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

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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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