Friday, March 14, 2014

The first fast and facing crises with awareness

Last Sunday Mike and I completed our first weekly fast (one day of the week without eating solids) which went well. There were two times during the day when I definitely felt ravenous - after lunch and after dinner time. At these times I drank some vegetable juice which I had prepared in the morning, that way when I was hungry (and grumpy) then I didn't have to think about the effort involved in juicing, the hard work (and cleaning) was already done.

Luckily I didn't feel too hungry when I went to bed either, certainly not to the point that it kept me awake. A dose of beetroot and celery juice filled me up enough to stave off any hunger pains; Mike preferred the apple and carrot juice combination instead.

I can't report that I noticed any great change (in health) that day or the next, however I was largely distracted by my father going to hospital late Sunday night with a fever, so I wasn't focused on the fast at that point.

On a separate subject, lately I have been overwhelmed by distressing stories: in books, movies and on the news. Having recently finished reading a very disturbing book called Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho, to give you some idea of the book's contents) and then watching movies such as Enter the Void and Oldboy as well as the always-depressing news, I was completely fed up with unpleasant stories.

There ARE good people in the world doing good things and I honestly believe there aren't enough stories being told about THEM. So with that in mind, on Sunday night Mike and I sat down to watch one of my favourite movies: Peaceful Warrior which is about facing adversity with awareness and being the best you can be. A truly inspiring movie based on an even more inspiring book (based on a true story).

Part way through the movie I had to hit 'pause' to take the call that my dad was in an ambulance on his way to hospital. After some discussion around what needed to be done immediately by the family (nothing by me that night, my duties started the next morning), I was able to finish watching the movie with a new level of awareness of the moment. My own crisis aided my attention to the moment and I was able to handle everything without being overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling. I simply watched them rise and fall away in a wave-like pattern.

To paraphrase a line from the movie, "This is a scary time in your life, are you Paying Attention to it?" Well I was able to pay attention and the results of that experiment were far more enlightening than not eating food for a day.

Mike and I will fast again this Sunday (and each Sunday for the rest of March) to really give the fasting a proper try, so I will report back on any new findings. 

And if you are also fed up with all the torture-themed gore-fests labelled as entertainment out there. What stories (books/movies etc.) do you recommend for revulsion fatigue?

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