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The ‘Dreamworld Syndrome’

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While doing a interview recently, I was reminded about a feeling I experienced with such alarming vividness I practically was 7 years old all over again and walking on my front lawn in East Amherst, New York, outside Buffalo, without a sense of time or space. Just completely zoning out. And continuing to zone out when I had a seat on the family room couch.

You see, I felt adrift in a dreamworld, and at the time, this feeling was new and fresh for me, and it scared me. I recall telling my parents on more than one occasion, “I don’t feel alive.” My parents thought I was a hypochondriac who keyed in on what felt wrong—the black-and-blue marks from playing football against the bigger kids in the neighborhood are one example—but this period marks when I first began speaking out about my innate sense of what health truly is.

Boy lost in a colorful dreamworld

This “dreamworld syndrome,” a name I’m giving it now, at 37 years old, came and went, and I suppose it was brought on by consumption of improper foods such as animal, cooked and processed products. By the end of my 32nd year, I had dived in headfirst with all the gusto I could muster into an ocean of green smoothies, and being mired in my “dreamworld syndrome” would soon be a thing of the past once I had successfully transitioned to a low-fat raw food diet. (I first had to get over my last obsession with cooked foods: burritos.)

Over the past year, thanks to working a day a week at the Lansdale, Pennsylvania, raw vegan café Arnold’s Way, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the feeling of breaking out of the brain fog that happens when a fledgling raw fooder starts to find his or her wings. I think so many of us, at some time or, perhaps, even most of the time, were or continue to be affected by this dreamworld syndrome. We lived or live behind an invisible wall that made or makes us, well, sluggish.

There’s only one world that comes to mind when thinking about the incredible moment when you know you’ve broken free: alive! Yes, alive! This word resonates with all of us, and we’ve used this word to describe some of the best moments of our lives. “I feel alive!” we’ve shouted during moments when we were in the company of loved ones or hiking in nature or seeing a favorite musical group in person.

I couldn’t help but name my first book Alive!

A man and woman hold freshly picked grapes

Alive! Say it out loud! How does it make you feel? This prolonged rush, this awakening of our consciousness carries many during a raw food transition and becomes a barometer on whether they’re doing things correctly such as eating the right or enough foods or sleeping enough. This to-the-sun-and-moon-and-beyond feeling encapsulates description of many benefits of a raw food diet, including:

  • Exceptional overall health
  • Youthful vitality
  • Euphoric sense of well-being
  • Sustained energy
  • Enhanced mental clarity and ability to focus on tasks
  • A lighter, stronger, quicker and faster body

We all want to feel alive—I’m talking about perfect working order or as close as possible to this—to serve ourselves and the world as best as we can and to enjoy our time. When we treat ourselves right and with care, we tell the rest of the world we demand to be treated right and with care as well.

We all have a choice: to exist, or merely “get by,” or to feel alive!

How badly do you want to feel alive?

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