By Patrick Fergus
While some seek to divide, others want to unify. A group of students at Springfield College have decided to focus on the latter. The Peace of Mind club, started by graduate student Zach Olivan and senior Kyle DeBlasiis, has set out on a simple mission: to spread peace, love and positivity.
The two started the club this year when they saw an imperative need for a safe space for students to come together as a community. Whether that be through meditation, group projects, or laying down together in the grass for ten minutes and soaking up the sun, it was important to Olivan and Deblasiis.
Peace of Mind’s inception was as simple as the typical, “Hey, we should start a club!”, and the positive feedback they received only helped them take the first steps to implement their idea.
Both Olivian and Deblasiis came to Springfield for the academic programs, but quickly became connected with the Humanics philosophy. Spirit, mind, and body are at the core of everything at Springfield, and the importance of not just a student’s physical well-being but equally their intellectual and spiritual health was welcoming.
“That stuck with me,” said Debalsiis about the symbol, “I know how to get my mind right, I know how to get my body right…but how do I get in touch with my spirit?”
For Deblasiis, he started doing meditation and journaling, and once meeting Zach Olivan, the ability to connect with his spirit became second nature. Both yearned to share the feeling with others.
Peace of Mind is not like many other clubs. There are no set meetings, no formal meetups, and little to no required commitment. Instead, it is broken down into four main divisions; Earthing, Meditation, Event, and Social Media.
Earthing is led by Deblasiis and typically entails inviting other members to enjoy their environment and surroundings. Often group meditations will be held outside to recharge and become connect with the Earth around them.
“I’ll just lay there and feel the sun hit my face, and feel the breeze come though, and I think it’s the most natural, real feeling that you can have,” Deblasiis says.
Both Olivian and Deblasiis stress the importance of resting your mind, because in turn that will help your body and spirit deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Letting your mind wander and experience the peace of the planet is important, with the club highlighting it as an essential part of taking care of your spirit, mind and body.
So far, the club has attracted numerous students looking to better themselves in every aspect. Currently, the Group Me chat serves as the leader’s primary communicator and has over 95 members, and new students join daily.
Other important club members are junior Zoe Cruz, and first-year graduate student in the events division, Natalia Kompocholi. Mac Fornili, a sophomore, handles the social media side and is in charge of public relations.
Olivian and Deblasiis also disapproved of the negative perception of differences in modern culture. Each has had their fair share of experiences with people of different races and religions, and choose to celebrate the dissimilarities.
“Recognizing that you are you, I am me, and we can co-exist together, and it’s as simple as that,” Olivian said.
Peace of Mind is flipping the script on the inclusion movements, with focusing first on loving yourself, then sharing that feeling of love and positivity with others as a by-product.
“I’m not a fan of giving love, because when you give something, it implies that you don’t have it anymore,” Olivian said.
Peace of Mind not only wants to spread positivity, love, and kindness, but wants to make everyone realize how grateful they are, even if they don’t see it that way. Deblasiis, Olivian, and the other members of POM have dedicated themselves to the betterment of their community, and for that, the Springfield College community should all be grateful.