3.8.11 Melting Down

Brook 1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
It's day 7 of my juice fast. The simple act of taking food out of the equation can be hugely transformative. Our relationship to eating tends to be very complex, because it provides not only nourishment but comfort, sensual pleasure and perhaps a buffer to shield us from some of our deepest feelings. One thing I grapple with is the herpes virus that I have carried in my body since 1985. During that time it has been more and less active, but seems to have migrated now to reside in my sacrum, a very vulnerable spot indeed. Os sacrum is Latin for "the seat of the soul." This area seems to have become very congested for me, and I sense that lower back pain, writing blocks and deep fears are all lodged here. On day 3 of my fast, after a couple of dull headaches, including one that woke me in the night, and a surge of the virus in my system, I began to feel like all my defenses and resources were falling away. I slipped back into a pattern of self-doubt and recrimination, where I relive the life-long pain of feeling like a disappointment to my parents. I also felt very isolated and out of my element. This was probably exacerbated by the fact that our week-long bathroom renovation is now in its frustrating and enraging fourth week, and we are still availing ourselves of the incredible hospitality of our dear friend who has lent us his house at Beaver Dam.
Brook 2 790 xxx
brook no nonsense
The house is beautiful, as are the surroundings, but between finishing pages that were due to my writing group and the incessant rain for two days, I had not been outside since Thursday. But somewhere between a wonderful talk I had with my extraordinarily wise and loving husband, and a long snowshoe I took yesterday through the wet woods, along a roaring brook recently sprung to life, a shimmering clarity came over me. I saw that in frequently being too hard on myself (something everyone always tells me I am and which never fails to bewilder me), I am keeping alive the voice of my parents—but the wrong voice. I expect a lot from myself, too much perhaps, but I am going to try now to be more gentle and to strive to do more often what truly makes me happy. All this from juice? you ask.
Fern 790 xxx
the promise of spring
I can't really underestimate the effect of a fast. The body is purging itself of toxins, and perhaps negative emotions are attached to some of these. Even if fasting does not always bring about heightened awareness, it is surely cleansing. My skin is clearer, my eyes brighter, my joints less achy, my vital energy enhanced. I think the effects of water fasting would be much more profound, and I would like to graduate to that at some point. For those of you who are horrified at the idea of going without food for even a day, perhaps you need to learn a little bit more about what it can do for you. After all, fasting has been considered therapeutic for thousands of years. Here are a few good resources to check out, even if you just read about them online:Fasting Can Save Your Life by Herbert Shelton, an early proponent of fastingThe Miracle of Fasting by Patricia and Paul Bragg, creators of Bragg's Enzymes etcPrescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch - I love this book
Pond 790 xxx
this is what I thaw


i heart you warts and all madam, you are an inspired and inspiring soul xx
stephanie on March 8, 2011 at 5:42 am —
Humble thanks xo
laura on March 8, 2011 at 5:51 am —
Beautiful sentiments and photos. Thank you for sharing your journey. My mom always says I'm too hard on myself as well and perhaps it's the curse of women born into our age but I truly feel like a slacker compared to what you have done with your passion. The Silverman sisters are an inspiration to me. (Perhaps a fast is in my future...)
suzinn on March 8, 2011 at 6:24 am —
I've been considering a fast, always afraid I won't be clearheaded enough to handle work, but if it will exorcise those voices, I'm in...which fast are you on? xoxox
Karen on March 8, 2011 at 7:28 am —
Suzinn: Thanks, as always, for your support. The beautiful life you have made speaks for itself.
laura on March 8, 2011 at 8:21 am —
Karen: A fast can be many things, depending on your physical and mental state, your surroundings, etc. I highly recommend you read one of the books I suggested, and then begin by incorporating fresh juice (especially green) into your life. If you're not ready to invest in your own juicer, make it a daily treat at a local juice bar. I'll bet there are plenty of good ones in sunny Santa Monica! Then, when you feel ready, you can try a short fast for three days, or even one. I wouldn't recommend trying a 10-day fast straight away; it might be a bit much. Let me know how it goes...xo
laura on March 8, 2011 at 8:25 am —
It takes a lot of guts to be this open on the interent. Well done for confronting and resolving the problems in your life and and not backing down from them.
The Quest For Zest on March 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm —
Josh: Thanks for your support. I'm known for being pretty open, mostly because I believe that we all go through the same things.
laura on March 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm —
Your writing and images always seem to move me. I've also been deciding whether or not to go on a fast. Purging the toxins from the last few months of over indulgence is probably a good impetus. I have a wonderful doctor friend who always fasts this time of year and suggested I try it. After reading this, I'm sold. Thanks for the push!
Ronnie on March 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm —
Thanks, Ronnie. Of course this time of year means Lent to a lot of people, a time to give up indulgences (and even basics like eggs and sugar). Fat Tuesday means one last pig-out before austerity. It does seems a fitting time to fast. Let me know how it goes!
laura on March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm —
Laura, I just love reading your words and am glad I caught you in my feed on FB this morning. Mention of a juice fast led me to this entry and it was a wonderful reminder of why I need to be sure to read your blog every day. I obviously didn't know you were fasting, but it sounds like the clarity you found at the end was worth each and every day. I'll be picking up one or more of the books you mentioned this weekend and starting something within the next two weeks. 2010 was a harrowing year for me, in so many ways, and a fast and its results seem to be exactly what I need. Thank you for sharing. xo
Jamie on March 11, 2011 at 5:14 am —
Jamie: If you have never fasted before, reading up on it and starting slowly are really essential. Especially if you are coming out of a difficult time (or going through one), you need to be very gentle with yourself. xo
laura on March 11, 2011 at 5:19 am —