Its day 6 of my cleanse.   Virtually everything has been eliminated from my diet now except for the clear vegetable soup I’ll be making later and the vat of parsley tea stewing on the hob.

Chris’s birthday cake teases me with its great chocolatey smile from the kitchen counter, and a packet of Hot and Spicy Tyrell’s keeps jumping out of the cupboard and landing in my hands.

I’m disciplined.  Inhale their glorious scent and then fold up the top neatly before placing it back on its shelf.  My family is taking too much pleasure in parading past me with dishes of mysterious treats, “Don’t look Laura!  Don’t look!”

I’m fantasizing about Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt.  MMmmmmmmm!!  But alas, I don’t regret starting this cleanse, and despite those occasional desires for a quick fix, I’m surprisingly content with my ever-simplifying menu.

In terms of how I feel.  Within a day my digestion and stomach had improved.  Within 2 days I was feeling lighter and less sluggish.  Afternoon headaches plagued me for 3 days, and I can’t believe how many cups of tea I was actually drinking every day!  Mental.

Mornings are quite active.  I make plans and get things done.  Quickly, effectively, but by the afternoon I begin to slump.  By early evening I’m good as gone, and my sleeps are long, deep, with exceptionally vivid dreams.  I’ve been dreaming of bows and arrows and fighting for survival; miscarriages; and flying in space.  Cycling recklessly down the streets of Nassau, diving to the greatest depths of the Caribbean Sea; having those awkward conversations that one needs to have at some point in their lives, but will spend most of their time avoiding.  I wake up feeling like I’ve come out of some sort of deep therapy session.

My yoga practice is gentle and slow….but deep.  I’m losing myself in my mat, in my breathing.  I’m feeling like there’s nothing else in the world, just me and the burgundy mat.  Candles flicker on the windowsill, the morning grey creeps in through the blinds.  The house is silent during this time, and I pay close attention to every part of me.  The way my shoulders are loosening up, but my hamstrings and lower back have suddenly tightened.  I observe the way my hand can’t quite reach my foot on my right side, when a week ago that wasn’t a problem.

I observe my emotions.  The way each day they’re different.  Yesterday I was the sun.  Beaming with light and energy, and smiling over everything.  I got an email from the Spaniard, “Que te quiero”.  “Que te quiero.”  I love you too.   I listened to “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush on repeat and made plans for my future while I laughed about, and enjoyed my present.  Everything was hopeful and positive, matter-of-fact.  I know what I’m doing, I know where I’m going.  Just takes time is all…and patience.

Today I observe overwhelming sadness and fear.  I wept into my forward folds and hip openers.  Why is everything taking so long? What if I’ve got it all wrong?

I thought of my half-finished book – aging and decaying – the broken promises to my Burmese friends.  I think about dying.  Will it be today or tomorrow – next week…what if the people I love don’t get to hear me tell them?  I worry about money, and the fact that I’m running out of it – FAST!  Will I ever be free of this debt?  Why have I always found it so hard to contend in this world?  What if this path, following my heart – just isn’t enough?  What if I’ve misheard it?

It all came pouring out into broken sobs as I moved through my sequence.  Pausing every now and again to rest my head against the mat and listen to the sound of my breathing.  I opened both eyes and stared at the drooping leaf of a house plant.  What if I fail?  What if I get lost again?