Fasting - the one week mark

As this evening closes, I've completed a full week of fasting.  At this point, the hunger has almost completely subsided.  My energy has picked up quite a bit.  I think this is due in part to getting over the initial slump, but I must also contribute my growing energy to adding more juice to my diet.  I've added between 2 and 3 8oz. glasses of juice each day.  I've picked higher end juices from Odwalla.  I've noticed better mental clarity, and overall I'm feeling very good.

My fast remains open-ended with no set conclusion.  I will simply stop when my willpower gives out. 

The basic purpose of this fast is to recharge my self-discipline.  As I see it, fasting is one of the greatest challenges in discipline that I've ever experienced.   Completing the fast is an encouragement to myself that I can master my passions.  Other challenges in discipline that I will face will likely pale in comparison to what I am experiencing currently.

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A New Year's Fast

I've fasted a handful of times in the past. The last time I fasted was during the first week of 2007. Throughout last month, I had been contemplating a recurring fast for the beginning of this year. So far, I've completed 4 days.

Some have asked, "why fast?" The answer, for me, is to help me start off the year in a better spiritual, physical, and mental direction.

From reading and experiencing, I can say that the first few days are the most challenging. I've managed to keep myself hydrated and have avoided the usual headaches (mostly from caffeine and sodium withdrawal). I cannot, however, distance myself from the exhaustion and dizziness that accompanies this phase. I usually take the steps two at a time but not today. The hunger today has not been too bad. Typically, after the third or fourth day, the hunger almost completely subsides. Mentally and spiritually, there are eventual benefits, but initially there is a struggle with irritability and grumpiness. I think I've done better coping with these symptoms.

I've left my fast open-ended, that is, I have no determined end; I will continue until the time feels right to end it. I intend to share some more of my experience in the next few days, touching on more of the benefits I have and hope to experience. I also intend to address the question that some raise about making your fast public.


All things new

Happy New Year! I love the "new" in new year. I love new months, new weeks, new days, and all things new. "Why?" you may ask. My love of newness comes from my tendency to screw up, because newness implies freshness and the opportunity to begin again.

Consider resolutions. There is no law, actual or imagined, that indicates that resolutions only be made at the beginning of a calendar year, but the beginning of the calendar year invites the opportunity. Habits can begin to be formed at any time, but it is encouraging to know that we can get a fresh start.

I'll be the first to admit my mistakes (some of them) and my past failures, but failure for me is a daily thing. I am by nature a selfish person, and it is something I wrestle with constantly. Here are some questions I would want to be able to answer "yes," but I cannot honestly do so:

Am I as patient a father as I could be?
Am I as attentive a husband as I could be?
Am I as dedicated an employee as I could be?
Do I follow God as closely as I should?
Am I as wise a steward of my time, finances, and abilities as I should?

It is a new year, and a new day and I have an opportunity to change the direction of my life. It does not erase past failures, but it is a reminder to be better and more diligent in pursuing these goals going forward.

Happy New Year to you, and may you have a fresh outlook on life and the motivation to set goals and pursue them more passionately.

Jonathan Edwards' on Resolutions

I've made some New Year's Resolutions, and I will be sharing more about those in the days to come. Today, however, I offer you the opportunity to reflect on Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions. These were not for a specific year, but this was a list that he continued to compile over his lifetime. I'd like to say that just one of my resolutions is as profound or deeply spiritual as his, but that is not the case. As you may discover, mine are mostly typical. Simple or complex, resolutions are good, but they are best when actually applied and kept. The key is to aim high and make yourself accountable.


As I was Saying....

Happy New Year and welcome to my blog.  This is not my first attempt at blogging, but this year, I really want to make more of a habit of it.  By habit, I mean at least once a week.  One of the greatest challenges I've had in preparing to blog is "what should I title my weblog?"  I finally settled on "As I was Saying...."  This is a phrase I find myself employing on a regular basis, mainly because of my attempt at multi-threaded conversations.

When it comes to conversations, I have a tendency to stray off topic.  It is partly a blend of my ADD and my general love of knowledge.  As I am talking on one subject, I'll say or think "that reminds me of...."  At this point, I will stray to a totally different tangent on an entirely different subject.  Don't begin to think that the first tangent is isolated.  It is likely that I will stray again and split off a second, third, or fourth time.  However, my gift lies in that I typically close each thread before the end of the conversation.  As I reverse through the tangents, I will remember the path that took me down each rambling and come back to sufficiently close that topic of conversation until I finally end at the original subject.

As it relates to this weblog, I want to have some general areas of focus: technology, theology (matters of faith), philology (general love of knowledge), and efficiency (i.e. life-hackology).  Notwithstanding, tangents are allowed.  However, you can be certain that "As I was Saying...." will eventually resolve to one of these main foci.