Since We Woke Up

My Experience With a Three Day Fast

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I decided to do a three day fast in preparation for the New Year. I won’t lie – part of my reason was entirely 3D, in that I’d eaten my body weight in junk food over the holidays. But more than that, it was a ritual, a journey I wanted to undertake to see if I could make the summit and explore what lay there.

This year was a bumpy ride, full of twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, ruts that almost swallowed me up, roadblocks and detours and every other possible metaphor you can find comparing life to a highway.

I didn’t, as the song says, want to ride it all night long so much as I wanted to get out of the car and sit down on the side of the road in utter defeat rather than face one more of those unexpected twists.

I decided to do a three day fast in preparation for the New Year. I won’t lie – part of my reason was entirely 3D, in that I’d eaten my body weight in junk food over the holidays. But more than that, it was a ritual, a journey I wanted to undertake to see if I could make the summit and explore what lay there. | sincewewokeup.com | Since We Woke Up

We faced bankruptcy and losing our house and business as one neatly laid plan after another fell through.

I can’t say it was all bad – we don’t learn how to be better drivers on smooth roads.

This last year was one of absolutely painful growth and trial by fire, but as it wraps up and the flames die down, I can see the little bits of beautiful life that weren’t there before growing now that the fire has burned away the old overgrowth and dead debris that blocked its path before.

And so, as it wraps up, it seemed right to offer some recognition of this journey we’ve been on, while symbolically cleansing it away to prepare for a new year that holds the promise of many more beautiful lessons.

I had my last meal on Christmas evening and decided not to eat again for 72 hours.

During this time I would use one of our most basic needs as a meditation tool, a means to draw my attention to the line between Earth and Spirit, a physical way to help me stay in remembrance of and gratitude for this year and its trials for three days’ time, before the New Year rolled in.

I also just wanted to see if I could. After everything else this year brought, I wanted to know for sure that I’d become stronger mentally by testing myself in a very real, primal way.

DAY ONE

Day one rolled by easily enough. I allowed myself nothing but green tea and water, and though I did get hungry at the usual times, it didn’t bother me.

I plowed through a ton of work while singing along to my music, helped a friend at her shop, did some creative brainstorming and generally kicked ass at life.

I think I was on somewhat of a high simply from the decision to try my little experiment, but I used that energy productively and even had a breakthrough or two as some emotional issues came up and I was able to clear them away.

DAY TWO

Day two was the same.

My energy was actually up, and I felt like I could run a marathon if I wanted to.

Around ten, I hit a small wall where I fantasized about mashed potatoes and gravy for about 20 minutes and considered breaking my fast. I pulled out my phone, opened Pinterest and searched “3-day fast benefits” until I pulled my attention back to all the reasons I’d first started this endeavor.

I had a few epiphanies this day that started with this moment, when I realized how often I sit in a cycle of despair or anger or frustration, stewing over a problem instead of simply redirecting my focus and allowing myself an opportunity to feel better and remember that there are bigger things in play than those momentary upsets.

I also realized I was much stronger mentally than I’d given myself credit for, as I watched my husband eat a bowl of sugary cereal beside me.

My body wanted nothing more than to make out with him for the sole purpose of sucking those little marshmallows right out of his mouth, but I was surprised when I found my conscious thoughts weren’t resentment, but rather gratitude that I was allowed this moment to struggle and be at peace regardless.

DAY THREE

Day three found me taking inventory of myself, physically and mentally.

My stomach was tight and flat when I woke up, and the scale told me I’d lost about eight pounds. A trip to the bathroom told me my digestive system was totally cleared out, and I felt quick and alert.

I carried out my usual activities and decided to meditate in the early afternoon.

And that was a trip. My body, already feeling physically unattached and bogged down to this planet through its lack of sustenance, seemed to melt away, and I was able to travel to what seemed like the heart of it all and simply sit there.

{The heart of it all, the center, by the way, is pure love.}

MY THREE DAY FAST RESULTS

I’d like to say that I had some grand awakening, a cataclysmic experience so profound that I am unable to relegate it to words – but I didn’t. I simply existed for a brief space in a bubble of nothingness, grateful and light.

And therein, I think, was my greatest lesson.

I fasted for three days, hoping to have a grand epiphany after my little pilgrimage, a giant light bulb moment that would resonate through me and carry me onward through the New Year.

Instead, as I opened my eyes and reflected, I found myself thinking of a moment months ago, in the middle of everything falling apart around us, where I looked up at Mike as we showered after a long day and more bad news.

He gave me a wry smile and pulled me close, his hand on my cheek, and I remember thinking, “None of it matters, so long as his heartbeat is what I hear before I sleep.”

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

We go searching for these grand experiences, these perfectly timed and planned moments where it all comes together, but in the end, it’s the unplanned and unexpected times that bring the most meaning, the greatest lessons.

I’m writing this as I prepare to break my fast. It’s been almost 72 hours since I last had food. I’ve taken in the experience, and I’m grateful that I made space for it.

It feels like a good way to welcome a new year, and a new chapter – one in which I’m a little wiser from all those that came before it, and a little more grateful.

I’m also freaking starving.

May 2019 be your greatest year yet, filled with love and gratitude and abundance and more lessons, in all their shapes and forms. Happy New Year friends.

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