The perfect location to fast is a beach with fresh ocean air, tropical temperatures and peaceful seclusion, but life is not like that. Fasting is usually a response to illness and crisis, often at the hardest times of our lives. I have fasted in minus-40 degrees of a cold, Canadian winter during Christmas, and once, while working on a construction site, and after breaking both heels in an accident. I have fasted from a breakup with someone I loved and for guidance due to financial problems, basically, the worst times of my life. Fasting is perfect for these times because fasting enables a heightened connection with God, a peace of mind that brings clarity, and a quick recovery from illness. The best time to fast is when you need to. During these fasts, I learned some basic principles that help.
1. Do Not Advertise Your Fast
When you make your fast public, you will set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Most people will believe that you are crazy. You look as if you have AIDS! Are you under a doctor’s supervision? You’re going to become protein deficient! If you do not fear fasting, they will supply all the fear you need, and the last thing you need on a fast is fear. It can defeat us before we start or cause us to quit when victory is hours away. If you tell everyone you are going on a 30-day juice fast, you will also feel really bad if you only make two days. Tell one or two people who understand and are willing to support you. Once you get your first fast down pat then be bold for the second fast.
2. Mental Relaxation
Mental relaxation is done through deep relaxed breathing. If you are distracted by sounds that cannot be silenced, use some earplugs. Do not fight with your thinking; just let it go and return to focusing on the one single thought. Stay aware of your breathing and the tension in your body. Breathe deeply and try to relax your muscles. If you can spend 20 minutes of time in relaxing your mind each day, you will be more at peace throughout the day. If you lie on a bed, you will most likely fall asleep. Sitting upright in a chair is good. I prefer kneeling on a cushion and leaning over a chair or my bed as in a position of prayer.
3. Walk in Nature
On a fast, walking in nature is an awe-inspiring experience. It is like seeing for the first time. Colors are alive and vibrant. The skin tingles with a breeze. Clear sinuses detect the most delicate fragrance. Unlike draining electronic TV imagery, connection with nature brings peace to the soul. Even in the worst time, a good walk can bring a sense of balance to chaos.
4. Take a Phone Break
I find it almost impossible not to answer the phone. I always think every call is important and to take the phone line out of the wall is being totally irresponsible. The world clamors for our attention and so to get time uninterrupted, you have to push for it.
The first few days of a fast your body will want to sleep a lot. Most of us live on the edge, rarely getting enough sleep. During a fast, the body demands more sleep as part of the healing process. Do not ignore it. Take time just to laze around and nap. Pretend you are on vacation. Don’t feel guilty; you are healing. The most vivid dreams are during fasting.
6. Avoid Social Occasions
Birthdays, parties and gatherings always have food and the pressure to eat. I have broken many a fast overestimating my will power and underestimating the power of temptation and pressure.
By Tom Coghill of Fasting.ws Articles may be copied or reproduced as long as the back links to fasting.ws are intact and the author’s name is included.