There is a journey that we must embark on if we want to get to the root of a problem.
Where there is confusion, there is a journey.
Sometimes we are not ready to pack our bags and go hike around past our so called "comfort zone." And sometimes, we are ready.
It took me until last year (when I was 44) to be able to totally give up all the things I gave up. The most fretful ones were alcohol and caffeine. Even as a yoga teacher and someone very "health-minded," I felt I could NOT wake up without that cup of Joe. And that I could not relax a harried mind in the evening (and deal with complaining kids and a messy house and so forth) without a glass of wine. Somewhere inside me I knew, it wasn't helpful for my existing health issues (that I spoke of in previous post.). I knew for decades that my particular body, with it's particular challenges, didn't do well with caffeine and alcohol. But still, I could not let those things go.
Looking back, it felt like survival. I could not survive a tired, cranky, irritated night unless I could have some sips of wine to relax me. And while I never drank near enough to rightly earn myself a hangover, even one glass of wine would make me feel swollen and headachy the next morning. Similarly, I could not fully "wake up" and face the day without my creamy coffee. But when I would crash that gritty crash just hours later, it was clear- my body wasn't tolerating caffeine either.
And so, one day, I put an end to both. It was much easier than I thought and other healthy beverages came to support the void. (Fresh squeezed juices, coconut water, Chaga (in 3rd photo), clear veggie broth, organic pure herb teas and fresh ginger tea - to name a few.)
I was ready. I couldn't for one more day put things in my body that were not SUPPORTIVE of me, my best self, my healing, my health. That is a personal journey and place to reach and it can not be forced upon another person.
Needless to say, after my initial detox- which was very real and lasted about a month or so, I started to feel AMAZING without alcohol and caffeine. Today I wake up energetic and stay evenly energetic until I go to bed at night. I don't wake up groggy, swollen feeling, headache-y and I don't feel the need for a caffeine boost, ever.
Some helpful thoughts:
- If you are feeling crappy but the thought of letting caffeine or alcohol go makes you uncomfortable or even mad..be gentle with yourself. It is something that can be meditated on. I would ask myself the question "I need caffeine and alcohol- it is true?"
- What are your stories around needing alcohol or caffeine? (Do you live with someone that doesn't have issues with them and so it makes it harder for you to give them up?) This is sensitive and can take time to really unveil. I had to have a hard look at why I felt I needed to unnaturally sedate at the end of the day. I realized that "it feels good to unwind with a drink" wasn't a true answer. How could it be true when I was experiencing so many irritating health challenges that were clearly inflamed by alcohol (and caffeine?)
- Sometimes it helps to get inspired by others' experiences. Check out some of the books on my book list that are supportive of a clean diet. I am just starting to build up a library on that list, but it's a good starting place. The Medical Medium books are the most powerful, in my opinion.
- Try Straddle Pose. This yoga pose gentle tones the liver meridian that runs up the inner legs. Your back may be very upright in this pose if you are tight, if so- sit on a folded blanket to help keep your hips higher than your legs. Feel free to also pad with rolled towels under the knees to soften behind those joints. Use as many pillows as needed under the head/torso if you want to rest your head. Remember to breathe and relax. Stay 1 minute or more if it feels right.