Fasting is defined as the abstention from something for a period of time. It is primarily used in the terms of food, but can be applied to virtually anything in life. Fasting not only gives us a chance to get away from something, but also the clarity and silence that may be needed in order to reflect on what is going on with our lives. Here are some examples of how to fast daily; put some into practice and see what happens.
- News Fasting: Do we really require constant updates on the hour, second about everything that is going on everywhere? Are we so obsessed with things globally that we neglect to focus on the most important thing in our life, our daily personal journey? Take time away from the TV, newspaper, internet, radio and do something more enjoyable. Most everything we hear about and read is all negative because negativity sells! How sad that is the world we live in. Who needs that? I sure don’t. You can still keep updated on current events, just don’t let them run your life. I listen to NPR in the morning and might also check the head pages of AOL and look at the headlines, anything that is important will be there. If I find something I want to read about, I will click on it, if not, then, I am done for the day. No need to sit through 30 minutes of pure negative energy from the local news. Take control over what information comes into your life, and what does not! Just cause an update is there every 5min, doesn’t mean that we actually need it in our life.
- Computer Fasting: I am a big fan of the computer, just like everyone else, but I don’t want it running my life. Although I do a lot of work on my Ipad, I find that I get more done in concentrated efforts vs being on the internet for a big part of the day. There is always email, websites, forums, blogs and other things constantly being updated. Take time to schedule when you do these tasks and then be able to walk away and get on with your day, even if that is just sitting outside enjoying nature. Tip: Schedule your computer time as needed. Get on, check the emails, respond right away, delete or file, and keep that inbox clean. Read the sites you want to read and then move on. Do it once or twice a day, or however you need to schedule it. Don’t just log on all day long and wander around the internet, as you could easily waste a whole day and be less productive.
- TV Fasting: This is pretty self explanatory – and an easy one for me since I only watch it minimally on the weekend. When I do watch it, it’s usually documentaries, or movies. How many hours do you waste in front of the TV? Are you even really watching the shows you enjoy or just incessantly flipping channels? Do you like to keep it on for background noise? Do you complain about not having enough time to do something, always wanted to try a new hobby, or anything else? Imagine taking that 1 hour a day wasted on TV and put into a pursuit you have a passion for whether it be a career move, writing a book, or something as simple as hiking a trail daily, or spending that time GETTING a MASSAGE. Imagine the positive impact and what your life could be, thinking anything was possible. Enjoy the shows you like, turn off the TV when they are over.
- Cell Phone Fasting: Sometimes I just like to put down the cell phone on silent and just want away from it and the distraction. How liberating that feels!
I have always liked the song, No Phone, by Cake, especially the following lyrics:
“No phone, no phone
I just want to be alone today.
No phone, no phone,
No phone, no phone.
I just want to be alone today.”
“But what if someone calls and my house is on fire…”. Are you really using that or any other excuse to yourself? Really, when has something like that ever happened? Unless you are expecting an important call, chances are slim that anything will need your immediate attention and can probably wait a few hours. We are so addicted to carrying and answering every call. These are precious moments in your life that could be used for whatever you want them to be, instead of just talking to people who are looking to kill some time and gossip. You will find as you become more focused in your life, you will have less time and interest to just “shooting the breeze”. Nothing wrong with being around friends, but make time for that aside from calls on the phone that are interrupting your daily activities. Nothing is that urgent. I can’t really do a cell phone fast during my work week since I am self employed. However, I have begun a cell phone fast on the weekends by only checking it only 1 or 2x a day depending on if I am working.
These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate the practice of fasting to any part of your life. You could fast from negative people, dining out, drinking, being inside all day, exercise at the gym (yes…take a break and just enjoy the day doing whatever you like, you may just return the next time with even more energy and see better gains thereafter), information overload (books, magazines, newspapers, etc) and more. Take control of how you want to spend your time, and the only way to know what you want to do is take time to just relax and it will come to you in those moments that are known as “inspiration”! Be inspired……