Sunday, September 19, 2010

Post Fast

I think that experience actually changed me. I know it's only been one day and I kind of feel a bit crappy but there are things I understand today that I did not understand yesterday.
I was, I think waiting for some kind of epiphany yesterday but also just trying to survive the hunger. At the end I was just counting down the hours, the minutes, the seconds til I could eat again. But more importantly, I went about the business of not eating for an entire day and I fed my children, and I was not at all resentful or jealous of what they were eating- at one point, my daughter made herself pop tarts and the smell was delightful and usually I want nothing to do with pop tarts. I have kind of outgrown them but the smell yesterday was enticing.
Yesterday was an experiment in not only abstaining, am I strong enough to forgo my basic instinct for food when there is plenty in the house and what can I fill myself with instead?
The most important thing I understood was that I have strength of spirit, and that I am able to accomplish what I set my mind to. I honestly have never thought before that I could finish a fast. I always thought that I would be too weak, too dizzy, too short of fortitude and none of those things are true. Yesterday I was focused on the more immediate. I knew that I was going to be able to think about little else. Your body goes into survival mode when one of your needs is not met but I found yesterday, I could write coherently, think coherently and everything took on this basic clarity.
Preparing food for my children became this surreal and genuine experience. Because the act was entirely giving and I was not partaking, it took on this loving and giving that I don't always feel. I was not the least bit interested in what I wanted but wholly concerned with the act of nurturing this other human being. I know I have done this before. Many times I have made food for others that I did not intend to partake of but somehow this act yesterday, in light of my own conscious decision to not eat became more spiritual, more wonderful and more loving an act. I don't know if I can adequately describe the emotion that it stirred in me. I wasn't thinking at all about my portion and none of it was about me at all but I felt I had been given this gift to be able to give to them with a pure heart. It didn't feel like an obligation. Many times making meals for the kids feels like something I have to do that is a burden. Yesterday it was a gift.
I wondered what I would get out of this experience. And once again it was a surprise. So, in spite of my weaker condition today and I definitely feel the after effects of putting my body through that ordeal but I also feel more powerful, more in control of myself. Look what I did that I didn't even know I could do, it's a miraculous discovery every time it happens. I know it is simple but I did not know I was capable of doing this on purpose and that is a gift to know about oneself, that I am still discovering what I can do.

1 comment:

GoGo said...

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, you covered most kabbalistically the dimensions of the Yom Kippur fast (at least in the way that we fast as students of Kabbalah). You filled yourself on levels beyond the physical...and THAT is what our intention was as we were fasting for Yom Kippur.

We are not Jewish, so our reasons for fasting were not religious ones--and I am thrilled for you that you did the same. For us it was releasing ourselves from the physical needs so that our souls could be free to replenish on a higher level. It sounds to me as though your fast was along a similar vein.

And, it is a series of miraculous discoveries. There is such beauty in simplicity and purpose...and it is a continuous journey of discovery and reflection.

So glad you had such a positive experience.

Love and Light,