I come from a family of artists.
My grandmother was a poet. My (other) grandfather was a vaudeville performer and the he wrote scripts and produced in Hollywood.
Mom and Dad met working at Arena Stage in the 1970s — at the height of American Regional Theatre. He was a producer and designer, and she was a stage manager.
He gave Raul Julia his first professional acting job, and she toured to Broadway with Raisin — the musical version of Raisin in the Sun — among other things, before they found their way to New Orleans. (It’s a long story for another day.)
My mother’s sisters are both artists — one was a dancer and actress on Broadway, and the other was a visual artist.
We’re creative people. I come by it honestly. We sing in four part harmony when we have family reunions. It’s like that.
I was on retreat last weekend with all the teachers from Wild Lotus Yoga.
This is the kind of staff retreat you don’t cringe at — there are no ice breaking games, no embarrassing stories, no faked camaraderie.
This was 26 yoga teachers and practitioners, coming together to practice, meditate, sing, and share. We did a little business, sure, but we mostly ate delicious vegetarian fare and had a yoga sleepover.
I arrived on Friday over-tired. I watched the thoughts in my head: “Why are we all wasting our time with this? Will anything productive happen? No one else really understands my business struggles.”
Y’all. It was a whirlwind of whining.
Yoga taught me to watch my thoughts. And in watching, to be free from them.
So I watched.
I will never forget the Tuesday I walked into my coach’s office at 7am, sat heavy on that cream sofa, and said “I just can’t do this anymore. I have to quit. I don’t know what I’m going to do instead, but I have to quit this job.”
And I did.
I did not pass go. I did not collect $200. I went directly to my boss’s office, closed the door, and resigned.