Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fasting in the Wilderness

I’m not exactly sure if I can tell you why I am on my way to southern Utah for a weeklong workshop that includes four days of fasting. This is something I signed up for as a four part program that – oh yeah – included a fast out on some butte in the wilderness.

What takes a 47 year old woman on an 800 mile trip to go starve herself out in the desert? I’d really like to put more profound, intellectual or new age language around this but really at the heart of this trip is a four day sojourn out in the wilderness with a tent, sleeping bag and water bottle(s).

I haven’t tried to explain this trip to anyone who doesn’t have the first clue as to what a fast in the wilderness is about. A vision fast is what it is called in this particular time and place.  Have I lost you yet?

I feel a little lost myself.

Do you know what a paradigm is? I bring this up because I think this is part of what has brought me to this particular adventure. One definition states a paradigm is: A set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme. We each look at the world through our own paradigm – a framework built upon commonly accepted views on the subject. Science, perhaps, or religious faith. Eastern or western medicinal practices; christian or islamic faiths. We have a particular lens created out of culture, family dynamics and how the world impacts us. I look at paradigms as those underlying assumptions that we don't even question.

A popular paradigm that existed while I was growing up was that our world was filled with infinite resources. Everything built off of that particular paradigm is now being questioned.
A paradigm today might be that you can actually have real relationships over Facebook and that life wouldn’t exist without the internet. Technology now being that ‘particular element’or framework that weaves through how you relate to the world.
I think I’m having my very own paradigm shift because I've been asking myself some very hard questions about how I live my life. It’s very hard to deepen into what that means when I am immersed in “it” every day. “It” has something to do with our consumer driven, ‘the ends justifies the means,’ careening at 80 mph hour - society.

Four days out in the wilderness, allowing my body to quiet and then feel the quiet, makes me really curious about what will emerge – beyond the withdrawals from caffeine, anyway.  The art of slowing down draws me like a sunflower to the sun.

Perhaps the act of heading here in the first place is evidence that the shift started happening a while ago.

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