Experiment Complete: What I Learned from My Fast

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

I finished my fast, y’all! I’m not going to lie; it was tough, but rewarding. Want to know what I took out of the experience? No? Too bad because I’m going to let you know anyway.

  1. I feel lighter. Not in a weight type of way, though I suppose a fast will do that also. I mean I feel spiritually lighter. “Spiritual” is a word that can come with some baggage, but the way that I’m using it refers to my sense of being. I feel less stressed (not that I had much) and I have a ton of energy.
  2. I have renewed clarity. I now have a much better sense of what I want to do with my life going forward. Not specifics, mind you, but a general direction. I’ll definitely be writing about this more, but my focus is to make a positive impact on this world as much as possible.
  3. Food tastes MF’ing awesome. Do you know what I first ate after fasting? Grapes. And I kid you not when I say those were the most delicious grapes I’ve ever had. There’s something about deprivation that makes you appreciate the most common things like, I don’t know, the flavor of good, natural food.
  4. I’m officially out of my creative rut. The inspiration is back, baby! I’ve been writing like a madman and I can’t wait until this book is done.
  5. My eating and sleeping patterns have been reset. I’m actually getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and I’m now eating smaller, but more frequent meals. I think the former was brought about by the meditation as well, but I can’t say for sure.

All in all it was an awesome experience and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned. Fasting isn’t for everyone, but it definitely did a world of good for me. As an aside, I just read this awesome article on IFL Science that talks about the benefits of intermittent fasting (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/how-fasting-might-make-our-cells-more-resilient-stress).

Kind of convenient timing, no?

Anyway, I may do this from time to time just to have a reset every now and then. Meditation, veganism, and now fasting? I’m transforming into quite the hippie, aren’t I?

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Taking a Sabbatical with a Fast

Experiment: Taking a Sabbatical with a Fast

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

I’m going to try something new this week: I’m going on a fast.

So before the cavalcade of questions regarding my health and sanity come my way, you should know something about me: I’m at a crossroads. An important one at that. At least for me it is. I’m stuck between either working to pursue my dream as a writer or go back to the corporate world to something less fulfilling.

O woe is me. I should be so lucky to have suck minuscule problems.

Yeah, I am lucky. I don’t know if I could ever forget that. Still, this is a decision I have to make nonetheless. The only thing preventing me from moving in a direction either way is fear. If I work a corporate gig, I fear I won’t be happy. If I continue chasing this dream I fear I may not be able to actually become a success because the playing field is so crowded.

So I’ve been at a stalemate. Creatively, I’ve been in a rut and I’m fully aware I’m just going through the motions. Therefore, I’m going to do what I always do in these situations: I’m going to meditate a bunch. Not contemplative meditation; I’m not going to focus on anything. Additionally, I’m going to fast.

But you already knew that.

So what’s the fast have to do with anything. Well, that fear, as minor as it is, is nothing more than an attachment. A fast for me will be a period of ridding myself of attachments. The only television I’ll be watching is the stuff I need for The Gibbler Podcast. No alcohol. No food. Any time not spent working or with my fiance will be dedicated to reading, writing, opportunity hunting, or meditation. All I need is five days.

I’m a big believer in not hunting for answers to questions. I used to hunt, but over the years I’ve found the right answers come to me as long as I’m open to them. This “cleanse,” if you will, is to help me do just that.

I’ve juiced – not the steroid type – before long meditation sessions before and I always felt the difference. A five day fast shouldn’t be too bad as long as I still get water and take a multivitamin. I’ll let you know how this one goes! Hopefully I don’t get the urge to cheat, heh.

Andre the Ten-Year-Old Fugitive

When I was a kid – maybe ten years old or so – I was way into drawing. I’ve never been a great artist, mind you. I just loved it.

Every kid used crayons, but I remember seeing these colored pencils in our local supermarket one day. It was a Prang 48 pack.

Sexy.

But I was a broke kid in 1991. How the hell was I going to draw the next great comic book hero?

Like most of my decisions, I don’t remember much self-debate. I just knew I had to steal those colored pencils.

Side note: I’m fully aware of how dorky I was/am for starting my criminal career over art supplies. Way to live life on the edge, nerd.

In retrospect, I know I wasn’t slick at all because my master plan was to stick the pack of pencils down the front of my pants. This subsequently left me with a rectangular shaped crotch and a bow-legged gait. It took all of five minutes for a security guard to snatch me up and bring me to a back office. I cried like no tomorrow because that bastard security guard did the unforgivable.

He called my father.

Oh shit. Hellfire was going to rain in Paterson.

The ride home with my father was silent, though I swore I could hear his pulse emanating from the bulging vein on his right temple. I was trapped. I knew I was in for the ass whooping to end all ass whoopings.

All for art supplies.

steve-urkel-mug-shot-500x387

Thug life.

Barely containing his fury, my father told me to get inside the house. My mind raced with possible exit strategies. Luckily, once we entered the house, my father immediately went to find my mother to inform her of my escapades.

Oh, you done slipped up, dad.

I took my mother’s house and car keys. I took a few magazines. I took a box of cereal and a box of Cheez-Its. I stashed the food and magazines in the backseat of my mom’s car and ran over to my friend Ahijah’s house.

I figured I’d flesh out the rest of this brilliant plan later. For now it was time to play. Ahijah and I played Nintendo, watched TV, and did a bunch of other random stuff my adult mind has long forgotten.

This was me living life on the run from the law.

Then my parents called Ahijah’s house.

Damn, the jig was up!

I rushed outside and ran back home. Ahijah’s mom said my father was on his way so I wanted to make sure I was nowhere in the vicinity. I may have had horrible plans, but I was amazingly elusive.

Darkwing Duck style.

It started raining as soon as I arrived back at my house. I dared not step inside; instead I opted to hop in the back of my mom’s Corolla and settle in for some post-Nintendo Cheez-Its and Highlights magazine.

1334873311_Steve-Urkel-333-family-matters-6878748-267-399

Thug Life.

I hid back there for what seemed like hours. Knowing my short attention span, it was probably 30 minutes tops. In any case, after a while I began contemplating my next move. Do I start a new life as a fugitive or fess up and take my punishment?

Starting a new life is tough. After all, no one’s just handing out free Cheez-Its to ten-year-olds. The world seemed too big for me to handle So I went back home, got my ass whooping, and went on to fight another day.

Another week.

Another month.

Another year.

Here I am 23 years later. The situation is different, but the choices have remained consistent after all these years.

Do I start a new life or return to what’s familiar?

This time the world seems just big enough to handle.

Peace out, party people.