The switch moment

Hint : it could change yours too.

Kingston airport, Jamaica, 5 pm, a couples of days ahead of my 28th birthday. I have never felt this good.
I am by myself, looking at a 17 hours travel with 3 flights to reach my current home in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (edit: every flight got delayed and my suitcase only made it 2 days after me). Still, my mood is at its best (and it remained so despite the delays).

And I didn’t mention yet that I haven’t eaten any food nor drink any coffee, tee, alcohol or smoke a cigarette, since 10 days. The only elements that went into my body have been water, lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. This is miles away from how I would usually indulge myself.
I omitted to mention the glass of castor oil and orange juice I had yesterday. Anyone who already drunk castor oil knows this is not a treat. It was the final touch to my 10 days mastercleanse that I did in the calmest place : Go Natural in Jamaica, a sanctuary that welcomes up to a dozen of hosts willing to relax, eat well (or practice fasting), practice yoga, meditate and meet connected souls.

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You read the title. Doing this retreat is one of the best decision I ever made. For the context, what it motivated me to achieve, and the light it brought me (edit: first implications are concrete one week later already).

It wasn’t a documented, well-thought decision really. I live on an idyllic island, that makes every day feel a bit like holiday, but also going anywhere lengthy and expensive. After 6 months of busy office life and emotional up and downs I felt it was time to go for vacation. I like my vacations to bring me more than a tan. I explored plans to go backpacking through Costa Rica or visit a friend in Buenos Aires, but my usual drive, energy, curiosity for those landscapes and new people was missing.

I wanted to explore myself, not new continents.

While postponing any decision and going with the flow, I came across an article from a writer that I have been following since a long time on her 10 days silence retreat in India (the article here).

It sounded great and a couple of days later I was googling “meditation retreat in Caribbean”. After looking at different places I settled for Go Natural Jamaica. The place seemed cosy and had great reviews, and Jamaica has the reputation of a very beautiful and welcoming country (and it is).
Silence was not on the program. But a wealth of other activities : 2 daily sessions of yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic rituals, workshops on nutrition and on natural cosmetics. And this Mastercleanse thing, that I had never heard of, aiming to help you detoxify your body by fasting for 10 days. I googled it further to check the potential impact on health.
And I booked. As much for the challenge to deprive myself from something, than for the health dimension.
I thought “why not”. It could maybe bring a lighter mindset to deepen my meditation practice (that so far resumed to sitting and thinking about everything possible).

So I flied there, with a lot of books (in case I would get bored). I hardly read a couple of pages of the first one.
I didn’t get bored. I met very inspiring folks. We had beach and city excursions. Hammock sittings. And there is a library full of exciting books about yoga, meditation, change, nutrition, plants, and more (some of them explaining well the benefits of fasting).

I am still challenged with meditation, but I now accept it as part of the process.

Practicing daily for 10 days has instilled discipline and the taste to persevere.

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The fact to not be eating was surprisingly easy to cope with. I felt good, not over energised as some people will tell you they were during their detox, not under energised neither. Just feeling good and rested, sleeping between 7 and 9 hours per night, with an improved memory and faster brain. I lost a couple of pounds and coupled with the daily yoga exercise I feel that my body actually gained strength. My skin went from “average/not great” to amazing.
I especially feel proud I did it. Because I love to eat so much. And I’m used to eat lots of crap. After this stay I see eating in a different way, and I love it even more. Just different things (edit : since coming back I did significantly change where I shop and what).

The context has been immensely helpful, I can not imagine fasting in my “usual” life. Too many temptations when seeing other eating and drinking, the shops, smelling odors, and so on.
It helped too to have a partner in crime, and while most of the guests where enjoying their stay at the retreat while eating the – apparently – delicious vegan variations of Jamaican food prepared by the Go Natural cookers, we were two fasting during our stay.

No amount of words would be enough to describe the feelings I experienced and how I reflect on it. .

The time spent thinking about myself, the world and everything in between generated dozens of new points on my bucket list. (edit : I bought a ukulele on my day 2 of being back home, and started to learn with youtube. Planning to make my first home made bread this week-end).
I am not saying I gave up forever on coffee, alcool and cheese. I only appreciate them more, and more rarely, now.

I feel like a better version of myself. And it feels great.
I confidently label this the most life changing 10 days I ever had, and it is reasonable to say that I am used to change (this will be the topic of a dedicated story).
The actual fact of me publishing this article, whether 1 person or 100 read it, is a victory on my fear of judgment. This article is not perfect, neither I am, and it’s just fine.

A big thank you to the Go Natural crew and beautiful persons I met there. You can visit Go Natural website, and they have an inspiring Facebook page.

Any question or thoughts to share ? I would love to discuss. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter.

Anais Frin Written by:

After 5+ years helping companies to change and grow across industries and continents, I am dedicating a year to my own project while working in a noncorporate structure.

3 Comments

  1. April 10, 2016

    great article/story…..do you write professionally of your travels on a regular basis?

  2. September 13, 2016

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    • WhenItsNew
      October 2, 2016

      Thanks for your kind words ! Happy if the article was able to help you !

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