Sunday, January 4, 2015

'Tis the season to detox

This week many will begin one diet/exercise regimen or another. Christmas Nutri Ninjas will be put to good use as people start juicing, cleansing, and green drinking their way to health. Many religious groups will also fast for the purpose of corporate prayer. Whether a person’s reasons are natural or spiritual, it seems to be the time of year where people are ready to clear out and get back to what’s essential. However, that’s much easier said than done. But why?



We like what we like
It’s really that simple. We want more of what we enjoy and less of what we don’t. That would be fine if we were balanced. We’re not. By nature, we’re creatures of extremes. Sometimes it takes stripping ourselves of all the clutter we accumulate to realize how little we truly need.

We fear self-examination
Whenever you practice self-denial of any sort, you better believe it’ll reveal what’s inside you. It’s like those cheery morning people who suddenly give up caffeine and then they’re as mean as a snake. You can always tell when your preferences have become needs once you eliminate them. Then, you find out what’s your true emotional base line. How do really you handle life when your crutches and vices are taken away? The real answer scares us so we'd just as soon avoid it.

We fear failure
Sometimes we avoid starting good habits and quitting bad ones because we don’t know if we can stick with it. Isn’t it easier to excuse, rationalize, and defend why there’s nothing wrong with staying the same? Or to make a change plan but then secretly give yourself an out in case it doesn’t work? Change is hard and it’s scary. Some won’t even begin because they aren’t guaranteed they can make a lasting change.
Yet, here we are, in a new year, and we’re compelled to hit the reset button in our lives. While I’m not necessarily a proponent of diets, I do believe abstinence periods, when rooted in spiritual discipline, can be good for the soul. There’s a lot of power in ridding yourself of your dependencies and centering yourself on what really matters. Just remember, it’s not the external changes that purify you. True cleansing begins within.