peace

looking back at college

i'm 29 now and wow, it's been over 7 years since i graduated from college!

i was talking to kara about her experiences in college, and i wanna reflect on my years.

what a journey.

from getting my heart broken freshman year - it all happens for a reason. i'm now married to my twin flame! You rock kara!!

to an unbearable amount of stress from school work - i probably did way more than i needed too

to an infatuation with life - i began to love who i was

to happiness + joy - i found peace with myself and fun times with friends.

i learned a ton during my 4 years of college and not just what i majored in. but each and every experience gave me the opportunity to gain insight and knowledge. it opened up my eyes to the abundance in the world.

i was a freshman when i picked up my first wayne dyer book, the power of intention. i remember being immediately hooked by his words. they echoed so real to me. i could sit for hours reading his stories. there was something very special in what he was sharing with me. 

it resonated within me - the energy, the power of his words. i knew what he said to be true. 

and so college was a time for me to discover myself - well more of myself i guess. i was on my own and i could do anything i wanted to.

besides the typical college stories of late nights, girls, the gym and bars,

i really connected to my higher spiritual self.

i needed too.

with all the stress and anxiety, not to mention workload, that my engineering curriculum put me through, i needed a way out. 

yes, i was a very determined student. i wanted to do well. and i was confident with my ability to excel in school. but it wasn't that it came easy to me. i had to work harder than ever. i had to spend more time studying and preparing - again i probably did way more than necessary.

i'd go through phases where i didn't want to be there! i hated it.

but my college years gave me the opportunity to learn, to develop, and to practice my skills

i'm thankful for these times as they taught me to move past the fear.

when i found and applied the teachings of tony robbins, i was able to take action immediate action in my life to make it better. 

soon, i realized i could do anything i set my mind too

anything was possible!

what i also learned that proved to help me on so many levels was to listen more to what my intuition was telling me.

instead of doing what others were doing, i'd ask my heart for guidance.

here's a funny story that happened on more than one occassion. sometimes when a group of us were preparing for a test at the library, i'd go find a comfortable armchair that i could move into a sunny spot to soak up the rays. maybe it was natures way of restoring me and giving me what i needed most. 

and then what i did next will shock you.

i'd place a book on my chest and close my eyes.

yes, while my classmates were studying, i was sleeping. i called it my way of absorbing the material. 

and i still do it today.

i didn't ask questions when i felt this urge to "absorb the material". i just trusted myself and released all the worry i had. besides i'd already studied for countless hours day after day and needed a break. i'd done all the homework and understood what my body and mind needed. and that was to feel relaxed. 

now, how in the world did i discover that trick?

in high school, i was lucky enough to have been able to study reiki and became a reiki practitioner. in the simplest sense, reiki is a form of relaxation.

and i used this gift to help me through the tough times. 

i needed a way to calm down, to relax, and to know all is well.

 
That's me on the far right with my buddies holding the banner before Commencement

That's me on the far right with my buddies holding the banner before Commencement

 

i don't even want to begin to tell you how many times i tried to get out of engineering, more than i can count - and i was good at math.

but every time i thought i had had enough and was changing majors, something didn't feel right. something felt off. 

i paid attention to this feeling and started to go with the flow, rather than fight it.

instead of being right all the time, i took the huge risk (for me anyways) of being happy. and you know what, i still made out all right, and i was able to have more fun.

i needed to accept myself - hard for me to say, even now reflecting back on it years later.

i needed to show myself the love i deserve

now, i’d love to hear from you. do you have a personal practice that helps you through the tough times? 

leave a comment below and let us know. so many incredible souls join us for insight and inspiration so thank you in advance for sharing your voice to the conversation.

with love + appreciation

derek russell soulful sunday
 

Nelson Mandela - Original Acrylic Painting

By Celebrity & Corporate Artist Derek Russell

Nelson Mandela

Original Acrylic Painting


About Derek Russell

Russell, born 1985, lives and works in the mountains of New Hampshire. His areas of interest include painting, health and wellness, higher consciousness, architecture, growth mindset, engineering, travel, sports, and adventure. And he is happily married to his wife, Kara.

His love for adventure started in college when he began traveling and exploring the beauty of the world and its amazing people, places and experiences. This is the energy he captures in each of his pieces.

The foundation for his art is grounded in a decade long interaction with the art of realism. Researching and learning the techniques of the old masters, he felt a calling to express himself with paint. For over 10 years, he continued to draw and paint in a very slow and precise way. An internal struggle to make his work perfect fought with his desire to paint. And he stopped for years.

After an intensive yearlong study under a Copley Art Master, his awareness changed. By engaging in a visual story with the live models he painted, he needed to paint faster.

And then one day, it clicked for him.

He put aside his analytical mind and let the colors speak to him. He coined the term “Free Spirited Realism” as a brand for his art. It is a dance between contemporary art and realism.

When viewing his work at a close range, areas are broken up and fit together only at a distance. As you advance toward his painting, it becomes more abstract, more fluid, and as you move away, it falls into focus and is realistic. At no two distances will the painting appear the same.

He has developed a dynamic way of combining abstraction with realism. In this technique, he is able to make the action within the painting as intense and exciting as it actually is in your direct experience.

He creates meaningful, engaging stories with a shower of bold, vibrant color that inspire people to open their minds and make a positive impact on the world.

Today, his art is collected in several countries around the world.

www.DerekRussellArtist.com

Mahatma Gandhi - Original Oil Painting

By Celebrity & Corporate Artist Derek Russell

Mahatma Gandhi

Original Oil Painting


About Derek Russell

Russell, born 1985, lives and works in the mountains of New Hampshire. His areas of interest include painting, health and wellness, higher consciousness, architecture, growth mindset, engineering, travel, sports, and adventure. And he is happily married to his wife, Kara.

His love for adventure started in college when he began traveling and exploring the beauty of the world and its amazing people, places and experiences. This is the energy he captures in each of his pieces.

The foundation for his art is grounded in a decade long interaction with the art of realism. Researching and learning the techniques of the old masters, he felt a calling to express himself with paint. For over 10 years, he continued to draw and paint in a very slow and precise way. An internal struggle to make his work perfect fought with his desire to paint. And he stopped for years.

After an intensive yearlong study under a Copley Art Master, his awareness changed. By engaging in a visual story with the live models he painted, he needed to paint faster.

And then one day, it clicked for him.

He put aside his analytical mind and let the colors speak to him. He coined the term “Free Spirited Realism” as a brand for his art. It is a dance between contemporary art and realism.

When viewing his work at a close range, areas are broken up and fit together only at a distance. As you advance toward his painting, it becomes more abstract, more fluid, and as you move away, it falls into focus and is realistic. At no two distances will the painting appear the same.

He has developed a dynamic way of combining abstraction with realism. In this technique, he is able to make the action within the painting as intense and exciting as it actually is in your direct experience.

He creates meaningful, engaging stories with a shower of bold, vibrant color that inspire people to open their minds and make a positive impact on the world.

Today, his art is collected in several countries around the world.

www.DerekRussellArtist.com