Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fasting and Training

I very often am terrified at my personal prospects, what with being self-employed and depending on a wide group of customers and not on a job where I have "employment rights."  Part of training is to accept experiencing terror, acknowledging it, and move ahead anyway.

The ability to deal with this comes from training.  Since we tend to respond to the religion to which we are called, most people find personal transformation built into their faith-system.

Christian and Moslems rely heavily on fasting, Moslems in fact turning it into a holiday season.  Christians do as well, with Advent and Lent.

Fasting is where you train yourself to acknowledge something you want, and deliberately saying "no."  In this way you train yourself to say no to yourself in other ways.

You want to train with something as powerful as possible, so lesser temptations are easily denied.  The most important thing is oxygen, but you cannot give up oxygen for more than say three minutes without dying.  That will not do for our purposes.

Next is water, but giving up water can do permanent harm within 3 days.  No religion advocates suicide or self-harm.  So what is the next most powerful urge?  Eating.  And most anyone can give up food for a week without any problem at all.  Check with your doctor, and see.

But assuming you do not have some dire medical issue, try giving up food for 24 hours.  No food whatsoever.  Plenty of clear fluids, but don't cheat by drinking smoothies. See what happens.  Whatever ill-effects you experience will be completely mental.

Once you overcome 24 hours, go for 40 hours.  See how often you are 'tempted" to eat, and then say no.  Again, your mind will play tricks on you, and you'll get to know yourself better.

Eventually work your way up to a week.    The you realize it's only the first day or two you experience hunger.    After seven days you'll regret being obliged to resume eating.  But you will master the ability to feel anxiety, and any of multiple fears, and acknowledge them, but not give in to them.

I'd think more about working with a spiritual director than a doctor to pull this off, for to be sure, demons await anyone who would train hungry.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

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