As human beings, we have a natural tendency to downplay both our achievements and the pain we’ve experienced in our lives. We live in a culture of “hush, don’t tell,” not only in America but throughout the world. The reality is, however, that everything you have been through up until this point has contributed to your being in some way or another. For some, obstacles in life create an opening and newfound gratitude for life. For others, it makes them tough and more closed off to emotional experiences or commitment. Life, as we know it, is you. In other words, you are life. Life is a beautiful journey that is composed of both major and minor chords, augmented and diminished chords. Allow yourself to feel and be in time with the music even when it’s not musically pleasing to your ears; and most importantly, don’t allow anyone to silence the music in you. 

When we go through extreme situations it is common to question things around you. 

  • What is the meaning of life? 
  • What does it mean to be happy? 
  • How do I live fully and with gratitude? 
  • Why do these things happen? 

These questions never came to my mind, but one very thought-provoking question did. 

Am I living and cultivating a life that I am proud of? 

This question wouldn’t leave my mind. In my heart, I wanted self-assurance that if I died tomorrow, I could say that I lived a life that I was proud of.  But what does that mean? What does it look like? How do I get there? Is it all-encompassing or limited to only my professional accolades?

It is my sincere belief that every experience you have or will encounter has led you to where you are today. We may not understand it at the moment; we may not even understand it for years to come, but eventually, the truth will show up, and we will be filled with gratitude for the good, bad, and the ugly we have endured. 

My journey up until this point has led to two amazing discoveries: one, my purpose is simply to take steps in becoming my best self each and every day, and in the process, to inspire others to do the same through love, education, and a call out to self-empowerment. Two, I cannot achieve this without taking a direct look into my heart, my soul, and my naked self, stripped of everything except my true being. How can I inspire and help others rise if I have yet to do the work needed for myself to rise? 

The key point here is recognizing that positive change and a higher purpose can only come into existence when we spark change within ourselves. I don’t mean the kind of change while sitting on the couch and wishing, but active change. Change that gets your hands dirty knocks you down, and forces you to climb when you think there is nothing left inside of you. Let me stop here and say that working on becoming your best self means that there is always greatness within you that is ready to step forward. It does not mean that you are broken and need fixing, but that you are in a constant state of openness, the ultimate being, and transformation, causing you to continuously RISE.