Before you judge the title, this is NOT a New Year’s resolution. It is an on-going journey that began January 2020, without knowing that I would end up purging so much out of my life and system due to circumstances beyond my control.
There was a phrase during mass this morning that caught my attention: leprosy of the spirit. My first instinct was to associate with with the incumbent POTUS and a few other world leaders deserving of the phrase, but if we bring the concept closer to home, there is so much in the way we live our modern gadget-addicted-Internet-infested-deadline-assaulted lives that our bodies become breeding grounds for social and spiritual leprosy.
We have lost touch of all things pure and simple, and allowed ourselves to get tangled up in webs of malice and deceit, unable to discern and distinguish, to prioritise between values and value-added. If it doesn’t have a price tag or can’t be (out) sourced then it can’t possibly be valuable – what kind of mindset is this? When did we lose control? I know, this sounds too doomsday-like, and believe me, it wasn’t my intention to paint the world like this, but let’s face it, the more digitalised we become, the more complicated and exposed our lives are. I yearn for the complex simplicity with depth that we had as children, when all we needed was sand, sticks and stones, bedsheets, pots and pans, loud voices and the neighborhood children. Playgrounds? What playgrounds? We had fields, streets, farms, forests, lakes, and oceans. If it was a rainy day then we had wooden blocks, tea sets, colouring books, more bedsheets, dolls, closets, and surprise surprise, books! Electronics were for factories or fancy malls, and never welcome at home. The most sophisticated item in the house was either the black-and-white TV or the stereo, nothing more. For news there was the transistor radio or newspapers, and later on TV. A chat was something that took place over the fence or across the road!
Even food has become far too complicated for my liking. Organic? Vegan? Vegetarian? Ovo-lacto vegetarian? Gluten-free? Lactose-free? Geez, what happened to the days when Grandmother squeezed milk out of Bessie and brought it to the table for breakfast? I used to pull carrots out of my mother’s vegetable garden in Kenya and pick guavas from our back yard in Mexico. Now you have a fabulously discombobulating array of oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, fat free, and so on to choose from and there is the regular or the barista version. Oh for crying out loud, I just want to normal, honest-to-goodness creamy cow juice! Then there are all the meat substitutes, the lactose-free yoghurts, and the cornucopia of grains, cereals, and even tofu. As a child I had no choice when it came to fried fish gawking at me from the platter or whatever meat was magically conjured into delicious dishes, and absolutely no demanding anything else.
You’ve been reading me going on about de-cluttering and simplifying life, going back to basics in a valiant attempt at minimalism. Part of the process has been emotional detox and physical as well. If I had my way I would love to be a recluse, that’s no secret, but failing that then then healthiest path is to detach myself from anything and anyone who has proven to be toxic. No ifs and buts about it, if it was a deceitful power play that sought to pull me down and humiliate me, trampling on my talents and ideas, then no thank you. Gone are the days of being the doormat in the friendship or relationship. It took me three years to learn how to breathe on my own again, and what an exhilarating experience it is to inhale that sense of independence with a heady aroma of self-confidence!
I was just telling someone the other day that I got through my survival stage in one piece, am coming to the end of my recovery phase and have initiated the restoration. Because I was so involved with myself and my own healing, I let a lot of close ties slip. Thankfully my soul siblings are so generous in spirit and understanding, that they were patient enough to wait until I was good and ready to find my way back. I love you all, and you know who you are.
By comparison, physical detox is a piece of cake. Oh sorry, I guess cake is the wrong metaphor here – unless it is sugar-free, gluten-free, low fat and maybe vegetarian? In any case, ditching all the chemicals was one thing, completely turning my nutrition and eating habits around was another, and the addition of a small but powerful element – Haldi Doodh, or more popularly known in English, Golden Milk. There are thousands of health articles and studies out there pertaining to the benefits of drinking a glass of Haldi Doodh which I won’t summarise here. It’s a very personal choice, and the taste is well, rather challenging, but I chose the path of least resistance and make the following concoction before I go to bed: in a mug of hot milk mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powerder, half a teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon powder, and a teaspoon of honey (it is crucial that you use honey and not sugar because of the chemical reaction with the other spices that will give you the maximum benefit). Do I like it? No, but I don’t hate it either. I am simply following doctor’s orders to add a lot of turmeric in my diet to flush out toxins, reduce the swelling in my knee, and trigger a more dramatic weight loss. The last part is the least of my priorities, but let’s just say that I need to buy belts this year for my pants, before I embarrass myself in public when they slip down unceremoniously!
I feel lighter these days, and not just in terms of kilograms, but in spirit. Bad news and disappointments continue to show up at every corner, but I am in a much better place now, treating the spiritual leprosy one patch at a time.