Navigating Balance Through Chaos

Podcast Transcript 

[Rachel Strella]: 0:00

Welcome to episode three of the Light Her Project podcast, Real Women.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:04

Real talk.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:06

I'm Rachel Strella.

[Vixen Divine]: 0:07

And I'm Vixen Divine.

[Rachel Strella]: 0:10

Thank you for tuning into our third episode. Today's topic is the B word and not the B word we used last time. This time it's balance. So let's talk about this for a minute.Our personal experiences with balance. This is an interesting time for me right now. My dad has been in the hospital for a week. He went in with one thing, ended up with a complication with something else, had emergency surgery. He was in ICU. Um, meanwhile, we were moving my mother-in-law into her new community. My father-in-law died in March and it's been a struggle to get mom to cooperate. Um, and I'm trying to handle those things on which was a heavy load on the personal side,I'm also guardian over my mother. Uh, so trying to handle that and run a business and forget anything else that’s balance. I'm just trying to get by right now.

[Vixen Divine]: 1:06

Change is hard. Change is hard.Yeah, really, really hard. Honestly,no one expects anything. See, this is the thing.I think as far as balance goes,I think we expect ourselves to balance it all perfectly, perfectly every single time. And we're human. So with all that you're going through, I never expected you to balance it perfectly, but I think other people on the outside, especially your family members, since you're usually the the go-to person, they expect you to have all the answers.

[Rachel Strella]: 1:44

I agree with you.

[Vixen Divine]: 1:46

And since you don't necessarily,because no one does, I think you put maybe a little pressure on yourself.

[Rachel Strella]: 1:54

Yeah. Well, there's a lot of that, you know, when you're used to being the one that's responsible,you just flip right into that mode. So I'm very used to this balance,is has always been a struggle for me though,you know, I've always felt like I needed to be doing something more.It's just how I'm wired. I think I'm overzealous. I'm over ambitious.So when I'm doing just bare minimum, something's wrong.

[Vixen Divine]: 2:21

Ah, okay, I get that, I get that. I feel guilty if I'm taking a vacation Because I feel like there's something else I should be doing.

[Rachel Strella]: 2:30

Relaxation is important.

[Vixen Divine]: 2:32

Extremely important, extremely important. But I appreciate that you're so open to tell us about your personal struggles, because not everyone is, first of all, and not everyone is able to voice it as well as you do. And I'm sure there's someone out there who has gone through similar things that is very,very appreciative of what you just said. Me, my balance is a little different in the respect where I have two children which are autistic, both on different ends of the spectrum. And not new autistic, we're talking 29 and 25. So it's been like way before, like at that time it was rare to like, what you have,they have what? You know, that kind of thing all these years ago. So balance has always been a thing. So for me, as far as being a permanent,like a mother all the time to the empty nest thing, like that's not even a thing ever, ever. So you have to balance their needs. You had to balance as adult children, sort of,uh, with my husband and then with myself and making sure I don't go crazy.So that's how. That's my situation and how I balance things. So there's a lot going on in there. So we'll talk about that in a little bit.

[Rachel Strella]: 4:07

Understood. Well, let's go to some questions. Our audience seems to like the questions that we've been posing to each other. So one question is what does balance look like for you? So for me personally, balance for me is I'm in the flow of what I'm doing. I don't need to be anywhere else. I don't need to be pulled into a million different directions. I can actually focus on my task at hand, which is really actually difficult,especially in my business.You're running social media company. I'm like starting to write my blog and I'm seeing ping ping ping and somebody needs something and it's usually something to do with one of our customers. And so I'm always on, you know? When I'm doing something else. So for me a balanced day is really just being able to accomplish the things that I had set out for my day, without a whole lot of ping-ping-ping interruptions.

[Vixen Divine]: 5:04

A balance day, wow, what does balance look like for me? For me, my balance is not balanced. If I'm balanced,like if nothing's happening, something's wrong.There's a, something's wrong.We balance like the things, how needs are communicated.We're big on list, list and whiteboard. Like I can go to the grocery store in between clients. and I literally take a picture of the list that's on the refrigerator and I get what's on the list.So because of autism, my daughter is very,very like this, like this, like this, like very structured. So I can say, they'll ask me, did you get such and such? And you know what I say? Was it on the list? So that is how it is.If it's not on the list, I'm not worried about it. I'm not going to remember it. Because I have to do other things. So my balance is list and schedules.And that's how I balance things.

[Rachel Strella]: 6:12

That’s interesting because I'm, I'm a, I would say one of my top strengths are project management

[Vixen Divine]: 6:17

Oh yes! For you for sure.

[Rachel Strella]: 6:19

That is my life. I don't think about lists because it's just everything that I do already, but it makes total sense. And especially when you do provide structure for somebody. So what you're saying makes a lot of sense.

[Vixen Divine]: 6:31

Yeah, structure is necessary.And if the structure isn't there, my son can be pretty flexible because he's at a higher level. Like he has a job, he drives a vehicle, like he has a higher level. But my daughter, if that structure isn't there or you forget something,well, there needs to be an explanation. There needs to be a, well, if you say you're calling at six and you didn't call,you are getting --[Rachel Strella]: I understand That's it!

[Rachel Strella]: 7:02

I have a person on my team who has a son who's autistic and he leaves for work at a very specific time. So if we're in a meeting or a phone call,I can hear “Mom, it's almost5:30, we gotta go. Mom!” so he's very rigid with that structure. He likes that structure. It makes him feel comfortable.I totally understand. So another question the audience has and how do you recognize when you're out of balance?So for me, it's the stress. You know, I feel overwhelmed and I'm not taking care of myself. You know, I'm not eating right.I'm not sleeping well. So just that lack of self-care. But I'm also,I also notice that I am emotional.I can easily become explosive or upset at the slightest thing. And that's when I know I need to take a step back and get back into balance as fast as I can, if it's possible in certain situations.

[Vixen Divine]: 7:59

So sometimes it's not possible.

[Rachel Strella]: 8:02


[Vixen Divine]: 8:04

It's maybe tough. I always think of it this way. It may be tough, but it's always possible. And if I think of something that I feel like is impossible, I always say someone's worse than I am.My leg hurts, but then there's a person without the leg,like that type of thing. So that's how I put that into perspective as far as, because I always say, you know, you ever heard someone say you got rich people problems? You know, because someone says, oh my God, I do not have enough money for my the latest Dooney purse.

[Rachel Strella]: 8:40

Yes.[Vixen Divine]: Well, guess what? That persondoesn't have one, you know.You're right. That's a great perspective.

[Vixen Divine]: 8:47

So that's the way I put that into perspective. But how do I know if I'm out of balance? I know if I'm out of balance, if everything seems in balance.Now, I know that sounds strange,but because I run the life of myself, I help with the life of my son, I pretty much run the life of my daughter, because she's on sports teams and the things that she does. I have to take her all to her doctor's appointments and stuff like that. If things are calm and quiet and too organized, I know I'm out of balance because something is wrong.

[Rachel Strella]: 9:27

Hmm. Make sense. It makes total sense. And something that, you know,it's funny how you we all have a perspective about something and you think of it's this way, it's that. But in your world, I mean, you're responsible for, for two individuals who need things in a certain way.You know, so their balance comes first, realistically.[Vixen Divine]: Absolutely.

[Vixen Divine]: 9:51

Absolutely, absolutely.And even though, and you know,we've, we've talked a few times about self care and self care for me is honestly, if I am taking a nap and no one's on fire, like, because things,things have, that's a whole different story.It's a whole different podcast right there. But if nothing's on fire and, uh,you know, I'm taking five minutes, because I am tired and I'm sitting in the chair, they won't bother me for that five minutes. And that for me is labeled as self-care.

[Rachel Strella]: 10:30

Okay, I agree with you. I had to take a nap yesterday. I don't nap well,but I was out. So that's how I knew I needed it!it. All right. Let's see one last question here and I'll let Vixen start with this one. How do you align your systems for balance and everything else in your life with your spouse and other people in your life?

[Vixen Divine]: 10:52

Well, I pretty much, first of all, you have to have some sort of hold on whatever you're doing. You have to have some sort of basic system in place.So, and everyone needs to understand what it is that you're doing, because you're gonna vary a little bit here and there every single time. So, my household understands that I am basically the one who runs things. here. So because they understand that, I don't have that much to any feedback, any, any flack,any, you know, if they need,don't get me wrong, if they need something,they are quick to tell me, like I said, on the list, we will get what you need,make sure everyone has everything.But as far as balancing those, those systems and making sure so since I'm,since I'm basically think of it as a royal,the royalty, I'm the queen.I'm the queen.And if you don't know anything about monarchy, yes, the king is the king, but the queen still runs things in case you didn't know. And then I have a prince and a princess,right? Who give suggestions and they need things,but the queen is the person.So if I say, okay, we need to go, let's keep the grocery store as an example.We need to go as a grocery store. What do you need? So I get their input on that. then I go and do it. So my system is I get everything put into the pot, then I make the decision on what we're going to actually do. And then I have that authority to where people are going to listen to me. I think if you haven't put down that structure where this is the way it's supposed to go, this is where you start to have a difficult time. You have to say, and you have to verbalize how things are going to go.and then you can vary it from there. But you gotta have that baseline.

[Rachel Strella]: 12:54

Yes, I totally agree. And I think a lot of women can agree that they are the queen of their household.Um, I, I feel like I'm the queen of my household.Um, but my husband and I,you know, we have a really great marriage.We, our partnership is so great. We make such a good team, you know,that I'm usually the team leader because that's just how I am. Um, but we really what's helped us is just communication. You know, we started our day and it's how are we getting on the same page for the day? You know,we don't wanna-- if we start working on projects or doing something else, today we'll get away from us because of our overzealous personalities, you know? So we just make sure we're on the same page about what we want the day to look like, and we communicate that.

[Vixen Divine]: 13:41

Well, I think one thing I have to interject is that even though we're queens,we have to be approachable.We have to, we have to make our team, i.e.our household, they can tell us things. You know, it's not that, not that we're saying, okay, I said this and this is how it goes and this is what we're doing. You have to, you have to be approachable to where they can tell you,Hey, you know, honey, this,maybe this isn't such a good idea. And don't snarl at the idea of someone else giving a suggestion or input. So don't be that way. Do have your base.But don't be mean about it.I mean, because then no one will approach you.

[Rachel Strella]: 14:26

Oh, I'm totally agree with you there. And I'm, you know, my husband is,his personality is a little bit different from mine. He's very, just, you know, go with the flow, passive kind of guy, you know? So me and my, my high D personality, it's easy for me to just take over. But I'm trying to always get his input because otherwise we'll just do what I said we're gonna do for the day, you know?Well, let's talk a little bit about what we're seeing. I was talking with someone on my team and she said that her mom didn't think that her husband was doing well with balance because of things that she was posting on Facebook. I asked her if she could share with me some of these things that she's sharing. So she sent me a few examples. They are memes. One was a meme that says, my kids have a mama who cries. Another one said. You could love being a parent with your entire soul and at the very time admit that being a parent is hard AF. It's okay. It won't make a bad parent. I promise. So these are the things that she's sharing. Um, and so is it just me or do you feel like this could be a cry for help?

[Vixen Divine]: 15:44

Well, it sounds to me like she's actually coping.

[Rachel Strella]: 15:51

I agree with that.

[Vixen Divine]: 15:52

I don't, it doesn't sound, I wouldn't say it was a cry for help. I would say it's more like expressing herself and admitting that, you know what,this is hard, you know, and she's telling somebody, whoever, you know,her friends are, you know, family,that sort of thing, whoever's, you know, following her. But I wouldn't say that was, to me, that doesn't sound like a cry for help. Do you? You think so?Now, how do you, what are you seeing there?

[Rachel Strella]: 16:24

Well, the reason I say that and remember I work in social media. So there's a psychology to certain things,you know, when somebody's posting memes like that and not really posting any regular updates, it makes me wonder if like, this is their way of expressing. They need help. Um, and some people,you know, and I know you and I have talked about this previously. Um, some people have a hard time articulating that they need help or even recognizing they need help. Um, And so this could be one of those things that is also occurring.

[Vixen Divine]: 16:57

So you feel like with those three memes, now obviously I haven't seen the rest of her posts, but it sounds like you're saying that she was pretty focused on this, like it wasn't mixed in with other things.

[Rachel Strella]: 17:10

Well, and I don't know what all of her updates are. I just know that the things that she's been sharing have been cause for concern for her family.

[Vixen Divine]: 17:20

Gotcha. Okay, so she must be pretty... Yeah, if you're mixing this in with other things and you're not,but if she's just really just kind of posting about that, love that mug that you got there. What's in that mug?

[Rachel Strella]: 17:35

Oh! Swag.

[Vixen Divine]: 17:40

I have one just like it. But if she is posting specifically, continuously on that, then okay, she's dwelling on it and that might be a cause for concern.

[Rachel Strella]: 17:53

Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think,you know, a lot of the questions that I've been getting from people have been about balancing parenthood.

[Vixen Divine]: 18:03


[Rachel Strella]: 18:05

And so we saw a TikTok from a working mom of three and her latest batch of children were twins. They're a little bit older now, but she talked about how she balances life and work. And she said she also runs a company.So here are the things that she said. She said there are no days that she is excellent at everything.She found something for herself to put her time into that doesn't involve her work or her family. And to me, what I thought was great is she's seeing all of this while making a cocktail.

[Vixen Divine]: 18:45

Sorry, I got a laugh.

[Rachel Strella]: 18:47

I, you know what? I was talking with my dad last night in the hospital. He says, everyone has a vice,you know? And my dad's a smoker. That's been his vice, you know? I like my cocktails. It's, sometimes it is a coping mechanism that helps with balance. But I thought that she did a great job with the humor. However to her points.I think the thing that resonates with me the most is that there are no days that she's excellent at everything. I mean it is impossible to be perfect, first of all, let alone, you know,be perfect at a bunch of things,or even be super excellent at a bunch of things.I mean sometimes you really do have to switch hats on and off,

[Vixen Divine]: 19:35


[Rachel Strella]: 19:35

Because you can't focus on 10 things at once and do them all really well.

[Vixen Divine]: 19:40

Well it seems like from what you said it seems like that she's actually it's an escape for her. If this thing doesn't involve her work or her family or like anybody else and she's like you know drinking her cocktail while she's doing it that's like You know. Family's over here,leave me alone, I'm doing this, this is my time. That actually sounds like a self care type of thing. It sounds, you know,I don't know what it is, but it does sound like that's very relaxing.

[Rachel Strella]: 20:21

Yeah. And I mean, who knows what it is that she puts her time into. It could be a bubble bath. It could be a painting. It could be a walk. I don't know.

[Vixen Divine]: 20:28

I'm not mad at her.

[Rachel Strella]: 20:30

You know, that little bit of time can make all the difference. I know that right now as I've been in survival mode, you know, if I can take 15minutes and take a walk, I feel like a lot better. I feel like I can handle whatever else is going to be thrown at me. You know?

[Vixen Divine]: 20:47

Kind of a step back.

[Rachel Strella]: 20:49


[Vixen Divine]: 20:50

You know, step away from whatever you're dealing with at the time.[Rachel Strella]: Take a deep breath, yeah.Oh yeah, oh yeah, that, me,I'm just like, I'll do...

[Rachel Strella]: 21:02

Yeah, I get your little messages sometimes with the emojis.

[Vixen Divine]: 21:07

With my little...

[Rachel Strella]: 21:11

It's there. Sometimes you have to literally be reminded to breathe.So let's see what else are we seeing in here. So there was a Reddit thread that somebody wrote about work and life balance. She said, I'm of the firm belief that we aren't built to work 40 to 45 hours a week. And so this is a really interesting perspective because this came from someone who was 30 years old with no children. So, let's explore this for a minute.

[Vixen Divine]: 21:44


[Rachel Strella]: 21:46

So one of my vices, I like to watch television like shows. So I've been watching a show on Netflix because I'm like out of everything. Uh, it's Emily goes to Paris and she,she is one of the opening scenes. She's having a conversation with people who are talking about how Americans, you know,like live to work and in France,it's not like that at all. Work is work. It's what you have to do and you do it. And then you live life. Um, and so I do think that, you know, that there's a cultural thing that comes into that as well. I think that could be a part of this conversation.

[Vixen Divine]: 22:25

That's true. Having lived in Germany for a couple of years is totally different,totally different. As far as work goes, if she has that type of a statement,then she probably doesn't like what she's doing.

[Rachel Strella]: 22:46


[Vixen Divine]: 22:46

Because I love to work. My family will tell you. My son tells me, he's like,Mom, I admire your work ethic.Because I love what I'm doing. Like I can work most of the day, but I'm loving it. Like it is my thing. It is my thing. I love to see the transformation,the skin that I'm doing. I love to see the body. I love my client to get up feeling better. I love the computer work,when you know, the things that I'm creating. Like I love it. So 40 to 45hours, I think I probably work more than that. I'm surviving just fine. So you don't, yes, in America,that is our culture. That is a cultural thing and how you work, it is a cultural thing. And what is expected of you is also a cultural thing because that's the way you were raised in that culture. So this is true. But if you...hate or if you think that you are not made to work that 40, 45 hours, I believe it's just because you just don't like what you do.

[Rachel Strella]: 23:59

I can agree with you there.And I think, you know, so our perspective is a little different than most.We own our own business, where to be honest,sometimes working 40 or 45hours is a light week, especially when you're starting up. So, and I never thought about it as the amount of time, you know, that I spend. You'll know activities that drain your energy and you don't want to do them.

[Vixen Divine]: 24:23


[Rachel Strella]: 24:24

And I agree with you totally though. I do think that she's not liking what she’s doing

[Vixen Divine]: 24:30


[Rachel Strella]: 24:31

regardless of the amount of time. But I've been in jobs that were draining,where I couldn't wait till Friday at five o'clock.And then I'd spend the weekend just lamenting over the fact that I had to go back, you know? So I know that feeling, and this is exactly why I run my own show.

[Vixen Divine]: 24:51

There is a name for that. I found out recently. They developed it into some kind of syndrome or something to where it's like the dread of Monday coming.Like that's actually a thing,the dread of Monday coming. So, you know, it's like, you know, Saturday's here.Oh, I gotta go to work on Monday. You know,you can't even enjoy the weekend knowing. And then they talked about, the talk was, you know, making light Mondays or just make, so basically you're making Tuesday, Monday. So it's eventually going to be the same thing.[Rachel Strella]: Right. You still gotta go back to work sometime.Exactly. So my thing is you really, if you have that type of feeling or if you have that kind of stress,you really should explore why you're dreading so much to go back to whatever it is that you're doing. and make this there's options. There are plenty of options. And if you don't feel like you have options, please just drop something in the comments. We can help you explore that.Because I really want to know,like maybe it's from where you live. It's from your accessibility. And then there are resources that can help you depending on your economics or social standings.

[Rachel Strella]: 26:14

Yeah, that's a great idea.And I think, I mean, I've always been a champion for the entrepreneur. I will help any entrepreneur. It's just a passion,you know, I've been doing this for so long. And I also could tell who's cut out to be an entrepreneur,you know? So it was one of those things where that's not for everybody,but you do have options in your career and especially now, you know,right now, the labor market. It's definitely an opportunity for people to switch careers if they want to.

[Vixen Divine]: 26:43

it's much broader than it used to be, than it ever actually ever has been.Something-- The pandemic like turned on a switch, you know? And what they say, it was a great walkout or something like that, where, you know, if you basically are like, I'm not doing this job anymore. Like people just like, we're not caring. They're just like, whatever,[Rachel Strella]: Great resolution, yeah, yes.whatever. So,[Rachel Strella]: It's a real thing.there's more opportunities,as you said, as... that there were, but some people sometimes can't see them.

[Rachel Strella]: 27:17


[Vixen Divine]: 27:17

Can't see them. Like we talk about perspective. Sometimes the perspective,you need someone else to look at it to see things that maybe you don't see.

[Rachel Strella]: 27:27

Exactly. You're absolutely right. All right, well, we're coming to the closure of this podcast. This was a great topic. And I think we could talk about this for hours because it really is an interesting topic. But Vixen,let me ask, is there anything else you'd like to say about balance?

[Vixen Divine]: 27:46

Just when you talk about balance,just understand that you need a foundation.Your life is always gonna change,it's never gonna be the same. As you know,there's always gonna be struggles or things that hit you that you do not expect.But if you have a base and everyone on your team, meaning your family, whether it's your dog, whoever it is that's in your team, they have to understand what the base is, what the basic protocol. From there, you can change it. If everyone understands how it's supposed to go, from there, you can change

[Rachel Strella]: 28:25

I agree with you. My Vistage Chair is an executive coach and he says that work-life balance is a myth.He says you, you'll be wearing one hat and then you get pulled away to wear the other hat. And then you get pulled away to wear the other hat.I mean, I agree. And I agree with that, especially as an entrepreneur where there are no boundaries from work and home sometimes.And now in the world that we live in too, many people work from home where they're, they're expected to be available 24/7. Um, so it is a, I agree with that. And I think that we just have to be ready to be pulled into that direction and be okay with that being where we're at right now,knowing that we're probably going to have to go back to this direction again. And we're just swimming along.

[Vixen Divine]: 29:13

Yeah, I think if everyone understands what's happening, everyone in your team understands what is happening and what potential has to happen, then it'll be okay. You'll have that balance, you'll be able to achieve it, but you just have to have that structure.

[Rachel Strella]: 29:32

I agree with you completely.Again, for me structure, it's innate. So I don't even think to talk about it. I'm way structured, but I'm glad you mentioned this because I realized that I am very unlike most people. Wow. Thanks for everybody for tuning into the Light Her Project podcast. You can follow the conversation online with our hashtag. So keep it real, Real Women.

[Vixen Divine]: 29:57

Real talk.


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