A Pearl Crab Awakens Marilyn Diamond


Marilyn Diamond and Donald Schnell

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.

Click here to view all my posts related to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.


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7 Responses to “A Pearl Crab Awakens Marilyn Diamond”

  1. Jack Says:

    Hey, I just started reading your blog – thanks for the good work. As an FYI that it’s not showing up properly on the BlackBerry Browser (I have a Bold). Anyway, I’m now subscribed to the RSS feed on my home PC, so thanks!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Awesome! Thanks, Jack!

  3. ramonia pettijohn Says:

    i was wondering about marilyn diamond saying she practices ahimsa-than how come she now eats meat? do you know? this don’t seem right to me. thank you.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I don’t have any idea if Marilyn eats meat now, Ramonia. I will forward this comment to her and ask if she’d like to respond.

  5. Marilyn Diamond Says:

    Ah, my dear Ramonia,

    Ahimsa is a practice that we must apply to the gift of life itself. If the vegetarian diet were the healthiest then in South India, we would not see not only the largest numbers of diabetics in the world, far larger than those in the meat eating north of India, but also the shortest lifespan, with poverty factored out of this equation.

    I was a strict vegetarian for 18 years and continued for nearly another ten years with few exceptions. However, my research showed me that the choice to eat animal products IS ahimsa: COMPASSION FOR ONE’S OWN LIFE AND THE VERY REAL NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF THE HUMAN BODY. The longer you abstain, the greater will be the damage. I lived this truth and live now to warn others against what I experienced. I wish only to see a strong and vital population in this country, so that we can regain our stability, prosperity and stature. And OUR HEALTH!

    Science has shown that even plants experience pain, so where do you draw the line? If you inhale air, you kill living forms of bacteria, so then, you must stop breathing to practice what you preach of ahimsa.

    Peace and planetary health is not on our plates. It’s in our hearts. So let’s end the aggression that has overtaken diet and respect people’s choices for their health. I respect whatever choice you wish to make. Let freedom ring, even in diet.

    Thank you for you interest, and please accept my sincere and heartfelt love,
    Marilyn Diamond

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks so much for responding, Marilyn. I am looking forward to more of your writings on the diet you now follow. You made a tremendous difference in my life with “Fit For Life” and I am grateful for the work you do in the world.

  7. ramonia pettijohn Says:

    thank you for answering my question marilyn. i guess i will have to think about this subject. it is just when i think of the pain of all the animals, it hurts my very soul. and makes me very, very, sad. can you tell me when your new book is coming out. i am patiently waiting as i have always enjoyed your books and have them on my book shelf.

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