Once again I struggled to sleep last night – finally nodding off around 3am. Thanks to my new ‘mineral salt water’ trick, I did not have to get up to pee once in the night. But with only four and a half hours’ sleep, I didn’t feel 100% perky when the cockerel woke me up this morning in time for yoga.
Nay too, was feeling very groggy and weak. So she scanned the work timetable to see which of the therapists was teaching yoga this morning. It was Ina, who is one of my favourite people out here. Totally at one with her inner hipster, Ina is an absolute ‘Earth Angel’. She just makes you feel beautiful, wonderful, special, safe and soothed even when she’s talking about poo or something. The soft lilt of her Irish accent and the way she balleticly gesticulates with her hands so beautifully makes her a joy to watch and listen to, even if you don’t understand what she’s going on about straight away. It almost doesn’t matter what the words are sometimes because in any language she’d be understood as just radiating loveliness, kindness and peace. The kind of person you’d choose to have down between your ankles when you were giving birth, or holding your hand talking you towards the light if you were dying. So, naturally, seeing her name on the timetable was a beacon of reassurance to Nay and I, in our state of bewildered fragility this morning.
We made it to class on time and it was absolutely perfect. Initially concentrating on breathing and sensory exercises to bring more oxygen to different parts of our systems and use the breath in different ways to release different emotions and connect with different thoughts and feelings. Breathing is good. I can do breathing. Then a series of very gentle and slow stretches that I could feel, but enjoyed – nothing at all too taxing. At one point I just face planted myself into ‘child pose’, a resting position in yoga, and Ina encourages that at any time it feels too much. I might just start doing that in my daily life if ever anything is too much. Down at the post office queue or dealing with an aggressive parking inspector perhaps. Ina didn’t end the class by doing something weird like the other teachers did – reciting poetry or bell bonging. I found myself almost disappointed. She also didn’t say Namaste. Which surprised me as she seems like a namaste kind of gal more than anyone here really. Perhaps, she just feels it and doesn’t need to say it. Or perhaps, like me, she finds it a bit pretentious and odd sounding, despite being a full on beacon of light hipster in harem pants. I have harem pant envy here actually. Everyone has beautiful wafty clothes here. If you ever come out here, bring wafty clothes to waft around in in a state of nirvana. It’s not the same trying to waft when your clothes are a bit too short and tight and the underwire in your one bra that you brought is chafing your armpit as you sweat.
Morning juice was fine, but I found myself not nearly as thirsty as other days. Maybe because my body is actually absorbing the water I’m drinking now, I might not need as much. The science of my own body is very fascinating to me all of a sudden.
I got another surprise this morning. I was offered the chance for a colonic with a new therapist here. Nay booked us both in, and having conquered the enema yesterday I felt a lot less worried about the whole thing. I will explain more about the differences between the two types of bum flushing later on. But basically I said yes. Partly because everyone keeps raving about how important they are during detoxing (yes, I said that word). And partly because..well….’when in Rome’ and all that. Plus, I think I’m just becoming more open to anything here – everything I’ve tried so far has had a benefit of some kind, and my walls are coming down. My anus is no longer clenched like the angry fist it once was. It is a wormhole to another dimension. Not literally a wormhole. I don’t have worms, you understand. But if I did, the people here would definitely want to give me an enema and sort out the worm with some sort of herbal remedy.
Nay went off for her first colonic, and I went for a swim. For the first time sharing the pool with my new friend Elena, a Brazilian lady who is here by herself but seemingly also having the time of her life. I managed 3/4 of a mile. Not bad on an empty stomach. Tracks of the day on my waterproof MP3 player included the theme from The Big Blue, more William Shatner – this time reciting ‘Hey Mr Tambourine Man’ like it was a scene from Hamlet over hammy background doo doo dooos, some Christina Aguilera and Holtz’s ‘The Planets’s (‘Mars’, I think – menacing music that had me pretending I was a shark as I swam round and round in circles).
Our lunchtime juice was swiftly followed by a very interesting talk from Jane about naturopathic methods to support a detox. This included the information about mineral salts from before, along with essential fatty acids, how a cell works and what makes it happy and unhappy – what we can do to support every single cell in our body function better and stay healthy, the science behind what happens when people are detoxing and excreting waste from the skin, lungs and bowels, and even stuff about swapping to products that don’t have so many nasty chemicals in. I made a mental note to go buy some of the hipster green clay and essential oil toothpaste my sister uses as I’ve been borrowing it out here and it’s nice.
Then it was my turn for a colonic. Seriously, this stuff is becoming almost normal. I hear men and women every day describe their colonics as ‘amazing’. Not just ‘tolerable’ or ‘ok’ but ‘amazing’. I have heard friends back home saying this sort of thing too, which is why I went for one a couple of years ago when my friend Nicky was doing a special offer and I’d been having a small tummy issue. Nicky was absolutely wonderful, professional and sensitive, but I still found the process hard to deal with at the time. Not as bad as I thought, but never on my ‘to do list’ ever again unless I had a bowel blockage emergency. But having done the enema yesterday I was a little bit more blasé about the whole idea. Not comfortable, not pro-bum flush, but neutral and open to possibilities.
Let me quickly explain the difference between enemas and colonics as I’ve come to understand it. Enemas can be done yourself and you have a couple of pints in your bag which enters your bum and you have to poo it all out when you feel full and can’t hold it any more. With colonics the nozzle that goes up your butt is bigger (yes, I wished I hadn’t noticed that – looked like someone was going to shove a duck’s bill up my bum) because it has two tubes attached – an inny and an outy. Inny for water or water with herbs for certain treatments and an outy to suck out gas, mucous and compacted poo. And anything else strange you’ve stuck up your bottom and left there in previous years. Enemas only reach the lower part of the large intestine, but colonics (being sucky as well) enable you to get the water much much further up, all the way round to the top of the lower intestine, where older more compacted poop can stick around for a very very long time, causing issues with nearby organs and generally festering and making you feel bad. This can happen regardless of whether you eat a good or poor diet but certain diets certainly make it more likely.
Liz, the colonics expert, prepared me reasonably well for the undignified intrusion. I tried SO SO hard to relax when she probed me with her duck’s bill nozzle, but my mean little ring piece doesn’t give up control easily and snapped fairly tightly shut around the nozzle, making it momentarily a bit uncomfortable and not altogether pleasant. But after a few seconds of really concentrating I managed to get used to the feeling and distracted myself with the poster on the wall of a cross section of someone’s abdomen which was very interesting indeed.
Liz really couldn’t find much in my lower body other than gas, which isn’t too surprising, but after much stomach massaging and effort, and the addition of some ‘wild yam extract’ she managed to dislodge some compacted ‘matter’ (I love the euphemisms they use to vary it from saying poo all the time). Poo poo poo poo poo. It’s the topic of the year here. I asked her what it was because I certainly hadn’t eaten anything that much recently and just as she was describing it to me as probably having been there 5-6 months from the look of it (they can tell a lot by colour and consistency), she dislodged a mightily blocked part of my intestine and the poop SHOT down the exit tube so fast and with such power that the colonic nozzle fired out of my bumhole like a cork from a shaken champagne bottle! Thankfully it didn’t come completely out but we did need to reinsert and adjust so that didn’t happen again. Honestly the speed at which that projectile exited my body was quite something. If it weren’t for Liz and her sucky tube catching it up, it could have broken a window!
The session ended soon after that and I actually felt fine about it. Liz explained, as my friend Nicky had done before, that it can take several sessions to completely get rid of all the compacted deep stuff from the top of the large intestine but since I’m only here till Thursday, I won’t be having any more here. I honestly can’t tell you if I’m relieved or disappointed. I think, bizarrely, the latter. Because I’ve gone so far with this detox stuff, despite my initial skepticism and anxiety, and getting so much out of the process that I really wanted to do everything I could to completely purify my chocolate wizwam. The idea that I’ve had one home bum flush and an anal power wash and there STILL might be something stuck up there annoys me. So I may even have to continue on with this journey at home, or may be forever nagged by the thought that I left something unfinished.
Anyway, with sparkling buttholes, my sister and I grabbed our afternoon juices and legged it to the nearest bus stop. I’d expressed the desire for hipster toothpaste and my sis willingly obliged with a shopping trip into the nearest town. I still can’t get over Malta/Gozo and how you have architecture that’s a mixture of French, Spanish, Italian styles with a smattering of ‘Life of Brian’ in there….but with bright red British phone boxes and post boxes! I will have to look more into the history of the island and the relationship between the two. One of my new Maltese friends told me that England sent food ships to save the Maltese people in the war, and they’ve had an affection for Brits every since. It shows in how the people behave towards tourists. It’s lovely to go to a country where the Brits aren’t secretly loathed. Malta always votes for us in the Eurovison Song Contest….even if we’re crap (like every single year).
It was so lovely just mooching around town with my sister. It’s been years since we had a girly shopping spree together. She took me to her favourite naturopathic shop and I bought the toothpaste AND an organic, ‘friendly’ deodorant that smelled of orange lollypops. I don’t even need a new deodorant. But lollypops people! It’s got to be done. Then we explored a local park where there were plants that looked like big red furry Jim Henson creature gloves with pointy fingers. I love foreign weird plants! They also have those trees here that look like upside down lego Christmas trees.
As we turned to walk back up the hill towards the bus stop, both my sister and I started to feel very peculiar – weak, giddy, feeble. We sat in a park for a while next to a thicket of plants that looked like Muppet hands with pointy fingers, and gradually tottered up the hill clinging onto each other for support. We think that after a colonic it might be a good idea to rest and not exert oneself in the hot sun. After taking refuge in a nearby cafe for a herbal tea (avoiding looking at the lovely pastries and other yummy things) we made the bus home.
As if our bodies were trying to tell us something, we decided to break our fast one meal earlier than planned and have our first ‘proper’ meal of the week – a thick soup. Looking at others having the soup when they had broken fast before us, it looked and sounded quite bland – the way food probably should be as you gradually reintroduce things after an intensive fast. But sitting there with the bowls in front of us like we had the holy grail in our grasp – eyes on stalks, grinning like a pair of idiots, deeply inhaling the foody aromas – we both made the mistake of seasoning our soup with black pepper as we always do at home.
Oh my! Nothing could prepare me for the intensity of flavours after 4 days fasting! It was like I was a baby or an alien tasting food for the first time. The black pepper tasted like chili! And I asked the chef who came by to check on us what was in the soup – expecting a long list of exotic herbs and spices and other ingredients to explain the intense, rich, delicious and incredible flavour. But it was literally just pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot blended! I found it so hard to comprehend the difference between those flavours as I used to taste them and those flavours as I tasted them today. Like the difference between diluted orange squash and drinking neat cordial. And then some. It knocked me for six. And although it was just a shallow bowl of soup, we felt so full…SO FULL. I couldn’t completely finish mine. It was like food was completely reinvented for us now – exciting and yet we have to tread gently and cautiously not rushing our digestion to do too much too soon.
After supper. Nay crashed on the bed, while I went off to what has to be one of the strangest experiences of my entire life. The SOUND HEALING WORKSHOP. (insert dramatic music here).
But you’ll have to wait for my next post for me to describe that adventure to you because what with having my liver (and bowel) cleansed, swimming, yoga, shopping, learning, juicing, being reborn into the world of food and the weirdest evening of my entire life…I am beyond exhausted. I hope when I sleep I don’t forget a thing about this evening. I want to do it justice by describing every part of it to you and share everything I experienced but…I can barely form words, my fingers are too flimsy to keep typing. I’m so ready for bed. I’ve been such a good girl. You know when you’ve been ultra good for a long time when you practically have an orgasm over blended pumpkin. Even saying that sounds sexy still. Mmmmm….soooooouuuup.
When I go home, my boys are going to think I’m weird, aren’t they? I quite possibly am. Weirdness is catching here.