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Find a Supportive Community: In Life and Diet

Regardless of where you come from, regardless of where you are, and whatever your goal is, whether it's a sports team, whether you're in a book club, everybody finds that there's benefits to having community.

Kevin: Why don't you explain the importance of a mentor and the importance of community.

Dhru: Sure. I'll start off with community. And what I'll say first is that regardless of where you come from, regardless of where you are, and whatever your goal is, whether it's a sports team, whether you're in a book club, everybody finds that there's benefits to having community. Every single person out there knows that friendships and authentic friendships and people who are supportive adds value to the journey. Because when those individuals aren't there, when that community isn't there, then you're just doing something by yourself. And it's not as fun, because you can't share stuff. You can't explore together with other individuals.

Where that started for me was family. And one thing that I noticed when I was a young kid, my family moved around a lot, and one thing that I would notice is that I would always look forward to getting together with my family. Because whenever I was with my family, even the most mundane task, whether it was washing dishing, whether it was sweeping the floor, whether it was doing homework, any task that I did with family, especially like my younger cousins, was always fun. Because when I got together with my younger cousins, we made everything fun because we had similar backgrounds. We were interested in similar things. And our goal was to not just get the job done, but actually to enjoy the journey, whatever it might be.

So when I got into college and I first started exploring with raw food specifically, one of the greatest benefits was that I had a mentor, which I'll get to in a second. But another really great benefit was that, a lot of individuals, when they explore a new area of life like dietary things, they often notice that it's a little bit different. You can't hang out, maybe, with your friends in the same way. You might not be able to eat at the same restaurants that you were eating at previously. You might notice that some people might ridicule you on some level, because they feel that you're doing something very different. You'll notice a lot of changes that might happen socially. But one of the things that I did is, instead of going within, instead of not jumping into community, I got involved in community even further.

The first thing I said is that, OK, I live here in Delaware. It's one of the smallest states in the United States, and there's not a raw food community here. There's not raw food restaurants that are around here. So you know what? Let me be the leader. Let me create some community. And I'm going to start with just my friends that are local, here. So once a week, every Wednesday, me and my friends would get together at my apartment, and we'd all make a big kale salad, and they're not even into raw food! They would just do it because they wanted to spend time with me. And I would do it because I just wanted to spend time with them. I'm not here to convert them. I'm not here to change their dietary habits. I just want to enjoy good food with them.

And that was actually the basis of what started the website. Because what I notice is that any challenges I had, any things I wanted to do, like check out a new restaurant, it was so much more fun doing it with a community. And then the community grew from two to five to a lot of individuals that were at my local co-op. Then we started the website in about 2005, and any city that I could go to I had friends that were there. And I started noticing that one of the biggest things that people would talk about is they would say that, "Well I don't have friends like you that are all into raw foods." They said, "I don't have friends like Anthony and Phillip, who are other commenters on our website that also eat a raw food diet. I just met those guys. I haven't know these guys my entire life. I just met those guys in November. For most of my life, I've hung out with people who haven't been eating a diet that's rich in raw foods or whole foods or anything else like that. They might have been brought up vegetarian because they came from an Indian background, but I'll tell you honestly, that doesn't mean a lot, because most of them just did it because their parents did it. Right?

So community is one of the biggest things. And for a lot of individuals out there that feel like they're going on this journey by themselves, the number one thing I can say to you is, instead of waiting for somebody else to start community, maybe you could start that community. Maybe you could be that leader that could just get a few people together. Even if you start with just two people. It's all about the conversations that happen, and it's all about sharing and growing together as a community. So that's on the community riff.

In terms of a mentorship, how do you select a mentor? Well, if people look at the mentors that I've had, and I've had probably over 13 mentors that are actual mentors in my life, that I have a dedicated relationship with, and I talk to on a regular basis, and they say, "Well I don't know somebody like Serrano Kelley," who's one of my mentors in the world of spirituality. He coaches top CEOs on Wall Street. He's friends with Bill Gates. He knows Oprah. I mean, he's all over the place. They say, "I don't have a mentor like that." I didn't start off with somebody like that. Right? I started off with just saying, OK, who are the people that I know in my life, and who is somebody that's at a level that I would like to be at a little bit in the future? Not looking to the future, but saying this person has built some great things in their life that I would like to bring in my life as well, too. And that's how my first mentor, Nature Love.

When you do that, what you get a chance to do is you get the chance to learn from others' experiences. You get a chance to look at somebody else's life and see what challenges, what things did they go through. And what can I learn from those things? You get a chance to ask questions. And so, even if you don't have the most perfect mentor out there. Who does? I don't even have the most perfect mentors out there. At least you can start with the people that you know in your life, right? And maybe you don't even know them personally. You've just seen them around. You could reach out to them and say, "Hey you know what? I'd really love to learn from you a little bit. Once a week, would you mind meeting with me, or maybe just getting on the phone with me?" You know. And just talking a little bit and showing them that you could be a dedicated person that could listen to them.

Because I'll let you in on a little secret. Mentors love sharing. People who have the heart of a teacher, they love to share. They love to take other people under their wing and at least teach them what they know so that other person could benefit. Because chances are, if you have somebody who has the heart of a teacher who's a mentor, they've also had somebody in their life that took them under their wing, that they're really thankful for. So, those individuals are all over the place. And when it comes to diet, it's so important, because there's so much false information and, you know, judgments, and wrong ideas out there.

It's great to find somebody who actually has results. You can look at them and say, wow. This person looks good. They're happy. They have some things that I'd like to bring into my life. Let me take them on, or let me ask them to take me on as a mentee, and let's see what I can learn from them.

Kevin: You just mentioned false information. What's your process that you go through in order to decide if it's going to work for you or if it's not?

Dhru: Sure. So ultimately, Kevin, just like yourself, I'm a big fan of your renegade health club videos, when it comes down to it, the buck stops at trial and success, because ultimately what people have to realize is that this journey involves trial and success, not trial and error. And I first learned about that through one of my mentors David Wolfe. David Wolfe had a lecture one day, was talking to an individual who was so fixated on needing the right information, he was like, "But how do you know how many milligrams of this and how many milligrams of that?" and David was like "Don't you understand trial and success?" And he said, "Trial and success is the process of actually getting the chance to try something for yourself and if it works continuing, right? And continuing until you find something that works." So that's ultimately where we have to let things rest, is that if you want to try something out, now fortunately we live in the world where a lot of things that we can try out is not going to like, you know kill you, we're not dealing with different prescription medications here and there, that it's like if you don't try the right one you could end up being dead. This is small things and you can make little tweaks along the way. All decisions are temporary, all decisions are temporary, so you can try something out if it works for you, great if it doesn't your going to continue to try something out until you find out what succeeds.

Now to what information to try in the first place, well what information do most people try so far? Health is a very physical thing, even when you're eating natural foods it should be a very physical thing. Does this person look good? Are they vibrant? Do they have eyes that really shine? Is that something that I want to bring in to my life? And then on a deeper level is to look at somebody and what they're about and who they hang out with and just say OK, does this person seem like somebody that puts out information that's good on a regular basis?

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