Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Own Private Ramadan

Recently we got a bit of news that could have REALLY freaked me out.

Just a year ago I would have allowed myself to get completely wrapped up in drama and home-made stress (in fact, a year ago I was!). So I was very relieved, happy and proud of myself that my first response was *not* to go into a tail spin, but instead to breathe, pray, and trust.

The news came on a Saturday and I knew it would be difficult to resist the temptation to spend most of Sunday tearing garments and gnashing teeth. So I decided to spend the next three days fasting and praying -not exclusively, I had plenty of work appointments and house work to do- I needed a lot of guidance and to find and hold on to peace regarding the situation... FASTING TO THE RESCUE!

On Sunday I only had liquids and tried to spend a lot of time in quiet time (prayer, meditation, and scripture/inspirational reading). In the afternoon, right when I was really hungry and the house was full of the wonderful smells of Loren's cooking (he's been cooking a lot on Sundays for the rest of the week), I had a minor anxiety attack when I realized I had not set clearly defined parameters for my fast. There is nothing wrong with fasting by drinking only juice throughout the day and then having a moderate meal at night, my problem was I didn't define it ahead of time, so it felt like I was just giving in to the hunger.

I finally decided to allow myself a meal after sundown, and immediately started singing "my own private Ramadan" (you know, the B52's Your Own Private Idaho).

Monday and Tuesday went very well, with only one close call, which was saved by L2's reminder that I could not have a bite of her food (I have OFTEN broken or almost broken fasts because I simply *forgot* I couldn't eat!). I tried to fit in as much extra quiet time as I could, and I definitely felt a difference in my stress level.

I had already decided on Saturday to respond to the situation in a healthier, more mature and trusting way than I would have before, and while my behavior was such, internally I could feel the effects of the stress. But as the days of fasting progressed, I felt the stress level drop and then disappear!

I know the extra quiet time had a lot to do with it (prayer works for me, but it doesn't necessarily need to be a religious thing, the simple act of taking time to breathe and listen can connect us to the energy of Source), but the quiet time would not have been as effective, probably not effective at all!, if I had been over eating, indulging in sweet/fatty comfort foods, drinking too much caffeine, eating too many carbs, too much gluten, or drinking alcohol in excess. So, simply from a physical stand point, I could not have quieted the worried thoughts, nor calmed the tightness in my solar plexus without the conscious separation from certain foods. Also, from the more psychological standpoint, having to harness my impulses to eat helped me get into a mind set of discipline and sacrifice, which helped enormously in keeping me from succumbing to the bad habits of worry and melodrama.

Just one more experience to encourage you to try to add more raw food to your diet, it has done wonders for me!