I Tried Spiritual Fasting for the First Time | 4 Lessons


Fasting is an activity for the mind, body and spirit.

Everyone can have different reasons for fasting. Some for weight loss, others do fasting for grief, to reconnect with God, others to practice self control, etc.

Just like we have different reasons, we also have different methods and ways of fasting. But in general, according to this article, “Fasting is voluntarily going without food — or any other regularly enjoyed.”

Now Ive heard about fasting before and of course it an activity in our church but Ive never really participated in it. Well, Ive tried giving up pizza for a year, and those few times of starving myself when I was younger for silly reasons. However, Ive never tried fasting for spiritual reasons.

For the past five days, I gave it my first try. I did one small meal a day. No hot chocolate. No tea. No snacks or sweets. Just one small meal in 24 hours.

It may look different for everyone but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do myself harm especially because it was my first time and I kind of just jumped into it randomly (more on the story in the next paragraphs) and I didn’t really do any preparations. (Which I highly highly recommend if you wanted to do it for yourself! Please be safe!)

Why I started Fasting

With every event that I attend now, I make it a point to go up to the speaker after to acknowledge them. And when I went up to Kathy, one of the panelists during the InspireHer event, I was taken aback when she answered  “Well, my go-to is the Bible.” to my go-to “what’s your favorite book that you would recommend?” question. That just wasnt something that I expected. (I dont know why I did not because the Bible is da bomb)

We went for coffee together a few days after the event, aside from Real Estate, we talked about God so much. And she told me about her experience with fasting. I always thought Id never be able to do it because of how bad I deal with hunger.. Really, I am the biggest baby! So it was just another story I was very much interested in and intrigued by.

I’d like to think I’m in constant communication with God. Not like one would usually assume though. Because our conversations are usually funny and I just talk about the most random things. Just like having my bestfriend with me 24/7 and it’s mostly puns. I hope He doesnt mind. Lol

A few days after meeting Kathy, I was talking to God like the usual.. Me half-joking about something and laughing it off.. and then I just randomly heard in my head “Cool. Fast for 5 days.”

And that was weird.

Because, first, I usually talk to Him about THAT thing and I would just laugh it off and move on. Ive never actually thought about doing something or got a “response” I guess.

And now, my mind just randomly comes up with “Fast.”

Also, what’s up with five days?? That’s a bit specific. It couldve be a week.

I thought to myself, okay, I guess I have everything to gain and nothing really to lose.

Besides, Ive never tried it.

I was hoping maybe this is the start of me actually “hearing from God.” Ive always prayed for it. You know? It’s kind of getting harder to distinguish His voice from my own ego because it is always the tiny and quiet kind.

I noticed how more disciplined and accomplished I felt this time as compared to when I was just randomly starving myself. Because I knew I was doing something bigger than myself. That I was doing it for my spirit.

I also think it’s amazing how my date with Shannon fell on the last day of my fasting. I mean, my first meditation class??? On the last day of my fast? Um, Lord you tryna tell me something?!

Im going to write a separate post about my first meditation class but for now, here are some things I learned during my first time fasting.

Ps. let me know if you’ve tried fasting for yourself on the comments below or dm me on Instagram! I would love to talk about it :)

  1. My relationship with food and my thoughts about hunger.

I’m going to be honest, Im the kind of person who literally cries when she’s hungry. Hunger is literally my worst enemy haha! And then there were nights when I would come home super tired. Tired and hungry is never a good combination. And I felt so helpless.

Food is my comfort. I have the tendency to reach for food whenever the slightest inconvenience comes my way. Especially when I start overthinking some nights, like, Id rather be dramatic with my hot chocolate in hand, please.

And boy oh boy, you could tell I have spoiled myself because I just ugly cried so many times. It’s funny and, in hindsight, superficial now when I think about it. You see, other people are probably asking God for healing, asking Him for some kind of breakthrough, and there I was crying out loud.. “Lord, I want my hot choco PLEASE!” like the biggest crybaby rid of her morning milk.

And this is the first time in a long while I experienced REAL hunger. It wasnt fatal, after all. I remember during my Tony Robbins event in Toronto, he asked the audience where energy comes from and someone said “Food?” and he said “No. Have you experienced eating and then feeling all sleepy and all you just wanna do is lay down?” That’s something I held on to especially when I needed energy to meet other people and for work.

I didnt know “emotional eating” was a big part of my practice and I didnt really have control because I never set boundaries. And now I learned to actually enjoy eating. Like, ENJOY. I looked forward to it and I got so happy when it would be my time to eat. Unlike when it was just so common in my life, like, Id wake up, and glory to God there’s food! Now I appreciate it better!

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2. I was able to fully experience and honor the intensity of my emotions.

I guess the Hot Chocolate  part was so hard because I dealt with my feelings always with it before. Im tired? Hot chocolate. I finished a blog post? Hot chocolate. Reading a good book? Hot chocolate. Im kinda sorta sad? Baby, hot chocolate.

I never actually allowed myself to just experience my emotions to their full extent. It was always felt halfway because of the comfort I always ran to.

And so during fasting I just didn’t know what to do. Without the comfort of a hot cup in my hand, I was able to focus on how I felt because I didn’t have options or distractions.

I felt naked to my emotions. Like I went to battle without anything.

And when you go to battles without any armour or shield, all you could do is surrender. Surrender on your knees, with tears completely flowing.

Gabby Bernstein, one of my favorite authors and spiritual guru, said “When you think you've surrendered, surrender some more.”

And fasting has taught me well the art of surrender.

I was able to not just experience, but to honor the intensity of my emotions. I allowed the pain, the hurt, the overthinking, the dismissed stress, the unacknowledged feelings into my space, more and more, just trusting.

For the first time in my one year in Canada I cried out of being “homesick.” And I didnt fight it.

I surrendered more into allowing myself to feel it until it didn’t feel as big as it first seemed.

Then I started feeling safe in the midst of it. I realised how separate I really was from my emotions, that I could allow myself to dwell on it and all I had to do is to let it pass, that nothing is never meant to bring me harm, only lessons.

There I learnt that really, what we resist persists.

In my latest interview with Cynthia, the Founder of Glass Earth Inc, one of the things that stuck with me was “I think we’re giving what we can handle. Maybe sometimes a bit more than what we think we could handle but it builds us and in the end, we’re better for it.”

I also found this quote by Lao Tzu that is Parallel to the Beatitudes by Jesus.

To yield is to be preserved whole. To be bent is to become straight. To be hollow is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed.

I yielded. I was bent. I felt hollow and tattered. And I trust, I trust, I trust.

3. That thing about Instant Gratification.

The story Im about to tell you is something that amazes me. I believe God is always intentional whenever I just surrender. So here it goes.. The past week, whenever I would open my Bible, or select a RANDOM sermon on youtube, without fail, it always somehow led me back to Esau. Whether his story or he would be mentioned.

I didn’t pay attention to Esau’s story at first and I always thought it was funny how he was just another careless boy who gave up his birthright as the first born for a bowl of stew.

He said “I am about to die. Of what use is the birthright to me?”

There are three things I learnt in his story in the book of Genesis.

FIRST OF ALL. He was definitely SO NOT about to die. The boy was exaggerating his hunger. Oh wait. Exaggerating his hunger. Isn’t that what I do?

Second of all, he showed indifference to spiritual things.

And third, he gave up everything that was meant for him just to satisfy his present needs. Let me repeat that, not for the people in the back but for myself. Esau gave up everything that was meant for him, the blessings awaiting him for when his time would come, his inheritance, leadership, authority and his entire narrative,  just to satisfy his hunger, his present needs.

And it’s interesting to me how I was led to that story during fasting. When I thought I couldn’t do it anymore and Id give anything up for supper. The Id be reminded of his story.

As I learnt about Esau’s story, it became more than just a narrative but a message. It made me realise so much about how I deal with instant and delayed gratification and my reason behind it.

Now it could pertain to me giving up my first attempt to fasting and all of the lessons that may come with it for a cup of hot chocolate. (Um Nicole can we have another food example please? This is getting out of hand haha)

Or it could also pertain to the times when I get impatient and careless to settle for anything just to satisfy my momentary “needs.” I know that the momentary pleasure would never amount to what God is trying to prepare me for and what He is trying to build in me. The discipline, the self control, the strength, the integrity.

I found myself praying, “Lord, let me finish the race you’ve called me to. I want to finish this race, look back and know that it was all worth it. I want to be able to look You in the face without shame or guilt. Or regret.”

And I started to understand the beliefs I chose to hold close to me. And I want to emphasize on that. That it was my choice. That my choices may never make sense, or frick, work for other people. But it doesn’t have to. It’s just between me and God, as it has to be.

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4. Knowing myself

Throughout the five days, I would mostly lean into the song “New Wine” by Hillsong. Somehow it made me strong and hold on to believing that God is doing something. And that I don’t have to trust. All I have to do is trust because always and in all ways, His thoughts are higher than mine. And that whatever I felt called to do wasn’t in vain.

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
New wine

In the soil, I
Now surrender
You are breaking
New ground

So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don't need to understand

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be

That first day, I cried the hardest. Boy, was it hard. Here comes my mom again crying with me and me not being able to tell her the reason why so I made her worry and I felt worse and I cried harder and she worried more and the wheel just went on and on.

If I was being superficial or if I tried to give it a quick answer, I would say I just didn’t deal with hunger that well and that was the reason I overthought things and cried.

But let’s lean in to the fancier, more dramatic type.

Do you know what it feels like to be able to accomplish so much and be showered with praises and have your family and friends tell you how proud they are of you.. And then have yourself lay there in the dark crying. “After all of this, I don’t like who I am becoming..”

And you see, I’m not used to feeling that way. Girl, Im the biggest advocate of self love and being your number 1 cheerleader. And I’m so frickin happy with everything Ive been given.

But that was not what I meant when I said “who I am becoming..”

When I said I do not like who I am becoming, I meant everything from the other side that came with it.

  • I do not like how I tend to take the glory for myself when it was only supposed to pass THROUGH me.

  • I do not like my tendency to be prideful, thinking I can do things by myself.

  • I do not like how when I get something, my hunger for more increases.

And that night, I cried so hard because I did not like how I was fighting myself when I should be my own confidante. But it was for something.

  • I cried because of all the things I could be more of.

  • I could be more generous.

  • I could be kinder.

  • I could be more patient.

  • I could be more generous.

  • I could be kinder.

  • I could be more patient.

  • I could be more generous.

  • I could be kinder.

  • I could be more patient.

  • I could be more generous.

So why was I not?

It felt so frustrating because I knew I was capable of becoming all these if I only surrendered. And I was reminded of everything that was opposite.

And I remember feeling an intense grief I have not felt in a long time and then it turned into fear. It was only day one of my fasting and I was a mess. But again there was nothing to do but to surrender. I prayed “Lord, I am so scared for the next four days. Of what you are trying to tell me. Im not used to this. But you are my greatest teacher and you know my heart and I trust. I trust. I trust.”

And through it all, I know I was being handled gently. And that I had my Prince of Peace with me.

Because I wasn’t in the business of satisfying my physical self, I understood the real me The soul who is only having a human experience. And it was beautiful.

I was trying to say this is a bit personal than my other blog posts, but everything is personal haha! Thank you for reading. I hope you got something from it. That’s always my goal. :)

As always,

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