On my recent road trip from Colorado to California, my part Cherokee Indian friend Dean shared an amazing story about Eagles. It goes like this:
Eagles are one of the longest living birds on the planet because of a process of rebirth they go through in middle age. During this time they consciously pull out their talons and remove their beak by smashing it against a rock. They then go into a deep period of stillness and renewal (of which some do not make it through) after which they return to life with new beaks and claws, and go on to live another 20 or 30 years.
There are some who say this is not true, but whether factual or simply native mythology, we know that the mystical, visionary nature of the Eagle inspires Native cultures all over the planet. This story particularly inspired me when I heard it because of the process I have been in with my own health and energy.
For quite some time I have been dealing with lung challenges and recognize the need to pull my energy in and have a form rebirth of my own. So I am in the process of a simple, 21 cleanse/fast/meditation period, part of which includes a 3 day water fast in silence, beginning tomorrow. Although I have had quite a bit of experience with juice fasts, this will be my first water only experience – some say the only true fasting there is.
I am aware of the luxury it is to have the space and time for such renewal and rebalancing while so many people do not have their basic needs met. It is interesting to consider how so many on this planet die from starvation/malnutrition while so many others die from obesity/over indulgence. While we can easily feel powerless in regard to the planetary challenges, all we can ever truly effect is how we live our own lives, how we treat ourselves and those around us.
My experience with fasting is that it affects us on every level and is a powerful opportunity to not only release the buildup of physical toxins but also stagnant mental/emotional patterns. I am also aware that on a spiritual level I am asking for clarity/direction for this next period of my life. Like most people, I love food (and wine ; ) It is our primary pleasure (and distraction) so when we consciously remove it, who knows what will arise…perhaps we get in touch with what is our truest hunger, that which our
soul is longing for.
Fasting is, as my friend Dean says, ‘letting go of what is no longer useful.’
There are those who fast and meditate for extended periods but for me to have this three day period to be in silence, away from technology, is what feels right. We leave in an accelerated period, where change and movement are happening much more quickly, particularly when our intention is clear.
I feel such deep gratitude for this portal of time/space that has opened for me to refocus and realign my energy in this way – and also for all the amazing, inspiring friends and family in my life.
I am seeing how we each play our part in such a unique and irreplaceable way. And even that which appears (in this realm of duality) as not supportive or life-affirming serves in the balance of things. Eagle medicine reminds us to see life from the most all encompassing view.
I will be ending the 21 day period just before entering the Level I and II upcoming training – hopefully filled with renewed energy, enthusiasm and insight to share with those attending the training.