With Spring always comes new beginnings! I find it to be a time of hope, joy, inspiration and also a time of letting go - of that which does not nurture and soothe, so that those things that do, can find their way in. Recently in my own life, I had an experience last week where I was aware of something that was not working for me, yet I continued to pursue it for all the justifications I could come up with in my limited mind, until something so absurd had to happen to wake me up to the fact that what I was doing, was just not nourishing - and voila - a decision was made; one that should have happened weeks ago. The sense of relief I felt was a big clue that I was on the right track as I said to myself : "I really don't need this toxicity in my life."
Toxicity can come in many disguises. Not only from what we eat & drink, or from our environment, but we can become so stuck in our rationalizations about why we need to do something that is not nourishing to us, or why something has to be a particular way, or why we might continue to allow mental, emotional or physical abuse, meanwhile cutting off the flow of the Divine to show us infinite possibilities for what could be. I've found my tolerance for rigidity (my own and that of others), becoming less and less, and this is a wonderful thing. Investing emotional energy by choosing anger, to be insulted, or to see someone's guilt instead of their innocence is something that still boggles my mind, especially when engaged in by those who understand consciousness and should seemingly know better. It steals our energy to hold on. Getting stuck in fear of what others will think, say, and do is something I find I can no longer buy into after many lessons and deepening into who I know myself to BE. I find that the older I get, the less I care to engage in ego-based notions of right and wrong and those things that create separation rather than Unity. As I continue to detoxify my own life, I am amazed at the actions and reactions that happen simply out of habit. I observe the world and those in it and wonder how it is that we got so far off base to live in such a constricted and stressful state that we have literally made ourselves toxic and sick. No wonder everyone is so tired.
Metaphysically, everything happens for a reason, a higher purpose and certainly for our learning and highest good. For example, kidney stones can be lumps of undissolved anger, a shoulder issue can be about literally shouldering a burden, heart disease is about matters of the heart, back pain can be about not feeling supported emotionally or financially. These things can be very literal and provide important clues as to why we might be suffering physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
So when we decide to detox - let the cleansing of the body support the cleansing of the psyche, our houses and our hearts for those things that no longer serve us. Where might you be rationalizing the continuation of toxic habits, situations and relationships that are creating havoc instead of cultivating peace of mind? The first clue is how your body feels when you think about changes you might need to make. It knows all and responds with messages of comfort or discomfort. Is it fear that's holding you back? Fear of what others might think, say and do? Is it rational fear or just habitual fear? When we need to make changes or embark on a new path, waiting for fear to subside will not yield results. It just doesn't happen and we find ourselves stuck in the same old patterns, repeating the same old actions with the same old results. The toxic buildup continues (in Ayurveda, we call it ama), and we become sick. We must feel the fear for what it is and do it anyway. Taking time to go within and ask yourself these questions is an important part of the spiritual journey to enlightenment. We always have choice - even if only how we interpret something. Metaphysically, everything is relationship and if a relationship is not right for one, it is not right for the other. Moving towards peace and health and taking the road less traveled takes courage, but once you're on the other side of it, you may wonder what all the fuss was about.
Dr. Joanna Carmichael is an RN, Doctor of Metaphysics & Divinity, Interfaith Minister, Ayurveda, Meditation & Yoga Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher and animal activist.