Body detoxification, diets and other related methods have become a great debate and the main concern of many people lately. There is a great FOCUS on how to release the body from poisonous substances and cleanse the toxins while real toxins are the ones that remain uncured in the HEART. Even happiness has been correlated with external aspects and most people are drowned in this deep illusion while true happiness comes from inside. As a result, many approaches have been developed to enlighten us on mental clarity and emotional growth but FASTING remains a complete way to heal the body and the soul; an excellent way to combine between physical lightness and personal growth.
Let’s first define what Fasting is all about as it may still be mysterious for some and unclear for others. My interest is to go beyond the ordinary definition provided in different sources. Wikipedia, for instance, defines Fasting as “a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast (dry fasting) is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a period of 24 hours, or a number of days. Water fasting allows drinking water but nothing else.” Dictionary.com made it very simple and defines it in four words as “abstain from all food”.
Fasting fortunately is far limited to a simple refrain from eating and drinking. The definitions proposed are only the visible part of the iceberg. The main aim behind fasting is to heal and cleanse our emotional patterns; it is a special way to attain high level of spirituality to reach self-enlightenment and inner peace. We cannot deny the physical benefits of fasting, but the goal is to emphasize on the mental gains and spiritual connections.
The strength behind fasting is not only about our ability to reach an enhanced state of mind and a cured heart, but it is also about empathy, tolerance, forgiveness, and helping others. Importantly, fasting is not limited to one specific month neither, as Ramadan is simply an opportunity, as many others during the year, that can enable us to reset the mind, meditate, search for inner resources and restart again.
Fasting is an excellent way to fasten our belts to reach both mental and emotional growth. The benefits are considerable, but four main aspects to consider:
The feeling of Hunger or thirst reached during the day should be considered as an inner Signal to preserve us from our negatives thoughts, waved mood and anger. As a red signal can protect us from danger while driving, hunger can set us apart from bad intentions and tongues. It should enable us to keep self-control to avoid impulsive emotions and abstain from useless reactions that can help in nothing but generate regret and frustration. When we fast, we are obviously in a weaker physical state than usual. Being physically week is for a purpose; it aims to soften the mood to put it in a perspective of more acceptance and tolerance.
I always used fasting as a therapy to bring back a wandered mind to the present moment, to think twice before reacting, and to explore the limited energy for something positive.
Fasting does not only enable us a complete self-control but develop also within us patience. This latter is an excellent way to promote mental clarity through deep reflections; it also reduces stress and makes us healthier and happier. But the focus should be on spiritual rise and not on ego and pride.
For some people, fasting will remain a big challenge as Ramadan will remain for them solely a cultural event to embrace than a personal experience to go through.
Hunger and thirst represent some physical inconveniences among others to handle when fasting. Some people will start complaining the first day they fast as they are more focused on the inconveniences than on the benefits. The question that always occupied my mind: what about people who experience hunger on a daily basis? What about those who are deprived from everything and still show more generosity and acceptance?
If the fasting experience does not stimulate you to help at least one person in need, then you may need to think about it again.
Fasting for a whole month will be a great opportunity for meditation, deep reflections, and heart purification; it will be a new chance to reset again, think about our past challenges and concerns to grow wiser and evolve. Wisdom has nothing to do with age as it reflects how quickly we can learn from our past failures. That is why many people in a very advanced age still repeat the same mistakes while others managed to overcome them easily.
Fasting, when used properly, will allow you to experience deep moments with yourself that can raise you up mentally and spiritually. It is a wonderful inner journey that can enable you to enhance your wisdom, develop more patience, and empower you for more self-control. Most of all, fasting can be simply a deep yoga to your heart allowing more love, tolerance, help and peace.