Even though Lent has been over for a month and Easter candy has been consumed, I continue to ponder some lessons of creative fasting. Sure, during Lent I fasted from sweets and attachment to some of my older, unused possessions, but what about fasting from electronics and electricity?

ELECTONICS – TV, radio, computer, phones
TV: Not much of a sacrifice here since I typically only watch the 11:00p news. A few days I fasted even from this as a way to clear my mind before bed.
Radio: The days I took a radio break were a bigger challenge since I listen to NPR while dressing, eating breakfast, driving, gardening, etc. It did no harm to skip my radio addiction for a few days since I did have newspapers and it gave my brain a rest; but I’m not giving it up permanently.
Computer: I don’t spend much time on social media (although I do post my Marriage Moments, Parenting Pointers, and this Living Lightly blog on Facebook). BUT, I do spend the majority of most days on my computer – connecting through emails and Zoom calls. I didn’t even try to fast from computer use since it was necessary interpersonal communication and thinking time.
Phones: I use our landline phone at home since it is my public work number and I saw no reason to limit it. However, I thought I might fast from my cell phone for a few days since it is more of a convenience phone. I normally only use it when I leave the house. I was surprised, however, at the number of exceptions I had to make to this fast. For example, I needed it for GPS directions, taking blog photos (Do I still have a camera somewhere in the house?), checking store hours, and phone numbers. (I realized how out of date our paper phone book was since many folks now only have cell phones.)

ELECTRICITY – lights, refrigeration, heat, cooking, washing machine, clocks…
It didn’t take long to realize that a pure fast from electricity would be an almost impossible challenge without going into camping mode or living in a Middle Ages monastery. It helped that daylight hours were getting longer which gave me more natural light. But there is a limit to how much can be done by turning off lights and using candlelight.
Ice melts, even wearing multi-layers of clothing to keep warm has limits. Cooking is more complicated. Sure, I could wash clothes by hand but that’s time consuming. Not being able to glance at electric clocks would be the least of my concerns. Batteries only last so long. Ultimately, I decided that fasting from electricity would be limited to turning off lights when not in a room.


  1. Fasting from the radio did help me to be more present to the ordinary tasks of daily life, people I would pass, and nature. But I’m still addicted to multi-tasking and would find my mind going on auto-pilot instead of focusing on the life around me. I tried to use other consciousness raising prompts like hunger, pain, whatever, to remind me to focus on the reason for the fast. What helps you be present to the spiritual wonder of humanity and nature?
  2. Fasting from electricity was primarily a lesson in gratitude – gratitude for the minds that discovered how to create electricity, having enough money to pay for heat, electric appliances. etc. I found myself empathizing with those who must manage without electricity. Have you found any practical ways to reduce your electricity use?