So, here’s what I became aware of. (Who am I?)
I knew that fasting for 7 days was going to be a huge sacrifice, but I also knew the rewards internally and externally at the end were going to be worth it. At the time of commencement, I had been sober for 90 days and felt a real need to do something bigger than abstaining from alcohol. I needed to display a level of discipline I had never attained or achieved before. I wanted to be more connected spiritually. I wanted to have no regrets. I wanted to be a warrior. I believed that manifesting these things was not attracting what I want, but manifesting what and who I am. There were many temptations and cravings. When cravings arose, I began to use the mantra, "cravings will come, but action is what matters". In this instance, the key was lack of action. Do less to achieve more.
Word had started to spread, and I began to receive enormous amounts of love. This day, myself and Colleen were making a trip to Odessa, Missouri for a volleyball tournament she plays in every year for a fundraiser for a family member. We awoke at 5.30 a and got on the road. While at the tournament, her family members were aware of my fasting and tried to hide when they were eating which was entertaining and thoughtful at the same time. It was in that gym that I realized how much mindfulness would play a role in making it the 7 days, if I was going to make it. I had to make sure I brought my focus back to the present moment every time my mind thought about food and I thought about food quite a bit that day.
This was the day I expected to be the toughest. “Luckily” day 3 fell on a Sunday. This day was planned to be a lazy day and a lazy day it was. It wasn’t much of challenge. I did notice that there are a ridiculous amount commercials on T.V that are food related. Food that I don’t even like, but damn, every ad had me craving that particular food. I now no longer wonder why this country is so obese. We are constantly bombarded with explicit and subliminal messages from a young age with calorie rich, nutrition poor foods. I also began to notice, I wasn’t so much hungry, but missed the action of eating.
Today I realized that I’d only been sleeping for 5-6 hours per night. This 5-6 hours was good quality sleep and awoke each day with an abundance of energy and a positive mood. I tried to continue activity as normal, training clients, marketing etc. By noon I was drained. I went home and took a nap. I felt with a nap I would awaken energized; however, I awoke feeling drained and weak due to low blood sugar. With that 1 ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice I was able to power through and go back to work in the afternoon. I was that weak that I was having a bit of a rough time squeezing the juice from the orange, so I recruited my 3-year-old, Orlaith, to help out. She was more than happy to help.
Day 5 and 6
Day 5 was smooth and uneventful. By night time on the 6th day, the hunger really started to kick in. These were not cravings anymore. True hunger had arrived. This is a sensation in the back of the throat that feels like the beginning stages of strep. This is a sign to stop the fast. I only had 24 hours to go. I battled on my mind whether to quit now or continue for the final 24 hours. At least a quarter of this 24 hours was going to include sleep I rationalized. I decided, I was going to go for it and slept that night with the conviction to finish cemented in my mind. I was not quitting now. I had too many people behind me and my goal of raising $5000 was at about $3200 at this point. I figured this was the day most people were waiting to see come. This was the day most people would donate based on my commitment. I was excited. So excited in fact, that I ended the day with over 10,000 steps under my belt and burning over 3000 calories. Way too much for someone who hast eaten in 6 days. Ooooops.
This was the last and final day. It was an easy morning, but as the day went on I had to battle my thoughts knowing there wasn’t much time left. I weighed myself and had lost 7.5 lbs and my keytone levels (gauge of fat burning zone) were through the roof. There was a moment in this day when things were getting tough. We were at around $3200 still and a friend who didn’t know how I was doing. I explained what was going on. Next thing I notice was we are at $3700. This friend just donated $500. Then others who had already donated, donated again and the ball was officially rolling. When I told my friend how he ignited the flame of donations on this day he said, “even the best Harley’s need a hard kick every now and then”.
Later, another friend donated and sent a message to accompany the donation stating “this donation is dedicated to your Da. He is smiling down on you with pride”. I instantly broke down in tears. This was the first time I’d allowed myself to cry in a long time and I couldn’t stop. I was sitting outside the barbers trying to stop crying before I went for a haircut. Needless to say, I was late to my appointment. The fasting was allowing me release emotions inside me that had built up over years of emotional neglect and self oppression.
The remainder of the day was simply counting down the hours as I humbly and gratefully read messages of love and support as people donated, encouraged and celebrated our success. The biggest lessons I learned on this day related to the celebrations, congratulations and support that was raining down on me.
When I began this journey, I began it to test my discipline and accomplish a feat that nobody that I personally known had achieved. As my self-doubt about completing the 7 days without food waned, the more my mindset shifted. The journey had now become about inspiring others to be better version of themselves. The journey became about the lessons I was learning as well as the person I was becoming along the way.
One of the lessons I learned along the way was the notion that results cannot be forced. You can only follow a process. You can only trust the process works, live in the now and let go. Live in this moment because what has gone cannot be changed and what’s to come will be. Neither can be controlled. It was with this notion that I genuinely lost the capacity to worry or feel guilt. I don’t mean I lost the capacity to feel, like a sociopath. I mean I had lost the capacity to waste time on useless emotions. I would vow to reflect on the past in brief spurts and make amends as I go and to learn for the future and project into the future only for practical reasons and not to attempt predict what was to come. This alleviated me of guilt and worry.
The biggest lesson however was, the lesson of who I truly am and who I truly am is my reality. My reality is that which never changes. It was this question that I hoped to answer from the outset and I feel like I found my answer. Who am I?
Thank you guys for all of your love and support. With your love and support, we raised $4200 for The Covenant House, Missouri, which will give homeless youth across Missouri hope with education and tools to help them transcend their situation to hopefully become independent productive members of society.