I'm the type of person who wants everything done in a hurry. I take the turnpike to get to my destination quicker. Despite how much or how little time I’ve spent developing an idea, I want it to come to fruition ... fast.
But even in the midst of my need for speed, life sometimes forces me into a standstill.
Take traffic jams, for instance. In that pause, I take the opportunity to slow my thoughts just enough to grab a moment of solace. I remember that those who go fast often get hurt, that in those moments of “hurry up and live,” we fail to experience the beauty in simple moments. And once the traffic starts to move again, I always realize that I enjoyed the stillness.
Moments like these remind me that slowing down to recharge and refocus is something we can choose to do at any time—not just when we're bumper to bumper.
I’ve made the choice to incorporate intermittent fasting from a few things on a weekly basis. The more I fast, the more I free up clutter of mind, body, and spirit. The more I pause, the more I pick up momentum for what needs to get done.
Here are three things I fast from weekly in order to stay on task, on point, and on purpose.
I know it sounds funny, but all jokes aside, programming is designed to program you. If you’re spending copious amounts of time in front of the tube watching the finest of reality and crime shows, don't be surprised when crime becomes your reality. I refrain from watching TV a few days a week and replace that time with reading, meditating, writing, and physical activity with my little ones.
2. Social Media
The perfect storm of opinion and ostentatiousness, self-promotion and self-expression, social media is filled with the best and worst offerings of humankind. Social media is an amazing tool for connecting with distant family and friends while learning about different schools of thought, products, and methodologies. And sometimes it’s just great for a damn good laugh and an uplifting quote to get you through the day.
But not everything you see is real. It’s critical for me to fast from social media at least once a week in order to cultivate organic, non-virtual connections with others. So much of what people do is influenced by what they see and read, and taking the time to tune out popular opinions helps me foster my own.
People often associate fasting from food with a religious practice, but that isn't necessarily the case. It became intertwined with religion because fasting, like religion, encourages a pause from the physical in order to bond with the spiritual. Fasting helps cease not only the nonstop traffic imposed on your GI track but also the nonstop chatter of your mind.
I typically fast from Sunday evening until Monday evening. Almost without fail, every time I break fast after 24 hours, I’m hit with an amazing idea and how to execute it. It's as if the pause refueled my senses.
The next time you feel out of sync or downright distracted, ask yourself whether it's time to pump the brakes. The slight pause may actually become your round-trip ticket into the fast lane.