Episode 159 The Art of Working with the Cards You’re Dealt: Interview Erik Jensen

Episode 159 The Art of Working with the Cards You’re Dealt – Interview: Erik Jensen

Each of us are dealt a deck of cards, so to speak, when we are born onto this planet. This deck includes where we are born, the family we are born into, the culture, geography, religion, expectations, a certain body, health issues, disabilitites, money or no money. We each get a different set-up. I believe we get the set-up that we need in order to learn the things we need to learn. Whether or not you are of that same mind set, we can’t deny that we all have a different set of circumstances and what we do with those circumstances determines who we are and how we live. We are the creators of our own lives, and like an artist we have a certain amount of clay, paint, or in today’s case, recycled computer keys to work with.

Erik Jensen is a born artist – He’s also deaf. I met him at the Salt Lake City Arts Festival where he was showing his incredible keyboard keys art creations. It’s hard to explain without graphics, but basically he creates really impressive pictures by coloring and organizing recycled computer keyboard keys into pictures. His art has won several awards since he started in high school, through college and in arts shows and festivals. He graduated from Utah Valley University with a BS in Art Education in 2017. He started doing art with computer keyboard keys in 2013, started doing it as a business in 2017 and and went to being a full-time artist in 2018. He loves spending time with his family and when he finds the time, he even gets on his 36-inch unicycle for exercise! His productive and artistic life is built from his specific deck of cards – a supportive mom and teachers, his artists eye, being deaf and learning how to hear and talk and sign.

Tune into the audio program to hear the interview with Erik.

To find him and his art:

Erik Jensen Art

Computer Key Artist





What is something in your life that you feel like you may have gotten short-changed on? I knew a woman in my church who said she didn’t want to live with her family after this life because they were really awful to her. She felt like she’d been dealt a crappy family. I met a woman recently who was divorced many years ago, and now in her 70’s she is still stuck in the story of how hard life has always been because she is alone. Maybe you grew up in poverty and it felt like it was impossible to get ahead? Maybe you struggle with an illness that stops you from living how you wish you could. At my house we play Monopoly Deal a lot. This is Monopoly with cards. Every hand is of course a different set of assets, chance cards, money and opportunities to create with, but what you do with your cards determines if you win or lose. What is a card you are holding in your metaphorical deck of life cards that you need to find a way to leverage or learn or create something valuable with? Erik had to work with the card in his hand of being deaf. His choice to not let this unchangeable card hold him back has made all the difference. Your challenge this week is to take stock and find a challenging card in your hand and start playing with ideas of learning or leveraging this card into supporting the life you want. Could it be learning from the cards you’ve been dealt? Empathy and understanding gained? In Episode 83 you’ll remember Wendy Garrett who was in an auto/scooter accident where one of her legs was paralyzed, but instead of making a home in victim land she found joy in getting involved in the world’s 7 largest marathons and having experiences she wouldn’t have had any other way. What does your deck look like? How can you find joy and life satisfaction even from the tough cards?

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About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

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