Four years ago my life looked completely different. So many things have transformed that by many counts I'm no longer the same person. Four years ago I was still living in San Francisco, working a job I hated and trying to figure out how to make my life work on my terms.
Today I woke up in San Francisco in the home of an incredible friend and colleague. Both of us driven by holistic health and great passion for bringing our services to the world, we've been juicing each other up on all the developments in our respective professions. We agreed to take an urban hike- a long walk through city streets, out to lands end and back again- to get our energy moving this morning. Much to my island girl delight we were blessed with gorgeous shining blue sky weather and fresh crisp spring air.
Sometimes simply putting our runners on and getting out the door without a destination can be the most health-full thing we do in a day. Putting our bodies in motion is essential to our well being. Taking that time to think on our feet as we feel the world around us, all while resting into the rhythm of our own stride has incredibly restorative and rejuvenate benefit, body mind and soul. Julia Cameron talks about the profound benefits of walking in her book, The Artist Way, and as we walked and talked this morning I could feel the layers of nourishment and inspiration coming through.
It dawned on me, at the top of a big hill with my breath pumping hot and my cells jubilant from the effort, that today was in fact St. Patricks day. A random thought maybe if you don't know my past. I laughed in gratitude for the vantage point of where my life was in that very moment. At the top of a city hill, with the golden gate bridge peaking above the skyline in the distance, the ocean rolling out in front of me, and with a phenomenal woman and long time friend walking by my side my outlook was pretty good. There we were, waist deep in our conversation, fully committed to living our purpose and taking a stand for holistic living. Life today feels rich, dynamic, and amazing, filled with inspiration. Quite the contrast, I reflected that only a few years ago I would have been gearing up to slang beer and whiskey to the bustle of green wearing revelers ready for a good excuse to party.
Four years ago living my purpose was still just a dream, a concept filled with question marks requesting a direct route to "how?" How do I make this happen? How do I do my life different? How do I live what I know is true inside my own heart? All those questions banging around inside a life that was no longer reflecting my true north and I was antsy to make a change. My biggest challenge was what to do next to make money, leaving my job and the cash it delivered seemed impossible.
For seven years I worked in an Irish Pub in downtown San Francisco, one of the few that had outdoor space no less, so we were constantly busy, especially for big events. St Patrick's Day was a big event. It was the kind of day you had to gear up for. I would pump myself up by getting as festive as I could handle, then put on my happy hustle attitude and zip on my energetic teflon suit so no one's BS would stick as I navigated the wild, drunken debauchery. It was the day I both looked forward to and dreaded all year as cash was high but the psychic cost was too.
For a number of those years I would easily work a 20 hour shift on St. Patrick's Day, I used to have a more driven constitution to make it happen and get 'er done. On a few occasions that day alone paid my rent for the month (and rent wasn't cheap in SF) so there was definitley a certain kind of high in the hustle. There were plenty of years where I had an absolute blast doing it, but equally so, I had a number of years where I was simply filled with dread. The sloppy smell of stale beer, the chaos and noise, people stumbling into me and knocking entire trays of beer down my shirt, people stealing drinks off full trays while I served other customers, and of course countless people who acted like utter fools, jerks and beyond.
That last year, four years ago, I was so done. Beyond done. I had ignored the call to leave the bar a few years earlier when I was half way through graduate school and my inner life was taking on a different shape. Yet I still didn't know how to match my outer world to my inner guidance back then, I was still operating on fear, mostly fear around money and how to make anything happen if I walked away from such a lucrative job. Thankfully, four years ago, I knew change was coming. I could feel it.
Even though I had no clear answers I was, unwaveringly, following the call to take the leap into big change and live into the answers the questions were seeking. It was the beginning of the wave that lead me to where my life is now.
Four years ago I was clear I never wanted to work a St. Patricks Day again. Once we get clear it's amazing what happens. In short order everything was in motion riding the waves of change. I said goodbye to my job at the bar, I shed layers, packed up essentials, said farewells to my incredible bay area community and moved back to the land of my roots to discover what wanted to emerge next.
Trusting the call to make a change can sometimes be the scariest thing we do. Change, even though it is the only constant, is filled with upheaval and imminent energetic house keeping, which is not always the experience we're seeking. Thankfully, navigating the chaos inevitably brings us to clarity.
Four years ago my life looked and felt very different. The space between then and now has been filled with practices aligning me with my calling, cultivating my soul purpose, and engaging support for living that purpose into existence every day. Truth be told I'm still learning, I'm still stretching into the authentic artistry that I am here to offer. But more than ever before I am in complete celebration of my life and my process, recognizing where I've been as the powerful foundation for all that I see coming. And wonderful things are coming. I have no doubt in my mind. All I have to do is look around to the beautiful friends I have, the amazing opportunities that continue to open before me, the super juiced conversations, connections and networks that keep cheering me forward to know that I am on the right path.
This year I celebrate all that has been and all that is yet to come, completely content with where I am right now: writing about the journey, from the couch in my amazing friends living room, on a beautiful day in a city that captured my heart years ago, and that thankfully keeps calling me back. A lot can change in a short amount of time if we are willing to open ourselves to the possibilities. A truly Happy St Patrick's Day it is!