Summer Lemonade Cleanse Days 7-10: What I’ve Learned

I know I sort of fell off the face of the earth for the past few days. That’s what usually happens to me on the weekends due to work. Yesterday  was my first day off the cleanse. I was debating doing more than ten days but I decided not to. Having a clean body right now has inspired me to just keep it clean. You don’t invest time and sacrifice, just to throw it away. There are plenty of natural foods that taste just as good or better than junk food.

One thing I learned the hard way is that you need to come off the cleanse properly. Don’t think that you can eat anything on your first or even second day. It will come out of you like diarrhea after your stomach attempts to digest it after oh, ten days without food. It’s not going to be able to do it, so follow the rules. Have fresh orange juice all day on your first day coming off the cleanse and the following day as well. It might be tempting to eat, and it’s not going to upset your stomach right away, but later, oh man, later, it’s not going to be pretty.

Just freaking tough it out, man. Have smoothies but don’t dare go for solids, even if it’s vegetables. You can’t take it yet. I learned the hard way!

So anyway, the experience was more spiritual than anything and I’m debating doing it again come fall, but we’ll see how life turns. For now, I have learned to appreciate my body as a wonderful, intricate machine that requires proper care and routine maintenance, just like a car. This cleanse has inspired me to take better care of my machine everyday. After all, I only have one body.

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Summer Lemonade Cleanse Days 6-7: Popcorn and Bikram Yoga

At this point, I am very encouraged. I feel like I could do this for maybe longer than the ten days. If I could make it through this past weekend at my job, being surrounded by food, and hanging with my girlfriend while she ate a burger and fries in front of me, I think I can handle being in social situations.

This time around, the cleanse doesn’t feel like a problem. I don’t mind the saltwater flush and I’ve learned that I enjoy drinking the lemonade more when it is on ice, so that’s how I drink it (with a straw also).  I’ve learned to embrace the smells of food rather than avoid them.

Yesterday afternoon, my girlfriend and I had lunch, or rather I talked to her while she ate, then we went to see a movie. The theater smelled like warm popcorn. I just inhaled the smell and that was enough for me. I mean, things usually smell better than they taste. Don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of food, but often times it just weighs you down and you regret it.

Smelling the popcorn reminded me of my parents and how they are both popcorn lovers. I started thinking about their divorce and how even though they are separated, I can see how they are very much alike because they do, say, and think very similarly even though they don’t see each other anymore. I became grateful that they are my parents, that I was raised by two goofballs who are very free-spirited. I felt grateful that I was able to come out of that partnership while it was still good. That’s where my thoughts went when I smelled popcorn!

I think what’s different about my cleanse this time around, is that I’m allowing myself to feel everything without resisting discomfort. That’s definitely something I learned from practicing Bikram yoga. It can be very uncomfortable to feel like your body is overheating in an oven-like room, but you are just supposed to lay there, stand there in peace. Sure, all sorts of things come up for me while I am cleansing, but I let them come, I embrace them, and I allow myself to think, to feel, to really be with my feelings and that’s where the breakthroughs happen.

Summer Lemonade Cleanse Day 4-5: Made it through the weekend!

This weekend was challenging because I work in a restaurant where there is food available to us pretty much all the time. Saturday was super busy for me so I didn’t have time to breathe, let alone replenish myself enough to feel okay. Yesterday was slow as hell so it was better, but man, the Father’s Day buffet smelled amazing!

My sense of smell has heightened ten-fold. I smell everything, from the delicious to the putrid. I feel like everything has heightened, my sensitivity especially. I require clarity more than anything and I definitely find myself wanting people to be clear with me when they speak and act. I am clear. I’ve been living clear. This cleanse is clearing me out in many ways. What I want in life, in my relationships, work opportunities, has become more clear over the past five days. I’m at that mid-point and proud to be where I am.

Summer Lemonade Cleanse Days 2-3: Hanging on to my old soul

Yesterday was hard. It’s hardest when I’m social. One of my girlfriends came over my place yesterday to swim but didn’t want to stay that long because she was hungry. She kept saying how she didn’t know how I could be doing this thing. Well, I think a lot of people just don’t know how THEY themselves could do a thing like this. This is my fourth time doing the cleanse, and each time becomes more like clockwork.

I don’t cringe as much when I drink saltwater, I make sure to plan ahead, and really pay attention to what my mind/body is telling me. For me, what’s coming up is finding a new job, traveling, and accepting that I’m an old soul. I love what I do right now because it allows me a certain amount of freedom to travel and pursue my creative endeavors. You know, I take that back. I love what I do right now. That’s all that matters. I just need to trust that I’m in the right place and that all is perfect. Really I just need to trust in the universe. Trusting allows for more enjoyment and peace. I just need to remember that.

Yesterday I felt like I was barely hanging on. Today I feel a lot better. Music and dancing helps. Being in social situations….still haven’t figured that one out yet. I look forward to the day when I can be out with friends in a bar, sipping my lemonade (or kombucha) on ice and having just as good of a time without the aid of food or alcohol.

Summer Lemonade Cleanse Day 1: It’s that time Again

Yea, it’s that time again, for the Lemonade Cleanse. I’ve been trying to do it every season as recommended in the Stanley Burroughs book. I can honestly say that after doing the saltwater flush this morning, I didn’t feel like continuing with the cleanse because just after flushing myself out, I already feel so much better!

But then comes the task of preparing enough drink to satiate the body to avoid dehydration, hunger, nutrient deficiency. My goal during this cleanse is to get really centered and focus on my body and mental/emotional improvement. I also want to avoid chapped lips. The past two times I did the cleanse, my lips got chapped really ugly and it’s probably because my body was in shock and also not getting enough nutrients, so I really need to make sure I’m drinking enough lemonade and water.

Emotional goals. Yea. Doing this cleanse, you start thinking about cleaning other areas of your life, like your car, your closet, your garage. Since I’m a minimalist, I don’t need to clean that stuff because it’s bare minimum as it is. I do need to clean my mind and emotions. How do we clean the mind? Well, for one by focusing on good thoughts and actions and maybe getting rid of toxic people/thoughts from our lives as well.

I know that now is the time for me to really get a hold on my deep rooted emotional issues. Doing a cleanse like this I’m hoping will inspire some self exploration into my heart/soul to understand and release old toxic build-up that doesn’t serve me anymore.

When I lived in Arizona two years ago, I was very clean inside and out because I didn’t encounter many people. I was a hermit to the nth degree and loved it. Now that I’ve started hanging around multitudes of people again, I find myself not being as clean. This is something I strive to work on. Maintaining clarity and cleanliness of mind/heart while being a social person. There has to be a balance somewhere.

So here it is. Day 1/10. Feeling clean, inspired, happy.

A musician’s soul

A musician’s soul couldn’t be more sensitive. To be in tune with the deepest emotions experienced by a human being, a musician must be extremely sensitive. With that comes potential for great pain, suffering and being misunderstood, which is the trade off. I was listening to Chet Baker this morning and relating to his song, “I fall in love too easily,” as well as the song, “Everytime we say goodbye.”

Musicians/artists like him and maybe even me, want to love deeply. We are intense. Something definitely cracked within me as a child that made me always seek to close up my gap. I think people who live with pain have to do things to ease their pain like play music, write, create in any way/shape/form. It might seem like a curse/burden/certain degree of suffering, but I think it’s what comes with the territory of being a creator.

There’s something beautiful that came out of Chet Baker’s ability to express the feeling he experienced when he wanted to love a person with all his heart and maybe they didn’t return the feeling. How could normal people ever return the feelings of a deep, intuitive artist?

Lately, I’ve been playing guitar again. Regaining the dead skin on the tips of my left hand fingers, watching my veins protrude more and more every day on my hand. I am in love with music. It’s the thing that I can do every day that doesn’t feel like work, that never gets old. There’s always a new place to go, something new to learn, and it feels damn great.

When other things have grown confusing in my life, sitting with the guitar pressed against my body feels grounding, like I’m connecting to a greater source of love every time I play a new tune.

I get inspired when I hear songs. I don’t feel alone in my deep feelings.

 

Let it Rain

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Today is my garden Wednesday with the kids. We normally water the entire garden but didn’t today because it looks like it’s going to rain. We are hoping it’s going to rain, especially after giving a lesson to the kids about water conservation on Earth Day!

So we just cleaned the garden of weeds and grass and I planted a new cilantro plant. One of the teachers also gave some interesting information about a natural remedy to cure earaches utilizing the “rue” or “ruda” (in Spanish) plant.

wpid-imag0018.jpgThat plant is STRONG. I like to go around the garden and touch certain plants to get their scent on my fingers. I also encourage the kids to do the same as well and they seem to enjoy it, but we don’t touch the “rue” plant. That thing has a nice smell at first but if you really inhale it, it makes my head get kinda tingly. I’m sure there are some people out there who would probably enjoy that but not me.

My co-workers encouraged me to re-start my compost. I guess I’m a little cautious because last time it got rotten, but maybe now is the time. It’s been over a month now. Time for new beginnings. Just because something didn’t work before doesn’t mean it won’t work if you try again.

Life is always guiding me to where I need to go. Every day more and more I am trusting the process of life and I’m exactly where I am meant to be, learning what I’m meant to learn, loving what and whom I’m meant to love, doing the work I’m meant to be doing, giving back to mother Earth.

Today I am proud to be in service of the universe. Today is a great day to be alive. When the wind blows this way before rain, it feels magical doesn’t it? That’s what is going on here in Los Angeles today.

I hope you are all feeling great love and power today, being connected to the earth on Earth Day.

I pray for rain. Let it rain!

Missing my Piano

Went for a walk tonight and listened to John Mayer live which led to a night of being serenaded by the smooth sounds of Chet Baker.  I started thinking about music and how much I love it, how that’s all I wanted to do growing up. Then I got one rejection from a performing arts high school that I really wanted to go to and I took it as a sign that I wasn’t meant to do music.

It’s funny. As an adult, I’ve received so much rejection but I’ve learned to take my rejection in stride. If something is hard then it has to be worth fighting for. I sometimes wonder if I need to look at music like that again because I love it, more than most things. You know how people always say things like, if you could do one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, what would that be?

For me, it’s play in a rock band and travel.

I’m in a groovy mood tonight, thinking about music, old loves,  and my first love–the piano. From age four until sixteen, I sat at that thing for hours, nothing else mattered. I’d be sad or happy and I’d sit there caressing the keys, letting melodies come to me. When I don’t strum an instrument or get my fill of music every day, I get sad. Life isn’t worth living without music. That’s how I know I love it so.

I have a vision for my life that includes my own space with a piano present. At this time in my life I think that’s about all I need.

 

 

 

My Spiritual Writing Cleanse Day 14: Rewriting Pages 60-75

Breaking a script into chunks is a more viable way to approach a 120-page screenplay. I am a Cardinal sign, so I am all for beginnings, starting new things. I always am really good at my first act. I usually don’t start a script unless I have my ending in mind as well, but the middle….where all the changes and struggles happen…

That’s where I tend to get all mushy like old bananas.

I’m very straightforward and I like to just get things done without all the waiting, the ups and downs. I will be honest in saying that in my past I haven’t always trusted in the process of life. I have often skipped the present moment and want to get to the end.

One thing that’s helped me with this problem is gardening. I’ve been seriously gardening since August of last year. I’ve seen plants come and go and really laid witness to what it takes to make something grow. It takes time, process, there is an actual formula for growth, any growth.

For me, planting the seed is the Act I. Watering, pulling weeds, waiting for the plant to push out of the ground is Act II, and actually seeing the fruits bloom is Act III. I guess eating the fruits would be like getting paid or selling a script, huh?

Anyway, I’ve learned to respect the Act II process. Just because I can’t see what’s going on underground, doesn’t mean work isn’t actually happening, work that is really necessary for the creation to be beautiful, edible, sellable.

Anyway, Day 14 involves rewriting pages 60-75. The character breaks through obstacles using the skills she’s learned, things get realized, things are learned at this point. King says to write for eight minutes about what you learned about the story from writing this script and then to underline whatever jumps out at you. That will be the essence of what the character realizes.

I will be honest. I didn’t write for 8 minutes. I knew what I had realized and it was about self confidence, about consistency, about being in solitude, alone, getting things done. My characters are very pro-active, getting over hurtful relationships and family drama. They are totally me and my way to deal with letting go of false realities.

My Spiritual Writing Cleanse Day 13: Rewriting Pages 45-60

Weird day.  A lot happened and didn’t happen which is why I didn’t write until 6pm. It didn’t take much re-writing pages 45-60. The initial script isn’t bad.  So Pages 45-60 are when the character can’t go back to where he was before. King says you can go back to where you were so you can know why you left it.

“Only go back to know to go forward,” she says.

Page 60 is where the characters make commitments to their changing behaviors/circumstances. Um, that’s where I got today. Tomorrow will be better. Hopefully I’ll get started earlier. Writing at night is new for me. I usually do my writing during the day/morning. It doesn’t hurt to try new things. Being committed means doing things out of your comfort zone or normal patterns. For me writing at night is one of them. Saying no to friends is another. Hopefully I’ll change just as much as my characters are.