FILTHY IN PHILADELPHIA
This is a summarization of the 8 months I lived in Philadelphia.
I was hired by the new owners of an old health food store in Philadelphia to help consult and create an upgraded addition to the café juice bar. My contributions were super-food and super-herbal tonic elixirs, as well as excellence in service to the community of guests. However, because the new owners were only just taking the big business over, it was a whopping 4 months through the regions worst Winter in a long time, until I actually began making any drinks.
Although I was still generously receiving my full professional salary, my position was to be preoccupied with pitching in to the produce section and the minor leagues of stock department. It took every ounce of strength to muster up the energy to politely put on a smile and mascarade as the type of personality who attracts anything positive, despite conditions seeming altogether less than excellent.
The weight of circumstances was closing in on me from everywhere, like the spherical phenomenon of gravity, and threatening to press me down flat as a pancake. The odds in the game of life were stacking against me and the core of my being was crushed. In secrecy, I surrendered to the sadness that could no further be suppressed.
The partners who were responsible hiring me, showed themselves to be more than generous with a unique amicability, going so far as to pay for my travel to there and covering two months rent in a nice home. But piecing together the entire picture of my puzzling predicament reveals a perspective that's relatively barren and devoid of hope for better days.
This dark night of my soul was generally because of...
The deep remorse I felt for the recent breakup with my previous intimate partner and the ensuing battle of cross contaminated communications with her. Moving into a new city and not having any friends to hang out with. The city itself appearing to me as rather filthy. The inhabitants of that urban environment coming off to me as being closed off, stifling and fronting that typically "east coast attitude" that can create friction with a west coaster like me. The frustrating delay in my doing what I was supposed to be doing at the store. Having my attempts at trying to tactically share ideas and inspiration regarding successful strategies with my co-workers repeatedly shut down and met with futility. The slightly stupefying effects of an increased consumption of intoxicating beverages. The resulting decrease in outdoor physical movements and creative psychological pursuits indoors. The frigid fact that it was the dead of Winter.
I'll be the first person to point out how all this could basically be viewed as abstract manifestations of my own inner resistance to the higher path and the cycling trivialities of distracted, fear based excuses. Nevertheless, when one can't seem to gain any amount of leverage against the onslaught of challenges with which life can deal out, taking back control and rising above it all can be very difficult indeed.
Things did mercifully begin to brighten just a bit for me. Winter loosened its grip and gave way to Spring. I found some new rhythms of reason and bike routes to different cultural venues and of course, urban wilderness. The clientele at the bar were decidedly enthusiastic about the micro-revolution I was stirring within the city, after I nearly unleashed the full force of my creations. In fact, I was playfully proposing that "the revolution will be liquified". The singular quality and caliber of those concoctions, using a synergy of only the finest medicinal ingredients, was virtually unparalleled in this whole particular field of industry.
It didn't work out in the end though. After crafting elite elixirs and alchemizing tonics for a mere two months, the financial investors prematurely pulled the plug on this juicy operation and it was over before it could even stand up and walk. The news was met with grievous confusion by my most dedicated patrons but I took it in stride and willingly accepted this unexpected change of plans.
I did have some good times with good people and learned some valuable life lessons. Not all of them can be conveniently conveyed right here but those that are, should serve you well enough to resonate clearly and integrate into our inter-connected consciousness.
I had the courage and sense of adventure to follow the golden thread all the way to Philadelphia in the first place. I stuck in there and saw it through to the very end, despite serious temptations to call it quits and retreat from the front line of fire. I really hit rock bottom and viscerally knew what human agony felt like, even exacerbated by a psycho-somatic spiritual smack down. It was all like a wake up call. It was truly transformational. Because of these experiences, I was given the gift of compassion and tolerance for all types of pain and suffering that everyone subsisting in an egocentrically engineered society has.
It was shown to me, if I could feel those things, then everyone naturally has the potential to feel so low, dirty, down and out. So, may I suggest to you, try to remember to show empathy for other people at all times, because sometimes we need to feel friendship and love. Furthermore, many of us try to hide our emotions by wearing a mask and assuming a social persona that doesn't reflect the cognitive dissonance that occurs from being born into the captivity of a domesticated civilization.
This is perhaps a reminder that in a world gone mad with things such as concentrated consumerism and industrialized destruction, we're all in this game together, be patient and kind, make up your mind, focus on your goals, follow through with your actions, transcend the inevitable fears. Develop a sense of adventure, trust in the sacred heart and design your words to be prophetic, instead of pathetic. Let's lift each other up and lend a listening ear, instead of destroying them with disinterested words. It looks like turning away from the tired path of mediocracy, realigning our missions and walking toward more magnificence in everything we do.
I hope this glimpse into my life has somehow been good for you. In the next post, I'm excited to share what happened when I left Philadelphia, went away on a thirteen day cross country road trip of recovery and where I'm at now.