The Emotional Side of Cleansing
My husband and I recently did an 8-day juice fast. Not as big a deal for me, as a nutrition coach, but a pretty big step for my husband. His idea of “green” was sautéed spinach and eggs; healthy meant a hemp smoothie. Green juice? Never.
It turned out to be a pretty big deal for our marriage.
You know the physical effects of cleansing or juicing: glowing skin, (wow; like a moonbeam) weight loss, (a good five pounds for me, eight for him — darn those men) increased energy, and clear thinking. But not much is said about the emotional piece.
There’s a big part of the cleansing ritual that rocks our emotional world. The more intense the cleanse + the longer you go, the more profound your experience may be.
Juicers don’t come with a warning: Proceed at risk. Juicing may put you in touch with long forgotten emotional issues you’d rather leave dormant.
Each time I cleanse, I’m surprised at the insights, revelations, and forgiveness that surfaces. Old thoughts come in, sometimes days of negative stuff, comments, hurts, offense, fears.
Why am I thinking about that? That was years ago, pre-happy marriage. She was always passive-aggressive; why did I hang in so long with that friendship? I was wrong to say that. I could have done better. I’m glad to have moved on. I made mistakes; he made mistakes, some we made together.
Hurts, pains, fleeting moments of “a-ha’s”… healing again, moving through it all again. No big drama, but pin-pricks of pain that had added up.
Our 8-day cleanse was like that. Things floated in and out. We talked and processed. We made peace with others, and most importantly, we made peace with each other.
By day six we realized what had been going on — things had come up and out. They left. They were gone forever.
We felt clear and content. Satisfied with where we were. Actualized in our thoughts. We got real about ourselves and eachother. Somehow dealing with our separate pin-pricks had brought us closer.
“By day 6 we could say anything to anybody,” I scrawled in pencil on my calendar. We went to a party, sober and drinking green juice. We smiled, we laughed and we felt like we had a secret.
It was a wonderful secret. It said, I’m clear in my thinking, I’m 100-percent honestly present, and I’m tuned into you. Expect no pretense or posture. Here I am. A wonderful way to be.
We regretfully went off our cleanse after eight days. It was over.
We mourned the lightness of being, sadly knowing it was time to return to the real world. My husband woke on day 7 and said he didn’t want to stop. I feel amazing. He looked at me — I felt like I could never eat again. How weird is that?
I know. I knew. I’d been there before. We felt lighter, and his skin looked like a moonbeam. We’d connected and shared a crunchy couple of days, emotional turmoil + processing and emerged from the cycle on a higher level—in touch with our emotions and each other in a profound way. We were floating, hovering above Earth.
We’d both ignored things … previously thought silly things. But they were important enough to come back and demand to be dealt with .
We looked at each other and smiled, sadly.
“We’ll go easy,” I said. I’ll make a vegetable soup … and one day we’ll do it again.
Holli Thompson is a nutritional stylist who focuses on holistic health, cooking, and alternative medicine.
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