Every year of my adulthood, the month of December takes me by surprise. I know that it’s always coming but I am always thrown off about how fast it approaches. I find myself pulling out my vision board that I created earlier in the year and tallying my accomplishments and where I’ve fallen short. Then, I mull over how I have to do better in “leveling up” for the new year. But the thing is that my “level up” always seems to flatline within a few months. For instance, this year some of my goals were to get out more, make new friends, and participate in the activities that I loved like art and writing. Yet, I found myself more alone than ever after the dissolvement of a long-time friendship and I kept criticizing my art so much that I eventually gave up on it. I found myself frustrated.I had done all the “right” things: vision board, New Year resolutions, eating black eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day, and promising myself that “this year would be different.” It wasn’t until I got acclimated into my first quarter cohort with SHYNE that I understood that it took more than magazine cut outs and an anxiousness to evolve that I got a true lesson: leveling up takes intentional action and elevation is a sacred process.
I was focusing on the external manifestation of my leveling up. I wanted a new job, a new apartment, a flourishing relationship, and destination vacations to “prove” that I was making progress. However, I learned that true elevation extended far beyond my materialistic mindset and comparing myself to Instagram posts to see if I was “meeting the mark.” It took me looking inward to innerstand the time, care, and devotion I needed to give myself in order to expand beyond the physical forms of joy I was grasping for.
Elevation is a sacred process.
It requires not only knowing what is best for you but knowing who is best to keep with you in the journey, or if it is a journey to take alone. Most times, it’s not as simple as making a new vision board to hang on one’s wall or adding on a gym membership. Sometimes elevation requires that you sit still. Sometimes it requires intentional action and making challenging decisions to release expectations on what you believe your life to be. I am learning that it involves listening to my innermost self, especially the uncomfortable parts, and addressing the triggers and negative voices that run amok in my head. True elevation requires that you get to know yourself deeply and be unafraid of being yourself in all circumstances and environments. It is not one specific trajectory. We have to be in tune with ourselves so that we can move with the ebbs and flows of life. It is important that we release what we think our lives should look like, and honor however our journey unfolds before us. Our elevation is ours, and deserves our devotion and respect. There is no need to compare ourselves to others or to seek external validation to consider ourselves accomplished or worthy. Elevation is a beautiful process that places you at the center, and you are a sacred vessel that has everything within you to create the life you want to live.