Putting it out to the universe: New adventures and answers to prayer

Yeah, this photo really isn’t related but it made me laugh. Credit here.

In recent years, I’ve been a big fan of putting things “out to the universe.” It’s a phrase I picked up from my dear friend Shannon, and the idea is to talk about ideas/desires and have faith that the universe will take care of them in the best way possible. May sound a lot like prayer to the faithful or that “Secret” book that everyone was talking about a couple years ago. Whatever you call it, it works!

Although I am clearly engaged in systematic, “scholarly” ways of knowing the world, I appreciate divine intervention from time to time. For instance, this whole Cactus Land experience has been a lesson in following signs* and intuition. I never meant to end up in the desert, and yet I think it is one of the best impulsive** decisions I ever made. So I’ve made it a habit to at least talk about things I want, even if I think they’re impossible.

For instance, I am committed to getting my arse HOME next year. What I mean by that is, I’d really love to actually live with my husband and commute in for school. I’m busting my buns to get all of my coursework done in precisely two years so that I can alleviate reasons to maintain a residence in Phoenix. I’ll still be in Cactus Land every week, but at least for the majority of days that end in Y, I can actually see my sweetheart. It is a novel idea!

The question, of course, is HOW. As we know, school ain’t cheap and I earn my tuition remission by teaching the future leaders*** of America. It’s really hard to teach from another state and I’ve been fretting about what type of schedule I could configure that would allow me to fly in, stay the night, and then bust home. In absence of ideas, I talked to some professors and friends and fam, and just put it out to the universe with hopes that it would all work out.

And it did!

This really long introduction is to tell you that I’ve accepted a research assistantship at the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at ASU. You may be thinking “what the what, she studies communication!” and I still do. The piece of the research grant I’ll work on is focused on qualitative methods (focus groups, interviews, literature reviews, etc.) to develop educational tools for substance abuse treatment centers around the country. It’s going to be a TON of work but it will allow me to continue work in non-profit health care, pay for school and oh yeah, LIVE AT HOME NEXT YEAR! Sadly, I will not be teaching, but I will be able to structure a more flexible in-office schedule and telecommute for the rest of the week. I am so, so, so excited. The project starts next semester and continues through the Fall. I’m at least covered for half of next year which is great!

I am not planning a career in motivational speaking, but I think it’s important to believe in our dreams, even if they seem impossible… to ask for what we want, even if it seems mad… to put things out to the universe, even if they seem crazy. And then, to take action! I don’t think it’s enough to just hope and wish for good things to come our way, but rather we must follow instincts, ask for help, have conversations, lay groundwork and be prepared to work really hard. Yes? Yes.

So that’s my soapbox and fabulous news for the day. I’m curious, what ideas/dreams are percolating in YOUR neck of the woods?

xoxo,
shawna

*I just read The Alchemist and have the language of omens, destiny and personal journeys in my brain! It’s a super quick but inspiring read. Check it out!


**I was actually supposed to end up at the University of Utah. (Really, CU Boulder, but that’s another story.) I had a house, an opportunity for funding and new friends all ready for me. (Plus, lots of birthday presents like long underwear and mittens.) When I found out that the two professors I wanted to work with were up and moving to other schools, I FREAKED. I knew the decision to go there was not right anymore but I felt trapped. Thanks to a spontaneous conversation with and suggestions by a professor at my friend’s wedding (Thank you Mark Williams!), I called ASU and prayed that they might still have a spot for me. And they did. And then they gave me funding. And then I found a new place and some new friends. Magic I tell you. All it took was following my gut instincts, asking for what I wanted and then having the gumption to take action. If this worry wart can do it, so can you! (Sorry, still on my motivational kick apparently.) 


*** I crack myself up.

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