Fruit mono-meals, fasting, and navigating an extraordinary awakening
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -Joseph Campbell
When I began many years ago to eat a diet of mostly fruit, I hugely lessened the digestive load on my body. Day by day, as I kept to this simple plan, I really began to realize the true nature of me – that I am light, energy, electricity. My awareness of energetic vibration and frequency became greatly heightened. The vibrational tone of my whole being was becoming clearer, cleaner, lighter, more fluid and more finely tuned. All of my senses became more acute, and it seemed as if a chronic dense fog (that I hadn’t even fully realized was there) was quickly lifting. With this vibrational shift in my physical body, my mental awareness shifted too, and I experienced a metamorphosis of some of my most basic desires and values.
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One day, I turned off the yoga instructional video I was using for my home-practice, realizing that I knew what to do and preferred my own guidance, and moving at my own mindful pace. Another day, I realized I had no interest anymore in movies or books focused on negative drama, conflict and violence. I turned off the news, and I lost interest in many common conversations. I frequently felt ‘happy for no reason.’ I started forgetting my shoes when going on errands in the car, and I was kicking them off instinctively whenever there was an opportunity to connect my feet with the natural ground. I looked for opportunities to lie down peacefully on the earth, to lean my body against a tree or swing playfully on a branch, or to strip off my clothes and feel the sun and the breeze on all the parts of my body. The sun became absolutely irresistible. I was spontaneously singing and dancing, and I simply felt alive at a distinctly new level.
I delighted in discovering an expansive world of fruit varieties. The array of colors, shapes, seeds, patterns and tastes in a seemingly infinite expression of fruit became a new fascination of mine. Food shopping and gathering took on a new dimension of adventure. I planted ten fruit trees in the tiny urban yard of one of my Michigan homes. I included paw paw trees, which felt like an exotic tropical element. Every winter I would make my way to Florida, or Costa Rica, where I could immerse myself in warm sunshine, nature, and tropical fruits. I wanted to share my new-found delight with everyone! Fruit was rocking my world, and I felt high.
I bumped up hard against resistance to my amazing new discoveries. This felt confusing, and disheartening. I was naive to assume that others would share my enthusiasm, or somehow catch on to my new wave-length. I was on a high track of heart-expansion, and it is not for the feint-of-heart. I was humbled by how challenging it was for me to integrate my new vibrational tone with that of the more ‘normal’ (but not natural) world and people around me. How to contain my new energy and enthusiasm when it was overwhelming to others? Did I need to tame it? How to commit to living in love, and not to fall into the temptation to judge others for their apparent lack of seeing and believing?
I reconnected with Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a story that I had first fallen in love with as a young teenager, about the pain and joy of spiritual journeying. I eventually claimed ‘Livingston’ as my post-divorce name. This name for myself came ‘through’ me one day while I was riding a bike no-handed down a gentle hill on a country dirt road (where, synchronistically, I would later live), with my arms outstretched wide and my face to the sun, feeling a new-found sense of Self and freedom rushing through my veins. For me, ‘Livingston’ embodied something important about my journey.
I also had a potent dream in which I was cruising down a mountain on a bicycle, going very fast. I saw a hairpin turn up ahead and knew with a sense of dread that I would not be able to navigate it in time. As my bicycle and I flew off the edge of the cliff and sailed out into the open sky, my bicycle dropped away and a huge kite with a woman rider scooped me up before I had time to fall. The woman wrapped her arms around my waist to hold me safely in front of her on the kite, and when I turned my head back to see who my rescue angel was, I was looking into my own face. I treasured that dream, which showed me that the universe and I had my back in this grand and daring adventure of spiritual awakening.
I traveled to many fruitarian festivals and workshops, and started hosting raw vegan pot-lucks (fruit-lucks) in my home. I needed comrades on my new path. I was eager to learn and share, and hungry for deeply authentic connections. I immersed myself in a spiritually-focused yoga instructor training program. I was experiencing an uncommon new level of personal, energetic upgrades, and I needed support, validation, and company. When I first began my fruitarian journey, I was married, with three kids, and living in a ‘co-housing’ community which my husband and I had helped get off the ground. My life was happy enough on some outer levels, but I was struggling with digestive ailments and a restless spirit.
Ultimately, I lost that co-housing community, and my marriage. I was often asked if my fruit diet precipitated these losses, and my response to that is this: I was on a healing quest. I was listening deeply to the increasingly insistent voice of my heart, trusting my intuition and heeding expansive new callings. I was being pulled by Spirit. Minister Michael Beckwith said, “Pain pushes until a vision pulls.” I desperately did not want to lose anything I loved, and I prayed every day for guidance. I wanted it all to work out in a tidy, easy way. I wanted everyone I loved to come with me! But the spiritual journey often doesn’t work that way, and I knew with my whole being that to deny the calling would be devastating to my soul. I was healing myself on so many levels, and there was no turning back, and less and less willingness to self-sabotage or self-limit in order to keep other people more comfortable.
“Listen. Can you hear it? The music. I can hear it everywhere. In the wind...in the air...in the light. It’s all around us. All you have to do is open yourself up. All you have to do...is listen.” - from the movie, ‘August Rush’
I was compelled by the pure simplicity of mono-fruit meals – of choosing whatever one kind of fruit most appealed to me in the moment of true physiological hunger, and fully experiencing the qualities of that one type of fruit (as much quantity as I wanted) for my entire meal. Whenever feasible, I would eat the fruit outdoors in the sunshine, my bare feet on the ground. I would eat with my hands, or with simple wooden bowls and utensils. It’s hard to fully describe the bliss I experienced as I began eating in this way. The stresses of the unnatural world faded into the distant background, as all of my senses were drawn into this focused, mindful, real experience. Unless you have directly experienced it, it is difficult to comprehend how this relationship with food involves the senses on all levels, while feeding a connection to deep and lasting pleasure (distinct from the fleeting surface pleasure given by the complex, hyper-palatable standard type of meal). I would typically prepare some type of raw salad-meal in the evenings, and I found great digestive as well as spiritual benefit in keeping those meals to a very simple few ingredients as well.
When I use the word ‘spiritual,’ I mean something akin to this dictionary definition: ‘having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional communion.’ Beyond that, it’s a feeling of matching a frequency expressed in nature, like the Joseph Campbell quote I began this post with.
About 6 years into my fruitarian journey, I embarked on a long water-fast. I was aiming to accomplish deeper layers of healing on all levels. I traveled to Costa Rica, where I had expert supervision for the fast, as well as fellow fasters, and where I could be in a protected natural environment, free from stressful distractions. I drank only pure mountain spring water for 26 days, while resting the entire time, thus giving my body maximum reserves of energy with which to cleanse and heal itself of anything its incredible natural intelligence was guided to work on. My study of ‘Natural Hygiene’ had taught me that fasting on water only can be employed as the most powerful tool for natural healing. It is paramount to getting out of the way, and letting the wisdom of the body-intelligence take the reins.
This was a profoundly valuable experience, and something I loosely compared to ‘climbing Mt. Everest’ (which I have not done). It was a big challenge for me, in many ways. I had to leave 3 homeschooled children behind for 6 weeks. Half-way through the fast there was a major earthquake that dislodged a 6-foot diameter boulder, which thundered down the mountainside and miraculously stopped just a few feet short of smashing right on through the flimsy tiny cabin where my room-mate and I lay in our beds, weak and somewhat helpless. Another remarkable experience, sometime after the half-way mark of this fast, was that twice at early dawn I somehow ‘downloaded’ a whole article to write – it was as if I had a mental photograph of the article simply presented to me in its perfect entirety, and all I had to do was scramble to write it down as quickly as I could, while it remained etched across my otherwise unusually empty mind.
I loved all of the physical benefits, such as skin as soft and clear as a baby’s, and perfect digestion and elimination once we were re-feeding. But the emotional and spiritual experiences turned out to be my greatest treasures of all. I had several instances of feeling a depth and breadth of compassion for other beings that I cannot even describe in words. And my deepest fear was put to rest – given my history with depression, I was afraid my darkest inner demons might resurface and torment me during the long fast, in which I had so much undistracted time with my own mind. What happened instead, was that I tapped into pure encounters with bliss, again and again throughout the second half of the fast. I experienced my heart, and my inner light, as pure gold, expanding outward seemingly infinitely. This was deeply moving and reassuring for me, and powerful beyond measure. I felt and saw this pure golden light emanating from everyone around me, as well.
I am going to close with another poem that I wrote, years after that fasting experience:
WE ARE WHOLE
Knowing we are whole is the secret of life.
It’s our grounding, our sustenance, the end of our strife.
Not the sum of our parts, it’s beyond all of this.
Beyond body, mind, or emotion, whole just IS.
We try to deny it, and explain it away.
We’re convinced we are damaged, broken and frayed.
But the light that lives us just keeps shining on,
Permanent perfection, it knows all is one.
It’s the law of Nature, it’s the nature of us.
Our divine blueprint, in this we can trust.
We are love, we are joy, we are peace, we are light.
Our light is unlimited, steady and bright.
When we gaze into each other’s eyes,
We catch a glimpse, and we’re caught by surprise.
We are one. We can surrender and let go of the fight.
Our light is our wholeness, in fact our birthright.
Things fall apart, people and plans disappoint you.
Still the sun shines, plants grow, and the sky is clear blue.
If we would know and remember what we are really made of,
We would be here now, living in love.
Let us bow to each other, to our shared light and to the Earth.
We can celebrate our oneness, and know our worth.
Life is so much more fun when we live from this place,
An indescribably deep pleasure that lights up our face.
No you, no me, just the light, the love, the whole.
This email was divinely directed my way in perfect timing to read it! I am extremely grateful for you sharing your journey as it has sparked such a flicker of fruitful curiosities!! Looking forward to connecting when I get back home to Englewood. ♥️
Thanks for sharing this story, Ellen. It's beautiful! The best kind of news to read...