Sometimes, life throws the oddest lessons at you when you least expect it. It’s this constant learning curve that takes you in all kinds of different directions, especially when you’re trying to prove a point. Or pushing your willpower to the limit. Or just not eating solids for 5 days.
I recently embarked on my fourth Urban Remedy Juice Cleanse. I like to cleanse a couple of times a year to clean out the pipes, give my system a rest, and challenge myself mentally – not eating a solid meal for 3-5 days takes a special mindset that I like to be in. My mum calls it crazy, but other juice cleansers will know what I mean. It’s invigorating.
That said, I’ve only ever done 3-day juice cleanses before. Never 5. But I figured that as I am somewhat experienced in the whole juicing thing, and eat so healthy anyway, a 5-day juice cleanse would be absolutely do-able. Plus, I’m a big fan of Urban Remedy and love all their flavours, so it was going to be a walk in the park.
Or so I thought.
In all honesty, the cleanse was very pleasant. Three days in and I was flying high. Feeling great, leaping out of bed, clearest eyes I’ve had in a long while. But then something funny happened. I woke up on day 4 feeling depleted. I wasn’t leaping out of bed anymore. I wasn’t bounding with energy like I had in all my previous experiences with cleansing. I wasn’t feeling my BEST!
Now, this is where my ego kicked in. I was sticking to this cleanse no matter what. I ignored my body pretending it was purging toxins, knowing full well that while I believed in this process wholeheartedly, for me personally, a 3-day cleanse was all my body needed. And wanted.
But I persisted.
Until, it dawned on me that I was going against everything this cleanse is about. Cleansing is about loving your body and treating it with respect. It’s about nurturing your insides and giving them a break, not forcing your system to do something it doesn’t want to because you don’t want to ‘fail’. Sure, there’s a difference between ‘giving up’ because it’s too hard, and genuinely listening to your body’s needs, but in my case, it was definitely the latter.
So from that moment I on, I let go of my ego and started listening to my body. I ate a small meal of fresh vegetables and seaweed and instantly felt more revived, enlivened, invigorated. THIS is what cleansing is all about. Caring for your body, listening to your instincts, and throwing your ego out the door. In fact, this is what life is about. Taking each situation as it comes and listening to what you need as a person. Trusting your gut. Literally.
It’s OK to not finish something you started if your body (or gut) is telling you otherwise. It’s OK to let matter beat mind if it’s genuinely what’s right for you. We’re so often told that mind over matter is the key to inner strength, and while that is true in so many ways, I am learning that stubbornness isn’t what they mean. I’ll keep that in mind next time I cleanse. Oh, and I think I’ll stick to only 3 days.