For me, the word "rise" holds significant meaning. It denotes an experience and condition where one might find themselves emotionally, physically, psychologically, or spiritually lowered. To rise is to rejuvenate,
to re-engage, and to move. Reflecting on the term, "rise" embodies movement, purpose, and intentionality. It demands a profound interaction with oneself and the environment.
Falling, whether by design or accident, is seldom seen or understood as a gift. Indeed, descending to a lower state has often been conditioned into us as something to view with disdain, fear, and resistance. Yet, throughout my life, I've learned the inherent power of rising. There's an underlying strength, purpose, and immense power behind every attempt we make to rise after a fall. However, there are times when we're not necessarily rising from a fall, but from stagnation, and this ascent is equally important.
Some days, rising feels effortless. On these days, I'm energized with hope, joy, and positivity, gliding through the hours. They refuel me for the more challenging days, days when dark clouds loom or when grief or depression weigh me down.
Years have passed for me to reach a place where I can breathe easy amidst chaos. To me, this is the reality of life. Rising during the good times is praiseworthy, but rising amidst challenges heralds both celebration and profound transformation. Rising isn't for the hesitant or those who'd prefer to follow rather than lead. It's for those who bravely move forward despite their fears. It's for those who, even against tremendous odds, find a way.
Rising requires a unique courage that transcends books, podcasts, sermons, or speeches. It necessitates an internal reflection that shakes your core beliefs. Rising is reserved for those who've identified their unique path, embracing their individuality and generously sharing their gifts with the world, realizing that every single one of us has a role to play.
The first step to rising is an inner transformation. This means challenging our biases, confronting our fears, and silencing the negative voices that belittle our worth. Changing our internal space is daunting, yet crucial. Too long have we, as humans, taken the easy route. Too long have we permitted leadership that neglects broad human concerns. We've often handed over our thoughts and power to those who, despite their proclaimed authority, operate from fear.
What's required for my ascent might differ from yours, yet the universal need to act persists across all social identities. If we yearn for change, the starting point is self-reflection, brutal honesty, and introspection. We must become our strongest allies and recognize our barriers. To genuinely transform organizations, we must begin with personal transformation. Emotional growth can't be regulated, nor can emotional health be enforced through policies. True change is an individual choice, demanding personal commitment.
To influence our surroundings, we must first transform ourselves. This doesn't necessarily mean altering our values but reflecting on them, ensuring they align with compassion, love, acceptance, kindness, equity, justice, and inclusion. I'm not advocating for change for the sake of fleeting trends. I'm emphasizing the change that guarantees safety, health, and well-being for all, regardless of their identities.
The change we desire, the one that ensures safety, prosperity, compassion, and human connection, is directly proportional to our alignment with ourselves. Our well-being is paramount, enabling us to assist others and collectively influence broader environments. It's time for us to rise. The journey might be more comfortable for some than others, but the time is now. We possess everything we need at this very moment to embark on a transformative journey. Let's work on ourselves and collaborate to reshape the spaces we inhabit, from the inside out.