Monday, June 21, 2010

My Visit with the Enemy: A Body, Mind, and Soul Cleanse (Part II)

A few days ago, I shared with you all that I was wrestling with a bout of depression for the period I was on a prescription medication to combat an infection I was suffering from.

In just ten days, I could feel my health and vitality, both physically and mentally, unravel, and I learned how easy it was to become depressed and allow that feeling to overtake your body and your life. But the difference for me, which is a great blessing, is that the visit with the enemy was short-lived. I was lucky enough to be on the antibiotics for less than two weeks, and I’ve been able to gather enough knowledge on natural health to effectively combat the imbalances my body was experiencing.

So now, as my time on my medication comes to a close I’ve decided that because it took ten days to fall off the wagon of ideal health, it’s in my best interest to do something radical for the next ten days in order to get back on track physically, mentally, and spiritually.

My objective is to find balance and ultimate health again, and my goal is to continue this journey beyond just ten days.

As all of you know, the body, mind, and spirit are all intrinsically linked, and when one part suffers, the others will inevitably suffer as well, but before I share my plan, I’d like to explain my reasons for sharing this journey to begin with: I want to share my personal cleanse so that I might inspire someone else to do the same (in their own way, of course), and also, I’d like to comfort others in their journey through depression; there are NATURAL ways to combat your pain. And finally, I’d like to share this plan with you all so that I may hold myself accountable.

How it will work: I know the next ten days will be a major challenge, but I’d like to share them with you. I have it set up so that new posts will appear on the blog automatically over the next ten days because I won't be on. However, I will be chronicling my days and experiences on a daily basis, and in ten days I'll share the series, for better or for worse.


My Personal 10-Day Cleanse (June 22nd-July 1st)

Daily Physical Activity- Physical activity isn’t just good for the body; it also helps to fight depression, so I’ll be doing one hour of exercise or physical activity a day, which will be in addition to any meditative yoga I will be doing. Physical activity has been proven to fight depression:
Daily Vitamins- I will take a Vitamin D, Fish Oil (Omega 3-fatty acid), Vitamin C, and Vitamin E daily in order to fight depression with my nutrition, as cited in these two medical articles: and
Daily Green Drink- My good friend is a yoga instructor and vegetarian, and she swears that Green Vibrance, a popular green drink, did wonders for her health, both physically and mentally. So I will begin my daily regimen and continue to do this beyond my 10 day cleanse. You can learn more about this here:
A Pescetarian Diet- The term Pescetarian is used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish, and there has been research done to show that this particular Mediterranean diet helps combat depression and many other illnesses. This will be a new challenge for me, and I hope to implement it past the ten days. I haven’t eaten read meat in over ten years so I am almost there. I just have to surrender the chicken, Lord help me! You can read more about a Pescetarian diet here: and

Yoga- I will commit to at least 30 minutes of gentle, meditative yoga a day in order to calm my mind, heal my body, and practice meditation.
Writing- I will write daily, both creatively and reflectively. Specifically, I plan to work on my novel and document my journey over the next ten days.
Unplugging- For ten days, I will not watch any television or spend time on the Internet. I will leave my long cell phone chats behind. So that means no Facebook and no surfing the web and no texting. I really believe too much time doing these things can fill our mind with mental toxins, and they keep us from getting out there and living our lives a good deal of the time. They keep us from being in the moment, and I want my focus to be on my friends, family, and spiritual being.
Rethinking- I will work on rejecting negative thoughts and will work on replacing them with positive ones in order to decrease anxiety.

Meditation/Prayer- During my yoga sessions and before bed, I will commit to spending real time praying and reflecting spiritually on my life and those that populate it. I want to increase my dialogue with God, as well as getting better at just listening.
Nature Focus- I will spend at least one hour outside in nature a day, whether that be via exercise, yoga, or relaxing with a book, a friend, or a family member. And while in nature, I will be present and pay attention to the beautiful details that unite us all.
Read Spiritual Texts- I will, on a daily basis, spend time reading and reflecting on one of several spiritual texts: the Bible, select devotionals, Emerson’s Self Reliance, Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson (to name a few).
Do What I Love- Teaching has one luxury, and that is the summer break. Because of this, I am blessed to focus an extended period of time on doing the things I love that the school year typically suspends. So over the next ten days, I will, on a daily basis, commit myself to stepping outside my old routine and doing the things I love to do like writing, scrapbooking, photography, hiking, playing with my dogs, going on nature walks, and working on my novel.

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