The New York Times Is Reading Our Archives

Last week I had a chat with a writer from the New York Times. She had found this blog post I wrote a few years ago (the full blog post is below) about a time I decided to fast looking in the mirror. She was doing an article on mirror fasts, and had found many different people (all women) doing them for different reasons and for different lengths of time–some for a day, a week, and even a year. If you read my blog post below you see that I did it for spiritual reasons–in lieu of fasting food on fast Sunday. It was interesting to talk to the New York Times about this and my resulting spiritual epiphany from it. She was interested to learn that Mormons have a regular practice of fasting, so it felt good to educate her on that a little bit. She asked some interesting questions on image, and wondering why she hadn’t found any men that had done a mirror fast. I didn’t pretend to know anything about men. Rocky said he didn’t know either.  I am sharing this story and this archived post today because I thought it was a good old post and also it is a good reminder that you never know who is reading your stuff or who might read it a few years from now.

If you have done your own mirror fast or have any thoughts on image, feel free to comment here.


The Mirror Fast

This morning I realized a little bit late that it was fast Sunday. I’m not sure how I forgot when for a week I had been sending reminder emails to my collaborators to fast for our book.

I decided it was not too late. Since most of the ladies working with me are pregnant or nursing and wouldn’t be doing a traditional food fast either, I decided I should fast something else. I thought about fasting my computer or my phone, but I needed to coordinate some things and the phone was necessary. I contemplated all this as I was putting on lipstick. Then I had a random thought pop into my mind. Maybe you should fast looking in the mirror.

Hmm. I wondered if God was trying to tell me I was vain. I have to admit, I do love to admire myself–mainly because the human body is amazing to me and I like mine. But I decided that a little more humility was probably a good thing, so I finished my lipstick and hoped it didn’t come off for the rest of the day because I was going to fast looking in the mirror.

It was the strangest experience. I know that some days go by where I don’t look in a mirror all day, but when trying to consciously avoid them, I seemed to catch my reflection everywhere–and catch myself looking at it. This conscious shift in awareness about my image, didn’t register until on my way to church when I caught half my eye in the rearview. Then I remembered my morning scripture study. Early this morning, I had read Alma 5: 14 Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have you experienced this mighty change of heart?”

My image in the mirror suddenly took on a whole new meaning. And I realized I didn’t need a mirror to answer that. I could close my eyes and see myself as Christ saw me. At church everyone told me I looked gorgeous. Personally, I think I always look good, but this week everyone seemed to notice. And interestingly, I noticed how great everyone else looked today. True, it was a gorgeous day–but those aren’t uncommon here in Los Angeles. It think I just saw Christ in their countenances as well. Especially my little girl. She was radiant.

I love how God continues to teach me in unexpected ways. What I thought was about vanity, was really about the beauty that comes from being spiritually born on God.

1 thought on “The New York Times Is Reading Our Archives”

  1. I have done this several times since you posted and it was really powerful for me. I didn’t realize how conditioned I was to look in the mirror and it was a good way to remind me to focus on my fast. I also think that not looking in the mirror makes you more introspective and that is always a good way to enhance a fast.

    How cool that you were interviewed by the New York Times. I hope she quotes you!

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