Tag Archives: limits

F Balance, Be Intentional Instead!

plates

I fell hook, line, and sinker for the elusive goal of obtaining balance.  I even wrote a poem about it here.  But what is balance actually?  As I think more about my life and how it is in constant flux I become anxious for the need to get it all lined up just so.  I picture myself walking on a tight rope, focus honed in on the task at hand.  Unable to move left or right for fear of free falling.  Rigid in my movements.  The flexibility to adjust? Drastically limited.  And what I come away with is a life filled with restraint.  No room to breathe too deeply because I may throw off my weight distribution on the rope.  No freedom to take in my surroundings because a loss of focus can mean disaster.  Although the acrobats ability to balance may be awe inspiring it should not be marketed as a way of life.

My takeaway?  Balance is a generic term used to imply control.  If every plate is not spinning, if you are not constantly adjusting; micro movements meant only to keep all the plates in the air, then you have no control over your life!

Who came up with this BS?  And why did we fall for it?   I personally fell for it because being the quintessential control freak that I am, having the ability to balance all things seemed achingly appealing.

Look at me !  Look at me!
Spinning all these plates while hopping on one leg!
I’m superwoman!
I’m Awesome!
I’m unfulfilled and miserable…

What changed my mind? Life.  Life changed my mind.  Being a humble overachiever (does labeling myself humble make me less so?) I decided to not only work full time while pursuing a doctorate but to also participate in a school principal program while going through a divorce and adjusting to being the custodial parent of three children.  Why?  Because I thought I could.  And somehow I managed to keep all those plates spinning for awhile. But as life would have it, I was thrown a HUGE curve ball.  My youngest daughter got sick at a crucial time in my program and I had to make a choice.  I dropped all my plates except one. She became my focus.    But I was plagued by an extreme since of guilt. I was unable to keep my balance.  I dropped the ball, broke the plates, jumped off the tight rope. I failed.  I felt this way for a long time and no mater what anyone said, in my heart I was a failure.  We are suppose to be able to balance right?  That’s what successful adults do!

Then I called Bullshit.

I asked myself, what would I tell a client?  Would I think of them as a failure for dropping the plates?  And my answer was, Of course not!

So is my life balanced? NO. And it most likely never will be, at least not for long.  There will definitely be times where I will need to be more focused but my goal is no longer to spin plates just so, or walk a tight rope with precision but to be intentional in my movements.

So I say F#%k Balance and live life intentionally!  

No more doctoral program, no more principal program.  No more guilt.  Dropping those plates was the best decision I ever made.  Now instead of balance I am becoming more adept at focusing my attention on my intentions.

There will be days when the house is clean but the workout was skipped. Days when you go on a date with your mate but you couldn’t make it to your friends party.  Days when you spend hours cutting out paper-dolls with your littles but that chapter in your book didn’t get written.  Days when dinner is frozen pizza so you can write that chapter you didn’t get to yesterday.

There will always be some give and take, some ebb and flow, some ups and downs.  And ever so often the moon will be full, the kids will behave like angels, you actually will WANT to work out, your attempt at a new recipe will be NAILED, your mate will take out the trash without prompting, the wine will be chilled just so, and the breeze will smell like fresh flowers and not biohazard; that bliss point will be reached.  Aligned scales!!

And you know what’s even more wonderful and ironic? That usually happens without you even trying!

So allow yourself room to adjust, to grow, to live, to breathe!
Jump off the tight rope.  Find your path and walk it with intention.

You are worthy of being holistically well.

Yulinda Rock

Can’t conceal my blood tinged tears: Suicide Prevention Month

blood tinged tears

In addition to Sickle Cell Awareness, September is also Suicide Awareness Month and today is the beginning of Suicide Prevention Week.

Suicide is not a topic most want to discuss.  It makes us uncomfortable.  It brings up so many conflicting thoughts: anger, shame, blame, frustration, guilt, hurt, sadness just to name a few.  All of those emotions are valid.

Suicide starts with a thought.  Things would be easier if I wasn’t here.  Whether we want to admit it or not, most if not all of us have had this thought, most of us shake it off and keep going.  It’s a momentary frustration with life as we navigate our struggles.

Damn, if I just didn’t exist, if I killed myself now,  I would not have to deal with all of this nonsense. *sigh* whatever, let me get back to…

But for some of us those thoughts, seeded in despair, begin to take root.  They bury themselves within our psyche giving birth to fantasies of relief.  Relief from pain, disappointment, loneliness, regret, turmoil, hopelessness.  At some point the comfort at the thought of ceasing begins to outweigh our fear of letting go.

Often this projection is noticeable if we pay attention.  The person who once complained, fussed, vented…stops.  They begin to withdraw.  They stop seeking help.  The thoughts inside their head become louder than any flippant “words of advice”.

Be strong.  So many people have it worse than you.  You’re blessed.  All you do is complain.  I hear you, it’s even worse for me!

Giving in sounds much more doable than just “being strong” so they do.  They let the ideations become a plan.  And with the formulation of a plan comes relief.

This will be over soon.  This is actually better, no one cares anyway.  I can stop being a downer on everyone.  Yeah this is the right choice.  Everyone will be better off.

NO THEY WON’T

This is where we step in.  Where we take time to truly see past our own frustrations and take notice, truly SEE those we love.  Encouraging words.  A smile.  A hug. A touch.  All are grounders reconnecting them to the fact that they are worthy, loved, needed, and wanted.

Those who are hurting often bleed through their eyes. The pain leaking out when they dare to look you in the face. Unfortunately most don’t see what’s right in front of them because our vision is often blurred by our own tinged tears.
It is possible to see past our own suffering and be a lifeline for one another.

Show them that they are worthy of being holistically well.

Together we can prevent suicide…

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

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

Anchor

anchor

It’s been a quiet month of January for me. It made me anxious that I had not posted. I felt compelled to force communication and every time I came here to post, it felt unauthentic, so I chose silence.
And in that silence I remained true to myself.

Often we do things not because we want to but because we feel we should. At times sacrificing to the point where we have nothing left, not even for ourselves.

Does this sound familiar? Giving from a place which others do not replenish, leaving it empty?

It is a wonderful thing to be caring. To want to help others, but not if it diminishes you.
That way lies bitterness.

Im not exempt from the lesson. It took me a while to get it. I have an innate need to help but in my quest for discernment I am learning the difference between helping and enabling.
I am now no longer willing to drown for others to float, and neither should you.

You are worthy of being holistically well.
Yulinda Rock