"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

January 4, 2013

Back to Reality

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”  
~Maya Angelou

Like many of you out there I have faced the transition back this week, and all that this can provide. Having the time away to breathe and re-focus while enjoying time with family and friends has been a benefit to say the least. However, there is a point when you realize that this will come to an end and it is time to get back to your reality, one that can create a level of stress that does not always find us in a relaxed and comfortable state. This state can be attributed to much, but primarily it is rooted in what we choose to create as that "something" that we see as negative, challenging, uncomfortable, and... This energy that we create becomes more of a discomfort and sure enough we bring it right into our transition back. Now think about how this would not only impact our self, but the service and support that we (as helping professionals) strive to provide to those in need. Our line of work is to help others change for the better, and if we are off, I can guarantee you that our clients will be able to feel and see such. As I have said before, just because those we serve in need are challenged in areas that prevent them from living a healthy and adjusted life, it does not mean that they are not aware of our presence and availability to help them help themselves. Sure, you can put yourself on auto pilot ("I can work with clients with my eyes closed") but is that really the standard you set for your self and the work you have chosen to provide?

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.”  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope I have you thinking in a manner that has you reflecting on what you value, believe, and know to be true in order to have an effective practice. At times of transition (post holidays/time off) there is an adjustment period that we must embrace, but how you choose to do so is the underlying focus here. I would encourage you to focus on what you can control, while acknowledging what you are experiencing. The more you resist and reinforce what you can not control ("I wish I was still off from work") you will find yourself in that place and space that does not have you present and available. I recommend that you focus on your self-care, now is not the time to make excuses or suppress what you need to be able to give to yourself. As with everything that one perceives as a challenge, if you negatively reinforce the experience, you exacerbate the problem. It's when you work towards a solution in a healthy and positive manner that you move forward and toward a better day. This is the place you want to find yourself at, when you arrive here you not only feel empowered, but more than likely you will be modeling this intention to those in need you are trying to reach! So, as you finish up the first week back, or find yourself preparing to return, may these words find you available to receive. Be well out there, keep walking with your head up and heart open and you will...

About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.  More about the man behind the mission ⇢ 


  1. gerrydonnll@yahoo.co.ukJanuary 5, 2013 at 5:40 AM


    You are what you eat?

  2. Thank You for sharing this resource Gerry. May the transition into 2013 find you well, Happy New Year!