A few weeks ago I read a book titled “The Transformational Power of Fasting” by Stephen Buhner. The thread of ideas he wove around the tool of fasting were extremely thought provoking. The material presented can be confrontational to many people as it touches a deeply rooted relationship within us: our relationship with food. In an effort to dive within to uncover the essence of my connection with food, I have been inspired to personally experience a fast. At our core we are experiential beings; there exists an urge within to explore new opportunities, to test the waters directly. Sometimes, no matter how many times you are told no, you still have to touch the stove in order to learn that it is hot.
I will be committing to the experience of fasting for seven full days. Two days leading up to, and following the seven days, I will only consume juices (freshly squeezed fruits and veggies). During the seven days of fasting, I will only consume water. I have chosen the water fast over a juice fast due to the deeper nature of the water fast. I will have less energy than the juice fast but will potentially have a deeper transformation by consuming only water.
In addition to providing useful guidelines and tips for going about a fast (before, during, and after), Stephen Buhner goes into great detail describing the many changes that take place within someone’s physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies during a fast. While I find much of the research insightful, it is beyond the scope of this blog to go into. My intentions here and now are to commit myself to sharing the open and honest story of my week long fast.
I am starting this first entry with my pre-fast goal setting. Stephen Buhner suggests an inner reflection toward many revealing questions before setting physical, emotional, and spiritual fasting goals. Some of the questions he poses include “When you were growing up, what and who did you want to be?”, “What are your earliest memories and feelings about food?”, “Are there any feelings that you use food to make go away?”, “If you lose weight, do you believe you will be happier?”, “Do you like the way your body looks?” and “Can you conceive of your body as sacred?”.
My Spiritual Goals:
I am intending to gain a deeper connection with my inner wisdom and higher self. Developing this connection will help me learn to interpret and follow this innate ability within myself. I will also provide a space for my spiritual self to emerge more fully into this world, bringing with it the courage to live and embody this aspect of my self.
My Emotional Goals:
I am not aware of any fears I have related to fasting; I absolutely trust my body to know how to take care of itself during the process. I am looking to unearth my deeply buried emotional patterns and to understand which emotions I avoid feeling through consumption of food. I know I have a sugar tooth and binging problem, always looking to feel full, and I want to find out where this need comes from. My end goal in this area is to find out whether I am avoiding and repressing emotions to the point of not feeling them at all. Re-establishing my connection to the free flow of my emotional wellspring will help me identify what is missing from my life.
My Physical Goals:
I want my body and mind to feel healthier and clearer than before the fast. I want to love and trust my body more through learning to listen to the innate wisdom my body carries within it that tells me what foods to eat and how much is enough. I want to connect and root myself within my body, establishing a deeply loving friendship with it to help inspire me to treat it more sacredly after the fast.
While writing my goals, the idea of incorporating a chakra exploration into my fast came to me. I was looking for a connection to the choice of 7 days of fasting and decided that I will explore one chakra for each day of the fast, starting from the root and moving to the crown.
Looking forward to sharing my experiences and discoveries with you!
Mat Rix <3