Long story short, I had a super bad stomach bug called Norovirus and I could not eat anything for close to sixty hours. I will spare you the gory details and say that I was not well. After two days of being ill, achy, feverish and let’s face it, crazy hungry, I felt something I had never felt before. There was a moment just past the forty-eight hour mark when I suddenly felt more clear headed than I have done in a long time.
I felt suddenly free of any aches and pains. More interestingly for me, I felt free of any doubt or worry or, anything really. I wondered if this was like when Yogis don’t eat and attain enlightenment? Now, in my defence, I was also a slightly delirious from not eating, so my imagination may have run away with me. I am fairly sure I did not reach Nirvana. It was however, a feeling far different to anything else I have experienced.
People may have guessed by now that my head can be a pretty crowded place and it is not always easy for me to get everything that is swirling away in my old noggin under control. For once, there was no need to try and get my thoughts under control as there were no thoughts to control. There was a simple quiet peace.
Now, I am not saying that after not eating for two days I have found the answer to inner peace. I make no such claims. I simply find it interesting how I felt after the experience and began to wonder about the practise of fasting for religious or spiritual beliefs. Is there something to it?
I am also not saying that not eating for two days is a good idea. I by no means wanted this experience. I was simply ill and could not face food. Nor is this an advocation of a new crazy fad diet followed by celebrities. Although, now I have written it down and read it back, it sounds exactly like a new crazy fad diet followed by celebrities. ‘Noro to Zero’ could be a potential name for it.
However, I am being tangential again. Back to the point Beecroft! I sat and thought ‘Wow, it is quiet in here.’ The ‘in here’ refers to my head and not the room I was in. The reason the room was not quiet was that my pet Degus were having a row and chirping at each other aggressively. I say aggressively, but by it’s very nature, a chirp is not the most threatening of sounds. It is like being verbally threatened by Elmo; it is just too cute to be scared of.
I sat and stared out of the window and watched the rain patter down at it’s own leisure and enjoyed the silence in my head. I have to say it was wonderous. I felt a peace I have not known in ages. I noticed something else out of the ordinary. When I am arguing with myself in my head, I think phrases like ‘You know when you get anxious…’. I talk about myself as if I am talking about someone else. It is the first time I can remember saying in my head ‘I think this…’. It was weird.
There is a theory that with all the sensory overload we subject ourselves, or are subjected to, that it becomes impossible to be able to even hear ourselves think. So, with the unexpected quiet in my head, I took the time to listen to see what it was that I was actually trying to say to myself.
I was not apparently trying to say much to myself at all. Yes, I know, for someone who writes plays, my inner voice lacked a lot to be desired in terms of dramatic revelations. Yet, life is not a play and sometimes it is plain old simple. All I really said to myself was ‘Everything is fine and worrying about what you are worrying about is making it all more confusing than needed.’
That was pretty much it. So, since then, I really have not been worrying. I am still feeling this way two days later and I am enjoying the clarity of mind for as long as it lasts. All in all, it was an interesting experience. I am not dead keen on trying it again anytime soon. In fact I am having pie and chips for dinner to make up for missing food for over two days. It did make me think about fasting and how it all works.
Does anyone fast for whatever reason? If so, what were your experiences? I am genuinely interested.
Take care buddies,