We had a moving experience recently in Tulum that reminded me that all fear is connected to the fear of death (our own death)…
Cut to July of 2019:
I’ve never felt such strong feelings of fear before arriving to the place where my quest would begin.
The drive up there (four hours), and too much time to think, was as close to panic as I’ve ever felt.
I was more afraid of “surprising” the bears or mountain lions (aka, them surprising me) than of being alone for four days without food or shelter [when Josh and Nolan picked me up after the total of nine days away, Josh and I cried – as we hugged, he told me how worried he had been that I would be feeling lonely).
As I’ve shared a couple times before, though I was alone (well, -ish because ~> ), I was not and could not be lonely.
There was and is so much in nature that is home (nature’s the tea, milk & honey, it really is).
The second I got out of the car and my feet touched ground, things settled dramatically. I love that the very place that we call ‘the wild’ is so absolutely nurturing.
The quest [like other challenging things, both chosen & unchosen] changed so much of how I continue to relate to and digest fear, not to mention digest many other things.
My mind has been changed and my body has changed, too — it’s changed the way I look at food, water and hunger (Michelle, what are you *really* hungry for? A change in your life? Healing around ____? Finally having that tough conversation? A closer connection to ____?).
It’s also shifted the way I do things in the name of health and for my body — all with a deeper understanding around why…why we look at food (or alcohol) to quench a hunger or thirst that can only be helped by looking more deeply at our lives, at our communication and/or at our relationships. Or, conversely – why we do things in the name of “health” that are, in truth, not health-y.
The focus brought by only drinking water for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks ~ ever had a snack of water? ) is curiously satiating. You have time for so much more of the important stuff!
And, did I mention there’s nowhere to run from your feelings? You have no physical energy (lots of another kind & brand name, however), you don’t really know where you are (so which way do you go?) and last – running might stir the beautiful sleeping creatures you’re sharing space with [I did a ritual the first night on my solo time thanking all the tiniest and largest of creatures 7,000 feet up for allowing me to create home in theirs and it was one of my favorite prayers while there].
Minute after minute, hour after hour and day after day, you get to sit there for four days and work it out. Every fear you have about a noise in the distance or inside your belly, you can’t escape, you can only work with to get to the other side.
I now drink more water than I ever have (I start out at 6:15am with 20 oz), I don’t have many cravings, if at all anymore, and, in many ways my gut has reset (for someone with gut sensitivities, this has been awe-some).
When we went on lockdown for the first time in March, I told Josh I wanted to do it in a way that made me feel good.
When I came back from quest, I had no interest in lemon drop martinis or any kind of alcohol (or sugar) or other things that might make me feel “good” for the moment.
I was interested in the things that made me feel well.
Good and well ~ different. One is temporary…
I wanted to continue wellness, even (and especially) if things got more stressful or isolating inside the pandemic.
We continued with our workouts and he, too, had already shifted his own mindset around alcohol in January when he decided to start the new year without it for a total of six months or so.
So, throughout the last many months, though we have had comforts like a roof over our head and food (always grateful) and each other (ditto) — all things I did not have on quest, in the wild of our own home we did not have alcohol.
On December 10 or 11th, I’ll start on another few day water fast, this time a total of three days without food versus four and I can’t wait (fasting will be incorporated into some of my work starting next Summer inside shorter quests I’ll take women on).
I’m not nervous for the three days of only drinking water, as much as I am happy for it AND I can’t wait to tell you about each day as I go through it in a couple weeks.
Feel free to do research around the benefits of a water fast and know that although many of the benefits you read about are physical, the benefits are also absolutely emotional and spiritual…
Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…
To the best of the rest of your life.
Life is good.