From time to time, we are all faced with events that are challenging. Yes, a challenge can be discomforting, but it also doesn’t have to last longer than we allow it to last. By being resilient—keeping ourselves steady and centered and grounded—we will begin to recognize that each and every challenging situation has its value. We can’t see the value while experiencing a negative emotion, but we can move through it rather quickly when we know it’s bringing to us expansion.
Artist Avery Konrad, who can be seen shining as Sara in Epix’s series FROM, begins, “I’m very resilient. When I’m faced with challenges, I obviously like to process them and talk about them. But I’m always searching for a solution. I’m also very loyal. But sometimes I have problems explaining my emotions, so instead I use my love language. I was talking about the love language with some cast mates the other day, how we receive, and my love language is to give. If someone needs me, no matter what time it is, what’s going on where they are, I’m going to be there—that’s my love language as an act of service. So that’s really big for me. That’s how I show someone that I love and care about them. As far as spirituality goes, I think it’s such a vastly different thing for everybody, but it’s kind of an anchor for me, especially when things get crazy, so I kind of sit with myself within. This was a big thing for me when I was filming the show FROM. Especially every morning, I would get into the rhythms of my body and my heartbeat and sit with that before I would get up and start my day, just so I have some sort of grounding. I feel grounded. I feel steadiness. And I’m also very goofy, and I love to have fun.”
As we observe variety, it stimulates us to make comparisons and create preferences. In that sense, comparison is inevitable, but that’s just the first step for us to move forward, to mold who we are becoming. There is no limit to the potentialities we can experience; therefore, there are infinite opportunities for all of us to experience the essence of our desires, and ultimately—to express our wholeness.
“I love this saying, ‘there’s room for everybody’. I love it, because what we’re doing is telling stories of people of all colors and all races in all different shapes and their different struggles—we’re telling human stories. And sometimes when we just get caught in the followers we have and things like that, it can really wear a weight on us. And it’s definitely a roller coaster ride when you’ve been in it for a while; and, for example, you say to yourself, ‘You’re not booking anything.’ But the clarity that I have had lately is that you’re never the problem. Your talent is never the problem. It’s where you fit in this equation—how you fit in this equation, maybe you’re not right for this specific thing. But until you kind of go through all those roadblocks of thinking, ‘Oh, maybe I’m not enough.’ There’s always the light at the end of the end of the tunnel. And it’s important to go through the ups and downs, so you can grow,” shares Avery.
Love, happiness, bliss, and joy are not things we attained—they’re in the core essence of who we are. Often, we look for external circumstances to feel joyful, when really joy is what we are meant to emanate. True success is not what we have, but the amount of joy we experience through the process of creating what we want.
About her perspective of joy, Avery says, “Sometimes you get the thing that you wanted, but life doesn’t stop, and things don’t stop happening. And you don’t sit there—and all of a sudden you get the thing, and then there are no more roadblocks. You need to always continue to grow and figure out the tools that you need to be able to navigate these things. It is important to always remember that you’re always gonna face challenges and how you overcome them.”
A brilliant teacher, Abraham-Hicks, once said, “A belief is just a thought that we keep thinking.” When we repeatedly tell ourselves the same story, that eventually becomes our belief. Our emotions will always guide us to know whether a belief comes from the perspective of being in tune with who we are or whether the belief is in opposition to it. And only when we are aware of this can we align our beliefs in harmony with where we want ourselves to be.
Avery goes on, “As I said before, I am resilient. So when I’m faced with challenges—and that’s something that was instilled in me from my dad—he always taught me to keep going. Once you commit to something, you finish it. And I think that that has carried throughout my life. So, in situations where I feel like I want to give up or whatever, he’s always in the back of my head, ‘No, you committed to this, you’re going to finish it.’ Obviously, I am working hard because I’ve been at this for a long time. And I could have quit a long time ago, but it fuels me, and I love it so much,” proclaims Avery.
Avery is ecstatic about her experience of becoming Sara Myers and being part of FROM. As she says, “In the series FROM, these characters are in these extreme circumstances. But one thing that’s always important to me, no matter what I do, is dropping myself into these circumstances, as much as possible. And the first scene I shot of the entire series was a very, extremely heavy scene. And I was feeling a lot of pressure, but I know that if I’m not completely dropped into the circumstances, it’s not gonna work. So the other half of that is, that it was fun, for sure. It was an amazing experience. It’s going to be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life. It was a huge growing experience and also liberating to know that I was able to carry that weight for that long consistently and then let it go when I needed to. Sarah is a dream character to play: she’s written so beautifully, there’s so many nuances to her, she has so many layers to her, which was a lot of fun to play. And again, because she was written so beautifully, it was just my job to show up and do justice to the writing and drop myself into the circumstances and make that as realistic as possible as if anyone from any place was in this situation and how they would react.”
Not only does Avery resonate with her character, Sarah, but she has learned and discovered so much about herself that she now applies this new awareness to her day-to-day life experience.
“I will forever be changed by this show and the opportunity to play Sarah. And the people that I was working with, they really changed me and opened my eyes to different things and taught me new things about myself that I didn’t know. I came back from that experience a new, rounded person. I just loved playing Sarah. I love her so much. I felt like she was already a part of me. And it just allowed me to dig deeper and just be. My goal was to be as honest and as truthful as possible and always lead with love, even though sometimes she doesn’t do it the right way,” passionately shares Avery.
And then she continues, “I think something people are really going to be able to connect with the show. Throughout the past few years living in this pandemic has been hard for everybody and everyone globally; I’m sure people have been feeling trapped and scared, like there was no way out and there were no answers. And that’s what the show is about. Obviously, in different circumstances, but at the core of it, that’s really what it’s about. So, I think people are going to be able to resonate with that and watch these characters navigate intense situations that they’re in.”
Avery is also currently passionate about wrapping up work on a comedy, Honor Society, on Paramount Plus. “It could not be more opposite [to] my portrayal of Sarah. I play one of her best friends named Emma, and she’s just like this funny kind of airhead. She’s constantly taking selfies, and it’s just kind of the comedic relief of the movie, which has been so much fun. It’s my first comedy, and I love doing comedy so much.”
Dancing is another way for Avery to creatively express herself. Dancing and choreographing soften her other physical faculties so her mind is gentle enough for her to give more attention to other things important to her. “I’ve always loved dancing, and I am very regimented. So I really like being given choreography, or choreographing myself is really therapeutic for me. It really takes me out of my head if I find a piece of music that I really connect to. It is really magical.”
Weola, the collective energy channeled by spiritual teacher Kosta Trifunovic, says, “So many brilliant teachers make you aware of your emotions being the tool, but not the destination. In the beginning, it is good for them to be your destination for you to experience more of that which you have not experienced before. Then you can move on to from a temporary destination that was there only to show you possibilities, a perspective that you can have in every moment, as you are balancing your own question-answer, focus-unfocus, positive-negative emotion dance.”
And so empowerment is not static; it’s always dancing and expanding. And just like joy, it comes not from doing anything outwardly, but after looking within, so we can express ourselves more unconditionally without. Avery says, “I’m a problem solver. So whenever I’m faced with a challenge or roadblocks, I like to take situations that are happening that maybe aren’t positive and say, ‘Okay, How am I going to learn from this?’ So when I’m presented with it next time, I don’t get caught up in it as much and I let it go.”
Letting go means letting go of resistance. And in this state, like Avery finishes, “I really do see the best in everybody.”
Are you seeing the best in yourself so that you can see the best in others?
Photography // Jenna Berman