Fall is a time to let go and shed what no longer serves us. Just like the trees letting go of their leaves, we too need to identify what extra weight we might be carrying (and I mean this more figuratively than literally) and then commit to taking steps to let go of it.
For some of us, the letting go comes with a lot of introspection and soul searching, and it is about behavior: what happened in the past that I am still holding on to? Is there anything I am carrying around that is keeping me from the life I want to live?
For some of us, it might be more about our environment, de-cluttering our homes and closets, re-arranging furniture, emptying the garage or storage.
For some it might be about assessing relationships and making time to connect (which might mean letting go of other activities) or it might be about letting go of a relationship that takes away more than it nourishes.
And for all of us, the letting go can include a deep look at our eating patterns and habits, and identifying whether there is anything we can remove, at least for a while, to feel grounded and vibrant in our bodies, and then consciously adding nutrients to our daily lives to support our strength and immunity for the colder months.
This Fall all of these are true for me.
Behavior-wise I am working with my internal dialogue and the many stories I have told myself about not having enough time and not being good at ______ (fill in the blanks – there are a few of these in my head) and lacking this or being too that. Each time one of these old tapes start playing, I ask “is this true?” and often the answer is no. And so I work with it, sometimes being able to see what the tape was recorded for, whether it had any benefit at all at some point in my life, and then diligently recording over it a new song – one with an inspirational message this time, or at least neutral (no commentary works too, sometimes it is best to just have silence). I couldn’t do this without the support of an introspective practice and Nick’s support, who catches me when I play my old tapes out loud. Do you have a practice or someone in your life that can hold a compassionate mirror for you?
As far as our environment, we still have a long way to go, but we started by donating a number of items to Habitat for Humanity so we could free up some space and energy. I even said goodbye to my breast-feeding rocking chair, which held a special place in my heart but a bigger place in our cluttered garage (and hadn’t been used for well over a year). Is there anything in your personal environment that is stuck, unused, or cluttered? What steps can you take to address it?
We made time to be with family in November, which meant letting go of shows and client expectations for Nick and classes and other projects for me. We both feel a huge pull to be with our family in Brazil and the East Coast, so we had to mindfully prioritize this connection and make a commitment by purchasing tickets in order to have something concrete to hold up when an enticing invitation or offer came our way. What relationships do you want to nourish? And to allow for the natural rhythm of this season, which is to actually go inward, what do you need to say no to in order to protect your self-connection time?
And lastly, we are entering a 3-week gentle cleanse with the group we are guiding at Montecito Heights Health Club this October. I have done this cleanse myself 5 times now, and have led 75 participants on it over the last few years (shedding together over 400 lbs). A well-guided and balanced cleanse is a wonderful way to assess which foods actually nourish us and which ones rob our internal bank. Eliminating trigger foods like sugar, gluten, dairy, corn, soy (except organic tempeh for vegetarians), caffeine and alcohol can reduce noise so we can actually hear the messages our body sends us on a regular basis (note body messages here, not habitual thoughts). As we eliminate these foods and add nutrient-rich items in their place, we also embark on a journey of mindful eating, establishing a more respectful relationship with our bodies and the fuel we put into them.
In each of our 3 meetings we cover:
- education about detoxification and the role of the liver,
- how to live a detox lifestyle (so we are not going from indulging in an “eating for pleasure” most of the time and then relying on a 3-week detox to fix the nutrient deficit),
- what is inflammation and which are the most anti-inflammatory foods and practices,
- how to engage with food in a way that allows us to recognize when we are 80% full so we can leave some breathing room in the gut,
- and how to prepare and store foods so that we get the most benefit from them.
- We also discuss strategies for limiting our exposure to toxins not just from the food we eat, but in our homes with cleaning supply choices and what we put on our bodies (cosmetics and other self-care products).
During the cleanse we send email reminders about everyday practices that nourish us as much as the food we eat, with practical guides on skin brushing, sauna therapy, journaling, and more.
You can still join us for this cleanse here. If this group cleanse does not work for you right now, what are some steps that you can take to shed less-than-ideal dietary habits and build stronger ones?
We would love to read your answers. You can post on the comments here on the blog, email us or post on our Facebook page.
Sending love with a tender Autumn breeze…
Thais & Nick