It is Springtime in the Sonoran Desert. A fleeting few weeks of lush color, seductive fruit and, praise be, a brief rain shower here and there. It won’t last long, that is a guarantee. Lushness is not the prevailing lesson of the desert. There is a harsh beauty here that scares me. It’s easy to feel like everything here is out to get you, which is tough while living in a culture that also promotes that feeling. But there is a beautiful ‘and’ to this place. And yet. And to my surprise. And then I saw. And it wasn’t as scary as I thought. The desert has taught me to find the and’s of life in even the starkest of landscapes.
Because of those ‘and’s’, leaving my job three weeks ago wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It was time and I knew it. My wife Erica and I always tell each other that we should follow all things to their logical conclusions. It has been a really helpful practice provided we can be radically honest with ourselves about when we experience it, and that is a fine art let me tell you. I found my logical conclusion when I landed myself in the office of the head of HR so we could ‘have a chat’. I may have raised my voice a bit. OK, I shouted. I may have cursed. It felt so good to express myself in that way. AND I knew I was done. I didn’t want to bounce back from that.
To add a bit more context, a few weeks prior to ‘the chat’ I presented at the dentist with high blood pressure. After speaking with the doc at work and admitting that I had gained about 10 pounds (hence the BP) and was waking up with daily upper back spasms (work related stress) and had started having anxiety attacks where there previously had been none (I mean...that’s on 2020) I decided enough was enough. I carried the identity of corporate america for 7 years and it broke me. I knew it would when I stepped in. I went in with open eyes. When I made the choice In 2014 I had a baby on the way, a failed business and young family that I needed to step up and provide for. I wouldn’t go back and do it any differently, the cost was worth it. And then something popped in my consciousness. I had a dissociative moment during ‘the chat’ when I realized that this wasn’t wellness that I was experiencing. I wasn’t living nearly close enough to my values. What was I doing screaming in someone’s office like this? What example was I setting for my daughter? How could I say that I work in wellness while feeling the way I did? The logical conclusion was a moral one. Time to be a real leader, not just a corporate one.
And with that an internal switch was flipped. I chose to speak truth to power instead of playing the game, and it was not by accident. After the little health scare I decided to host a ceremony for myself. I set the intention to bring to life my spiritual warrior. As in many ceremonies (most?), tough love was on the menu. Spirit walked right up to me, literally shocked me into a sitting position and told me something to the effect of this. “Andy, either you pick up your medicine and walk with it or you need to set it down and walk away.” Well--alright then, choice made. Best not to ignore direct messages from God! Logical conclusion made. I didn’t need more of a sign than that.
So here I am, world! I feel excited, nervous, and curious about what will come next. I’m not nervous about the services that I am offering, or the skills needed to run my own business. Erica and I have been gestating some pretty deep visions for our future. It feels vulnerable to bring them out into the open air to be observed. I have failed before and don’t want to be hurt again like I was.
And yet. And to my surprise. And then I saw. And it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I know that I am excited to write to you. I am honored to hold space for you. So let's follow this experience to IT’S logical conclusion, shall we? Because...if not now, when?