Disclaimer: I’m not muslim, but I will celebrate Ramadan this year.
I’ve only fasted one time in my life and it was a spur of the moment thing. I was in a spiritual program and the host mentioned he had fasted and his diet was compromised when he moved in with other people. The program was Not about fasting but when he mentioned it, I wondered why I never tried fasting?
Oh because I love food, that’s why.
So in all my years, the thought to fast never even crossed my mind. It so happened on the day I decided to fast, I had not eaten yet, had eaten late the night before and was off from work for the next 3 days. So I said ‘no time like the present’ and decided to go for it. I asked my peeps about fasting online since I had no idea what it looked like and wanted to know if I could still exercise or if there were some special precautions I had to take (I really had no idea) and I was told by people who fasted I could do everything I normally do.
So I did. I drank water all day (as I normally do) and I took herbal medicine (as I normally do) and that was it. Part of my motivation for fasting was to heal my gut (very long story, too long for this post) and part of my motivation for fasting was to deepen my spiritual connection.
My fast accomplished both things. My last meal was on a Thursday night and the next time I ate was late Monday morning or Monday at lunchtime, I don’t remember. During this time I realized my gut was processing food at a slow rate and I also had “all the time in the world”. It was like I was off for a week when it was only 3 days. I did my spiritual program, I went food shopping, I did door dashing, I exercised, I read – it was a beautiful 3 days and hard to believe it was only 3 days! I learned a lot about myself through the spiritual program I was in and through meditation and I wanted to do it again.
I wasn’t hungry the entire time (possibly due to the slow food processing) and didn’t hear my stomach grumble until late Sunday or Monday. It was healing and therapeutic and freeing and a beautiful experience.
And I wanted to do it again
But since that time I failed miserably at fasting. And I know why (mainly):
I’m a stress eater
And when I’m at work – I stress Eat. All. Day. Long. I eat crackers, granola bars and the like but its constant, in other words, im not giving my body a chance to rest, a chance to stop processing food so it can focus exclusively on repair work.
Last year I got in my mind to celebrate Ramadan but I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t do it.
This year is here, however, and I’m ready.
I’ve learned that Ramadan is a dedication period to celebrate divine inspiration (I am not muslim, so that is how I interpret “the revelation of the koran to the prophet mohammed”) and I appreciate that there is time set aside to reflect on the help that God gives us at the right time to assist us in our journey, divine inspiration being one aspect of the Most Holy.
That being said – I’m scared sh*tless. I have never fasted for a month. If I was home I don’t think I would have this reaction, but I’m not going to be home for the bulk of it, I’m going to be at work and without the food crutch to escort me through my day I am fearful of if I can do it and how it will affect me.
So in all things we must make it our own. This is how to “embody”. There are many ways to fast, and fasting during Ramadan includes early breakfast before dawn and dinner after sundown, which to me means it’s just a fast from lunch. But it also includes No Food, No Drink during the day and No Sex during the entire 30 day period.
I will not follow this type of fast because my body does not want to eat dinner and often does not want to eat breakfast and I have to follow what my body wants. For me, the fast will be lunch only each day, no breakfast, no dinner, no “snacks” and I will continue drinking water as usual.
I Have Clear Focus on Why I’m doing this fast:
♥To heal my body and to deepen my connection with source energy through Discipline.
I have Clear intentions on the outcomes of this fast and that includes modifying what I’m putting into my body at this time to aid in the work. For me, I will relinquish Cheese. And eat green foods daily.
Even as I say this I am welling up with tears
For the cheese,
That I love.
I will also continue to understand the nature of Ramadan, as it coincides with moon sightings, so I will seek to deepen my understanding of God’s creation of the moon in relation to our bodies.
I will practice discipline and learn to be in a space of displeasure and Not reach for food as a means of getting me through emotional turmoil.
I will seek out other ways to be Strong instead. What they are I don’t know yet, but I have a few ideas.
I will continue to practice daily gratitude and appreciation for all things and for the space to perform this fast.
And – it just popped into my head – I will continue to be joyful???
… I will ?
That might be a stretch… I mean this whole thing scares the hell out of me but I can see how beneficial it is for me to go there. So I’ll do it and ill read these words each day so I can remember to find some joy in this.
Since the idea of this 30 day discipline is super scary, I will just do what I know to do: Take.One.Day.At.A.Time.
Day one starts Monday (for me). Most other people will probably start Tuesday evening as the actual day is based on the sighting of the crescent moon, the very beginning of a moon cycle.
Ramadan Kareem (Have a Generous/Noble/Honorable Ramadan month)!
Ramadan Mubarak (Have a Blessed month of Ramadan)!
Do you celebrate Ramadan? How is it for you?