With Ash Wednesday the fasting period within Christian tradition started this week. In recent years I noticed quite a lot of people who normally wouldn’t call themselves religious, fasting during this special time of year. I think this trend really reflects the wish to have a time within the year to reflect about ones consumption or to live more aware of ones own behaviours.
Lend normally starts somewhen in February. After the new years resultions which might have been failed in January, lend gives everyone an opportunity to work on small changes in their lives. I have been fasting during lend for three years now and can truly recommend it.
I started by doing without any chocolate, then any sugar and am this year trying to renounce meat. I think it always should be something you do for yourself and this also means that you shouldn’t be too hard to yourself if you break the fasting ones or twice.
I remember that in my first fasting period I couldn’t help it to eat ones or twice some chocolate just because I ones completely forgot and the other time I simply couldn’t resist. But still I managed to eat no chocolate for 38 days which was a pretty good achievement for me.
So what I basically want to say is that fasting should be about a voluntary act and always should be something you enjoy. Of course it can be tough to resist something you normally do a lot or eat a lot but it always gives me a feeling of great achievement and strenght if I manage to push through the 40 days.
Fasting out of religious belief or just out of curisosity or self challenge definitely is a good way to get to know yourself better. And there are so many different ways you can approach the season. I mean there are the general ideas like not eating chocolate, meat or not drinking any alcohol. But you could also do something completely different like a friend of mine did. Last year she was doing her Master degree and because she always stressed herself she decided to try to reduce that pressure on herself. So every time she was putting too much pressure on herself she comitted herself to relax. The year before she tried not to use any swear words.
So I guess with these examples fasting really is about a period of time where you try to live a bit more conscious about you and your life decisions and often that helps to find new ways of living or just small steps of improvement for yourself.