Life is Not A Mission

Written by Egbert Sayers IV a.k.a. Kairo Makonnen a.k.a. Sadhanathananda

Instagram: @kairo_makonnen Snapchat: @kairomakonnen

This post is going to deal with some extremely heavy, esoteric, spiritual information and although it may fly over the heads of most people, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still share the truth. Beware, there are certain things that once you know, your life will never be the same again.

This is one of those things.

Life is not a mission. Life is not a journey. Most people spend their lives chasing goal after goal. They perceive themselves to be in the “pursuit of happiness” but in fact they are in pursuit of the inner peace of God. Everyone just calls it something different depending on their level of spiritual awareness. Why do you want that dream job you’ve fantasized about ever since middle school? Why do you want to find that perfect romantic partner to spend the rest of your life with? You want these things because you believe they will bring you inner peace, contentment and everlasting happiness. I am here to tell you that they will not. You will set a goal for yourself, journey towards it, accomplish it, then set another goal and continue the cycle endlessly. You will never be satisfied because you are chasing a feeling, a desire, not the object of desire itself. You are not longing to find that perfect person, you are longing to be eternally united with the feeling you get when you are intoxicated by another person’s “love.” All feelings come and go like waves rising and receding on the shores of a beach and by being attached to things which are temporary, you keep yourself stuck in the loop of suffering. One day you are happy, the next day you are sad, one day you are angry and the next day you are glad. There is no security in your life because you see life as a mission. A mission implies that you should be somewhere other than where you are. I’m here to tell you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Your body is well aware of this fact, your consciousness is well aware of this fact as well, but it is your mind which is lost. Your mind is lost in a realm of imagination, worry, stress, doubt and fear. Your mind believes that the present moment is not enough, and hopes that the next moment will be better. The future exists only in your imagination, which feeds you nothing more than illusions. The past exists only in the form of memories and has long since been dead. The present moment is the only real thing. Knowing this, why would you choose to live in an illusion and not live in what is real?

Many people travel the world, pursue careers and indulge in various pleasures with their reason being, “I need to find myself.” This statement is highly illogical because “yourself” is already here. Where are you going? You are yourself. Even if the statement is transmuted into, “I need to find God,” the logic is still faulty. Hinduism explicitly and Christianity more implicitly, teach that God is found within ourselves. “The kingdom of God is within you,” states Luke 17 verse 21. When you seek to find “your true self” or “God” in the outward world, you are as foolish as a man who searches for a hat which is already on his head. You cannot find yourself in others, you cannot find yourself by means of drugs, you cannot find yourself in pleasures of the flesh, nor can you find yourself by merely reading scriptures. For spiritual knowledge is useless without spiritual practice. You must journey within yourself, discern what is “not you” and you will clearly see what “is you.”

I will give you a head start. You are not your body for your body is born and one day dies. You are not your mind for the mind leaps from idea to idea like a bee sampling many flowers, unsure of which nectar is sweetest. You are not your thoughts for your thoughts rise in seeming randomness and feed you ideas which you would not think if “you could help it.” Nothing temporary defines the true nature of what you actually are. When you strip away all that is transient…what remains? What is the one thing in your experience of life which is forever the same?

I’ll leave that for you to answer.

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When You Get Your First Job

By: Makailey Cookis Twitter: @makcookis Instagram: @mcookis

When you get your first job, you think it is nothing more than an added activity to your weekly agenda.

But what your mom or dad forgot to tell you is that getting your first job also means opening yourself up to a variety of experiences that fall everywhere on the spectrum.

Your first job is the beginning of another chapter in your life.

Money no longer produces itself from the wallet of your caregiver, you spend six-hour shifts being treated as an adult only to return home as the teenager everyone other than your co-workers see you as, and you begin to understand the minimum wage industry.

I have worked at a local restaurant in the town right next to my home for almost 6 years. I am currently a sophomore in college and I began my employment at the tavern the day I was legally allowed to (Literally- my sister picked me up from middle school and drove me to fill out the application on my birthday).

At fourteen years old, I was unable to fathom how a restaurant job could influence anything other than my bank account. However, at nineteen years old, I now understand just how much this job has helped shape me as a person.

The tavern I have worked at truly knows how to train you in all of the areas of the restaurant business. In this former barn, I have gained multiple friendships and made even more connections.

This tavern does not just teach you how to serve.

It teaches you how to problem solve and how to master skills that are useful in all aspects of life. 

As a busser, my main tasks were to clean dirty tables as well as help the wait staff complete tasks they were too busy to do themselves. As a hostess, I had to work more with customers, as well as assist both the bussers and wait staff. As a bartender and waitress, I had to completely focus on customers. And finally, as a manager- I had to oversee it all.

In almost six years, I learned how to navigate myself and others through all of these parts of the restaurant business. Most importantly though, all of my jobs throughout the years had to do with customer service.

I have always considered myself a “people person”.

But in this business? I gained so much strength.

One important thing to note is that this tavern is not just any other restaurant. It is an incredibly busy business where all seasons have sales peaks that top almost any other restaurant in the area.

Dealing with a hectic environment (though exceedingly stressful) has taught me tremendously how to handle multiple tasks, various conversations, and how to maintain a positive attitude throughout it all at once. Now, outside of the restaurant, I have far more skills in tackling challenges that would have been very intimidating to me if I had never worked there.

The restaurant business has allowed me to embrace my inner social-butterfly.

But enough about me and my experiences.

Your first job truly influences who you are.

It is more than those paychecks.

It is more than something for the resume.

Ultimately, your first job helps you grow up.

So, to anyone fourteen and sitting on the couch after school or at the end of the night, it might be a good idea to get a job. Because if you do, you’ll acquire skills that can very easily make you a stronger, and even better, person.

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How ‘Lost’ Changed My Life

By: Nicole Bates

Most of us college kids were pretty young when Lost aired on ABC back in 2004. But if you haven’t heard of the show by now? You must be living under a rock.

There are many differing opinions about the show (I think it  was a masterpiece) but regardless of what you thought about the ending or the last few seasons- Lost had a huge cultural impact.

I discovered the world of Lost right around the time I was working on the dreaded common app my senior year of high school. I remember that period as a magical time in my life because alongside the stress of applying to colleges; I was knee-deep in Lost. If you ask anyone I was friends with at the time- I didn’t talk about anything but the show.

I was obsessed.

I found myself in awe at the cast of characters. The writers of the show did such a great job at creating an ensemble of fully real and human characters. This, in combination with the life of the island itself is what captivated me. I was taken by the secret underground bunker, the Dharma initiative and the mysterious smoke monster that could shapeshift into a character’s worst nightmare. It was such an imaginative, beautiful, wonderfully horrifying world, and every time I watched I felt I was literally transported away from my life into the world of the show.

This may sound like an exaggeration  (I am a dramatic person) but when the show ended; I felt like I lost some friends. I had been with these characters all throughout one of the most stressful times of my life yet so knowing I had watched everything there would ever be of these characters was sad.

Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was fitting for a bizarre, complex show that built its legacy off of always leaving the audience with unanswered questions. (I also did my fair share of research on theories about the ending and I found an explanation that made me quite happy with the way things panned out).

I could go on and on talking about Lost and all its idiosyncrasies, but that isn’t the point of this post. To this day, three years after I finished the show, I still hold the world of Lost close to my heart because I have such fond memories of the time in my life when I was watching it.

It was a time in my life when I had to come face to the face with the fact that high school was ending and I would be leaving home and all my friends to go somewhere new. Obviously, this prospect was exciting.

But change is always scary too.

With my future preying on my mind, watching this show made me long for island life. The thought of it was so appealing. I could live surrounded by exotic vegetation, watch an awesome sunrise/sunset every day, wander as I please, eat mangoes and live a simple but beautiful life.

Obviously, in Lost (pardon my French), a lot of fucked up shit happens. However, that is because it is a form of entertainment and as much as we might hate to admit it- things have to happen in TV shows so people keep watching. But if you take all the horrific things out of the equation, you are left with a lot of really tender moments in the show.

Moments like when they build a golf course in an open field, Sun’s garden grows herbs that can save lives, Desmond and Hurley’s genuine friendship with Charlie or Rose and Bernard’s home they built for themselves on the island away from all its madness!

My list goes on and on.

I know, not all these characters make it, and evil incarnate itself also lives on the island. But what the show taught me is that in these dark and hopeless times, love, happiness and beauty still exist- and these are often the times people are brought together.

In a world where I feel I hear nothing but bad news every single day, the idea of living on an island away from everything is extremely appealing. On an island, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to politics, I wouldn’t have a phone or social media to worry about, and I wouldn’t need a boring job because my life would be consumed with gathering food and making life work on the island.

I would be able to enjoy life for what it is really is. (Hopefully on this island I would be surrounded by loved ones, and we could enjoy each day there together)

Now I am talking about this “island” idea as if it were some radical idea I came up with, but it is most definitely not.  This idea of paradise has been written about over and over again. The idea is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden from the Bible or Thomas More’s Utopia which speaks of a perfect community set on an island, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which is set on a tropical island full of spirits and monsters.

People have longed for this life since the start of time, but I feel as a society we have moved further away from it rather than closer. I am not promoting a true “utopia”, because we all know from reading books like 1984, The Hunger Games, and Fahrenheit 451 that attempts at perfection always turn dystopic. But what I would promote from this “island” lifestyle is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

We do not need to live grandiose lives to find fulfilment and happiness.

We all find happiness in different things. You might like to have a routine and embrace the daily grind in an effort to get rich or to support a family; but this is not the only option.

There is so much pressure on students to get the internship, so they can get the job, so they can get rich- when some people may not want that. As I’ve gotten older, I am starting to think I may be a lot happier with a simpler life (like running a bed and breakfast in the South of France or owning a flower shop in Maine. Who knows? The possibilities are endless).

I am not exactly sure what I want in life yet, but I do know I would like to work towards finding the magical feeling watching Lost brought me.

I found that the moments in the show that stood out to me the most (and still do) were the moments when the characters found companionship in each other and peace in discovering the joy the island had to offer.

What a concept.

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NNNN Episode #17 with Adam Feeney

Great conversation with Adam talking about:

-The ups and downs of his work so far making cover art

-How he got his foot in the door with some big name artists

-The creative process involved

-Thoughts on education

-Creative networking story

-Advice for people looking to start a creative venture:

Hope everyone enjoys, subscribes, and leaves a five star review (if you have any honor) :

http://anchor.fm/s/9f00fb0/podcast/rss