Vision, Art & Faith meet Cleansing
I don't know about you all but when I think of the word cleansing, I instantly imagine flowing water. The water flows to something or through something and carries away anything unnecessary. For example, we drink water to rejuvenate, power, and clean the billions of cells continuously working to allow our bodies to function. Lack of water in our system causes blockages within the flow of fluid and energy and as a result, the body cannot function at it's highest potential. I've found that there are other parts of my day to day life that need the same type of restoring energy and focus. Cleansing in this sense removes the unnecessary and makes space for something new. This newly created space should then be filled with things that add to our wellness and continue the never-ending cycle of purification and renewal.
Whenever I mention meditation, people often say that it's too difficult or they just don't get it. But the important part is not to think of meditation as a means to an end but instead a process, a mental cleansing process. This time gives room for focus, peace and ultimately creating space for the deepest part of ourselves to be brought forth. Focusing on the breath is not only a natural distraction but also cleanses the mind of all thoughts and leaves room for stillness. There have been moments where the best ideas or clarity came from this space all because I allowed the time to sweep away the infinite amount of thoughts that swirl within my mind.
During my yoga sessions I try to play the latest music to always invite new rhythms, music and feeling in my mind and body. As a dancer in rehearsal or classes, I found myself repetitively listening to the same stuff over and over again and after a while I start to feel a bit stuck. I balance the highly repeitious nature of my work with new music and movements that keep things fresh and spontaneous. And I just love the feeling of find a new song! I also believe that new music feeds me by boosting my energy and getting me ready for any moment of the day. For me music is also a way of mentally cleaning out bad vibes and making space for uplifting ones.
It is said that our external environment is a reflection of our internal condition emotionally and mentally. For me this mirror of emotions and state of mind manifests in that one drawer that I throw stuff in or a corner full of stuff that I'll need "just in case". I've realized that I seem to gather or hoard things out of fear of not having something I might need in the future like a bizarre sense of preparation or something. So every month or so I take a couple of hours to look through old papers, my closest, and other areas to remove those things that I don't use anymore or are just not that important. Afterwards, I swear my mind can feel the difference. I seem to function better and allow more space around me to fill it with new books, clothes I actually wear or even better, just air. This cleansing of my surroundings represents the space I'm leaving open for all the amazing new things that are coming into my life.
I was drawn to yoga some years ago and something just made sense at the end of every asana practice. I felt stronger, longer and incredible energy flowing freely throughout my limbs. With all the twisting, folding and bending, I literally cleanse my muscles and joints of unwanted tension and stress. All of us hold tension somewhere in our bodies and through physical activity like yoga we become more in tuned with which parts of our bodies are holding the stress. After moving whether in yoga or after a dance class I always feel better emotionally and I can make better decisions.
Everyday I invite new information and ideas into my life. I've found that as the information moves within me, it cleanses the older version of the idea and replaces it with a new process and approach in the application of said knowledge. Like the water flowing into each cell, the information rejuvenates my mind by creating new connections and thought processes. The more information I consume through books, movies, TedTalks, language learning, etc, the more I trust and find truth in new artistic ideas and the more creative and connected I feel to others. In conversation I feel sharp, witty, confident and more knowledgable about who I am and the world around me.
I'd say the thing I enjoy most about being vegan is eating foods that physically cleanse my body from the inside out. I sometimes indulge in creative vegan foods like vegan ice cream or the impossible burger but overall I cook everything from scratch consisting of whole and unprocessed foods. Without the added chemicals and additives, these natural foods maintain their nutritional integrity and provide everything my body needs to cleanse and restore. I believe that what I put into my body shows even on the outside by the look and feel of my skin.
Quite honestly, I have 4 different journals that focus on 4 completely different things : love, purpose, business, and my artistry. Each journal is collection of what I like to call, word vomits, moments where I just wanted to get ideas, thoughts, feeling and experiences out of my head unfiltered. The alternative is a build up of mental chaos that then starts to affect other parts of my life. But using journals as a place to express, acknowledge and keep them organizes the chaos and cleanses my mind from the burden of their presence. They will not be forgotten once on paper, but instead re-directed as a moment of my personal growth.
My self cleansing habits are not a one time thing done every once in a while but instead a daily practice that contributes to my overall well-being. I try to fit as much of them into my morning to avoid the obligations of my day to getting in the way or I properly plan to make self-cleansing a lifestyle not just a habit. So every time I do one of these cleansing habits, I'm proclaiming the lifestyle I choose to live and creating space for a refined and better version of myself.
Thanks for reading,
And remember always have faith, keep a vision and make art in everything that you do.