||My time at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and specifically in the sustainable living program accelerated significant self-development in my life. Many variables helped me to improve as a person, as well as deepen my awareness of the most fundamental aspects of life including meditation, wonderful people searching for a deeper meaning, and an education in the field of sustainability. My uniquely knowledgeable sustainable living professors at MUM taught me a great deal about the different aspects of sustainable living, and the importance of individuals working together to create a most efficient whole. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of MUM, was a systems thinker and much of his philosophy was based on the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This could not be more true when it comes to sustainable living.
The sustainable living program taught me about organic agriculture, various methods of sustainable farming, renewable energies, natural building, permaculture, ethnobotany, and more. Professors enlighten students about non-sustainable practices in all these areas as well. Towards the end of the sustainable living degree, each student is required to choose a self-directed sustainable living project to complete before they can graduate; this is usually done during a student’s senior year. I chose to create a business plan for an upscale sustainable restaurant that would serve local organic foods. The project taught me about working independently and the importance of self-motivation; it prepared me for work in the ‘real-world’. I am very thankful to have had to complete such an enjoyable project.
Upon graduating in August 2011, I was lucky enough to take a couple months off to travel throughout Europe. It is interesting to observe how the rest of the world lives and how different countries are either progressing or declining in regards to sustainable living. I have found much of the ignorance in our world comes from a lack of awareness on how the rest of the world functions; I believe everyone should be granted the opportunity to travel so we can all obtain a more complete understanding of life on earth. By experiencing the world as a whole, one can start to see and understand it’s beauty while also experiencing it’s sad realities; there are many people suffering from a lack of basic needs. By gaining a greater understanding of global affairs, we can learn to work together to create one peaceful sustainable world.
Since returning to Fairfield from Europe, I have been working for PeopleClaim – a cutting-edge online dispute resolution system. Concurrently I started a blog in fall 2011; a personal project I plan to develop more over time. My blog, samanthasbreadandbutter.com, shares my ‘bread and butter’—my life’s essentials. My intention is to spread awareness about the most basic and fundamental aspects of life. Topics on my blog include information on sustainable living/how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, information and how-to’s about natural/organic diet & lifestyle, information and news on Transcendental Meditation (TM), assistance with relationships, posts on philosophy, etiquette, and much more. I also take blog post requests. My blog is an expression of my passions in life and my born desire to help and teach others.
The knowledge I gained through the sustainable living program will not only contribute to me landing a well-paying job I enjoy, but will also assist me greatly for the rest of my life. I have learned how to personally live sustainably, and also gained the tools to help others live a sustainable lifestyle. I intend to further my education in sustainable living, whether by researching on my own at home or taking more official courses in college or somewhere else. Sustainable living is a way of life and it will forever be mine.
After four years of Fairfield being my home base, I have decided it is time to take the profound knowledge I have learned here somewhere else. In February 2012 I will be moving to NYC to pursue modeling. Modeling has always been an aspiration of mine; I hope to make good money modeling and use the proceeds to invest in a project or business that will help others. I believe we all have a purpose in this world, something important we can contribute. The things that always hold true at the end of the day are love and the importance of developing our consciousness. Maharishi said, “Life finds it’s purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness.” So be happy, love yourself, love others, help others, and always develop yourself and your consciousness. And keep in mind, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” ―C.S. Lewis