So I meet our hero, Stu, about six years ago. We’re playing together in the band at spiritual center called Awakened Heart. My first fond memory of this guy was seeing him lead us in a song he’d written called, “Inspiration.” It’s this really uplifting tune with a southern gospel feel that makes me sure this he’s had several lifetimes as a black woman who was on fire with passion for the Lord.
Yeah. Needless to say, I soon discovered that this guy’s heart and soul rivaled the likes of Kool and the Gang. When he later told me he wanted to pursue music as I career I simply nodded, as is it were an obvious fact.
Some years went by. We lived together briefly, which was awesome. (I’d totally do it again). We recorded a demo together. It seemed like the project was about to takeoff like a jumbo jet, thundering into the sky. But suddenly, like the Spruce Goose, it never got off the ground. Our hero was not yet ready to become heroic in his own life. See, Stu was still going through a dark night of the soul. It’s something that happens when you’ve got a dream that you know is real, but you can’t see a way to make it happen. The result is either the death of the dream or an evolution of the soul, in which your mind expands and suddenly you see an opening where there was none before. Dreams are dreams because they challenge us to take a risk, to discover something we didn’t know was possible before. The preceding darkness is necessary for this evolution to take place.
Stu’s dark night of the soul came working for a financial company as an editor. Despite his great eye for detail, it sucked the lifeblood out of him like a vampire. I remember talking to him throughout. it was like talking to somebody who was slowly losing his soul. It made me sad to see. His bosses used him like a tool, piling on ever more work, and they didn’t appreciate him. After years on the job as a diligent, committed, and talented asset, they actually wrote him up for making a joke to lighten the mood in an otherwise tense working environment. Hah. That’s okay, because everything happens for a reason…
Stu’s opening came one day in May of 2010. He and I and our friend Rosemary were on a road trip in Asheville, NC, land of happy, inspired people. So, Stu’s looking around and all of a sudden he says, “Dude, I could totally rock this town. I’m quitting my job, New Year’s at the latest. I’m gonna make this thing happen.” And that was it. Our hero realized that his passion would be worth more to him on his deathbed than his Christmas bonus.
Well, in fact, he didn’t even get the bonus, which he was waiting it out for. They denied it to him because of his harmless joke. Do you believe that? But it’s okay. It taught our hero a very important lesson, that is, that jokes only cost someone $3000 in places where people hate life. This fiasco, although disappointing, was a great confirmation for our hero that, indeed, God wanted him to pursue his passion. So much did God want this that he gave Stu this benevolent kick in the arss. So, he quit! And when he called and told me, I suddenly heard all the black women of his past lives singing, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” together. It was glorious.
So, our hero left the security of a well-paid, meaningless existence for something higher – for a dream, for his passion. And voile! Stu and the Gurus was born!
When someone takes the risk to follow their dreams, it’s contagious. Stu has inspired more people in the past eight months than Dr. Phil. More than a bandleader, Stu is a reason for others to step out on their creative dreams. I’m one of them. Stu made me his web designer, at a time when I was just starting out. It gave me an opportunity to deepen my commitment to learning this art.
So, Stu, thank you, brother. Your dream inspires us all.
So, for you the reader I say this: Stu did it and so can you. Where are you holding short of your dreams? Where are you saying to yourself, “Yeah, but….” What is it that makes you feel so damn alive, but you shunned long ago because you thought it wouldn’t make you enough money? Get off of it! Your life is for the living. You’ve got a wonderful purpose, and you’re not going to be happy until you could die right now with no regrets. So, what’s your passion? Do it, now!