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How One Man Reimagined His Life, Went Off-Grid & Found His Zen

By August 4, 2014May 24th, 20197 Comments

Today we go off-grid.

As some of you know, this show was launched from a yurt on Hawaii. It was about a year and half ago. At the time, we were at a crossroads. Unsure about our family’s future in Los Angeles, we were looking for something new and different. Then out of the blue, a unique opportunity arose and we seized it. An opportunity for myself, my wife and our kids to see and embrace a different approach to life.

Next thing we knew, we found ourselves living at Common Ground— a living, breathing organic farm on the north shore of Kauai. For three months we ate and lived off the land (well, mostly). Our kids learned farming and permaculture harvesting food in the gardens. We cohabited in communal yurts shared with a bevy of energetic young people passionate about the environment, sustainability, food and soil. All told, we embraced a completely new and different experience of daily existence, cementing the idea that we have choice when it comes to lifestyle. The notion that — all of the plenty excuses aside — we don’t have to live the way everyone else does.

A powerful concept we wanted our kids to see, understand and experience on a fundamental, tactile level.

It takes courage to step outside the norm. In our case, we obviously returned to Los Angeles. In all honesty, I just wasn’t ready for that level of disconnect on a permanent basis at this stage in my life. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t invaluable, because it was — an experience I will always treasure and never forget. It’s an understatement to say that it broadened my horizons. As a family unit, we were permanently changed. A powerful and constant reminder that there is another way. Always another way.

During our time on Kauai, I got a call from my friend Evan Rock.

A successful young, enterprising commercial real estate executive, I first met Evan when he was dating the young woman who frequently babysits for our little girls. I didn’t know much about him at that time, other than that Evan was a young man with a plan. Dreams of making it big financially. Driving a Porsche and living large. But not too dissimilar from me, Evan happened to be undergoing his own personal transformation. Something Julie calls dismantling. Taking stock of his life, he began to critically evaluate how he was spending his time. He discovered meditation. Unlocking, he then started asking himself questions — big questions. What am I doing and why? What makes me truly happy? How can I better serve myself, my fellow man and the planet?

This practice soon led Evan to yoga, then plant-based nutrition. An increase in vitality led him to fitness, even dipping his toe into triathlon. As he continued to search and expand, he ultimately adopted a full fledged high-carb fruitarian lifestyle.

I’ll never forget running into him at Whole Foods in Tarzana about two years ago. Clad in suit & tie on break from his commercial real estate firm across the street, I watched Evan devour an entire watermelon for lunch to the bemusement of fellow lunch-goers.

This is a long way of saying that Evan was undergoing some fundamental, core changes and looking for more. During that phone call I could hear the earnestness in his voice. Mental gears turning, Evan expressed a deep curiosity about the hows and whys of what we were doing in Kauai. I could tell a plan was starting to hatch in his mind.

Fast forward to about 5 months ago when I discovered that Evan hadn’t just quit his job, he completely cashed out of his comfortable life of financial security. The new owner of a nice chunk of property on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii, he just up and moved there.

Just Evan, a tractor and pickup truck with a tarp to cover the flatbed where he slept. Completely off-grid, his new home could only be described as a completely overgrown, seemingly inhospitable parcel of untouched tropical jungle in the middle of a nowhere paradise. And yet a piece of land teeming with potential. The potential for a completely new life for himself — and eventually others.

By day Evan worked tirelessly to clear the land. By night he slept on the back of his truck, often soaked by the nightly rain showers. And with the help of friends he eventually met on island, Evan recently built a tiny one room shelter that can only be loosely described as a “house”. Newly christened Fruition Hawaii, the land is now home to several like-minded young people living as a collective. A potent seed germinating Evan’s vision of creating a conscious community and retreat center.

Even more fascinating is that Evan has been documenting the entire process in real time on YouTube  where you can see the project unfold from it’s inception.

Whether this is your vibe or not, you simply cannot deny the courage it takes to execute upon the life that dwells in your creative imagination. The spine required to turn off autopilot; seize the reins of your personal destiny; and put action into vision. I’m not talking about the life expected of you, nor the life you think you are supposed to lead. I’m talking about the life of your wildest dreams.

Evan Rock completely removed himself from one life and boldly entered a new one.  A life divorced from the familiar trappings and distractions of modern urban existence and instead premised on nourishment of body, mind and spirit; a philosophy of abundance; a deepening of awareness; and most of all — love.

Ready to go off grid? Let’s do this. I sincerely hope you dig the conversation.

Peace + Plants,

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P.S. – Here’s a peek at Evan shortly after he arrived on his land, pondering the journey ahead:

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7 Comments

  • Trevor Doge says:

    Thanks for this interview. I helped out a little at Fruition, as it was coming into fruition. I hope that Fruition truly “bears fruit”, as I am sure it will because of Evan’s palpable spiritual side. It’s awesome that Evan is reading the Bhagavad Gita because I hear it’s all about not being attached to the fruit of your labour. Giving more attention to the fruition than the actual fruit is the only truly liberating way to exist within this universe.

    ~Namastè~

  • backtothefruiture says:

    Great podcast! Evan is an awesome dude, his videos have influenced me to go on a meditation journey. I’m really glad he brought up Tony Wright in this. I was going to email you pleading for a podcast with Tony in it IF you go to the Woodstock Fruit Festival this year. He’s a brilliant guy I think you’ll get a lot out of speaking with him!

  • Victoria Arnstein says:

    I have to say, I have become good friends with Evan in the last year. He has added color to my life and I am grateful to be able to call him my close friend. He has truly shown remarkable progress in terms of life changing events go in such a short amount of time. He has been an inspiration to many on his you tube channel for years. I know he will go far as he has proven so much already. He is living his dream! I did something similar with my husband and 3 children. We picked up from NY and came to Hawaii and currently living our dream on Oahu and not looking back. We came with 2 suitcases each and hoped for the best! So far my move has exceeded our dreams tenfold. I met the nicest people and I am grateful to be able to swim in the ocean and hike with in minutes of my house! Hope people get inspired to live their best life! I hope people like myself and Evan can inspire people to wake up from the slumber that they have been encased in for years. The first step is making the decision and the next is a major leap, but when you finally make that leap, you dive into the best thing that ever happened to you! Life if magical and I plan to keep unwrapping my gifts that were given to me each and every day!

  • Gitana Anahata Karenina says:

    Oh this is me very shortly! I wish i could join him yet we will be heading to Europe! He will not be alone long! <3

  • Brook says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast. You both bring a very relaxed and content vibe. I have seen a bit of Evan on YouTube but to hear him speak in the longer podcast format was really inspiring. He is truly being authentic in his life and that can be alot harder than it sounds. You are helping to change the world with these podcasts Rich. Thank you.

  • Will Kriski says:

    Enjoyed this. I’m trying to meditate and turn off the thinking brain, not easy! It’s definitely easier to unplug from society after you’ve saved some cash from within the Matrix, that’s my preferred method as well over struggling one’s whole life. Also Evan should check out some of these scientific vids on cooked food and how we’ve adapted (stomach size, amylase, etc) (there are some books as well such as Cooked by Michael Pollan) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNzAUshc4ps&list=UU2ShkTxPq-O3shB5HWXI_Qg Everyone in the vegan movement should band together and support plant-based eating whether raw or cooked, ie fruit, starch and grains for the win. 🙂

  • OrganicHealth says:

    Awesome discussion. I am always moving towards cleaner air, water and a simpler lifestyle. So good to hear from people aware of the modern day food problems, and how much we need to stop poisoning ourselves with chemicals, etc. and being ignorant about how corporations try to take over the food supply with their fascist tactics and bullshit like messing with food genetics, and then oppressing our right to know. More people need to understand the corruption and what’s at stake.

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