On Being Squeezed.

"When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out - because that's what's inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside." - Wayne Dyer

Since moving to Vancouver, making friends with some of the healthiest health nuts and most experimental dietary-restrictionists  has created a shift in some of the ways I fuel my body. One of the additions to my diet that this prairie girl didn't see coming was juice. I'm talking REAL juice; the kind that slaps you in the face with its nutrient-packed punch and leaves you feeling like a pseudo-superhero. After being introduced to the world of Kale and other extreme leafy greens, my curiosity overrode my eight year-old equivalent palette and I dove in. Well, drank it in, let's say. And, perhaps shocking to this sugar-fiend, I liked it - a lot.

PIC GLORY COThe past three days have been a whole other exploration into the world of juicing. I did the unthinkable over the May 2-4 long weekend: I juice cleansed. (pause for disbelief for my friends who understand my affinity for a crisp cider on a patio in the sun when there's a longer than usual amount of time available to recover from one or two too many of said ciders).

Three days of Glory Juice Co. juices awaited my consumption - as did a whole lotta life cleansing.

Long and short, the three days passed with a strange sense of ease. The hunger pangs were much fewer than anticipated and the hanger (read: emotional outburst of frustration due to extreme hunger) reared its head only one time (I was alone - it was fine). What happened alongside of my body getting a real reset was a massive brain reset and a whole lotta life clarity.

It takes trying on new things—new ways of thinking, new routines, new anything really—for me to gain a more clear and focused understanding of myself. Leaping out of a career got me connected to my true creative side. Travelling made me wise up to my passion for connectivity and relationship. This new thing—the cleanse—not only got me more aware of what was going on in my physical body, but also stretched me mentally and 'squeezed' some thoughts out of my head and heart that had been covered up by some doubt. Three days of a focused committment to one kind of 'detoxifying' opened up a wealth of ideas and productivity I couldn't have imagined would occur. Oh, and I managed to FINALLY clean off my desk. #win.

I set some new goals, re-wrote some intentions that I had for this year and made some committments to myself that might just change up the game a bit. Now, whether said clarity is a product of the season or the fact that spending some solo time armed with a serious team of delicious detoxifying delights, I'm not sure. All I know is that my body and brain got a real kick-start this weekend and I'll be eagerly looking forward to the next time I hop on the juice-train for another sweet reset.

And, next time, I'll plan ahead and keep the cleansing to the weekdays.

-----

Because sharing is caring and everyone loves 'Top 5' lists, here's a couple for your perusal and pleasure...

TOP 5 THINGS TO ABSOLUTELY DO ON A JUICE CLEANSE

  1. Get Netflix.  Clear your calendar, pop Downtown Abbey (er.....House of Cards?) on and settle in for a weekend series marathon.
  2. Drink every ounce of water you possibly can. Yes, you will feel like a hot water bottle with liquids slooshing around in your gut - but at least you'll feel full.
  3. Catch up on all that sleep you always say you're going to. Because what else is there to do?
  4. Take at least one bottle/jar with you on all outings. Not only will it create conversation with complete strangers but your hands will be full when you consider picking up that bag of Power Cookies at Whole Foods.
  5. Inform (warn) your friends. Always talking about sold food and moving as slow as a sloth....if these things are not already part of your personality, they may shock some friends if/when you start embodying these behaviors.

TOP 5 TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS WHILE ON A JUICE CLEANSE

  1. Going to a lunch meeting with some sweet friends and watching them eat beautifully made stuffed portobello mushrooms.
  2. Babysitting on day 2. 
  3. Teaching your very first yoga class.
  4. Standing up really fast in a repeated pattern at the very first yoga class you're teaching.
  5. Making a dinner date with someone you really like and are just getting to know.

the time i followed my ticker and hit the reset button.

I experienced a big (read: massive) life transition just over three years ago. A new city, solo status and wide open social calendar was my reality as I was welcomed into a pretty badass community. With like minded people surrounding me and opporunity a'plenty to get to know Vancouver on a whole new level, my once empty calendar was quickly jam-packed with coffee dates, workout plans and networking events. On a mission to 'do more' I layered on the commitments - what I can now identify as my 'feel less' tactic. The 'do more' turned into 'be more', 'connect more', 'write more', 'date more' - among others - which created some pretty gnarly 'less' activity. 'Sleep less' was a big one, with 'dance less' following close behind. My pursuit of stuffing what I was feeling by adding on more 'things' to life disconnected me from what mattered the most; my friends near and far, my family and most importantly, myself. Yet, while hindsight is 20/20, in the moment,'more' felt like the right and the only thing to do.

I was looking - searching - for an answer to what else I could be doing that would fill the empty feeling that I had  through long days of impactful work with fantastic people. All signs pointed to being in the best place possible to learn and grow a career with heaps of potential - yet I looked at myself with disappointment and frustration. How the heck could it be that by having such a full life I felt so empty? My 'more' mentality kept me moving forward, asking for bigger projects and expanding my working days well beyond the norm of the nine-to-five. And then, May 2013 rolled around.

May was a month of #wishbombs. June was a month of adventure; where Iceland was not only an uncharted travel experience but also a first taste of doing less and experiencing more. July was a tipping point where 'more' met 'enough'. August was a month of boldness; admitting that life wasn't working and making the claim that it was worth changing something; and resigning from a job that had supported me through three career changes in three years and never stopped believing in me or my potential. And it was bold to not know what I was going to do next. All I knew is that I was following my heart and getting back in touch with a part of me that I had quieted too many years before.

My last day at work, October 5, came around uncharcteristically fast; and with it, a day that I thought would be marked by tears, apologies, promises and yes, a red carpet and a marching band wishing me well into the next chapter of life. Much like every other Saturday this year, it came and passed without event. No pomp and circumstance, no red carpet, no marching band. Most suprisingly, no remorse and no regret. Let's be honest - there was fear coursing through every vein in my body and a sense of 'what now?' that I couldn't ignore. AND, I felt complete, in every sense of the word.

Now, I'm finding my happy. I'm creating and connecting. I'm writing, sharing, playing in new career opportunities and listening to heaps of really good music. My days are experiments in working some, playing some, drinking too much coffee and getting some time for me. And it's a fine balance - always trying to do what's needed in the moment and know when I'm going into 'more' over drive. Which doesn't come easy, but I'm learning.

So, here goes. I'm re-meeting myself. I'm getting to know the real Me and letting that whiskey-loving, Jess-of-all-trades, Americano junkie out. I'm writing. I'm storytelling about people that I think are interesting. And I'm learning along the way. Lots. Stay tuned for tales of travel, trials, tribulations, celebrations - you get it. There's more to come, always with a side of something to make you go 'hmmm.' Enjoy the ride.