Blog Entry Health & Healing

Eight Ways to Get Lean and Clean in 2018


“Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

An Unusual Holiday Gift

It was a challenging year indeed, but a gift resides inside every difficult situation. We often struggle with New Year’s resolutions because we haven’t fully digested and assimilated the lessons from the previous year. We need to ask and wrestle with deep questions that move us outside our comfort zones in order to build the bridges that take us from where we are to where we want to be.

How are you assessing what’s taken place in 2017? Here are some guiding questions to consider:

  • What challenges surprised and frustrated us?

  • What lessons did we learn during those challenges?

  • Have we taken the time to digest what we’ve learned? Has it expanded our consciousness in any way? If so, how?

  • Are we willing to take what we’ve learned and apply it to new and novel situations that present themselves in the future?

  • Have we recovered? Have we let go of the “sting” of our hurts and pains or are we harboring resentment? If so, why are we unwilling to let go? What benefit do we think we are getting from victimization?

  • Are we willing to grow?

Getting Lean and Clean

We all want our lives to change for the better; however, we cannot expect for everything around us to change for the better while we remain the same. We are the common denominator in our challenges and victories.  If we want to improve the quality of our lives, we’ll need to be willing to step outside our comfort zone and into the zone of growth and development. This is the zone where we are willing to sacrifice our egos to the will of our higher selves.

The Mirage of the Montage 

Our fast-paced society would have us think that desired results happen instantly. Watch any movie on any subject and you will notice that there is a challenge presented in the beginning of the movie that forces the characters to change. Either willingly or not, they decide on what the new end result will be. They develop a plan or assemble a team of cohorts to help them and then they do the work. Because doing the work is boring to show on film, the work is expedited through a montage set to music. Perhaps we’ll see superheroes training for many months, lovers running through the park, going out on dates, gazing into each other eyes, etc. Then, at the end of the movie, the superheroes save the day or the lovers get married, and we forgot about all of the work that happened along the way.

In reality, the montage is a mirage. We cannot get to the end result without doing the work. Sometimes the repetition of tedious tasks appears to be boring because we are not present in the work. However when we engage in repetition with presence of mind, we transcend to a place of mastery in our work. With enough practice, we appear to achieve results effortlessly. 

If we want to get lean and clean in 2018, we cannot gloss over important background logistics. We can shift our perception to appreciate the value that comes from dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s” to move our work forward. Real change happens through continual cultivation over time.

Eight Ways to Get Lean & Clean in 2018

1. Journal Exercise: Hit the reset button on our inner computer. Take the time to ask and wrestle with deep soulful questions to reconnect to the truest part of ourselves such as:

  • Who am I?

  • Does my life reflect who I say I am?

  • Is this all that I am or am I holding back?

  • If I’m holding back, why? What is stopping me? What am I afraid of?

  • Who is asking the question?

2. Pull the weeds. Pain happens from time to time, but it does heal and as Dr. Beckwith would say, suffering is the story that we tell ourselves about our pain. Are we willing to sacrifice our suffering for peace? If so, will we do what must be done? Some questions we can ask are:

  • What thought patterns and actions no longer serve my highest good?

  • Who or what in my life is draining my energy and why?

  • Do I have to courage to lovingly remove this person or situation from my inner circle of life? If not, why not?  

3. Plant the seeds by asking these questions:

  • How will I invest in myself in 2018?

  • What projects have I put on the back burner that needs my attention?

  • How will I actively engage in self-care?

4. Give from your excess, not from your essence. If I have $10, I cannot give you $20. Regardless of all the stories we tell ourselves, we can only give what we have to give. Once we are clear about what we have, we’ll know what we can give. Our excess is our overflow. Our essence is our true self (our honor, dignity, boundaries, sense of self-respect, health, energy, etc.). The key is to fill ourselves up until we overflow. We can then give from our overflow.

5. Sitting is the new smoking. Stand up or stretch for a few seconds for every 30 minutes of sitting. Keep oxygenated blood flowing through our bodies with coordinated breathing and therapeutic movement techniques such as:

6. Breathe and pause before speaking or acting: the way in is the way out. The best way to avoid knee-jerk reactions is to speak our truth with love. The best way to speak our truth with love is to breathe and pause before speaking or acting.

7. Embrace living color. Eat all of the colors of the rainbow each week, including:

  • Red - strawberries, cherries, apples, beets, cranberries, watermelon, red beans, etc.

  • Orange - oranges, persimmons, pumpkin, sweet potato, mango, papaya, yams, etc.

  • Yellow - lemons, yellow beets, turnips, pineapple, yellow peppers, winter squash, etc.

  • Green - leafy greens (collard, chards, kales, spinach etc.), artichokes, broccoli, etc.

  • Blue/indigo - blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, prunes, figs, eggplant, etc.

  • White - cauliflower, cabbages, parsnips, jicama, radishes, onions, garlic, etc.

  • Black - blackberries, black: beans, plums, sesame seeds, currants, olives, quinoa, garlic, etc.

8. Love the judge. Whenever we are judging, we are out of integrity of our true selves. A strong emotional reaction about something that we or someone else has done is a reflection of something that we disapprove of within ourselves, or that we are attempting to avoid facing in some way (literally or metaphorically). Instead of investigating what “it” could be, simply make the decision to love the judge. As an example we can say something like “I really don’t like the way my hair looks today, but I love the judge.” If we continue to love the judge, we will eventually see that everyone in some way is a mirror reflection of ourselves. All love is self-love and all forgiveness is self-forgiveness.

My hope is that as we move through life, we develop the courage to heal, accept and learn to love all aspects of who we are as we educate and empower ourselves on our journey to radiance. Have a wonderful holiday season!

What is one way that you can actively engage in our own self-care today? Journey to Radiance is now LIVE! Download our copy on iTunes and the CBMA website. Tag us on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #BMARadiant.

Dr. Phyllis Hubbard is the Senior Director of BMA Health & Healing Strategies for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. She is also the Founder of Radiant Health Strategies, LLC, a privately owned holistic health educational business that helps individuals and groups achieve radiant health through strategies that integrate an array of holistic health methods, professional and lifestyle skills. Follow along with Dr. Hubbard on Twitter @GetRadiant and on Instagram at phyllishubbard.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is a synergistic blend of holistic and traditional medicines which uses organic materials and healthy lifestyle suggestions to support the body's natural healing processes. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of advice provided by our licensed medical doctor or other health care provider. This information has not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and in the case of ill health, pregnancy, and other serious health conditions, a licensed medical practitioner should always be consulted prior to using any service or product offered by The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Our product information and descriptions of any and all forms of holistic medicine are in no way intended as a medical claim to prescribe, diagnose, treat or cure any situation or disease.


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