of scientific experiments emerged on my face, spawn of cheeze-it’s and pizza I’m sure.
the cleanse is a great assessment tool, and a way of making space for change in my life.
as I prepare for my journey, I want to leave excess behind, get to the lightest, most liberated, most open self…the truth. the cleanse is a very honest process with the self:
- either you can do it, or you can’t. honesty keeps you from suffering.
- it’s when you are alone, and you master the urge to cheat yourself, that you know your true willpower.
- sometimes, i don’t make it, I need to eat. I listen to myself…this cleanse, I have needed to be with myself and see that I can do anything, anything I set my mind to.
- hunger is a brutal experience. that people experience it every day without choice is one of the most shameful truths about humans.
- that was really in your body. really.
- you really need to rest and be healthy! really.
I ended up in a fairy ritual today.
I just wanted to write that sentence, and for you to know it is true! it was beautiful, and only possible for me because i could slow down enough for it to emerge. my lessons from it were that my sabbatical is the answer to every question i have right now, that I need quiet time to fall back in love with myself.
I keep hearing my 3 year old nephew, shouting a line from the land before time (brilliant dinosaur movie you should have seen by now) to strangers on a new playground:
‘I’m not afraid to be alone!’
which is what you say when you are afraid to be alone, but need to radically discover and affirm who you are in the world.
from the fear of being alone, we do so many harmful things to ourselves. we contort ourselves to fit into work, community and relationships in ways that are dictated, intentionally or not, by other parties. losing that fear means true freedom, to act from a space of agency and power and joy.
I got a massage today. the quote over the massage table was one of my favorite from anais nin:
‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’
that’s why I cleanse. it’s time to blossom.