Sweet Relief: Three Ways to Cleanse Your Spirit

Do you ever have epiphanies on the toilet? I do. Here’s one…stay with me…

The Toilet Diaries: December 2, 2016

This morning as I changed my feminine product, emptied my bladder and bowels, I got chills. The chills of relief when all the waste I’d been holding inside for 8-plus hours finds its exit and I can relax. I felt my body melt into itself exhaling, “Ahhhh this feels better.”

If our physical body so desperately needs to release, surely the law must be consistent for the whole soul.

I remembered being a child and laughing hysterically with my best friend at the phrase, “What a relief!” in response to having a nice long steamy piss.

But all this relieving eviction of body product got me to thinking…if our physical body so desperately needs to release, surely the law must be consistent for the whole soul: emotions, spirit and psyche.

Have you ever tried to hold your pee when a convenient toilet escapes you? Perhaps you’ve experienced the horrifying “prairie-dog” effect when your body just can’t make the dog stay in the hole. For the love of all things holy, why can’t the careful walk to the toilet also be the swiftest? The gush of blood when you just weren’t prepared. Eating that one wrong meal and you can’t keep the food down. And don’t your eyes pop out of your head if you try *not* to sneeze or do it with your eyes open? Or worse yet, martyring yourself trying to hold your gas for mutually the fear of embarrassment and the olfactory safety of your neighbors, but you finally reason with yourself to free the trapped air and your heart sinks into your pants when you feel that it’s actually a shart? Please, dear God no!

It is nothing short of torturous misery to try and hold in vomit, poo, pee, gas, or a sneeze – and it is equally all things glorious to release them.

Heaven bless the perky rebound after throwing up too much alcohol or a disagreeable dish. Freedom. The cosmically orgasmic sneeze when our bodies reject a sinus intruder. Yes! More! Finally taking that Austin Powers-long pee after a good night’s sleep. Hallelujah! Making it to a toilet when your intestines have had enough. Pure ecstasy! Feeling your body deflate five inches once you release a massive gas pocket. Slow, wordless smile.

It is nothing short of torturous misery to try and hold in vomit, poo, pee, gas, or a sneeze – and it is equally all things glorious to release them.

For our physical bodies to function properly, the ugly must come out, up, down, AWAY. And into the air or down the drain. Are we properly cleansing our minds, spirits and hearts of its waste too? How do you practice the letting go of old memories and heartache that is certainly rotting and creating toxic fumes that prevent us from healthy function? I came up with three categories that sum it all up for me:

1. Burn

    Fire is a timeless symbol of not only power and passion but also equally life and death. The phoenix sets itself ablaze only to rise from the ashes again. Burning incense is a universally sacred practice. Two ways to burn yourself clean: first, sage. Smudging is another ancient practice of purifying space, energy and literally the air around you by smoldering leaves or sticks. The second is by naming your filth – write a letter to someone you need to forgive, write down the missteps that are anvils to your soul. Maybe it will be paragraphs; maybe it will be pages. Write it all down, weep over it, and then light it up and let it go…safely of course.

    2. Birth

      Nothing says out with the old like in with the new. The order doesn’t matter. Sometimes the arrival of something new can push the old aside. Other times, you’ve successfully eradicated your spirit gunk and although its exit is healthy, you’re left with a void of what was. Cleansing yourself through newness can be anything – something powerful that you create, design, develop; a therapeutic shopping spree to signify change; the first ceremony of a new tradition; moving or relocating to start anew in a new place; find a new way to give back to the community. Dumping your spirit’s waste in this way can be your renaissance.

      3. Be

        This is my personal self-care favorite. Being. As an extrovert, I tend to find my energy among people, but I also have introvert tendencies and need to indulge in delicious hermit-like moments to find my balance. Part of my soul-cleansing process includes quality alone time. This isn’t the avoidant type of me-time that includes eating comforting lime chicken or steak tacos (La Pasadita is the best – corn tortilla, onions & cilantro) on my couch in droopy sweatpants I’ve had since high school and watching made-for-TV movies from the 90s (you know the ones with Tori Spelling and Joanna Kerns…). Although these moments feel GREAT, I mean the actual art of being. Unplugging, looking inward, opening your soul to let go of the old and bad and ugly, and welcome in love and compassion and light. Meditate, pray, go to a sensory deprivation chamber, go off the grid for a few hours – heck, try a whole week! Delete the site history of the internet browser that is your soul and refresh your deepest core.

        Spiritual cleansing sweet relief soul waste
        If you have more tips – or have particular success with any of these, please write to me and let me know. Let’s continue the upward trend of healthy release. What. A.  Relief. 

        ~OR

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        for women who are difficult to love…

        My goodness, I love this so much. It will never – ever – ever – ever get old. There is so much of my own story in it. There is no expiration on this. Enjoy.

        <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/38766162″>Warsan Shire – “For Women Who Are Difficult To Love”</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/movingonworks”>MovingOn &amp; StereoOpticon</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

        Ok, I just decided I’m getting this tattooed somewhere on my body… just, love.

        https://i0.wp.com/data3.whicdn.com/images/148827730/superthumb.png

        “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love” – written and performed by Warsan Shire

        You are a horse running alone
        and he tries to tame you
        compares you to an impossible highway
        to a burning house
        says you are blinding him
        that he could never leave you
        forget you
        want anything but you
        you dizzy him, you are unbearable
        every woman before or after you
        is doused in your name
        you fill his mouth
        his teeth ache with memory of taste
        his body just a long shadow seeking yours
        but you are always too intense
        frightening in the way you want him
        unashamed and sacrificial
        he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
        lives in your head
        and you tried to change didn’t you?

        closed your mouth more
        tried to be softer
        prettier
        less volatile, less awake
        but even when sleeping you could feel
        him travelling away from you in his dreams
        so what did you want to do love
        split his head open?
        you can’t make homes out of human beings
        someone should have already told you that
        and if he wants to leave
        then let him leave
        you are terrifying
        and strange and beautiful
        something not everyone knows how to love.
        ****

        Director, Producer : Andrea Cortes-Juarbe & Christine Mehr
        Editor: Christine Mehr
        Co-Editor: Andrea Cortes-Juarbe
        Special thanks – Lauren Stanton, Sara’o Bery, Ada Pinkston, Isa Nakazawa

        Audio mashed by Christine Mehr
        Instrumental track – Zoe Keating’s “Sun Will Set.”

        ~OR