From time to time in the paths of our lives, we look around and get the sense that something needs to shift. If you're like me, you've been known to ignore these hints and suggestions from wherever such nuggets of wisdom come from. Things are fine! This is fun! Nothing's going horribly wrong, so don't worry! It never seems convenient to take stock of your internal inventory and shake things up.
But then, it's never super convenient to feel like crap. So.
In the interest of creating real change in my life, instead of just talking about it, I knew I needed to plan something that bordered on radical and took some time. No quick fixes or anything that I could kinda-sorta fake.
There are many, many angles from which to come at the general idea of "cleaning up your act". In evaluating my own life and overwhelming myself with aspects, tiny and gargantuan, that needed some attention, I picked one thing and dove deep.
And luckily, someone else had already gone to the trouble of creating something that could be defined as radical and time-consuming: Whole30. Doubly lucky, a friend of mine who had done W30 before was considering a second round.
I went into the 30 days of clean eating with two books, but little preparation (per usual). The first week I spent an equal amount of time bowing to and cursing all things W30. <----- This isn't a requisite component of cleaning up your act, but I'm coming to find that it's a probable one.
Somewhere between the phases of "kill ALL the things" and "I just want to take a nap", it occurred to me that I was alternately praising and railing against something external, when the process had nothing to do with that. After all, rules followed or broken are 100% irrelevant if they're not considered in the context of what's going on inside of a human being.
Eliminating some of my favorite foods has very little to do with my favorite foods (but oh, peanut butter, I am missing you). It has had a lot more to do with planning and preparation. Noticing where I grab for "easy". Feeling the dreaded fear-of-missing-out...and sticking to my guns anyway.
And, like most things that seem to take so much time/energy/attention, what I'm expending in the interest of this experience is coming back to me in heaps.
The most dramatic thing to come so far, though, surpasses not only food, but even the time/energy/attention: it's the reminder of why I started down this path in the first place. Why I listened to the nudge that was encouraging some sweeping change in the landscape of my life. Why I got up the courage to start marching in this direction at all.
It was time to clean up my act. I needed a portal. For me, W30 offered that. In getting extreme around my diet, other things in my life started lining up. Surrender. Gratitude. Non-violence (towards myself and others). Integrity...
What's your portal? Which element of your life could you turn your light towards? And in so doing, how could you clean up your act?