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Yirgu explained, “Mindfulness is living by observing the world without judgment, and it’s a technique that helps you take action right now. This really shifted me in a big way. I stopped being fearful and became happier. Photo courtesy of Hannah Yirgu.
Yirgu explained, “Mindfulness is living by observing the world without judgment, and it’s a technique that helps you take action right now. This really shifted me in a big way. I stopped being fearful and became happier. Photo courtesy of Hannah Yirgu.

Student finds inspiration and direction in life

By: Alem Giorgis

Self-help books are a multi-billion dollar genre unto themselves, and notable writers have legions of fans. While some discard this movement as new age quackery, others have found success using self-help books in order to live more fulfilling lives.

One such individual is GPC student Hannah Yirgu, who wanted to share her journey to help fellow students improve their lives by being present and mindful, something she learned through a popular self-help book.

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Yirgu recently immigrated to the United States to join the rest of her family in 2013.

She was an architecture student in a rigorous program at the University of Addis Ababa, but she was desperate to change both her program of study and path in life.

Convinced that a future in architecture was not for her, Yirgu decided to spend the entirety of her first year in America perusing many books and websites trying to find her purpose in life.

She wanted to work and postpone college until she knew in what direction she wanted her life to go.

She then stumbled upon an online video of an Oprah interview with renowned self-help guru and spiritual author, Ekhart Tolle. The subject of the interview was Tolle’s teachings, which he detailed within his bestseller, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.”

Captivated by the interview, Yirgu quickly bought the book and began a very serious journey that has led her to become somewhat of a disciple of Tolle’s teachings.

“The book taught me that we don’t have to cling to the past and worry about the future,” she said. “I used to be very worried about what would happen next, and I didn’t enjoy the everyday life around me. But now, I’ve learned to not stress and live in the now.”

Soon after, Yirgu decided to enroll at GPC in the fall of 2014 as a psychology major. She explained that she was constantly thinking about the future and waiting for the next thing, rather than appreciating everything in front of her.

Hence, Tolle’s teachings resonated with her.

In “The Power of Now,” Tolle explains, “As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease.”

Yirgu encourages fellow students to reflect on their thoughts and practice being more mindful each day.

About Farhin Lilywala

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