Fast and furious February calls for some serious handbrake action to try claw back that Summer holiday state of relaxation. I did a couple of RADICAL experiences (well for me) this month. I tried a fast for the first time and I sat in my comfy chair on the deck in the sun for an entire HOUR while my infant son slept, doing a stitchable dot-to-dot. For those in the community who know me already, I can hear the chuckles from here! You see, I view food as fuel and choosing to stop eating very regularly seems insane to my system. But also that sitting still, uninterrupted and in a peaceful setting for a whole hour is more of a treat for me than a spa-bath.
The Fasting Experience
The fast was encouraged by the church I attend (Curate Church in Mt Maunganui) as a good method for people who are looking to go deeper into their spiritual journey or for those who have an emotional challenge and are seeking progress. Under strict guidelines and after confirming with your doctor that you can do a fast, I would really encourage you to give it a go! It was the first time I’d tried it and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. For us (my husband and I), each time we felt hungry we were to pray or go for a walk and reflect on what was troubling us. By the end of Day 2 of the fast, we had a breakthrough, which was a significant shift in our thinking and has stayed with us in the following weeks thereafter.
So assessing this activity against my guidelines for this Experience Experiment I note the following:
- On the days of the fasting experience, I felt very hungry but become extremely aware of the mindless eating that we are all guilty of.
- I was overflowing with gratitude for anything related to food i.e supermarkets, delicious food, fridges – I mean what a handy invention!
- A week later, I felt positive that I had stuck with the two days and will definitely be incorporating it regularly into my lifestyle now I know all the benefits.
- My soft skills (confidence and responsibility) improved with this experience – that I can stick with something that requires self-control and discipline. It is when we challenge ourselves through experiences that we can really build on our skills and abilities to then tap into later when we need them.
- My values of spirituality and health were satisfied in this experience, I was pleased with the personal growth I felt and still feel due to fasting. This was an activity with delayed gratification and it feels great!
- In regards to the Gallup indicators, Purpose and Physical were thriving.
- And finally, I felt a 5/6 (in both happy and interested feeling categories) by fasting as per the Princeton University feelings researched as outlined here. I felt pleased with the results and that it sparked an interest for ongoing positive change in my lifestyle to help me spirituality, mentally and physically.
I’d never even seen one of these before until I received a lovely card from a friend produced by the impressive team at The Craftivist Collective who have flipped activism on it’s peaceful head. You simply stitch away and slowly the face of a change-maker becomes clear. It’s so effective doing an experience like this in making you be mindful and completely focused on a task, normally a challenge for me as multi-tasking habitually has ruined this alternate approach to life! Even though it will not be something I seek out to do often, there are so many benefits in doing something like this for your Mental Wellbeing – it’s almost like doing nothing at all! So on reflection:
- I was in a state of bliss during this activity. I chuckled on and off the whole way through; either due to the lack of clear picture evolving (was this really Desmond Tutu?) or the fact that I was so still and focused on the task at hand.
- After a couple of weeks post activity, I don’t feel any overwhelming feeling in particular except that I’m so pleased I gave something very different for me a good go. You could say it even improved my soft skills relating to flexibility, but this could be a bit of a stretch!
- It fed my personal value of being creative whenever I can. It is in the “luxury” department of my life at the moment I have to admit. I do love to paint (badly!) and photograph landscapes when I have the time. I know I should get creative more regularly as it is so good for us. The experience gave me instant gratification (as there was finally a man’s face becoming apparent) and later on it gave me joy to see what I had tried out.
- I don’t think any of the GALLUP indicators apply here but it did make me feel happy and interested for more creative projects.
What have you been up to this month? Please share on our Facebook, or tag us in your Instagram when you’re out doing fun stuff – you can inspire others with your ideas!