The first time I saged my living space was years ago. I’d just had one of my first fights with my partner, and I’m not sure which one of us suggested sage as a way to literally clear the air. I do remember the feeling of closeness that completing such a ritual gave us, and since that time, saging our space has become another one of our cleaning rituals. Now, though, we try not to wait until tensions are high before we sage. We circle the house three times; I carry the smoldering sage for the first time and a half, and then I pass the bundle to my husband to complete the rest of the circuit.
I’ve also renewed my interest in scents and aromatherapy, and I try to consciously create positive, warm energy in our home through the use of oils and burners. I like to think I’ve got a pretty good magical and mundane cleaning routine for my home, but what about my other home: my body?
My impulse is to tell you that I treat my body like a temple 24/7, but then I’d be lying. I’ve gotten much better at tuning into the needs of my body recently, in part due to the intensive yoga teacher training I completed last summer, but I’m not always as aware of my body as I could be. I’ve been making strides to change that this month, trying to match my magical housekeeping within my shell as well as my outer surroundings.
What kind of things have I been doing? Well, I’m trying to devote ten minutes every morning to yoga; inversions and twists, specifically, to help my body naturally detox after a night of heavy sleep. I’ve discovered that standing on my head for a minute starts my morning better than a cup of coffee ever did (although I haven’t entirely weaned myself off of caffeine, but I am trying). I try to walk every day, and I’ve developed moderately good meditation habits to close out my days. But this weekend, I decided to take my physical cleansing a step further: I attempted my first juice fast.
I wanted to see what my body would feel like after a day without synthetic food and sugars, and I did a lot of reading on juice fasts and cleanses before I began. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hungry. True, I didn’t have much energy, but I’d intentionally scheduled my juice fast to coincide with my screen-free day off this weekend, so there wasn’t much I needed energy for.
My plan was to fast for 36 hours. I made it to twenty before my stomach clenched and deep nausea set in. Maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I thought, or maybe I was just wimping out; although my inclination was to push through the discomfort, I stopped and listened to my body, and ate a cup of miso soup. I broke the fast and finished my night with a small meal, but before I went to bed, I still took the cleansing bath I’d planned on. Time will tell if my shortened fast had any lasting physical benefits, but I’m already glad I did it.
The biggest lesson for me this weekend? I need to tune in more and listen to my body. Just like my living space, it is sacred, and it deserves my attention. Will I try another juice fast? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just stick to flipping upside down as my detox method.