Spring Cleanse 2016: Body, Speech & Mind is shaping up to be the most holistic cleanse we’ve had here at the Homestead ever. Ironic, I know. But the emphasis is usually on cleansing just the body – eschewing certain foods, increasing fluids and fiber, and getting plenty of rest. From your feedback, I’ve learned cleansing is about so much more than just changing your diet.
This year, I want to challenge you to take on this cleanse with the intent to clean out, dust off, brighten up and clarify your minds/thoughts, your speech/breath, as well as your bodies. In fact, if you could only focus on one aspect of cleansing, I dare say start with the mind. Why? Because as Deepak Chopra teaches, the mind is the source of your motivation to take care of yourself or not, it is the intelligence that organizes the thoughts that dictate what you say and do, it is the innate sense of self that either feels complete or lacking.
While most of us live somewhere in-between those dichotomies, it is not hard to see the mind as the foundation of health. Everything else builds on our mental and emotional well being – how solid is your foundation? How do you measure mental health?
How do you do a “mind” cleanse?
- for the first two days of our cleanse together, eschew technology as much as possible. No TV, no internet (not even this blog!), no phone calls.
- avoid tabloids, newspapers, advertisements, and dramatized violence of any kind for a couple days or the entire 8 days of our cleansing time together.
- include “healthy mind” practices like meditation. This can be achieved as simply as finding five minutes to sit quietly by yourself in the morning, or taking a slow, peaceful stroll in the park every afternoon.
Planning a cleanse can be a very individual thing, or it can involve sharing with your family and coworkers that you are taking a prescribed amount of time for self-care, that you do this every spring, and that cleansing is essential to optimizing your productivity at work, your loving presence at home, and even your overall sense of satisfaction in life. (Feel free to borrow any language in here that might be a helpful script, at first it was awkward for me to explain to my family why I’m not eating for a few days, but now they expect me to be cleansing every spring – great motivation!)
What comes to mind when we think about cleansing the speech? Okay, some of you may already be thinking, “What?! I don’t need to cleanse my speech, my speech is just fine as it is, thank you. In fact…” but that is just the point. A “speech cleanse” should involve some commitment to silence, and not just talking less, but also writing less, and responding to e-mails and Facebook less (or not at all).
In the space that is created between words, there is a vast opening to new insights, to deeper peace, to a quieter and more serene way of being. There is less desire, and more stability. There is less confusion, and more clarity. There is literally less noise, and more listening – have you taken the time to discover these qualities?
This practice has profound fruits, and I invite you to try a “speech cleanse” as a bit of an experiment: do you experience these things that I’ve described? Do you make other discoveries? Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Share with your friends, family and coworkers your intention to do a cleanse, and what that entails
- Commit to some periods of silence, and be specific with creating boundaries to normal modes of communication during your cleanse, especially on the phone or social media.
- Incorporate vocal prayers into your speech cleanse. If you are spiritual, this may include reciting “Hail Mary” or repeating a mantra like the “Vajrasattva” mantra, which is specifically for purification: OM VAJRA SATTVA HUNG.
- During our cleanse together, we will be practicing cleansing breaths and mantra from the yogic tradition, as tools to cleanse our speech.
There will be more content about cleansing the body – including delicious recipes to help make your cleanse joyful and liberating! If you can’t wait to get started, here’s some food for thought:
And, if you are ready to take on a cleanse this year, go ahead and register now. You will receive daily updates, cleansing schedules, a personalized cleansing plan, feedback from a supportive community of fellow cleansers, and wonderful cleansing recipes!