Aida Mitsuo was a calligrapher and a poet, and one of his poems (above) says, “If you don’t get rid of the old, the new will not enter.”

Yeeees. Purge. Make space. Right?

Actually, wait. 

Purging is a violent act if done in isolation. The seasonal ritual panchakarma is commonly described in the U.S. as a purge, but eliminating is only one aspect of the Ayurvedic practice to restore balance. In order to prepare for the cleanse, a gentle, nourishing diet is recommended, as well as plenty of sleep, abstaining from loud spaces and screens, gentle exercises like stretching and walking, self-massage, and making time for quiet reflection (aka meditation or prayer). Without this conscientious building, foundation-laying, gentleness, the purging is harmful and not cleansing. Instead of ridding the intestines and the bloodstream of toxins and accumulation, you can strain your systems and end up depleted.

I saw this weekend that Netflix made a show with Marie Kondo, purveyor of tidying. Having never read her book, I can’t speak to its attributes. I’ve avoided the book because the cultural fascination with purging, or tidying, or whatever you want to call it (email me if you want to know what I call it…) gives me pause. As much as I dread the heavy feeling I get with accumulation, I also detest the panicked, empty feeling I get when I’m obsessing over countertops in order to avoid my internal landscape.

You guessed it: the Marie Kondo phenomenon is not about your drawers. It’s about your soul.

Too often with healing, we see the tendency to try to rid ourselves of pain. The discomfort is so overwhelming that the desire is to eradicate it. The soul is so smart, y’all. It won’t let that happen. It needs you to build a framework: what is (or has been) useful about the pain? The psyche wants you to prepare to purge historical hurts with a gentle nourishing diet, with self-massage of the soul, with rest. The psyche must be confident that, when the hurt starts to dissipate, the space left won’t turn into a vacuum of self-doubt or self-blame.

This week, pick a component of your life–body, mind, soul, space–where you crave a purge. Instead of focusing on what you need to get rid of, consider bringing your focus to how you do want that space occupied.

What do you enjoy? How much space does that take up? How do you access it? What will life look like when there is more space for it?

What makes you feel safe? How do you access that? What will life be like when you feel safe more often?

What do you (or do you want to) create? What helps you be creative? What will life look like when there is more space for your creativity and for what you produce?

Right now at North Node, we are building up/clearing out in order to welcome in some new! Two exciting projects on the horizon:

  • At the lunar new year, Kellen will begin offering treatments using the ear needle technique NADA by donation on Tuesday afternoons. A treatment using NADA is available by appointment anytime, but since the recommendation is to use the protocol two or three times weekly, we are excited to offer the protocol by donation once weekly. Reach out if you want more info!
  • Also at the lunar new year, we will roll out our Moonstruck Membership. In addition to lunar letters at the new and full moons each month, members will receive tools to support ritualistic reflection. Put your name on our pre-order list now!

With gentleness and nourishment,

Ellice and Kellen