Saturday, April 18, 2009

Focusing on Fasting

I don't have any earth-shattering contributions to document today about my fasting efforts thus far this month. I have learned something about myself, however, that impacts my fasting - and probably explains why I have not been able to have fasting create the experiences it could have at this point in my life:

My mind jumps around all over the place. If I am not focusing on something intently, I tend to forget it - as my mind moves to something else to contemplate.

When it comes to fasting, this has a two-edged negative effect:

1) I tend to lose focus on the purpose of my fast, thus keeping me from contemplating it intently and for an extended period of time;

2) When I lose focus on my fast, it is easy for me to forget that I am fasting - especially now that I am trying to eat less at regular mealtimes and "snack" between regular mealtimes.

I still am working on this resolution, and I have had a couple of good experiences thus far (especially in relation to going to the temple with my oldest son to receive his own endowment), but I have come to realize that this resolution will not be easy for me.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this,which is why the experience of kneeling for prayer and vocalising has been an important step for me,it slows down my communication with the Lord and makes me focus.OTOH,I really liked what you said recently about keeping our prayers simple.I overthink and try to second guess God.Personally,I need to do more trusting and less trying to work it out,which just becomes obsessive and destructive.I think it's interesting how our own pathology can get worked out through our engagement with gospel priciples,or indeed be compounded when we use them destructively.I'm trying to use the gospel creatively,because it's an act of God's love for us.I think it's probably important that we fast with kindness towards ourselves.

Tasha said...

I KNEW YOU HAD A FLAW SOMEWHERE!
i just didn't think we would share the same issue.
Well at least we still share our drop dead gorgeous good looks in common too. :o)

let me just ask...
does you mind wander from how can I strengthen my relationship with my kids.. whose day is it for dishes....dinner what should i fix for dinner... anyone have a breathmint... oh wait I'm fasting i cant eat a breathmint... :o)

Papa D said...

"I think it's probably important that we fast with kindness towards ourselves."

Anon, Amen.

Tasha, I loved your final paragraph - and the answer is, "YES!"

Huston said...

Something I've done lately that has brought great spiritual rewards is to fast as a purposeful act of worship. Instead of fasting for forgiveness, strength, blessings, etc. I fast simply to express my reverent adoration of God.

It's more than just gratitude; I try to worhsip the way the scriptures show the prophets addressing Heavenly Father. During this fast, I find time to sing hymns that are vocally, directly worshipful, like "How Great Thou Art."

I'd recommend such a practice to anybody. Hope you like this idea!

Papa D said...

Huston, that is a great idea. Thank you!

backandthen said...

I have decided to improve the quality of mine too. I mean it is easy for me to skip meals as I regularly do it.
I am making tiny microscopic improvements but it has been rewarding.