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Lately my inbox has gotten so out of control (yes, I need to address that) that I rarely read emails except from work and family. I’ve gotten super fast at hitting the “delete” key. But one from Lindsay Maloney of Book Your Dream Clients got my attention. She invited readers to participate in a book club to discuss Debbie Ford’s 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse. The idea of doing a consciousness cleanse as part of a group intrigued me.
What is the 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse?
I’ll let Debbie explain it: “It is a profound process for cleaning up the past, getting honest about the present, and envisioning a future unlike anything you’ve ever imagined. This process offers a full-immersion approach to spiritual renewal, emotional transformation, and reconnection with your deepest purpose.”
Naturally, this premise hooked me in. Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m a self-help junkie. Sometimes I feel like I’ve heard every spiritual principle out there. But what appealed to me was that Debbie wasn’t just offering information but an immersive, transformational experience.
Personal growth is a lifelong pursuit, and I’m always looking for opportunities to level up
Appropriately, the book is split into three weeks: past, present, and future. Be prepared for a lengthy intro. But it’s necessary to provide the framework for the cleanse and it moves quickly, as Debbie’s writing pulls you in. After that, the book is very much hands-on with only a brief writeup for each day.
Here are five reasons why you should totally do this program. Yeah, I know, I should give 21 reasons, but that would be a very long post!
5 Reasons to Do the Cleanse
1) Get to know yourself inside and out
How well do you really know yourself? I could write a whole novel about my likes and dislikes, but when it comes to the stuff lurking beneath the surface, I didn’t have a clue. Many days I’d have a vague sense of apathy, but I didn’t know where it was coming from.
Each day in the cleanse has a journaling component, and the act of writing shined a light on all my repressed beliefs and thought patterns. Examples from the Past section include, “What do I wish I had never done?” and “What thoughts and statements from others have hurt me?”
You might be thinking, “That sounds miserable!” If you want to perform a full-on spiritual cleanse, though, you need to lift up the rug and uncover all the dirt that’s been obscuring your perception.
Don’t worry, though, it gets more uplifting once you start exploring your soul’s deepest cravings. Surprisingly, we often hide those from ourselves as well! Which leads me to my next point…
2) Stop sabotaging yourself!
It took me longer than 21 days to complete the program. Some days it was necessary to take a break. I’d be forcing myself through the exercises, fighting off sleep, which defeated the purpose.
But I realized that a deeper part of me didn’t want to finish. Because once I finished, then what?
This represented on a larger scale why I’d often start programs and courses and get distracted by the next shiny object. Or why I’m taking so long to finish my novel. Or why I sometimes sabotage opportunities.
It’s because I’m afraid that if I fully commit, I won’t be able to handle the disappointment if it doesn’t work out. If I publish my book and it bombs. If I finish this program and nothing has changed, if everything is still the same-old-same-old.
That way of thinking, I realized, was detrimental to my growth. And that’s why I felt that vague sense of dissatisfaction gnawing at my insides. Because I wasn’t really going for it. Because I was carrying the burden of not completing the things that truly mattered to me.
Getting these revelations down on paper forced me to be honest with myself and address those areas of my life where I was selling both myself and the world around me short by not giving all I had to offer.
3) Be proactive about where you hang out mentally
Since the name of this website is “generate magic,” obviously I’m a strong believer that we can create our own happiness. This book offers a wealth of actionable ways to achieve this. Each day of the program offers a morning ritual focused on a different theme: inspiration, integrity, and so on. In the morning, you evaluate, for instance, your “inspiration flame” on a scale of 1-10. Then you set an intention to either raise the intensity of your flame or keep it burning at the same intensity throughout the day.
I’ll be honest. At first, I took copious notes throughout the day on the state of my flame, doing a final check-in before bed. As I progressed, my commitment waned. I’d do the morning practice and then forget about my flame for the rest of the day.
Later, though, Debbie suggests creating “state of consciousness bookmarks.” This concept really stuck with me. I created a mind map for the mental states I want to most frequently inhabit — wisdom, abundance, and connectivity — and linked to songs, pictures, and activities (like hiking) that would take me to that state. Now whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or apathetic, I just refer to my mind map!
4) Forge a stronger spiritual connection
Debbie refers to God a lot in this book, which threw me off. Typically these types of books (i.e. “new age”) use terms like “oneness” or “beingness.” I wasn’t offended, but it feel awkward, like maybe her advice wasn’t for me.
Growing up, I went to church every Sunday. The preacher was wonderful, but most of the time I was in my own world. As I said the prayers, I just went through the motions. I never felt that connection with God that people speak of.
Reading the book, though, I was willing to overlook semantics. When you think about it, God/oneness/beingness all kind of refer to the same thing.
Then in Part 3, Debbie discusses a childhood experience much like mine. She never developed a relationship with God until she sought him out on her own as an adult. This is where suddenly I began to relate. All this talk about forming a “partnership” with God seemed like something I could do, too, even if I didn’t belong to an organized religion.
How did I start, though, as a total newbie? Naturally, I Googled, how to talk to God. Then I went to the park, found a quiet spot, and dialed in my request. I felt pretty silly, and I didn’t think anything would happen, to be honest.
But then, I felt a warmth inside of me, and call it intuition/God, whatever you want, I knew that a presence was with me.
Regardless of your beliefs, this practice of regularly seeking out spiritual guidance helps you accomplish two things:
- Set aside all distractions and quiet your mind.
- Recognize that you’re part of a larger whole.
Knowing that you don’t have to go it alone, with only your mind’s negative chatter for companionship, is a huge relief. As Debbie puts it, “Imagine having daily access to your own inspiration hotline and the future possibilities that arise from that.”
5) Map out the bigger picture
Some programs like the Release Technique pride themselves on their simplicity. And I think that’s beautiful. Sometimes in the chaos of life, when it feels like a million plates are spinning in your head, you need to quickly release those emotions and go to your inner quiet space.
Once I’m feeling calm and peaceful, though, I’m ready for the next level.
Maybe it’s the English Lit major in me. I love to analyze — hell, overanalyze — things and understand the “why” of it all.
One eye-opening exercise involved taking inventory of the places where I’m still falling short and the excuses I’ve made for myself. For “not honoring my relationships with others,” my excuse was, “right now I have nothing interesting to talk about, but when I’m a super successful author/blogger, I’ll have TONS to talk about.” Absurd, right? This helped me realize how I was pushing away happiness into some ever-distant future.
Debbie’s writing, along with the journaling prompts, encourage you to analyze your role in the universe and to be an architect of your own personal universe.
As expected, finishing the book was bittersweet. Completing the program did not flip on a magic switch where suddenly all my dreams have come true and I’m swimming in cash.
But what this program offers is a lifelong commitment to living out your purpose, not a magic pill. Believe me, I will definitely be referring back to the book and to my journaling exercises. And more importantly, I will be actively carrying out the lessons I’ve learned in this book.
I think the most significant lesson is that I don’t have to waste time on regret or worry, nor do I need to go through life on autopilot. Any time I veer off course, I can tune in to my inner GPS to get back on track.
I invite you to get the book below and then share your journey with me! What was your biggest revelation? What other books or programs have had a major impact on your life?