So often we're told "what to do" with our health...and like clockwork, on January 1st, we're hit with the detox, cleanse, in with the new...mantra. In attempting to live authentically--according to my body and soul-- these popular programs just don't work for me.
For some of us, we look forward to Winter, a last ditch effort to finally get some rest. Our bodies know this, and for those that push ourselves through the year, we actually collapse with a holiday break. The LAST thing we need is to cleanse, detox, and further stress out our fried systems. The wisdom of the herbalists, Western and Ayurveda especially, echo these tendencies--that this is the time of year to buckle down, dig deep, let ourselves sleep with the shorter days, and recover our vitality. NOT the time to force our bodies (in winter storage mode) to cleanse and purge.
Here I was, December 31st, suddenly plagued with a bad back, so bad, actually, that I could barely walk. It was New Years Eve, and we were recovering from the holidays (sick kids, I was run down and fighting an infection from suddenly starting up a product line again, etc) and suddenly I was crawling across the living room floor to my husband, crying of course, in a pool of self-pity--way to go 2017... I was ending this one with a bang! I had just showered and hyper-extended my spine while stretching in the shower... and after trying more yoga to fix it...it was clear something was wrong...but of course, this was no where near normal.
I had reached my limits.
Of course there was a series of events leading up to this moment...I reflected on this: 7 months postpartum, a car accident 2 months after baby was born with a side impact on my door, months of chiropractic care, a sneaking suspicion something was wrong but I couldn't quite figure it out.... then I went to my chiropractor and she agreed...the Diastasis Recti was causing my back pain... the muscles in my abdomen were separated and I was suffering. Now I knew what I had to do, though, and I was finally going to heal.
There it was, my New Years Resolution: to heal my belly and my back, not to have back surgery in 20 years, to reclaim my body, even just a little. This was going to take at least 6 weeks, working every day, and realistically it would take months. I had to completely relearn posture, sitting, standing, sleeping, and most importantly, bending over. This was just the beginning. A daunting task, but I had no other choice: my quality of life depended on this healing.
I let myself nap every chance I could, oftentimes I would simply pass out nursing, uncontrollably. My body needed to sleep, heal, and recover from months (well 8 years counting all the children) of sleep deprivation, going back to school twice, life stress, and now, recent events that led to me feeling completely spent.
This was Winter, my free pass...I didn't feel guilty for napping on a cold rainy day (you know the two we had here in Central Texas lol!). My daughter got sick at school, and while I didn't enjoy this, I was somehow grateful I could stay home and help her heal...napping when I could, snuggling with my three year old and baby, and making soups, healing syrups and teas, and bootleg liposomal vitamin C. (Ebook/online class on how to support your family's health while sick! COMING SOON!).
Let your body and heart determine what you "should be doing"...ask, and it will give you the answer, even if you don't necessarily like the answer. Don't be scared to follow the wisdom of the healers, take your rest when you need it this season: sleep, snuggle, and recover. Live with the Seasons. Eat well. If you do a cleanse, watch your body's reactions closely...stop if it isn't working for you.
Remember the seasons for cleansing are typically Fall and Spring, and your body is more ready at these times. Exercise when your body tells you to, but don't force it. It is in rebuilding/nurture mode...follow nature and your heart...and you will be ready for that Spring cleanse in no time!!
In Winter, it is possible to be well.... Here at Love and Unity Wellness, we are also offering our Winter Self-Care Packs as a way to love yourself and help yourself heal. I personally love the Winter Sweet Sugar Scrub followed by the Blissful Body Butter. A complete ritual would start with a hot bath, with the Warming Bath Salts... this is Pure love and self care, in a bottle. Sip a cup of tea in the bath, and well... what more can we say!!