Be still and let life happen

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.”- Morgan Freeman. I start with this quote because I have never known how to be still. If it’s just constantly being on the go or even when I’m standing still, I’m somehow still moving either by a shaking leg or a racing mind. Being in Italy has shown me the beauty of being still. Coming to Italy, I thought nothing would change. I expected to continue being constantly on the go, but I was pleasantly wrong. The first week I was here, I caught myself still watching the sunset and sipping on a cappuccino at a coffee shop. It felt amazing, but I thought to myself, ‘Why haven’t I done this before if it feels so great?’ I started to realize that I wasn’t on my usual routine, which consisted of whatever day it was; it had to be filled. I wouldn’t have dared to do something just as simple as sit and enjoy a cappuccino; instead, I would take the cappuccino and start my next activity. The Italian lifestyle is about enjoying the moment, whether sitting at lunch for hours chatting or taking a passeggiata (i.e., a short walk taken during the day purely for pleasure and talking). I am so thankful for this experience and have already noticed so many positive changes that I will definitely incorporate into my life now and even when I am back in Auburn. For example, even though I am involved in a variety of experiences like research, volunteering, and classwork, I will now lean into the experience rather than focusing on the end product. From finding joy in the drive to class to enjoying the silence while waiting on an experiment to finish, I am deeply grateful for this shift in mindset. I largely attribute it to my experience here in Italy.

Kruthi Gopal

A sunset view from the bridge across from the palace!