Following on from the last post where my body was stiff but became soft, supple and full of joy through some creativity – I decided to further support that by doing a little detox. Usually at easter I get almost a week to myself as the kids are with their dads so this seemed like a perfect time to start. Its too difficult to stay on track when you are making pesto pasta, ham and cheese toasties or roast chicken for the kids. My aim was simple, only fruit, vegetables and whole grains for a week. The main ingredients to cut out where caffeine, meat, wheat, sugar and everything else.
On the whole it went really well. For the first few days I had an ache on my right side around the Gall bladder 30 and 31 spots. I massaged stretched and pressed these which helped to take away some of the soreness. On the third day of the detox I had the strangest sensation down the outside of my leg, gall bladder meridian. It was almost like a bubbling gurgling stream moving down toward my ankle. I took this as a good sign as the soreness dissipated.
On the last day of the detox I was preparing to cook for a group for the weekend. All the food would be vegetarian but there would be cake which was not on the detox menu. The Friday was buzzing about preparing ingredient bags and picking up supplies. Ive cooked for many weekend groups and theres almost a ritual in the preparation that I enjoy. Part of it is to stop into Malahide for a coffee from one of my favourite coffee shops. I was really torn – should I have the coffee and completely break the detox – ahh why not so off I pottered for coffee – the people in front of me in the queue were taking ages so I thought” I’ll go to the bathroom” but instead of rejoining the line when I came back I simply left the shop, without coffee and went back to the car – wow who was this girl who could be in Malahide and not drink coffee. It could be a whole new me.
Then for some leftfield reason old friends popped into my mind, friends that I used to share coffee with in Malahide but that had drifted away and I began to feel irritated mixed with a sprinkling of “poor me”. It occurred to me if I could let go of the girl who drank coffee I could also let go of the girl abandoned by friends. I could be anyone I wanted to be if I were willing to let go. So detox seems to not just be about losing pounds, toxins, fat and fogginess it seems to be about shedding parts of myself that no longer serve. If I could make a commitment, stick to a detox, let go habitual eating patterns and who I think I am, then the universe is my oyster – I can be my own heart’s desire.
Much of Chinese Medicine is founded on the balance of the five elements: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. At the moment we are in Spring, the time of Liver/Gallbladder and the element of wood. Soon we will move into early Summer, the time of the Heart/Small Intestine and the element of fire. As you may know I’m co hosting a workshop about the relationship between Spring/Summer – Liver/Heart (see drop down menu – cooking classes) and as they say you teach what you need to learn I thought I share what I learnt last week about the relationship between the two.
Recently I have been feeling very stiff – my shoulders especially but also my back, my hips, my calves and even in my eyes. I know the tendons, ligaments and general stiffness fall under the domain of the Liver/Gall Bladder but when I asked my body what it wanted to eat to help ease the stiffness it came up blank – I didn’t want anything. Adrift in a lack of desire, I wanted nothing in particular and wasn’t fussed if I didn’t get it. I have always used my love of food to guide me, so I was confused, (liver domain), and asked my body again what it wanted, it showed me a picture in my mind’s eye of me painting, drawing, sitting on the beach and sketching. Well that sounded easy enough – a morning to myself, just a couple of hours to get my paints out and fool around. But I just couldn’t find the time and my body got stiffer. With the launch of the book there were too many jobs that had to be done, too many dominoes that had to line up so that everything would manifest gracefully. From the outside it probably seems like the process of publishing a book is very creative but in reality I was locked into my familiar love affair with to do lists. Following the launch much of life has become fulfilling orders, organising publicity and sorting out paypal buttons.
The computer being in the same room as my paints was creating a physical block, it’s much easier to stay superficial and check emails than to sink inside and paint what comes through. That requires commitment, so I made a date, got a babysitter and took myself out to a life drawing class. I haven’t drawn a life model for about fifteen years so it took me a while to get my flow but I loved it and time flew.
On the drive home everything looked so beautiful. People and cars in the city centre moved like dancers in a ballet. The trees on the skyline made stunning shapes and the air seemed so soft around my skin. Then it dawned, my lack of desire and stiffness was there because I hadn’t been supporting my liver. I was stuck in a frustrating cycle of to do jobs with very little space for creative expression. As soon as I tended to that need, the wood energy of Liver then supported the fire energy of my Heart which is responsible for connection to the heavenly beautiful, unexplainable world. Over the next few days my stiffness dissipated and my chest relaxed and expanded with heart opening joy. I began to desire food once more. Strangely enough the food my body asked for were all liver foods. I wanted big dark green leafy salads with plenty of gherkins – the chlorophyll from the green stimulated the gall bladder to produce bile which helps break down any fats that maybe clogging up my bodies energy and the gherkins sour flavour stimulates the liver to rid itself of any toxins held in the blood and thereby increasing circulation to the heart. So now I’m liver flowing and free, happy to be heart feeling I’m useful and creatively contributing to the world.
Anger and frustration are the emotion of the liver and my frustrations with Paypal buttons and the internet seem disproportionate and daily ? So I’m glad to be hosting the Spring Into Summer workshop, where I can really immerse in detoxing and stretching the liver, practice happy heart exercises and of course now that the book is launched create a whole new vision board child.
Cost: early bird until 22 April €245,thereafter €275
Includes food, accommodation & tuition
For more info firstname.lastname@example.org 086 607 0432
Cooking that has food for thought – Family News & Advice | Parenting, Marriage & Kids | The Irish Tim – Tue, Apr 01, 2014.
Click on the link to see the article and the video which is all about loving food, living life and the drop in classes on Thursday 🙂