The Big Cleanse – Finale

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” 
― Joseph Campbell

 

The first two weeks were quite challenging, as I mentioned in the first big cleanse post. All the emotions, and not a single vice to suppress it.  I found that a lot of thoughts came through that I didn’t like. I found myself to be an incredibly judgmental person. It was like I was sitting back and watching myself, because if I took action on those thoughts I believed to be true, I would have said a lot of things I’d regret.

 

What was also hard was the social detox. The prescription included no contact with crushes or ex’s, even if they were from high school! I thought that would be no bid deal, but a close friend of mine was going through a challenging situation and I couldn’t reach out. I prayed for her each night, and I was often upset with myself for the pure selfishness of this cleanse. But I also knew I had to do this to find my inner peace.

 

You see, most of my life I’ve been obsessed with “doing the right thing.” And I’ve found this to be a terrible compass. It has created more stress and anxiety than anything else. The difference between what I believe is the right thing to do vs what actually feels good has created a sense of guilt so strong that I have often felt like ending it all. (I now realize it was an internal conflict of values so unresolvable, that action action in either direction would cause me pain).

 

As a life long learner, I became aware of this on an intellectual level. But mere awareness never seemed to change anything (not for long at least).  And as I went through the first few weeks of the cleanse, what I feared most was going through it for 30 days and seeing nothing really change. As I mentioned this, my healer laughed and said, “The one constant in the Universe is change. So don’t worry about that!”

 

And then something shifted after the second week. It started when I began going to bed earlier. I found that I loved spending time alone. I cleaned, I read, I wrote, I meditated, I exercised. I was creating a new lifestyle for myself. Emotionally I felt like there were no big highs or lows. Just a constant peaceful foundation that couldn’t be rocked.

 

I was taking Kundalini yoga classes 3x a week, and on the 30th day I had my final class. After two weeks of pure peace, I began to feel very scared. When I started the cleanse I couldn’t wait for it to end. And now I didn’t want it to stop. I had entered my innermost cave, made a home for myself, and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to change my militant diet. I didn’t want to be social, or be in a relationship, or even have sex.  And the guilt ensued. I literally felt crazy – like I had experimented with being homeless for a month and didn’t want to come back.

 

It’s been two weeks since the cleanse officially ended, and to be honest… I don’t know if I’m back. I don’t know where I am. I’m continuing almost all of the new habits, but I’m not tied to them.  I find I have very few judgments. I have a much deeper acceptance of people and myself. I’ve also noticed that the emotion of embarrassment is largely gone. I didn’t really notice it till now, but I used to walk around with this constant chatter in my head, wondering what people think of me, trying to take care of people and not upset anyone. Most of that is gone.

 

It’s been really nice to reconnect with people. They say I feel more a lot more authentic. And it amazes me how intrigued people are by the cleanse. It definitely gets a strong reaction (in one way or another). A friend of mine noticed a difference so great that he immediately started the cleanse and now I’m coaching him through it. He’s two weeks into it and loving it.

 

I highly recommend trying it. I’ll post the exact prescription in case anyone is interested in doing it. But even if you don’t, I want to leave you with a question.  How are you distracting yourself? What is it you’re doing now to avoid a feeling you don’t want to feel?  These things are the guards of the innermost cave. They seem benevolent because all they want to do is protect you from pain. They don’t believe you can handle it. They think you’ll die.

 

But I’m here to tell you, there’s gold in that cave behind the dragon… And God knows we don’t appreciate things that simply land in our lap.

Hyper Sleep

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“Early to bed and early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

In my previous post about the Big Cleanse, I mentioned that I had been waking up every night at about 3am.  I would be up for hours before finally catching an hour or two of sleep before work. At first, this brought up a lot of fear in me… “What if I’m so tired I can’t work?  What if something is wrong with me?”

 

And then I thought, what if I just went with this?

 

I quickly recalled a fascinating conversation with my friend Dahyu Patel (an amazing coach, entrepreneur and life hacker). He studies the habits of interesting sects of society such as the Navy Seals, or in this case, native american tribes. “They (the tribe) told me that every hour you sleep before midnight, counts as two hours of sleep if they were after midnight.”  And so he sleeps from 8:30pm – 2:30am and by that math, he gets 8 hours of sleep every night.

 

When I first heard it, I was totally intrigued but thought there’s no way I could do it. What kind of life could I have that ends every day at 8pm!?  But now that I’ve eliminated every vice possible, I though, “Shit, what have I got to lose?” So I tried it out for a week.  Everyday I get into bed by 8:30pm and drift off to sleep. Some nights I wake up at 3am and start my day. Other nights I sleep all the way through to 6am. Or other nights I rise from 2am to 5am and then go back to sleep.
And I have to say, it feels like a luxurious indulgence.

 

I find that I am getting more done than ever. My dreams are longer and more vivid. I am no longer waking up with pain all over my body. I am no longer cranky in the morning. And I don’t miss the late nights.

 

My old pattern was to go home, feel like I could fall asleep around 8, push through it to work on my passion projects, find that I had no energy to do so, and instead watch TV or mess around on Facebook.

 

I looked around the web for any supporting evidence of how this might be beneficial and found this:
“It seems the liver is involved in a good night’s sleep. It regulates our energy level for the next day. The liver follows the cycle of the sun. Around six in the evening it wants to go to sleep and starts to store up the sugars (glycogen) to be used for the next day. When we stay up late at night we affect the liver’s metabolism. It can no longer simply store sugar. Our body, by being awake and active, needs sugar in the blood stream, and so we force the liver to reverse its process and break down glycogen to provide this sugar. We get a second wind, a burst of sugar in our blood stream, and yet we are really depleting our energy for the next day. Our liver can’t store up the glycogen it needs for the next day and so the next day we have a liver that is depleted of glycogen.”

I’m sure many people think I’m weird or crazy for doing this, but if there’s anything I’m learning doing this cleanse (and growing up) it’s that I’m the only one living my life, so I’m the one who lives with my choices and ultimately decides what works best.  

 

So… If this intrigues you at all. I hope you’ll stop thinking about it intellectually and try it out and decide for yourself! 

 

The Big Cleanse

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“Wow, you went from looking excited all night to totally scared,” he said.

 

I was wrapping up dinner with Mastin Kipp, the editor of The Daily Love. It felt like meeting a long lost brother. And both of us being coaches, we offered our thoughts, feedback, advice.  At the end, I asked him his intuition about me… “You have a big heart. You really want to give a lot. But I think you need to focus. I sense you’re distracting yourself. There’s something you really don’t want to feel, and I don’t know what that is.”

 

That was when I started looking scared. I think I even gripped the table.  I knew he was right, but I had no idea what that feeling was. And I had a sense that even if I did know it, knowledge wouldn’t do much.

 

He said the only way to really get to the core of what we’re feeling is to eliminate all the things that are distracting us from those emotions. That includes alcohol, drugs, caffeine, sugar, sex, masturbation, even flirting. It includes eliminating wheat, dairy, and taking a range of vitamins, enzymes, and alkaline water. I decided to add to the list:  No TV, and no radio in the car so I can really hear any thought or emotion I may be avoiding.

 

I’m almost two weeks into it and it’s been quite a roller coaster. The physical detox has not been hard because I tend to be healthy anyway, but my thoughts have been all over the place. I’ve been quite irritable, finding something annoying in almost every situation (or every person).  It’s like all this blame is getting out of my system. I have to be very, very careful not to act on my thoughts because I know they’re very temporary and very misguided.  And I’ve had a lot of thoughts of self-hatred. That’s actually nothing new for me, but my usual strategy would be to immediately think something different, whereas now it’s like I’m watching another person. It’s kind of eerie, but in a cool way.

 

What’s even more eerie is my sleep patterns. Almost every night I go to bed around 10 and then I’m wide awake at 3am. Often I’ll get a lot of work done, or read. But one night I realized that beyond all the physical vices, I actually have mental vices.  I spent about 5 hours researching crazy business ideas and reading up on economic and alien conspiracies. As the sun started to rise, I realized that while it was fun it made me anxious, tense and I really had nothing good to show for it.

 

Sometimes I feel totally at peace, especially after a Kundalini yoga class. Sometimes everything makes perfect sense, sometimes I’m totally confused, or my body is just covered in pain.  But the roller coaster isn’t even the hard part. It’s interesting, it’s fascinating. It’s weird…  The hard part is when those emotions end. When it’s just me. Alone. Deeply tired in a way I can’t explain. Wondering what the point is, to anything.

 

“What are you most afraid of?” Heather asked.  She and David are two amazing healers.

 

I lied there on the table, thinking of one image… “Buried alive. Definitely getting buried alive. I think that would be the worst possible scenario.”

 

I went there in my mind. Not avoiding it, but actually visualizing myself there. Lying in the casket as we worked through what that means – Being alone, in the dark, totally constrained, no way out. And facing it, the fear disappeared. I felt warm and relaxed, and she whispered, “What if you’re not really in the casket… What if you’re in the womb?”

 

And then it was like my world shifted through this paradoxical feeling like I hadn’t gone anywhere but I’m in a totally new place.

 

I had this incredible feeling that my life is about to begin…

 

Chocolate?…what you really crave

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I keep several bars of dark chocolate in drawers at work. It’s an amazing superfood. But I’ve discovered the intense craving is not about the delicious fat/caffeine/theobromine combination with a little sugar. It’s actually about the magnesium.

 

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The book, The Magnesium Miracle, states that it can treat the following (I especially found it true for #1)

 

1.
Anxiety and panic attacks- because it helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control
2.
Asthma – both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency
3.
Blood clots – magnesium prevents blood clots and thins blood without side effects.
4.
Bowel disease – magnesium deficiency is one of the main causes of constipation.
5.
Cystitis – bladder spasms are worsened by a magnesium deficiency.
6.
Depression – serotonin (mood elevator) is dependent on magnesium for its production and function.
7.
Heavy metals – magnesium is essential for the removal of heavy metals such as aluminum and lead.
8.
Diabetes – magnesium facilitates the production of insulin and the transfer of glucose into the cells.
9.
Fatigue – magnesium deficiency affects hundreds of enzymes, and fatigue is one of the first signs of a magnesium deficiency.
10.
Heart disease – The heart requires magnesium as does all muscles.
11.
Hypertension, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney disease, migraines, nerve problems, PMS, osteoporosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, and tooth decay are all aggravated, and sometimes caused by a magnesium deficiency.
 

 

I recommend the following ways to supplement it:

 

 

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Ancient Minerals states that best form of absorption is through the skin. So their oils, moisturizers and bath salts can be used this way. Note: Don’t get the oil for massage. Use their gel instead for that. 

 

 

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Calm Natural can be taken at night and helps a lot for getting to sleep as well. Make sure to follow their instructions of using hot water first.

 

I predict that in the not too distant future the media will be picking up on this, much the same way they picked up on Omega-3’s years and years after the healthy communities knew about it. 

 

All this to stay, I still love my dark chocolate. I just don’t have that intense need for it like I did before.

So you want to partner with (company)

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Having the incredible privilege of working with an amazing brand, I get a lot of people asking about partnerships of one kind or another. If you are considering approaching any company about a partnership, sales pitch, joint venture, etc, then I hope this will help you.

 

First, keep in mind that managers are very busy. Time to evaluate partnerships are not built into their schedules. And unless you are coming from a very strong reference, then they usually will not even have 15 minutes to meet and talk.  So how can you prepare yourself to have the greatest chance of success?

 

1. Do your homework
Make sure to research both the brand and the person you will contact. Show that you have taken the time to educate yourself through what is currently available online, so that you use any conversation time for highly relevant questions and proposals.

 

2. Know what you want
Don’t ask to brainstorm or find ways to collaborate.  As leaders, we do not have time to look at your business or product and then figure out how it connects with ours. That is not mission critical for us. That’s your job to figure it out, and relate it back to our business needs.

 

3. Be passionate
If you’re not thrilled about what you have to offer, why should we be?  My rule for considering any proposal or project is – If it’s not a “Hell yeah!” then it’s a no. Time and resources are too precious to spend on anything less.

 

Remember, there may be several steps before getting to a yes (in fact it’s better to start small). Consider what those might be in advance. Prepare for success.  But if it’s a no, then you may want to ask for feedback as it can be incredibly helpful for future proposals.

What fear really is…

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I’ve developed a new relationship to fear.

 

To understand it, I first had to realize that I am neither my thoughts nor my emotions… If you don’t believe this, just think about when you were 8 years old. Think about your thoughts and emotions back then.  Did they stay the same up until now? No.  That means our identity goes much deeper. I believe our identity is simply our ability to observe, and our ability to take action.  Those are the only two things that have always been present (at an ontological level).

 

So to truly understand a thought or emotion, we need to separate ourselves from it, and simply observe it, find it interesting, and get curious.  Because why take it seriously if it’s only on its way out?

 

The second thing I had to understand was that every time I had a fear and faced it, there was some sort of growth that came as a result.  Some might consider this obvious, but the next part was not so obvious…

 

I’ve found that fear is excitement about something we have judged as harmful to us.

 

Just think about that for a moment: “Fear is excitement about something we have judged as harmful to us.”

 

Afraid to quit your job and start a business? It’s because your mind took something that’s very exciting to you, and told you all the reasons you might starve and die and if you do this. Afraid to ask out that girl?  You’re excited at the notion, but your mind has convinced you that the rejection could be completely devastating.

 

Let me give you the most base example.  My mother does not have a fear about skydiving. But the reason is not courage. The reason is she’s never been skydiving and never wants  to go skydiving. It’s not even on her radar.  Thus she spends absolutely no time being afraid of it.  But people who think about it and get really scared are those would love to do it, but they’re worried they’ll die (or they’re just afraid of fear itself).

 

Now that I know what fear is, I start to get excited when I feel it, because I know there’s gold there. And as they say, courage is not the lack of fear. It’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

 

It’s my hope that you’ll think of this post the next time you’re afraid, separate your identity from the emotion, and smirk because you know what’s up.  🙂