Fasting is a powerful tool that can be used for transformation. So are relationships. I'm inspired to share 3 main things that fasting has thought me about intimacy. I have probably made all of these mistakes, possibly in both departments.

1. The way you start it is the way you finish it.

There may be occasions when a one night stand leads into a committed, long term relationship, and that is wonderful. But more often than not, a one night stand is … a one night stand. One beautiful, passionate moment in time. If you are looking for a relationship, you may find yourself wishing this person would call you, see you again or express interest in getting to know you. But you never hear from them again.

Just like starting a relationship, entering into a fast is a gradual process. If you are eating a standard American diet, you can not wake up one morning and decide to stop eating. Your body simply could not handle it, because the overload of toxins would make you feel nauseous, achy and just plain miserable. To expect long term results from short term planning is unrealistic. It often ends with the symptoms of a hangover and self-criticism.

I have learned to plan ahead. I have learned to gradually wean out certain foods (dairy, meat, caffeine) at least a week prior to beginning a fast. I have learned to block time for myself so I can fully allow the process to take its course. I have learned to stock my kitchen with everything I need for fasting, and eliminate any foods from my kitchen cabinets and fridge that would start calling my name during those desperate moments.

When wanting to attract a partner, or start a relationship, I am learning first to hold my own vibrational space strong and connected to my heart center, and from this place, I am able to sense and visualize the partner first without attaching any physical qualities to it. This way, I am less likely to try to manipulate some particular person into my experience. Jumping into a relationship out of a reaction (plain desire, need or unconscious patterns) usually leads to counter-creation; when I manipulate reality, I usually end up with what I don't want, instead of what I do want. Avoiding this is a life long, conscious practice, but so worth it.

2. Keep the channels open.

When fasting, the number one key element is to keep the elimination channels open. In other words, it is crucial to make sure you have enough bowel movements each day to remove the toxins from your blood stream. Otherwise, you keep sitting in your own “shit” so to speak, and that can not possibly be fun. So whatever it takes, you need to make sure you go to the bathroom 2-4 times a day. Do a daily enema, take herbal laxatives or drink “Smooth Move” tea. Whatever works, do it.

In relationships, we all know how important communication is. It's probably the most important ingredient to a harmonious relationship, whether you are in the very beginning stages or 30 years into it. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a tantra teacher, Lakota Carter. She shared one of her teachings with me, which was how to communicate your desire in relationships. Step one is to name your desire. What is it that you are wanting at this moment? Share it with your partner openly and as authentically as possible, for example, “My desire is to get to know you.” Then, express your fear. Say, for example, “My fear is that if I follow up with my desire, I will lose myself.” In the third step, you express your boundary. You can say, “My boundary is that we agree to support each other in what we are currently working on in our lives outside of the relationship.” Sounds so simple, because it is. But it takes work to keep the channels of communication open between you and your partner.

3. Gentle re-entry.

Even the most amazing relationships come to an end one day. If I continue relating this topic to fasting, you can’t end a fast by going to a BBQ joint for fried chicken wings. I mean, you can, but the consequences will be harsh. (Trust me, I have tried it. I was sick for two weeks. My acupuncturist worked hard to activate my turned off liver. Not good.) So when you come off a fast, you must be gentle. If you have been juicing for ten days, for the first three days, eat the same foods you have been juicing, but in a solid form. Make fresh salads out of kale, celery, cucumbers, etc. Chew every bite 30-50 times. Allow the digestive process to gradually turn itself on. If you don't, you can end up counteracting all the good work you did during the fast.

Similarly, when a relationship ends, take time to do the work on your own without seeking the next object of your desire. Relationships are never about the other person. If you do not take the time between different partners, you end up being the one who suffers because you continue attracting the same situations and challenges to the new relationships that you always had in the past, because you are still vibrating with the same energy frequency, and this will continue attracting nothing but a mirror into your immediate experience. When a relationship ends, stay with the empty. Stay with the grief, sadness, anger, or whatever it is that is there. Stay with the truth of you. Confront your shadow, do your work. Co-create your life by taking responsibility. Chew on it like you would on a piece of celery after a fast. Eventually, it will turn into something sweet.