Why would I give up sweets? Because today is Ash Wednesday. For those of you who may not know, today marks the beginning of the season of Lent, which lasts through Holy Saturday right before Easter.
Having grown up Catholic, Lent was a pretty big deal. I remember not eating meat on Fridays (which, by the way, is where Fish Fridays came from). I heard the story of Jesus spending 40 days in the desert, where he fasted, prayed and was tempted by the Devil. But the one thing that stood out most for my child-like mind was the practice of "giving up" something for Lent.
Giving up something is a form of fasting, which is one of the main pillars of Lent. Usually, people think of fasting as staying away from any food or drink for a certain period of time. However, fasting doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can give up certain kinds of food or drink, like cupcakes or sodas. But fasting can include other kinds of things. For Lent, some people give up activities like Facebook, watching the news, gossiping, or negative thinking.
Fasting is a powerful spiritual practice because you become conscious and deliberate with your own choices. You take a stand by saying this is what you want in your life, and this is what you don't want.
- You can choose to fast from what doesn't serve your highest and best life.
- You can choose to fast from deep attachments (like looking at your smartphone right before you go to sleep or right when you wake up).
- You can choose to fast from negative thinking or behaviors that don't uplift you.
Fasting is a powerful way of saying "no" to something so that you open up the energetic in your being to say "yes" to something greater.
(This is another way of activating the vacuum law of prosperity that I wrote about in my last blog post.)
The power of fasting, though, is in the intention behind it. In the context of Lent, fasting provides a pathway where you can invite a deeper awareness of the presence of Spirit in your life. For example, if you decide to give up sugary sodas for Lent, your intention could be that you can find sweetness in Life itself.
You don't have to belong to any particular faith tradition to join in this spiritual practice during Lent. I believe it's a wonderful act of community when everyone can consciously join together in a spiritual practice.
So here's your coaching assignment for this week:
- If you're willing to join in on this spiritual practice of fasting during this season of Lent, what are you choosing to give up over these next 40 days?
As I mentioned, I'm giving up sweets for this season of Lent. For those in the know, I absolutely love sweets, especially chocolate and ice cream. But for the next 40 days, I'm taking a stand to reclaim my health and my own power to choose, rather than having past habits control my behaviors.
I'd love to hear if you're choosing to fast during Lent. Feel free to share by commenting below. Energize your intention by making a public commitment, and let's support each other for taking a stand.
p.s. When you let go of behaviors or ideas that don't serve you, you create a space of possibility that might not have existed before. If you'd like some help to get clear on the vision that is seeking to reveal as your life, I offer a 45-minute Free Clarity Session with Prayer. Click here for more info and to schedule.