The nasty thing about cleanses – and particularly the all-mighty liver cleanse – is that they put you in the front seat of an emotional roller-coaster gone wild. It is hard to enjoy things when the ghosts of Christmas Past buckled you down in a ride through clouds of anger, hurt, disbelief and sadness. And while meditating helps not to get car sick, staying aware every waking minute of every single day can be exhausting.
But then I remember why I do it. Or more exactly, I remember I am no longer in the driving seat. Because from the moment you acknowledge it is the memories orchestrating every moment of your life and the traumas conditioning every one of your moves, and from the moment you give your body the option of letting them go, there is really no turning back. Your body just will not have it. To the contrary, it starts unloading the baggage whenever it pleases, whether you feel like stopping or not. So, I figure, you might as well help it. And what better way than with energy cleanses?
Contrary to traditional belief, our body is like an energy sponge just begging for a rinse. From an early age, we are taught this fatalistic scenario by which we are the product of our ancestors’ DNA and that evolution takes centuries to happen. There is nothing to do about it, that is just the way it is. Recent research, however, shows otherwise. Our DNA appears to be both more flexible and, by the same token, more sensitive than we once believed (http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/06/genetic-switches-play-big-role-human-evolution). Let us fo example consider your grand-father lived through a famine. This will not leave his genome unmarked. To the contrary, the life-altering experience of hunger and stress will alter his genome by refedining when and where some of his genes are turned on or off. My understanding is that this information is then passed on to your parents who then pass it on to you (together with their own personal mutations thrown in the mix). In other words, evolution happens much faster than we used to think, with not just one but probably many mutations happening over the span of a single life.
Another way of looking at it is from the outside. Take our physical traits for example. Typically, we believe we inherit them from our parents and that there is little we can do to change them. Therapist Lise Bourbeau sees things a bit differently. Her approach shows that it is not only a person’s psychology that is constructed on lessons learned, but also their physical characteristics. In ‘Les cinq blessures qui empêchent d’être soi-même’, she identifies five main types of bruises, each of which generates a different set of reactions from the child. The reactions bundle up to create an entire array of behavioral patterns – or “masks” as she calls them – ranging from body shape, eating habits, voice pitch, relational behavior, affective patterns, etc. In other words, it is not so much our cells shaping us as it is us shaping our cells.
Simply put: we do not have to be our parents, or our uncles or our siblings. We do not have to add to the traumas past generations have passed on to us with more of the same. We do not have to work in a similar environment as them or attract the type of partner they felt comfortable with. We are not the victims of fate. Not even our bodies, the way we dance, or the way we relate to others is inscribed in stone. All of it is the result of learned behaviors, a long ancestral chain of actions and reactions, all of which create memories we can revisit and digest.
Joe Dispenza talks about this ability in ‘Align Your Thoughts & Feelings For a New Destiny – law of traction.’ He talks about the gamma frequency and how you can use that deep state of meditation to change your subconscious image of yourself, going from being angry to being happy, from being sick to being healthy. Ayurveda has been using this same frequency in a similar way, with Shirodharas (the drop of oil on the forehead therapy). In both approaches, although we inherit emotional baggage from our ancestors and add to it our own experiences of stress, we can stop the suffering by transforming our cells. We can cure ourselves from even the rarest chronic diseases.
The difficulty is that we feel safe with our baggage. Reprogramming the habits of the past can be scary and strenuous. That is why I, myself, tend to prefer the more holistic approach proposed by Ayurveda than the all-encompassing meditation solution offered by Dispenza. An well-known example of miraculous recovery that comes to mind, which is based on sheer will-power (or total despair) is Eckhart Tolle’s sudden black-out, which brought about his recovery from depression. I wish I could wake up like him one day, entirely free from the past, fully connected, and able to create a new life for himself. But I have not been so lucky. And, to my knowledge, not many people are.
For people like us, whose journeys are more gut-wrenching and tedious, more complex approaches might be required. It might be due to our character, to the nature or quantity of the toxic behaviors we have absorbed, to our fear of letting go, or to so many other things we are not aware of. Who knows what is keeping us from aligning our head with our heart and benefitting from the full power of our souls. Who knows what is blocking us from defying our ancestors. But I believe we can still get there. It is just a matter of accepting that just as we are not equal in front of evolution, in front of life, or in front of ourselves, we are not equal in front of therapies. We might need to work harder at it. And there is probably just as powerful a lesson to be learned from it as when the transformation happens over night.