Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Universe Answers


It has been nearly a year since I handed in my resignation from teaching in the public schools, and nearly eight months since I received my last paycheck from the school district. And I must say that things are going well as a self-employed artist. That doesn't mean that it's been smooth sailing without bumps and stress, but the bills are being paid each month and I am finding steady opportunities.

There is one thing that I have come to understand through all of this. The universe always answers. I have become a firm believer that our thoughts and our beliefs create our reality. If all we think of and feel is a sense of lack and overwhelming scarcity, then the universe answers. We feel that we never have enough, and it always seems like we are not getting our fair share. However, if we believe that the world is one filled with abundance and opportunity, then the universe answers. There always seems to be enough, and opportunities seem to be plenty and seem to come up out of nowhere.

I have seen this happen again and again over the past year. I have seen how the universe has answered.

When I resigned from teaching, my wife and I had saved a good chunk of money, and I figured that we could survive on it for seven months if nothing came through - if I didn't earn any money. But here we are, eight months into it, and for the past three months we haven't had to touch our savings, and looks like it will be the same for the next handful of months.

From the beginning, I adopted an attitude of abundance. I firmly believe that there's enough in this universe where I can not just carve out a living, but thrive. Now I haven't just been sitting back and doing nothing relying on the universe to provide. I've been out there hustling, and making opportunities happen, but more often then not, things just seem to come up. Opportunities materialize seemingly from thin air sometimes. Now I know a lot of those opportunities have come about from the connections that I have made in the past, but it's been amazing to see how many opportunities pop up at this time. From my part time job as Program Manager at the Round Hill Arts Center to presenting for the Art of Ed Online Conference, from chances to exhibit my work to providing workshops, many of these things have simply come up. The universe has answered, and I am extremely grateful.

There's probably no bigger opportunity than one that came up at the end of last year. Back in November, I got an email that completely took me by surprise - someone asking if David I would like to come teach a workshop for teachers. There's nothing too unusual about that, but this wasn't an ordinary workshop. We worked out the details and finalized everything a couple of months ago, but silly me just hasn't shared the news.

I am quite excited to announce that David and I have been invited to Hawaii at the beginning of June to teach the Summer Institute for Educators at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center for an entire week. We will lead a three-day workshop for elementary teachers and a three-day workshop for secondary teachers. We will share the power of the visual journal not just in the artroom, but also in other classrooms. The institute is for all teachers, not just art teachers. We are quite excited, and we are very much looking forward to it. I can't wait. It's about a month away!

What an amazing opportunity, and an awesome example of how the universe answers!

4 comments:

Raine Valentine said...

Eric!!! I'm so excited for you! and I totally agree with everything you said. Our thoughts and beliefs DO create our realities! I have really enjoyed getting to know you better and following your journey for the past 5 years or so, since the first journal junkies workshop I attended Maryland Art Educators Association conference. I Love seeing how your perspective and ideas on the universe and reality manifest through your art, and in your journaling. Thank you for being authentically you... you've inspired and continue to inspire me!
Thank you! <3

tgarrett said...

Congrats to you Eric!

Renee Dowling said...

Amazing! You are my inspiration! You are so brave and it has paid off.

It is soon time for me to open my cage and fly freely too! I just have to figure out how. I have good teachers like you to help me figure things out! Thanks!

Wynne Gruffyd said...

Wonderful. Taking your workshop at NCCAT in Cullowhee NC has changed the way i teach language arts. I am so greatful each day that I was able to spend that week with you both. This is a great opportunity for you both a d for the educators whom will learn from you both. Congratulations!