This is a bad day. It seems as if the fast has built up to this day to bring me to a complete state of shutdown. Yesterday after a few hours of bed rest I was able to find my way back in the day again. The headache left me alone in the second part of the day. Today there is nothing I can do but completely surrender to the physical discomfort. The pain in my head starts in the cavities of my nose and pulls through to the front of my head. I feel flu-like, my throat hurts and every now and then I get overwhelmed by nausea.
The fear of crossing the border
Despite this flu-like state, it takes me a lot of effort to stay in my bed at the beginning of the day. My head decided that it’s time for more energy. I’m halfway of the waterfast. So it’s time that I’m going to be active again and a good moment to enjoy the benefits of fasting. Up to three times I put myself out of bed to do some writing while laying on the couch. I can’t do it. I feel sick. This sick I haven’t felt in years. Would this be the real detox? The moment that the stored toxins leave the body? Or, and that fear overwhelms me in the afternoon, have I crossed a line?
The thoughts make me anxious
A few of the hours I spend on the bed are anxious. Not so much because I’m so physically bad, but more because my mind is playing tricks on me. It’s not that I’m afraid of dying at that moment, but I still feel the fear of dying. At times I feel wobbly and -again- physically I feel that I would not fall down, but my fear was to get knocked out. All these fears, all these thoughts, they go crazy in my mind. There was no real danger, it was only my mind that took over from me while I was calmly recovering in my bed.
By now I had made the decision not to get out of bed for the rest of the day. I had some candles lit in my bedroom, an incense stick was burning and a soft piano music played in the background. As a few times before during these water fasts, it were the breathing exercies of the Wim Hof Method that calmed me down. From a fetal position, I started slowly with a deep breath. Slowly but surely my thoughts faded into the background and my inner world entered the stage. I lay down on my back in bed and completely surrendered to the breathing exercises. I don’t know how long it took, but after the exercises I felt calm and good enough to read a book.
Purpose and way are one
One of the first sentences I read in the book was “purpose and way are one.” Right on the spot. In this process it is so beautiful to live from this Buddhist wisdom, but at the same time so difficult. Fasting comes with quite a lot of discomfort, both physically and mentally. I think we as people are used to wanting to brush these discomforts away as quickly as possible. Whereas in living the discomfort instead of brushing it away there are valuable lessons. Today I couldn’t go any way. A painkiller was not an option, so I had to go through my discomfort. And what happened? It passed. Everything passes. Everything passes, so why not just live in the very moment?
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