Today’s prayer and affirmation:
Today I surrender to my heart. Teach me to be patient. I trust that I am right where I am supposed to be.
My friend Narisa is fasting for the month of Ramadan. I decided to join her in her fast today. This is my gift solidarity with my friend during this solemn time.
Fasting, generally speaking is the voluntary avoidance of something that you deem as good. Usually it means restricting what you eat and drink. In my own Roman Catholic tradition, fasting is prayer of the body. It is a spiritual discipline that takes you on a journey to tame the body so you can focus on God. Fasting is also a way of doing penance for past excesses. Lent is the most popular period of fasting for Catholics; it is the 40 days before Easter Sunday. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving go hand in hand.
Reading up on Ramadan I realized that it teaches you patience. My friend Narisa further explained that patience and perseverance are fundamental teachings in the Qu’ran. You are called to restrict food and drink, this includes water. You eat before the sun rises and break fast when it sets.
I chose to do this fast for three reasons: My friend is doing this great thing, which after doing it for a day, I have a new respect for her; I wanted to reflect on my own lack of patience and to focus my thoughts inward and meditate on my path and to break this thraldom to my body and get in touch with my spirit. I got up early like I planned and had what I call an “Ultimate Green Smoothie” because I put oatmeal, flax seeds and lots of other good stuff in it. I had 2 glasses of water. Then I said some prayers and started today’s posts.
I was fine until I got to work. The coffee smells were playing with my mind. By 10 I was thinking to myself, why, oh why did I agree to do this? In my Catholic tradition, I could have some water at least. But in this tradition, you have nothing to eat or drink during the fast. I was sleepy all day, probably because of the early morning. But I made it through with prayer and mindfulness and lots of encouragement from Narisa. Needless to say, when I had that first sip of ice-cold water when I broke fast it never tasted so good.
I will do this fast again. My birthday is coming up and I’ve decided that this year I will be giving instead of waiting to receive. I want to prepare my mind and body as I enter a new year of life and a new phase of loving.