Wherever you are in the world, this week likely holds some semblance of a celebration that honors the dead. Whether it be the trees that surround us with falling leaves or the many opportunities to participate in festivities rooted in long-standing cultural traditions, we are asked to face the truth of death.
This proximity to, and honoring of, death creates an opening. This opening can be seen as an invitation to more easily connect with loved ones who have passed, connect with past or future versions of ourselves, or simply to reflect on our own cycles of death and rebirth.
It can also be uncomfortable. Release, rest, dark, shadow, death... these are all words that, culturally, conjure of feelings of resistance. Note how much better it might feel to read the words: engagement, activity, light, bright, life. American culture doesn't do well with the darker side of life.
But, it is there none-the-less. We can either be a willing participant, actively engaging with all of life, or we get dragged along, often desperately clinging for something to numb us.
It is also like this with our health and diet, in which we engage with the cycle of fullness and emptiness. Focusing on one or the other too much lends itself to disease and illness, but actively engaging with all parts of the cycle attunes us to the ever-evolving being that is our body. This often includes release, such as releasing attachments to the body as it once was, letting go of comforting habits that no longer fit, and radical acceptance of the impermanence of our physical form.
So, how do we learn to more easily release and willingly lean into the shadow? With practice.
This week, reflect on the movement of time and all that has come and gone from your life, whether willingly or not. Take account of things that may be coming to an end for you now or are in need of release. Like the leaves falling freely from the trees, invite this same spirit of trusting release.
One way to practice leaning into this side of life is by fasting. This practice invites us to work with the shadow. As we sit in the empty, we release and renew, creating space for healing and new perspectives. We tap into an original wisdom that helps us gain clarity about how we can better relate to our body, how food can become a wonderful source of joy and pleasure instead of fear and worry, and how we can invite all parts of ourselves to the table with greater harmony.
Make sure to sign up for my Secrets of Fasting webinar (free) where you will learn all about the many healing powers of fasting, how to best go about doing it, why it is less dramatic than you may think, why fasting is so healing for the physical, mental, and energetic.
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