When I speak about living life abundantly, I am not referring to having an abundance of "stuff" as in wealth or the material sense of the word, nor do I mean food or luxury. Rather, to live abundantly is to live life in its fullness. Often to experience fullness, we must, on occasion, remove from the abundance in our lives. Why? Because removing the abundance makes room for a greater appreciation. It produces healing, purification, efficiency, an increased awareness, perhaps even an increase in sensitivity to the world and those around us. When we produce these qualities, we begin to live life more abundantly.
Fasting is one area where we can remove from the abundance of our everyday lives. Fasting has been practiced for millennia. Religious leaders and gurus from nearly every major religion and philosophy have encouraged fasting. This lack from the abundance of the everyday feasting, produces purification within the body, the mind, and the spiritual life. How? From a physical sense, the body is able to remove toxins and repair damage, it is able to keep up with vital maintenance work more easily without being bogged down by excesses of food and digestive processes. It creates an efficiency with regards to nutrient absorption. Where there is less, the body assimilates and utilizes nutrients with greater efficiency for the reason of need. Mentally, fasting directs everyday focus into a new direction. Where that direction may be is dependent upon the faster, yet for many, it directs focus to others; it produces a greater awareness of perhaps those in need who do not have the abundance we experience. It also produces a heightened awareness of the spiritual aspect of human life. The focus can be directed heavenward where we can become refocused on from Whom or where our abundance comes: that is, the Creator who has blessed us immeasurably with this world, our families, our abilities, our jobs, our homes, etc. Fasting serves to draw us closer to our God by focusing on Him whenever the thought of food breaches our minds. It is the subtle reminder that He is the reason for which we have such an abundance.
Then the question of "how to fast" comes to mind. While each person will have differing reasons for fasting, "rules" or guidelines still need to be established to encourage and help us along the way. Often these guidelines make fasting easier taking the focus off the fasting and allowing us to focus elsewhere. Why bother oneself with deciding how to fast when we can easily follow a plan such as a cleansing fast clearly outlined? This way, the fasting accomplishes it's or our goals.
© Kimberly Styn Lloyd, MDiv, PhD, CNHP, CHNP, CFT