Through our days we tend to hold onto the idea that we are stuck on the same path for the rest of our waking lives. But fear not, as we do have a choice in this world. I once saw my life as a river flowing down one particular way, but as soon as I let go, I only saw beauty.
Growing up like many adolescents do, I struggled with self-identity. I was insecure, lost, and tried to find the easy way out. I thought that by getting more involved in the world of filmmaking and art, I would avoid the other world of tough education and school all together. My mother pushed to me to attend school, and get my associates in film production, but I had other ideas. I told my mom, “Filmmakers don’t need to go to school!” or “If I want to be good, I need to get a job now, not school.” After a year at community college, I was not having it. I failed a class, and really only enjoyed one. I wanted something different, new, but could not understand what it was that I wanted.
In March of 2022, I made a deal with my mom and decided to leave America, to attend a film school in Norway in August. Upon attending, I was excited, interested, and determined, but not expecting where the universe would take me. I lived on a one way road, thinking the only thing that I was good at was filmmaking. But as I return one year later, that is the complete opposite from the truth.
In the course of a year, I have traveled to Norway, Switzerland, Japan, and many other places. Each country continuing to teach me its own lesson. There are many important ones, but I decided to begin with a certain one.
Lesson One: The Law Of Impermanence
Forever Is Nothing and Change Is Forever.
The relationships we make, the food we eat, the plants we nurture, the animals we care for; they will all go away sometime. Everything is subject to change, and it’s tough to realise that. Our ego wants us to believe that everything we connect to is forever, but that is the lie our ego tells us. Through meditation and peaceful walks, I learned that impermanence surrounds us every second of the day. Our thoughts rush in like waves, and quickly pull out to sea just as fast as summer turns to fall then to winter. The craziest thing about impermanence is that we have changed even since yesterday. Our ability to hold on, only causes us suffering, pain, and self indulgence.
Going back to my thought process before Norway, I believed that I was destined for one thing. I didn’t think I was capable of having a healthy mind, going to school, or even making friends. I subjected myself to only one current in the river, not knowing I was capable of creating hundreds of different currents.
My year abroad made me begin to really think about my life, and how I wanted to create it. I had the choice to do anything, so listening to my soul, I changed my major to Psychology. Instead of second guessing myself, I listened to my intuition and went for it. All the things I fear are ahead of me, but for the first time in my life, I’m tired of running away.
There is a way to train our minds to learn that everything is changing. If we become more mindful and present in the moment, we will not have a need to hold on. Love your partner now, work at your job with gratitude, eat your food with the intent that it might be your last! If we train our minds to see this, we will not have a need to worry about the future or past, just the now. As I heard a monk say, “Life isn’t meant for us to suffer, it is meant for us to find our potential.”
Remember that we do have a choice in how we see ourselves, and how we choose to look at things around us. Be boundless, be open, and be graceful.
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References by Mikhail Brant on Core Spirit