How Unity—and Making Coffee—Saved My Life

How Unity—and Making Coffee—Saved My Life

I spent 33 years in various management careers back in Massachusetts, where I’m from. Retail stores, rental companies, Delta Airlines, Blockbuster, and finally a Starbucks. I was good at what I did. I was also unhappy for a painfully long time. I was divorced, my three sons were grown, and I lived alone. I made excellent money, had a big TV, ate ribeye steaks every week, and drank $75 bottles of scotch. But I was miserable and didn’t know why. I was eating too much and drinking too much, and I never left my house except for work and shopping.

I finally reached a point where I couldn’t continue with the life I was living. I disliked what I was doing, both at work and at home. I was overweight and unhealthy all around. That’s when I decided to walk away from my career for a while. I left Starbucks and spent a few months trying to figure out what I was going to do. A friend came to me in January of 2015 and said she was moving to New Mexico. She asked if I would help her since I was free.

I agreed, and we decided to take a break at the halfway point of the road trip to visit my friend Karen in Kansas City. Karen had been taking yoga classes at the Unity Tower, so she took me to see the campus. It was cold and overcast when we pulled onto the grounds at Unity Village. As I stepped out of her car, I remember feeling a distinct, high vibration come up from the ground and through my body. This was March: The fountains weren’t running and no roses were blooming. There weren’t even many people walking around. But it was magic!

When I returned to Massachusetts, I felt homesick for a place I had never lived. I sold everything I owned that didn’t fit in my truck and drove 1,400 miles with one intention: I was going to work at Unity Village. I didn’t care what my job was. I was getting in the door!

I began spending every day on campus. The Myrtle Fillmore Grove, the Peace Chapel, the Silent Unity courtyard, the Rose Garden—the entire campus was a place of peace and meditation to me. Each day I would walk around the base of the Tower, stopping at each of the Twelve Powers sculptures, contemplating what that power meant in my life at that moment. I was most grateful for “Release” (Elimination) because of all the self-work I was doing.

I started reading books about Unity and its founders the Fillmores, and it all resonated with me. Charles dedicated himself to “the Silence,” knowing that all answers reside there. I began a daily practice of finding “the Silence” (one that expanded when I later took my first Spiritual Education and Enrichment class on meditation).

I began working two to three days a week at the Unity Village Bookstore and Coffee Shop. It was happening! I had applied for other jobs on campus, but making coffee and talking to people got me started. Within a few months I knew just about everyone on campus, and they embraced me as family. Everyone kept asking me to share my story.

I changed my lifestyle and started eating healthy and exercising regularly. I lost nearly 70 pounds. I also met an amazing woman named Ahlara who “just happened to walk in one day.” Then I got a full-time job as a prayer associate for Silent Unity. Ahlara and I married later that year, and several months after that, a blessing named Ahryan arrived. (Almost 20 years since my last son, I had another young man in my life.)

I then became a supervisor for Silent Unity, finally using my experience in management to start giving back to the place I had grown to love. Today, about three and a half years after making my first latté for a Unity employee, I am the manager of Unity Mindfulness and Meditation Technologies, mapping the ways Unity may pray with others as technology develops in the future.

I can only hope that what I am here to give Unity comes close to what Unity has given me: a whole new world, a new way of seeing it, and a truly blessed life.

Author Biography: 

Matthew KentMatthew Kent is the manager of Mindfulness and Meditation Technologies at Unity Village. He is also the co-owner with his wife Ahlara Kent of The Light of Truth, which offers yoga, meditation and mindfulness instruction, and community service projects. Visit thelightoftruth.org.