I had been in the market for a “self-help/care” book just to boost my spirits a little bit and to find some words of inspiration to help me be my best self. I was in the library looking for a book about blogging; the section next to computers was all about self-care and emotional support and health. I scanned the shelves and happened to see a book that piqued my interest. It’s called Fearless: The 7 Principles of Peace of Mind by Brenda Shoshanna, PhD. I checked out the book and began reading it the same day. It taught me so much about steps to take to be fearless and live your best life; it also taught me how to reflect on life as it is now and I learned a lot about myself as well.
The 7 Principles are the bolded subtitles. The chapters aren’t long (about 20 pages per chapter on average) but I figured I’d pull out a favorite quote from each and share about what I learned and am going to take away from each chapter and apply to my life.
The Courage to Be Who You Are
- “The more you extricate yourself from the reality of others, connecting with and living from who you really are, the stronger, more vivid, and more worthwhile your life becomes, and the less you live in the grip of fear” (p25). Essentially, what I got from this is, don’t compare yourself to others and wish that the life they are living is yours. Accept and learn to love with the life you have and who you really are, embrace it. It will allow you to be your best self and have a better quality of life and allow you to push fear out.
Letting Go of Attachment and Grasping
- “When you take your hands off life and allow it to run its natural course, not only do you receive many wonderful surprises, but a great deal of energy and peace of mind are restored” (p39). From this I gathered that when you don’t hold onto life and grasp and attach yourself to your life because it’s comfortable or you feel you need to, life can be pretty surprising in good ways. When you accept that life is full of surprises and you take whatever comes at you, you’ll become closer to the idea of peace of mind.
Recognizing the Voices Within
- “Just do it. Take action. Get up, get out, engage with life, and do something. Take one step and then the next, no matter how you feel” (p58). What I got out of this: When you’re fearful and worry about what will happen if you do something, you don’t do it. But don’t listen to fear, just do whatever it is and don’t let fear stop you. When I was first thinking of creating a blog, I was fearful of what people would think, if anyone would like it or bother to read it. But I decided to push the fear out and write this blog knowing that it could help at least one person. It’s helped me to be active in my own life, and if I just take one step at a time (or do one post a day) even if I’m hesitant, I know I’ll feel good about it afterward and not regret it one bit.
Finding a Safe Harbor
- “To experience all of that (connection, creativity, adventure, love), you have to become open, vulnerable, and willing to experience a certain amount of hurt and pain”(p71). I interpreted this as if you want to live life to the fullest, you have to open up to others, be willing to show yourself fully, and acknowledge that no one can avoid getting hurt. Once you’ve done this, you’ve found your “safe harbor.”
Blessing Others: Deeds of Love
- “With gentleness overcome anger/With generosity overcome meanness/With truth overcome deceit” (Buddha, p94). All of the kind actions we can do overcome any unkind emotions we feel. When we treat others with gentleness, generosity, and truth, it wipes out any negativity you may feel. It also can wipe out fear. “If you truly know that God is there, and that he loves you, how can you fear?” (p105). For anyone that is religious like I am, it is important to remind yourself that God is by your side every step of the way and wants you to thrive, and you can’t be in fear if you believe that. For anyone not religious, just know that there is someone out there who loves you, whether it be a family member or friend, and that they want you to succeed and not fear.
Letting Go of Control and Domination
- “In order to have healthy control in your life, you must tolerate being out of control or balance at times”(p118). When I read this quote initially, I didn’t understand what healthy control was or why we must accept being out of control in life. “Relationships, including the one you have with yourself, are a dance, requiring flexibility, awareness, and the willingness not to be ruled by preconceived ideas or the need for approval or control” (p120). Healthy control is being flexible with others, aware of life, and willing to not let expectations rule your life or needing everyone to approve of what you’re doing. You have to accept that not everything will go as according to your plan and that everything will be okay.
Discovering Your Perfect Nature: Becoming a Friend
- “Acknowledge others for as many things as you can, on an ongoing basis. And take the time to stop and acknowledge yourself as well. Notice and appreciate your positive actions and your accomplishments. Take a moment to thank yourself also. You will feel nourished an uplifted and inspired to do more” (p148). Acknowledging others will make you happier and you can even start and build relationships this way. But the most important part of this quote that spoke to me? Acknowledging yourself for doing all of the amazing things that you do. Become your own best friend. If you do this, you’ll be living a happy and healthy adventure.
I hope you pick up this book because it can do wonders for your mind and your actions. It will allow you to life your best life and enjoy your happy and healthy adventure. ❤