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Thank You Edinboro

The past couple days have been amazing. I had the pleasure to speak to the senior graphic design class at Edinboro University and jury their show. The talk I gave was a small and intimate one where I told the story of my highest highs and my lowest lows in my career and life. I even managed to throw in some breakdancing and got a few students up on stage to learn some top rock.

And if that wasn’t enough, the students stuck around for some lucid dreaming discussion. I was told that this was a rare thing for students to stick around like this. Normally they would just leave as soon as the lecture is over.

To be perfectly honest, my talk wasn’t much more than a career story with the ups and downs we all seem to have. But I did get into my depression and my subsequent awakening and new outlook on life.

After the talk I went back to the hotel and just was living in perfect peace. I didn’t care about the past, nor the future. In that moment, as I lie in bed to sleep, I was literally feeling a state of pure joy and love. This is what it feels like to live in alignment with your soul’s true expression. There’s got to be something to the high I feel after a talk, after a musical performance, or breakdance gig. But for me, inspiring others on a deep level seems to be something that moves me like nothing other.

So I relished that feeling.

The next day I had to jury the design show. So much amazing work that it was hard to pick 8-10 to win awards. But I feel like I chose works that were meaningful, useful, well-designed, and inspiring.

Then I had to offer my feedback and critique the thesis work of 24 students.This was great because I got to see the faces of those whose work I just judged and got to understand their motivations, inspirations, and dreams. I could also see their weaknesses, insecurities, and trouble spots. But the thing is, I felt a compelling amount of unconditional love for all of these students.

That feeling of non-judgemental, unconditional love for a stranger you’ve never met is something I cherish. If I could live in a permanent state of this type of love I would!

I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet all the students that I did for each one has their own story and their own path. And it’s amazing to look at them as they present you their thesis work bracing themselves for critique. Yet all I see is a beautiful human being, laced with stresses, hangups, and insecurities yet full of massive creative potential and power.

After the critiques, we handed out the awards to the seniors and it was incredible to see the joy on their faces as they won. Not that winning is everything, but sometimes you need a little validation to help someone move closer to their true purpose in life. I hope I was able to do that for the winners I chose.

After that we had some great conversations at dinner that I’ll never forget. And all the students and faculty that I met, you know who you are, will leave a lasting impression in my heart.

On my way home I drove in silence for at least an hour just savoring the vibration of love in my being.

 

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  1. Jeff, i am so excited for you and I am proud of what you are doing. Using your gift of dance, your experiences and spending your “Time” for others. This is our purpose on earth. Keep strong my friend, never give up on your dreams and purpose. Keep the peace!

  2. Of any and all visiting artists that I have experienced, by far I think this experience was more than just having a speaker. It was an incredibly motivating, inspiring, and emotionally wonderful gathering that I will forever remember. What you spoke about with your ups and downs I related to more so than anything and felt that all of the struggles and inner voices and defeated moments I have experienced this semester I could finally come to terms with and understand that I was not the only one. Of anything I have had people tell me all semester, those words were ones I needed to hear most.

    I am so grateful to have met you and been a part of something so wonderfully inspiring. You’ve certainly had a positive influence on how I will look at my design in the future and myself as a person. I am also sad to of been unable to speak with you more, but I hope to see you around in the future and possibly at WMC fest if I can make it. Thank you again!

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment Valerie! I’m so happy that I was able to stir something within you that will help you improve you life. I think you might like the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It was one of the first things that got me on the track of getting out of depression and it changed my life. If you get into it, I can be your accountability partner!

  3. Very happy that you got to have this great opportunity! All the students were lucky to have such a great inspirational speaker there :)

  4. Thank you for coming to Edinboro and giving such a great talk! I’m bummed I didn’t get to talk to you more, but you really changed my life and my view on a lot of subjects, including design! I can’t wait to come out to WMC Fest this summer and hopefully get to hear you talk again! You’re truly an amazing human being, keep doing what you love! It’s the most inspiring thing in the world!

    • Thanks Abbey! I plan on doing a lot more talks and workshops and all sorts of things, so hopefully you’ll be seeing me around! I will see you at WMC for sure :-)