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Archive for January, 2009

“Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be revelation.”

Eileen Caddy

“Love, joy, and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance.”

Eckhart Tolle

“There really is no such thing as failure. There is only the rearrangement of plans and surrender of ego.”

Susan Falter-Barns

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.”?

Henry Winkler

“The opposite of the ego is the joy of the soul — yet, the soul speaks very softly and the ego is very loud.”

Laura Teresa Marquez

“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”

From the title you just read, you are probably thinking that I’m going to write about the benefits of cleansing: healing your body; having tons of energy, clarity, and focus; being in a great mood; needing less sleep; giving your digestion a much-needed rest; and losing weight–if you want/need to.

Not so much.

This is about how I did NOT do every single day of the Cleanse during our January 8th Prana Cleanse™. And why.

I sometimes affectionately call The Prana Cleanse™ my “baby” because it so encapsulates what I live day-to-day and believe in: the heated Prana Power Yoga flow, cutting-edge nutrition, the Law of Attraction, and of course, drinking lots of green juice for health, vitality, energy, clarity, focus, and joy.

We began our second-ever guided Cleanse the morning of January 8th. I have personally done the Prana Cleanse™ countless times since May 2007—first to explore juice fasting, and with time, to hone a program we will teach all over the world. January 8th began the second Cleanse that we’ve taught at Prana.

I was so excited about the sold out Cleanse, felt the amazing energy of our students pulsing through my body, and sailed through day and night one effortlessly, drinking green juices, smoothies, water, and GT Dave’s multi green Kombucha. I mostly didn’t feel hungry, and when I did once or twice, sipped some more of what I was drinking at the time, and the hunger subsided as quickly as it had surfaced.

The caveat: I thought I was ten days pregnant.

But I wasn’t sure, so I had decided to go ahead with The Cleanse “as planned,” and see how I felt cleansing—always listening to my body’s cues.

Now, if you’ve ever been pregnant or thought you were, you know that there is about a fourteen day “waiting period” during which you don’t officially know if you are pregnant or not, and can’t test because the test will not be conclusive. You simply need to w-a-i-t.

As an avid fan of anticipation, this should rock my world. Especially with number four, since this may be the last time in this lifetime I experience this waiting period.

Not so much.

Ambivalence is a kind and mild way of describing the emotions I endured night one of the Cleanse™ as I tossed and turned in my bed, unable to sleep. I was so physically exhausted that I knew that the only thing that could be keeping me awake was…hunger. I had never felt hunger like this when cleansing before. A hunger that made sleep an impossibility. I felt torn between my belief in and dedication to The Cleanse™, supporting and rallying with my students on their Cleanse path, and the little baby that could be in my belly.

Of course, if I knew I were pregnant, this would be a no-brainer: no cleanse. Cleansing while pregnant is not a good idea.

But it wasn’t as simple as that. As you may have read last week, before each of my three pregnancies so far, I’ve been “sure” I was pregnant—a month or two before I actually was. I had every symptom! And sister, they were real. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know what I’m saying.

So I asked The Universe for guidance–torn between my love of and dedication to The Prana Cleanse™ and the possibility that I might be pregnant with a little baby.

It may sound like a ridiculous predicament to you as you’re reading this, but it felt so confusing and unclear to me at the time. It really felt awful.

“What if I eat solid foods and break The Cleanse™, and then I learn that I’m not pregnant?” I asked myself as my Blackberry buzzed on my bedside table. I thought I’d turned it off, but apparently not.

I reached for my Blackberry and read a text from my dear friend, asking me to pray for her and her tiny baby daughter who was born that morning at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound and 3 ounces.

I nearly dropped my Blackberry as tears streamed down my face.

I immediately texted her back to say I was praying for her baby and her brave Super-mom, and that I loved them both.

Sometimes the Universe is not at all subtle.

In fact, it usually isn’t—if we are open and mindful enough to hear the lesson.

While eating raw fettucinin pesto, onion bread, nori rolls, granola, and flax crackers in our kitchen moments later, I thought about how this story will help many people—both participating in cleanses and just participating in life. I knew that it would help us all to see the difference between ego and love.

I thought I was confused about breaking The Cleanse due to a possible pregnancy because I loved the Cleanse and wanted to respect it and the students who had committed to it. I thought it was about love. And on the surface, it was. But in reality, at a much deeper level, I was coming from ego.

My ego didn’t want to break The Cleanse and regret it if I had been “wrong” about being pregnant. My ego didn’t want to learn I wasn’t pregnant and have “let all those people” (read: myself) down.

My ego was running the show.

Reality check for Super-mom Taylor: what is more precious and important than creating life? Nothing.

There’s plenty of time for teaching how to cleanse–by example–after this little one—whether he/she is with me now or will be in future months*—has joined us on this path. And actually, by choosing not to follow the cleanse to a “T” every single day this time around, I taught my students an even more valuable lesson…the lesson of balance and always listening from within—no matter what the “plan” is.

*If you read last week’s “The Stick” you know that I was not pregnant this time around (when I wrote this article). Ironically, I got my moon cycle the morning after I wrote the article. I was happy to feel proud—not regretful—for having listened to my body “just in case” I had been.

It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.

Dr. Jonas Salk

Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.

Bob Marley

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.

George E. Mueller

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Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:

I expected motherhood to change me.  How could it not?  Everything was new.  But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together.  It was all at once brutal and gratifying.  I am grateful for all of it.  I have learned who I am and how great my support system is.  I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us.  It’s not just me who is a super mom.  It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family.  Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her.  The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU.  She was a full term baby but a very sick one.  After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched.   She thrived.  And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong.  It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart.  She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed.  I needed to feel again.  Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself.  I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day.  I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was sleepwalking.  I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!).   Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help.  I began to piece myself back together.  It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice.  It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again.  I experienced such joy in finding myself.    I had really missed me!  But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey.  It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected.  It’s often what I need most!  I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad!  Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.