Week 4 feels like I’m finally starting to get the hang of this 40 Days thing! This week’s theme is restoration. Merriam-Webster defines restoration as, “an act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it”. When I think about this word, I think about making something new again.
However, this word doesn’t just apply to things; it applies to people too. We can be restored in so many ways. In the 40 Days to Personal Revolution book, Barron Baptiste advises readers to remove the rocks from their lives to restore themselves (2004, p. 155). He states, “As we remove the rocks that block our wisdom and light, we find that we are able to set more and more time aside for the things that restore us: time spent in nature, solitude, meditation, intimacy, having heart-to-heart conversations that heal.” (Baptiste, 2004, p. 155). In our weekly meeting, we reflected on this concept of restoration. A meaning that the group seemed to share about restoration is that it is “letting go of what no longer serves you”. This theme was the inspiration for our practice, nutrition, and meditation for the week.
This week during the workshop portion of the in-person meeting, we focused on correctly incorporating forward-fold and ragdoll into our practice. We learned that many people arch their backs, similarly to cat or ragdoll, when in forward-fold. Instead, Juleann taught us to lean forward without cat back and bend at the knees. She said the same applies to folding over in staff pose. For ragdoll, we learned that our elbows should not go past our knees. This was a big learning curve for me, as I always have my elbows past my knees in this pose. This week our daily practice reached a full hour. This is the same length as many of the classes at Evolution. We added some of the ending poses of the Journey into Power Sequence from the pyramid pose forward to deaf man’s pose. This seemed natural, as this is the part of the sequence I start to feel restored after burning off what no longer serves me.
Nutrition this week was no small feat. We had a three day fruit feast. This means that for three days, all we could eat were fruits. This includes the obvious fruits but also anything with a seed in it such as avocados, tomatoes, squash and string beans. We could also incorporate fresh herbs and spices. The fruit feast hydrates the body immensely and also cleanses it by flushing it out. I got by on smoothies and RiJuice (local pressed juice). I also tried a few of the recipes that were posted on our 40 Days Facebook group. I had really never thought of all of the different things you can do with fruit. If you’re thinking about doing this, I would advise doing it on a day where you don’t have work or when you have a lighter workload. I would also advise easing yourself into regular food again afterwards slowly and carefully. Although our 40 Days nutrition at this point is very clean, I still had to be careful with things like nuts and grains afterwards.
Meditation for this week reached twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes again at night. Believe it or not, this has been an even bigger feat than the fruit feast. This was not easy for me. However, we did meditate during our in person meeting for twenty minutes. I was able to get used to the timing and pick up a few things that worked for me. We meditated in the dark by candlelight which I found worked for me. It was very relaxing. I did miss the colors and things I would visualize with the lights on though. Another person in the program mentioned that she uses Tara Brach guided meditations and a few other people that they use her meditations as well. I was able to listen to a clip and am planning on incorporating them to my daily practice.
Week 4 has certainly been restorative by allowing me to let go of what no longer serves me, cleanse and center. I am looking forward to what Week 5 holds, stay tuned!