I was thrilled to meet Marilyn Diamond when I attended a seminar conducted by Marilyn and her husband, Donald Schnell (a.k.a. Prema Baba Swamiji), in 2001 because her book, Fit for Life, had profoundly impacted my life back in the mid-1980s.
When I interviewed Marilyn for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, she told me about a memorable encounter she had on a Florida beach. Here is an excerpt from Marilyn’s story, beginning with her bio.
Author of six books and an internationally renowned pioneer in enlightened living, Marilyn Diamond is co-author of Fit for Life, the revolutionary diet book that, at the time, became the best-selling diet and health book ever written. It cracked the list of the top twenty-five best-selling books in history and has since sold millions of copies in thirty-eight languages. Marilyn and husband Donald Schnell later wrote Fitonics for Life as a lifestyle sequel to Fit for Life.
Donald and I were spending the last year of our first decade of marriage in southwest Florida in the picturesque community of Old Naples. It had been our plan to live there for many years, and sure enough, when the time came, we were blessed to find our beach retreat only a few steps from the sand. I delighted in going out at dawn every morning for my walk along the water. My day was always inspired by the brilliant canvas of colors the sunrise painted in the sky over the aquamarine Gulf of Mexico.
On my fifty-seventh birthday in June 2001, I strolled down the walkway between two magnificent beachfront estates. Their lush, tropical gardens and lawns seemed in full celebration beside me as I made my way toward the sand. The Royal Palms and Poinciana dripping with coral blossoms reaching out to crystal white sand were a heavenly vision. I felt intoxicated by the sweet scents of tropical flowers and salty sea mist and the caress of the warm wind on my skin. Feeling overwhelmed with the sheer ecstasy of being alive, I slipped off my sandals and flung my arms upward in gratitude.
My bare feet kicked up powdery puffs of warm sand as I made my way to the water’s edge. I stopped to watch a mountain of white clouds turn pink on the horizon as the radiant dawn light began to flood the sky. The lapping of the water at my feet sounded like laughter. Suddenly, right in front of me, a little pearl crab danced out of the shallow waves and headed up onto the shore.
The beach in that area was dotted with small mounds that crabs produce when they emerge from the water and burrow into the sand to protect themselves from seagulls. I sensed the tiny crab was on that sort of mission so I stopped in my tracks, not wanting to scare her. She froze and looked up at me.
I gazed back at the hexagonal, pearly-white face and jet-black eyes. Her multiple legs fell like golden locks of hair from behind her head. She stood statue-like, on tiptoes like a ballerina. I was riveted by this little being in front of me who was clearly riveted by me. There we were, tiny crab and I. She was so incredibly small and delicate, and I felt her fear. Welling up from my heart was a profound compassion I’d seldom known before.
‘Oh, beautiful one,’ I heard my words coming softly, “I would never hurt you, I could never hurt you.’
Very slowly, she crossed her two front legs and sat down in the sand. I was spellbound. She was so astonishingly beautiful, such a perfect creation. The regal way she settled herself in front of me made me feel like the Goddess of the Sea was granting me an audience. My heart melted as a rush of precious memories flooded over me.
I recalled my Grandma Ida’s yearly visits to my home when I was a little girl. She would slip on her bibbed apron and bake huge apple pies that stood six inches high. She was always willing to listen to my problems, and heal my little hurts and confusions. She would hold me on her lap so lovingly, and sometimes I would cry pent-up tears into her cinnamon-scented apron.
I remembered holding my three babies in the same tender way, and how wonderful it felt to kiss their little pink cheeks and put their tiny toes up against my lips. I thought of the grandchild who was soon to be born, and practically swooned at how good it felt to be me.
Finally, I saw myself at my wedding to Donald in a rose garden in Santa Fe. While the elderly rabbi spoke to us of our eternal love and the cantor intoned the sacred Hebrew blessings, the husband I’d seen in my dreams as a child sobbed, and I sobbed with him. We were so indescribably happy. Our faces were wet with tears when we kissed, and our mouths were salty.
The wondrous blessing of life washed over me as I stood there in front of my little Mistress of the Sea. I sensed that she was my teacher and I was her disciple. That moment marked the birth of a powerful awareness in me.
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.