There’s something very melancholic and wistful about the changing of seasons – especially from summer to autumn, when everything just starts to….well….die. With Spring there is the earthy, mossy scented scattering of rain-showers, bringing with it the first green buds of life. The breeze comes calling with a little more warmth, promising sunshine and, to many hot-blooded heterosexual males out there, short skirts skimming the tops of lean (albeit pale) thighs. But with autumn, the mood is more sombre. The fresh scents of summer flowers, fresh-cut grass and grilling meat on charcoal bbq’s become muted by the northern winds that always seem to give a slightly frosty, metallic tinge to the nose. The leaves that once created a green ceiling over streets and boulevards have now been converted to a multi-coloured carpet. Now, I love the fall, in spite of the slightly depressing tone that comes with it. Fall fashion always brings a smile to my face – the mixture of textures, colours that glow like embers, layering wools with silks, knee socks, open-toed booties, bright scarves….Autumn cooking is also a seasonal delight, with the apple pies and crumbles, pumpkin soups and muffins, butternut squash, root vegetables, slow-simmering meats in pressure cookers – ha! Even the foodfare is dressed in fall fashion colours! But I think what is probably most significant in a Naturopath’s world is that transition seasons call for Detoxification! It is during this time that your body naturally starts to prepare for winter’s long haul of hibernation – it is during this time that it is best (both in eastern and western philosophies) to allow your body this chance to do a little bit of intercellular cleaning and give yourself a break from all of the things that summer patios and all-inclusive vacations do so well. Fall is Detox Season.
Now it would be irresponsible of me to publish a detoxification programme on my blog for everyone to follow as each individual has unique needs, and detoxifications should not be taken lightly. It isn’t about starving yourself in order to lose the beer belly – it’s about respecting your body’s organ systems and allowing them a temporary vacation from the excesses of the summer and being mindful of what you put (or not put) into it. Not only is it about a clean diet in order to help clean out your digestive organs, but it’s about aiding the other organ systems to help flush out the toxins. From your lungs to your kidneys, to your skin to your soul – these are ALL going to get rid of their shit. Yes…even your soul, which brings me to the point of this here blog entry. Beware the emotional detoxification that may occur during the physical detox.
Baggage. We all have it. We all deal with some of it, ignore others – some of us successfully shed a few pieces of luggage only to collect a couple of other key pieces. It’s a constant battle to try to either dump it out so that you never have to carry it around again, or to hide it so that nobody else (including yourself) will see how absolutely f&*ked up you truly are, but no matter what your method of compensation, all your shit eventually comes to the surface. Especially during a detox. So be prepared for that really special side of yourself that seems to only make an appearance during Christmas dinners and family vacations, because I can almost guarantee that it will be triggered to come out again. And when it does, acknowledge it. Be present with the anger, the hurt, the pain, the fear. Understand that it comes from a place of wanting to protect yourself. But then try to let it go. Much easier said than done. I know. TRUST ME, I know. Six months of meditating in various ashrams in India, a divorce, a start-over in a new country, eloping, another start-over professionally, avoiding, crying, praying, yoga-ing, journaling, blogging, raging against anyone who tries to tell me what to do and I’m STILL dealing with the same.old.shit. During that time I have found solace in running away, writing, wine, marijuana, music and a few relationships, both toxic and nurturing (friends, family and lovers) some of which i’ve let go of, some of which i’m still clinging to. But it’s a process – a lifelong one – one that will require more than a few more years of all of the above. But if you take care of your body, it makes it easier to take care of your mind. Detoxify. Breathe. Then rinse. And repeat.