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My Fasting Challenge, Then Full Circle to Eat, Pray, and Love.

Updated on April 24, 2016
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Day #1 - Thinking About This Journey

I asked myself; how will this day play out? This was my question as I started the day. Obviously, I knew exactly why I was going to do this fasting thing, and what I wanted to achieve, but could I succeed? Could my drive to cleanse my soul of suffering and all the stresses of life be able to come to pass with my own plan of action?

The night before, as I was up and down all through the night with stomach issues; I believe from a virus that had been going around, I come to realize how miserable not only I was in that moment, but I had been miserable in life in recent days as well. What was I going to do about this? Pray, of course, but my usual prayer routine would only relieve my pain and worry for a little while, and as I stepped back into the routine of life, I would still be tense. Not that I didn’t believe God spoke to me through my prayers and guided me along, but because, I lost him somehow through my days. How would I keep him with me, and hear him when he spoke reverent guidance to help me keep moving forward through my journey?

I prayed. I prayed a lot during the morning. I felt a different vitality in doing so this morning since I had made a plan and a purpose for myself through these three days. I slept. I slept a lot dozing off through my vision of what I wanted to happen through these next few days.

Later, when I awoke, I started digging deeper into my plan. What, if anything, was aloud for me to eat? How would I refrain from food, as I really knew I didn’t want to eat, but was concerned if I didn’t eat a little of something, that I would be sicker than I already was? Again, what was my purpose for fasting and would it do what I needed it to do for my body and soul?

So, I knew I wanted to fast for spiritual guidance, and for hopes it would show me a better vision of myself in order to move forward with encouragement, without the other stresses that, as of lately, have really brought me down. If I was honest with myself, I knew the worry and stress could be the problem to my stomach issues. This is how I thought to get rid of them; a desperation for connection with my God, but mostly connecting with myself with God’s help.

At the end of this day, and as I’m writing this now, I have not eaten a thing and have consumed about 140 calories of soda, and empty calories of some water. I feel like maybe soda is not the best consumption of calories, but I do believe we can make up our particular rules of calorie consumption as to how we will make it through to the end of our own challenge.

I still have to go over a few questions in my mind on what type of fasting I am really after, as I also decided to delve a little deeper into Buddha’s views. Today, I refreshed on Buddha’s way of how he found spiritual release was appropriate. I found his mindset was similar to mine when he started his transcendent journey of wanting to cleanse himself from the suffering and sorrows of this world. He actually tried the route of no consumption, but found that you could cleanse and be free even if you ingested some decent calorie intake. However, on this first day, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go that way. As commendable as I feel the ways of Buddha, and Buddhism is, my focus is on my own way to travel through my release of suffering. I can’t say that I might not eat some berries in the next couple days though. It really depends on how my body is reacting to the shock of nothing.

On this day one, it rained on and off through my regular routine day, and I heard God clearly telling me as I took my son to school, to do what I do every morning and notice the beauty of the sky, notice the beauty of the trees and the little rodents and things like squirrels that scurry around. He told me to erase the other things when I look around like; cars, houses, softball fields, anything that veered me away from a beautiful vision, the truth of my challenge. I did that. As I always do, I noticed these things, but the other things he mentioned were always somehow in my view as well. I realized it was blinding my true picture of life. It was keeping me hostage to my light of life.

I’m ending this day with a feeling of success in what I wanted to pursue. I had plenty of conversations with my savior. I listened closely to every word I heard him speak in my heart. I found a courage within myself to pursue this challenge and make it through somehow, but most of all; I found a crucial piece of me, a piece of my puzzle of putting the real me together.

I’m not sure what day two will bring, but I’m excited for tomorrow. I feel better. I think about my friend Manatita at this point, and how he always tells me I’m a part of a purpose to bring light. I finally totally get that today, as I do believe that myself. Thank you, Manatita. Day #1 is dedicated to you.

Today, I thought of the rain, and how I found God sent it on this particular day as a sign of my cleansing, so I wrote a few words about that.


The Cleansing Rain

Crystal drops that fall

off green leaves, soaking

into the ground to cleanse

The Earth. This is the beauty of

growth.

The Tale of Buddha

Day #2 - My Determination

When I woke up this Saturday morning, the sky seemed still gloomy from the rains that came the day before, but it also had a peace about it, as the leaves from the trees slightly wiggled in the breeze. I went straight into prayer. I felt a bit of a weight today. I woke a little hungry, and my desire to keep going on my fast was then burdened in my mind. So, pray, I prayed hard for God to keep me focused. Several hours later, I’m happy to say prayer works.

As I always do, I checked Facebook and my Facebook messages. I have been on the fence about whether or not to keep doing this these three days. I wondered if maybe I would get discouraged with the challenge I placed on myself if I continued to feed into what you usually see there, which is; gossip, rants, depressing thoughts, some encouragement, but for the most part, I find discouragement there. However, I think my choice to check in was a good one for me today. I found a way to retaliate from a friend who was toxic for me; in a positive way, I promise. And then, I also received a message from a young man I recently met that as of lately has been struggling and going through similar realms of sadness and sorrows as I have been. Today, I felt I could help him, show him that he was not alone, relate to him the similarities in the two of us, and make sure he understood that we all have these times in life where we question everything about ourselves and our lives in general.

This brought me to think about true friendship and encouragement. When I think about it, I can’t say I have made too many friends throughout my life that were really genuine in the sense of; willing to listen when I needed them to, ready to give their shoulder when I needed one to cry on, some friends who totally get me without judgement I have not found. Well, until now. I can very pleasingly say that I finally feel I have found some friends here that do all those things for me. I’m very grateful, and so I prayed and related this to God today.

Around two today, I started feeling a bit impatient. I only drank some water and a Glucerna drink that is filled with healthy nutrients, being careful to stick to my regiment of no solid food. So, I found myself at this time in a struggle as my body was now telling me it’s not receiving enough.

Time to pray, but is prayer enough? I thought about meditation, but let me just be honest; I have two children and to find that much time in a day to be by myself in total quietness, well, it’s not going to happen too often, and definitely not this day. Meditation, I ruled out for the remainder of this fast challenge.

Instead, I chose to listen to music. Some classical music to be exact, as it has always helped me relax and brought a serene time to pray. I am a fan of Chopin, but today I thought of Schubert’s rendition of Ave Maria. It is one of the most beautiful pieces in classical music in my opinion and I knew it would help me relax.

The day is winding down, and I feel it was harder today. Even so, I believe I made some progress with my challenge. After having the chance to encourage a friend early in the day, I’m going to end with an appreciation for a certain friendship, the kind that encourages and relates to another in a complete way. I thought about you today Paula. I feel really blessed to have met you, and this Day #2 is dedicated to you my dear friend.


The Prayer

Bow your head,

hands to face, let

go and welcome in

his grace.

Source

Day #3 - Maybe I Like Buddha's Way Today

The morning was a little confused for me today. My stomach was making the most horrendous noises ever, and I couldn’t seem to focus on my talk with God like I usually did when I open my eyes every day. However, I did find a way to take deep breaths and do so. Not the type of talk I like, because like I said, my mind felt confused. I almost lapsed back into a state of feeling totally depressed, but I didn’t.

If anything could go wrong on this third day of fasting, it went wrong. Our hot-water pump had a short in it, and therefore, our water wasn’t heating, thereby, no hot, relaxing, bath this morning. And wouldn't you know it, the night I decide I will get up and take one in the morning instead of taking one the night before. Ugh! As you can tell a very challenging day.

I got back in bed after that upsetting discovery of no hot bath, and I tried to clear my mind and think a little. How would I pull off this day? At this point, does it mean a lot to me to make it through without eating a thing, or do I feel that I have obtained the things I needed to gain, and I should just, not rush, but maybe eat a little Sunday dinner with my children and parents like I normally do? I haven’t told any of them what I was doing, and thankfully they have not really noticed. Most of the time we make our own plates and scurry off to eat in our private corners. There is no more table eating for meals, as life as we know it has gotten too complicated, and sometimes, well, a lot of times; we aren’t even home at the same time to sit down and eat a meal together. However, Sunday is the day we are all together usually, and we do sit with each other. So, do I want to miss out on the only day to sit with my family as a family united and talk over a meal?

I thought about one of my favorite movies, and actually one of the inspirations behind this challenge I put on myself; Eat, Pray, Love. The movie was so inspiring to me, because the main character was a writer who was struggling through life, and even though, seemingly, she had everything she wanted, she was lacking something within herself; a spiritual guidance; the meaning of Life. Though, I can’t travel across the world to find mine, it was an uplifting story.

This character, which was based on the true story of writer, Liz Gilbert, was very mystifying to watch, and I thought about viewing it again during this challenge, because I hadn’t watched it in quite a while. I didn’t get to watch it but when I get more time maybe I will, but I remember certain parts of the movie; the way it displayed the joy of eating, the joy of finding true friendships, the joy of love, and peace through a spiritual guide, and transcendent exercises with other people.

I thought about Buddha’s way of discovery at this point, and the fact he started off trying to fast away the sorrows he felt about the world, then realizing it could be found without starvation. I believe I made my decision to just; Eat, Pray, and Love the rest of this journey. The last day would not exactly be eating too much, but I would eat and take time to enjoy eating, take time to enjoy family, and conversation. I would pray on and off through my day as I have been doing and truly be thankful on this last day of my challenge continuing into the days ahead. I believe I have gained more wisdom through this, and more reality of beauty in the world and shutting out negative circumstances, especially ones that were not mine to view.

All in all, I believe my three-day journey has been a success. I have learned to relax more, pray more, notice the beauty in the world more without seeing the other unnecessary objects that tend to taint a view. I learned that I could be happy in any circumstance, as I was miserable when the challenge started. I was unhappy, and although I still have that sad part of me, I have learned my own way to deal with the torture of that emotion. When I think what I have learned, I think of a friend that has desperately tried, I believe, to teach me this very thing. Val Karas this Day #3 is dedicated to you.

Although, this is the end of my three day journey, I feel I will continue this exercise on and off now through my life. It has helped and I feel better. Thanks for reading! :)


The Truth

Sadness reigns in

my heart, but darkness

apart. Peace and Love

reside in me.

The Song I Listened to A Million Times While Writing This Hub

Tell me...

What Did You Think About My Challenge?

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    • Missy Smith profile image
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      Missy Smith 18 months ago from Florida

      Hello Al,

      There is one thing I feel very compelled to let you know. Because I do know you are led by the most high God, I would like to reassure you that I know he is always with me as well. I cannot remember a day now that I have not talked with him. I believe when we finally mature enough to grab his wisdom, we are never alone. Thanks for commenting. Many Blessings, ~Missy

    • word55 profile image

      Word 18 months ago from Chicago

      Hello again Missy, I've been MIA for a couple of months. Finally, I was determined to enjoy this Memorial Day from Thursday to Monday. I found refuge not only in God but in reading many of my Hub Pages associates. I really enjoyed reading your fasting challenge. You are a very interesting writer. (There's always room for improvement). I like it that even though you struggle you eventually accomplish your goal. I admire and rely on my direct relationships of faith that I have with God in Christ. I pray that everyday is taking you deeper into the blessings of God and Jesus Christ. By the way, when referring to God and Jesus, always capitalize "Him and Savior" with all other pronouns, names or titles. Keep up the good work :-)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 18 months ago from Florida

      Yes, you are so right. I have been thinking about doing just that lately, Deb.

      Thanks! :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sure, challenges are always good, but perhaps you need to slide off your path for a moment and do something special just for you in order to recharge a little.

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 18 months ago from Florida

      Thanks Deb, I was really feeling wonderful while writing this. Truly enlightened. However, these past few weeks the struggle has returned. I may need to put myself through another challenge. What do you think? lol... Always a pleasure to hear from you, Deb. Take care. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      You have achieved a new leg of this journey and your eyes have opened. They will open even more as you discover yourself and the peace in the world that surrounds you. Well done.

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 18 months ago from Florida

      I loved that movie, Swalia. I remember feeling that I related to that character in many ways. In many ways I didn't, but I do feel I have been lost in such a way that I had to search for a peaceful place inside of myself. I'm doing that now as you can tell from this hub I wrote. I think I have figured out that constantly searching for myself helps me understand myself better every year as I change in age and thought. Thank you for taking time to read this hub. Many Blessings. ~Missy

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 18 months ago

      Eat, pray, love....The book reminds me of my own journey through life. The 'pray' part especially fascinates me. I regained my faith and optimism when I met my spiritual master.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Great attitude indeed. LOL I've got a bit more of it myself lately.

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Hey Shanmarie,

      I'm not sure if it's guts that I have, or just the I don't give a F attitude these days. I feel no apprehension in sharing these thoughts. It seems I've grabbed this attitude through years of disappointments, and I think it's a great attitude for me to have. It certainly has helped me release worries and thoughts that may torture me if I didn't spit them out. lol...:)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      I think it was soul cleaning, Frank. However now that it has been a few days, I'm feeling like I could cleanse my soul again soon. So, successful for a day or two, but still need to dig deeper into myself to figure out how will I clean my mind, heart, and soul for a longer period of time. Research continues. lol.... Hey, hope you enjoyed the hot dogs and orange soda. ~Missy

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Missy, good for you for finding what you needed! I can relate to what you said about finding true friends. But they do exist even if it seems they are rare. Lately, I have also felt stronger and more confident when I reach out to offer something positive to others. Food for you in finding that strength too. It takes guts to be vulnerable enough to share something like this. Never lose faith in yourself.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      I don't know Missy, I'm too slow for fasting.. I hope the challenge was soul cleansing.. me.. I'm gonna enjoy my two hot dogs and a big orange drink...

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Thank you so much, Eric. I really enjoyed jotting my days down and posting them for others to read. I hope all who reads this hub will enjoy it, and maybe be inspired in some way. :)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Thank you, Bill. I like to come up with different challenges for myself. Call me crazy! lol

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Hey Chitrangada,

      Do you want to know what I thought of several times through these days of fast? I thought of your delicious smoothie recipes, and I thought, maybe I should have gathered up some ingredients and done a fasting challenge, but with nutrition from those delicious smoothies. lol. Unfortunately, it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision to do this, and I had no ingredients.

      I have heard that India does this at times, as Morocco in the Ramadan season, and I'm sure other countries as well. Here in America, I think it is not as spiritually considered, but more people fast for health benefits. It was a nice challenge for me. Thank you!

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Hello Venkat,

      Yes, at times I did not think I would make it as long as I did, but I believe it was that unsure determination that guided me towards what I needed. I prayed harder, understood myself better, and didn't get so depressed by the outside world. It was a good exercise for me to put on myself. Thank you! :)

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Exactly what I was after, Hari. A better value of my own life, and bringing back awareness of blessings I have. Not that I ever did not know my blessings, but it was getting hard to appreciate them lately, I felt so sad. I have this great connection with God, but I was at the point that I could not hear him speaking to me. I needed to find a way to reconnect with him and myself. Thank you, Hari. Great comment.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      While you have had no food for the belly, you have given much food for thought. Clearly a worthwhile endeavor. I like how you shared it with us.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good on you, Missy! It's something I've never tried, but still I applaud you for doing it. Blessings always!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great motivational hub!

      I am glad you were successful. This is the power of fasting. It increases your inner strength and you can actually control your senses of both mind and body. And this helps you to connect with the 'supreme power'. It also helps you to cleanse and detoxify your body and shed all negative thoughts as well in the process.

      In India we have many festivals on which people observe 'fast' to get all these benefits.

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience which is not only an interesting read but will also inspire the readers that it can be done.

      Thank you!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 19 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Congratulations, Missy, on your successful achievement of the fasting challenge self-imposed by you. I couldn't have done all this. I can not keep fast even for one full day. I only try to restrict my intake when I suffer from some digestive problems, not otherwise.

      Your article is very inspiring and is a good guide to those who may want to get relief from stress and to attain some spiritual willpower.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 19 months ago from Bangalore

      In India we usually do this activity, and is a tradition followed by many. It helps a lot in bringing back feelings of valuing life.

      By bringing back consciousness about all the good things that we have over the time forgetten, we reconnect to the blessings, we have been bestowed with, thus feeling alright.

      By inflicting hunger,

      Smudge on the mirror has cleared,

      I see me closer to being aware,

      That i am just fine.

      Amen.!!!

      Excellent topic you have choosen to write, it will help a lot many to think and fast, as a healing act.

      - hari

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Hey John,

      The initial 24 hours wasn't so bad, really a piece of cake, because like I described in the first day, I was still trying to figure out exactly how to do this fasting thing. Eat a little or not eat. I knew if I did eat, I would want to keep it at no more than 500 calories a day. Luckily, I only drank those first two days, and even though I drank soda along with water periodically, I kept way under 500.

      The last day was the challenge, but just with food intake. I decided to go about it different and pray a lot and eat a little. I think I did alright for trying this for the first time, and I actually did grab some much-needed peace of mind. So, like I said, all in all, a success; at least in my eyes.

      I always treasure your upbeat comments to me and want you to know, that even though I did not mention you in this particular hub, you were and always will be an inspiration to me. Always! Thank You!

      ~Missy

    • Missy Smith profile image
      Author

      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Hey Val,

      Yes, I believe we both have different ways to journey to peace, but in some ways a little similar right?

      I actually thought of drinking smoothies, but I know how I am at this moment in time, and to try to buckle myself down to a certain regiment like that was not going to work. I'm not a big eater or drinker actually. I eat quite normally. Like many others, it's not always the best food for me, but most of the time I do try to stick with salads and fish.

      This was something new for me, so I decided to wing it a little. I had a specific thing in mind to do when starting out, but knew I would change my direction if necessary just because I wasn't used to the process. I'm still not, but I plan to try this more and more, and maybe even get disciplined enough for the smoothie regiment. We shall see how it goes for me in future days.

      Thank you for reading this, you were a part of the inspiration. All of my great friends here on Hubpages were an inspiration for me in certain ways. Always your friend, and by the way, have fun in Cali! ~Missy

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I commend you on getting through your three days of fasting and prayer, Missy. Well done, I know how difficult that would be. I have done a couple of 24-hour fasts and that wasn't easy. Fasting is a great way to get in touch with God, and cleanse your body and mind..it seems to open you up to different feelings and emotions. I was thinking you could have resorted to consuming soup if need be...but you got through.

      I have heard people fast from their smart phone or using social media for a week, and they say that is a difficult but amazing experience. This was a great idea for a hub too, which I enjoyed and learnt from. Hugs.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 19 months ago from Canada

      Missy - Congratulations on your determination to persist in this new quest for peace!

      Just let me share that I am presently going through a mostly smoothie diet. A banana, a tbsp. of barley green powder, 1/2 tsp. of Eclipta Alba powder (to support my liver during cleansing), one scoop of veggie-based protein powder, and one tsp. of raw honey. I top it up with filtered water, blend it, and feel the energy even before finishing my drink.

      I drink a lot of water, breathe regularly and slightly deeper (to balance my parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system for additional calm).

      Oh, I also eat sardines, or boiled eggs, and a small serving of cooked food for dinner, no red meat, sugar, dairy, and flour.

      We are all different, and while your fasting may do wonders for you in combination with prayers, I don't pray, so I have to rely on my own suggestive power over my subconscious which regulates my body and my emotions. Also, I believe in giving my body maximum nutrition through light foods and proper breathing. (Oxygen is crucial for emotional balance. We can live without food and water for some time, but without oxygen we die in minutes).

      It's great that you found this inspiration to change something - you know the best what. On the other hand, I am not trying to do anything about my emotions, it's just my "spring cleaning" with losing the excess weight. (I want to look sharp for my 5-week trip to California in August).

      So, here we go, we both have a project. From the bottom of my heart I hope you achieve even more than you are expecting in your wildest dreams - because you deserve it! - Always your friend Val