Cleaning out the closets, organizing the desk, saying good-bye to dust bunnies and vacuuming Mollydog’s fur from the back of my wagon; phew, makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

Can anyone smell spring in the air?

It is the time of year where nature is renewing herself and seedlings are sprouting their very first leaves of new growth. Spring is the traditional season to clear the clutter from your “outer” space. It’s also a fantastic time to clean out your “inner” space, sweeping away the debris and toxins from your body. Staying in rhythm with nature, my spring cleaning roots were growing and begging to be watered.

I germinated on the idea of a cleanse, and decided that there was no time like the present to put my body — and will power — to the test. How would I start this experiment?

Step 1. Research

I remember from my eighth grade science class that every great experiment starts with a question. Why do I want to cleanse my body? This inquiry gave way to a bit of research. I found there are lots of reasons people cleanse: cleaning out toxins, losing weight, jump-starting a spiritual practice, it’s the hip thing to do, and so on. The question that came up time and time again would surely lead me in the right direction: Could I be more in the flow with the universe if I just got rid of the pollutants inside?

Step 2. Find support

I asked. I read. I dug around. I learned, and I was still confused. There is the liver cleanse, the colon cleanse, the master cleanse, the juice cleanse — just to name a few; so which is the cleanse for me? Enter Travis Eliot (www.traviseliot.com) friend, yoga instructor, and Ayurvedic practitioner. Throughout the years, Travis has become a solid support system for my spiritual growth.

He would be the perfect confidant to lead me through the process of cleaning out 32 years of junk food from my system. Travis suggested a gentle cleanse, coupled with breathing and meditative exercises for 16 days. Ouch, 16 days?

Step 3. Commitment

This would be a comfort zone stretching commitment, but with Travis by my side, I was up for the challenge. We came up with a tender plan that would work for me and my lifestyle. I would plant foods in my body that would assist in dislodging the gunk buildup from the junk I had been throwing down the pipes for years.

Brown rice cereal in the morning laced with clarified butter and raw honey was the highlight of my day, followed by two afternoon meals and a flood of water for irrigation. Variety was sparse, but the foods would do their trick. Veggies, rice and mung dahl completed my diet. Throw in a few meditation exercises in the morning, and we got us a full-blown cleanse!

It all seemed doable, especially since I wouldn’t be starving myself. My intention was to feed my body and spirit with love and attention. But 16 days? Yikes, that’s a lot of love and attention. If I took it just one day, even one meal at a time, I could do it! It was an experiment and a challenge. I was up for the task. One day at a time.

Commitment + support = Love 4 ever

The first two days, I was fine. Food was a little boring, yet there was still excitement about the process. Day three hit me like the mung dahl express train. I was crabby. Not only was I “releasing” a lot of toxins from my body, I was also letting go of emotional baggage. And I was constipated, emotionally and physically. I called on my support system, Travis. He gave me suggestions to alleviate unwanted food in my belly, and encouraged journaling to allow the emotional junk the freedom to come up.

Days six through nine were filled with energy. I was bouncing off the walls. My dreams were vivid, my sweet Mollydog and one magical honeybee made nightly appearances cheering me on in a “You Can Do It” kind of way. In the daylight hours, I saw colors I hadn’t seen before, smelled flowers in a new way, and danced about my day with a new found sense of grace. I was high on life and the cleanse was proving to be a success!

Day 10 came and my commitment was waning. Ten days of the same boring monotonous food and the constipation was back. I was ready to throw in the towel and grab some French fries and call it a cleanse. Travis to the rescue! I got a good pep talk, some new tips on unblocking the pipes and I was back in the game.

Day 16 arrived along with the Castor Oil. Castor Oil was the stuff of legend, and until now, I hadn’t experienced it first hand. Pinching my nose and closing my eyes, I drank down six tablespoons and was excited for things to come. In the wee hours of the morning, it came on strong. Irrigation was in full affect, out with the old in with the new.

I was a new woman. Brand new, from the inside out. Thirty two years of toxic build-up gently lifted from my body. I was blissed out for days, and weeks later, I still am. I had no idea when I started this process that I was giving my mind, body and soul a scrub down. The experiment was a success!

Spring is a great time to clean out your body alongside your closets. Remember, research your options, choose one that suits your needs, commit to it, and get support. You’ll be so glad you did!

HoneyBee Henderson can be found pollinating love in Venice and Santa Monica. Her greatest joy comes from her work as a spiritual counselor, where she utilizes her education in a master’s program at The University of Santa Monica. Read more about living a heart-centered life from HoneyBee at www.souldiving.org. Questions? Comments? E-mail her at honeybee@souldiving.org.