Ok, it’s been a long time since I wrote. Life changed rapidly and also got pretty busy. Nothing like some Christmas downtime to put your thoughts to paper.
Let me continue…
So here I was, chilling in my hammock, in the rain, somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales. My tarp was keeping me sufficiently dry. But I could definitely be warmer. I contemplated heading back to the car to grab some more layers. Instead, I decided to sit with the slight uncomfortableness of the chill. I certainly wasn’t going to get hypothermia. And sometimes in life, things get uncomfortable and we can’t do anything about it. We can warrant these feelings with a negative reaction or accept them as they are. Everything in modern society is high demand and instant gratification, it is good to strip it back and be humble sometimes.
It rained all day. And I just sat. I breathed and I watched the trees and listened to the rain. Simple. I didn’t have loads of thoughts running through my head. Occasionally, a thought imagining what it would be like to eat after 72hrs would creep in. But overall, it was almost an effort to try and think something up. Was the time to pass slow or fast, I had no idea. I thought I would be writing furiously in my journal on things that would come up but that didn’t happen either.
What I did do was read through my journal. And what I noticed was a pattern. I reflected on this pattern. We always have a choice, I know this, but at that point, it really resonated with me. Actions and thoughts can always be changed. I know my mind can be like a stuck record, the same thing going around and around. Sometimes, we have the knowledge but need to experience it to understand it. Now, I can identify when I am stuck in an old pattern and I have the power to choose not to be.
Suddenly, something in me went “I choose not to be here anymore” and with that, I was packing up and travelling home. At home, in the dry and warm, I meditated for an hour. This was followed by a 12-hour sleep. The third day, still fasting, my energy was very low and I was happy that I had made the decision to come home early. I sat in noble silence for the day.
I had already decided in the days before how I would break fast. It was with a glass of pineapple juice and a slice of buttered malt loaf. Very random. But my friend had told me about when he had done a 72-hour fast and in a shaky state, a glass of orange juice had picked him up again. Stood in the supermarket, I was analysing the labels of orange and pineapple juice. Making the decision on the fact that pineapple juice has a higher sugar content than the orange and actually I like it more. I saw a single serve of Soreen malt loaf and decided that it was more solid than the juice, but still, plenty of carbohydrates and some butter for extra fat energy but also soft to chew and small enough that I wouldn’t want to gorge on it.
I consumed my random selection of food and beverage and waited as I felt the energy returning to my body. I was priming myself for the food that I was most looking forward to eating. Again, another random choice (for some), porridge. This is what I had missed eating so much. I could literally live off eating porridge. After the juice and malt loaf, I made myself wait 90 minutes before eating again so that I could fully enjoy it without being desperate to eat and cause any stomach discomfort. A small serving of porridge made with peanut butter and maple syrup. It was heaven. Savouring the small meal, I was grateful. Grateful that I actually live in a place of abundance and am able to eat every day. Grateful that I can find joy in simple pleasures.
Returning to my day-to-day life, people wanted to hear my story. I tell them, there were no fireworks. To some, it may seem mundane, but nothing happened. That is the beauty of my experience. I was able to “just be”. A place of pure presence. The whole point of existence. I felt humility and gratitude. But also I felt a little fire light inside me. I am stronger, more courageous. I can do anything. And so my adventure continues…