21 day water fast: day 4

nature-swirl drfawingWoke up after lots of sleep.  Again I needed an extra blanket because by the end of yesterday evening I was feeling cold.  I also woke in the middle of the night and felt my kidneys aching, but by morning the sensation had disappeared.  Detox and healing have definitely started.  As usual, I’m feeling this now on Day Four, which, for me, has always tended to be the hardest day of the fast physically.  I know everyone is different in this respect, with most people finding the third day the hardest.  But I tend to think that this is due to the fact that most people find kick-starting ketosis the problem.  In such cases, the third day is difficult due to low energies and the beginnings of detox.  Since I have years of experience in fasting, and since I also dip into ketosis on pretty much of a daily basis (because of long-distance running), it’s less the ketosis which is an issue for me than the way detox hits hardest on Day Four.

After a slow start in getting my energies up (along with the same pounding heartbeat for the first few minutes of the day), I went for a 5km walk through the village and into the arboretum.  It felt so good to get out and away from the house and garden – for the first time since arriving.  Otherwise, while walking I could feel a couple of old running injuries in my ankle, brought on by the healing/detox and working in the background: a gentle healing crisis in action.  Most obvious, though, was the lack of strength.  My legs almost felt a little wobbly.  Still, I can’t complain if weakness is the only rough symptom.  Returned before the sun got too high in the sky, and realised that my armpits are generating their detox odour, which in my case is a kind of bitter herbal smell.  Drank lots after returning – either I’ve been a little dehydrated recently and am now compensating, or else I need more water now that detox has kicked into a higher gear.  In any case, I drank a litre already by midday, whereas up until today one litre was my natural intake (based on thirst) for the whole day.  By the end of the day I had drunk a little more than two litres.

Otherwise, it felt so alive to be walking.  Not because this form of doing was an escape from being, but because my senses were completely saturated, absorbed into the world around me, with my being totally centred in the present moment.  The sound of birdsong everywhere was an almost palpable 360 degree experience, like a Dolby surround system at the cinema.  It was totally intense, just like the kaleidoscopic, 3D scent of all the spring flowers melting one into the next: jasmine, elderflower, roses…  The spring colours sparkled with life literally everywhere I looked, and through the movement of my walking, the landscape seemed to evolve around me, connected through me as its centrepoint.  A connection of inner world to outer world: a kind of outwardly orientated samadhi, of being one with Mother Earth and the entire external world.

I feel more at peace today.  Whether it’s because there’s no manic work to do – which obviously clashes with the natural state of fasting – or whether it’s because I’m naturally acclimatising to being here alone, or whether it’s because the fast is gradually deepening, I don’t know.  Only time will tell.

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