Give me liberty and give me breadth.
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
This past weekend I attended a conference in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, with hundreds of my holistic health sisters. We felt the love! Love for the work we do. Love for the powerful movement of healing and wellness that we’re creating. Love for each other as we embrace all the possibilities of transformation both in our individualized missions and as a larger community.
I especially appreciated that we sisters gathered not only in the city of love, but the city of liberty. Liberty is the right to behave according to our own free will and to take full responsibility for our actions. And this, above all else, is how I see my own relationship to the food I eat, the lifestyle choices I make and the ways in which I take care of myself each and every day. It’s a freedom that I treasure. And it’s this freedom that allows me to slow down each season, embrace the opportunity to take a deep breadth and take extra special care of my body.
Taking a deep breadth is something we’ll be doing quite a bit of this coming week in Retreat: An Autumn Cleanse. It’s this time of year, before we embark on the indulgences of the holidays, that I really appreciate the occasion to pause. It’s the perfect time to take an intermission from some of my usual eating patterns and find my way back to the capacity of my intentions and my accountability to my self.
Fall is a time to pull your energy inward and to gather your reserves for the colder months ahead. It’s a time to focus on family and home, to reflect inward and to prepare the body to release and welcome the changes that are on the horizon. Those changes are evident. The trees are golden and autumnal while the lurking gray sky suggests that winter is just around the corner.
Autumn is also the perfect time to clear chemical toxins from the body as well as emotional toxins from the mind, liberating those things we hold on to beyond their period of value. It’s the season to nurture two essential organs of release ~ the colon and the lungs.
Liberty. Liberation. Release.
From the colon we obviously release the waste from the food we eat. From the lungs we release the waste from the air we breathe.
Your lungs are the one organ in your body that interact with both the inside and the outside worlds. It’s your sinuses that serve as the gatekeeper for your lungs, protecting them from bacteria, viruses, pollens, dust and more.
Obvious signs of impaired lung or sinus activity include allergies, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. But less transparent signs of poorly functioning lungs can manifest as problems with circulation, extreme perspiration and night sweats, fatigue, and skin disturbances such as eczema, cracked lips and nails, rashes and psoriasis.
The itchy skin on my shins as the weather changes is a reminder to me to take a deep breadth, whip out my scarves and enjoy the accessory that’s been shoved to the corner of my closet.
On my final day in Philadelphia, before heading from the city of brotherly love back to the city that likes to keep itself weird, me and a soul sister donned our scarves and walked the urban landscape to see the Liberty Bell. Standing there, looking at the bell on the site where it had first been rung, I could feel the collective call for a life of liberty.
In many ways we now take this life for granted. But what if we took the time to pay tribute to our freedoms right within our very own bodies? What if we could step into nature’s rhythms to embrace our independence, release the residues that hold us back and become the belle of our very own ball? That’s what I’m about to do. And I have to admit, it already feels like liberation!
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