by Amber Callahan
This past week has been pivotal for me. It’s funny that I needed to be “forced” into a week of restoration, but that is exactly what happened as a result of this week’s theme for the 40 Day Revolution at Awakened Yoga Studio. In 40 Days to Personal Revolution, Baron Baptiste says “Most of us are always pushing ourselves to the limit, convincing ourselves that we will be content only when we are working our to-do list.” This is so true for me. I feel a constant need to be working, to be busy, and to be productive. Yet, I am coming to realize that the pace that I am living now is going to wear me down physically and mentally and ultimately work will suffer because I am worn out.
Initially, I did not think about changing much during this week, but after the Sunday meeting, I made a commitment to take some time for myself, to not be so “busy,” to really be more present in my life, and to make some tough decisions that will only serve to improve my life. I also dove into the three
day fruit fast and completely committed to it.
Physical Restoration: Fasting
According to Baptiste “active cleansing or fasting is a way to allow your body to fully empty out and get clean, giving your metabolic organs a chance to rest and renew themselves.” I had a moment where I panicked (yes, the vegan panicked at the thought of a fruit fast) because I quite honestly do not eat a lot of fruit. However, fruit included eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, nuts like cashews and pumpkin seeds. I tend to eat a lot of greens, veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, beans/lentils and limited grains. So, I was nervous going without those things for a few days.
What I found, though, as I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit, was that I was missing out on some really amazing foods (out of sheer laziness and being stuck in a food routine). I ate many of my meals raw and had fruit at every meal. I did have a killer headache on day two, but felt great on day 3 and AMAZING the day after the cleanse ended. I also had literally no stomach bloating or discomfort during the cleanse, which tells me that there is something in my current diet that is causing bloating still on occasion, so I am determined to pinpoint it now.
To give you an idea of what I ate in case you’re curious about trying it yourself:
Breakfast each day was, of course, my Arbonne Protein (kept the protein powder because of my activity level) with added Arbonne Fiber, Arbonne Greens Balance powder (this was technically not fruit because it’s loaded with fruits AND veggies), frozen fruit, almond milk and ice.
Lunch and dinner meals were:
- Zucchini pasta with yellow cherry tomatoes and yellow and orange peppers. I added a cashew cream sauce that I seasoned with garlic salt and lemon juice.
- Butternut squash and zucchini pasta. I also added the cashew cream sauce.
- Roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber that I had soaked in lemon juice. I added the cashew cream sauce (the original recipe called for greek yogurt).
- With each meal I ate sides of fruit (melon, berries, tangerines, etc), yellow squash (roasted), and/or butternut squash (roasted).
- Each day, for a snack, I ate Inka plantain chips and guacamole when I got home. I also snacked on raw almonds and additional fruit as needed during the day.
I definitely will be incorporating more raw meals and fruit as a result of this fast. I love how I felt (once the initial headache passed) and the resulting energy.
Mental Restoration: Letting Go
If you’ve been following my series through the 40 Day Revolution, you know that I still have a lot of head trash that I’ve been working through. You can read that post here if you’re curious (side note: I have not called myself an a**hole since I wrote that post). I know that I carry thoughts and feelings (like anger and frustration) with me that tie back to different experiences and situations in my life. I am still working through some of those things and some of them will take longer than others to get through, and I have accepted that I’m a work in progress.
In order to really take some time for restoration this week, though, I slowed down with my work schedule this week and said no to a few things that I would normally say yes to. Instead of working late every night, I spent some quality time with my son, I went to yoga, had dinner with friends and went on a date. A real date. The first one in over 8 years and since my breakup…more on that below.
As part of the restoration process, there was one situation in particular, one relationship that I made the decision to end. It was not a relationship that was serving me or in line with what I want my life to look like. It was causing me a significant amount of frustration, anger, and sadness. And, it was a situation that I had complete and total control over.
Once I made the decision to end it, a weight lifted and I felt free. And, do you know what happened? It opened my life up to receive a new relationship and connect with an old friend. Almost immediately upon making the decision to end this relationship, I heard from a friend that I thought I would never hear from again and someone new entered my life. Someone in line with my life in so many ways and that shares so many of my core values and interests. Someone that as I sat across the table from him, awed me. I do not know where it is going to go, and quite frankly, I am not worried about it (in the past I would have already been analyzing long term). What I do know is that because of my decision to let go of something that was “blocking” my life, I am open to receiving what could possibly be a really amazing relationship with a really amazing person. And, that is something that makes me
And, finally, I made one more big decision this week. I have decided to go through the Awakened Yoga Teacher Training program. When I think about what makes me happy and what I want my life to look like, I want yoga to be a part of it. I have been fortunate to build a career around things that I am passionate about and it just makes sense to add yoga to it. I am so looking forward to strengthening my own personal practice through this program and to be given the opportunity to teach others what has made probably the single biggest impact on me spiritually, mentally and physically.
Whew...after putting all this on “paper” it is a bit overwhelming actually. I feel good physically, and, mentally, I have been so much more aware of the head trash (the meditation and 6 days of yoga practice have really helped with that). And, as I write this on Friday at the end of the week of restoration, I am on an airplane flying to Southern California for an Arbonne Manager’s retreat…perfect timing. I will be surrounded by some of the most important people in my life and will have “my cup” filled and restored over the weekend with them.
And, for the first time in a really long time, I am very excited about coming home to my life on Sunday. For so many months now when I have gone out of town, I have gone out of town to run away from my life and returned silently kicking and screaming my head.
So, I ask you, when was the last time you took to time to restore and recharge yourself? If it’s been a while, do it. Do it for your body, your mind and your spirit.