The Life Changing Magic of Fasting
My personal experience on the 21-Day Daniel Fast...
Before entering 2023 I knew I needed some sort of change in my life. I wasn’t sure what change I needed exactly, so the first step was to bring clarity into my life. A few years ago after a really rough breakup I was in need of clarity and a “reset”. I needed a fresh, clean slate. A friend recommended to me that Daniel Fast.
I remembered how clear, empowered, and confident I felt during the Daniel Fast at that time, so I decided that would be my course of action entering this new year.
Contrary to popular belief by my instagram followers, the Daniel Fast is not something I, Danielle, made up…haha
The Daniel Fast is based upon the prophet Daniel’s dietary and spiritual experiences as recorded in the Book of Daniel in the Bible. It’s a type of partial fast that focuses very heavily on vegetables and other healthy whole foods but leaves out any animal sources of protein.
The intention behind this type of fast is not to participate in a fad diet to lose weight, although I did experience healthy weight loss, rather the intention behind this fast is give something up in honor of the clarity you are looking to receive.
It is spiritual discipline, one in which you can draw nearer to your own intuition, God, and the Universe. In today’s busy and distracting culture, entering a fasting experience is like pushing the pause button on a hectic life and centering more on nourishing your body and soul with attention and rest. This quieter and more focused time allows you to hear the voice of your intuition as it reveals to you truth and the direction of your life.
So from January 2nd to January 23rd I did the Daniel Fast. I only consumed water, hot water with lemon, pressed juice, 100% organic smoothies, fresh produce, grains, and beans.
I had a very successful fast because I properly prepared for it and went in with very clear intentions. One of my favorite sayings to live by is, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. So here is what I did to fully prepare for my fast:
1) I hired an in-home chef. I am not much of a cook and I knew if I didn’t have meals pre-prepared and ready to eat during each mealtime of the day, doing the fast would be a lot harder on me. I definitely don’t think having a chef is necessary for everyone, but I would recommend finding a way to pre-prepare your meals so that you don’t give into temptation when you are hungry and eat foods outside of the fast.
2) I journaled my specific intentions for doing the fast in the days leading up to January 2nd. I was very clear and direct about what I was asking for in return for doing the fast.
3) I made it a point to schedule “quiet time” each day during the fast. I did this through meditation, taking a bath, or through prayer. This time allowed me to actually hear the voice of my own intuition.
4) I limited my social media usage by putting a timer in the settings of my phone. It was important for me to tune out the voices and opinions of everyone else and instead tune into my own internal world and intuition.
P.S…it is a good idea to only use social media if you feel GOOD after having logged on. If the opinions and ideas on social media are leaving you feeling drained, angry, or jealous - ask yourself ‘why’ do you think you deserve to feel that way? Would your life improve if you didn’t feel that way?
After properly preparing for the fast, I was in a really good place to fully surrender. If you’re used to always being in control and ‘driving’ every aspect of your life, like myself, surrendering to anything can be anxiety inducing. However I would invite you to see that it is only anxiety inducing because it is new, not because it is wrong. Letting go and surrendering is simply just a new feeling in your body. Can you allow yourself and your nervous system to acclimate to these new sensations? Can you sit still and observe them instead of going into your automatic reactionary pattern?
This is the process of quieting the ego. The ego doesn’t like change, and the ego really really hates not being able to be in control. So a fast is essentially breaking the reactionary patterns of the ego. When you are able to focus your attention solely on that which you know is good for you, you start to feel very empowered. You no longer feel victim to your past faulty programming.
We all have faulty programming. This doesn’t mean the programming is “bad” or something to be ashamed of. We have all come from very diverse walks of life and along that path we have been taught ideas. Some of these ideas are life giving and some of these ideas hold us in patterns that keep us from realizing our fullest potential.
As children, we found ways to protect ourselves from the pains we were introduced to. In our innocence we formed ‘padding around ourselves’ to shield ourselves from these pains. The padding can come in the form of people pleasing by ignoring your own needs, over-achieving, making everyone else laugh, seeking comfort in food, sex, materials, etc…
None of these coping mechanisms are ‘wrong’ and they are never something that should be shamed, they were simply created by your younger self as a way to survive, feel safe, and feel 'good enough'.
As adults we get to do the beautiful work of stripping ourselves of these layers of padding. It’s exciting when you slowly begin to see that you don’t need the layers you’ve been carrying around. As you shed the excess baggage you begin to feel lighter. You see that it is actually ‘okay’ and wonderful to be your real self. The self you were before the world got to you.
Fasting shows you that you don’t ‘need’ what you thought you needed. It brings your patterns into conscious awareness because you can’t continue to eat on auto-pilot, you have to really think about what you’re putting into your body and at what time.
The realizations that are reached through this intentional focus bleed into all areas of life.
Over-eating, not eating enough, over-spending, saving money with a scarcity mindset, having too much sex, not having enough sex, excessively working out, never working out, etc...are all just external imbalances that give us clues to our internal imbalances.
Now here is where you get really powerful and totally in charge of your own life - ask your inner child 'why' it is doing what it's doing. What is is hoping to gain by doing that external action? Safety? Acceptance? Comfort? Belonging? Love?
When YOU are able to give your inner child what it is seeking, you'll begin to notice your external vices fall away. There is no longer a need for them, and your external world comes into balance in accord with your internal balance.
You see, it's never about controlling what's going on "out there" - your power is in tending to what's going on "in here".
I entered my fast very confused about my next steps and feeling disempowered.
As I end this fast, I am feeling very calm, sure-minded, and energized about my path.
I like being ‘me’ again -
And I love the inner child I found after peeling back the layers and padding.
Until next week,
Danielle Lee, Owner/Founder of D. LEE
Seriously, thank you for this!
Leave a comment