- I've made it to Day #5 of my water fast! Booya! Only 2 1/2 more to go! I've been fasting for 97 hours! Holy cannoli! With only 70 hours left! I have a fasting tracker that I love: the Zero app! Amazeballs and keeps me inspired and accountable!
- I've been feeling a lot of shifts during this fast; more emotional and spiritual shifts than my last water fast late March. There are definitely physical shifts, too. But I feel more impacted emotionally and spiritually this go round. I've also gained some clarity and sudden realizations that I attribute to fasting, included in the next three items.
- First, yesterday I finally came to the conclusion and decision that I do not want to return to China. The quality of life is very low for me there and that outweighs income potential and conveniences offered. I don't want to live somewhere where I never see the sun because of horrible air pollution and skyscrapers the color of dung blocking the sky; I don't want to breathe poisoned air, drink foul water, and eat crappy food; I don't want to be crowded by millions of people; I don't want constant noise and light pollution; the cities are polluted in every manner and I don't want to live a polluted life. Realizing and accepting this feels like a big relief and allows me to see other doors as they open. I am still waiting for everything to unfold with this damn pandemic and whether or not I want to return to teaching for a school. I am trying to just let it go and realize that those answers will come too, and that I don't have to stress over it. Although I still need to work remotely to bring in income; I know that will unfold as well. One thing though: if I am able to work remotely and earn well, I would go back to Tibet in a second because that is not China in any manner! I am grateful to know in my gut that this is the right choice for me!
- Second, a solution to my problem regarding my storage unit in China manifested itself during my afternoon Yoga Nidra session today! Yay! I've come up with a way to check on my storage and possible get my stuff out of there and to a place where I can trust it is secure! It's interesting that the idea randomly popped while I was in deep relaxation. I am so grateful for the idea!
- Third, I've decided to quit watching movies at night. I've been meaning to do this forever, but haven't had the desire or determination to do it! The idea reappeared to me today, and I felt the sankalpa (willpower and determination) rise up inside me. NOW I have the grit and will to cut it out! It probably helps that I completed a list of activities and hobbies to substitute for getting lost in series and movies. Feeling more aware and present helped me make the decision, too. Having moments of quiet where I was not DOING made me realize that I want to spend my evenings walking or playing chess or coloring, or writing or ...! Anything but the screen! I am so grateful to want this freedom! I really want to rejoin life again and stop escaping and numbing myself with sugar and screen time!
- I'm tired of being alone. I have isolated myself the past few years, and after 2015 trauma it started getting worse. Then, with all the stress and illness in China, I just holed up in my flat and never did anything, never saw anyone, except for sugar and film. The lack of connection and touch made all of my physical, mental, and emotional problems even worse, but I haven't been able to get out of the rut. Even in Australia, although I tried to get out and meet people, I eventually ran back to my hiding place: a solitary confinement composed of Nutella and serial movie streaming. I turned off, hid, and numbed out completely. But since returning to the US and feeling a sense of community at the ashram, experiencing touch, doing yoga, meditating like crazy, and spending time with my friends on the farm after the ashram closed, I feel reconnected to others and to myself. I feel like I am ready to rejoin the world, have a social life, and start dating again. I've joined an online dating site and am connecting with a few selected souls. My must-have list is non-negotiable and I'm rather unattached to finding someone just for the sake of finding someone. They have to have like-minded views and lifestyles and I'm not compromising on anything important. I'm in no hurry, and if it happens it happens. I am going to be very wary this time and listen to my instinct and any warning bells. I'm not settling and I'm not staying in the US, so I'll (hopefully) meet someone already overseas. I'm glad I decided to try again. My goal is still to return to the ashram and then depart the US, so meeting someone will have to coincide with those plans. I'm grateful for my new friends and for the social and heart connections I experienced at the ashram that have already improved my resilience, desire to form connections, and have acted to open my heart. I am also grateful a million times to my friend here on the farm, because a big part of the positive change could not have happened if she had not invited me to stay with her!
- I am also a thousand times grateful for learning about fasting. It's a new way of life and it feels permanent. I know I am changing mental grooves and neural pathways in my brain for the better, replacing negative habits with positive action, and feel confident that I have found a way to rebuild my health and reach my goals! Yay!
I'm feeling more and more that I want to return to the ashram when it reopens, even if that means my stay overlaps the new school year (July-August 2020). It's so important for me to reignite my spiritual practice (prana and meditation) and continue on my healthy journey of improved health, asana practice, increased emotional resilience, reduced stress, connection to others, and desire to serve. I am grateful to know this in my heart.
I am so grateful!!