Halfway to Adulthood

It’s not that it’s hard to believe that I am halfway done with my college career but rather that I refuse to believe I am halfway done with my college career.

Coming to a school 900 miles away from home, I came in only knowing one person and even that find was a lucky one. Like many others I had to establish a new friend group, find my niche and transfer my mindset from high school to college, but as I wrap up my sophomore year I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for the world. 

The friends I’ve made and memories I’ve created these past two years have really been one for the books. I didn’t expect to make (what I’m assuming to be) life long friends so effortlessly and quickly and I couldn’t imagine my college career being spent with anyone besides them. It’s crazy to think in just two short years, they know me better than I know myself, have seen me at my highest and my lowest, know some of my deepest, darkest secrets, as well as my obnoxious behaviors and still look forward to hanging out with me on the weekends. 

I’ve gained so much knowledge from some incredible professors and have fostered a sense of thinking that I truly enjoy. Everyone I’ve come in contact with has taught me something about myself or the world around me and I love finding that in new people I meet. 

There’s nothing I look forward to more than these next two years and the new people I’ll meet, places I’ll go and things I’ll learn.

I’m convinced that whoever said high school is the best four years of your life must have went to community college. 

The Power of the Mind

In my last blog I mentioned I had the opportunity to meet Walter Hrycaj, the director of the School of Metaphysics in Columbia. Well aside from being one of the most positive, happy and understanding man I’ve ever met, he’s also overcome many things in his life and has had so many cool experiences in his life. Because of this reason, I wanted to share his story that I had the privilege of uncovering through my time spent with him. Enjoy.

COLUMBIA, Mo — Walter Hrycaj didn’t let his mind fall victim to his body when doctors told him he had an incurable disease at a very young age.

Hrycaj, director of the Columbia School of Metaphysics, was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, ADHD and OCD at age nine. Doctors told him it was something he was going to have to live with for the rest of his life.

However, Hrycaj began to notice he was able to control his body as he participated in sports, specifically through the discipline of martial arts and the creative expression of skateboarding.

“The discipline of martial arts I believe really helped a lot. I could take all that energy that I had and I could channel it,” Hrycaj said. “I believe at that point in time when I knew how to control more of my physical body and I had the discipline to control my body, that’s when I knew that I had some certain element of self-control.”

His self-control enhanced even further as he developed a passion for skateboarding. He said skateboarding offered him a way to unleash his creativity and individuality and offered a way of finding himself at a very rough time in his life.

“I felt like I had a place and I felt confident in myself,” Hrycaj said. “I didn’t really know who I was as I was growing up through elementary and high school because I was the weird kid that just ticked and twitched and made noises and yelled obscenities in class.”

In addition to growing up with Tourette’s, ADHD and OCD Hrycaj also was faced with a verbally and physically abusive stepfather that would constantly put him down telling him he would never amount to anything.

He said that negative environments such as this one caused his Tourette’s and lack of self-control to emerge.

Hrycaj recognized that he needed to surround himself in a positive environment and rid himself of the people and situations that made him feel uncomfortable. As he did this, he was able to gain back his self-control over both his mind and body and made him begin to question the world around him.

“I started questioning my beliefs, started questioning the creator, started questioning things that were happening in my life,” Hrycaj said, “but there were a lot of synchronicities that played out that I didn’t lose a whole lot of faith. There was still some reason why I was here, some reason why, and I believed in that,” he said.

After divorcing his wife, Hrycaj knew he needed to make improvements in his life. He replaced drugs, smoking and drinking with exercise and began to get in shape. It wasn’t until he started his personal training business that he began to look more in to the effects of the mind on the physical body.

Hrycaj noticed his clients improving within the first three months of working out but after those initial three months they began to revert back to their old habits. This is when Hrycaj realized if his clients were able to know more about their mind and their mind’s potential, they would be able to easier maintain results within their physical body.

Through his search of spiritual practices, mind skills and healing modalities that could potentially help his clients tap into the powers of their mind, he came across the School of Metaphysics.

The School of Metaphysics teaches the full potential of the mind through concentration, mediation and visualization.

Hrycaj said what he learned at the school allowed him to access the full potential of his mind. He found himself better able to concentrate fully on a single idea and bring that idea all the way into fruition, something he wasn’t able to do before.

“With the power of belief you can do anything,” Hrycaj said. “I think Napoleon Hill said, ‘Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.’ Whatever you think you can do in your life you have the abilities to make it happen.”

 Not only did Hrycaj learn skills such as meditation, breathing, visualization, concentration and memorization, he also learned a lot about love, compassion and forgiveness.

Hrycaj says the knowledge he gained through the School of Metaphysics gave him the strength to look his stepdad in the eyes and tell him he loved him despite all the negativity he put him through during his childhood.

 Hrycaj now teaches and directs at the School of Metaphysics in Columbia and hopes to see the school flourish and grow even more than it already has.

Friendship Through Finals

For the past couple of weeks, two others and I have been working hard on our final group project for our multimedia journalism class. We decided to focus our multimedia piece on the School of Metaphysics, something I didn’t know anything about before doing this project.

What I came to learn, the people I met and the friends I made truly made this long project worth the while. My group mates and I took a two hour road trip to Windyville, Mo in order to pay a visit to the international headquarters of the school as well as view and tour the Peace Dome. The trip offered a bonding experience for our group and I felt like I really had a connection with these girls whom I had only met in class this semester. Not only was the drive itself one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on, but the campus of the School of Metaphysics had such an intense feeling of serenity that it was no wonder they chose that land for such a place.

I also had the privilege of meeting Walter and Larry from the School of Metaphysics in Columbia. These men are two of the most genuine people I’ve ever met in my life and their positivity and happiness made me reflect on some attributes within myself. It really is true that just by surrounding yourself with positive people you can gain a more positive outlook on life.

While this project caused me a lot of stress and anxiety, it was definitely worth it in the end as I saw it all come together.

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