Displayed on a wall in each Peace through Yoga studio is a large, lovingly framed print called The Holstee Manifesto. Its words are what launched the actions that led me to where we are today. I say “we” because my transformation includes all of you who are reading this blog, our precious students and teachers at Peace through Yoga, and the many “angels” who have appeared on my path at the precise time I needed their guidance and professional assistance. Angels, in this frame of reference, are people who figure in our life at the right time and in the right place. There are no coincidences.
The Holstee Manifesto appeared in my Facebook newsfeed one day in 2013 from someone I don’t know and do not remember. One glance at this feisty treatise and I felt an electric charge race through my body.
The Manifesto begins in large block letters with the words “Life is short.” Now, that is a statement that caught my attention. Life had recently demonstrated that a loved one can be here one day and gone the next. The Manifesto continues with all sorts of tips and quips, very much forthright in their delivery, about how to shift your priorities so you don’t find yourself in your advanced years regretting all the things you could have but didn’t do. One tip, more than any of the others, screamed at me: “If you don’t like your job, QUIT!”
Wake-up call. I had spent the last several years prior to reading that little ditty sending resumes to organizations across the city for positions that would have resulted in nothing more than a lateral move. I was uninspired. Nothing was appealing, but I didn’t know any other way to change my reality. We do what we know… until we are shown a different way.
My first angel was cloaked in a white lab coat as she sauntered into my spa treatment room on a day when I was feeling absolutely cracked open. She is an aesthetician following her passion of creating a line of skin care products and also a former director at a pharmaceutical company where she had an attractive salary and the security of a 401K and health insurance—the same things that kept me bound to my position. The sharp left turn she took in her career demonstrated that there are career options to be found beyond hunting through job listings in Monster, going on endless informational interviews and attending networking events. I had been doing it all and was feeling more disheartened with every effort I made within these narrow parameters.
Meeting this woman changed my perspective entirely. She helped me see outside of my own box…and prompted my development from a tentative, creeping caterpillar on familiar ground to a chrysalis—a butterfly in its brief but active stage of metamorphosis. It did not take long for my transformation. Within 6 months I was handing a carefully drafted resignation letter to my boss. The moment the sheet exchanged hands, my wings released with such a fury I swear I heard them flapping. I wrote about this pivotal event on May 23, the day I celebrate as my Re-Birthday.
Turning the calendar from 2015 to 2016 can be a re-birthday. If we choose, it can be a time for reflection, re-alignment and transformation. What obstacles—real or imagined—are clipping your wings? These define the walls of your box, and once you recognize them, you’ll be on your way.
Remember, life is short.