I think it
might finally be spring.  I can hear the frogs peeping at night, and the
trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and my mental energy and focus is at
an all-time high.  I’m sure we’ll get at least one more blast of cold
before it’s all said and done, and I probably shouldn’t break out the
flip-flops and tank tops just yet, but I can sense its presence.  It’s out
there somewhere.


Of course,
part of the springtime ritual is the springtime fast, right?  For many
people, the season of Lent is a time of self-reflection and sometimes,
deprivation.  I remember a roommate in college giving up sex for Lent.
 Apparently at her church, Lent was only 40 hours as opposed to 40 days.
 I have “given up” chocolate, meat, alcohol, worrying and
television at different times in the past.  I can’t remember a single
year, however, that didn’t end long before Easter actually rolled around.
 This year, Brian preached a sermon about feasting rather than fasting.
 I missed it; the kids were doing their own spring cleanse with a vicious
stomach virus.  But the devotional he used in the sermon was included in
last week’s bulletin.  It seems that many people had liked this idea of
“feasting” and had requested a copy.  I kind of like it too.


*Fast from
judging others; feast on the presence of God within each person.

*Fast from
focusing on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

*Fast from
apparent darkness and gloom; feast on the reality of light and enthusiasm.

*Fast from
thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.

*Fast from
discontent; feast on gratitude.

*Fast from
anger; feast on patience.

*Fast from
pessimism; feast on optimism.

*Fast from
complaining; feast on appreciation.

*Fast from
negatives; feast on affirmatives.

*Fast from
bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

*Fast from
self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

*Fast from
discouragement; feast on hope.

*Fast from
facts that depress; feast on promises that inspire.

*Fast from
idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

*Fast from
shadows of sorrow; feast on the brilliance of Resurrection!


So this Lent
season, I think I am going to try feasting on positive spiritual growth rather
than fasting from chocolate.  That just seems more productive somehow.


Of course,
many people still believe that physical fasting is also a necessary springtime
ritual.  Many ancient traditions, including the practice of Aryuveda,
include fasts that are designed to remove toxins from the body and to
“sweep out the old” for a sense of self-renewal and cleansing.
 As I’ve said, we’ve had enough bizarre stomach ailments this winter to
more than “sweep out” our systems so I probably won’t be partaking in
any juice fasts anytime soon.  Of course, I am looking forward to fresh
seasonal fruits and veggies, and sunshine and fresh air often do the trick for
boosting my energy.  


However, a
newseletter I receive from Yoga Journal posted an article on a three-day juice
fast this week.  It was a typical YJ essay and had some interesting
information, but the thing that really caught my eye this time was a comment
posted by another reader.  I just had to laugh when I read it.  I
hope this won’t automatically negate my efforts to “fast from judging
others,” but the humor is too good to pass up.  I’ll share it here,
and you can be the judge.


I am doing the 3 day juice
fast, but I introduced it to my body by eating raw fruits and veggies 2 days
before the juicing and I will work my body out of it the same way. My first
meal will be soup . If I feel good I will steam up some fruits and veggies with
rice. I hope I’m able to drink my yerba and eat some white fish by the 8th

I started this with a friend so
its helped me get through it. She doeant have a phone so we talk about it over
MySpace. Its funny, the things we crave. She really funny, she imagined walking
steak. ME, its been slurpies ( never drink those things, not since I was a
kid), and sesame sticks (never eat those either). 

Day 1; I was really irritable
that day. But I made it trough the day without even realizing it until it was
bedtime. I practiced Ashtanga/flow that day. Got my ass kicked, but I also
haven’t been practicing much at all the past 6 months-that makes me very sad.
Sometimes we just get into a rut.

Oh, and for the first 2 days I had horrible
headaches by the evening.

Day 2; felt like shit. It was a
tough day. My head makes this congested, ringing sound and it feels airy.

Day 3;I loaded up on more water
and went on a bike ride, later I went to bed next to my (annoying) boyfriend.
He is really horny, but I dont feel like having sex right now. Sex is out the
window for me since the fast. I was delirious all day. But I have a lot of shit
to figure out so I sorted a lot out that day too.

Day 4;
Tired of the juice.
Still smoking pot. 

Good luck, you can do this. Its
really about fighting your desires. My boyfriend cooked a delicious meal and
basically ate it in front of me (he doesn’t really think about his environment).
But I fought through it because I’m a warrior!

I think it’ll be good from here
on out. I can feel it. My head feels good, I feel light, free. I was in a car
accident so my neck is detoxing too. It hurts but hopefully it will help me
when I’m an old woman.


Is it just me or is Day 4 the best thing you’ve
read lately?  Could I use this as an example of irony for my writing

Well, whatever your springtime ritual, do it and be
happy.  Just realize that pot could technically be considered a toxin, but
who am I to judge?

Peace, ya’ll!