March 22, 2008

Water Fasting- The Good the Bad the Ugly

Water fasting is tough. Water fasting can have good and bad times. I decided to write this post during a water fast.

Water Fasting The Good

Ending a water fast is always amazing. The first few glasses of fresh juice flooding the blood with nothing but pure nutrition and fructose is like flying and it felt great. I feel so connected to everything. My breathing, skin, and emotions, the way my mind feels, the sense of exhilaration and peace combined to make this wonderful connectivity. There is this upwelling of faith, and confidence; it feels like I can do anything. It is an overall state of well being with my soul, mind and body. Three days of water fasting hell it is worth it. The bad part is enduring it.

Water Fasting The Bad

The weakness gets so bad that a trip to the washroom is a big event. Getting out of bed takes determination. Now, this is the first morning and so everything is normal. I have been juice fasting for about 18 days so I expect low energy by midday and the full impact of water fasting by night.

The days are tedious and go by slowly as if time slows down like everything is slow motion. It is work to think and so all those little worries and fears evaporate as you just do not have the metal energy to entertain them. There is a natural introspection that deepens by the day. Like an automatic function of fasting. The mind sharpen, I can read and think faster, more creative, but my hands are tired just holding the typing position.

Let’s not forget about the strange aches and pains from past injuries that can flair up for a few hours or days.

Water Fasting The Ugly

It never happens on the fist day but day to day two of a water fast that introspection demands a hard look at my life, its purpose, goals, dreams and who I am becoming as a person.

Right now, I am at one of the happiest points of my life, and in a place of contentment health and freedom, but when the rocks of the soul get turned over, there will be something slimy and ugly. Always, there is a revealing of selfish ambition for both the greatest of saints and sinners. During fasting, it becomes ugly and then I realize that is me. Combine that with weakness, aches and pains and a mind state of apathy and you have water fasting.

The photo is of Tom Coghill at the top of the highest peak in Colombia, 6,800 meters above sea level.

Philippine Mountain Fast

May 2006, I was water fasting for direction of the cancer treatment program as seeing stage 4 cancer patients die close up was deeply painful. The successes were beautiful and encouraging but the failures were the loss of people who had become friends with a deep emotional attachment.

I had a beautiful campsite with pine trees and a view of the valley. I had driven my 4×4 van through lots of mud which was great fun. I was in the woods in a hammock fasting and answering posts in a G3 Internet connection running the laptop on car batteries with an inverter.

Lost in cyberspace, I killed two batteries that I thought were good. I was stranded miles from civilization. After 2 days on water I had to walk for 2 hours to my home and 3 hours back carrying another charged battery. A night through the Philippines mountains with mist and drizzle was a night to remember. I could smell every pine tree.

When I started I was so weak, I could barely put my shoes on but as I walked energy keep coming. There were times, I forced myself to plod onward but the body is a strange and amazing machine. It responds to demands and more energy came. Enough to keep plodding on.

Although being stranded at night in the woods sounds bad sounds bad, it became an exhilarating adventure and another lesson on going with the flow during water fasting.

By Tom Coghill of
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