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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fasting Can Be A Powerful Life Tool.

Fasting from Food has been around for many years as a spiritual tool and prayer.
When you hear the word "fasting," many immediately think of Jesus fasting in the desert, maybe one thinks of Gandhi, or maybe a rebellious youth.
However, let's look a little deeper into the dynamics of fasting and how it can be a tool used and applied to a variety of aspects and situations in our lives.
Lets think about the relationship of hunger and food.
Hunger is the stimulus, and the response is eating.
In life, we are frequently presented with a variety of stimuli, either pleasurable or painful, or somewhere in between. We first experience a stimulation and then are programed to react. (i.e hungry and then we eat).
Can you think of other stimuli that you experience in your life and then your reaction?
Lets look at pain, you touch a hot burner, and you pull your hand away.
You feel cold and put on a jacket or a sweater.
Lets think about other situations, more in line with temptation.
You taste something good and you might overeat.
You experience a sexual arousal and then have thoughts of temptation.
Can you see where I am going with this.
In the current culture, most people are programed that when they experience a stimulus, they usually react without pause, allowing temptation to immediately progress into sin.
Most young adults have not learned or practiced the skill of delaying gratification or mastered denying temptation efficiently or effectively.
Lets look at the dynamic of fasting again.
When you don't eat, you feel hunger. When you feel hunger, you want to eat. By denying the usual reaction to the stimulus, you practice self-control and self denial. The more you train yourself to this skill, and practice the self denial, the better you become at it.
The more comfortable you become with acknowledging and believing that you have legitimate control over your reaction to stimuli, the better apt you are to controlling your reaction.
Can you see how this can be applied to a variety of situations in life ? (i.e temptations and the associated reactions)
Lets think about a weekly routine of fasting. Lets say a person decides to fast every Friday. Can you see after establishing a routine for a matter of months or years, how this can foster a self mastery in the arena of identifying stimulation in life and then choosing how one wants to react.
Can you see the power in such a Life routine and exercise?
Wise men for thousands of years have practiced a routine of fasting.
Think about it!
Do you feel that you could improve in the area of self denial and self control?

Fasting doesn't mean that you have to go without any food or water.

Many catholic us the following routine:

2 small meals a day, and 1 regular meal a day.

The two small meals should not, when combined, be larger than a regular meal.

No snacking between meals.

I must say however, the above mentioned routine is really easy for some, so they could consider adjusting it some to met their needs and overall purpose.....

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