Did you know that fasting can have an impressive impact on your body, mind and soul?
The spring is a time to cleanse and detox. Fasting can be a powerful vehicle not only for purifying and boosting your metabolism but also for increasing self-awareness and dealing with your emotional baggage.
Fasting seems to be the latest diet trend, but it is actually one of the most ancient healing traditions in human history.
Fasting has been used therapeutically since at least the 5th century BCE when Greek physician Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for health reasons. Many of us have a natural fasting instinct and experience a loss of appetite when we’re ill.
Across many species, fasting is even a survival strategy. If you have pet cats and dogs, you might have noticed the way they stop eating and purge when they have consumed something toxic, or while they are healing from injuries or wounds. Migrating birds perform extraordinary endurance flights, up to 200 hours non-stop while fasting and bears fast during their winter sleep.
Fasten is just as much a part of nature as eating, and the human body is made to undergo occasional periods of fasting.
HOW COULD FASTING BE GOOD FOR YOU?
It seems that fasting awakens our body’s self-healing power. Studies, such as e.g., an in-depth review of the science of intermittent fasting have shown that it can improve cognitive functions, promote cellular regeneration, help with weight loss, reduce inflammation, and extend our lifespan.
And while these benefits can definitely be life-changing, what’s usually not mentioned is that fasting is also a transformative practice for our minds and souls. There is more to fasting than merely refraining from eating. Many religions, ancient civilizations, and ethnic groups recognize its benefits for mind and soul.
In the Hellenistic civilization, fasting was a practice to prepare persons to approach their deities.
In some Native American cultures, fasting was practiced before and during vision quest to interact with the person’s guardian spirit.
Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha they each turned to this ancient wellness practice during the most transformative and trying periods in their lives. Socrates, Plato, Confucius, and Gandhi all did it.
Fasting is a ritual of cleansing, preparation, and releasing. It’s the time for reflection and introspection, so you can bring to your awareness all the negative stories you’re telling to yourself, your limiting beliefs, and inner wounds that don’t serve you anymore. Fasting is helping you in discovering the power hidden within your soul by being in a situation that requires soul power…sacrifice, perseverance, and self-control.
The question you should ask yourself throughout your fasting is:
WHAT IN ME NEEDS TO BE RELEASED?
It might be a belief that “I’m not good enough,” “I’m helpless,” “I don’t belong,” ” the world is not fair,” “people are egoistic”… you name it. Are these true?
They can certainly seem so, and that is why we act on them. However, beliefs are merely thoughts passed on from previous generations, conditioned into us from birth through our families, our environments, and our life experiences.
WHAT ARE THOSE LAYERS OF MY SELF-PERCEPTION WHICH ARE LIMITING ME?
Bring them up from underneath the surface of your thoughts, from your subconscious mind and become aware of them. When you do so, they start losing power above you. Beliefs are sometimes deeply woven into the fabric of our being, and we might not heal them overnight. However, our beliefs are choices, and choices can be changed. The light of your awareness can set your free.
While the thought of a fast may scare you, you might want to consider trying it.
Fasting is best performed when you feel guided to do so. If you feel inspired, excited, and curious about the idea of fasting, then it is a good indication, it will be helpful to you for balancing your body, mind, and soul.
There are many different fasting regimens you can follow. Intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the lasting trends worth exploring. It refers to time-restricted eating. I have been doing that for years now without overthinking or planning it. I have two small children, and I usually eat dinner with my family around 5 p.m., because that fits into our evening routine. The next day my breakfast is around 8 a.m., so I have a 14/10 or 15/9 fasting-to-eating ratio. On the weekends, it might be even longer. With this eating habit, I connect to my body’s natural circadian rhythm, and I don’t have the feeling I need to sacrifice too much or discipline myself. It just feels very natural to me. If you feel like trying fasting, remember to listen to your body, and to be safe, talk to your doctor before starting any fasting plan.
Author: Gabriella Csanádi
Photo: Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash