I Survived 21 Days of The Daniel Fast
Last week, I finished one of the hardest challenges of my life—the Daniel Fast. This spiritually motivated fast calls the participant, or brave warrior, to eat as Daniel did in the Bible (see reference verses Daniel 1: 12 ; Daniel 10: 2-3 ) for a period of 10 or 21 days. During this time, a person abstains from specific foods in order to get past the physical distractions and to dive deeper into the spiritual. The point here is NOT to starve for Jesus, but to deepen your connection with Him. It's similar to unplugging from the world for a period of time so you can focus on the more important things in life.
credit: Dr. Axe
Now if you know me, you'd know that meat is, or was, my everything. I could easily say I was addicted to it. I pretty much craved it 24/7, I ate some type of protein with pretty much every meal and I could never get enough of it. To go from eating meat daily to nothing for three weeks, I thought I'd lose it. Just look at this list! The list of the foods I loved but couldn't eat went on and on. Ugh. I almost cried a few times and lost my mind the first week. My roommates can attest to that. Despite that, there were a few lessons I learned while tackling Daniel's diet.
We Hold On Tightly to Things That Are not needed
This lesson came from day one when I realized I could eat a meal without meat and not miss it. Yes, ridiculous I know, but I always felt a meal looked incomplete without some type of meat on the plate. I never felt satisfied without that type of protein.
In life, we can have that one thing that we feel we need or are incomplete without. In actuality, it's not a need but a want that cripples us from seeing other opportunities in front of us. We feel we'll never be satisfied with the absence of that thing, so we carry it with is, but sometimes, you have to let something go in order to have room for something better.
For me, it was realizing vegan meals which surprisingly aren't too bad (except avocado and coconut soup. Don't do it, guys. Don't do it. *shudders*), were an opportunity to not starve during this fast and to get the nutrients I need.
We Need to Be Mindful
This lesson was born out of almost downing a piece of chocolate. I never realized how often I eat without needing to or even wanting to. Before I almost put the chocolate to my lips, a piece of dark chocolate which I hate by the way, I said, "I don't event want these". But it's my habit to mindlessly snack. I'm not saying chocolate is bad (for the sake of the fast it was), but this absentminded action showed me my habit to just consume whatever without thinking about it first.
We need to be mindful of what we let into our space. In my case, it was my body, but in life it could be the type of people we hang around, the type of books we read, they types of shows we watch, or the thoughts we have. You are one human being, and negative environments, people and media can bring you down and destroy your peace. You have to police the things that are close to you because those are the things that can either build you up or break you down.
If you want it, you can have it
After my fast was complete, I realized that if I want something bad enough, I can have it. As long as I don't let the doubts from myself and others, get in my way. At the beginning of this challenge, I didn't think I'd make it, but once I shifted my focus from the restrictions I had on me to the essence of why I was doing it, every day became easier.
Many of us have dreams that we feel are out of reach. Whether it's because of our own fear, the words of discouragement we may have heard from family, friends and bosses, or a circumstance we feel trapped in. But through it all, if you push all that noise aside and focus on the very essence of your dream, you'll accomplish it no matter what.