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May 29, 2020
What is a post about intermittent fasting doing on an art website? In one word, desire. Because in my life, these two seemingly disparate subjects are interconnected with desire.
As a young girl raised in a fundamentalist Catholic household in the 1960's, adults in my life described desire, in the form of wanting, as the handmaiden of the Devil. Wanting a cookie between meals; wanting to sit instead of kneel; wanting to read when I had younger siblings to watch, these became ills identified as "bad" when paired with my impulses to follow my desires. Religions, parents, employers, teachers and other authorities sought to contain, quell and shape my desires. My relationship with desire became a big knot that I still pick at, decades later.
Desire is an emotional power that drives lives. Like rain, desire moistens spirit, emboldening seeds long forgotten in the psyche to pierce the surface of unconsciousness as they seek the light of clarity.
How does desire segue with the Divine Feminine? I experience desire interwoven with the Divine Feminine. It pushes and pulls my psyche in directions I either embrace or resist.
My desire for food intertwined with my desire for sensual pleasure and I became afraid of openly enjoying the delicious. I saved desserts for the secluded anonymous hours of the night, when I could eat anything I wanted as long as I hid the evidence from my morning self.
I feared the effect of food on my body. I knew that everyone would see my butt or my breasts and know that I put on weight. As a young teenager, I developed a dysfunctional relationship to food. This became another knot within the larger form of desire.
Perverting my desire for food, I became an unconscious and unwitting depressant of my own desires. I forced my desires into shapes I thought it must take. Desire lost its resiliency and focus. Though I couldn’t have articulated it when I was in my 20’s I was both terrified of my own desires and desperately seeking to name them so that I could see them clearly.
Intuitively, I started painting images of the Divine Feminine. Women are the portal through which everyone enters who is now living on this planet. The most powerful image of a woman to me at that time in my life, was Mary, the Mother of God. I began with the images of Mary closest to my young life. The Guadalupe, the Mother of God, the Virgin, the woman was the image I preferred over the crucifix of torture at the head of the church I attended weekly.
Creating images of the Divine Feminine is a spiritual practice I continue over decades, albeit sometimes with years in between paintings. Desire continues to intrigue me.
Increasing desire, and experiencing the subsequent pleasure of quenching that desire, are huge positive side effects of intermittent fasting. As women, our culture has taught us that we must often control or reject what we desire lest it consume us. This is especially obvious in women’s relationship to both food and their own bodies. (From a cultural perspective.)
Intermittent fasting allows me to embrace the lushness of my life. It allows me to dip back into those pools of desire I feared. Fasting opens my consciousness and encourages clarity.
Look through my various images of the Divine Feminine within my portfolio. From the whimsical and folkloric to the mystical and profound, the Divine Feminine leads me wisely.
About the photo: Age 59, Started 16/8 intermittent fasting May 2019. Lost this weight by October 2019, Age 60. My maintenance is the daily 16/8 practice with 2 to 4 times per month of a 20 to 40 hour fast. You can see in my Fitbit tracking that I was off to a slow start and then the weight just tumbled off. My diet was the same before, during and after all of this change. I aim for 7 to 10 fruits and vegetables a day; olive oil, coconut oil and butter; Lean proteins including tofu, bison, fish. Mexican food because thats my heritage. Cheese and homemade sourdough bread I’ve been making for 24 years (the other half of my heritage). Dark chocolate. Red wine. The occasional shot of good tequila, savored. My goal is sustainability. Daily intermittent fasting has become a practice of desire using the most basic human impulse - the desire to eat.
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