I’m a big fan of detoxing whether it is just cleansing teas and juices or weeding out the rolodex.  A good detox is a wonderful thing.

We don’t really see our lives.  Not really.  We are too busy thinking about what we are going to do or what we have done, to look at what is in front of us.  I believe we see our lives a bit like a master chess player sees a chess board, we see that pattern on the board but we don’t see the detail of the pieces we are playing with.

I always love the moment in life where I see something that has been right in front of me,  for the first time… it could be I notice that there is a stain on the wall, or that my cat is not jumping the way he used to.  How long has that been there?  When did that happen?  And I’m always pretty sure I haven’t noticed these details for a long, long while.  And it is clear, that while I may live in my house.. where I really live is in my head.

A stain on the wall can be cleaned and an older, less agile cat can be cuddled and helped along a bit more but often what we are not seeing is  the cause and effect of truly negative patterns of behavior, or troubled relationships or jobs.  We are capable of taking a very large dosage of poison everyday without noticing that we are being poisoned.

I once knew a woman who struggled with her weight. While it certainly bothered her, she was never was able to shed it.  And then one day she had to buy a new pair of jeans and she was forced to look at the size that she had become. A size that she couldn’t imagine that she was.  How had she gotten to this size? It was a blur.  But on that day,  she really looked deeply at  herself and how she was not only NOT taking care of herself but truly hurting herself.  And that day, she decided to lose the weight and she has.   No drastic measures were taken, she just was conscious of how she was eating and why she was eating.   She detoxed her relationship with food and herself.

Seems easy enough… but we have to be willing to look and truly see what is in front of us.

I like to imagine sometimes that I am seeing myself, a friend, a situation, a relationship for the first time: with innocent eyes.  With a childlike wonder… what does that world look like?  Often, I see beauty that I overlook daily and I am humbled  by it and grateful for it.   But sometimes,  I see exactly what I have been avoiding… a toxic relationship, or situation.

The joy of bringing fresh eyes to this is that we leave our preconceptions behind.  We allow ourselves to see clearly what is in front of us.  And then the actions we take – to love more fully and/or to disentangle & disengage ourselves from a situation that doesn’t serve our happiness, these actions are thoughtful and without design. When we see our lives clearly,  our actions are true and we are truly guided in these moments  from our best selves, our Buddha selves, a higher power, or whatever in us knows the path to freedom and joy.

It’s a beautiful day today.  The sun is shining.  An old cat snores next to me making me smile.  And I didn’t notice any of these details until I brought my mind to it.  What else am I missing?  What else are we all missing?

See your life today.  Focus on what is in front of you.  The past and future can take care of themselves, if we take care of the present.   What do you notice today?   If you are like me, you will see the beauty and you will also see the mess you have made of parts of your life.   Approach both of these aspects of you with thoughtfulness, compassion and love.

And with clear eyes, let the detox begin.