Key Takeaways:

Meet Mike, a vibrant 58-year-old who has transitioned from the corporate world to a life rich in creativity, spirituality, and giving back. Mike's worked for many years in a corporate business environment in human resources and training for both private and nonprofit organizations. However, at the age of 45, he decided to embark on a new path by starting his own business, playing music in nursing homes and following what he calls ‘heart’ focused work.

 "I was done with corporate life and ready for something new," he shared. 

This shift allowed him to explore his passion for music and delve deeper into spirituality. As he explored this newfound path, Mike also ventured into writing poetry books like Selling Nails on the Beach and Opening Home as he sought to integrate spirituality into his gigs. His desire to share his spiritual journey and creativity with others became evident in his work.

However, three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted his life, and his nursing home gigs came to an abrupt halt. In response, Mike made the bold decision to relocate to South Carolina to follow opportunities to do heart-focused work. There, he took on roles as a substitute teacher at a school for autistic boys and a music and mindfulness teacher for homeschoolers and seniors. This transition highlighted his determination to continue making a positive impact, even in the face of adversity.

Mike's search for ways to share his knowledge and passion online led him to discover GetSetUp. He reached out, became a community leader, and started crafting classes that allowed him to share his expertise and creativity with others. The experience was nothing short of amazing and fun, so when a Guide position opened up Mike jumped at the opportunity. 

One of Mike's most memorable classes was "Understanding Classical Music," where he immersed himself in the world of music to better teach it. He delved into Beethoven's symphonies, feeling the vibrations of the music through his bones. He aimed to bring this profound experience to his GetSetUp class by explaining and playing pieces with poetry, allowing participants to fully immerse themselves in the music.

“There is something there. It is like the subtle tones of the Beethoven piece. You have to listen a couple times to catch these but then it makes sense.”

Mike's creativity further shines through in his "Poetry Class," where he helps participants explore poems and discover new meanings within them. The interactive nature of the class allows for a dynamic exchange of ideas and interpretations, fostering a deeper appreciation for poetry.

“Even when you prepare classes people bring other interpretations, and something beautiful always comes of it. Often times I see a poem in a whole different light than before when I was preparing the class.”

In his "Musical Journey" class, Mike takes students on a unique and unpredictable adventure. He weaves stories, visuals, and music together, ensuring that every class offers a fresh experience. This openness to spontaneity adds an element of excitement that keeps participants engaged.

“Lots of times there are great messages of wisdom passed on in classes. Sometimes though you may have to take the class a couple of times to see the undertones, connections, and understand. There’s a residence of beauty in it all.” 

"Happiness after 50" is another class close to Mike's heart, where he delves into ancient texts and applies their wisdom to modern life. By exploring teachings from great figures like Gandhi, he helps participants find peace and fulfillment in their lives.

What makes these classes special for Mike is the shared sense of exploration among the participants. 

"Everyone is in the same place I find myself in—we have lived life and captured things, and everyone is looking deeper into what we have," he noted. 

This shared journey of discovery creates a unique and enriching environment. Mike appreciates the opportunities that GetSetUp gives him to dive into these classes and create them from scratch. He compares each class to an opportunity to share something where he has a blank canvas that he can build on.

Mike's boldness is not limited to his professional pursuits. He bravely navigated the challenging transition of "empty nesting," leaving his grown adult children behind in Maryland to start a new chapter in South Carolina. This move prompted him to reflect on his own desires and identity beyond the role of a parent. It was an essential step in embracing a life filled with more personal freedom and self-discovery.

Mike's willingness to adapt and let go of control has been another significant transformation. He no longer fixates on linear solutions to life's challenges and accepts that some things are temporary, just like a child's tantrum. His evolved perspective on finances also emphasizes the importance of letting things play out without unnecessary stress.

Empowerment has played a crucial role in Mike's journey. He has developed a stronger belief in himself and actively seeks opportunities that align with his values and passions. His recent outreach to yoga studios to share his Native American flute journey reflects his growing confidence.

Curiosity has been a driving force in Mike's life. He has delved into classical music, ancient texts, Native American flutes, and the world of education for the neurology diverse. His dedication to understanding these subjects and sharing his knowledge demonstrates his insatiable curiosity.

Mike's future plans involve a deeper exploration of classical music and a desire to write a book simplifying ancient wisdom for everyday application. He also aims to expand his creative reach through face-to-face interactions in his local community.

As Mike ages, he continues to find new opportunities for personal growth, creativity, and empowerment that follow his heart. His journey reminds us that life after the corporate world can be a rich tapestry of exploration, discovery, and the pursuit of one's passions. Mike's boldness, resilience, and openness to new experiences serve as an inspiration for all who seek a fulfilling and purpose-driven life as they age that allows them to follow their heart.

Oct 30, 2023
Community Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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