The mere mention of this word used to send me into a cycle of anxiety. I could only picture Ghandi, gaunt and steadfast, going without food for soooo long. To me, fasting meant torture, deprivation and punishment.
While crafting my Aromatic Self-Care class, I focused a lot on nourishment. Here is a quote from the class workbook:
I have come to understand that nourishment applies to a lot of other things besides food. Nourishment includes anything beneficial that we “take in”. By “taking in” I mean everything that we experience, and thus process (just like food!).
I realized that I had already done a huge fast this year, and it did not leave me feeling tortured, deprived or punished. You might remember this fast—I did without complaining, whining, and gossiping for an entire 40 days. I decided that these behaviors were not nourishing to me, and so I did without them.
And just as “empty calories” are not nourishing, neither are “empty experiences” or “empty relationships”. After my complaining fast, I noticed that I have a tendency to simply want to feel full–whether it’s my stomach or my schedule.
And so I decided to do a little experiment. Since fasting from certain behaviors left me feeling so good, I decided to do a food fast from only the things that do not feel nourishing to me.
For a week I did without alcohol, refined sugar, meat, dairy and wheat.
After this week I felt great! I was clear on which of those things I could handle in moderation, and which needed to be avoided for longer. More than that, I was clear on what nourished me; what gave me energy and vibrancy.
I am now clear that I prefer energy and vibrancy rather than full.
I share this experience as encouragement that occasionally fasting from certain foods, behaviors, activities or relationships can be very insightful, not to mention healthy.
Thanks for reading!