I recently did an 8 day cleanse and it’s got me reflecting on a few things that I wanted to share. We all go into a cleanse for different reasons – mine was to lighten up a little coming into Spring, to focus on 3 really nourishing meals a day and also to once again (I did it last year) truly experience what it feels like to be hungry.
My yoga practice over many years has taught me a thing or two about discomfort and actually being with it. Not instantly giving into the feelings of aversion (in yoga aversion is called dvesa). How often we do that. Something hurts a bit so we stop, something is challenging so we throw it in, we don’t succeed on the first [insert number] attempts so we give up, we feel the slightest sensation of hunger so we eat, we’re stressed from life in general so we drink. Instead of sitting with the discomfort and inquiring into it. And hunger…..oooh la la….it brings up a lot of stuff.
In my experience hunger brings out what can only be described as ‘primal’ feelings or ‘survival instincts’ like anger, loneliness, abandonment, fear…and so I’m fascinated that a sensation in the body can cause me to think ‘I AM…………..’
How many people start a cleanse and give up one day in because it’s too tough. It’s my feeling that the hunger is not the hardest bit. It’s the feelings of anger, fear and loneliness buried underneath the hunger that are the toughest – we don’t want to feel it and that’s why we eat. Sometimes too much OR stuff that brings on that euphoric feeling. Only to feel worse as a result.
So my challenge on this cleanse was to be with the hunger. Reminding myself “I’m feeling hungry” not “I am lonely.” And for some of us the loneliness or the anger is a real emotion stuck there but by feeling the hunger and allowing the feeling to arise we can look into that. And be with it. And breathe through it. And grow.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – comment below.