3 Unexpected Things You Should Be Detoxing For The New Year

Registered Yoga Teacher By Sara Quiriconi
Registered Yoga Teacher
A 15-year cancer survivor, Miami-based Sara Quiriconi fell in love with yoga, well-being, and travel for its self-healing properties. An honors graduate with a bachelor's in graphic design from Fairfield University, she is also a certified yoga instructor and certified health coach (Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Quiriconi also authored Living {Cancer} Free.
3 Unexpected Things You Should Be Detoxing For The New Year

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A cancer survivor, certified yoga instructor, and wellness entrepreneur, Sara Quiriconi inspires us to take hold of our lives through making conscious choices that feed our mind, body, and spirit. In this excerpt from her new book Living Cancer-Free: A Warrior's Fall and Rise Through Food, Addiction, and Cancer, she shares three things to let go of in the new year. By detoxing our lives, we can begin to fill them with healthy habits that align with our authentic selves.

As with any organized closet, it's important to take out what we no longer wear, need, or find that fits us, in order to make space for the new "wardrobe" that we're creating. In terms of life, we need to remove the cancers, the toxins, and the energy vampires to make clean space to begin adding in new passions and purpose. Let's get started with the detox tips first to clean out some of the space we'll need for choice and change.

Detox your attachments.

Close your eyes and imagine a day without your cellphone. Not so bad, right? You'll probably maintain your sanity, and life will go on—in your head, at least. Now, reflect on a day when you actually didn't have your cellphone or thought you had lost it somewhere. Still that cool, calm, collected person you envisioned?

Nope. You were probably a hot mess frantically wondering where your life had disappeared to, spending hours to relocate it so you could reunite once again. Or, maybe I'm just talking about me here and a past case when I lost my attachment to life.

Perhaps it's not a phone, but think for a moment: What are you attached to? Is it a material object? Is it a job title at work? What would you be without it? Detaching from your attachments starts with awareness and then working through the conditioning around it.

Tip: Start with one attachment, and refer back to the following process gradually.

Once you are aware of your attachment, grab a piece of paper and write down the answer to the following: What feeling or emotion does this attachment bring for you? What security does it give you? How does it boost your ego? Do you show it off to others with pride? Does having that attachment make you feel more attractive, wealthier, intelligent, or even spiritual by owning or wearing it?

Be honest with yourself in the above questions. There are no right or wrong answers, only your own truth. Once you're done with the questions, take the paper, crumple it into a little ball, and toss it away. Close your eyes and imagine that item doesn't exist anymore. Notice any emotions that arise or fears that start to build.

Then ask yourself the following: Does the safety of this item hold you back from taking leaps forward? Have you ever sacrificed any part of your relationship to it because of it? What freedom are you sacrificing to keep that item? Most importantly, do you want to continue this level of attachment to this item? If so, continue forward. If no, how can you minimize that level of attachment or even remove it entirely?

Repeat this exercise over and over as you find beneficial, choosing different attachments or even working through the same, if you need to. The idea is to find freedom and cleansing by removing things we attach to. In the case of the phone, it brings me connection, order, memories, and safety. If I lost the phone, I could certainly get a new one. While I can't detach from it completely for the sake of my job and lifestyle, I can minimize how much I need to be on my phone and set boundaries and limits for social interactions, browsing, and emails.

What is my job title today? Well, I lost the official title when I got laid off a long time ago. Today I'm an entrepreneur, heading the titles of a CEO, CFO, creative director, VP of new business, graphic designer, and (of course) author. These are self-proclaimed titles yet highly earned ones. Each title, or hat, shifts based on the day's, or client's, needs. So, there is no attachment to any one in particular—the title presents itself based on the task at hand. In that case, doing my absolute best is my only "attachment" these days, as a personal—and professional—moral obligation.

Is health still an attachment for me? This is an important one for me, one that I almost lost, and is one attachment worth fighting for.

What will you detach from in order to gain more personal freedom and to lighten the weight and load?

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Detox your relationships.

They say we are most like the five people we surround ourselves with. Hopefully, those five people are very important to us and inspire us to be the best possible version of ourselves.

More than likely, they're not. Otherwise, you may not be reading this. Some people we can't nix out of our lives (immediate family members and our bosses can fall into this category), but we can limit our time with those who drain us and maximize our time with those who inspire, mentor, and support our beliefs, dreams, and mindset.

Think of five people you are currently surrounded by the most. Observe their characteristics, personality traits, mannerisms, current roles in life, and their future aspirations. Do they align with yours? Be honest here. Now, consider five people in your community or reach that do inspire, support, and/or can mentor you to be better. Invite one of those people out for a coffee or lunch sometime; have a solid conversation about your goals and intentions. Make it a point to listen and learn from this person too; after all, there's something intriguing or inspirational about this person that you want to connect to. Observation is one of the best ways to learn and absorb the energy of someone else.

Side note: You will lose friends as a result of your changes. When you change your lifestyle or habits, you will challenge other people around you in a way that perhaps they're not ready to see. You will distance or lose these friends. However, think in the long-term. To surround yourself with the support of those who get it, who have similar mindsets and lifestyles, will allow you to move forward way further being encompassed with these kinds of like-minded souls.

Detox your mind.

Call it meditation. Call it mental floss. Call it awareness. I won't get fixated on titles because I've learned from the past, calling anything meditation can leave some people with pre-existing ideas of what meditation is and have them running for the hills thinking they're too real for this new age kind of spirituality.

Listen up: Meditation can be nothing more than focusing your mind on one thing at a time. Stare at your pen on the table, and that's meditation. Focus your mind only on the thought of the sand melting between your toes as you walk in the sand, and that's meditation. Hear only the sound of your own breath first thing in the morning as you lie in bed, and that's meditation.

Meditation doesn't have to be anything fancy, with a cushion, an altar, and a Buddha staring at you while you're holding mala beads in one hand. That doesn't make you any better or more of a "yogi" or a better meditator just because you have the gear. What does make a good meditator is someone who practices. Not just for 10 minutes in the morning but all day long. How does that happen?

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