So Day 3.
There was a moment that made me absolutely crack up. I was thinking “Wow, Day 3, and I still feel resolved and strong. This is great.” And then in the very next second, “Oh my God, I have Seven. More. Days. To. Go. THIS WILL NEVER END.” I went from bright to bleak in the blink of an eye.
The cool part was going for a doctor’s visit this morning, and while I had made my day’s batch before leaving the house, I didn’t take any with me to sip on while I drove. I figured I’d just drink my first meal when I got back somewhere around noon. My doctor has a new location, so when I walked up to it I saw that her space connected to a juice bar. I was so excited to “go commercial” with my juice fast for the first time. I love these juice bars that are starting to sprout up all over the place (wish one would open in Granada Hills). Everything on the menu tells you what part of the body’s system it’s good for. They’re called things like “The Liver Detoxifier” and “The Kidney Kraze.” I ordered a “Dark & Stormy,” which consisted of beets, with the beet leaves, kale leaves, parsley, celery, and lemon. Yummy!
Later in the day was my first serious challenge. A friend called and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch at our favorite restaurant (Joe’s Café in Granada Hills, to be exact…who just won as top chef on the TV show Chopped, by the way….way to go Joe!). And at first I said, “maybe next week. I’m doing a juice fast right now.” Yet, truly I was in the mood to hang with a friend. So I said “Nix that. Let’s do it.” And I promptly filled up my sippy cup, and met him there. He ordered a luscious-looking pulled pork sandwich, and I had my green juice. His food smelled so good (even though I’m not even a pork eater) that I did have a moment of “this sucks.” But ultimately I was happy to be giving myself this challenge. I figured if I could get through lunch and not be ready to hold up the nearest KFC with a rifle, then I knew I could get through the next seven days (even if it’s now beginning to feel like I’ve already been at it seven weeks). I loved victoring over that. I even had to finally stop my friend, who kept apologizing for ordering such a decadent lunch in front of me. I was feeling triumphant, even if I was picturing him as a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. I loved that I walked away at the end of lunch, not having caved or broken down and ordering the amazing mac & bleu cheese that Joe’s offers. I was proud of myself as I said goodbye to my friend. I’d remained steadfast in the idea that I was on my way to something great. Doing something that would shift the paradigms in my consciousness just a bit. Clear the cobwebs.
This may be projecting, but I would swear that my eyesight even seems a bit better. I actually read a magazine article today without my 99-cent store reading glasses. And that’s usually a near-impossibility for me. Am I conjuring these things, these testaments for doing this crazy thing? Or are things actually beginning to shift, my body detoxing itself, my organs strengthening, and my brain un-fogging?
The meditation this morning was quite the blood-letting. Mindfulness seemed to be the theme that surfaced and stayed. Situations flooded through my head, and I found myself revisiting how I had handled them. Mindfully? Or combatively? Defensively? The question that kept arising was, “How do I want to show up in the world?” And am I presently doing that?
The real beauty of meditation is that you don’t need to micro-manage it. You don’t need to force your brain to quiet down. Trying to force it won’t work anyway. The key is just to let whatever wants to flood through do so. What begins to happen in time, with practice, is that the unimportant stuff that floods in, the grocery lists, the phone calls that need to be made, the cramp in the leg, etc, will shear away, and what will be left is the stuff that actually needs attention. The deeper life stuff. And as that gets all the attention and examination, in the environment of the subconscious, eventually there is a quieting of the stuff. Of all the stuff. But first you have to let it all just flood in there. Flooding was a whole lot of today’s sit.
One thing that has been somewhat niggling. It’s Day 3, and I haven’t varied my juice concoction by much yet. I don’t want to get bored, but it’s just so easy to settle into a routine, grab the exact same stuff from the market, not have to think. I collected a wonderful assortment of amazing recipes when I was preparing for this. So, tonight I finally made myself look through them, pick something, and go buy those items for tomorrow’s juicing. I’m going savory tomorrow. And then it might be another 3 days before I change up again. I’d like to think I have it in me to experiment every single day, but I know me. I am a creature of habit.
In general I’m finding that the days where I’m busy, being at my day job, doing a gig, working on a graphic design project, meeting with a friend, running errands, will be the easiest. I can take my jug of juice and my sippy cup with me in the car, and I’ll be good to go wherever I need to be, and not thinking about food.
It’s the days that I have to myself, as today largely was, when I get a bit antsy, when I want to eat something, graze on something crunchy (always more from boredom and restlessness than actual hunger), where it feels as though I’ve taken on something too monumental.
So, I think the key will be to keep myself with tasks. Or go the exact other way and just meditate more. Let myself decompress. But in a mindful and deliberate way, as opposed to a couch-potato-popcorn-bowl-on-the-belly kind of way. Again that theme of mindfulness, of acute awareness and appreciation and experience of everything in my midst.
I confess I’m still waiting for the hyper to get sheared away just a bit. Or is that asking too much? After all, my somewhat tongue-in-cheek description of myself has always been: “I’m a laid back soul trapped in the body of a high-strung chick.” Maybe that’s just who I’m meant to be. I guess we’ll see.
Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD. Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.