Sometimes we need to see a reason for making a change and for taking action. For me, my wellbeing enables me to give back to the world, my wellbeing helps me to care for my family, my wellbeing allows me to cultivate a beautiful life.
I urge you to consider this for yourself – your health and wellbeing have a ripple effect on your family and your community. Your health and wellbeing allows you to make beautiful contributions to the world. Your wellbeing is the world’s wellbeing. And, that is what embracing the energy of the seasons is all about.
Will you embrace the emerging energy of Spring?
Spring is a delightful season – a season of possibilities, of new beginnings, of taking action. It is a time when we often feel the need to start afresh and “clean out” physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. I always feel an urge to get rid of old things, declutter my internal and external spaces and to take action on my winter’s introspection. I also usually feel an urge to eat a bit lighter, add more vegetables and raw foods into my diet (especially greens), and let my body detox a bit.
To understand the energy of Spring I look to one of my favourite teachers – nature. What do I see? There is abundant growth, new life is emerging, the days are warmer, longer and lighter. We are not separate from the natural world and it is empowering to realise that he very same process happens within us – we all have the potential to grow, bloom and be renewed.
What does this inspire in you?
When I think about embrace the emerging energy of Spring* I think about clearing and cleansing.
I love to clear out the old in my internal and external spaces and make way for the new.
*If you live in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn is also a wonderful time for cleansing and clearing, for further information please contact me and I will email you a copy of my article “Autumn Reflections”
Cleansing and detoxing are becoming popular and widely talked about – I will use the terms interchangeably. You may ask do I really need to cleanse? It’s a question I ask myself.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine Spring is associated with the Liver and Gall Bladder – these are organs of detoxification and elimination. Other holistic health systems such as Ayurveda and Naturopathy also recognize the benefit of periodic cleansing to support the bodies innate self-healing capacities and optimal wellbeing.
It is a reality in today’s world that fast paced living, environmental pollution and suboptimal nutrient intake for most people mean that our liver and other organs of detoxification and elimination are overburdened and in need of extra support and periodic rest.
For me, Spring is the perfect time of the year to emerge from the heaviness of winter, to support the liver and focus on releasing and clearing out on all levels – it’s like an inner imperative arises that won’t take no for an answer!
Usually when people think about cleansing they think about food, so let’s start there. Below are some of the foods I like to favour during Spring. I highly recommend you consult with a wellness practitioner for further suggestions and individualized support (this is particularly important if you are overweight or have a pre-existing health condition).
Foods to favour
- Locally grown, organic, biodynamic and chemical free foods nourish the body best in any season.
- Spring eating should be light, with a greater focus on raw foods. A great time for salads; fresh vegetable juices; or warm soups and salads (when the weather is still cool).
- Flavours such as bitter and sour help stimulate the liver and gallbladder. Starting the day with fresh lemon juice in warm water is an excellent tonic.
- Focus on green foods especially fast growing greens and herbs. Nettle, kale, broccoli, parsley, and coriander are excellent choices for spring cleansing.
- Cut down on (avoid where possible) alcohol; processed foods; excess fats especially hydrogenated vegetable oils; salty and heavy food.
- Cooking methods for spring include stir-fry or steaming.
- Re-think breakfast – start your day with steamed vegetables, homemade miso soup, a smoothie or vegetable juice.
- Add organic herbal teas to your daily menu – my favourites for spring include dandelion, calendula, nettle, peppermint, and chamomile or try a delicious combo using common household ingredients such as fresh ginger, turmeric, rosemary and lemon.
To get you started here is a simple food based detox plan that I like to use.
But is there more to Spring Cleansing?
An optimal diet is very important for cleansing and wellbeing but alone it’s not enough. Our thoughts create our reality and it is hard to achieve wellbeing and vitality even with the best diet if you sabotage yourself with judgemental thoughts and use food as a way to punish yourself, rather than nourish yourself. Research has shown that we can influence the wiring of our brains, our habitual responses and even the receptor sites on our cells by the quality and consistency of our thoughts! (Have you seen the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?)
From my own personal experience there is nothing so disillusioning than eating an amazing diet only to find that you don’t feel so amazing. For me bringing awareness to my thoughts has been an essential part of self-care and healing.
The need to cleanse or detox does not mean that we are “unclean”, to me detoxing is about embracing the self-healing capacity of our amazing bodies. We deserve vitality and wellness, not merely an absence of disease – the good news is that each and every one of us has the capacity for this! Let’s help the body by choosing the best foods possible, minimizing toxins going in and embracing supportive lifestyle practices – see this as a way of loving yourself, you deserve this.
Making your spring cleanse holistic
When I approach spring cleansing or a detox I focus on a lot more than just food. You might like to consider some of these:
Meditation – spend time each day in quiet reflection, set your intention for your cleanse and revisit this regularly, allow yourself some quiet time when you are cleansing, minimize external activities where possible and focus on releasing and rejuvenating your mind, body and spirit – this is particularly helpful if strong emotions such as anger, frustration, and irritability arise, take time to observe these emotions and get to know the thoughts that underlie them.
Add organic superfoods to your day – there are many detox supplements and superfood products on the market but my preferred supplements during a spring cleanse are these certified organic superfood powders.
Breathing – did you know you can eliminate up to 70% of toxins via the breath!! The breath is always with us, so let’s embrace its full potential. I spend time each day bringing awareness the breath, and during Spring like to make the exhalation twice as longer as inhalation, begin with 2 in 4 out and build up to 5 in 10 out. Try for 5-10 minutes each day.
Abdominal massage – one of my favourite self-care practices. This helps to relax tension and stimulate digestion and bowel movements. Best done on an empty stomach in the morning or before bed at night and make sure you follow the direction of the colon.
Qi-gong and Yoga – regular practice of qi-gong and/or yoga is highly beneficial to support the body during a cleansing process. If you like to practice at home I highly recommend the DVD Qi-Gong for Cleansing by Francesco and Daisy Lee Garripoli.
Minimise exposure to toxins – does it make sense to you to work on cleansing the body if you are still exposing yourself to toxins, even applying them to your skin? Skin care, body products and household products can contribute a significant amount of toxins to our daily life. Become informed about how to read labels and be a conscious consumer or make your own. Miessence products are my choice to support daily wellbeing and enhance the effectiveness of any detox or cleansing program.
Maximise your time in nature – breathe in fresh clean air, swim in the sea or a fresh water stream, contemplate the seasonal changes you see in nature, let nature be your teacher too.
Embracing the emerging energy of Spring – Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you still unsure?
I wholeheartedly encourage you to reflect upon these questions, and as you do bring awareness to your thoughts and take note of what you observe:
Are health, wellbeing and fulfilment priorities for me?
What is stopping me from starting afresh and cleaning out my internal and external spaces?
What is stopping me from starting a new project?
What is holding me back from realising my dreams?
What is it that I want in my life?
Until one is committed,
There is always hesitancy,
The chance to drawback,
Whatever you can do,
Or dream you can,
Boldness has genius, power and
magic in it.
Begin it now.
(Johann Wolfgang Goethe)
How will you embrace the emerging energy of Spring?
Remember, your wellbeing is the world’s wellbeing.
To support your journey this Spring I offer you with love this short meditation session.
Wishing you happy, healthy and fulfilling days to come.