A decision was made to leave Santa Fe, and go to Europe to live and teach kundalini yoga. Through my connection with Reshad Feild and his school, I had received an invitation to teach in Germany, plus offered a place to stay when I arrived. After living in New Mexico for twenty years, I was now preparing to leave. I will need more money for the journey. I had planned to take a driving trip through the United States and Canada, ending up in Massachusetts, before making my final jump to Germany.
I had already stopped my advertising business and my work as a tour guide. With one year until finally leaving, I found some interesting jobs. For the next nine months, I drove a taxi in Santa Fe. It was surprisingly challenging and fun work. And I was good at this. Santa Fe is a small town and the number of taxis was limited. This meant the 40 drivers were busy the entire 10-12 hour shifts. We all received a small salary and the real money was in the tips. Within three weeks, I was the third highest-earning driver using my yogi skills of service, dependable, and relaxed attitude. The passengers noticed and rewarded me. I was pretty excited. The other 37 drivers were pretty pissed the new guy was doing this good.
I got very good at picking up customers and getting them to their destination quickly. Many were surprised when we arrived since the ride was so smooth and relaxed. If they were interested, I would have a conversation with them. I noticed how my state of mind was reflected in the next passenger who got into my cab. If I was angry, so would the next customer. If I was feeling compassionate it would be reflected by the next customer. It made for a great training of my state of mind.
Some dramatic moments included a drunk passenger who threatened me with a gun, meeting Robert Redford when taking his girlfriend to the airport, and working 16 hours without a break. After nine months it all came to an end when the owner of the company asked me to drive a car with a defective passenger door that might open on its own. I refused. He fired me.
For the remaining three months I was a waiter at the French Cafe. I had never been a waiter before but when filling out the application, I stated I had lots of experience serving people. It was a special situation. The owner was a Jewish man from New York, his wife was Japanese, the chef was French, his wife who also worked in the cafe was from Polynesia. One waiter was from England, and the others I do not remember their background. It was an exciting, challenging situation.
I quickly got into trouble as many of the customers began asking me if I was the owner. It seemed they took my attitude as a sign of financial investment. The owner did not like this. The French cook, was, well, French and often difficult to work with. Like when we had no lemons to serve and I got blamed, although it was not my job to check inventory or order new lemons. It was chaotic and dysfunctional. When I informed the team I was leaving, they all said how much they would miss me since I was doing such a good job. I quietly mentioned it would have been useful to hear of my good work before I decided to leave. But it was time to prepare for my exit.
A week before leaving Santa Fe, I was featured on the front page of the Health/Science section of the local newspaper with color photos and lots of quotes from me about what it means to breathe properly. Many people thought it strange I was leaving after receiving such great publicity.
The cafe and taxi service do not exist any longer. Photo of the newspaper article.