Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fasting, Addiction, Filters, and Dinosaurs-Oh MY!

Baha'i Faith on Fasting


Prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

I have really wanted to blog about the soapmaking adventure for quite awhile, but my time been extremely "filled up" with making the soap, Ayyam-i-Ha, my husbands and daughters' birthdays and now the Fast.  I am really struggling with fasting today.  I am craving spaghetti and it would be sooo easy to make it right now.  Both kids are at school. I'm home alone for just long enough to make it and enjoy it..  I decided that the best thing to do would be to blog about some of the topics, I've been wanting to for awhile with the time instead.  I have a headache today, because I drank coffee this morning.  (something that is NOT a good idea while fasting for 12 hours) 

Addiciton is a hard thing to deal with.  Addiction to foods, to escapisms, to "things"...wanting to buy things.. (even buying sustainable things (or cooking things, or soapmaking things) can be very addicting). 

I am really hoping that fasting will help this everyday struggle to keep filtering...to be a better filter.

My family and I went to see "Walking with Dinosaurs" with the kids a couple of weeks ago. http://www.dinosaurlive.com/  It was very expensive, but we rationalized that we won't be going to Disney World anytime soon..And we vowed we wouldn't buy ANYTHING there.  Deciding that is one thing, but it becomes harder when faced with "Pressure"...We managed to walk by all the snack and souvenir stands with people actually approaching us to "buy"..We sat down in our seats, thinking "Phew" we got through that and the kids did  not tantrum about not getting anything.

But before the show started, they entered the seating area shouting, "ice cream, popcorn, cotten candy"...It was ridiculous...and it wasn't only once they did this.  They did it at least twice or three times...Before the show and during intermission.  We managed to live up to our goal and did not buy any of it, but our kids felt "deprived"...They were very disappointed..  And we were angry for the constant pressure..

I resent this pressure. It is hard enough to resist it, without always being pressured and manipulated...linking sense of self worth with material possessions...is often the strategy....Filter. Filter. Filter

Sometimes, I "pass this test"...Sometimes I don't..

My Fasting thoughts:
I notice that for me, each day has a unique challenge. for example: One day it was the physical discomfort of being hungry/thirsty, another day was emotionally wanting the habit foods/snacks/coffee. and another day being bored/grumpy with it-wanting it done. another day-feeling really spacey and tir...ed. Each day is unique...like a test a day to try to pass. 

Lately, it hasn't been "fun"...In the past, I felt good about fasting..The challenge of it, made it rewarding.  This year is difficult, because I don't "feel" the reward.  Perhaps that is an addiction too..I read that part of the resistance that kids have to "practice" an instrument is that it is not always fun or rewarding for them.  It is part of growing up; being able to do something even if you don't feel the reward.  (this depresses me, because I don't think I'm even there yet.)  Does that mean I'm not as mature as I'd like to be...I suppose I still have some "growing up" still yet to do.  Fasting is NOT fun for me today.  So, far, I'm doing it, though.  But, I'm depressed about it.  I don't feel "good" about where I'm at yet.  I make one step forward and 2 steps back sometimes.  Trying to be sustainably minded, spiritually-minded...  But, I'm not quite "grown-up" yet.  I still want a reward and feel depressed about having to "let go" of that..  I do not always "deserve" or I am not always "entitled" a reward even if I've had a hard day, or "the hardest day"...

But on a more uplifiting note:

Here is what Rumi says about fasting:

There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and the belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes yo......u run up the steps in front of you.Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.When you're full of food and drink, an ugly metal statue sits where your spirit should. When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help.Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give it to some illusion and lose your power, but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control, they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pennants flying above them.A table descends to your tents,Jesus' table.Expect to see it, when you fast, this table spread with other food, better than the broth of cabbages. from The Illuminated Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks

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