Today is May 5, 2017. I spent the morning sifting through my old things getting prepared to move…again. I came across a letter that I wrote to a friend long ago. Actually, I wrote it on September 5, 2001. No one knew what was to come just a week later. Yah (God) opened my eyes to a greater purpose before the attacks so that I wouldn’t shrink back and cower in fear.
Two years ago, when Yah placed it in my heart to write my book, I questioned His decision. I mean let’s face it, I’m not the most interesting person in the world or talented writer. Neither, do have a large following. But, I pressed forward and began the journey of my life..literally. I don’t think people understand the difficulty in writing a biography. Not only is your memory tested but family and friends challenge you as well. However, the greatest hardship you will face is reliving all the painful memories that you buried deep into your subconscious. I couldn’t believe the events my mind dug up. I grieved non-stop for two years, until the very last chapter.
On April 28, 2017, I published my book By Your Side. I should be celebrating the biggest milestone of my life, thus far. Instead, yesterday, I ran out of the house in a complete meltdown–screaming and crying like a blithering fool, in frustration. Unfortunately, I’m living in a place–my own father’s house–where I’m being harassed, lied upon, and mistreated by his wife. When people can’t control and manipulate you, they manipulate how others see you. All I wanted was a temporary resting place, until I made my next transition. I jumped in my Jeep and drove like a maniac around Los Angeles shouting my anger at Yah. I screamed until my throat was raw. In a dark parking lot, in Culver City, I unleashed 38 years of pain and sorrow. My body quivered and voice trembled in disgust at my circumstances. I felt as though my entire life, especially, the last two years were in absolute vain. Thoughts of my cousin Kesha wrenched my soul. The hopelessness, anger, grief, and loneliness she felt before pulling that trigger. She must’ve felt completely forsaken by everyone, including Yah. That’s the way I felt. I knew if I didn’t pull it together, I’d go off the deep-end. I wiped my tears and drove over to the Rite Aid. When I got out of the car, my body felt like it was encased in cement. I walked like a mummy up and down the aisles. Eventually, my body got lighter. The yoke was breaking.
Driving home, I determined that I had complete control over my situation. I can walk away, even with nowhere to go. I vowed to never let myself get in this position again. Although, this was Yah’s doing, not my own. It’s ALL in the book. I never wanted to go all of the places He sent me in the last three years. I am a self-sufficient person, capable of taking care of myself and many others. He had work for me to do in each and every place. I did it. I’m done. It’s my time.
I got back home and packed up my belongings. Packing liberated my soul. I still felt unsure, but knew it was going to be alright.
Sobbing ensures one thing: the best night sleep EVER. EVER. I awoke super-humanly strong. I finished packing and decided to obliterate every remnant of my past. Folded-up, inside one of my old journals was a letter that confirmed everything. Please bear with me as I journey from past into my destiny.
“What’s up Yani! How’s it going? It’s really nice to be able to have a friend who will listen and not think you’re totally crazy. I have friends here, that I’ve known seven years and don’t seem like friends at all. I’ve known you seven months and feel much closer even though you’re much further away. That’s okay though, I’m not complaining. It’s just funny how people always seem to get an eye full of things or persons they don’t need to see.
I’m writing because I wanted to tell you something I always knew but ignored. It doesn’t matter how many degrees a person gets or how much a person makes on a job. If they aren’t happy, none of it really matters. I feel like we’re all born to exist and were sent here for a reason. We need to start praying and ask God what his purpose is for us. I think many people want to but are afraid because they think it’s gonna be a preacher or other church leader. Those positions aren’t exciting and full of responsibility. Take me for example, I knew what God wanted me to do a long time ago, but I ran away from it for the same reason I just explained. He made me realize that His work is not limited to one person or one place. God speaks to me and has been with my whole life. It’s too bad we can’t escape the evils of the world, or I could’ve heard His voice long ago. All this time I’ve spent on earth, I was being impregnated with so much fear, hate, ignorance, anger, and resentment. When God spoke to me this time is when my water broke. I’m getting ready to give birth to creativity, truth, knowledge, love, peace, and understanding. I feel as though God planted in me a seed. But, all that has been growing is weeds from the negativity that I was being nourished with. God revealed during all my trials that He was slowly picking me apart. Discarding every unwanted plant and refining me so an emergence could take place. My grandmother told me years ago that God came to her in a dream and said that He chose Me to act out a special plan He had. Honestly, I didn’t want to hear it because I wanted what I was going through to be over. Most of all, I wanted answers. Now, I realize that I AM the answer. Not the answer to ALL because that will be revealed in time. I will be one of the solutions to freeing God’s people from this earthly bondage. God’s people should be further than what we are. We can win this war, if we stop giving in to pettiness. Pettiness is where it all begins. The start of anything evil such as anger, divorce, ignorance, death. Think about it, if you can get people angry over something trivial, the worst will always happen. That’s when people say ‘if only.’ Well, ‘if only’ is too late. It’s time to focus on what counts. ”
The letter drew me to tears. I can’t even remember my grandmother’s vision. Yah let me know the purpose hasn’t changed. The war has just begun. I have to learn to be bigger than my situation and the people in it. I have a purpose. I’m not just anybody. Yah will contend with my enemies, if I just hold on. He will do the same for you.
I finally get the opportunity to begin my long awaited series on fasting. My journey with fasting began in 2007. Before that, I had several failed fasting attempts. I came up with every excuse in the world to end my fast early. Well, they worked. I didn’t even have enough self-control to complete one day of fasting. By the first afternoon, I’d be gorging on everything in sight.
Not only did I feel physically sick from overeating but the guilt from lack of will power was overwhelming. My heart was in the right place, but trying to fast without a purpose is futile.
The purpose of fasting is to bring you closer to Yah (God) through prayer. Bringing your body (flesh) under submission while the spirit elevates and strengthens to champion an issue or problem that has built-up a stronghold in your life. There are many spiritual and physical benefits to fasting. I am going to share a few that I’ve personally experienced.
Physical and Spiritual Cleansing
Sometimes we forget the connection between physical and spiritual bodies. As the body detoxifies, so does the soul, which I’ll discuss in depth in another post. Your body will eliminate toxins and excess waste. Depending on how long you fast, specifically, longer than three days, your body will enter into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that your body goes through when it doesn’t have enough glucose to burn for energy. Instead, it burns stored fat. After 3 to 4 days of fasting, the body will usually go into ketosis. However, it could take up to 7 days.
Training Your Faith
Just like we go to the gym to build muscle and gain strength, our faith works the same way. When you fast, you’re sacrificing your fleshly desires for food in expectation that your request will be heard by Yah. I pray all the time, but when I want Yah to pay special attention to an issue, I fast.
Destroying the Ego
Fasting brings your ego under submission through physical sacrifice, repentance, praise, and worship. Your ego is in a direct relationship with your soul. Fasting quiets the ego and focuses all your energy on the power of Yah and not selfish desires, other people, or problems. It’s a great time to strengthen your prayer life.
Now that we’ve touched on some of the benefits of fasting, let’s talk about the types of fasts. There are several types of fasts that I’ve identified as Regular, Daniel, Complete, Partial and Soul. You can establish the number of days that you fast. Personally, I choose spiritual completion numbers to determine the length of my fasts like three, seven, ten, fourteen, twenty-one, and forty-one. What are completion numbers? They represent divinity, spiritual completion, and perfection.
Refraining from eating all food. Most people still have water or juice during this period of fasting.
A very popular fast. The Daniel fast is very similar to an elimination diet. You’re eliminating meat, animal by-products (dairy), bread, and sweets. You can have vegetables, fruits, water, and juice.
A complete fast is having no food, water, or juice.
If you take medication, a partial and Daniel fast have the least harmful effects. During a partial fast, you refrain from eating food from sunrise to sunset. Or, you can fast from the time you rise until Noon. You and The Creator establish the best times and fasting type for you to complete. If you are on medication, and want to fast, always consult a physician to see if you are physically capable. Fasting is extremely stressful to the body, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions.
Giving up bad habits to help yourself overcome negative, harmful behaviors such as sexual deviance, smoking, drinking, drugs, food items, electronics etc. You’re re-establishing your self-control and will-power over whatever things has taken over your life. In the past, I’ve done an electronics fast because I was getting too comfortable looking at gossip sites. More recently, I refrained from consuming salt/sodium for 30 days. My entire world turned gray. I love salt. Can’t live without it. This fast literally brought me to tears. The first week or two, I ate very little. I didn’t see the point. As time went on, my taste buds adjusted, and I actually tasted food for what it was. What led me to this fast, was edema. My legs, feet, and ankles were swelling out of control. My stomach was so bloated, I looked pregnant, as you can see in the photo below.
I will end the first installment on fasting here. There is so much more information that I will be sharing, so I don’t want to give you too much too soon. Until next time, BE WELL!