"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

August 30, 2012

Trust The Process...

It is just that, a process. I was able to disconnect recently from the energy of the city, and all that it can produce.  Being able to go into nature, a place and space that almost instantly allows one to breathe was received well.  As I thought about what I wanted to share this week, I closed my eyes and reflected.  What entered my mind and thoughts was not what I couldn't see, but what I have been able to see so well over this past year, something that has taken a great amount of work and effort to acheive!

This past year I have been able to see an opening that at times I wondered if it would ever appear.  You see, I began this journey back in February of 2009 with one primary goal, to be well.  It sounds so matter of fact when I see the word "well' but as I have experienced, there is nothing so matter of fact about the inside of this ride that I know quite so...  A ride that has produced challenge, discomfort, frustration, opportunity, growth, understanding, and the ability to trust the process.  This last year has been an opening in many ways.  When you break open your mind and body go through a tremendous change, and when you patiently get back up, it really is a process of starting over.  You are recreating a new part of you (if you have chosen to) and what that means; the "work" has just begun!  There have been many stages and steps in the process when I questioned myself, my ability, and where this was taking me.  Until, it just happened.  I can't tell you a day, a time, or a particular moment when I felt the change for the better.  What I can tell you is that if I stopped working, taking care of myself (physical and mental health needs) in a manner that was not disciplined, determined, and a part of my daily being I would not have gotten to the place that I find myself at today.

If I didn't make some lifestyle changes that although began as a social outlet, then turning in to a coping mechanism, I would not be where I am today.  If I didn't trust the professionals and let go of my pride, I would not be where I am today.  If I didn't have a amazing and supportive spouse, I would not be where I am today.  If I didn't do the work every day with the intention of strengthening my mind/body and ability to see what I could control, I would not be where I am today.  Yes, this has been a wonderful path that I have found myself on. I honestly have no idea where the future will take me and that in itself is exciting and empowering.  I know what I can control, and what I can not I have learned to accept.  What this has produced for me is an ever present opportunity to move forward.  Today is a good day, one that I have created, one that I am living and learning from.  So, as I end this piece for today, let me leave all those that can hear me with this; believe in yourself and your ability to fight on, because when you do you will realize that you are a resilient being and "The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities" you just have to be willing to trust the process...

Until we meet again, you be well to yourself, give to another and you will receive!

August 23, 2012

Stop To Appreciate

Sometimes we can get so caught up that we are not in that place and space to appreciate...  This week has been an active one for me, wrapping up the first section in my role as a facilitator of learning.  It has been a rewarding time, and at times an opportunity to learn more about myself and the effects that have produced themselves.  With that being said, I welcome it all, holding on to the idea that when you start something new, you discover more about yourself than perhaps you care to believe.  It happens at the conscious and unconscious level, and often at times when it is projected your way by the others you are striving to reach and teach, and the organizational demands that can easily promote inconsistency and dysfunction.  Yes, this is what I have been exposed to over the last several months, and it's all good.  It is good because when you are challenged in ways that are out of your control, these are the opportunities that will and can provide some of the best learning, if you are open to it, and if you stop to appreciate it...

To all those that can hear me, may you find that space and place that will allow you to meet your challenges, stressors, and the often appearing "uncertain" with an open heart, walking tall with your head up.  Acknowledge the discomfort and difficulty, but instead of creating more obstacles and barriers, let yourself know that you will get through this, and when you do you will be where you need to be.  I am empowered by this place and space that I find myself in, and if I have the ability and opportunity to share this with any and all that can hear me, than I know I am one step closer to passing it on.  What you do with it from here is up to YOU, and if you find yourself struggling and you need some support, we are available and present to hear you.

Be well out there everything is going to be OK, it always is, and even when it is not, it is! CAN YOU HEAR ME?

August 16, 2012

Milestones = PROGRESS

Here we are again, my words and your ability to embrace what I am sharing.  I look at it as an opportunity for us both, one that will empower and support us as we strive to move on forward.  Recently I went back in time, I traveled in a manner of reflection and growth. This journey in particular has been in play for many many years.  One that has challenged me to the point of uncertainty.  However, it has also provided me with so many wonderful learning experiences, all of which have laid the foundation for where I find myself right here, right now!

Over the last few days I have been celebrating the Matriarch of my family system, and her 7 decades of living and loving.  It is a milestone in years, life, and the reflection it can produce for all who are a part of this experience.  For myself, I was able to go to that place and space where my memory became a "Rolodex" of reflection.  Moments in time where I found myself falling down, getting back up, and striving to move forward.  I was able to reflect on all that has transpired over the course of my days under the guise of...  From the early years when I just couldn't understand what was going on, why it was transpiring, and what I did for this to come my way. I was able to move into the moments when I could see the learning and growth I was receiving as a result of my own failures, and the disappointment that came from the actions and decisions that I created.  I then moved into the work era, that point in time when I hit the ground running and didn't stop until I had some learning/wisdom, and a couple of degrees (that I truly earned). This was definitely a time that demanded effort, persistence, and resilience.  The next chapter took me into the field, a time when my heart opened and I was able to allow the available hands around to help me along.  A time of great challenge, a time when I was witness to much, but through the difficulty of it all I found my way and I am living it like I have never, never ever have before!

Milestones are moments that can take us back.  They are defining and empowering, and for me, they once again helped me see that I am a work in progress, headed in the right direction.  Today is a good day.  It is so because I helped create it.  Now ask yourself the same?  No matter where your day has you, hold on to the idea that your life is the ultimate teacher, it is up to you on how you will receive the learning opportunities that will present themselves.  To all those that can hear me, be strong, stand up, and stay up.  It's all good, if you are!

August 7, 2012

An Opportunity To Empower & Support!

I recently received a comment in regards to a post sent out back in April of this year.  The post was titled "Burning Out!" http://ow.ly/cOcZp and it showcased my learning experience with just that! I want to take this opportunity to share with you the comment I received, and in turn my response.  I am empowered by the opportunity to empower and support this individual, in addition to all those that can hear me!  May this find you all well, embrace what you can control, and what you can not, accept it and release it!  Can You Hear Me?

I would like to know what change you made to your career? Did you find a different setting, different role, or got out entirely? I'm finding myself in the same position, needing to make a change - whether changing population, role, or get out of the profession entirely. I've only been in the profession for 3 years as a medical social worker & I'm already feeling burned-out. The expectations of the institution conflicts with the core values/purpose of the role. Doctors & nurses expect social workers to "fix" their patients. When staff doesn't know what to do about a situation or don't want to deal with it, they tell me to resolve it. Despite my efforts on self-care: vacations, going to the beach, massages - when Monday comes around, I become very stressed & anxious about work.

I do not think that I can do direct practice for the long-term but I really do not know what other areas of social work I can do that pays well as the healthcare field.

Thank You for your honest and insightful comment, I hear you! I can identify with much of what you shared and spoke to, and I can see that you are experiencing a heavy load of stress that does not, and will not serve you well! The hope and expectation that you carry with you is what drives you as a social worker. However, because this is not met by those you work with, and the setting/system/culture you are immersed in to, you are continually let down, challenged, and frustrated. This is exactly what contributes to one becoming burnt out. So, what do you do?

First, you need to ask yourself why you chose this profession? What is it that you ultimately imagined yourself doing in this role? Why did you go into medical social work? Is it the monetary compensation that is keeping you there, or influencing your next move? (hopefully not because if you are after the $ this can and will create its own set of challenges). There are several areas one can go in to and pursue with a social work degree/background here are a few ideas: http://ow.ly/cO73D

When you work in a non-social work system like you do, you will often face the challenges that you have. So, you may want to look in to a social work/social services system where you will be more aligned with what your identity, and role as a social worker is. I am glad to hear that you have found the time for some self-care activities, but in order to get the necessary support and outlet (letting go/surrendering) you will have to utilize other areas of self-care that will support your physical, emotional, and mental health needs.  These are the areas that will require work, effort, and a real commitment. Here is a good resource and support for you: "Preventing Burnout Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Coping Strategies"

Now, to address your questions. I became a social worker to help others change for the better. I have a population that I am passionate about working with, but the root of it all was being a social worker, a competent and effective one. That role has not changed in my new endeavors as I continue to use all of my social work skills to empower, support, and instruct others so that the populations that I care for will be met with positive, effective, and sustainable services. I am still serving, and the opportunities that await are endless.

It is a big "what if" and risk to make the kind of change that I did, and the one that you are asking yourself? However, what happens if you don't? What happens if you continue down this road? Hopefully, after you read my post you got a sense of what can. The impossible can always be broken down in to possibilities, and the risks we take can lead to wonderful opportunities. I know you have plenty more to give, and your best social work is yet to come! We recently started a facebook page, our way of empowering and supporting all those that can hear us. This page is all about putting out positive resources, tools, and support for your practice, self-care, and overall well-being. We welcome you to "like" our page as we will always strive to help you help yourself! http://ow.ly/cOa8f

Thank You again for reaching out, please feel free to contact us anytime!

August 6, 2012

Can You Hear Me?

Our first mobile post from the iPhone! Embracing modern technology, and another avenue to reach all those that can hear us.  May this find you well!