I am nearing the end of a rather strict 21-day detox. No sugar, no wheat, no dairy, no gluten, no nightshade veggies, no caffeine, no poisons, no toxins. As friends have inquired, “what can you have?”Dr Joshi’s Holisitic Detox makes sense though. Based on Ayurvedic principles, the idea is to get rid of acids and regain your body’s natural PH balance. And sadly our diet is largely made up of toxins and chemicals, prepackaged crap and high sugar, corn syrup etc. Interestingly enough we eat a lot better in South Africa (albeit only if you can afford food) . Amazing produce, less processed crap, better chocolate that doesn’t taste like pure sugar with sugar added, and fast food is more of a treat than a norm.
Anyway, this detox has been interesting and I have to say I am very very proud of myself for my discipline. I am hoping this could be the start of new healthy habits, especially as Something Lemon and I were doing this together and decided to also incorporate an Artist’s Date, morning pages and something active every day. Not a bad lifestyle, and the scale agrees.
What I have realised, however, is that doing a mental detox for me is not as easy. It seems I can control what I put in my mouth more than what comes out of it. And what carries on in my head when I am trying to fall asleep. Why is it so hard to manage anxiety and worry? Why is it so hard to wrangle those negative thoughts and feelings that arise in the night?
I was re-reading Eat, Pray Love for the zillionth time the other day and was dwelling on the part where Gilbert discusses trying to marshall her negative thoughts and emotions. Easier said than done for sure. It doesn’t help that I seem to have developed a kind of mental ADD – it’s the monkey in me – that stops me from being able to mediate properly, but wow, it is seriously hard to let go! Old grievances, negative patterns, worry, anger, hurt. And I don’t like to think of myself of someone who dwells, but I am pretty sure that I can remember every single hurt and wrong someone has done to me (from the evil girl who told me my drawing was ugly and then bit me in nursery school to the recent ex-best friend to the psychotic landlords from last year).
Mind over matter. Mind over matter. Why was I blessed with an elephantine memory for injustices but not for what I did last week? Why do I find it so hard to let go? Do I struggle with forgiveness? I don’t like to think so. So what is it?
Oh Dr Joshi, you talk about constipation, but what about mental constipation? I don’t think a glass of warm water with lemon will help. You offer a liver flush remedy, but what about a hurt feelings flush? an anxiety flush? That would be nice. I’m sure you could get Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow to endorse it. Ah, I hear you say, if only it were that easy…
So what is the solution, dear readers? A strictly enforced 21 Day Mental Detox? I can try, as long as I can have a London Fog with real milk and a chocolate croissant too…