I love this time of year and the opportunity it offers for reflection and quiet. I've taken advantage by stepping back and doing just that. To assist I've done something that has been part of my life since 1984... a 10 day 'Master Cleanse' originated by Dr. Stanley Burroughs...
I have been so pleased over the last twenty-four years to experience the uplift that comes from this simple and effortless break from routine. When I first began using the cleanse it was as an alternative to the juice cleansing that my doctor had me doing for the four years previous. These cleanses were certainly fine and brought the health improvements that they were meant to yet there was something so, again simple, about mixing up a brew of lemons, maple syrup and red pepper that I had to try. Plus, my introduction to the Master Cleanse came via the book by Dr. Stanley Burroughs sent to me as gift from my mentor who happens to have a PhD in nutrition...so off I went.
Well all I can say is that all these years later I look forward with anticipation to the week following my birthday and leading up to the Spring Equinox. I begin by marking off the days in my calendar. The correct approach requires 99% mental commitment. Once that is established we begin with three lead-in days of fresh fruit and vegetables only. Then on Day One of the lemon brew I concoct enough to last the whole day. For me that means juicing 4-6 lemons, depending upon their size and juice content. I squeeze one measured cup full. Next I add 6-8 tablespoons of high grade pure maple syrup and lastly I add cayenne pepper powder, usually just less than 1/4 teaspoon sometimes a bit more than that...I love the kick. I place this 'concentrate into a two liter plastic bottle and fill it with filtered water to the top...put on the cap...shake shake shake and there ya go...sip it throughout the day. The 8 cups are usually finished around 6 pm. For the evening I sip on herb tea.
There is an important internal component to the cleanse...that of doing a daily 'flush' using a sea salt/water solution first thing every morning...it cleans the pipes day by day and I feel ought not to be left out.
Today is the tenth day of the current cleanse. I've lost a pound a day...although I do not use this as a weight loss tool....and I feel lighter in every way...more inspiration, more ideas, more alertness and clearly more bliss...a high percentage of bliss infuses each day. Plus there is so much more time during this break to engage creatively and as mentioned earlier to simply step out of routine.
Now here's the biggest challenge...that is...breaking the cleanse. There is something so seductive about eating that it is easy to come out of the ten days in a way that does more harm than good. Over the years I've learned a great deal about automatic response and mindless habits due to being in too big a rush. Now I go very slow and easy. On Day One of breaking the cleanse I do the suggested fresh squeezed orange juice...again sipping is important. I drink several glasses of this during the day, as I choose, while continuing to sip on the lemon brew. On Day Two of the break I drink orange juice in the morning and soup broth in the afternoon. I follow the recipe for the vegetable soup given in the Burroughs book a simple blend of celery, carrots, onion, potato and green vegetable (I use spinach). I add herbs and some hot pepper and I'm good to go. Only juice and broth on Day Two along with as much lemon brew as I like. On Day Three of the break I repeat the previous day with the addition of the vegetables added to the soup at lunch and a green salad without dressing for dinner. Day Four return to normal eating leaving out anything heavy or sugary. By Day Five of the break your body lets you know what it wants. How lovely to trust its guidance by pausing for a moment before taking any substance in and quietly asking, am I hungry for this? Why?