Emotional Detox

Detox, short for detoxification, is the body's natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. In the same way, the mind, being distinct from the body, follows its own natural process of detoxifying the thoughts and feelings held within.

Emotions are disturbed feelings. A pool of water in its natural state is calm, until some object is thrown into it. The object will create ripples and waves, depending on the size of object, but the pool will eventually return to its natural state of calm. And so it is with the mind. If we were to write down every thought we had today, we can determine the percentage that were positive or negative, uplifting or beneficial.

Emotions come in the disguise of anger, lust, greed, attachment and ego and are spurred on by some need or another. For instance, behind anger is the need for peace, behind ego is the need for self-worth and behind greed is the need for satisfaction or fulfilment.

In the midst of an emotional outburst, ask yourself: ‘What do I need?’ Many times, emotional outburst comes because of misplaced identity. It means I have invested myself in something I think will bring me security. For example I define myself by the relationship I have with someone; when they are happy, I am happy, when they are sad, I am sad.

We are currently living in very unstable and uncertain conditions. Anything can happen suddenly; – loss of job, relations, possessions etc. Emotions are powerful signals that I have lost focus and that I am now reacting. What I need to do is refocus – to Stop, Step Back and introspect – ‘What do I need here? What do I need to change in my life?’ But, in fact, what happens is that I become so stuck in the emotion that trying to stop it becomes difficult.

It is, therefore, important to understand the cause of the emotion and also to expose oneself to the healing energy. When we become emotional, we may spend a long time looking at the wound when what we need to do is take the medicine. In this case, meditation is the medication. But before meditation can work, we need to be honest with ourselves as to what we wish to experience. We have let things build up and so we need to want to change. Only then will meditation work. Meditation demands a high level of attention and energy. However much you put in you will get out.

There are a number of different meditations. Raja Yoga meditation is a way of training the mind to think in the right way so I can use the mind to understand myself at a deeper level. It is like pole vaulting. As I am running with the pole I am sustaining and generating positive thoughts until I have created enough positive thoughts to lift me up, the soul is lifted up and catapulted into very deep peace, love and bliss. I don’t think in that space, I am contented, just being and I feel very nourished.

The next step is to sustain the nurturing. Self esteem is the same as looking after the self. I have to create a self maintenance programme and routine to promote good feelings for the self. I start by maintaining and de-cluttering my mind and I put it in a supportive framework. Being clean is very liberating. The feeling that follows is a desire to service the world. If someone is displaying any negative attitude or behaviour I do not have to take it in, I just to ask myself: ‘Why am I letting their rubbish influence me? ‘What is it about me that I allow myself to listen to and take in others rubbish?’

Whatever is happening outside is a trigger for a pre-existing condition, a pattern. High stress will trigger these patterns. Other people may be the trigger for the feelings but when I start to blame others for how I feel, I am abdicating personal responsibility. I have locked my own pain and perpetuate my own suffering. Blame is a deep habit. Do I really want to feel this way? When I get angry with someone, I eventually ask myself ‘Do I want to prove myself right or to experience God’s peace and love?’ I choose the latter. We need an external catalyst to help clean the stain. We need Divine clean energy. When we expose ourselves to this clean source of energy we feel clean and safe.

The soul needs security and pure love. We do not want to live in unhappiness. So ‘who can bring out the best in me?’ ‘Who can I open my heart to?’ Who will accept me totally, as I am with no criticism or judgement?’ ‘Who loves me unconditionally?’ The company of the Divine is essential for me to be able to accept myself. So how can I tune in myself to experience the divine, who is beyond human form? I need to open my heart to the divine source.

When we start detox, we first have to have a diagnosis so that it is clear what we need to remove. I need to look at and name the areas that are in need of detox and then ask ‘What is the need behind the emotions? What strategies can I build in to satisfy those needs?’ There is a difference between wanting something to happen and being driven by desire. The natural need for the soul is peace, love, happiness, truth and wisdom. I need to take proactive steps to generate the right energy to flush out the toxins.

Tears may be a cathartic release but they don’t mean that something has changed. Meditation supports a deeper transformation. In meditation I see and imagine my heart. I think about all the situations or people in my life, with which antagonistic feelings were created. Placing them in different rooms in my heart, I make the picture clear and leave it there. Then I allow my body to relax completely, letting myself be present in the moment. There’s no pull either from the past or the future. I am free in the moment to be with my heart. Then I imagine myself stepping inwards behind the eyes into my personal and private space where I can be me. Here I remove the costumes of all the roles I play and allow myself to experience quietness and to relax. In this quiet and peaceful space I become aware of a Divine presence, a Light, watching me without interference. I imagine now that the door of my heart opens and I find myself in a long corridor with doors to rooms on either side. The divine light stands in front of me, guiding me to the first door. As the door opens, I allow the Light to enter and the vibrations of light dissolve the situation or tension until there is nothing left in that room. I continue down the corridor to another room, allowing the Light in and allow the quiet peace and gentleness to dissolve everything within. Carrying this light I go into the darkest corners and see them dissolve into light. The heart is filled with light and I, the soul, I am free from the burdens of the past and feel safe in this Light. In this state, I remain connected to the Supreme Light. In this silence, I am able to come back to my original state of peace and of being a child, a child of God.

When you touch something pure, you realise what is unclean. In between is forgiveness of the self at a deep level. It can only happen when we connect to the Source. Within this connection there’s humility which allow us to be compassionate and merciful not just to the self, but also to the situation and people involved. Once we can forgive the self, we will begin the process to look after the self, self-esteem. Otherwise I will force myself to change and this can be harmful