“They didn’t fill the desert with pyramids, they just built some.”

Just because your potential is unlimited does not mean that your work to actualize it must be endless.

Somewhere in the rhetoric of becoming who we desire to be, we’ve forgotten the virtues of stillness, of brevity, of the very fine balance between having too much or too little, a dance we all must weave in and out of each day.

The poet Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote a beautiful piece called “On the Strength of All Conviction and the Stamina of Love” in which she illustrates how important it is to know when it is time to simply let the…

Learn with the small stuff, so you’re ready for the big stuff.

Image: Damien Schnorhk

Almost every last one of us lives with the assumption that if something is not right for us, it will simply be pulled away in time. We linger, we wonder, we grasp onto what’s so clearly not a match and we wait for the universe to do the dirty work — and feel devastated once it’s done.

We think of letting go as a last ditch effort to our own progress and sanity — we will let go only if we have to, only if we are forced, only if the world truly proves to us that something is not…

The past is gone, all that exists is this moment.

Image: I.am_nah

The past that you believe is currently holding you back is nothing but a memory.

It’s an image that lives in your mind and in your mind alone.

The past is not a painting in a museum. It is not a portrait that we can gaze at and identify each brushstroke and contour. It is a semblance of emotion, a series of recollection, most of which become increasingly more distorted over time.

Do you ever wonder why the things that seem to drum up your heartbeat and sink your stomach until you’re caving in on yourself are one dimensional ideas…

“What I wish I had done yesterday is showing me what I need to do today.”

Image: Unsplash/MahdisMousavi

At the heart of discomfort is the potential for great wisdom. Every time we find ourselves feeling jealous, angry, regretful, resentful, self-hating, judgmental, closed-minded, and hopeless, we are also being handed an opportunity to transform our mindsets and change our lives.

These emotions are not punishments, they’re signals of the shifts that need to take place to support the lives we deeply desire to create. Here 16 of the most important ones.

“What I envy in others is showing me what I desire for myself.”

Envy is a revealing emotion. It masks itself as anger or frustration when in reality it is a deeply buried desire.

What we envy in others is actually…

The world is brimming with ideas, but few act as vessels.

Vision alone will not carry you to the mountaintop. Photo by JessicaJoseph/Unsplash

Ideas are like visitors.

At least, that’s the way Elizabeth Gilbert puts it.

To her, ideas are entities separate from the mind and self. (She’s also noted that the Romans used to think of “genius” as creative spirits that live in the walls of an artist’s home.)

That linguistic separation has led us to believe that we are the generators of ideas, but we aren’t. We simply receive them, and if we don’t bring them to the world fully, they find somebody else to do it.

“Our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses…

You are becoming the person who can finally take the leap.

Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash

The world isn’t withholding your future from you. The universe doesn’t delay. There are no purgatories in life, no waiting periods.

There is only the space between realizing where you’re meant to be and feeling you’re ready to go there. This is where you phase out of denial, release the anchors, the attachments, the false beliefs. This is not punishment for being unfinished, it’s a sacred part of your journey.

You are not stuck.

You are just becoming the person who can finally take the leap.

Your life is a self-paced journey.

You are where you are because you feel…

Nobody was meant for one path.

Photo by Farrinni on Unsplash

Your life will be a series of inhales and exhales, and I don’t mean how your body consumes oxygen and expresses carbon.

I mean that becoming yourself is a series of building and undoing, trying and failing, showing up, and sometimes, turning away.

Because when we do not know how to gently start over, then we do not know how to live.

Nobody was meant for one path.

It’s only how we respond to the moment, how we adapt, how we inch closer to our truest selves, that we ever start to feel as though we know why we are…

Once the day has ended, and you are done talking about all that is wrong, what will you have done with your own life?

“It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascend to learning and to see the good but to be willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not.” — The Allegory of the Cave, Plato. Image by Joshua Sortino/Unsplash

Once the day has ended, and you are done talking about all that is wrong, once you have settled into the dim quiet, what will you have done with your own life?

Once you are finished criticizing other people and the way they look and who they’ve chosen to be with and what they are or are not doing, what will you have done with your own life? Once you are finished waxing poetic about all the wrongs that exist, for which there are more than most can comprehend, what will you have done with your own life?

Will you…

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

A poem about the power of slow steadiness.

Brianna Wiest

Author of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think and six other collections. Visit briannawiest.com to shop for books and more.

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