I did a water fast. Yes, water only. The last one was five days. Before that was seven days, and before that was ten days. Each time significantly spaced apart. Why did I choose this? There was one goal in mind -to quiet the internal environment.
See, life happening and experiencing is an inward process, and it’s happening through us, not to us. Even when you touch something tangible, the sensation is felt within your own body. It’s both beautiful and empowering that it happens this way. The choice to moderate more of or less of what you perceive externally is solely contained within your conscious choosing. But I digress.
Fasting, at least to me, is much like my ice bath experience in that it brings me directly to reality as it is. During the water fast, the second and third days are usually the most challenging for me because I start to feel the withdrawals after the initial day of giving my digestive system a rest. Yes, there’s such a thing as food withdrawals. Isn’t that curious? Consuming food is a pattern the body has adjusted to for years. And anything you perform habitually becomes a way to train the body’s mind, where the body governs the decision-making rather than you choosing from clear and purposeful thought. So what did it bring up for me? Through me?
Detoxing is not solely physical, and it also extends to the mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Observing myself is a daily practice, so the first things that become heightened during fasting are my thoughts and their fraternal twin -my emotions. Many of the thoughts I’ve suppressed comes charging to the surface, and seemingly every incident throughout the day becomes a possibility for irritation. It’s wonderful!
I often think of consuming very specific foods that pose as helpers to keep the inevitable act of feeling my feelings at bay. After tussling with the thoughts and emotions, I arrive at day four, five, or however, many days, resolved to simply dance with whatever surfaces. I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve discovered with continued water fasting beginning with the most obvious for me:
- It’s clear there are times, I’m emotionally eating. Sugar is my drug of choice when I’m spiraling emotionally, and I sometimes even eat when I’m not hungry rather than listening to the body.
- I attempt to divert my attention from thoughts that have convinced me there are things wrong with me.
- The fasting process becomes my teacher, and it shows me what requires my full attention, when, and how to apply it.
- I prioritize conserving energy. Non-essentials fall away. Willingly.
- After the initial two days, I feel access to more energy, and I seem to require less sleep.
- Following at least the third day, stinky mouth, bloating, body soreness and tension, food cravings, dehydration, the presence of yeast, mucus, itchiness on the surface of my skin, mental and emotional diarrhea all either cease to be or are noticeably reduced.
- It’s the ultimate setup for realizing and/or noticing my crutches. ALL OF THEM!
For all these reasons and more, I periodically fast with water as a way to continue learning about the various and previously eclipsed layers of myself. The most profound clarity I’ve arrived at is realizing that most illnesses or diseases are a direct result of chronic dehydration. Water is life, and we look for it when searching for signs of life.