Be an authority over your own thoughts: A hard conversation with myself

mindfulness-is-not-concerned-800x563

Woke up this morning and felt unsettled in my spirit.  I found out something that made me start to question myself.  It was causing feelings of bitterness and was disrupting my productivity.  These thoughts were stealing my contentment.  I tried to swallow down the frustration but it got stuck in my chest.  I could feel it tightening.  My head started to hurt and I felt my hands contracting into fist.  I started asking the questions?

Why not me?

Why are things so difficult for me?

Why must I always struggle?

Where is my break?

Why is everyone else prospering and I’m having such a hard time?

And on and on.

Then I stopped. I stopped and checked myself.  Sure, life isn’t fair, but my journey is my own and I have the choice to either use my energy to focus on someone else’s journey or I can laser focus on my own.   So I changed frustration into inspiration, and I began to answer the questions that plagued me.

Why not you?  Why not you, what? Why was that opportunity not afforded to you?  Why are blessings not falling down on your head? First, you are blessed.  Second, because that is not your path.  You know that is not your path but instead of boldly embarking on your own road you allow your focus to shift to others.  Stop being afraid.  Stop trying to control everything.  Trust yourself.  Believe in yourself and move forward.  Eyes straight ahead. No distractions.

Why are things so difficult for you?  Seems like you are focused on the wrong thing, again. Instead of asking yourself why are things difficult focus on what you can do to be more proficient.  Are things really difficult or are you just not helping yourself to make things easier.  Sure, things have not been a cakewalk but you must acknowledge that your own thoughts create way more difficulty for you than your actual circumstances.  Change your perspective, change your life.

Why must you always struggle? Define struggle? You mean why are things not easy? Why must you WORK and put forth EFFORT? Why can’t Yulinda simply exist and have things just so? Yeah it would be great if you could just snap your fingers and everything fell into place but…So how about we reframe this.  You have certain goals.  You want autonomy and freedom of expression.  You have made the choice to work for yourself.  That takes dedication, discipline, perseverance, persistence, courage, and a lot of other adjectives. If you truly want this than make it happen,  no more excuses.  You’re not struggling, you’re hustling.  Keep going!

Where is your break? Seriously? There are no breaks.  You CREATE breaks by positioning yourself in a way that makes getting a break more likely.  That definitely will not happen while you are sitting on Facebook feeling some type of way about other people’s success. Get busy!

Why is everyone else prospering and you are having such a hard time?  Again, seriously? Why are you focused on other people.  Clap for them while you go perform for you!  Your issue is focus.  It is not where it belongs.  You should not have time to pay attention to other people’s success.  You should be creating your own.  You are worth the work.  Acknowledge that. Accept that.  Go do it!

Don’t let your thoughts derail you.  Confront your negative thoughts.
Re-frame them. Reshape them. Then, re-calibrate.

You are worthy of being holistically well.

Yulinda Rock

 

 

Stress Management as a Family Unit

family-guy-fox

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger: Dealing with stress in the family as a family.

Strong families are beneficial to not only themselves but to the communities in which they reside; they are the building blocks of society.  Unfortunately even the strongest family can be shaken by stress.   However, the stress itself is not so much the problem but how it is dealt with.   The mismanagement of stress can lead to fissures in the foundation of the family system.

Effective communication is the best tool for a family to use to successfully navigate stressors, and often the most underutilized.  People tend to deal with stress in silos.  Opting to go it alone opposed to coming together to tackle it as a team; from the teen being bullied at school, to the father being burnt out from work, to the mom feeling unappreciated, to the sibling that feels left out.   These individual issues will ultimately affect the entire family, often leading to misunderstandings, unmet needs, hurt feelings, resentment, and bitterness.   In a household there is no such thing as “that persons” stress.  Everyone in the house will be affected in one way or another.

So the solution is to communicate.  But that is often much easier said than done.  Communication between two people is difficult; communication among an entire family is a special challenge but not one that can’t be navigated successfully.  Being able to listen for understanding opposed to responding is a skill that can be taught.  Fundamentally people want to feel heard and understood.

As a Youth/Parent/Family coach my role is to help the parent(s) or guardian(s) think critically, foster effective communication within the family system, create and facilitate solutions to daily challenges, as well as how to thoughtfully manage larger stressors (divorce, sickness, marriage, job loss, death, etc.) all in an effort to build and maintain a family that is solid. The first step to becoming a stronger family unit is to identify, acknowledge, and address any areas of need.

I offer a workshop for parents to provide a dynamic atmosphere were we come together as a team to support and encourage one another as we become skilled in stress management. This workshop will teach about effective communication, establishing healthy boundaries, and creating self-care systems as a means of managing stress and maintaining healthy relationships within the family.  Some role-play will be used to demonstrate effective listening and as a group we will brainstorm realistic self-care regimens that an entire family can benefit from and support.

The onus of responsibility when managing family stress falls squarely on the guardian. The first step is accepting that responsibility, the next is obtaining tools.  Stress will never go away so we might as well learn how to deal with it and manage it.  I can help.

You are worthy of being holistically well.

Yulinda Rock

Help for the helpers

therapists need therapy

On occasion I will share personal experiences in an effort to make of myself a mirror. To reflect back my struggles and my growth so that others don’t feel alone.
I help because I understand
I understand because I’ve been there
and I return there with the hopes of bringing someone else out with me…

It’s difficult being in the helping profession when you yourself are not on solid ground. I have experienced some trials and tribulations and as much as part of me wants to hold on to anger and bitterness, as much as I feel I have a right to these emotions; that they are some how righteous, I also know that clinging to them is hindering me. It is negatively effecting everything I do, from my business to my children, and it is time to shift. Oh it won’t be easy, but it is necessary.

Choosing to be ok when things are falling apart takes way more courage than we ever give or get credit for.
Fighting to change your narrative, smiling through your tears, turning screams of frustration into declarations. Those are the acts of soldiers and I’m battling right along side you.

I can’t effectively be As Solid As A Rock for others when I am crumbling. So today I rebuild.
Because I too am worthy of being holistically well!

Yulinda Rock

When they tell you to just pray…

pray away

You can’t pray away depression, or any mental illness. Some might find that statement offensive. But the reality is that many people, especially minorities, view therapy as an affront to God.

“I don’t need therapy, I just need to pray harder.”

Or maybe you can pray to be guided to a professional that can help you. Therapy is a tool to help achieve mental wellness, and should be seen as such. In my opinion, not utilizing the tools which can help us become more fully what we were created to be is much more of an affront. Prayer WITH WORK works. Seeking and going to counseling is doing the work, and you are worthy of it.
You are meant to be holistically well.
Yulinda Rock

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Minority mental health

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. What I find interesting and sad is that I bet almost no one knew. As a matter of fact I didn’t know until literally minutes ago. Minority mental health and mental health in general is often overlooked, undervalued, and overly minimized. With everything that’s going on in the US and the world in general, I can’t help but wonder how much of the Earth’s pain is due to under-recognized, undiagnosed, and untreated mental illness. The constant barrage of anger, sadness, fear, frustration, rage, confusion, and despair on my personal Facebook timeline leaves me seething with indignation that mental illness is always sacrificed on the altar of budgets, consequences be damned. I’ve been dealing with my own fear which has led me to be stagnant for some months now. However, I cannot in good conscience sit back and do nothing. For the voices that often go unheard, the very least I can do is listen.
We are all worthy of being holistically well. . .
Yulinda Rock

“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”
― Warsan Shire

Children Mental Health Awareness

childrens mental health!

Dancing through daffodils
Smiling at the frog as it leaps to freedom
Upturned face capturing the sweet breeze
Swing set waiting in anticipation for little legs to set it flying
Sprinklers chase them through the grass
As peals of laughter waft up to the listening ears of perched birds
Sun shining on closed lids
As they wake up from a dream full of peace
Only to open their eyes and realize it’s another day
Another day of being sad
And they wish they could go back to sleep again
The escape of a child…
~Yulinda Rock

Caring for children is one of the most important tasks we have as adults. All around us is evidence of what happens when we don’t: Chaos.

May 5th is children’s mental health awareness day. We must understand that as the stewards of young lives our job goes way beyond just feeding and clothing them. It means being responsible for both their physical and mental well-being. With over 18 years of experience working with the mental health of young people (from a mentor at age 18, to case manager, to school counselor) I have seen first hand the devastating effects of what happens when a child’s mental health is neglected.

I posted this two days early to give us a little time to reflect on how we can be a catalyst for positive change in a young persons life. So on Thursday May 5, and hopefully everyday, take time to speak life into the world of a child. Your words mean more than you may ever know, so make them encouraging.
You are worthy of being holistically well, and so are our children.
Yulinda Rock

Children feel sad. They feel frustrated. They feel angry. They feel happy. They are human so they feel.  But sometimes they do not know how to deal with those feelings, how to manage those emotions. They might not actually know that something is wrong; they just know that something isn’t right.

May 5, 2016 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Children’s mental health problems are real, common and treatable. Unfortunately, although one in five children has a diagnosable mental health problem, very few receive the help they need.

Mental health is important to overall health. Mental health disorders are chronic health conditions (those that go on for a long time and often don’t go away completely) that can continue throughout the lifespan. Without early diagnosis and treatment, children with mental health disorders can have great difficulty. Untreated mental health problems can disrupt every facet of a child’s world, from home to school, from the playground to the larger outside community. They are at an increased risk of school failure, contact with the criminal justice system, and even suicide.

Mental health in childhood means learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mental health disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, which cause distress and problems getting through the day.

Childhood mental health disorders do not discriminate. They affect every type of child and every type of family. Boys and girls of all ages, ethnic/racial backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and living all over the world, experience mental health disorders, no one is exempt. According to the World Health Organization, globally 50% of mental illness that occurs in a lifetime begins by age 14.

Children’s mental health is without a doubt the most important aspect of any child’s social and cognitive development. Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior.

There are a variety of components that can impact a child’s mental health. When it comes to children’s mental health, as guardians the best thing to do is provide children with an environment full of love, understanding, healthy boundaries, compassion, and trust. However, even with the best of intentions, some things are out of one’s control. Some disorders are genetic and in those instances the best thing to do is to become educated in the disorder, utilize available resources, and access the necessary care. Then there are those special circumstances where a family adopts. The child may be a family member or they might not be, but whatever the child’s biological background, there may come a time when additional supports are needed in the home to help navigate the feelings and emotions that come up throughout the adoption journey.
Although it is a potentially difficult time, resources are available. With the help of a good practitioner, a willingness to work through the process and the knowledge that positive change is possible, your child or young adult can achieve mental wellness.

Balance…

balance

Balance
elusive yet desirable
attainable
but sacrifices must be made
to reach the Bliss point where all things sit on their perch just so
letting go of one to uplift the other
sister
mother
lover
friend
in the end there is a give and take
or in the wake of the tumultuous juggling will be broken things scattered at your feet
So I repeat
Balance
desirable but hard to maintain
one must refrain from doing too much or not Enough
rebuffed by the pressure to do all
to not let anything fall
by the wayside
Pride we must check
respect your limitations by celebrating all that you do in lieu of perfection
we honor intentions
make sure yours are pure
sacrifice all that you were
In order to become the person you must be
To achieve
Balance…

You are worthy of being holistically well
Yulinda Rock