I wish I could say that things went just as I thought they would. That would be less than truthful. However, I do believe that I received just what I needed.
With each fast, there is always something that I learn about myself, the way I relate to myself and my life, and at the end it is like being at an impasse or fork in the road. Actually, there were times in the 21 days that I was at an impasse. Josei Toda is quoted as having said, “An impasse is a critical turning point. Do you give up and throw in the towel? Or do you stand up with indomitable resolve, determined to go on fighting? That difference in attitude is what determines victory or defeat.” There were times when I could barely drink water because of the taste – I didn’t stop. There were times when the toxins cause my skin to itch so bad – I didn’t quit. And, there were times when I was dizzy while teaching – I didn’t quit. Yes, there were times I wanted pizza, cheese, or a quesadilla (my favorite) – I didn’t quit. The impasse them was whether to stop or just manage how I could. I chose to manage how I best knew.
At the end of the fast there is always a fork in the road. My intention was to get to certain weight, clarify where I wanted to go with my life, and begin to takes steps clearly towards the life I want from here forward. One of the things you have to do when coming off of a fast is to consider how you want to eat. Yes, there is a process of returning the body to foods. I shared that in the last blog entry Behind the Fast with detailed information from Robert Johnson. When you cleanse the body there is the choice of returning to the pizza, burgers, cake and ice cream, and other things or going with healthier choices. Returning to the old way returns the body and mind to old problems. However, modifying your lifestyle to increase healthy choices intentionally takes declaring the choice, and living by that. “An impasse is a critical turning point,” where you look at the fork in the road and choose how to proceed. After all that work, I have no desire to regress, but will to move forward. Will I falter at times? I am sure I will. As I said before, I love quesadillas and Mercado Juarez. In fact, just today I shared with someone that I will be visiting Killeen, Texas and cannot wait to go to Yank Sing my favorite Cantonese buffet. What I have learned over the years is to choose wisely. I don’t deprive myself of the things I like, I eat them in moderation. And, I have broadened my interests in foods as well. So now that fork in the road leads to new, exciting, and fun foods that work for my health.
The Results Are In!
Everyone wants to know the physical results so I will share those – LAST. Briefly, the personal results are going to take time to manifest, but the choices have been made. What does that mean? What are they? Great questions.
- Career: I started a doctoral program and stopped it in November. During the fast I am clear that I will take the National Counselor Examination (NCE), become a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC), and incorporate concepts of health and nutrition into my practice fr a holistic perspective. That includes being trained in yoga, nutrition counseling (in some manner), and personal training.
- Finances: I have focused on obtaining a full-time position in my area(s) of interest, joined a group to support my focus, and am adding in other streams of income.
- Relationships: It is important to me to have an intimate relationship. I did not always admit that, but is something I enjoy. I enjoy having a person to share the journey of life with so I am willing to expand my circle and how I view myself.
- Parenting: I love my son dearly, and it is time to further loosen the strings so he can go further, bump his head, and learn to be stronger because of it.
- Holistic Health: It has become clear to me that ove the past 15+ years my health, spirituality, and persnal development have been a focus but unintentionally. It has not been integrated seamlessly, but now I see how much that is important to me and will further that integration. The way I eat, exercise, build a career, interact in relationships, and express my spirit are all one.
- Choose Happiness: No matter what I have to choose to be happy regardless of the circumstances.
- FAITH LIKE FLOWING WATER: BE WATER! One mantra I have held onto is “Be Water.” Bruce Lee said, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves…Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” I love that. And, I believe that I have to have faith like water to achieve my mission and vision. What does that mean, “The belief of some is like fire while that of others is like water. When the former listen to the teachings, their passion flares up like fire, but as time goes on, they tend to discard their faith. To have faith like water means to believe continuously without ever regressing (Nichiren Daishonin, Two Kinds of Faith, p. 899)” I want to be water.
January 1: 192lb; TODAY: 177lb
Arms: left – 13″, right – 13.375″; NOW: left – 12.5″; right – 12.75″
Chest: 40″; NOW: 39.25″
Waist: 35.25″; NOW: 33.5″
Hips: 43.5″; NOW: 41.25″
Thigh: left – 24″, right – 24″; NOW: left – 22.75″; right – 23″
OVERALL: 10″ and 15lb.
PICTURES TAKEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY!
Is It Over?
Nope. This is just one part of the year. One part of my life. And challenge met. I’ve declared this my Year of Daring Greatly. Daring to be innovative, creative, vulnerable, and transform in the way I see myself, the results I get, and how I live my life. It is a new way of being in the world. A year of daring greatly is all about new experiences for me and those who know or meet me. It is about putting myself in new experiences, outside of my comfort zone, being willing to transform myself, and looking for something completely. Something I have never experienced in the arena of life. Many may have read the excerpt of “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt. It is often referred to as either “The Man in the Arena” or “Daring Greatly” either way, here is the excerpt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.“
To complete a 21 day fast it takes daring greatly, being in the arena, and putting in effort. To take on the things that are struggles for me in life is daring greatly. To take on myself in all arenas is daring greatly. But, if I am not in the arena I would not be giving myself the chance at victory. So, I am daring greatly in life, love, finances, and the arena of life. And, I invite you to do the same. Challenge whatever there is for yourself no matter what the critics (friends, family, or that voice in your head) say. Be vulnerable enough to ask for help, admit your desire for transformation, and just do it. Be water, flow with it. Go for what you have never had before. It is through the mud that we get the lotus flower! Go through the mud to blossom!
Thank you for following this part of the journey, but it come back – it’s not over!