When I talk about Detox, I use the term holistically and all encompassing-ly. Rumba Detox means cleansing, letting-go and resetting any and all aspects of your life that may be holding you back from achieving your full potential and greatest possibility for physical, emotional and spiritual health. I have reached this understanding over the last couple of years on my healing journey…
I have been fighting chronic illness since the beginning of 2013, which has involved many months of laying in bed or on the sofa with no energy to do anything. This prescribed ‘rest’ has forced me to reflect on my life, and many of those moments are spent searching frantically in my mind for answers to the question that plagues all chronic illness warriors: “why me?”, and the million dollar question “how do I get better?”
After years of little to no treatment from the NHS I made the first real step to taking matters into my own hands, I went to see a Harley Street nutritionist. Not just any old nutritionist, this woman had cured herself of ME – the very condition I am living with.
It was here that I first began to look at my diet and lifestyle choices and made some big changes that had big positive effects on my quality of life, in ways I couldn’t have previously imagined. I did a number of detoxes and fasts including the Candida cleanse that I reviewed right at the start of this blog. But what I didn’t expect was how I would become so inspired by the concept of detoxing that I would begin to apply it to other aspects of my life.
I began to realise that I wanted and deserved more than just to go back to how my health was before I got sick, how my life was before. I began to believe that I deserve to not only not be sick, but to have optimal health and abundant vitality, and for that same excellence to apply to all aspects of my life, beyond my physical health.
The time we spend being “sick” can be such precious space for self-reflection and taking the time to reassess things, and to connect with our inner most desires from life. It can be a much needed moment to take stock with where we are at and consider whether we want to continue moving in the same direction.
One of the first areas of my life that I began to detox was relationships. Being poorly can really show you who your true friends are. The gaggle of loose acquaintances fall away with all the missed social events, while your nearest and dearest rally around you trying to help in any way they can. It’s also surprising how many people come out of the woodwork to show their support, and how you can form rock hard bonds with people you were only loosely connected to before.
The very interesting thing about this stage of “life detox” is how it happens so organically, without any effort on your part. Once again, the illness is working its mysterious magic on your life. However, after some time of noticing how my symptoms flare up around certain people, and how some people drain me of my energy and life-force, I did have to make some conscious distancing in some of my relationships too. This included not talking to my dad for some time, and creating space between myself and toxic friends.
The next area of my life that I could no longer ignore was in much need of a detox, was my work life. After 12 years of running my own fashion business, I had to face the brutal truth that it was no longer serving me. Running a business and fighting chronic illness cannot co-exist (in my experience). So in October 2016 I had to face the painful reality of closing my much-loved business which I had founded with my mum at the tender age of 18. It was a painful purging process and was as much about letting go emotionally as it was physically.
There was over a decade of accumulated “stuff” to get rid of, patterns, fabric, trimmings, buttons, dead stock, sewing machines, computers, the list goes on… And then there was a life time of additional things like my mum’s collection of Vogue magazines dating back to the 1990s, all of her patterns and designs from before we started the business, vintage furniture and props and ironing boards and fridge and tea cups and mannequins and more… I had only a few weeks and no staff left, to clear out everything after handing in my notice on my studio. I filled industrial recycling bins with years of mine and my mum’s creative collaboration. I listed things on eBay and Gumtree and Freecycle, and gave things away and left things behind. I had no choice but to let it all go.
It was painful. Like shedding a skin. Ripping away part of me, part of my mum, and leaving it in a skip unceremoniously.
As the wound began to heal I felt relief. I had been holding on to my mothers hand symbolically since her death and had not given myself the space to heal my grief. Letting go was like jumping off a bridge into a river. It was scary, it was disorientating, and I didn’t know what to expect on the other side. But once I acclimatised to the temperature, caught my breath, and began to tread water, I could look around and see that I survived! I’m safe. Life keeps going. The water keeps moving.
After these few weeks of facing fears and letting go, I started to notice all the clutter and chaos that surrounded me at home. It had been there for a long time, but I hadn’t really seen it for what it was before. There was a number of things from the closure of the business that I had had to bring home with me, a couple of pieces of furniture, some computers, and about 20 boxes of accounts and paperwork that I need to hold on to for a few years. My flat was already bursting at the seams and this new arrival made it impossible to ignore. Plus I no longer had the distraction of work and “more important things to worry about”, to keep me from sorting it all out.
I haven’t redecorated my flat since moving back in when mum died. It was full of her things, and then we brought in our things on top. Myself and my partner are both collector personalities. He’s obsessed with books, and electricals, and tools. I love clothes and toiletries and vintage nicknacks, and so did my mum. However, I have recently began to see these habits in a totally new light. We were walking a fine line between collectors and hoarders. I’m also realising how I have used shopping and acquiring things as a way of comforting myself during difficult times. Over the years this acquisition has built up and become unhealthy stagnant energy which is draining, exhausting and overwhelming.
Because I am sick now, I am unable to work, which means I have little to no money, and plenty of time on my hands. It also means that I am stuck at home for most of the time and so I cannot run away from the matter at hand. I have been able to recognise for the first time how much I used to use spending money and acquiring things as a comfort during painful challenges in life. Now I am surrounded by unnecessary possessions and have no savings to help me through this challenging time. So the life detox is starting to uncover some issues that I had previously been unaware of.
So I’ve started a clutter detox and am gradually working my way through my wardrobe, book collection, toiletries and other things, selecting what I really need and want, and releasing the rest. I have been listing things on eBay which has been keeping me ticking over financially. But most importantly, I have started to heal and overcome the need to buy more things. I’m simplifying my skincare regime and making my own natural products from scratch using minimal and cheap ingredients (blog post coming soon!)
Beyond my external environment, I am digging deep emotionally for any detoxing I require on a spiritual and emotional level. I am uncovering issues I had suppressed so deeply I didn’t even realise they were there. I am doing so with patience and loving kindness towards myself and a fearless determination to leave no stone unturned. I resolve to overcome any challenges that are holding me back from achieving optimum physical, emotional and spiritual health. I know that I am worthy of great vitality and an abundant life is flowing effortlessly towards me, I just have to make sure I am open to receive it when it comes.
I am so grateful for my illness that has blessed me with these challenges, and the space and time to work through them, so that I can come out the other side a stronger and fuller person, with the wisdom and experience to help others.
Wishing you abundant blessings in all that you do, and a life full of health and happiness.
Much love and wellness,
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Every month a different life detox topic will be explored, with easy actionable tasks and tips. Together we will work towards achieving a healthier, happier you!