By Brianna Wiest

1. Doing what you’re afraid to do will get you exactly where you want to be. Fear is not the emotion that tells you “no,” often, it’s the feeling that tells you “yes, this is really worth it.”

2. Easy does it, and does it well. The things that are the most beautiful and worthwhile are those that are inherently effortless, ironically, in a world that praises nothing but “hard work” and sacrifice for success. When it’s effortless, it’s the most in alignment with who you truly are.

3. Understanding your emotions is how you let yourself feel them. Thinking about how you feel is usually the source of people’s biggest anxieties, but in understanding the purpose and function of emotion, we can relax for long enough to let ourselves listen, and be guided.

4. Having less makes you feel like you have more. The anthem of minimalism is essentially that if you can remove all of the things in your life that are only there for your ego’s purposes, you connect with what you truly love, and when your whole life is filled with nothing but things you appreciate for being beautiful or purposeful, your existence starts to feel that way, too.

5. The fewer choices you have, the happier you’ll be. People are significantly less happy when they think that there could always be “something better out there.” They rarely find “something better,” but do end relationships, consume in excess, and generally feel anxious and unfulfilled as a result. Ironically, this is bred from the society that values freedom and the pursuit of happiness above all else. In giving people the idea that they can do anything, they became debilitated by the fact that they weren’t doing everything.

6. The harder you tread water, the quicker you will sink, try to let yourself sink, and you will float. Allowing is the path to what you really want, even when it most seems like the opposite is true. If you tread water for long enough, you’ll get tired, and sink. If you decide to give up and allow yourself to start sinking, at that moment, you will realize that you can float.

7. When you most want to give up is usually when you’re right about to have a breakthrough. Take the poetic: “it’s always darkest before the dawn,” if you will – regardless, when we are most fed up, we’re most open to alternative possibilities. When we’re no longer attached to the “how,” we’re free to do what we need to create the “what.”

8. What you dislike in other people is what you think you can’t like in yourself. It’s not only that you hate in others what you subconsciously hate within yourself, it’s that you hate in others what you’re suppressing within yourself. You don’t inherently dislike any aspect of your being, that’s a learned behavior. Witnessing it in others then makes you want to lash out and cut them off, so that feeling or behavior is not then ‘seduced’ out of you as well.

9. It’s a process of unlearning that brings you closest to who you are, but you must learn how to unlearn. Life is not about creating yourself. It is about having experiences and lessons that help you understand who you are, and through that inherent understanding, you can create a life that is most aligned with your essential self. It’s about unlearning, but at the same time, knowing how to do that… requires learning.

10. You appreciate what you have only after you have it. We are more in love with dreams and ideas because things that exist only in the abstract are safe. Things that are real and present are not, and so we do not enjoy them until we know they’re already gone – the shock of having “lost them” will not affect us.

11. It takes true strength to be soft. People who are aggressive or defensive or angry are not tough – exactly the opposite. Truly strong people are defenseless and open. They are not threatened by anything nor do they desire to exert dominance over anything. Those behaviors are only bred out of feeling inherently “unsafe” or “beneath.”

12. Accepting who you are will turn you into who you want to be. So often we assume that accepting who we are means we are giving up on being more, but the opposite is true. When we can accept ourselves as we are, we lay the loving, healthy foundation on which we can become what we want to be. Everything else is bred from resistance, and so not only will it ultimately fail, but it will feel pretty crappy in the process as well.

Love this? Want more? Like Soul Anatomy on Facebook.