What Star Wars Can Teach You About Life. #whatwouldyodado

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Yesterday, I went to watch the latest film in the Star Wars saga, Episode VIII The Last Jedi, which was brilliant on multiple levels, not only because it maintained a classic feel, with Chewbacca appearing as little more than a man dressed in a furry suit and a cast of odd-looking interterrestrial creatures that one has come to expect in a Star Wars film, but more so because of its underlying ideology - the narrative of the force, the power of the Jedi, and the battle/balance between good and evil. It is founded upon a zen buddhist philosophy, and the story is one from which we can draw on as a timeless source of life advice. Think about it, why turn to self-help gurus when you can simply  ask yourself: What would Yoda Do?

1.The force is with you.

The characters in Star Wars say their goodbyes by reminding each other that the force is with them; the force, meaning, the life energy that connects all things and animates all things. The force (which we can also call God, love, creative energy, or Todd, the name is irrelevant) is available to, and in, all of us. We can harness power from the force; we can tune to it, draw from it. It is an ever-present, endless stream that never dies and is always available for our use. When we consider our own lives, we can think about the energy of the universe - this pulsing, creative love energy that is always there to support us if we tune to it. Whatever energy created the mountains, the sky, and the solar system, created us. There is an infinite energy of love from which creation springs that we can tap into when we align.

2.The force can be used for good or evil.

This energy is not discerning. It's not judgmental, and it doesn't take sides. The force doesn't care if Darth Vader wins, loses, or retires in an old-age community in Florida. The creative energy of the universe is not judging or condemning us, but rather, is available to support us in whatever course of action we choose to take. We have free will. We determine what is good or bad with our own judgments. 

3.We get to choose.

We get to decide which side we'll take. We always have a choice. We are powerful creators, and it is up to us. Just as how Luke Skywalker has to determine what path he'll follow, so do you. You can choose the sort of life you want, the partner you'd like, and the beliefs you'll hold. 

4.The body is an illusion.

In one of the scenes in The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker astral projects, meaning his etheric self leaves his body and goes elsewhere, while his physical form remains on the mountaintop. We have bodies for the span of our lifetimes, but the essence of who we truly are is beyond a body. Our souls are eternal. This lifetimes is just a tiny blip - a transient, fleeting moment in a dream. Don't get too attached to the body (and overthink things like your physical appearance, signs of aging, weight, or other concerns of this world), because you are so much more than you know. Your spirit is infinite.

5.There is no right or wrong.

In the film, each side has their own story - their own reasons for why they are choosing "good" or "evil," and both sides justify their opinions, but in reality, they are just that - opinions. There are always two sides. While we hold grievances about other people, claiming there is no room to forgive them, no other way to view them, we forget that they have their own story. The battle is endless as long as we refuse to let go of our judgments and ego stories.

Keep these lessons in mind, and life a live like Yoda. Be your own sort of Jedi master. And one last thing: May the force be with you!