The first seven days ~ my experience on the Master Cleanse

I had been feeling unwell for some months, I’d put on so much weight that I was no longer comfortable in my body. For the past 6 months I’d been binging on takeaway and fast food.

Why I hear you ask? Well when I thought about it, it was 6 months ago that my Dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I lost my Mum to cancer 17 years ago, as well as two pretty significant men in my life. I’m not one of those people that lose weight when they are stressed, quite the opposite really. I turned to carbs and high fat foods for solace.

Two weeks ago I heard about the Master Cleanse. I’d tried other diets in the past and none had worked. But the Master Cleanse seemed different. Rather than a diet, it is a cleanse to rid the body of toxins and cleanse the liver and colon – something I really needed after 6 months of fast food and soft drink.

So I stocked up on organic lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and Himalayan crystal salt.

I started on Monday (day 1) and did ok, although by 8pm I was craving a juicy hamburger, but I ignored the craving, had another lemon drink and  went to bed.

On Tuesday (day 2) I had killer headaches. As the day went on I thought my head would implode. I knew these were detox headaches, as I experienced them when I gave up coffee four years ago. I made it through to 4pm and then had to leave work. I went home and went to bed and slept for a few hours. I got up again at 7pm and then went back to bed at 10.30pm and slept until 7 the next morning.

On Wednesday (day 3) I started the day with so much energy … I bounced into work and was feeling great, but by lunchtime a mild headache had come on and I was feeling tired. Oh, and I also noticed that I got a white coating on my tongue. They say  that the white coating on your tongue is a good way to measure the effectiveness of the cleanse. When the white coating fades away and your tongue turns pink it’s usually a sign that your body is free of internal waste.

On Thursday (day 4) I bounded out of bed full of energy. I was clear and focused and breezed through the day.

Friday (day 5) and Saturday (day) I was even clearer and more focused.

Today (day 7) I’m still feeling great. No cravings, no feeling of deprivation, just a feeling of wellbeing. Oh, and I’ve lost 4.2 kg.

Stay tuned to see how I get through the next week.

The Master Cleanse ~ colon and liver cleanse

I’ve recently become very uncomfortable in my body. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, was constantly feeling fatigued and generally feeling unwell.

While undertaking my certification in Vita Flex Technique (Tibetan Reflexology) I learnt about the Master Cleanse. Both were channelled by Master Healer Stanley Burroughs in the early-mid 1900’s.

The Master Cleanse is not a fast. It is a liquid mono diet which is used to regenerate and detoxify the body.

The following information is provided for your interest only. If you decide toundertake the Master Cleanse, you do so at your own risk. You should consult a health care professional before undertaking.

The Master Cleanse Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed ripe lemon or lime juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup – preferably C grade, however this is virtually impossible to get in Australia so I use the Pureharvest Organic Maple Syrup
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 300ml of filtered or spring water

Mix these ingredients in a large glass and drink a glass whenever you feel hungry (most people average between 6-12 glasses a day.

I buy organic lemon juice from the local farmers markets each week and keep a bottle at home and one at work.

In between these drinks you can drink water or herbal teas.

Now it’s important to take a good herbal laxative while on the Master Cleanse in order to keep your bowel moving to move the toxins and waste out of your body. I asked Carrie Walters, a local Canberra naturopath to recommend a good one and she put me onto Hilde Hemmes’ Laxative teabags. You just have a cuppa before you go to bed (make sure it’s just one though).

Every 2-3 days you’ll need to drink 2 level teaspoons of uniodized sea salt – I use food grade pink Himalayan crystal salt that I buy from the Woden Farmers Market on Sundays – in a litre of filtered or spring water within 10 minutes of waking (I find this the hardest part of the cleanse).  Make sure you’ll stick close to the toilet for the next hour while it cleans out your system – I have learnt the literal meaning of ‘going through you like a good dose of salts!’.

Remain on the Master Cleanse for a minimum of 10 days.

Some of the side effects you may experience include headaches, nausea, white coated tongue, black bowel movements, parasites in faeces. These are all  symptoms of detox.

The art of extreme self care ~ recommitting to myself

I’ve been reflecting over the weekend about my New Year’s resolution to take better care of myself, and boy have I let myself down. People have been telling me all year that I look tired. And I’ve had consistent hayfever, sinus and I’ve picked up every little virus going around.

Simply, I haven’t been looking after myself. I’ve been running on adrenalin, and frankly I’m now running on empty.

Naughty Michelle, bad, bad, bad!

I decided it was time to turn things around and recommit to myself. So it came as no surprise to me that I found Cheryl Richardson‘s book The Art of Extreme Self Care. The book offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time, and is designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble.

Michelle Chant & Cheryl Richardson ~ June 2010

I bought the book ~ and cards ~ on Hay House writers’ cruise in the Caribbean in June of 2010. I was lucky enough to meet Cheryl on that cruise, and this lady really does walk her talk.

So over the Easter break I’ve made some changes. Simple changes that won’t send me into a frenzy.

My first change was to have a relaxing bath every night, with candle light and music setting an ambient scene. After soaking and meditating for at least 20 minutes, I’ve been having a nice cup of herbal tea.

I’ve also looked at my health. I started with Dr Sandra Cabot’s liver check. I filled out the online questionnaire and received a personalised detox plan, including a shopping list. So I went out and restocked my fridge and pantry.

I’ve been taking long walks ~ which Trinity loves ~ and I’m making sure I meditate for at least 20 minutes a day.

So watch this space … and tell me, what are your tips for taking care of yourself?

Five ways to get a better night’s sleep

Do you need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning? Does it take 2 cups of coffee to make you really feel awake? Does it take another cup of coffee to keep you going after lunch? Do you look forward to weekends as the days when you can sleep in?  If the answer to any of these questions is, “Yes,” you probably aren’t getting enough sleep.

We spend somewhere between a quarter to a third of our lives sleeping for a reason: we need it. If you want to get the most out of your waking life, make it your goal to get the most out of your sleep. These are 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Take Sleep Seriously

Most of us don’t take sleep seriously unless we have insomnia. When you realise how profoundly sleep affects your quality of life, you’ll take it as seriously as you take diet and exercise. Next time you’re tempted to stay up late studying, watching TV or catching up on your emails, resist the temptation and go to bed. You’ll be happier, healthier and more productive the next day and that first step towards better sleeping habits will set the stage for a better life.

Establish a Sleeping Pattern

The human body is brilliantly designed to naturally follow the rhythms of nature. When darkness falls, the brain begins to release restful chemicals. Electric lights, TVs and other modern conveniences short-circuit our natural bio-rhythms. While disconnecting the house from the power grid might be overdoing it, putting yourself on a sleep schedule that corresponds with the time you have to wake up for work or school is a realistic way to tell your body when it’s time to sleep.

Most of us require 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you wake up groggy, it’s probably because you’re falling short of sleep needs. Try going to bed a little earlier. Turn off all the lights or if you need a dim light, place it near the ground. This acts like a signal to your body that the sun is setting, while an overhead light, even if dim, tells your body it’s daytime.

Exercise

Regular exercise is important for a variety of reasons, one of them being that exercise raises endorphins’ levels. The “feel good” hormones, endorphins relieve stress and induce relaxation. However, heavy exercise also releases adrenaline, so instead of going to the gym at night, get your exercise in the afternoon. Morning exercise does little to improve sleep, so if a better night’s sleep is your goal, get your exercise in the afternoon or early evening.

Exercises like yoga and pilates are ideal, so find a school near you that holds classes in the afternoon or early evening. Once you’ve learned the techniques, you can set your own schedule and enjoy group classes on weekends.

Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Smoking

Most of us know that a cup of coffee is the last thing you should drink before bedtime, but did you know that the caffeine continues to work for up to six hours after you drink a cup of coffee? If you drink an afternoon cuppa at 4pm, it will still be affecting you at 10pm and can make getting to sleep difficult. Alcohol does make you drowsy, but it prevents restful sleep, causing “sleep fragmentation,” a condition in which your brainwave patterns “bounce” from deep sleep to the waking or near waking state repeatedly. Nicotine is a stimulant and that “relaxing last cigarette before bed” habit is just the addiction speaking.

The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Contact a herbalist near you and find out which herbal tea blends are best for relaxation before bed.

Unwind Before Bedtime

Our lives are so busy, we find it hard to keep up with all the things we have to do. If you spend your evenings catching up on your bills, worrying about something that you put in the back of your mind at work or even watching a suspenseful or violent movie on TV, you’re creating stress at just the time you should be putting the day’s stresses behind you. Make evening a time of relaxation by reading a good book, listening to music, meditating or doing something else that you enjoy. There’s plenty of time tomorrow to face the world and if you wake up refreshed, you’ll see everything in a brighter light and be more productive, too.

Meditation in particular has been shown to be a great way to bring greater balance into life. As little as 20 minutes twice a day is enough to increase endorphin and other “happy” hormone levels.

Finding your inner-warrior ~ facing conflict in the workplace

Many of us are unprepared for managing conflict. It can hurt us personally and diminish our effectiveness at work. It takes courage to handle difficult scenarios.

But it’s not simply about having the courage to speak up or face opposition. Even more challenging is the confrontation it brings with our own selves; we have to confront our own weaknesses as we do so.

This is the true art of the warrior: know know yourself as well as you know the enemy and to have internal strength, not just external power.

Last year, Karen* came to see me because she was suffering anxiety attacks. She was exhausted from dealing with the treatment she was receiving from her new manager at work. This manager’s brief was to cull as many positions as possible, while keeping the organisation running. The manger treated people rudely and coerced them into working long hours under the threat of retrenchment.

I worked with Karen through the Soul Coaching® as she developed the courage to insist on being treated decently. She managed to find a dignity and self-respect, even in the face of outright bullying, as well as earn the respect and admiration of her co-workers. They watched her grow in spiritual stature as she dealt with this manager who, despite having organisational clout, seemed rather small and tawdry in comparison.

Regardless of how well we manage ourselves, other people can still become aggressive or even abusive towards us at times. After an angry encounter of any kind of conflict, it’s important to have some sort of debriefing so we can let go of any debilitating energy we may be holding on to.

Often in an angry encounter, it’s not appropriate to say what we really feel. This might be because we’re talking to a superior or because we’re so angry it would actually be abusive to speak it. Nevertheless, the energy is there and it needs a safe outlet. Depending on what suits you, try the following options to clear the anger from your system. You may need more than one go if it was a particularly difficult encounter:

  1. Write an uncensored letter to the person (that you don’t send!). It takes the form of, “What I really wanted to say to you was … ” Be as rude and offensive as you want. Really go for it. Write until it’s all out. Keep the letter and re-read it a few times until its sting is gone, then destroy it. Burning it can be particularly satisfying.
  2. Get the energy of the anger out be some physical exertion. I know people who go for mammoth jogs, others who use a punching bag and some who hit mattresses and cusions. Make sure it feels physically satisfying. This is not about violence; it’s about the safe expression of strong emotion. It has to have an outlet. It’s best to do it in a way that’s safe for yourself and others.
  3. Use your voice to shout or scream your frustration. This can be a challenge in an urban environment where walls are close together and not particularly soundproof, so try doing it in your car on the freeway. There, no one can hear you scream!

If you’re feeling disheartened, remember we all go through times when our goals seem too difficult or overwhelming. This is when we need to take a break.

Refresh yourself … pace yourself. Inspire yourself by remembering mentors or role models who have gone before. Then go back to the bigger picture. Remind ourself why you’re doing it in the first place.

It takes courage to stay strong. It takes commitment, endurance and robustness to stay working for a difficult cause. yet your own self benefits as you develop such capacities within. You can enjoy cultivating the dignity of your warrior self.

Finally you need perspective. You will lose many battles, but there are lots of battles and lots of fronts to work on. The Eastern teaching of the Tao is relevant here. The Tao  is like water. Water is strong enough to wear away rocks but doesn’t do it by aggressive encounter. It goes under, around and over. Wearing down resistance, making new paths, it gets to the ocean in the end.

~~~~~

* names have been changed
Michelle Chant sees clients from her healing studio in Canberra, Australia or works with clients via Skype

Dear diary …

When I work with clients, I always encourage them to keep a journal. Whether its a dream journal, a gratitude journal or a process journal, when you put pen to paper you are connecting with your inner thoughts and feelings.

As you experience intuitive moments, jot them down in a journal. Note the times you felt your intuition reaching out to you, what the event was, how you acted on it, how it felt and the outcome. Learn to recognise when it happens so you can then be aware of it and start to look out for it.

Your journal is also an integral tool in your dreaming toolkit. It is a record of your inner journeys and your quest for self-understanding. Since most of us forget our dreams within ten minutes of awakening, it can be a daunting task to try and reconstruct your dreams later in the day without having recorded your dreams in a journal.

Recording our feelings, experiences and dreams can help to improve the power of our inner-guidance system. It teaches us to trust our intuition, and to listen to our inner wise self.

To begin a journal

  1. At the beginning of each journal, I like to paint a picture, with words and with images, of just where I am in life: Where I’m living, what I’m reading, things I’m learning, simplicities my heart is taking joy in. With scraps, quotes, and meaningful images that represent my season of life, I create a meaningful blend of these things on the first pages of my journal.
  2. A piece of writing that has held meaningful significance me over the last few months will typically take prominence in the collage … quotes from Rumi are often a favourite of mine.
  3. I’ll finish it off with the start and end journal entry dates, signifying when the journal was used.

It is difficult indeed to carve out time for creativity. But it is never in vain. The joy that comes in looking back upon these pages, the meaning that forms from simply visualising these memories, and the gift of gaining valuable insights from my Soul and my guides.

I’d love you to share your journalling tips ….

Finding that happy, healthy glow again

My hectic lifestyle has been taking its toll on my body over the past few years, and with some close friends going through some pretty serious health scares recently, I’ve been compelled to take back control of my health.

My good friend Jennine of Avalon Essences Wellness ~ an amazing and talented woman ~ has been making some changes in her life recently. What can I say, she glows. She radiates vibrant health and vitality. She has lost a lot of weight. She just looks amazing. She glows.

“What are you doing?” ~ I begged her to tell me her secrets. And guess what? She did.

Apart from being an talented aromatherapist who hand blends her own aromatherapy skin care range and essential oil perfumes, Jennine recently became an UltraLite detox and weight loss practitioner.  So in her loving way, she sat me down and expounded the benefits of detoxing to me.

So why do we need to detox?

Our bodies are continually loaded with toxins and detoxing helps the body to remove those toxins, helping you to lose weight, feel healthier and recover from any lingering health problems.

Some common sources of toxins include pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, and a diet lacking in nutrients. When toxins build up in the body, problems such as weight gain, poor skin, headaches, fatigue, bloating, lowered immunity and a feeling of general unwellness occur.

The good news is, there are plenty of good detox methods out there to help get rid of these toxins.

Jennine told me about a foot detox. The foot detox involves simply placing your foot into a basin of salted water that contains ion generators.  The ion generators are then supplied with very low electricity current that causes positive and negative ions to be produced which then attract oppositely charged particles in the body.  The process works by attracting charged toxic substances and then drawing them out into the water.

I’d heard of this method before and I was keen to give it a go, so I booked in for a course of detox sessions with her.

The treatment was very straightforward, my feet were immersed in a foot spa while Jennine added a special salt and monitored levels throughout the session. I just sat back and relaxed for around 30 minutes while the foot spa did its thing.

The ionised water reacts and begins to darken, showing excreted toxins and lymphatic fat. I was mesmerised as I watched the water change from crystal clear to a light gold, which deepened into a dark gold and finally a dark brown. Ewwwww!

The process is designed to stimulate circulation, allowing cells to release toxins and begin re-balancing the body. I noticed an improvement in my sense of wellbeing from the first treatment. Over the course of treatments, I began to feel more alive, and was able to ease into my detox diet.

The symptoms of many common ailments can be combated through this treatment including:

  • Arthritis ~ mobility of joints can be improved
  • Insomnia ~ a clearer, lighter mind helps to relax
  • Circulation ~ cleansing of the body improves circulation
  • Headaches ~ relieves headaches and hangovers
  • Metabolism ~ enhances the body’s performance
  • Skin problems ~ clears the skin and improves skin-tone
  • Menstrual pain ~ reduces pain and discomfort
  • Your wellbeing ~ improved energetic flow
  • Liver and kidney function ~ refreshes vital organs
  • Balance in the whole body ~ the body works in harmony

Now, as those of you who know me, know I have a way to go in my quest to regain my vibrant health and vitality, this was certainly a great kick-start to get me on my path.

I’m now taking myself through the Discover the Secret Messages of your Body program again ~ that’s called walking my talk people. It’s helping me maintain the right mindset I need for this journey, and its helping me to discover the triggers that trip me up.

If you need a kickstart to get you back on the road to a healthy you, I urge you to pay the gorgeous Ms. Jennine a visit, for a course of detox foot spa treatments. And while you’re there talk to her about the Ultralite program. Visit the Avalon Essences Wellness website for more details.

If you’d like some extra support, talk to me about the 28-day Discover the Secret Messages of Your Body Soul Coaching® Program.

Bring your body to life

The next time you experience any significant emotion, whether it’s happiness, depression, anger, irritation or sadness, immediately observe  where you sense that feeling most in your body. It may be your jaw, stomach, arms, chest or elsewhere.

Notice the physical sensation of it: tight, light, tingling, churning, heavy and so on. Then simply be present to that physical senation. Hold the intention to move towards it, not away from it.

As you do this, you may notice that over time the sensation shifts or emotions may surface. If so, just keep tracking the feeling in your body and keep feeling it. You may notice your body wants to make some kind of movement. If so, allow it to move, but slow the movement right down into micro-movements so the feelings held in the movements are felt fully.

To really connect with your feelings you need to be ‘grounded’. Being grounded is about being fully in the present moment, which requires performing body exercises and using your intention to bring your energy out of your head and into your legs and feet. When you are grounded, it begins the process of opening up energetic and emotional blocks in the body to encourage the free flow of energy throughout it so it can freely flow through the heart. It’s believed that it’s only when we are grounded that we feel safe enough to really open our hearts and be fully present.

It’s fascinating how, during a grounded exercise, unresolved stuck feelings will automatically surface and we will feel deeper levels of hurt, anger and pain. When we have fully felt and expressed our pain from a very safe, present and grounded place, we can then experience the world with an open heart and a more authentic sense of self.

This process of living permanently from a more grounded state of awareness requires daily practice and takes time. When you open up blocks in your body and bring the energy out of your head and your feet and legs, your experience of reality shifts. Such shifts may include the following:

  • Ongoing worries disappear and you feel more focused on the here and now. From this state you may feel less reactive to a situation that may have been triggering you.
  • You may simply feel more; emotions may come up from which you previously felt disconnected. These can be negative emotions such as anger or sadness, or sometimes repressed fears, but when you allow yourself to feel them and/or safely express them, you allow your heart to open and experience more loving feelings.
  • If you were previously anxious or fearful, you may feel safer and more comfortable.
  • You may feel more open, wanting to move towards people and wanting to connect with them.
  • Occasionally for some, a lot of repressed feelings that surface may produce anxiety. If this is the case, go very slowly, breathe gently and slowly, or stop and do a gentler grounding exercise.
After doing these exercises over several months you should feel more present and safe and more confident to take action in your life.
You can find an exercise to ground yourself and fully experience the present moment here.

Right here, right now

Follow these nine steps to ground yourself and fully experience the present moment

  1. Stand, knees slightly bent, and allow your entire body to relax. Allow yourself to breathe comfortably and fully. Let go of the muscles around your buttocks and hips.
  2. Use your intention to image your body’s energy moving down like a stream of water out of your head and into your legs.
  3. You might also imagine a huge ball of red or brown energy at the centre of the earth and imaging this earth energy moving into your feet’s muscles and bones and then moving gently up your legs, connecting them to the earth.
  4. Notice the physical sensations in our body as you do this. If any feelings come up, track where you physically feel them in your body and jut stay present to them, allowing any feelings to surface.
  5. If you want to increase the effect, you can go into a deeper knee bend while continuing to focus your intention on sending the energy down. You can also slightly bounce on your legs to increase the effect.
  6. Do this for at least 10 to 15 minutes remembering to keep your knees slightly bent the entire time. The moment you lock your knees straight you become ungrounded.
  7. If you allow your thoughts to drive, just keep bringing them back to the sensation in your body.
  8. Some people may feel a desire to straighten their knees and straighten up. This is viewed as a form of unconscious resistance to feeling your deeper feelings.
  9. You may also feel a vibration in your legs. If so, just let this occur a it’s viewed as a good sign that your energy is moving.

Creating your vision for 2012

A vision board inspires and excites you, opening your eyes to the poeple and the mentions that can help you to achieve what you desire in life.

If you have been living a life that is heavily weighted by negative thoughts, attitudes, experiences and expectations, it’s not too late to change the way you live your life and thereby change the future.
It is always important to start with gratitude when creating your vision board. To create your vision board, follow these simple steps:
  1. Focus on the feeling you want to expereince before you begin
  2. Keep this feeling in mind as you search for images or wordds that represent this emotion
  3. Don’t limit yourself to literal interpretations of the feeling. Think outside the square to find things that will really inspire you
  4. The things you use must motivate or inspire you or they will not help you get the desired effect
  5. Keep a copy of your desire statement close to you to constantly remind you of your goals
  6. If your images or words don’t make you smile or experience a surge of energy or optimism when you view them, you need to rethink them
The board itself can be as low-tech (corkboard or card board) or as high-tech (a video with backing track) as you like. The main thin is that whatever you put on your vision board should maintain your focus and attention on your desired goals and keep enthused about them.
A vision board is not a passive tool but one that is designed to constantly remind you of what you want, so make sure you place it somewhere prominent where you see it every day.
If you’re in Canberra and you’d like to attend one of my  Soul Coaching® Vision Board Workshops, please checkout my workshop schedule.