mandala sand art

I’ve made it through two full days and almost through the third and I think I have begun to accept that there is no real food coming my way anytime soon. I was at the gym today and The Food Network was on one of the TVs and, as I watched a chef prepare a delicious-looking sauteed chicken dish, I realized that I would not enjoy the taste of such yumminess for quite some time. And, I think I am ok with that.

What I consumed:

  • Cleanse Shake with strawberries and blueberries
  • Cleanse Shake with strawberries and bananas
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Asparagus with olive oil and sea salt
  • Quinoa with green pepper, mushroom and onions
  • 1 head of steamed cauliflower with sea salt and pepper
  • 30 gigantic supplement capsules
  • 36 oz water

How I felt:

Today I felt a little better. The intense headache that I woke up with this morning had to be dealt with so I broke my rules on the caffeine and dosed myself with 3 Excedrin.  That eased the pain and I felt better for the rest of the day.  My energy level is not as high as I would like it to be but I think it is going to start improving. I read that the first few days you might feel flu-like symptoms because of the detox. I definitely felt the aches and pains on day one and a bit more on day two. Today was much better. I was out at meetings most of the day so I was also probably a bit distracted.

I began to really feel the disconnect from Facebook today. For the first time, I stopped looking for the app on my phone and didn’t feel all that disconnected. In fact, I had a few friends text me because they knew I was taking a sabbatical from Facebook, which helped to alleviate any sense of isolation I might have been feeling. I’ve definitely surprised myself with my discipline of not even checking the site. I have truly gone cold turkey.

Physical Activity:

56 minutes on the elliptical at the gym.  I wanted to add some weights and crunches but didn’t feel completely up to it.  Maybe tomorrow.

While yesterday’s word in my head was boundaries, today’s was focus.  I’ve read that one of the side benefits from this cleanse is the ability to better focus and I thought a lot about that today. This morning I was in a meeting and one of the attendees was talking about being present and how we spend so much time thinking about the past or planning for the future. I’ve shared before about my challenges with being present. Because my mind is always at work and I am continually processing everything that is going on around me, I tend to spend a lot of mental energy on reflection – looking backward – rather than simply shutting things down and focusing in on what is happening to me in the moment. It feels like I am in a constant state of time travel, zipping back and forth between different periods of my life, rarely settling into the present and never quite sure when I am going to be lured away or for how long I will be gone.

Today, I received several different messages about being present and had the presence of mind to pay attention. The first was at the meeting and the next came while I was at the gym. On the elliptical I was watching one of the episodes from the latest season of House of Cards in which a group of Tibetan Monks was at the White House working on a Mandala sand painting. The sand painting is one of the most unique and exquisite artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism. The monks spend weeks painstakingly tapping individual grains of sand into an etched design on a platform. The resulting image is breathtaking. All I could think as I watched the scenes with the monks is how critical their meditation practices must be to enable the level of focus required to complete these works of art. Watching them, even on a fictional show, was mesmerizing and transformative. I was captivated by the beauty of the work and the process of completing it.

I felt a little liberated from myself as I began to focus on focusing. I typically feel clouded by all the noise in my head and all of the elements of my life that are constantly in flux. Being able to just slow down and, in this case, just watch the artwork developing, was relaxing and calming. I am no stranger to meditation or mindfulness and am fully equipped to focus in on my own breathing to soothe myself. I just don’t do it all that often. Of course, being on the elliptical helped because of all the energy being directed towards the exercise. It was a peaceful hour for me, free of the typical distractions of email, texts, phone calls, kids, and my own self.

So, today I feel peaceful and serene and focused. And that makes this whole process so much easier.