Inner Sanctum
 Derek's Private Study

Inner Cleansing

January 25, 2006

I recently received a moving message from a friend about the positive changes in his life, and it compelled me to set down in writing the changes I experienced in mine, when I went through a similar process.

It's all about the profound transformation that occurs when you impose sustained discipline over your food consumption. It manifests in different ways for every person. In my case, the change in my diet started a gradual detoxification process. I could feel the junk in my body, accumulated over decades, being eliminated slowly but surely. My complexion became smooth and youthful - much to my wife's annoyance, since I was getting better results without the arsenal of skin lotions and creams that she used. :)

This was only the tip of the iceberg. It was all I really expected, but there was more. What happened to me was just as author Natalia Rose describes: "You will open the flood gates for improvements in every area of your life."

Rose explains in detail as follows:

Your life is going to improve in both large and small ways. You are going to be clearer mentally and more centered emotionally. Cleaning your body is likely to trigger a desire to clear and cleanse your living space to reflect the inner cleansing that is taking place. You are more than likely going to feel inspired to create more clarity in your communications with others and live from a more honest space. With this inner cleansing will come a greater sense of confidence in yourself and honor for your fellow man. On a more physical level, you are going to experience greater levels of wellness and be less dependent on medications and fears relating to illness [...] Once you experience life at this level, it's unlikely that you'll want to go back to your previous habits.

When I read the above, I recognized myself in her words. The mental clarity she talks about is something that has to be experienced firsthand to really appreciate. When my internal mental landscape became less chaotic, and the thoughts more composed and orderly, the change spilled over to the external aspects of life.

Years ago, I had written in my diary that one day I hoped to consolidate and migrate all the data in my old Macintosh computer, so I could finally recycle it and free up the space it was taking up. I wrote that this was a massive project, due to the amount of data I had accumulated, and would probably take months of hard work to complete. I had no idea when I would get around to it.

As I continued the inner cleansing, something strange happened to my perception, and one day I realized the project I had considered so difficult and time-consuming was in fact quite easy. I sat down and did some planning, wrote down all the steps necessary to achieve the objective, and then took the steps one at a time.

A few weeks later, I blinked in surprise at the empty space on my desk where the old Mac used to be. Somehow, this massive undertaking that I thought would take months to complete was done in a small fraction of the time. An obsolete and useless piece of equipment was gone, along with a lot of peripherals, software and books. The amount of clutter in my life decreased noticeably, and it all felt perfectly natural. Nothing was forced or rushed; everything progressed as a matter of course.

When I reviewed life overall, I also noticed that during the time that I was most effective in getting rid of clutter, I was also losing the weight that I had been wanting to lose but could not. It occurred to me then that the extra weight I carried around for years was also a type of clutter. Mental clutter, physical clutter and body clutter all seemed linked at some level.

The clarity carried over into the interpersonal area as well. I felt more grateful every day for the friendships, goodwill, and love in my life. I became more in tune in my most important, most cherished relationships. Sometimes it seemed as if the people around me changed, some of them in ways I could never have imagined. I realized it was probably me who had changed and not them, but it really did not feel that way, so I continued to regard them with awe and appreciation.

It's quite literally true that once you experience life at this level, you are not likely to want to go back to your old habits. I look at my past and I really don't see a whole lot that is worthwhile. I made mistakes. I messed up quite a bit. My life was not a train wreck, but it was also nowhere near the ideal I wanted it to be.

Things are different now. Things are decidedly better. Having seen the difference, all I can say is that I want to continue the process. There are more things I can discard, more things I can let go. Or, as Lao Tzu says:

Pursue knowledge, daily gain
Pursue Tao, daily loss

This loss is the inner cleansing... that radiates outward in all directions.