Wide Awake & Dreaming

Woah.  Where did 7 weeks go? I’ve been cleansing for 49 days:  no alcohol, caffeine, processed sugar, dairy, eggs, or meat.

An entire summer without cold, salty margaritas or creamy iced coffees.  Meeting friends at the beach with a jug of water and a jar of bush tea instead of Riesling and IPA.  Oatmeal and peanut butter toast instead of chocolate chip pancakes and omelettes.  No ice cream! I repeat:  no ice cream!

Waking up energized and joyful, ready to spend the day with my toddler.  Learning to breathe through my stress rather than sip it away.  Visualizing my goals instead of venting about my obstacles.  Spending time getting to know myself instead of forgetting my problems.

Today is the first in 50 that I am “back to normal.”  I thought I would celebrate with a nice bottle of red or a bubbly champagne.  50 days ago, I thought I’d be calling my friends to toast my success when this day came.  I’ve had a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream in my freezer for just the occasion!

But my Consciousness Cleanse worked subtle, slow, satisfying magic on my life.  I am sad to see it go! I see now that, as Cake eloquently points out, “Excess ain’t rebellion – you’re buyin what they’re selling!” Not that I was some party animal – not anymore, anyway – but my weekly wine and daily coffee habits certainly weren’t helping my emotional stability or clarity of consciousness.

In “Yoga for Emotional Balance,” Bo Forbes writes that alcohol and caffeine raise cortisol levels.  Cortisol is the stress hormone, and an abundance of it keeps our bodies and minds in constant “fight or flight” mode.  It has been the focus of my daily life, whenever I realize I’ve lost mindfulness, to intentionally relax and regulate my physiological state, scrubbing the cortisol right out of my system.

Thanks to 50 days of clean eating, refraining from mind-altering substances, and practicing Tapas (firey dedication; willpower) on and off my mat, I am a more conscious, more balanced, more joyful woman.

Though I may still go for a salted rim on the occasional margarita or a luscious red for special occasions, the act will be intentional, mindful, and fully conscious.  Rather than defaulting to “easy” coping techniques (which I’ve discovered are really only temporary masks), I will deal with and release my stressors as they arise.

Now that I’m wide awake, I dream of a life fully lived every day- not just for 50 of them at a time.

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