A new year conjures up new resolutions. We set goals in hope to achieve them this year. It has been known that we often give up our resolutions by the second month. Why? Maybe those resolutions are unrealistic, maybe life happens and distracts us, or maybe we just forget about them. In the end, we chalk it up as resolutions being idealistic and unattainable- therefore giving us permission to be quitters or failures. But for me, I think the concept was created to provide us hope and empowerment.
This year so far, I have received numerous flyers pasted on my windshield of promotions at the nearest gym, seen commercials showcasing how fun it is to "get fit," and read ads for organic and gluten-free food delivery services and weight loss programs. Last January, when I would drive by my local gym on my way to pick up take-out, I'd see the glass and mirrored gym packed with motivated people with "go-get-them" attitudes. By March, the gym got less crowded and the wait time for my take-out got longer. Have we become a society that dreams up lifestyles that seem too perfect to be true- with the beautiful physique to complement a constant postive outlook? Well, as least that's what it feels like according to the all-knowing and powerful media.
The fact is, life can be hard and filled with unpredictable events. As much as we want to control our lives and reach our goals, sometimes we have to go the longer route to get to where we want to be. If we continue to participate in the rat race, in which, we see who can "have it all" the quickest, we lose out. Be patient. The glory is reaping the benefits of self-care and self-nuture. The first resolution that we come up with may be to get in shape because it's an affirmation that is easy to track, however I think it's because we all want to become a more healthy version of ourselves. I say, work from the inside out and the chances of flucuation and disappointment lessens. Let's get emotionally and mentally healthy first or concurrently. Pick a goal, a good one. Then enter a race where we take form of the tortoise, and not the hare. Now that's what I call glory.
Though I rarely visit the site, I finally succumbed and joined Facebook. I joined with the intention of staying connected with child and adulthood friends. Little did I know, the site produced not only smile-inducing nostalgia, but also moments of reflection. During Thanksgiving weekend, my girlfriend, Eunice, posted "I'm most grateful that I have been given love and compassion in my life so that in turn, I can show others the same. I hope I always do regardless of my own circumstances."
For me, that resonated so loudly that I couldn't breath for that moment. Life has a twisted way of showing us how strong we are. When we are presented with extreme hardships, we are often left feeling so overwhelmed and consumed that we're left feeling paralyzed. We think...will life ever be the same or as happy? Without the intent to minimize, those feelings are temporary. But how long will "temporary" last? The answer is unclear, but we continue to carry on, sometimes without knowing it. We still wake up everyday, with or without a purpose or reason. And if our circumstances prevents us from living for ourselves, we will be once "temporary" is over.
The holidays could be particularly challenging for some people. The season does not always invite joyfulness, but could conjure up old memories and resurface resentments. However, it does allows us permission to gain closure. Lately, it seems that everything around me reminds me to do what I need to do to maintain clarity. Whether it's sayings, pictures, or my two-year old daughter's current movie obsession, Disney and Pixar's Meet the Robinsons, I'm reminded to empathize, seek closure, and "keep moving forward," despite complex circumstances. Though it's difficult, I do that in order to stay compassionate and grateful- as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and therapist. I challenge you to do the same during this sweater weather rest of the year. Enjoy what 2014 has left to offer.
"How do I live a balanced life?" A question often asked by my clients. As we quickly or gradually progress in the work, hoping to accomplish goals through collaborative interventions, clients often find themselves lost or caught up in the mix, and forgetting how to balance personal, professional and family life. In our society where we are taught to "keep (our) eyes on the prize," we are left with sacrificing something great for another greatness. Thus, leaving us unfulfilled once again. So, how do we do it all, while keeping our sh*t together?
Let's start off with what's most important? Prioritize and follow through on those commitments. More than anything, be honest with yourself. If your first priority is work and your second is family, that's okay- give yourself permission to be who you are. However, learn to balance work, so that family life doesn't have to suffer. From there, set measurable, attainable and realistic goals that you can and will accomplish and do just enough so that you can set time for other important aspects of life. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
When you start noticing feelings of uplifted burden (its usually those guilt tinges), credit that to steps towards a more balanced life. Remember there is a process to living in balance. To those that feel like everyone else has it completely together and they don't, it's either a lie or you got them on a good day. Life has it's unexpected ups and downs, and from time to time you just have to readjust life and level it.
Greetings and welcome to my first blog. I've never wrote anything for the masses to read. I don't even really know what a "blog" is or what to make of it. In fact, I'm quite apprehensive about committing to this and having to see it through, mostly in fear of being critiqued by my readers. I hear my fellow colleagues explain to their clients that we, therapists, don't "judge," however as humans with thoughts and opinions, it's often impossible not to. Do I think of my clients differently after they share their deepest darkest secrets? Nah, we all have skeletons in our closets, who am I to judge? Instead, I'll lend a listening ear and empathetic heart. Do you want my opinion or advice? Ask and maybe I'll tell you, or maybe I'll just guide you to the answers to your questions. In the meantime, please be kind as we venture on this new journey together where you continue to judge me, and I'll continue to write.