Art and Creativity Coaching Articles

The fasting meat suit

The fasting meat suit

It has been a year of seismic activity in my personal life and I feel the aftershocks still reverberating in my day to day life.

“Let’s express this by the means of interpretive dance”

On my blog I have written about how creativity can be healing and give us energy, and it’s true. I have used art to work through the emotions from moving (under acrimonious conditions), the death of a man I considered my father, the diagnosis and then revoking of a diagnosis of a brain tumour and a rollercoaster of health, the latter of which is the “norm” for someone like me who suffers from Fibromyalgia and M.E. Without my art – sketching, dry felting, embroidery and yarn-work – I would have been a thousand times more bereft and stressed. But my writing stopped. I found that I could not vocalise my emotions and experiences. I was like a woman in a Perspex box gesturing silently to the world outside … the old joke of “Let’s express this by the means of interpretive dance” as I flail around, opening and closing my mouth like a beached fish.

So all activity across my blogs and social media stopped because I would have needed to see you and feel you to communicate. I could have hugged you to show how I felt. I could have talked with tears and shared my anxiety with a trembling hand. Instead I withdrew which meant Funkstille … radio silence.

But that’s okay. Sometimes we all need silence and to withdraw in order to regroup, reintegrate, refocus and make sense of Stuff That Happens. I still have a burning desire to run away and hide underneath my duvet, to regress to my artistic gestures and give up on words entirely. However, no. In spite of that I’ll push the words out one by one and begin my journey back to connection, away from isolation.

… perhaps we need to cultivate a practice of Less in order to survive and thrive …

Recently I have begun fasting, and it has illuminated the concept of “less” as being a gateway to “more”. By this I mean that fasting is not just about food restriction; there is a mental side to fasting whereby we can also restrict the consumption of ideas, images, discussions, news and opinions. I found that in fasting, I had a burgeoning desire to turn off my computer and tune into my authentic self – that is, the self that exists at my core and is not buffeted by the vicissitudes of life. On a practical level, I found that if I only ate within my “feeding window” (cf. intermittent fasting) and stepped away from the internet, that I had oodles of time on my hands. Time that I filled with art and spiritual study, meditation and prayer. I became aware that I may consume virtually with my eyes and ears the lives of every pixel-person passing through my online world, but I was empty and hungry. It’s like feeding a person junk food only – I was fat but nutritionally deficient. My mind and soul were flabby yet starving. By fasting as a mindset, not just a meal plan, I began to experience the joy of feeding my soul again. And perhaps it is this that has given me the strength to reach out again to you with words.

I am often vilified for my Minimalist philosophy. It’s surprising how aggressive some people can get just at the concept of not all of their Stuff being meaningful or necessary. It is not for me to dictate what IS meaningful or necessary to another person, but the principle that we, in the West, live in excess stands. Stepping away from the crowds and turning off the many screens through which we live life vicariously are just a couple of ways to determine what truly is and is not important. The chatter of modern living drowns the quiet voice of life. Perhaps it is not just when life throws bombs at us that we should develop a quiet practice of Less; perhaps we need to cultivate a practice of Less in order to survive and thrive, to gain any significant value from this meat-suit existence.

©Mav Kühn 2016




2 comments on “The fasting meat suit

  1. Ava Blass
    September 27, 2016

    Welcome back! I really liked this post a lot. I so believe in the less-is-more approach. For people who over-think, over-eat, over-self-flagellate stepping back and pausing gives us real space to heal. We have all the answers within us. But the space created by simplifying your life allows you to better hear the advice life/living gives us. Good luck with your simpler life. I know you’ll use the space well. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mav Kühn
      September 27, 2016

      Thanks, Ava! Absolutely, in stillness we have the answers. Glad to have you as part of my simpler life 😉 xx

      Liked by 2 people

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