I hear it time and time again from art teachers…
“I love teaching art, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.. But I always did dream of opening my own flower shop”
“I have no time to make my own art anymore, in fact, I haven’t touched the canvas since undergrad, oh well I’ll pick it up again when I retire”
“My hobbies are throwing on the wheel, running, and knitting, but come to think of it, I haven’t done any of those for 3 years”
Are you lying to yourself about your own reality?
Has life gotten in the way of the things you were/are most passionate about?
Do you love your job, but also enjoy other things, but find no time for them?
You are definitely out of touch with your Element.
I don’t know how many teachers I’ve talked to, who just accept the fact they can’t do what they really want, like find time to exercise, get back into painting, or even (gasp – I’ll say it) get out of a school district or profession that isn’t serving them anymore. The Element isn’t necessarily about just your job, it’s about you finding a place where your passion meets your talent, a place where you feel most alive, a place where time just escapes you as you partake in the activity. For some, this IS their job: teaching art. For some, it’s a hobby, and for some, their fire has not been lit for so long, they don’t even know what they would choose to do with an extra hour of their lives.
The Element is kind of deep. If you aren’t ready to”Go there” then you probably need it the most. I’ll say that again. If the things I said above make you feel uncomfortable and squeamish, you need it the most.
Summer is here, and you may have a little time on your hands, but where do you see yourself by this time next summer? Staying the same or growing into who you really are meant to be? Someday I’ll be a runner… Someday I’ll paint again once I retire….. Someday I will actually cook with the herbs in my garden, someday I’ll start an art camp for special needs kids…Make someday today, and start discovering what gives you that “feeling” of living in your Element.
Where do dreams become reality? What is realistic for you? How can you take one small portion of your dream and bring it into your everyday. How can you rediscover the lost self?
The Element sin’t just about you. It’s about helping your students find their Elements, too. Once you understand “The Element” for yourself, it’s very easy to translate the information in order to better help your students find their strengths and choose a profession, project, or hobby that best showcases their talents.
The Element was a wake up call for me. I felt a pull a few years ago, I felt I was ready to grow, but I just didn’t know into what. I wasn’t unhappy, but knew there was something else I could be doing in addition to teaching that would make me feel whole and alive. Some people might say this is selfish. Why mess with a good thing? I don’t think it is. You are the only person who has to live with yourself, and your choices, and you are the only person who can make a change. No one gets to decide that for you, and to be frank, no one is going to come up to you and say “Now, don’t you think you should spend a little more time at yoga class?” It’s all up to you, and it’s something I am still working on every day. (who isn’t!?) Every time I read The Element again, I find one small thing I didn’t learn before and it pushes me to the next level.
So if you are ready to listen to that little voice inside yourself that is telling you to make a change for the better, then I suggest you read this book at the beach this summer. The reason I am talking about this today is because I think the message is so powerful, I want to extend the reach to as many people as possible, regardless if you take our course this summer. That’s not the point. The point is the message that I feel is under heard or minimized by our society.
However, if you do want to dig even deeper into the text and do activities to help you get in touch with your Element, and need credit, we are offering AOE Class “The Element” from June 1st – July 6th. By the way, the book we use is called “The Element” by Ken Robinson – Look it up! and Sign up for The Element Today!
If you are fine with saying the same, year after year, that is cool, too, but don’t read The Element, because it’s contagious.
What goals or passions have you left behind?
What do you wish you had more time for?
What is holding you back?
Take a risk, and put yourself “out there” in the comments section below. I want to hear from you. Everyone who comments will get a little personal 1:1 coaching via replies from me. I love this stuff!