I did the Café Gratitude Juice Club with Terces Engelhart and hundreds of Juice Club members around the world for the first seven days of this month. (I highly recommend it for those who want to give it a try- you can get more information at www.cafegratitude.com.) And I have to say, I received the most wonderful gift from that time of not eating solid foods... the much-needed gift of reconnecting with my natural daily rhythm.
I've been working tirelessly (unstoppably, I might say!) for the last three months on several projects, one of which is co-producing a conference for 5,000 people in November called Leaders Causing Leaders. (I've never produced anything that big, except my 2 kids!) It's really going to be an amazing event and I hope you can come! Check it out at www.leaderscausingleaders.com. I've also been working on growing the Café Gratitude community here in L.A. by putting together workshops, giving talks and organizing a community of volunteers for various events. Oh, yeah, and then there's the job. Thank God it's not full-time; I don't know how I'd get everything done and stay sane if it was! And now I'm gearing up to finish the book, which has had to go on the back burner for a while… something had to move there, otherwise I'd have had no room to cook!
The thing is, lately I've been getting up early, staying up late and falling asleep at the computer, not exercising as much as I want, and on and on. Being "driven" would be putting it mildly. Being compulsive and slightly mad is more accurate. This is likely not an unfamiliar scenario. So many of us drive ourselves into the ground being the best we can be, while we sacrifice our internal quiet on the altar of getting ahead or doing good. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that it's so easy to forget to live a balanced life with so many amazing things to do and with the planet making such a clear, loud cry for co-created solutions to what we've done. How could I not get involved?
On the first afternoon of the club, I hit the wall. After a day of driving all over Los Angeles for meetings, toting along my mason jars of juice, broth, almond milk smoothie and a gallon jug of water, I got home in the late afternoon and couldn't do a thing. I felt like a popped tire. So instead of pushing through, which I normally would have done this last couple of months, I decided to go to bed early and get up extra early to meditate and work in the cool, quiet dark and dawn. It was so much better!
I am NOT a night owl (never was)... and for the duration of the juicing, I went to bed at a graceful hour (not nodding off at the computer and feeling bad because I couldn't stay up longer to do more work), taking time to read something "fun" before sleep (Three Cups of Tea right now- wonderful, inspiring story) and getting up at 4:30 or 5 to start my day. I can't tell you what a difference it made. I felt like I was back on my own humane schedule. If the rest of L.A. was up late, doing business at 10 or 11pm- more power to 'em!
It's been a couple weeks since I completed the juice club and I found myself slipping back into the old habit of pushing myself beyond my internal limits in order to keep up with the fast pace of all I'm doing. Thank God, though, I had the blessing of that perspective, of that time away from my habitual overworking and eating without really taking time to consider whether or not I needed to. Something has shifted and I'm being gentler with myself, giving more credence to the voice that says, "Wait. Slow down. Do you really need to eat that? How about getting up early and going to bed now?"
It has not necessarily been easy to continue to listen to that voice, but I am so deeply grateful for reconnecting with it, with my early mornings, and my own rhythm. Even when I feel myself slipping into my acculturated habit, it's been a bit easier to say "no," to readjust, renegotiate and make requests. The thing is, I'm finding that because I am listening to that inner voice and honoring my own rhythm, I'm actually feeling productive in a much more grounded way. I'm learing that I can take care of myself… and, I can still be unstoppable!