A different kind of cleanse

image

Cleanses are all the rage. Take your pick. Colon Cleanse. Liver Cleanse. Master Cleanse. Ten-Day Smoothie Cleanse. Juice Cleanse.

Flushing out the gunk and starting fresh seems to make such logical sense for our bodies. Cleanses have an obvious appeal.

Removing what makes us feel sluggish and tired is made to sound as easy as mixing ingredients in the right measures, drinking up and letting nature take its course. A cleanse appeals to our desire for a quick fix to whatever ails us…a simple recipe for feeling healthy and vigorous.

But how often do we consider a Life Cleanse to remove the toxins in our spiritual selves…our actual lives? How do we approach a detox of our souls that have been crammed over time with spiritual gunk, too much muchness?

Too many channels. Too many obligations. Too many problems. Too many solutions. Too many perspectives. Too many choices. Too many news reports of all the world’s tragedies and evils settling into the crevices.

I have found myself wanting to get to it already…the discoveries, the elusive peace of mind, the clear-eyed wisdom. The joy. Come on…the clock is ticking. I want the answers. OK enlightenment, I’m ready.

But I’m not ready. I need to make room. I need to cleanse. Edit. Remove. Take away a lot more.

Cleaning and ordering are activities that mirror something internal in my spiritual escape and I will write about that a lot. I am a natural editor. I like removing the superfluous in written copy and in a decorated room. I go back and remove words and reduce the content of these posts many times. My eye prefers an airy room and spare counter tops.

I love white space. The blank page. That split second of black screen before a film starts. The pregnant pause.

It’s essential to remove before I add or maybe just stop at the removing.

Leave room for the Holy Spirit the nuns told us at our Catholic School dances of my youth. Hmmm. They were on to something.

Eat, Pray, Love

A toast to saying "yes."
A toast to saying “yes.”

Ok, no one would read a book titled Sleep, Read, Carpool.

A great escape could use a great trip. Get this: On my last day of work, my nephew Kevin and his beautiful wife invited me to have a toast to my new chapter as I start this sabbatical or retirement or Year of Living Selfishly. I found them at an outdoor market sipping wine with my brother and his wife, planning a trip to Italy this summer to stay at a villa in Umbria. There’s a room for you and Scott. Want to come?

Kevin is a really cool guy. I taught him how to drive stick shift when he was 15, back when cars were stupid and couldn’t park themselves. Now he’s all grown up, married. They have three kids. Kevin and Missy are two of the most wonderful people I know. Idealistic. Kind. Fun. They said the only rule for the trip is we must to say “yes, and…” to every adventure, like the rules of improv.

He showed me a video of the house with the voice of Andrea Bocelli playing in the background. Oh, and the trip starts in Rome with a private tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Really?

I have until today to decide and here’s the conversation in my head:

Do we have the money? Good Lord, I just quit my job.
Can I bring myself to leave the kids behind?

Ok, one kid will be away at camp.

What if we die in a plane crash?
I can expand my soul right here, going to Outback for dinner.
What are you nuts?

Kevin, YES, and…let’s learn Italian.