A Journey to Naw Ruz – Fasting – Facebook – Spiritual Wellness

Wallaman Falls – June Perkins

So yesterday the Baha’i Fast began.

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it due to some major health issues I have just overcome with my psoriasis, but I so want to do it.

This is because the fast is one of the greatest spiritual obligations of a Baha’i.

There are exemptions to the fast,  under 15 and over 70 don’t do it.

Also nursing mothers, those engaged in heavy labour, woman who are pregnant or menstruating ‘instead they perform an ablution and recite the verse Glorified be God, the Lord of Splendour and Beauty 95 times a day), ‘ and those who are unwell (so hoping I am not in this category.)

There are further exemptions for travel, 2 hours by foot and 9 hours by other forms of transport.

No one checks if you do the fast, it is between you and God.

My first day was pretty tough – lots of headaches – and I will have to watch my psoriasis and maybe give my specialist a call and check I’ll be okay doing it – as well as listen to my body’s wellness barometer.  Usually I don’t feel like this until a few days into the Fast.

But hopefully I will be able to have the bounty of the Fast.  It is such a special time for the individuals and the Baha’i community who during this time between sunrise and sunset focus more on the spiritual and less on the needs of their physical selves.

All the best to everyone undertaking the Fast, or supporting someone doing it.

As an additional element of the fast I have decided this year to fast from my facebook, twitter and blogging, during the day as well.  Because I feel I am spending far too much time there.  Hopefully the fast will help me create a new habit of minimising my social media to a healthier level.

I probably  still  need to check my email once a day for urgent messages and answer the phone, but if I could I’d forego those two things as well I would.

I’ll check in with a post here now and again on how I am feeling during this special time heading for Baha’i New Year and learning more about spiritual wellness.

Here are some more links

About – documenting the fast (2012 Project)

How to eat well during the fast  – 5 Ideas for a Healthy Baha’i Fast

The Fast

This year I received Medical Clearance that I would be able to do the Baha’i Fast again.

The last few years I have been unable to due to a chronic skin condition which has been pretty rugged.   Psoriasis is not fun, especially when it enters the joints and takes them over, and when it is on a high percentage of the skin.  It can even be life threatening, although thankfully I haven’t reached that point yet.

Many people have tried to tell me how to fix myself, which is almost as annoying as the condition itself.  They have no idea what you have tried, and are sure they can come up with a magical cure.  They mean well, I know they do, but it still doesn’t help.  I have learnt  detache from my skin.

Sounds strange but I really don’t have complete mind control to use self-hypnosis to lessen it and yes I have tried every cream you can imagine, and yes I have done the uv treatment and so on.

Despite not trusting self-hypnosis I have said to myself, ‘you are not your skin, you are beyond it somewhere else.’  It helps a bit but more because it helps me to let go of my skin.

When I describe what the condition is like, this is the best I can come up with, like having eternal chicken pox, and a road map to your stress levels or lack of sleep written all over your body. DSC_0521 We’ve been seeing a lot of the sunrise! Anyway the Fast is a wonderful time to be in touch with the detachment from all things earthly, so it is timely and probably fantastic for me spiritually that this year I get to fast. The fast goes between sunrise and sunset each day for 19 days up until the evening of the 20th of March.  It’s day four today.  I am relieved to not have to go out into the heat today.

Yesterday I was off in town doing chores and catching up with friends and it was a scorching, burning, ‘please don’t melt me’ heat.  I really had to lie down when I arrived home, in a cool room with a cold washer on my head. Yet it was something to reach the end of the day and release that the material had been decentred and I had become more in touch with my God given soul.

Slowing down to say a prayer waking up to see the sunset and remembering why we even exist

All things that distract us from true purpose washed away in the rain of abstinence

And stomach cramps remind us of all that live with them everyday without choice

Dry lips remind us to parch our spiritual thirst and search for that which makes us truly happy beyond the taste of strawberries

And the turning of the wheel of everyday routine we find a new rhythm

Sunset comes and we take note realising how much less we could do with and how much more we need that daylight of the love of the Eternal.

(c) June Perkins all rights reserved.