This week I had the opportunity to speak at UVA for an Arts Business class. In response to the state of the world today, I decided to take a step back and reflect on why I choose to work where I do today.
You get out of college. Your mind is full of theories, thoughts, and optimism (or not). How do you turn it into action? How do you make a meaningful impact when you enter the working world?
Be mindful. Create.
Since graduating, mindfulness and creativity have guided me through the ups and downs of the work world as I slowly submerge into adult life.
Collectively, we create the world around us. If we want the greater forces around us to change, we need to start from within to identify and control our cultural thoughts and biases. Mindfulness practices offer the opportunity to understand ourselves. When we learn to listen to ourselves, we can better understand, connect, and collaborate with those around us. It starts with the self and ripples into everything else. Look at the world around you. You matter. Every choice you make matters. It is up to each and every one of us to make a difference. No one else can do it for you. You are here for a reason. We are here for a reason. What you do matters.
When you create a pot, a picture, or a painting, you recognize your capacity to create our reality. This is essential, especially today. Often we feel limited by political structures and systems. We are facing a lot of terrifying realities. And it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and like you can’t do anything. But the thing is, those infrastructures are made out of living, human beings. While institutions influence us and our rearing, we influence them as well. You can allow yourself to feel those things at times because it is hard and it is scary. BUT it is up to each and every one of you, myself included, to change that and to make a difference.
The work you do matters. It all makes a difference. It is up to us to be the great artists and revolutionaries of our time.
How can you empower yourself when you graduate? What will you do with the privilege that you hold?
- Remember what inspires you. Think critically. Carry that.
- Connect with those around you. Collaborate.
- Try a lot of things.
- Try again.
- Learn new skills.
- Take care of yourself.
- Take a step back. Are you still working towards something you believe in?
- Just go for it. There is no manual. You risk it. You try. You follow your gut.
More on this with some more theory to come… Stay tuned…