Thursday, January 24, 2013


It's 1 am...1:03 sorry. I am whipped, exhausted, tired, slipping, tipping, breaching, pushing for...for what? Well I am hoping all this exhaustion pays off someday ha! I have no promises, no guarantees that I will be successful but I had some great advice from a speaker that came into one of my campus group meetings.

" The key to moving up in life, whether at your job, in school , whichever pursuit you want to excel at - the key, is to take on more responsibility."

" I got where I am today because anytime there was a position to be volunteered for I took it, and what happens when you have too many projects for one person? They give you people to work under you and help you with those responsibilities."

So that's where I'm at. Push to be uncomfortable, if there isn't a weight on my shoulders how will I grow strong enough to carry more?

Imagine a person on the ground curled up in a fetal position but with forehead touching the ground and arms wrapped around knees those knees and their toes also touching the ground. A pressure from all directions, think of it as a cloud or a cloth like weight of some sort. In order to stand you have to first uncurl your body. You have to force your back against this pressure that encompasses you. Eventually you work enough to be able to stretch out your body fully, then, to be able to stand fully erect.

You push on this cloud opening and creating a space around you, now you can walk around in a small area. The cloud is still all enveloping , completely surrounding you infinitely in all directions. You can push on it here and there and you create more space for yourself. You can walk, in fact now you can skip a little . You have pushed a great distance for yourself after time , and now you can run!

This weight, this pressure, this cloud of darkness infinitely surrounding us is life. It is the world around us and if we are content in that fetal position on the ground, if we never push up against the pressures and difficulties of life, we will never be able to stand. For those who decide they want to run though and for those who want a space so vast that they sometimes forget where they began...for those people, a lot of work is required and a lot of strength is built, because after awhile you get used to the pressures of life and you get used to constantly pushing out and constantly building strength. This is my life and I'd like to be able to run. I will not settle having my forehead pressed to the ground.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm learning appreciation. That's what I'll say.

Have you ever stayed up for a full day or two? Maybe pulling an all-nighter studying or working on a project and then having to fill a full day of work after that? Have you ever participated in a truly exhausting workout? Or maybe a long distance run?

Theres a feeling of exhaustion that comes over one's body after events like these. Where we push our mind to it's limits. We test our own will. But we know. We know that we can do it. And the feeling afterward is a satisfied exhaustion. The accomplished depletion. That's where I am at right now.

It's almost Eight O Clock on the third day and my legs are tired. My eyes stare longer than they should and my stomach insists on my attention. Day one was much easier than I expected.

I hear Johnny's words- "It's not for the weak of heart, It'll test you".

I had a feeling it would get to be like this. I did a small amount of research. It goes that the human body can survive up to 30 days without food.

I'm on a three day fast. I've never done a fast before. No food, just water. I try to keep the water to a minimum too. First day one glass. Second day about two and a half glasses. Third day, water is much easier to drink, and much more inviting. I'm asked "Why?"

"Why do this?"

The thought first looked my direction about a month ago. There's a bartender at The Blind Lemon-where I work- who has been there ten years...Johnny. He is a tall guy about six foot or more with a young face , pale complexion, curly hair, about thirty years old. Not at all flashy and a good guy at heart: this is apparent  when you first meet him. So in one of a few conversations Johnny brings it up..."So once a year I do this thing."
                        "What thing?"
"I do this 3 day fast. No food, just water. 3 days"

I'm intrigued at this. I knew fasting as a spiritual thing and I know Johnny is not a believer in God.
"Really now?" I have to ask, and we can imagine my eyes beginning to open a little wider than before.
" I have to know Johnny, why? It's obviously not out of faith."

He smiles a sheepish grin, a dash of pride at the corner. " I do it every year- it's just a thing I do."
Of course I understand him.
The man who doesn't believe in god is inherently a good man, and good men have spirit. I understand the fast as a way to get in touch with one's spirit. A way to stay humble. A way to pray for nobility. What I have learned though is that after day one, I began to understand.
After day one  I didn't crave food, in fact it seemed all desire had faded. I had a calm inside of me. Desire for food, for drink, for women even. Faded. It was as if the food was pushing these clouds into my mind. We know this is not a scientific fact, but that's almost how it felt.

Towards the end of day two I begin to think of food. I begin to think of food in a new light. I begin to think of food as if it were worth a little more. I search some online articles and journals to see what the benefits of a fast are and of course to read the opposing opinions. It cleanses the body apparently- it would seem that without food the body digests all the bad leftovers clinging to its parts.
The Offender says " It's bad on your body, it destroys your body, your body will begin to act in terrible cycles and eat its muscle and even liver!!"
I read The Defender's article and in the first few days of a fast the body's metabolism accelerates. In early man periods of fasting were normal and so chemicals are released in a temporary fast to make us more aware, quicker-for the hunt. Well I'm not hunting much in the city so that's about useless for me.
Instead I respond in myself to the more spiritual aspect of things.

On Day Three... Food excites me like a good holiday. I can only imagine what I will spend my earnings on after day three. I watch a documentary on Sushi...Sushi is definitely what I want to eat...for dinner. For lunch; Skyline Cheese Conies ; for breakfast, all the leftovers in my kitchen. I understand now. What it means to be starving. I have inflicted this upon myself and some would say "You make a mockery of those without food! Those who would love to have a bite , just a bite! And you deny food for three days on a whim! "

Well before, I could listen, I could watch, I could pray for empathy. But now I understand-though I'll admit not the worst. Three days is hardly a week, and not nearly two weeks , 14 days in fact. And that's not even half of thirty: the supposed time the body can go without food. I can tell you this though. After three days I appreciate my position. I appreciate food so much more. I appreciate the discipline it takes to only withstand these three days , and I look forward to the 4th day when I can eat once again.