It’s not easy.
In one of the lectures here at the fasting center, Dr. Goldhamer explained that the most successful participants often have a strong, present motivation that responds to the fast quickly. For example, someone with chronic pain whose pain vanishes as they fast, will likely continue their fast, and continue eating their bland, vegan “Salt-Oil-Sugar” (SOS) free diet after the fast. Or men who have erectile dysfunction due to all the medications they are on – they get off of all of their meds, fast and feel vibrant and active again. They’re motivated to continue. Because most of us are in such denial about death, even death is not as motivating as pain or erectile dysfunction.
My motivation may not be as immediate as pain, but it is in my face and I’m using that to go on, day by day. Being an “older mother” to two young, miraculous daughters motivates me to be as healthy and strong as I can be, for as long as I can be. In these past few months since I’ve been ill, I have struggled with my energy to keep up with them and do all I want for our family and lives. I don’t plan to live that way, dragging myself around for the next twenty years or so until they reach adulthood. My plan is to be fully engaged in our lives, participating in all that we want to do, from racing down the beach to having an exciting job, to giving my family the best quality of my present attention each day.
So. Water fasting is not easy. But I am motivated by my loved ones to make it all the way up my mountain. My mountain is 21 days of water. For post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome, 21 days of rest and healing will likely have a positive impact on my condition, and any other lurking weird issues in my body will have a good chance of clearing out.
On my worst days, which have been about 2 out of the 14 thus far, I felt as if each cell in my body had little weights placed under them, and they were pulling me down. It was a big deal to comb my hair. My tongue swelled up and turned white. Fortunately, there is a very beautiful old oak tree outside the window of my room, and we have become well acquainted. When a book is too heavy to hold, or life on the computer becomes too busy, I watch my tree. I feel that now, the tree also watches me at times and reminds me that time is not objective. We are just here.
On my best days, the simplicity of quiet meditation, some tai chi, a very low key yoga class, reading…are nourishing. When there is no food at all, I begin to notice the other elements of life that are truly nourishing. In addition to meditation and yoga, being in the sun is nourishing: I can feel the warmth and life entering my entire structure. Water! Water is so nourishing! The smell of flowers and plants, the curves on a rose, fresh lavender crushed between my fingers – these nourish me. I have to admit as I’ve walked around the little property here and seen something like basil growing, I have a strong impulse to grab some and shove it in my mouth. So far I’ve resisted.
The other people here are nourishing. There stories blow me away and I am in awe of their courage to struggle with their health challenges and not give up. Auto-immune disorders, debilitating arthritis, cancer, advanced lyme disease, Hashimoto’s disease, things I haven’t heard of…they are committed to getting off of the medication that isn’t helping much and to use their body to heal and move into a healthy diet and lifestyle.
And then my family. They come and visit every week and what a swirl of energy and joy and intense love I am showered with! Michelle brought me her “Biwd-house” (birdhouse) she made, and Sofia brought a book she wrote about us, with adorable pictures. We walked around and looked at the flowers and birds here and collected petals and made a circle with them in the dirt. Marin assures me he’s fine and the girls do miss me but they are doing well. We talk about “When Mommy comes home, …” and all sorts of lists of things we are going to do. They nourish – and motivate me.
So here I sit. I talk to my tummy every day, saying, “You are healing, you’re doing a great job, you are light, you are strong, you are doing so well.” I know it sounds kind of whoo hoo-ey, but hey, I’ve got the time, so why not?
Oh, and by the way, I haven’t lost my sense of humor. My husband Marin came to visit today after he dropped the girls off at school. Since he can sleep anywhere, he quickly made a nest in my bed and snuggled under the blankets. I told him the morning doctors were likely about to visit me, so he put a pillow over his face, with just his beard sticking out. And he crashed.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, in walked one doctor and one intern to check on me. I could tell the distracted doctor hadn’t realized Marin was under the covers, so I said, “That lump is my husband.” “What?” the doctor looked around and then gasped when she saw the lump on the bed and hairy chin sticking out. “What….what is that? Is..is that a scarecrow?” she asked, totally seriously. I started laughing hysterically and said, “No, it’s my real husband, he came to visit and fell asleep…why would you think I would have a scarecrow in my bed?” She said, “Well, people here get lonely and sometimes have all types of life size dolls brought in to sleep with, so I thought maybe….”
I wonder why I look like someone that would sleep with a scarecrow? I was laughing so hard, my blood pressure went from 90/60 yesterday to something like 126/72 when she took my vital signs.
So I welcome Day 14, whatever it may bring. Bring it on. To everyone, may you have abundant peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness. Every one. xoxo