My Fasting Experience

"On Her Perch" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“On Her Perch” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

These past couple weeks, I’ve been water-fasting quite a bit, with a 72-hour fast and a couple of 48-hour fasts. The rest of the days I just ate at dinner time. It’s been a great experience, and I feel a lot healthier! 😃

One of the main benefits for me is that I get a nice sense of control and self-confidence over food. The food industry is so powerful and influential, and they want us to eat more and more, so it’s been great to regain control and realize that I don’t have to eat as much as they tell me to. And I’m not going to die if I skip a meal!

It’s funny, but for as long as most of us have lived, we’ve been told to eat three meals a day (and then several small meals a day), that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, etc… but really, where did these rules come from? It’s been so ingrained in our culture that you need to eat eat eat. So if you mention that you are fasting, people are appalled and can’t understand. The belief is that it is so unhealthy, but where did that information come from? ❓

People have been fasting forever, and some of our wisest people recommended fasting for health. It’s really quite fascinating!

The first time I fasted, it was difficult, but once I broke through and completed a 36-hour fast, it became much easier to fast whenever I wanted. The sense of empowerment is incredible.

Anyways, enough about that. There’s so much more I want to say, but I’ll save it for another time. Please check it out all the information on water-fasting if you are interested!

Tonight’s photo is of Yuzu, our calico cat. Both cats love to jump up to the exercise bike’s handlebars and hang out there. It reminds me of a jungle cat, relaxing in the tree. What do you think?

I hope you had a nice weekend!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

A-Z Challenge – U

U stands for “Upgrading”

We are constantly urged by ads and marketing to upgrade everything we have. For instance, phones, software, cars, gadgets, etc. In photography, we’re presented with new cameras and technology every year. The camera you just bought will be “obsolete” as soon as next year’s model comes out. There’s more and more megapixels, better high ISO sensitivity, faster AF… the list goes on and on!

When I bought my Fujifilm X100T last year, it made me realize that I didn’t have to upgrade my camera gear to improve my photography, or more importantly, get more enjoyment out of my hobby. I became more aware of the concept of “good enough” and the “satisficers” vs “maximizers” and found myself falling into the camp of the satisficers. This camera had less megapixels than my dslr, didn’t have as high a burst mode, and the video quality was worse. But it was definitely good enough, and the advantages of small size, low weight, simpler controls made it a far more enjoyable experience for me. “Good enough” actually brought me more joy than “maximizing”.

So, now I ask myself… why must I upgrade to the latest and greatest? Phones for instance… I find a low to mid-range smartphone good enough for me. I don’t have the urge to upgrade. Also, I use Adobe Lightroom every day, but I decided not to upgrade to the latest “Cloud” version… for me, version 5 was good enough. If I had the CC version, it would probably force me to upgrade my computer to keep up with the more powerful features that are regularly added. I don’t want to get forced into this cycle of upgrading!

It used to be a huge temptation for me to keep upgrading my things. But these days, I find happiness in settling for the “good enough” items, and I do not spend cycles worrying or researching to make sure I am at the cutting edge. For me, it’s a more satisfying way to live, and I can spend my energies elsewhere.

A-Z Challenge – K

K stands for “Konmari”

Lately I’ve been reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo which is about decluttering your house and improving your life. The term “Konmari” comes from her first and last names and it’s kind of a Japanese way to make nicknames. For instance, Takuya Kimura from SMAP is known as “Kimutaku”, and pitcher Kenta Maeda is “Maeken”.

But nickname aside, this book is the latest in a string of books about decluttering and minimalism that I have read. I first became interested in decluttering about 15 years ago when I read “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston. It was life-changing. I started throwing away so many things that I had kept that I did not need anymore. It felt great! I think I was reading the book late at night and got so motivated that at 2AM I found myself in my closet piling up old clothes to take to Goodwill!

The Konmari method is a little different, but the general idea is the same… only keep what gives you joy in your life, and discard the rest. And for the things you do keep, make sure they have a place to go. When your home is in order, you will be able to focus on the things in life that make you happy. Of course, the book is a lot more detailed about the techniques that she teaches to her clients. I am only about halfway through the book, and already it’s highly motivating and inspirational.

If you don’t know about decluttering, this is a good place to start!

A-Z Challenge – H

H is for “Humanism”

What is Humanism?

An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

and

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

This is pretty much where I am, and where I have always been. I think it’s a healthy place to be.

 

A-Z Challenge – F

F is for “Fanatic”

My favorite sport is baseball, and growing up in the Los Angeles area, my favorite team was and still is the Dodgers. I’ve followed them, but I was never a fanatic. But a few years ago, I would listen to a game, and then get really angry when they lost. I would stress out over it when I was falling asleep even! Then, I got so disappointed in them when they got eliminated from the playoffs that I swore off baseball, and all sports. It was sort of in jest, but sort of serious. I really don’t understand how I could have that kind of emotional reaction to a team that I have no control over. It’s really weird!

But I didn’t want to feel that disappointment again, so I decided that I wouldn’t follow sports at all. I think that lasted a year or so, and then a change happened in me. I know it had something to do with when Koa started playing Little League baseball. During the first season, I would get so tense during the games, especially when the team made errors. I would get so nervous, that I didn’t even want to watch the game! I know, right? It was just like when I would watch the Dodgers!

The next season, I noticed that the kids, even if they lost, still had smiles on their faces and high-fived the other team after the game. Even though deep down I knew that winning wasn’t the most important thing about playing the game, I somehow lost sight of that. But seeing the joy on the kids’ faces made me realize that it was I who had the problem. My emotions were ridiculous! Once I realized that, my whole world (well, at least my sports world) changed. I now enjoy watching my son play the game and don’t mind the errors or strikeouts anymore. I make sure not to criticize him during the ride home after the game. I admit, I sometimes have the urge to say something, but that feeling is now minuscule compared to how it was during the first season. In fact, it’s so distant that I can see it far away… and laugh at it. What a great feeling!

The MLB season has just started, and I am watching a lot of the games. I think it will be a great season, not because I think the Dodgers will do well or win the World Series, but it will be a great season because I will enjoy the games without having the stressed-out mindset of a “fanatic”.