My taste buds are in an uproar. They are usually the chief protagonist during a fast. At least for me. My taste buds are mad bored right now. They yearn for something tasty. Anything really. Salty, Spicy, Bitter, Sour of Sweet. Just one stimulating jolt of oral bliss could send me to heaven. And set me back 2 days.
Fasting has a way of revealing things about you. Things you may or may not have already known. One things for sure, you will witness a battle of will vs temptations in the first few days. But it’s not your belly that’s rebelling, it’s the mind. The part of your mind that is dedicated to ensuring your survival as a egg/sperm carrying member of the species will prop up every argument against and alternative to not eating. Especially when it knows good and well that food is readily available. This too shall pass. Literally. Just say no and have a sip of the universal solvent.
Fasting has been promoted as a way of detoxifying the body. Not sure I would put alot of weight behind that. What I do know is that it has a way of stilling the mind chatter (after the initial battle), and body tension. Successful fasting also strengthens your will. If you can resist the natural inclination to eat when hungry, you can resist most temptations that will enter your life. This alone is a good reason to make fasting an integral part of your sacred lifestyle. The part of our brains that will try to sabotage the fast means well. It is concerned with maintaining the bottom line – survival. But our ability to tame this part of our nature is what separates us from our animal cousins. It’s our ability to choose that evolves our humanity.
I hear so much these days about teaching people, especially young people about making the right choices. But I’m not convinced that we teach people how to build up their choice muscles. Every box of cigarettes has a warning lable on it’s side that tells us that smoking is hazardous to our health. Yet, we still have millions of smokers in America and worldwide. Addiction is the absence of choice. And addiction is the number one disease in the modern world. Addiction to substances, the past, comfort, ideas, people, cultures and the hardest one to kick- addiction to who we think we are. Fasting is preventive and healing medicine for addictions.
Tomorrow I anticipate the experience of physical weakness and frailty. This is part and parcel of the journey. The weakness although physical has a profound impact upon the psyche. When you feel weak, your aggressiveness is automatically diminished. It’s as if there is a voice in the back of your head saying: “Hey, I don’t want no trouble.” It makes me very humble. Humble but not fearful. It’s like becoming water. You lose interest in resisting. When the world pushes, you just roll with the pushes until it wears itself out. Then extend a hand of assistance to get the world spinning again. If you really want to walk in master teachers footsteps, try a 40 day fast. I assure you, you will become a master cheek turner 🙂