Thursday, March 21, 2013

Living Life in the Fasting Lane

“Fasting brings you to that point of asking, “is that what I'm really like Lord,”--and Lord answers, “YES.”

Yikes! A few days ago I get a text from a fellow PCV asking me if I wanted to join in on a days fast with some others. Sure, why not, there's nothing to eat here anyway, there are no spiritual directors, and the idea of fasting and sacrificing, all with the hopes of growing in heroic virtue and deeper thought sounds enticing right now---I'm in! The night before the fast was to begin, I thought about how it's so interesting that in other cultures fasting is a normal part of life, like Ramadan, or the Jews fasting on Yom Kippur. Yet in our culture, you are often looked at funny if you want to fast for the hell of it, or for the pure act of cleaning yourself out. It's almost hilarious to me that gorging at a MacDonalds is okay, but drinking pure nutrients for a few days is very strange.

So here I go, it's not the Jewish Holidays, it's not Lent yet nor Ramadan that I know of, its----PCV's in Botswana wanting to stir their day up to yet another challenge! Ok, I'm gonna start off my day setting my mind to the fact that fasting can be a catalyst for establishing other good habits, it takes tenacity, will power, it can be fun to challenge yourself to see what you're capable of. Not that I haven't fasted before, but fasting, I hear, can allegedly give you miracle powers. Right on, I'm ready for my miracle powers!

It's 9am and I'm already wanting to dirty my digestive tract. My inner domain is running on automatic, it has a life of it's own that's taken over and telling me it's time for breakfast. Oy, it's only 9 and I'm dying here, but I persevere, and start doing an hour long yoga routine. OM, I'm feeling better, I'm breathing, I'm gonna conquer and reboot my thought patterns. I then do my tai chi, and take Keoki for a long, hot walk whether he likes it or not—I haven't given him breakfast either, we're in this together boy.

It's almost 1pm, the effects of yoga have worn off, and I'm wondering how to compensate when I come face to face with deep fried samosas and their co-conspirators. Ok, so there are no samosa's here, my mind is playing tricks on me, and so I'll forget the samosa's and wonder if I'm shedding all the excess baggage I have, if I've grown spiritually in just 5 or 6 hours. I wonder if my fellow PCV's are thinking of deep fried samosa's.

The day wore on, and after all the inward dialogue, I began paying attention to how often my thoughts were centered on my needs, desires, cravings, my version of fulfillment. The imbalance of my thoughts were almost overwhelming. But at the end of the day, even though my thoughts were all over the place, from samosa's to hot dogs to hiking in the himalayas, fasting broke up the stagnation of my existence here lately, it added a little something out of the ordinary, though I'm still waiting for the miracle powers to come!  The only bad thing---Keoki is sitting here growling at me, wondering why on earth he hasn't eaten all day! 

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