I’ve been working through a lot of issues of victimhood that I didn’t know I had. I started to realise that in the regime the guru guided me to, he wants the victim well and truly knocked out of me. It’s like bootcamp. I’ve never done everything on the list before, all at the SAME TIME. One by one I’ve come off all of my stimulants : coffee, then black tea, then green tea. I haven’t had a drink in several weeks. Sugar went by the wayside. I started a fitness regime. I started taking all my supplements religiously. I started cleaning my house top to bottom, sorting and deep cleaning.
Even though I’m not done yet, I’ve been able to make certain observations along the way.
When I gave something up, I felt like a victim.
The guru banned me from fasting for a time, saying he wanted me to nourish myself. I felt as if I was force feeding, and cue feeling like a victim.
I was told to fast again. I found myself feeling like a victim.
The guru told me to join a choir. I joined two.
They are great. Uplifting, balancing, bonding, but part of me felt like a victim as I am now so busy I don’t know where to look.
The guru said that’s how he wanted me: busy, so that I didn’t have time to think.
I still had time to feel like a victim.
This is not about poor me. I am having a great time, and my sense of assurance is increasing with each week that passes, but this is about the bits in between. Someone doesn’t acknowledge me, I feel like a victim. I learn to love my daughters more deeply and instead of enjoying it, I start worrying more about their wellbeing = victim.
Someone else is down or having a hard time...I’m an empath so part of me feels like a victim.
If you don’t like my social post, I’ll feel like a victim. If too many of you do I’ll also make myself a victim.
When I studied Health Kinesiology a few years back, I came across an energy correction called ‘being / not being’. These corrections deal with the phenomenon of people not being able to find a state which is safe for them. For example ‘being angry’ is stressful, and ‘not being angry’ is also stressful. ‘Being healthy’ is stressful and ‘not being healthy’ is also stressful. It’s very common. If you are stressed, on some level you are being a victim. There is more than one way to tackle just about anything, but it makes you think, doesn’t it? You are overweight and take action to reduce it, then suddenly everyone around you without fail is concerned you will ‘overdo it’. Where can you find your balance if you are not ‘safe’ anywhere?
When I empower, none of this happens. It is like flicking a switch. Nothing has changed in my life, but ‘too busy’ becomes ‘abundant’. ‘Demanding’ people become people I can serve and empower. ‘Annoying’ people become people with whom I can guide, teach or share wisdom. ‘Threatening’ people become people with whom I can co-create. I find my quiet in my centre.
The ‘victim’ is getting really boring. I don’t like false deadlines, yet I have given myself until the end of the year to finish off all the half-finished jobs I’ve started, even if I have to stay up half the night. The uplift will be worth it. Osho defines karma as incompleted action, and when I first read that some years ago, I wasn’t entirely sure I could relate. But now, yes.
I still need to be at ONE with my humanity and limitations. Nothing is ever done. There will always be something undone, so it’s a balance between taking control, and surrendering to the moment and how things are, in itself a form of completion.
How to find this balance?
For me it’s about listening to the moment, feeling it in the body, feet on the ground and energising. Not trying to be in the future where the job is ‘done’, but enjoying the DOING as an act of BEING. This is completion. This is grace and peace and gratitude and all the good things. In this state I float effortlessly from one task to the next knowing that I’ll be empowered to deal effectively with it.
I like this place. I hope the 'victim' is listening.
It was the first day of Ramadan last Thursday, and my eldest daughter, who is nearly 12, decided to fast for the first time.
This is kind of a big deal.
For those of you not familiar with Islamic fasting, this means no food OR drink from sunrise to sunset. And with it being May, that’s quite a long time. It evoked some unpredictable reactions in our family - I am a big fan of liquid only fasting, but my initial reaction was to recommend she save this for a weekend. She had two school assessments that day and we didn’t know what effect it would have on her. My husband, who is Muslim, but often not the most enamoured with my free-spirited fasting, decided it was ok if she really wanted to test herself. He, after all, started fasting with his family from a similar age.
Not that it mattered what we thought. Her mind was made up.
Why did she want to do it? Mainly to keep company with one of her best friends who was fasting. Also, to see what it feels like. To see if she had the willpower. To manage her intake.
And she did it.
We didn’t even get up for a pre-sunrise meal in the early hours as many do. At just before 9pm when I got her favourite dinner ready a little victory shimmy was happening in the kitchen.
Sometimes life just throws out a surprise. The daughter who grazes every time she walks past the fridge or cupboard managed something most adults would find challenging...
The funny thing is, I have been fasting a lot recently, just not this kind of fasting. Initially I thought I might get the blame for setting a 'bad' example, but as we've seen, this wasn't the case. I find fasting more effective than almost any other practice, for almost everything: being present and in the moment, peace, increased levels of bliss and balance, clarity of guidance, clearing karma without struggle, letting go, slaying demons, breaking patterns, increasing devotion, self acceptance, manifesting something outside my comfort zone etc. etc.
When I say 'fasting', some people think this is quite extreme, for others my kind of fasting is probably a little tame, but generally, a not too arduous fast for me is 3 - 7 days of fasting until evening meal. Plant-based gluten free. No caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, or chocolate. I also avoid soy. On a couple of occasions I’ve gone all the way through without evening meal making it around 48 hours in one go but this is rare and depends on not having people around who are alarmed by this. I’d like to do more, if only out of curiosity, as after a fast that long I start to feel ready for pretty much anything. And it’s easier to keeping going once you’re in the groove and feeling the benefits than it is to get started. But people get concerned I'll waste away so what’s to do?
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I always knew that one day I’d try a Ramadan-style fast. What I didn’t know is that my daughter would beat me to it. So on Monday when she decided to do it for a second day, I joined her.
It’s not that bad.
After all those years of concern over the lack of liquids for so many hours (I drink a lot compared to most people), it just wasn’t that hard. I didn’t really feel that hungry or thirsty.
It was quite revealing - just how much of a displacement activity eating and drinking is. I have never sat at my desk and focused for so long - no tea breaks, no toilet breaks, just working and not thinking too much about it.
Coming home and not getting dinner ready immediately was also challenging as this is something I look forward to. By the time sunset at 20.57 arrived we had amused ourselves by preparing more food than we could eat and arranging it on the table beautifully. I was struggling after half a plate which doesn’t happen during my usual fasts. Admittedly, this would be a lot more difficult in a hot climate, or as a manual worker, and this is nothing on those who do this every year for a full 30 days, but it was an experience. And there are benefits to not drinking, as even water carries a certain energy which can be positive or negative depending on the source. When you consume nothing, you have your breath and nothing else.
So now we know what our Turkish relatives experience every year, and will be prepared to join them if our visits coincide with Ramazan. And we’ll probably test ourselves a few more days before the current month is complete.
In case you haven’t noticed, I highly recommend fasting.
As long as you’re fit, healthy, not insulin diabetic, pregnant etc. it's a great practice with many benefits. It’s not to be confused with a health detox or diet as the attitude and goals are different although some of the benefits may overlap. Fasting as tapas (austerities) is to be carried out with a humble attitude and devotion for a spiritual purpose. Intermittent fasting for can also be used for weight management - you will reap many benefits from this as well, but it is good to be clear about your purpose before starting.
If you’ve never tried it before, I’d recommend trying a 1-3 day fast with water and evening meal as described above. When I first started, I this I was still eating fish, dairy and wheat and still found it to be highly beneficial, so I wouldn't worry too much about the content of meal you use to break the fast as long as it's 'clean'.
Give it a go, and see what changes in your life.
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