Every day we ingest and absorb environmental toxins. They are unfortunately in the ground, in the air, and in the food we eat. They are also often in the clothes we wear, the cosmetics we apply, and the cleaning supplies we use. We have, as a society, created a world filled with unavoidable toxins.

These noxious chemicals contribute to a climate where toxicity is the norm. On any given day, we are exposed to many unnatural substances which can potentially cause us both immediate and long-term harm.

We sometimes also create inner worlds where toxicity is abundant. Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values can become tainted when our natural harmony becomes distorted. Fear, anger, sadness, and the other ‘negative emotions’ are not necessarily toxic; they only become so when they no longer contribute to a transformative process in our lives. This is a fine line which, in the midst of healing, can be difficult to concretely define.

There is an interactivity between external, material toxins and those that are internal and intangible. Certainly, exposure to unnaturally formulated and superimposed chemicals can impact our cognitive and emotive function. But we also, consciously and subconsciously, influence how these emotoxins form and take hold in our brains.

We can create natural barriers to prevent exotoxins from becoming a part of our systems. The first necessary barrier is an emotoxin radar. We need to be able to sense and recognize emotoxins before they creep in too close. Because emotoxins have their appeal — they create a false sense of security which makes us feel safe in the short run — we might feel tempted to let them in and try them out. If they do approach our protected personal space, we need to let them bounce off of us, fall away, and dissipate before any damage is done. Perhaps the best barrier is to create an emotional environment where emotoxins will fail to thrive. These natural barriers are strengthened through awareness, understanding, contemplation, and by actively choosing harmony over imbalance.

But sometimes these barriers fail to protect us from emotoxin invasion. When emotoxins throw off our internal balance, we can flush them out just as we drink water to remove chemical toxins from our bodies. Emotoxins can be flushed through cleansing and purification rituals, meditation, prayer, sharing and making sense of our feelings through constructive talking or writing, and exposing ourselves to sensual joys (I keep frankincense and bergamot oil nearby and use both to balance my mood accordingly).

Just as we aim to reduce our exposure to toxins in the environment, we can also minimize emotoxin pollution. And when emotoxins find their way into our minds and our hearts, we can open up to let them go, letting in more love, light, and inner peace.

Hidden Rainbows


When driving home from work one evening, I saw a beautiful rainbow stretch across the sky. As I approached the stop light which granted me an extra few moments to appreciate this beautiful manifestation of nature, I put on my green-shaded (they are prettier than they sound) sunglasses to protect my sensitive eyes from the brightly shining sun. As I did, the rainbow disappeared. I pulled them away and put them back on. With the shades on, I had to strain to see the rainbow. With them off, the rainbow was vividly apparent.

We see the world through lenses — both those that we place on our face and those that we superimpose on the way we metaphorically see the world. Perhaps the most cliched example of this is seeing the world through rose colored glasses. But there are other lenses that influence our perception of reality, like those we put on to protect ourselves after having difficult or scary experiences. Sometimes we are not aware that we have used lenses to cloud our vision, and other times we become so used to them that we become accustomed to accepting the world in a certain way.

Throughout the course of any given day, we may exchange our lenses as a response to our environment, to prepare for a certain interaction, or to make sense of an unusual experience. We can experiment with our lenses, intentionally switching them out to see the world and our experiences in new, exciting, and transformative ways. We can even develop a lens repertoire so that we can call upon those lenses which will best help us to learn and grow at any given moment.

The lenses that shade our vision of the world may be obscuring beautiful rainbows, just as my green sunglasses did that evening when I was driving home from work. Try removing or switching your lenses to see what mysteries and novelties are revealed.