The ancient Greeks believed, and there is some debate to this day of the validity, that the Swan would issue a final beautiful song before its death. The bird, so worn by frequent long distance travel, breaks their typical silence to usher a final and longing song that indicated the passing of the journey. Well, yesterday on Day 3 of my fast I heard the final moaning death rattle of my primal mind. In fact I made a connection about the song, because I noticed that it tends to repeat itself. Perhaps you may recognize it too.
Whenever I am trying to do something good, I am always having this internal debate with myself. It goes something like this:
You have done enough you can quit now.
This is the first thought that comes to mind. While fasting it was after the first morning, by the time lunch came around the primal mind was saying…its ok, you did good skipping one meal. Lets eat that left over cake your mother in law made yesterday. While running it might be, you made it to the park, good job, turn around now and that will be a full mile. That is good enough for today.
What you are doing is ridiculous, nobody else is doing this, why are you?
If I do not give into the first thought this is always the second. Why are you doing this to me, the primal mind asks. No one else is doing this. Basically my mind tried to guilt me into quitting. Does not matter what I am trying to achieve, it will use this every time.
Oh crap, there is something really important to do!
Whenever I am really set on achieving something, the next thing that will come up is that really important thing that I have to do that requires me to quit. When fasting it goes like this, oh crap, you have that dinner planned with someone, you have to quit now! Or when I am running, oh you forgot to send that really important email! Quit and go send it!
The final one is reverse psychology – wow that is amazing, you did great, if you just get to this next point then you can quit.
However, this is always to quit before my intended target. If I planned to run 10 miles, my mind is figuring out how to cut it to 6. Wow, you got to 5 miles, that is awesome, especially since you were sick 3 weeks ago. 5 is a great accomplishment, quit now. Or with fasting it would be, oh wow you got to 2 days, that is 48 hours! Amazing accomplishment, cap it off with a nice chocolate snack to reward yourself.
The primal mind is evil. That is right, I am talking to you. You little demented dream crusher. I am trying to learn how to put you in the closet and only let you come out when desperately needed! No I do not need to take a break from writing this blog and go get a cookie. Damn you! Shut the freak up, I am tired of you telling me I should quit!
Ok, done talking to myself. This morning I woke up after 72 hours of fasting. That was my intended target. A great way to start my spiritual quest week. So, I could have gone downstairs and satiated my hunger with a nice plate of scrambled eggs. Is that what I did? Nope.
You see Tyler came back! If you have read these blogs at all, you will remember my alter ego Tyler. He comes out when I truly need to beat the primal mind back into submission. Tyler got up and got dressed for a run and did 4 miles at a quick pace and then came back and ate those 2 scrambled eggs, and a bowl of mixed green vegetables. That is right! A bowl of veggies for breakfast! Take that primal mind! Hey, do not question the sanity of that until you fast for 3 days. Believe me, a bowl of veggies will taste and smell like heaven!