This week marks one year from the time I decided to quit my most excellent and mostly interesting government contract job, without any clear plans, path or income.  I can say that on my last day of work, as I pulled out of the gate, I was glad my automobile had a full tank of gas. I had only one more paycheck coming and little in savings.

At this job, I was pretty well paid, had five weeks of vacation, traveled extensively, operated in unique environments, and experienced what can only be described as thrilling work.  I had the honor of working with soldiers at all levels, from the newbie Private to hardtack Colonels, and even some of the most illustrious Commanding Generals.  For the most part, I was mostly autonomous and had plenty of opportunity to take my department in any direction I could envision.

Furthermore, in my job I observed, learned and experienced things that many people, even those in the military, never get a chance to encounter - truly life changing stuff.  I am grateful for what I learned there and for the people who made it special.


So, you may ask, what caused me to write my resignation letter, hand in my security badges, get in my car and drive out the gate after 7 1/2 years?  Well, a week after I drove out, I might have been asking myself the same question, except that I knew something radical had happened to me that was irreversible.  I was awake….like really awake!  Everything I was doing, saying and experiencing echoed loudly for me.

Many months prior to this event, I began daily meditation and mindfulness practices.  I had come to a point that I could identify my emotions and the physical sensations they would manifest in my body.  My emotions and my physical messages were as raw as they had ever been.  At times, these sensations made me feel completely out of control.

As I said before, every feeling, word and action I made was loud and clear to me.  I realized how much of my life, my work, my words and my actions were not representative of who I wanted to be.  I was fully misaligned with myself.

I  felt at times, as if I might have wasted an entire life being this way.  If this sounds horrible, it was horrible.  The only thing I had to keep me going was the faith that there was some reason for this shift.  Whatever it was, I required a Quantum leap.  So, I chose to make one.

Then suddenly, something amazing happened about two months after leaving on my path of apparent self-destruction.  I awoke one morning with the most peculiar and indescribable feeling.  I remember sitting in my home office four hours feeling a bit uncomfortable.  As I drank my coffee, I  worked to define this strange and foreign feeling.  I can only now describe it as a million butterflies running all through my body.

At first, I tried to logically work through the feeling , I tried to write it down,  I tried to meditate, but this feeling was so very alien to me, and I had no words to describe it.  I remember, in complete desperation, asking myself out loud, “Darren what is this?”  The answer came sharply and clearly at that very moment.  It was a very simple answer.  I was utterly HAPPY.  More importantly, I was completely happy for no external reason whatsoever.  I just smiled as a great sense of calm and security washed over me. I knew something great had just begun.

It is this moment that has guided me ever since.   For the last 9 months or so, I have been retracing every thought and action that brought me to this point.  I find myself wanting to share these experience, as maybe they will help others find their own moments of authentic happiness.


So, I have begun to seek out others with similar stories of quantum change.  My search has provided tons of encouragement, inspiration and newly found personal connections.  My seeking has also led me to found the SoupTank community, a place dedicated to sharing and learning from stories just like these.

It’s a place where I hope to clarify and bridge the path of esoteric ideas on consciousness to what I am calling for now, “applied consciousness”.   I now believe a conscious and mindful life is the foundation for creating a path to personal happiness, success and authenticity.  With the additional application of  intelligent balance, I am certain, we find space for many more moments of blissful happiness, just as I described.

I am sure, I did not pick the easiest method of arriving at a place of calm, but I believe it was the best way for me at the time.  No...everything’s not peachy perfect now.  I don’t sit under a tree all day and meditate, and I haven’t retired to the Virgin Islands…yet.

I still have bills and gas tank that need filling, but I don’t worry about those things, as much.  They don’t make me fearful, they don’t drive my engine and they are merely data that I deal with, as they need attention.   I don't dwell on the past, I flourish in the now, and I only act toward the very near future.  For the first time in my life, I actually feel steady, self-empowered and able to choose my paths with high levels of confidence.

I’m still learning and trying to remember each day exactly why I woke up a year ago, figuratively and literally.   Each day, I’m glad I did.  I share my story with you in hopes you’ll share your story with me. No matter where you are in your life, here’s to waking up, starting uncharted paths, and entering the gates of the unknown with courage and self-empowerment.


Stay In touch.  Darren


  1. Audrey Lee

    Fantastic piece! It is only when we wake up that we can truly begin to design our lives. My story is similar. Bravo to your bravery and conscious intent.

  2. admin

    thank you Audrey Lee for your encouragement.

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