Seasonal Cleansing

As the Autumnal Equinox approaches, I'm thinking about cleansing. Today is also Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and prayer for the Jewish community. As the (Jewish) new year begins, this is an appropriate time to look back over the past year, to learn from mistakes when possible, and to let go of that which no longer serves you.

For me, cleansing is another way of saying letting go. And letting go has never been my strong suit. I am more of a clinger. Letting go implies a sense of grace in the face of change. We all know change is inevitable. And how we deal with change can make a big difference in our health. Especially in our stress levels.

I think one reason that dieting and losing weight is so difficult for most of us is because we resist change. Are you clinging to your can of coke or your breakfast waffles? Is your Starbucks habit firmly entrenched? In a world where so many factors are out of our control, what we put into our mouths is one place where we are in complete control. Once you reach adulthood, no one else is responsible for feeding you. Are the choices you're making serving you well? Are you healthy and vibrant and filled with energy? If not, you might want to choose to clean up your diet. Why wait any longer?

Another place to investigate is your home. They say your home is a reflection of you. I say uh-oh. Can you say hoarder? Perhaps I wouldn't be a great candidate for one of those shows where people are practically buried under piles of newspapers, but my closets and drawers are overflowing. I have clothing I have never worn. I have clothing I haven't worn in decades. I have clothing that hasn't fit me since my early twenties. I like to save my clothing just in case. Tomorrow, however, I am going to a clothing swap. Today I will work on cleansing my closets. More baby steps for me.

One more place to check out: your mind. The thoughts we think on a daily, hourly, or even more frequent basis create the background noise of our lives. If you are in the habit of thinking positive, uplifting thoughts, then this is BIG plus. However, if your inner mind chatter is dragging you down, this is something worth noticing and letting go. Is your mantra "I'm so tired" or "I hate ______" (fill in the blank)? Does your self-talk lift your spirits or make you feel like donkey doo-doo? You might want to try implementing an affirmation. Every time you catch yourself sinking back into negative self-talk, substitute your affirmation. Make it something particularly meaningful for you. It could be "I am healthy, strong, and confident." Or "I am at peace." Tell yourself exactly what you need to hear.

If you are already working on all of the above, then stay the course. Have faith you are doing good things for yourself. Sometimes change is slow. But your positive input is sure to yield positive results. Keep watching because those results are coming.