WLHQ: The View from the Box Office
I have always been the type that doesn't cry during goodbyes and I happily packed up to move across the country about 5 years ago, without looking back. I also value my alone time, personal space, and the days when I don't really interact with other people. I have moments of insecurity about these qualities -- do I completely lack any sentiment? Then Meghan Currie nailed it in her 8 am class on Saturday at Wanderlust Whistler: "Don't take yourself personally." As somewhat of a loner I never thought I would thrive in a customer service position, but being the dedicated Customer Service Representative at Wanderlust has been my favorite roll here.
Tias Little's simple closing words as we bowed our heads over our hands connected me to my purpose at 4pm on Friday in Whistler: "The Head, the Heart and the Hand." It was the fourth festival of the summer, we had already been around the continent running festivals for many weeks, and Whistler was not off to a smooth start with a major bug in the mobile version of our online scheduler (sorry to anyone who experienced problems with that!), and some stormy weather creating big obstacles for our many events. I needed that reminder -- those are the three parts that work together to keep us balanced and supporting each other. During the festivals I have to rely on my head (my intuition, my Ajna, the balancing of my higher and lower self and trusting of my inner guidance) to make quick and sound decisions. The Anahata (heart Chakra) can be unfavorably affected by stress but it also involves complex emotion, compassion and tenderness which are always needed when there are 100's of eager yogi anxious to secure a spot in class with their favorite teacher. And of course, my main mission is to help all of the beautiful attendees in anyway that I can by always lending a helping hand. I bowed my head and was reminded why I love my job even though it can be exhausting, stressful and unpredictable.
Another thing that kept me ticking after many long weekends on the clock and on the road this summer were the little moments with the most wanderful festival family anyone could ask for. And I thought I was the loner type… I think the more people I meet and interact with, the more open I become to meeting more people and forming new friendships. Some of my favorite moments with fellow Wanderlust crew mates were:
Finally stepping out of the box office in hopes of getting a #FreeHaiku from the 2 gentleman sitting on the lawn with type-writers crafting poems all weekend, and as I strolled up my co-worker Liza was approaching them, too. They asked what we would like our haikus to be about and I immediately said I wanted one about Liza and she said she wanted one about me and they crafted this simply perfect poem:
on a whim and in
the wind each wanted a gift
for the other soul
This picture sums up my favorite moment with Wanderlust team member Jess perfectly.
On Sunday night after each festival the whole staff and crew have a wrap party to celebrate our success. Sometimes I think these parties are a terrible idea -- we have all been working none stop and getting very little sleep for the last 5 days. But the wrap party is usually the only time for us to unwind and enjoy each other's company without talking shop. The Sunday in Squaw Valley ended with 6 of us on the roof of our vendor friend's Yellow 108 bus, with a ukulele and some delirious harmonies. We contemplated leaving our jobs and becoming a traveling vaudeville act, but a good nights sleep cleared up that curiously quickly.
The one thing I wanted to do in Whistler this year was take a class up the mountain and I was able to carve out some time to go on Sunday morning for Chris Chavez's class. It's taken me four festival seasons to realize this, but you must make it a priority to do a few fun things for yourself because there is always more work to be done and taking some time to get reground will only help you be more productive the rest of the day. I was so happy to see my colleague, Jodi, taking a moment for herself as well, and she assisted me in my first forearm stand!
Here's a quote I shared with my co-workers as we relaxed in the pools at Scandinave on Monday after wrapping up Wanderlust Whistler:
"…We are kin to stars.
I reach my hands toward them, spread my fingers and see those diamonds in the black V's between my fanning fingers. To think that I could gather them into my hands, stuff them in my pockets, is folly. But I can reach. It is I myself, alive now, who reach into the night toward stars. Their light is on my hands.
Their light is in my hands. I gasp in the crisp air of earth and know that I am made of what makes stars! Those aromas burning bright---I lower my hands---why, they are here within me. I am as old as they and will continue as long as they, and after our demise, we will all be born again, eons from now. What atoms they have I cannot know. I cannot call their names, but they are not strangers to me. I know them in my being, and they know me.
Little scraps, little morsels, the stars sing to me, we are the same."
~Ahab's Wife, or the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund
~Rachel Drudi is WLHQ's compassionate Community Relations Manager. Many of you might know Rachel from from the box office at one of our festivals, where she mans ticket distrubition and customer service. No matter what the comment or criticism, Rache can always be counted on to listen with an open head, heart and hand.