The cleanse





  1. make (something, especially the skin) thoroughly clean.
  2. “this preparation will cleanse and tighten the skin”
  3. Synonyms: clean up, wash bathe, rinse, disinfect

I recently had a funny conversation with my nutritionist about her upcoming cleanse. I asked “Why should I do a cleanse?” I was really thinking – why would I possibly want to let go of all things I love and those that bring me such joy….

Her response was very practical: reset your metabolism, give your organs a break, gain energy, improve sleep.  I responded kind of tantrum-like: “No thanks, I’m think I am good.”

Throughout the day I wondered about my resistance.  What was I missing?  Where was my blind spot in all of this?  I knew the only way to find out was to dive right in….resistance and all.

I texted her: “I am in.”

Saturday morning bright and early, I chose to not get coffee.  I’ve been leaving my house at the crack of dawn for 30+ years to go have my coffee-routine.  I love the energy of a coffee shop.  I love the opportunity to sit and write and creatively enter my day.  I set intentions, I dabble in morning pages, I plan my day.  This is my delicious habit with well-worn treads.  I have always adored my friendships formed in silence along with a daily nod. I sit next to my “coffee shop husband” and we barely talk. It’s a lovely friendship.

On this very same Saturday, I noticed I was looking at my watch every two minutes. I’m not certain why but I think I was anxiously anticipating something – perhaps I was missing my quick hit of energy (caffeine), my silent conversations, or my weekend doughnut – a delectable little nosh.  None of them were coming.  I was left with me, myself and I (as my ten-year old says)….and a new found willingness to cleanse out and change old habits.

I work with people all day long lovingly escorting them toward change.  I have always thought  I do it for myself on a regular basis as well but, once my nutritionist/pal took my coffee away (note the blame going in her direction), I realized I too had become a victim to a certain kind of unconscious numbing out.  

No alcohol. No shopping (I added that one). No bread/crackers/bagels/gluten.

No coffee.  Did I mention no coffee.  No cream.  No sugar.

I didn’t really know what to do with myself and I could already feel change knocking on my door.

I was opening up to cleansing all sorts of things: “Spiritual cleansing,” my husband projected, “Clutterbusting is the REAL cleansing you need,” added my 12 year-old daughter and finally from my ten year-old daughter’’s mouth – “I’m just proud of you, Mom, I know it’s hard.”

And hard it was – I was opening channels that have been partially closed for years – without me knowing it.

This cleanse is turning out to be a high five.  In yoga on Sunday, the teacher read a beautiful poem about acknowledging that we are all flowers, growing, colorful and beautiful.  I realized we are all growing and changing constantly and what makes my work as a mom, wife, and therapist really rewarding is my willingness to constantly look at what may seem like healthy channels and look deep inside and find my blind spots.  And then, actively and consciously choose to change how I feel.


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