Why I'm on a 30-Day Self-Help Cleanse.

I can feel changes brewing within me.

I’m being called to go deeper with my healing and with my work.

I’m not exactly what either will look like yet but I know the evolutions are already beginning.

The problem has been that I’ve felt like I’m drowning in a sea of spiritual jargon and personal development advice. I’ve been overwhelmed by the contradictions and the sheer enormity of information out there.

Am I meant to celebrate & integrate my shadow or accept that only love is real?

Should I resign myself to long, drawn out battles with my past or seek to heal old wounds in an instant?

Is this new meditation technique for me or would taking this course change everything?

More than once it’s reduced me to tears and I’ve wanted to scream: “Which one is for me? And how do I even do this fucking work?"

Of course I couldn’t hear the answers. They were drowned out by all of the noise and confusion. I’m deeply committed to my healing and to answering the primal calls that are coming from within me but I still felt lost. Buried under everyone else’s voices. So I decided that enough is enough. I need a break. Some breathing room. Time to reconnect with my intuition and the wisdom of my body.

So I’m on a cleanse. 30 days without reading self-help books throughout May. 30 days of practicing Qoya to get me out of my head and into my body, to stop listening to my thoughts and start reconnecting with my heart.

Now that I’m halfway through, I can recognize that I’ve gone through all of the usual withdrawal symptoms: discomfort as I have had to look within for the answers rather than latching onto a glossy book or pretty new course. Pleading and rationalization as I try to convince myself that I need to make this one exception - if I don’t, how can I be good at my job as a podcaster? Don’t I need to read her book in order to do a good interview? But I’ve stood strong. And slowly but surely my mind is becoming a little quieter. A little more clear. It’s getting a little bit more natural to tap into my own wisdom and my intuition is coming through a little more fluidly.

My mind is definitely still full of competing information but I can feel that space is being created. Things are shifting. It’s not such a tilt-a-whirl in there.

I’m losing (and finding) myself in delicious fictitious worlds. Consulting my tarot cards. Working things out in my journal. Moving my body so that I can live a more embodied life.

It’s messy though. Because all of the uncertainty and self-doubt is still there. And I can’t scramble to the bookshelf and pick a pre-packaged answer off the shelf. I have to lean into the mess. Settle into the uncertainty and wait for my own answers to bubble up to the surface in whatever messy, imperfect, nonsequential form they choose to arrive in.

But as I do I’m learning a new kind of trust. Trust in my own journey. In the ground on which my own two feet are planted. In the fact that I’m being guided (trust me, the synchronicities have been piling up like crazy).

As a coach and personal development writer, this has touched on my fears that I’m adding to this noise. That my articles might make you feel like there are another fifteen things you need to add to your daily to-do before you can be truly happy or love yourself. And I would hate for that to be the case. It’s my hope that by sharing my experiences and what’s working for me that you’ll take what resonates and leave the rest. That I can offer some sort of encouragement that transforming what’s holding you back and designing a life you adore is possible. And that through my coaching, I’m able to help facilitate you getting in touch with your own deep inner wisdom and the truth of who you are.

But my current journey is making me reevaluate what I share and how I share it. It’s making me want to focus more on sharing my stories and experiences, rather than advice or how-to’s. To get down to the blood and guts of it all, like I set out to do.

My cleanse and this post is not meant to suggest that self-help books are bad or in anyway compare them to the sugar-laden chocolate cake we cut out while sucking back our green juice. In fact, I love them and plan on writing one.

Mostly it’s just a realization that life comes in seasons. There’s a season to speak and one to listen. One to ask for help and one to look within. Like Zora Neale Hurtson said, "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer."

Books can share new ideas and teach us exciting things. But ultimately it’s our own intuition, our own truths, our own wisdom that will tell us how much of this information is for us and what to leave behind. So if we don’t create the space to practice listening and honouring whatever comes up, we can find ourselves unable to hear our own voice in the crowd. It’s so scary and unsettling to end up in that situation.

Sometimes it helps to just start by practicing one new thing at a time or implementing what we already know. But at others the noise is so great that we just need silence.

So if you ever need to tune me out for a while in order to listen for the familiar but almost forgotten sound of your own voice, please do. I won’t mind. And then if there comes a time when you need help or encouragement, I’ll still be here. I promise. 

 

P.S. After writing this post I realized that in order to truly let the changes brewing inside me to gestate, it makes sense to take a break from writing self-help as well so I can get really clear on what and how I want to be writing. So for the next 6 weeks there will still be a new podcast episode every Friday and on Mondays I'll be publishing a refreshed, revamped, and renewed version of an old post that you may not have seen before or that I think is worth a reread.