When Change is in the Air
It’s 5 am and I just left my house for my yurt to turn on my propane stove. The earth is crunchy with frost. The sky is crazy clear, the stars bright white in sharp contrast to the deep black sky. The air is freezing. It’s October 3 and change is in the air.
Ayurveda is very very serious about the opportunity that arises when change is in the air. Air is, well, air element. And change signifies air element is even more airy fairy than usual. Business as usual is when a season is thoroughly underway. Between seasons there is a shift. Vata increases. The veils between the heaven and earth open up. In this opening we have a choice.
The choice is this: we can step into our potential by doing a deep dive into who we are becoming or we can blow it off and stay with business as usual.
Most people stick with business as usual, which is why most people living in the US medicated or struggling with chronic health issues. The health issues may be small, not so bad, like constipation, anxiety, insomnia, acne, headaches, PMS, joint pain, digestive discomfort. You know, small stuff, nothing that is going to kill you.
And yet, over time small stuff becomes big stuff. Just ask any banker about the effect of compound interest. Your body is compounding imbalances over time. When does the constipation become colon cancer? When do the digestive issues become an autoimmune disorder?
The answer is slowly over time. To listen to this podcast, click here.
Time + Parinama
Time is what this post is all about. The third cause of disease in Ayurveda is all about time. Over time you will get old and die. Notice, I didn’t say you will get sick and die. We have quite a bit of control over the sick. The old? Not so much.
Have you heard of the bucket analogy we use in Ayurveda? I like the bucket analogy. Your body/mind is a bucket. Each season the qualities of that season (summer think hot, sharp, mobile; winter think cold, heavy, dense, stagnant) built up in your bucket. Also, any imbalances due to your tendencies and your choices build up in that bucket.
When change is in the air, or when one season lets up and the air changes and you can feel it in your bones, you have an opportunity to empty your bucket. In Ayurveda we are very very serious about the opportunity to empty the bucket, the doshas, out of the body/mind before embarking on the next season.
Time to empty your bucket
Ask yourself, how much do you need to empty your bucket? Are you carrying any imbalances right now? Bucket contents may show up as snot, gas or inflammation/irritation. Bucket contents may show up as an emotional rut of anxiety, frustration, or down in the dumps. If we’re not used to emptying our bucket, we probably don’t realize that what we are carrying is optional.
The other major reason to empty our bucket is that we’re tired of our own shit. We want to call our own bluff. We may be giving into cravings, habits, or addictions that are outdated for us. Yet, we’re in a pattern where we still crave and give into these tendencies. We want to stop, but we don’t. If this is you, it’s time to empty the bucket.
How to Empty the Bucket
The best way I know to empty the bucket is to take a week or two to have a dump and renewal session. I’ve hosted the Yogidetox for 12 years, biannually, for this reason. We went online about 6 years ago to support the bucket emptying around the Earth. I don’t care if you join my Yogidetox, which offers lots of me and support from the community to make bucket emptying more of a sattvic party than a austere march.
What you need to do is:
– Simplify your diet. You need to give your digestive fire a chance to incinerate what is in the bucket. This may mean juicing, eating a mono-diet of kitchari, doing a green smoothie + raw soups week, or drinking spicy lemonade. There are infinite more options. The point is this: you need to make your diet enough of a change to free up some energy to process internally. Taking a bunch of laxatives or using an herbal “detox kit” will not effective empty your bucket in the way we talk about in Ayurveda.
– Set time aside. Clear your calendar as much as possible. Get super serious about your self-care, including a super strict dina charya. When you stop drinking caffeine and alcohol you’ll want to sleep more. Your body is repairing the damage which is best done asleep. You’ll want to take walks…., to feel the air on your skin…, to watch the moon rise. All of these activities awaken your senses and help you empty the bucket.
It’s not all about food
Emptying your bucket has to do with your 5 senses and your many holes of elimination. Obsessing on the food part creates its own imbalances and neurosis. Let’s not become more neurotic as we attempt to empty our buckets. Obsessing or depriving ourself of food fills our buckets in other ways.
In a seasonal detox or rejuv you want to set time aside.
Join the October Yogidetox
Whether you need to detox or rejuvenate, you can do a deep dive journey and empty your own bucket. Empty yourself of stress, of emotional stagnation, of outdated patterns. That’s what we do. You’ll learn a ton about your body and Ayurveda. You’ll go deeper into your spiritual and self-care practices. And you’ll get in the habit of emptying your bucket seasonally.