Have they sent you a pre detox diet? My friend the fitness instructor enquires, as I indulge in yet another pepsi max and maltesers session..
I hesitate for a second, pondering whether to lie or tell the truth? Damn and blast it I never could lie…
“Errr yes” I sheepishly say under my breath…
“Well why aren’t you following it then?”
“Because I am not on retreat yet of course! -I booked on it because I need an almighty shove up the posterior, it’s not something I can kick on my own- too many years of chocolate addiction are in the way”
‘Tiffany, you need to do it, if you don’t you wont get your money’s worth and you will be ill”
Damn and blast it again. I knew she was right….
So one week to go and I reluctantly decide to try and behave myself. Cutting out chocolate, pepsi, dairy, wheat and sugar had to be done.
Oh my gosh! Headache central here I am – and I have six karmic astrology charts to do and a psychic retreat to run…Can’t do it. Freddo to the rescue!
I cut down- not out.
Arriving into Turkish Passport Control, I look at a line of brits at a desk not marked passport control whilst passport control is empty. Silly brits! I think and off I march right up to the desk, handing him my passport. He flicks backwards and forwards through my passport tutting away as if he is enacting me with my fridge. Finally he looks up and gives me a mouthful in Turkish. I look at him dumbfunded and say “no comprehende ,anglais” (Shit isn’t that french or italian or both? I think)
He slams my passport down with one word “VISA”
Then it all floods back to me…. the dreaded visa. That’s why the brits are all queuing up with their tenner and passport. I have no excuse seeming I have been to Turkey twice, the last time being only two years ago. Is my memory really failing me that much? It certainly didn’t cross my mind at all.
So I am the only brit queueing up with a passport and visa for my visa as I have no cash. Knowing they won’t accept it, how stupid is that, not accepting visa or visa? but I can’t see a cashpoint so I will just have to use my feminine charms. It didn’t work. Passport slammed down on desk a second time “Exchange”.
So off I go to the exchange hut next door where I am told I am stupid for coming to another country with no cash and they can’t help me. “Well what kind of airport doesn’t have a cash machine?’ – I say in not so many words. “It’s round the front of the airport” Is the reply. ‘So how do you propose I get there without a visa then?!” “Official” and my passport is slammed down a third time.
So now I turn on the waterworks as my heart breaks for my bag left all on it’s own on its lifeless belt and my transfer drives away. A scary official takes me under her Arnie-wing and escorts me to the cashpoint machine, handing my passport in at control (bypassing all the queues) and taking me through staff security. I fantasise to myself that this must be what it feels like to be a VIP. I could get really used to this, until I ask her if this happens often and she replies a firm and confident ‘NO”
Oh- really? I am perplexed/embarrassed.
An hour or so later and my ordeal is over and I am shoved onto a minibus with a strange mix of people, but its all good. I’m on my way and I love this part of Turkey, it’s my favourite. I Travelled Turkey twelve years ago. The harbour-market town of Fetihye and blue lagoon of Oludeniz with one of the best paragliding centres in the world holds a very special place in my heart. Yes, I am happy to see the golden rocks along the roadside and the clear blue sky once again.
I am shoved in between the driver and an english tour guide. She asks me where I am going. ‘Faralya Hotel” I reply. Her face looks shocked, “Faralya?” she says, ‘You know its some type of commune?” she whispers, I smile, this amuses me. Why would any brit want to come on holiday to have a pure time? ‘Kate Moss went there you know” she whispers in a gossipy way. I raise my eyebrows and make a “oo” noise, No more is said, my amused smile stays.
Once in Oludeniz I am met by Bulant. I like him straight away. He is small and smilely- definitely on my wavelength and height. In the car he drives me in zigzag fashion up on of the incredible mountainsides that cradle Oludeniz. The views are breathtaking for two reasons- incredible beauty and incredible fear. In Turkey they drive on the right side of the road, and there is no fence here, lots of corners and two way traffic- I make a mental note, “hold on tight and squeeze up eyes- peaking at the beauty every now and then- oh god that boulder is magnificent but looks like it could go any minute”
‘Tiffarnee, look down there it’s butterfly walley” Says Bulant, as he looks and points down a deep breathtakingly beautiful ridgeway. ‘Beautiful, its so beautiful….. but I don’t like heights” I say. He laughs all relaxed. Half of me relaxes and half of me still tense looks like I may have just suffered a mini stroke, thank god I haven’t. Thank god we are still alive as we make it up the mountain – of course. I am met by sweet faced Murat, manager of Faralya hotel (who takes my bag to my room) and Lauren Manning, the lady who is running this detox. Well as I said earlier I can’t lie. I have known lauren for many years and she holds a very special place in my heart. It is lovely to see her, we hug and laugh about my visa ordeal.
The hotel is right up my “butterfly walley” rustic, natural, hammocky, al frescoy, pooly, with a great view over the mountains and bays of Oludeniz. We settle for our last supper- well half of us, as the other half are staying on another week and have broth, whilst we have soup and spelt.
In the morning we start at 7:45 with hot water and lemon juice. You mean a.m? Actually you mean in UK time 5:45am? What was it I said about Lauren occupying a special place in my heart? (Only joking ;-) )
Followed by yoga at 8am. Then juice at 10am. Well this sounds like a great way to start the day and sure enough it is. Sipping hot water and lemon juice al fresco stylee, with nothing but mountains, sea and the sounds of nature (secadas) all around. Then on to yoga. There are a few reasons I have come on this retreat and they go like this in order of importance:
1. To kick me into healthy eating and find that I actually WANT to do it and LIKE it
2. To kick my pepsi max and chocolate addiction (maybe this should be called 1b)
3. To make the die hard butcher’s granddaughter vegetarian
4. To make miss can’t even sit cross legged or get my butt off the floor- ow yoga kills into miss ooo yeahhh baby that stretch feels ssooooooo gggggoooodddd
Well, it was a lovely gentle yoga session, Lauren for me has amazing energy in all her teachings, full of love, softness and acceptance, if anyone can WD40 my joints with that she can and I think to myself maybe I can achieve number 4 after all.
So here we go. Juice. I have geared myself up for veggie juice as I thought we wouldn’t have fruit because of the sugar. I say gear myself as if there was ever a carnivore it was me. Why do vegetarians think it is okay to kill vegetables but not animals if in the spiritual world everything is alive? I don’t get it and to be honest I just find vegetables a bit weird. But I would like to be vegetarian for sure. The days have changed so much since my granddad’s butchery where ethics and organics were just a given part of a well respected trade. Now I can taste that things aren’t right and it makes me sad. I want to like vegetables! So here I go, all geared up, but no it’s fruit! And bloody delicious at that, Lauren tells us we have it to provide some variety in the menu, but warns us that there’ll be plenty of vegetable juices too. We have it after the sweeping clay sillium – not so delicious, but necessary if we want to feel full and start the cleaning of our colons. A new meaning to the word “chimney sweep” I think.
Then it’s time for tasty pills :-/ and a coffee enema. Apparently that can give you a buzz- I am quite excited that I am about to experience my first ever coffee high. I have never been able to ingest it, ever since I was in my avid coffee drinking mum’s belly, even the smell made her sick- that has stayed with me through life. My Italian father in law is always trying to give me a shot and now I have found a way- gosh he will be so proud of me.
This is quite good fun I think to myself all buzzed up in my bedroom, all ready to go to the pool, reaching the door- oh god instant loo call. Feel like I wanna die. Two seconds later back to pure buzz relief.
Juice at 1pm is Grape, Lemon and Ginger….mmmmmm……..then oh dear I feel intensely sick, then it passes just as quick as
it comes and then back just as quick and gone, just as quick. I read in Lauren’s detox handout that apparently meat eaters get this as toxic mucoid plaque falls away from the colon wall and temporarily floods the system with toxins. Apparently most people feel better the next day. I hope so. I think to myself. Gosh why do I have to find meat so delicious? I am not craving pepsi or chocolate much to my amazement, but I think I have an entity attachment called “roast dinner”.
More juice at four – this time I am caught unawares- just when I thought the coast was clear on the vegetable front- Zucchini- “what’s that?”
Can’t be that bad , I love courgettes……errrr but not mangled raw courgette juice it seems. Only over cooked in salt please. So all the nutrients are gone and my ankles swell up.
Nevertheless I finish it off and I feel proud of my not so little meat eating self.
More yoga at 6pm, again this is alright, my hips are screaming “what the hell are you doing? You know we don’t sit like this” all the way through but that’s okay- I am observing, and as Lauren says, it’s not about trying to get anywhere. We all have different bodies and its about listening to it and working with it not pushing against it, as we relax, more space comes and we move further. Can I do this yet….mmmm.. I understand what she means! The yoga hut is amazing special in its cedarwood octagon, especially in the evening when we are blessed with the backdrop of the blazing red sun setting over the cool blue sea.
After yoga it’s broth. I never thought in a million years I would be looking forward to boiled vegetable water for tea so much, but I am! Yes! Boiled veggie water yahoo! After a day full of pills, expressos up the bum and random juices you can’t go wrong with good old reliable veggie broth. Add a dash of garlic water, lemon juice and paprika and yehah we nearly have a curry, and with this curry you can have as much as you like. Why can’t we do this with all curries I start to think that maybe life just really isn’t fair. We chat and laugh together as the sun goes down and then we retire to bed with our herbal enemas for a good nights sleep and sleep well I do. Lauren speaks of us maybe not sleeping well or having detox dreams but I am dead to the world and it feels good.
This continues every night until halfway through when I dream I am about to give an important esoteric address at a very large, very packed glamourous London Church and I realize I have arrived without a dress- I am in my satin nightie. I manage to manifest a bag and shoes from somewhere to make it look like a dress and think to myself well if I can do that why not manifest myself a dress?! – What that was about I can only hazard a guess that it maybe to do with changing.
On my last night ,when I awake to an intense dream of an addict throwing themselves off a building and landing right in front of me, dead. At first I screamed and cried and pleaded for them to live, ringing 999 I kept dialling the wrong number and then they put me on hold. I lifted her up and she turned into a doll, of which the head fell off. I then realized there was no point and walked away. I woke up to a core blimey governor, that was a bit strong. But I knew what this one meant. Finally I had let go of the addict.
Reasons for my detox:
1) To kick me into healthy eating and find that I actually WANT to do it and LIKE it
2) To kick my pepsi max and chocolate addiction (maybe this should be called 1b)
3) To make the die hard butchers granddaughter vegetarian
4)To make miss can’t even sit cross legged or get my butt off the floor- ow yoga kills into miss ooo yeahhh baby that stretch feels ssooooooo gggggoooodddd
So when I leave, I leave with a full hearted knowing that 1 and 1b/2 have been fully achieved and that point 3 and 4 haven’t yet. But they would have been bonuses for me anyway. I got what I came for alright. An initiation into a healthy way of being. At times I got more than I bargained for, like a mouthful of carrot, pepper and chilli juice. Or the scrawny man at hammam weighing me and looking at me in shock and then getting on after to show me I weighed two stone heavier than him. ‘Yes” I wanted to say. “But who does that say more about? You better watch out coz I am all woman and could beat up to a pulp in a second mr Hammam” but as I looked at him and thought “are you Turkish or chinese” I just couldn’t even attempt the language confusion. so marched indignantly into the steam room where I remark to my new found detox buddies instead. It turns out he did a similar thing to one of them. This was about as gossipy as the week got I am pleased to say. (The air at Faralya hotel was that of kindness, softness and acceptance in everything and it was a beauty to be in, not just because of it’s surroundings.) The little Turknese man came and got us only after a few minutes and shoved us in what could only be described as an incredibly ornate decadent marble mausoleum, ordering us to lie down on the hot marble slab and closed the door.
He comes in a few mins later and begins to rub me down with a loofah. It feels quite nice, but I am feeling still slighted and very very self conscious, as I am without those remarks anyhow and now he is rubbing me down, all over with this loofah and spinning me round on this marble slab. Let go and enjoy I think, who gives a f*** what he thinks. Then I find every time I see his face he is looking at my face, smiling and nodding his head in quite an endearing manner. Telphone rings and he leaves me there half way through treatment to answer it! He comes back and says to me ‘hate telefone” this exact sequence happens twice more. After loofah he start to wash the dead skin away by chucking buckets of cold water over me and my new friends, he finds it very funny, and actually so do we, as we warm to him. He has personality and its refreshing not to be bound by prim and proper english regulations for once.
He then takes us to the freezing cold swimming pool and goes to push us in! One by one we decide to jump ourselves- did I say it was refreshing not to be bound by english regulations I think as I cough and splutter my way up to the surface.
Then it’s back to the marble mausoleum to be attacked by a pillow case of soap suds as we lie on the marble meat slabs- wow this is amazing….the bubbles are massaged deeply all over us and oh- here comes the buckets of cold water again….Finishing with a oil massage in a treatment room. Oh Why oh why do we not have marble mausoleums in England?
All in all the whole detox was an amazing experience. Notoriously they say day three and four are the worst and I have to agree. Morning of day three I gave up in yoga completely and just lay there. Lauren says to me afterwards- ‘Tiffany, are you okay?’ ‘I thought I was” I laugh “ I’m sorry to discover you are not” she responds also laughing and as we laugh- the laugh turns into tears. Shit where on earth did this come from? Lauren is kneeling next to me saying all the right things. You know when someone says that and you think shit stop it!
I feel like I can’t face the group at breakfast and go the backway to my room. As soon as I am there I think I don’t want to spend my time in hear you twat! And make my way to brekkie where my hammam pals are talking about going to the local beach. That sounds good and I immediately feel better. Amazing warm sea water washes all my crap away and I am reborn again.
Wednesday evening I go to yoga and attempt a few postures, each one produces a dizzy lightheaded feeling, so I quickly give up and lie there thinking that I haven’t felt so weak in a long long time. So I just allow myself to feel it and be. That was a beautiful present to myself, made possible my the loving accepting ambience that Lauren creates. I don’t know how many yoga classes I could go to and just lie down in here without a teacher getting into some kind of issue with it. At the end of the class the group sings beautiful chants and songs about floating down a river. My mat is blue and I allow the sounds to wash over me and feel thank you for this moment of being….
So now it is 23:03. I have been making my way home from the waving smiles and love of Faralya since 7 this morn and don’t arrive until 12:40 tomorrow but as you can see I have a new lease of life and would I do it again- you betcha- Lauren’ where’s those dates for next year?
Here they are: http://www.initiationworkshops.co.uk/retreats/yoga-detox-retreat-turkey.html
Oh and colonic irrigation here I come :-/
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