My Brain on Detox

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Day 1:

I cried.  Not because I was hangry- my will is pretty strong and I would not go into a detox if I was subject to food moods…The subject of death and loss was talked about with a friend.  It was an emotional  conversation and afterwards I went for a walk to shed my tears in solitude.  I thought about the pain that’s felt when people are gone, whether through death, or they simply are not in your life anymore.

After wiping my tears away I thought about the proper way I let pain affect me.  No one is going to comfort and care for me better than my own self.  I felt like this was a good time for a cleanse, clearing the pathways of my mind and spirit through my body.

Day 2:

I watered plants.  Water seems to be playing a theme here…
I thought about nourishment and physical strength.  The act of replenishing these plants and how I am resetting myself in a sense through my own cleanse.  What is nourishment to me?  What feeds me besides food?

Day 3:

I was reminded that the night before was a new moon, a time for new beginnings.  It seemed as though this detox coincided well with the lunar phases and my intentions of expelling the toxins of my body as well as the negative emotions that sometimes build up over time.

I looked forward to continued rest of my body and finding a calmness within my heart over issues that distracted me.

Day 4:

I cleaned.  While I was moving some furniture around  I found a preserved butterfly with its hind-wing missing.  I was reminded of the cycles of the Earth, change, and transformation.

It felt like one of the first fall days and I was reminded of the vivid colors of the New England Autumns, and the brilliance that transforms the landscape this time of year.  My favorite season.  For me, fall means a rebirth of sorts, when everything reaches an apex of radiance.  Surely my radical shedding of sorts giving way to clear pores and strength of mind is my own internal version of fall.

Day 5:

I submitted an article to a magazine.  I wrote about a particularly painful ‘breakup’ (if you want to call it that) and how instead of being defeated by it, I decide d to ‘see the beauty, the love, and the wonder amidst the pain, disappointment, and struggle,’ of the relationship.

Whether it’s published or not, I’ve found writing and sending my words out into the world a great therapy.  From beginning to end, seeing this experience as a story allowed me to take an outside perspective and sincerely tell myself that it’s ok.  Yeah, it happened,it’s over-but my story doesn’t end.

Day 6:

I had a dream about a wise frog that spoke.  This was the most vivid dream I had had since the detox.  The dream struck me so that I decided to dig into the meaning of the frog.  I’m not lying when I say that when I opened my dream dictionary, I opened to the page of the frog.  Yes, I believe in signs.

I learned that a frog appearing in dreams is often associated with water, or cleansing.  Also, evolution (the frog cycle) and change.  This couldn’t make more sense.  With the confirmation of this dream, I felt I was on the right path of getting to where I want to be as I contemplated all the change I have gone through in the past 2 years, when I started living a transitory life.

Day 7:

On the last day of my detox I had a conversation with a friend about the sad realities of the world.  The hate, fear, and control that people all over the world face daily.  How it never ends, and after all this time, it seems history is truly bound to repeat itself-this vicious cycle of humanity.

Of course, we couldn’t help but counter that with the all the good that exists and grows everyday.  It is a choice to hold and carry that torch.  Lead by example.  I went to bed thinking, I have faith in myself.  If I can help at least one person, I’ve made a difference.

Day 8:

Flush!  No way to romanticize that.

After ending my detox and the grand flush, I continued the day with veggie broth.  My wonderful herbalist friend, Cait Wolf concocted an energizing nettle tea to put some spark back into me.

Later on, I went to a reggae show.  It seemed the highs and lows of the evening reflected what’s important and what’s worth letting go of.  In times of energized intensity(the effects of a kick-ass reggae show), emotions are magnified, and I broke through some real clarity that evening.

There is a healing power to music and again I was brought to think of the different ways I feed myself, and what has been keeping me invigorated throughout this cleanse:  Real conversation, friendship, finding happiness in simplicity, writing, music and good vibes, and my personal evolution.

What feeds you?

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Empowerment Through Solo Travel

Solo travel was once something I thought I could never do.  The thought of being alone in the great unknown was simply an idea reserved for the fearless.  I never would have imagined I’d become a solo traveler and now in many respects I prefer it.

A little over a year ago I was talking to a woman I met through my first big travel adventure with friends.  She had traveled all over Peru by herself.  I told her how I admired that and wished I could travel by myself, but the thought of being alone was kind of terrifying.  I could never do that.

“Well, you’re never really alone.”  She said.  She went on to tell me that you always end up meeting people along the way.  Being alone wasn’t an absolute truth.  Somehow that had never occurred to me.

Several months later I found myself needing to get away from everything.  I needed to be alone.  All I had ever known was being with people.  Within 1 year I had been on 2 cross country trips with friends, and although they granted me some amazing memories, I wanted to push myself into uncharted waters.  I wanted to conquer my fear of being alone.  I had realized that in many instances I had inhibited myself from life because I didn’t want to go out and do things without the comfort and security of another’s company.

Once I realized this is what I had to do, I planned a backpacking trip to Costa Rica.  While waiting for my flight at the Airport, all alone after going through customs, my loneness felt magnified.  I felt the pang of anxiety creep in as I thought about my current situation.  I was going to a foreign country I had never been to before, not knowing a soul, and traveling all over the country by myself.  Terrifying.

Once I became acquainted with the bus system and stayed at a couple hostels, my uneasiness subsided.  I felt confident and capable.  I made sure I asked questions about safety wherever I went and didn’t push my luck on impulsive whims.

I also experienced what that woman meant by never really being alone.  I began to notice how often I was approached by people, other solo travelers namely.  I realized that when you’re already with people, you are somewhat closed off to others and harder to approach, as if you’re in an unpenetrable bubble.

I was able to make some memorable connections with strangers that I don’t think would have ever occurred had I already been traveling with someone.  Not only that but I could do whatever I wanted without worry that I was on someone else’s time.  If I was hanging out with a new friend and I wanted to do something else, that was ok.  I simply just did that.  There was no obligation toward another person’s wants and I enjoyed that freedom fully.

There were times, no doubt when I wished I had a friend back home to share special moments with.  When I’d be walking along a quiet path and feel like I was the only person on the planet.  Those were times when I really felt how far away I was.  I’d acknowledge that, but instead try and be grateful for this moment of solitude, because so many times this was what I had been asking for.

I feel that I returned with a new sense of independence.  If I can backpack in a foreign country for the first time alone for a month, I can do anything.  I felt motivated by other woman travelers who had trecked all over, and felt so rewarded when unsure travelers told me I had encouraged them to solo travel as well.

I found an entirely new support system of empowerment through solo travel.  There is value in both traveling by yourself and with others.  They both offer something different, however if you choose to go it alone, remember, you’re never really alone.

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My Life Before and After Owning a Car

I had never owned a car until I was 26.  Not because I didn’t want one, or I was afraid of driving-it simply did not make sense to have one.  Owning a car is a luxury, one that I could not afford.  Once I decided that the one big thing missing in my life was adventure, having a car was a key component to manifesting that reality.  My pre-car days and post-car life are two very distinct lifestyles that really impacted my everyday life.

Not having a vehicle for most of my life meant decisions based on convenience.  I always lived within walking distance of where I worked and went to college.  From graduating high school up until my mid 20’s  I always lived less than a 20 minute walk from work- except when I reverted to a soul sucking retail job right out of college for a few months and had to commute by bus.  Sacrifices…

Living near to where I worked usually meant living in the heart of town.  I enjoyed the convenience of walking down the stairs of my apartment, grabbing a coffee and then walking a block to work, all within 15 minutes of needing to be there.  I could go out dancing around the corner and walk out of the bar, straight to my bed within minutes, never having to worry about a DD or someone else’s schedule.  Hell, the after-party was frequently at my place!  I felt good about myself not having a car because I was saving money, and minimizing my ecological footprint, and being totally self reliant without one.  The only problem was that I didn’t want to be stationary anymore.

So when I decided that I wanted to change my life and make it mobile, it meant four wheels.  I had very little driving experience before I purchased ‘Black Beauty’ and really learned how to drive while traveling across country.  Six lane traffic?  Whatever.  Two years ago, city driving was a terrifying thought.  Now, friends prefer me to drive.

I also get to experience the woes of owning a car.  I truly understand how plans can go awry when car troubles ‘pop’ up.  While passing though New Mexico, 2 of my tires were punctured by nails and I had to get them all replaced.  It’s times like those you just have to say, it’s just money.

From pre-car life living in New England and my world consisting of a 20 mile radius, to post-car life living bi-coastally, it’s been quite a change.  I uncovered a piece of my independence through owning a vehicle and connected with a piece of American history through road tripping.

One of the best feelings I know is when I get into my car and drive to a place I’ve never been to before.  I can truly appreciate this sense of freedom because I know what it’s like not having this luxury.  I can appreciate this freedom because I am not beholden to someone else holding the keys.

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