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Inspired living

Do you need a love detox?


Woman doing namaste at sunset

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Generally, “detox” pertains to the support and optimisation of the physical detoxification processes of the body. It’s about the “gross body”; the clearing capacity of the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs, and the smooth functioning of each cell to rid the system of metabolic wastes and minimise accumulated toxic load. However, detox involves the subtler realms of the human experience, too: the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. When undertaking a detox, consider extending the cleansing activity to the realms of internal self-talk, personal relationships, social habits, media exposure and your relationship with the environment.

The yogic sheaths, or koshas, of the human body are a five-layered model of our embodied states, which is easy to understand. The first two sheaths, the physical and the energetic (or pranic), are considered the “gross body”. These relate to the structures of the body and the vital force that enlivens the body; the energy/prana/chi/vitality that invigorates it.

The next two sheaths relate to the “everyday mind” and the “higher mind”. The “everyday mind” is concerned with emotions, thinking and habits. The higher mind, or wise self, can observe the actions of the self from the perspective of compassionate understanding. These two sheaths are referred to as the “subtle body”.

When undertaking a detox, consider extending the cleansing activity to the realms of internal self-talk, personal relationships, social habits, media exposure and your relationship with the environment.

The fifth sheath is the “bliss body”, the state we attain when in intimate connection with the moment and environment; the state of enlightenment and divinity experienced in human form. Interestingly, both Rudolf Steiner and the ancient alchemists put forward similar models to explain the human condition.

These sheaths do not operate exclusively, but continually interrelate and influence each other. We are simultaneously all of these aspects, whether we are conscious of them or not. When we undertake a cleanse focusing on the gross body, we simultaneously affect the subtle body and increasingly clear the way to touch the bliss body. Giving attention to the subtle body during a cleanse can accelerate the benefits of the entire cleanse. Its health is fundamental to attaining a clear state of being and presence.

The subtle body can be anywhere from nebulous and challenging to articulate. It’s more difficult to access than the physical. The primary aim of cleansing is to enable the true, unique individual self to exist in a harmonious, vital manner. This means unrestricted by heavy emotional burdens and not negatively reacting via subconscious, psychological wounds.

It’s a rare person in our society who truly and unequivocally loves and accepts themselves. We are encouraged not to. Remembering and owning our recognition of our loving interior is something that “non-violent communication” (NVC) practises. This communication process is also referred to as “compassionate communication” or “collaborative communication”.

As a rule, people are more critical and harsh on themselves than anyone else. There is little encouragement, outside of some spiritual and religious practices and NVC, to recognise that at our core we are love energy. As babies, we are innately loving, though we are quickly taught to forget it! All too often, at birth, after abruptly leaving the warm, dark, fluid womb home to enter the cold, hard, fluorescent light of a hospital ward, we had our bottoms slapped and were pricked with a procession of needles. We constrict when we are physically and emotionally scared or disconnected. Negative emotions, like shame, fear, anger and exclusion, bring about a vulnerability, which is protected by defence mechanisms, which easily become habits.

Treating ourselves as our own best friend is paramount. Showing ourselves loving acceptance and kindness relaxes us and makes us feel secure and happy.

Encouraging self-talk, healthy self-empathy and expression is a role the everyday mind can partake in. Treating ourselves as our own best friend is paramount. Showing ourselves loving acceptance and kindness relaxes us and makes us feel secure and happy. Consequently, we are less defensive and critical of others, despite their foibles. We are less reactive to the habitual “buttons” being pressed because we have resolved the issues within ourselves, through a spacious, love-infused, self-accepting higher-mind observation. We are more relaxed and thus our bodies’ energy can be more readily employed for normal functions and processes, such as healthy digestion and detoxification.

Through internal happiness, we are more likely to develop kind, loving relationships with others. By establishing healthy relationships, we have healthy connections with others. There are many studies highlighting the enormous impact a sense of connection and belonging has on healthy longevity and happiness. Healthy connections, to oneself, to family and friends, community and the natural environment, bring about a sense of security and support, which in turn enhances relaxation and provides a space to resolve inner conflicts, toxic emotions and the drive to perpetuate negative relationships.

Relationships that involve hierarchical power plays, as evidenced in bullying, can trigger high-stress states, helplessness and negative emotions. These affect the whole body–mind complex, stimulating feelings of fear, injustice, disempowerment and anger, and have been associated with a range of illnesses through many studies. Any sense of inadequacy, insecurity and self-criticism is a fertile ground for companies to manipulate emotions and sell products and services. Mainstream media continually remind us of the murders and wars, never mentioning the lovemaking and collaborations that are going on, too. Unfortunately, our market-capitalist system, whether consciously or not, disconnects and separates us from each other and from our truth — which is love.

Loving detox tips

  • Adopt a practice that helps you look internally and tune into your true nature.
  • Practise affirming self-talk. Congratulate yourself daily.
  • Restrict mainstream media exposure.
  • Regularly enquire what your true longings are.
  • Consider “irritating” people as mirrors into areas of yourself needing love and understanding.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Nurture your observers’ mind through meditation.
  • Develop the feeling of gratitude.

 



 

Sally Mathrick

Naturopath and yoga teacher Sally Mathrick offers health courses, workshops, detox retreats and individual consultations that support fresh thinking and whole health. With her third university degree underway, Sally is passionate about sharing effective, wellness wisdom that makes life more wonderful.